Tag Archives: socialism

September ~ Election Year 1864

Woman making American Flag

General Sherman captures Atlanta and thereby provides a great boost to Lincoln’s campaign. Supporters such as Reverend Finney and George Templeton Strong feel increasingly optimistic about Lincoln’s re-election, the end of slavery and the conclusion of the war. On the international stage, Canada moves toward unification and the First International is formed in London, both events having effect upon the United States well into the twentieth century.

September 1– Thursday– Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada– Twenty-three delegates representing Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada [a union of Upper and Lower Canada created in 1841, now roughly equal to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec] meet to open a conference to consider the first steps toward confederation and the formation of modern Canada.

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– Mayor James Calhoun and a small delegation ride out toward Union lines with a white flag to surrender. When they met a contingent of Federal troops Mayor Calhoun hands them a letter for General Sherman which simply says, “Sir: The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands. As mayor of the city I ask protection of non-combatants and private property.” By early afternoon, Union troops reach downtown, occupy the city hall and raise the flag of the United States which has not flown there in over three years.


September 3– Saturday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia– “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.” ~ Telegram from General Sherman to President Lincoln and the War Department.

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “New York City is shouting for McClellan, and there is a forced effort elsewhere to get a favorable response to the almost traitorous proceeding at Chicago. As usual, some timid Union men are alarmed, and there are some . . . who falter, and another set, like Greeley, who have an uneasy, lingering hope that they can yet have an opportunity to make a new candidate. But this will soon be over. The Chicago platform is unpatriotic, almost treasonable to the Union. The issue is made up. It is whether a war shall be made against Lincoln to get peace with Jeff Davis. Those who met at Chicago prefer hostility to Lincoln rather than to Davis. Such is extreme partisanism [sic]. . . This is the demon of party– the days of its worst form– a terrible spirit, which in its excess leads men to rejoice in the calamities of their country and to mourn its triumphs. Strange, and wayward, and unaccountable are men. While the facts are as I have stated, I cannot think these men are destitute of love of country; but they permit party prejudices and party antagonisms to absorb their better natures.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 3– Saturday– Stephenson’s Depot, Virginia– “We learn by the late papers that McClellan & Pendleton are the nominees of the Chicago Convention – I have not seen the Platform – but think it must be a peace one – Pendleton is a southern man in principle & it is thought he will be for peace – everything indicates a strong peace movement in the North & they may succeed in electing their candidates.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.


September 4– Sunday– New York City– Women working as seamstresses, making garments for Union soldiers, petition the Federal government for a fair wage for their work.

September 5– Monday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I think the military prospect is brightening and Mr. Lincoln will be re-elected, but, even if McClellan should be chosen, unless he repudiates every act and word of his past life, his course cannot be essentially different. It is quite remarkable how diametrically opposed McClellan’s course has been to that advocated by the present peace faction of the Democratic party.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

September 8– Thursday– Orange, New Jersey– “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, informing me of my nomination by the Democratic National Convention, recently held at Chicago, as their candidate at the next election for President of the United States. It is unnecessary for me to say to you that this nomination comes to me unsought. I am happy to know that when the nomination was made, the record of my public life was kept in view. . . . The existence of more than one Government over the region which once owned our flag is incompatible with the peace, the power, and the happiness of the people. The preservation of our Union was the sole avowed object for which the war was commenced. It should have been conducted for that object only and in accordance with those principles which I took occasion to declare in active service. Thus conducted, the work of reconciliation would have been easy, and we might have reaped the benefits of our many victories on land and sea. . . . A vast majority of our people, whether in the army and navy or at home, would, as I would, hail with unbounded joy the permanent restoration of peace, on the basis of the Union under the Constitution without the effusion of another drop of blood. But no peace can be permanent without union. . . . Believing that the views here expressed are those of the Convention and the people you represent, I accept the nomination. I realize the weight of the responsibility to be borne, should the people ratify your choice. Conscious of my own weakness, I can only seek fervently the guidance of the Ruler of the Universe, and, relying on His all-powerful aid, do my best to restore union and peace to a suffering people, and to establish and guard their liberties and rights.” ~ Letter from George B. McClellan to the Democratic National Committee, accepting the nomination.

September 9– Friday– New York City– “McClellan’s letter of acceptance is in the morning papers. Will it help much? It is made up of platitudes floating in mucilage, without a single plain word against treason and rebellion. It has no ring of true metal, and no suggestion of magnetic power in word, phrase, or thought. . . . Now that Atlanta has fallen, rebel newspapers discover that it was not worth holding and declare that Sherman’s occupation of it is quite a blow top the Federal cause and equivalent to a rebel victory. Nothing is so characteristic of Southerners as brag (self-assertion, tall talking, and loud lying).” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.


September 9– Friday– New York City– “I have no doubt but the enemy are exceedingly anxious to hold out until after the Presidential election. They have many hopes from its effects. They hope a counter-revolution. They hope the election of the peace candidate. . . . Our peace friends, if they expect peace from separation, are much mistaken. It would be but the beginning of war, with thousands of Northern men joining the South because of our disgrace in allowing separation. To have ‘peace on any terms,’ the South would demand the restoration of their slaves already freed; they would demand indemnity for losses sustained, and they would demand a treaty which would make the North slave-hunters for the South; they would demand pay for the restoration of every slave escaped to the North.” ~ Letter from Union General Ulysses S Grant to Elihu B Washburne, Republican Congressman from Illinois and a strong supporter of President Lincoln, quoted in today’s New York Times.

September 9– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “The success of Sherman at Atlanta, following on that of Farragut at Mobile, has very much discomposed the opposition. They had planned for a great and onward demonstration for their candidate and platform, but our naval and army successes have embarrassed them exceedingly. General McClellan, in his letter of acceptance, has sent out a different and much more creditable and patriotic set of principles than the convention which nominated him; but the two are wholly irreconcilable.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 13– Tuesday– New York City– “A great and decisive battle may be fought in Virginia before this week ends. There will be a murder grim and great, for Lee’s hungry cohorts will fight their best. Hundreds or thousands of men, enlisted to maintain and enforce the law of the land, will perish by the violence of masterful rebels. Our Copperheads . . . Peace Democrats and the candidates and leaders, McClellan and George H Pendleton . . . are answerable for the death of every national soldier who dies in his duty.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.


September 13– Tuesday– Oberlin, Ohio– ” We are progressing hopefully & I think surely to the total extinction of slavery & to the subjugation of the rebel territory. Our army & navy are victorious & the end can not be far distant. It is a great wheel & at least appears to people abroad to move slowly. But in fact progress has been astonishingly rapid. To us who know what has to be done & what has been accomplished the changes have been unparalleled in the world’s history both in magnitude & in rapidity. We are now once more & I trust for the last time to have a political contest with the sympathies with rebellion at the north. I feel confident that the right will triumph & that in this political triumph that corrupt party [the Democratic] that was so long in league with the slave power had every thing in [the ] wrong way, will be finally used up.” ~ Letter from Reverend Charles G Finney to Robert and Elizabeth Best.

September 15– Thursday– New York City– “It seems impossible for the Democratic party to get rid of the idea that the main and everlasting aim and end of its existence is the defense of Slavery. Don Quixote was not more eager to rush to the aid and risk his life in the defense of forlorn and abused damsels of high degree, than the Democratic party has been at all times, and it seems still is, to rush to the defense of the old hag and harlot of Slavery.” ~ New York Times.

September 17–Saturday–Nahant, Massachusetts–John C Fremont withdraws as a candidate for president.

September 17– Saturday– New York City– “It’s certainly hard to vote for sustaining an Administration of which Stanton is a member. . . . Still it is a plain duty to uphold Lincoln, even with this millstone round his neck, as against the Chicago platform, McClellan and Pendleton.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.


September 17– Saturday– Rochester, New York– “I, like many other radical men, freely criticized, in private and in public, the actions and utterances of Mr. Lincoln, and withheld from him my support. That possibility is now no longer conceivable; it is now plain that this country is to be governed or misgoverned during the next four years, either by the Republican Party represented in the person of Abraham Lincoln, or by the (miscalled) Democratic Party, represented by George B. McClellan. With this alternative clearly before us, all hesitation ought to cease, and every man who wishes well to the slave and to the country should at once rally with all the warmth and earnestness of his nature to the support of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, and to the utter defeat and political annihilation of McClellan and Pendleton; for the election of the latter, with their well known antecedents, declared sentiments, and the policy avowed in the Chicago platform, would be the heaviest calamity of these years of war and blood, since it would upon the instant sacrifice and wantonly cast away everything valuable, purchased so dearly by the precious blood of our brave sons and brothers on the battlefield for the perfect liberty and permanent peace of a common country.” ~ Letter from Frederick Douglass to William Lloyd Garrison.

September 20– Tuesday– New York City– “Hurrah for Sheridan and Sherman! If Grant can but do as well as his lieutenants have done, the rebellion will be played out before November. The military value of this victory is great but it is worth still more as influencing the political campaign and contributing to the determination of the fearful issue that campaign is to decide: nationality or anarchy.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

September 21– Wednesday– New York City– “Sheridan seems doing much to help our defense. His victory of the 19th grows bigger and higher as we learn more about it and about his way of following it up. It was a hard-fought battle, decided at last by a heavy cavalry charge.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.


September 21– Wednesday– Washington, D. C.– “The victory of Sheridan has a party-political influence. It is not gratifying to the opponents of the Administration. Some who want to rejoice in it feel it difficult to do so, because they are conscious that it strengthens the Administration, to which they are opposed. The partisan feeling begins to show itself strongly among men of whom it was not expected. . . . Some attempt is made by the Richmond papers to help the cause of McClellan by an affectation of dread of his superior military attainments and abilities and his greater zeal for the Union. The effort is so bald, so manifestly intended for their sympathizing friends, that no one can be deceived by it. There was a time when such stuff had a market in the North, but that time has gone by.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 23– Friday– Augusta, Georgia–”The doctrine of self government I suppose of course to be right and yet our Southern people do not appear to have learned the art, even if they had the right granted them. Where is there more power exercised than is displayed in the manner in which our Generals are ‘relieved’? But as to the doctrine of slavery altho I have read very few abolition books (Uncle Tom’s Cabin making most impression) nor have I read many pro slavery books, yet the idea has gradually become more and more fixed in my mind that the institution of slavery is not right . . . . During my comparatively short life, spent wholly under Southern skies, I have known of and heard too much of its demoralizing influence to consider the institution a blessing.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.


September 25– Sunday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “With Sherman’s success in Georgia– Farragut’s at Mobile– Sheridan’s in the Shenandoah Valley—the death of General Morgan and other minor successes of the Federals—it is no wonder we feel gloomy. . . . Well, it grows harder and harder with us, oh! I dread this coming winter. . . . Great Heaven! when shall we have rest and peace? Will it ever come in our day? I am becoming a sad-souled woman– full of secret sorrows– full of heart-burnings, full of longing for the great and good– full of impatience and repining at the chains, the iron chains of everyday circumstance which bind me back from all that my better nature aspires to!” ~ Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

September 28– Wednesday– London, England– A varied assortment of leftists and radicals from England, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland and Italy meet at St Martin’s Hall. They form the International Workingmen’s Association [a/k/a The First International, which will function in various states of turmoil until 1876].


Strike! Lawrence, Massachusetts~January, 1912

The years opens with what will become one of the most famous strikes in American labor history– textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Political and social change take place in China, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, eastern Europe, Ecuador, as well as the cities of Toronto, Canada, Lisbon, Portugal, and Brisbane, Australia.


January 1–Monday– Nanjing, China– Following three months of fighting and turmoil, leaders of fifteen of the country’s twenty-four provinces elect Sun Yat-sen, 45 years old, as provisional president of the new Republic of China. This marks the beginning of the end of over 2,000 years of imperial rule and the end of the power of the Quing dynasty which has ruled since 1644. Although Sun’s supporters control most of southern China, Yuan Shih-kai retains power in the north as the chief of the Imperial army in Beijing.

January 1–Monday– Toronto, Canada–In municipal elections, Mayor George R Geary, age 38,facing no opponents, wins reelection by acclamation. Two incumbent members of the Board of Control are defeated. Noted Liberal Frank Spence loses his seat but is replaced by fellow Liberal Jesse McCarthy. J. J. Ward, considered a representative of labor also loses his seat. [George Geary dies April 30, 1954.]

January 1–Monday– New York City– The NAACP, founded three years ago, issues its second annual report. The report lists active chapters in Boston and Chicago as well as here and receipts of $10,317.43 for the eight months ending in December, 1911. [That equals approximately $265,000 in current dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 2– Tuesday– Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada– Birth of Barbara Pentland, composer, musician and educator. [Dies February 5, 2000.]

January 2–Tuesday– Tabriz, Persia– With 4,000 Russian troops occupying the city to protect Russian interests, the Russian authorities execute eight Persian leaders who had supported the Constitutional Revolution between 1905 and 1907. Other such leaders had fled the city.

January 3– Wednesday– Disraeli, Quebec, Canada– Birth of Louise Marguerite Renaude Lapointe, one of the first Canadian women to build a career in journalism and who will serve as a senator from 1971 to 1987. [Dies May 11,2002.]

January 5– Friday– Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire–At the International Party Conference, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, age 41, and the Bolshevik Party break away from the rest of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.

January 5– Friday– Nanjing, China– Dr. Sun Yat-sen issues the “Manifesto from the Republic of China to All Friendly Nations,” signaling a major change in Chinese foreign policy with a promise to end the isolationism of the Manchu Emperors and “to rejoin China with the international community.” On the same day, he meets with woman’s suffrage activist Lin Zongsu and pledges to allow women the right to vote in the new republic.

January 5–Friday– Melbourne, Victoria, Australia– Birth of Doris Jessie Carter, athlete who in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin will become the first Australian woman to make it into the Olympic finals. [Dies July 28, 1999.]


January 6– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– New Mexico is admitted as the 47th state in the Union.

January 6–Saturday– Bordeaux, France–Birth of Jacques Ellul, philosopher, sociologist, law professor and Christian anarchist. [Dies May 19, 1994.]

January 7–Sunday– The Red Sea outside of Kunfida (now Al Qunfudhah in Saudi Arabia)– Seven Turkish gunboats are sunk by three Italian warships as the hostilities begun last September continue.

January 7– Sunday– Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England– Dr. Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, an English physician, teacher and feminist, dies two weeks away from her 72nd birthday. She was one of the first women to practice medicine in the United Kingdom, a leading campaigner for medical education for women and involved in founding two medical schools for women, one in London and the other in Edinburgh, where she also started a women’s hospital.


January 8– Monday– Bloemfontein, South Africa–John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatie along with a number of the chiefs of indigenous peoples, people’s representatives, and church representatives form the African National Congress [the ANC] to bring all Africans together to work for liberation and freedom. From its inception the ANC represents both traditional and modern elements, from tribal chiefs to church and community bodies and educated black professionals, though women will only be admitted as affiliate members and only after 1930.

January 8–Monday– Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada– Birth of Lawrence Walsh, U.S. federal prosecutor who will gain notoriety during his investigation the Iran-Contra affair.[Dies March 19, 2014].

January 8–Monday– Washington, D. C.– The United States Monetary Commission presents its plan to Congress to establish what will become the Federal Reserve System.

January 9– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– The Democratic National Committee announces that this year’s presidential nominating convention will be held in Baltimore beginning on June 25.

Preparing for the 4th of July parade held by the textile mill committees.

Preparing for the 4th of July parade held by the textile mill committees.

January 11–Thursday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Women weavers, mostly immigrants, at Everett Cotton Mills realize that the company has reduced their pay by 32 cents and they stop their looms and leave the mill, shouting “short pay, short pay!” and thereby begin what will become know as “the Bread and Roses strike.” [The women earn a little less than $9.00 a week for nearly 60 hours of work. This equals about $231 in current dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 12– Friday– Berlin, Germany– The first round of the German parliamentary election is held today with 208 seats in the Reichstag at stake.

January 12– Friday– London, England– The General Post Office of the British government takes complete control of the national telephone system, leaving only the United States as the sole major industrialized nation in which the network is privately owned.

January 12–Friday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Almost 10,00 workers in area textile plants walk out on strike as thousands more join the 1750 who walked out yesterday. At the Washington Mills, the workers turn off the power, cut belts on machines and break light bulbs as they walk out. Half of the strikers are women.

January 13–Saturday– New York City– Speaking at Bryant Hall, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, age 21, and has worked as an I.W.W. organizer for five years, encourages striking waiters to refuse tip-taking and instead to demand a living wage from the hotel and restaurant proprietors. The idea provokes considerable debate among the strikers, many of whom are immigrants, and the final vote is unanimous against accepting gratuities.


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn


January 13– Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– The Evening Tribune reports that “It is felt that the worst uprising in the city has reached its climax and that the trouble will now gradually simmer down to normal conditions.”

January 14–Sunday– Wahoo, Nebraska– Birth of Tillie Lerner Olsen, author and feminist. [Dies January 1, 2007.]

January 15–Monday– Ecuador–The battleship USS Maryland arrives to protect American interests during the violence of the civil war.

January 15–Monday– Paris, France– Birth of Michel Jean-Pierre Debre who will serve in the French Resistance during the Second World War and as the first Prime Minister of the Fifth French Republic from 1959 to 1962. [Dies August 2, 1996.]

January 15– Monday– Washington, D.C.– The Senate votes 58-8 to discuss arbitration treaties publicly rather than in closed sessions. Peace advocates see this as a step forward.

January 15–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Authorities arrest 36 strikers for throwing snowballs at police officers and militiamen. Organizers of the IWW establish twenty-four hours a day picketing of the mills. The Evening Tribune reports that “Authorities have the situation well in hand.”

cavalry in lawrence-323-1

cavalry troopers in Lawrence


January 15– Monday– Boston, Massachusetts– The governor orders five companies of state militia to Lowell “to suppress the rioting, to preserve order and to protect property.”

January 16–Tuesday– Ankara, Turkey– The Sultan Abdul Hamid II on his own initiative dissolves the Turkish Chamber of Deputies. Engaged in an expensive and bloody war with Italy since the end of September, 1911, attempting to repel the Italian invasion of Libya, an Ottoman province, the Sultan appears angry and frustrated with the Chamber.

January 17– Wednesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– At the train station about 3000 strikers and supporters cheer the arrival of “Smiling Joe” Ettor, 26 years old and well known labor organizer and IWW activist. [Ettor dies in California sometime in 1948.]


January 18– Thursday– Brisbane, Queensland, Australia– Members of the Australian Tramway Employees Association are dismissed from their jobs when they wear union badges to work. Although the Brisbane tramways are owned by the General Electric Company of the United Kingdom, they are managed by Joseph Stillman Badger, an American, who is responsible for the firing of these workers. Later he will refuse to negotiate with the Queensland main union body, the Australian Labour Federation. The terminated workers and supporters march to Brisbane Trades Hall where a meeting is held. In the evening 10,000 people gather in Market Square to protest the company’s action.

brisbane eagle_st

Brisbane tram



January 18– Thursday– Yaguachi, Ecuador– Over 1,000 people are killed in fighting between troops from the Quito national government and the Guayaquil rebel government.

January 18– Thursday– Roanne, France– Birth of David Rousset, writer and political activist who will survive the Buchenwald concentration camp during the Second World War.

January 18–Thursday– Tientsin, China– American troops occupy the city to protect American interests. The United States is concerned about political instability in China.

January 18– Thursday– London, England– The British Miners’ Federation releases the final tally on a strike vote with 445,801 in favor and 115,921 opposed. The strike, aimed at securing a minimum wage for coal miners, is scheduled begin on March 1.

January 20– Saturday– Berlin, Germany– The second round of Reichstag elections begins with 77 seats at stake.

January 20–Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– Police detectives find a stash of dynamite in an empty room in back of Marad Dye Works and arrest seven people, two of them women.

January 22– Monday– Hamilton, Georgia–A white mob lynches three black men and one black woman.

January 22–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Almost 22,000 workers are now on strike. Business in town is at a standstill.


January 22– Monday– Nanjing, China– Sun Yat-sen and Yuan Shih-kai complete negotiations on the unification of the Republic of China, with Dr. Sun agreeing to yield the presidency to Yuan upon the abdication of the emperor.

January 23–Monday– The Hague, The Netherlands– For the first time ever, a number of countries sign a treaty to control drug trade. The International Opium Convention, signed by China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Russia, Siam, the United States and the United Kingdom, provides that the signatories “shall use their best endeavors to control, or to cause to be controlled, all persons manufacturing, importing, selling, distributing, and exporting morphine, cocaine, and their respective salts, as well as the buildings in which these persons carry such an industry or trade.” Other countries are invited to agree to the terms later.

January 24– Tuesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– At the train station thousands of strikers, their families and supporters cheer the arrival of “Big Bill” Haywood, age 42 and well known labor organizer and IWW activist. In a speech before Haywood’s arrival Joseph Ettor warns the strikers to beware of Pinkerton detectives who may act as agent provocateurs to discredit the workers.

January 25– Thursday– Guayaquil, Ecuador– General Pedro Montero, who had been proclaimed President of Ecuador on December 29, 1911, by rebelling Ecuadorian troops, is sentenced to 16 years in prison. When the sentence is announced, the crowd outside the courthouse nosily protests that the sentence is too light. A number of people rush in, shoot Montero to death, and carry his corpse outside, where others behead and then burn the body.

January 25–Thursday– Berlin, Germany– Voting in elections for the Reichstag concludes today with the Socialists having the largest number of seats, winning 100, and the Radical and National Liberal parties having won 44 and 47, respectively, and the (Catholic) Centre Party taking 91 seats. The results make possible a majority coalition of groups hostile to or ambivalent about the ruling elites of the German Empire; however, distrust and in-fighting among liberals and progressives will, for the most part, leave the government of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg free to do as it wishes.

January 26–Friday– Beijing, China– A group of 47 generals and commanders of the Imperial Army, all of whom had pledged their allegiance to the monarchy earlier in this month, sign a petition to the Emperor and the regent, asking that the dynasty give way to a republic under Yuan Shih-kai.

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factory in Lawrence


January 27– Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– Benoit Clothing Company, a local store, runs advertisements pledging 10% of each days sales to be given to relief of the strikers.

January 28– Sunday– Newark, New Jersey– Birth of Sidney Lens, author, labor organizer and socialist political activist. [Dies June 18,1986.]

January 28– Sunday– Quito, Ecuador– A mob storms the prison where former President Eloy Alfaro and his brothers Flavio and Medardo are being held as prisoners of war since their capture six days ago, and lynches them.

January 29–Monday– Chicago, Illinois– At a meeting of the “No Vote, No Tax League”–a women’s tax resistance group–an intense debate begins when Miss Belle Squire and Dr Cornelia De Bey urge the group to endorse Teddy Roosevelt for President of the United States. Dr De Bay declares that “When he sees that votes for women is a winning issue he will embrace it.” However, the proposal is defeated by a 2-to1 margin.

January 29– Monday– Pierce City, Missouri– Birth of Martha Wright Griffiths, lawyer and judge. She will become the first woman elected to the United States Congress from Michigan as a member of the Democratic Party and the first woman to serve on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means. She will also be the person most responsible for including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and will finish her distinguished career becoming the first woman elected as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. [Dies April 22, 2003.]

January 29–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Police and strikers clash. Annie Lo Pizza, a striker, is shot and killed. The Evening Tribune opines that while strikers appear more confident than ever, “the chaos which prevailed at the early stages of the strike has returned and it seems as if drastic efforts would be necessary to once again restore order. It is possible that the city will be placed under martial law.” In response to the threats of the mayor and business owners, Joseph Ettor declares, “Fine! We will win the strike even if they erect scaffolds on the streets.”


January 29–Monday– Lisbon, Portugal– A general strike cripples the city as newspapers, stores and theaters are closed and no streetcars run. The government blames strikers for several bombings.

January 30–Tuesday– New York City–Birth of Barbara Tuchman, historian. [Dies February 6, 1989.]

January 30–Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– In an interview with the Evening Post, former President Theodore Roosevelt goes on record as saying that he would accept nomination for the presidency, though he is not actively seek a return to the White House. The 53 year old Roosevelt has been hunting big game in Africa and lecturing in Europe since leaving office in March of 1909 but is beginning to drift apart from his old friend President Taft.

January 30–Tuesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Soldiers bayonet and kill a 16 year old boy who is not a striker. Also, Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti, IWW labor organizers, are arrested and charged as “accessories” in the murder of Annie Lo Pizza.


Giovannitti & Ettor


January 30–Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– Mrs Lillian M N Stevens, National President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and Mrs Mary Harris Armour, of the Georgia WCTU, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and encourage the passage of a prohibition amendment to the federal constitution.

January 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– A bill introduced today in the House of Representatives authorizes $1,557,583 in payment for Civil War claims– $458,386 to churches and organizations for use of their buildings and property during the war; $1035,560 to individuals fror unpaid invoices for army stores and supplies; and $59,576 to various Union officers whose pay had been withheld for an assortment of reasons.

Upheavals & Transformations ~ January 1896

The year opens with much activity which foreshadows many events of the next twenty years– tension in South Africa which will erupt in the Boer War, an independence movement in Cuba which will involve Spain in a war with the United States, struggles for Irish independence which will lead to the bitter Easter Uprising of 1916, the German Emperor wanting a large navy and a prominent role for Germany on the international stage, agitation by women for the right to vote, refugees fleeing violence in the Ottoman Empire, the rise of the political star of Teddy Roosevelt, agitation by workers, a certain increased interest in socialism, tension between Britain and the United States, and racial tensions in the United States.

January 2– Thursday– Doornkop, Transvaal, South Africa– The raiders led by Dr Leander Starr Jameson are stopped and captured after a day-long battle. They will be sent to England to stand trial.


Leander Starr Jameson


January 3– Friday– Berlin, Germany– In an attempt to embarrass the British, Emperor Wilhelm II sends a telegram to President Paul Kruger congratulating him for stopping the Jameson Raid

January 4– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Utah officially becomes the 45th state in the union. To insure admission Mormon leaders agreed to ban polygamy. Women gain the right to vote under the new state’s constitution.

January 6– Monday– Cape Town, Cape Colony, South Africa– Cecil Rhodes resigns as Prime Minister of Cape Colony, a government committee having found him guilty of having engineered the Jameson raid.

January 11– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– An editorial in today’s Washington Post calls for official American recognition of the Cuban revolutionaries.

January 12– Sunday– near New Orleans, Louisiana– A black man and his white wife are lynched because of their inter-racial marriage.

January 13– Monday– Vernon, New York– Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Jones, abolitionist, woman’s rights advocate and lecturer, dies two months before her 83rd birthday.


Mathew Brady


January 15– Wednesday– New York City– Mathew Brady, famous Civil War photographer, dies penniless at age 73 from residual problems from by being struck by a streetcar in Washington, D.C. several months prior.

January 18– Saturday– New Haven Connecticut– Clubs of Irish immigrants and Irish nationalists are said to be planning to activate a submarine-type ram for use against British warships.

January 18– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Frances Clara Cleveland, the First Lady, age 31, hosts an afternoon tea for a large number of women, both from Washington society and wives and daughters from the diplomatic corps.

January 18– Saturday– St Louis, Missouri– An announcement confirms that the city will host the National Populist Convention on July 22nd.

January 18– Saturday–Berlin, Germany– Emperor Wilhelm gives a speech at a dinner in the palace in which he describes the “wonderful” development of the Empire and declares that Germany must be well armed on the sea as well as on land in order to assert her duties and rights and therefore must increase the size and armament of the fleet.


Clara Barton c.1900


January 19– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– Despite the Turkish government’s position that the Red Cross will not be permitted to work in the Ottoman Empire, Clara Barton, age 74, and her staff busily prepare to do so. She announces that on Tuesday she will go to New York City to take ship for the area in order to aid the Armenians.

January 20– Monday– Chicago, Illinois– Frances E Willard, age 56, and the other officers of the W.C.T.U. send a petition to Congress, asking Congress to take action to provide relief to the Armenians “who have been driven to the last extremity by the fatal fanaticism of the Sultan and his soldiers.” Willard has served as president of the W.C.T.U. since 1879. [Worn out by years of travel, public speaking and intense work for temperance and the rights of women, Willard dies February 17, 1898.]


Frances Willard


January 20– Monday– London, England– Regarding the Venezuela boundary dispute, English newspapers warn that the people of Great Britain will not endure the United States’ invocation of the Monroe Doctrine and that the U S Congress and the Administration are pandering to Irish voters and intend make Latin America increasingly dependent upon the United States.

January 21– Tuesday– Albany, New York– The 30th annual meeting of the State Workingmen’s Association calls for enforcement of the 8 hour workday law.

January 21– Tuesday– Isle of Wright, Great Britain– Queen Victoria reviews the new “flying squadron” of the Royal Navy. Rumors abound that these warships will be sent to American waters.

January 21– Tuesday– Rome, Italy– L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, denies that the pope made an offer to President Cleveland to mediate the dispute between the United States and Great Britain.

January 22– Wednesday– Hartford, Connecticut– Theodore Roosevelt, age 37, Police Commissioner of New York City, delivers a speech describing recent reforms as “the result of the application of common sense, morality, and courage to the problems presented.”

January 22– New York City– Clara Barton and some of her staff set sail on the steamer New York, headed for Southampton, England, and from there on to Constantinople, Turkey.

January 23– Thursday– New York City– An editorial in the New York Times supports Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt in his reform efforts for “manly and honest enforcement of the law” and declares that those in Roosevelt’s own [Republican] party who are attacking him ought to be subject to “exposure and rebuke” for their support of “lawlessness and corruption.”

January 24– Friday– Washington, D. C.– The Senate passes a resolution from the Committee on Foreign Relations calling on all the powers which are party to the Berlin Treaty of 1878 to take measures against Turkey to stop “the slaughter now going on” of Armenians.

January 24– Friday– Washington, D. C.– At the annual meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Susan B Anthony, weeks away from her 76th birthday, declares, “We have a sort of fellow-feeling with the Cubans. We women know what it is to be deprived of self-government, and know what it is to be taxed when we don’t have a hand in the assessments.”

January 25– Saturday– New York City– The tailors represented by the Brotherhood of Tailors win a seven weeks strike, helped by the threat of the United Garment Workers to call a general strike of 30,000 clothing workers to support the tailors.


Daniel De Leon, circa 1904


January 26– Sunday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Watch the process of ‘moral development’ in this country– the classic ground in many ways to study history in, for the reason that the whole development of mankind can be seen here, portrayed in a few years, so to speak. You know how, to-day, the Northern people put on airs of morality on the score of having ‘abolished chattel slavery,’ the ‘traffic in human flesh,’ ‘gone down South and fought, and bled, to free the Negro,’ etc., etc. Yet we know that just as soon as manufacturing was introduced in the North, the North found that it was too expensive to own the Negro and take care of him; that it was much cheaper not to own the worker; and consequently that they ‘religiously,’ ‘humanly’ and ‘morally’ sold their slaves to the South, while they transformed the white people of the North, who had no means of production in their own hands, into wage slaves, and mercilessly ground them down. In the North, chattel slavery disappeared just as soon as the development of machinery rendered the institution unprofitable. . . . Socialism knows that revolutionary upheavals and transformations proceed from the rock-bed of material needs. With a full appreciation of and veneration for moral impulses that are balanced with scientific knowledge, it eschews, looks with just suspicion upon and gives a wide berth to balloon morality, or be it those malarial fevers that reformers love to dignify with the name of ‘moral feelings.’” ~ Daniel De Leon in a speech delivered at Well’s Memorial Hall. [De Leon, age 43, an immigrant who arrived in 1874, is a lawyer, educator and socialist activist.]

January 27– Monday– Washington, D. C– The newest associate justice on the Supreme Court, Rufus Peckam, age 57, a Democrat from New York just appointed by President Cleveland in December, issues his first opinion. The case involves federal acquisition of land to become part of the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, battlefield park. [Peckam will serve on the court until his death on October 24, 1909, writing 303 opinions, including the infamous anti-labor decision in Lochner v New York.]

January 27– Monday– Washington, D. C– The German Embassy hosts 700 people from the diplomatic corps at a reception and dinner in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm’s 37th birthday.


Wilhelm II


January 28– Tuesday–Washington, D.C.– The Navy approves court-martial sentences imposed upon four white sailors for hazing several black seamen. The white men face four months confinement and dismissal from the service.

January 29– Wednesday– Elkhorn, West Virginia– Better than 600 African Americans from the area gather to protest the lynching of a black man two days ago. Fearful of the large number of black people, town leaders deputize and arm a substantial number of extra police officers “to be in readiness should trouble break out.”

January 30– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Boston Christian Endeavor Union, an inter-dominational youth group, reports that yesterday three different hotels in the city refused a room to Bishop Benjamin W Arnett, age 58, an educator and a leader of African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Revere House finally admitted him as a guest but required him to take his meals in his room.

January 30– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Senator William A Peffer, Populist from Kansas, age 64 and himself a veteran of the Union Army, introduces a bill to provide pension benefits to any soldier or sailor who deserted the Confederate forces and afterwards enlisted in the U S Army or Navy.


Frances Folsom Cleveland, the First Lady


January 30– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President and Mrs Cleveland host an elegant dinner at the White House for the justices of the Supreme Court and their wives.

Titanic American Struggle~ November 1864~the 25th

Titanic American Strife ~ Karl Marx.

Marx congratulates President Lincoln on his reelection. Sherman and his officers enjoy their progress through Georgia. A Southern belle despairs.

marching through Georgia

marching through Georgia

November 25– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Judge Lyons’ Court. Only one case was tried in this court yesterday – namely, that of William Bohannon, the young man who, on the 25th ult., shot with a musket and killed, at Seabrook’s hospital, in this city, James S Brooks, a little boy 8 years old. The jury acquitted the prisoner upon the ground that he was at the time of the commission of the horrid deed, and still is, insane. Prisoner was committed to jail and ordered to be sent to the insane asylum at Staunton.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

November 25– Friday– Columbia, South Carolina– “Sherman is thundering at Augusta’s very doors. My General was on the wing, somber, and full of care. The girls are merry enough; the staff, who fairly live here, no better. . . . There is nothing but distraction and confusion. All things tend to the preparation for the departure of the troops. It rains all the time, such rains as I never saw before; incessant torrents. These men come in and out in the red mud and slush of Columbia streets. Things seem dismal and wretched to me to the last degree, but the staff, the girls, and the youngsters do not see it.” ~ Diary of Mary Chesnut.

Mary Chesnut

Mary Chesnut

November 25– Friday– west of Sandersville, Georgia– “Soon learned on the road that bridge or bridges over Buffalo Creek burned: a troublesome place, swampy, creek spreads, really nine successive short bridges. Two or three stories about who burned bridge– Negroes said done by this man, others by party from Sandersville. General [Sherman] very angry at it, no wonder– got to talk about proposed burning of this house– quite a good one, two story frame with several out-houses, cabins, etc. Good blacksmith shop with very good set carpenter’s tools. Ewing was for burning house. I opposed it without evidence that owner had burned or helped burn bridge. General [Sherman] was sitting near, unobserved by me, but, as usual – for nothing escapes him– heard and noticed conversation. Presently he broke in. ‘In war everything is right which prevents anything. If bridges are burned I have a right to burn all houses near it.’ Poe rebuilt bridges rapidly and well, and the whole delay was only about four hours. Learned that rebel cavalry were on t’other side and a few shots exchanged at first but no harm done.” Diary of Union officer Henry Hitchcock.

Sherman's headquarters on the march

Sherman’s headquarters on the march

November 25– Friday– London, England– David Roberts, Scottish-born painter who specialized in painting Egypt and the Middle East, dies at age 68. Queen Victoria was one of his patrons.

November 25– Friday– London, England– “We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery. From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver? . . . . the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters– and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause. While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war. The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.” ~ Letter from Karl Marx and the Central Council of the International Workingmen’s Association to President Lincoln.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The Impending Campaign~November, 1864~3rd to 5th

The Impending Campaign ~ Fredrick C. Winkler

Two impending campaigns, one coming to an impending close and the other about to begin, hold people’s attention. The election campaign is within days of closing. Will Lincoln win reelection? If he does what will that mean for the course of the war and the fate of the Confederacy? In Georgia, General Sherman and his soldiers are making ready to launch a new campaign. What will it mean for the Union cause and for the state of Georgia? All of these questions will soon be answered.

Irish workers support Lincoln. Abolitionists mourn the death of Charles Russell Lowell. Praise for General Phil Sheridan fills the Northern press, helping Lincoln’s campaign. Plenty of fighting goes on in Tennessee. In England the exiled German Karl Marx joins a new labor movement.

damaged buildings in Atlanta

damaged buildings in Atlanta

November 3– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– “The all engrossing thought and subject of speculation now is the impending campaign. I had a call from Colonel Dustin today, who has been commanding our division till within a few days, General Ward being on leave of absence. The surmises are that Atlanta will be destroyed and abandoned, the railroads leading to and from it destroyed as far as possible, a portion of Sherman’s army to demonstrate against Hood from Chattanooga, Huntsville or Rome, and the balance, including the 20th Corps, to cut loose from all communications and move deep into the enemies country, either towards Mobile or Savannah, to find a new base of operations. General Slocum has told Colonel Smith of the 1st Brigade, that he would afterwards regret if he did not participate in this campaign. It will doubtless be an interesting one, into a new country, living on the land as we go along, no hostile fires to oppose us. We will go in strong force. The enemies’ main armies will be employed elsewhere. Their cavalry may pick up our stragglers, but otherwise no evil can befall us. We may be called upon to start at any moment after the 4th of November. We have had a good long rest and must not complain. We have to send all our things away tomorrow, keep nothing but a change of clothes, blankets and writing material. I have two five dollar notes, secession money, one payable six months and one two years after the ratification of peace between the Confederate States and the United States of America. Ah! are they not elegant rags? I have today read a most eloquent speech, delivered by General Meagher at Nashville in favor of the election of Lincoln and Johnson. We will probably be cut off from communication for a long time. When you get letters again they may have to go by way of some port on the gulf or the Atlantic coast. We will probably be long on the way.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

Lincoln campaign literature

Lincoln campaign literature

November 4– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The march of wisdom is always slow. But among the chiefs of the great party of the moderate Republicans, you have sagacious statesmen who, in effacing this foul blot from its folds, will take heed not to wipe out one star from your glorious star-spangled banner. Rally, then, as one man round the standard of that great Party for this once, if no more, on this vital issue in this critical hour, and thus preclude all danger of that dissension in the national councils which you must have observed is now the last and only hope of the patricidal rebellion. Stand together, brothers all! you have now to enhance the glory your countrymen have won by their noble military virtues in the country battle-field, winning victories for the Republic, by exercising on this occasion the more honestly but most valuable civic virtue which is deaf to the visit of party when the country calls. Accept our warmest greetings of brotherly friendship. Long live the Republic!” ~ Letter from Irish labor leaders encouraging Irish Americans to vote for Lincoln, appearing in The Liberator.

November 4– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Colonel [Charles Russell] Lowell was the only surviving son of Mr. C.R. Lowell of Boston, and grandson of the late Rev. Dr. Lowell of Cambridge. . . . Colonel Lowell married about a year since a daughter of Francis George Shaw of Staten Island, and sister of Colonel Robert G. Shaw, the only son of his parents, who fell at the head of his regiment, the Massachusetts 54th, in the assault upon Fort Wagner. Theodore Parkman, the only son of the Rev. John Parkman, whose wife and the mother of Colonel Shaw are sisters, fell at the battle of Newborn, N.C. In these four families connected by blood and marriage, and long and intimate friendship, five sons have been killed in battle, or died within a short period, of their wounds, four of whom were only sons at the time of their deaths, and the last is the second and only remaining son, meeting death on the field. They were all of the best blood of Massachusetts; young men of the highest culture, possessing the first order of intellect; graceful and charming in person and presence; untouched by any youthful or worldly vice; entering upon life with the noblest and purest aims; sons whom mothers might be proud to have borne, and to whom fathers could transmit theirnames to be handed down to another generation without a tarnish and with new honor. They were born to fortune and to the highest social station. They were bred to luxury and ease. Their ‘lines were cast in pleasant places.’ Life to them was full of promise and hope, prosperity and high repute. An unselfish sense of duty took them to the field, to endure its hardships and its privations, and to lay down upon the altar of their country, if need be, all their youthful hopes, all their opportunities, all that the most careful education had fitted them for in peaceful paths, all the promise that birth and fortune and station gave them, all the expectations which loving parents and troops of friends had built upon their lives. And the thirsty, rebel soil of the South has drunk up the young blood of every one.” ~ from the New York Tribune and reprinted in today’s The Liberator.

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband, the late Charles Russell Lowell

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband, the late Charles Russell Lowell

November 4– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Birth of Anita Newcomb McGee, the first of the three daughters of Simon and May Hassler Newcomb. She will become a physician and founder of the U S Army Nurse Corps. [Dies October 5, 1940.]

Dr Ann Newcomb McGee

Dr Ann Newcomb McGee

November 4– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with General Grenville Dodge and approves the location of the first 100 miles of railroad track for the eastern side of the transcontinental railroad

November 4– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “From the great popular interest manifested in the movements of the army, I am satisfied that the heart of this country is true to the Confederate cause, and will compromise with nothing short of conquering a peace, whatever individuals may suggest of other methods for the attainment of the desired boon. . . . From conversations with several leading gentlemen of Georgia since I entered the State, I derive the assurance that, whatever may float to thesurface in the shape of individual opinion or suggestion, even upon the part of distinguished men, the heart of the State is sound to the core; the success of the Confederate cause is uppermost in the minds of everybody, and nothing they desire so much as to see a hearty co-operative effort, upon the part of the Government and people, for the recuperation and support of the armies. . . . The resolutions passed at the late Convention of Governors at Augusta meet with a universal feeling of approbation; and great good, in harmonizing discrepancies of opinion rather than interest, is expected to result from it. The President’s visit south has been attended with good results, in imparting new life and hope to the cause, and in causing him to be better understood and more understandingly appreciated. I think he enjoys a higher degree of the popular confidence as a man of wisdom, purity and patriotism than ever before, for the reason that he is better understood than ever before. I cannot but indulge the wish and the hope that the country and the Congress will rally to his support in a spirit of lofty self-abnegation; the first, by willingly yielding to the cause all its resources of men and means; the last, by the exercise of a spirit of grave and earnest wisdom in its deliberations, not heretofore its prime characteristic. If they should, our cause is no longer a problem, but a success.” ~ Letter in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

November 4– Friday– Gibson County, Tennessee– “I have not done much noting for some time because so much confusion and rumors of Federal raids. I am fearful to keep my books and papers where they can find them (that is my note of account books). There have been three men shot at, at home or near their homes in [the] eastern part of Gibson county the past summer and fall, to wit, Jack Bullington, his cousin Pack Bullington and S. C. Cudd. The two Bullingtons will probably recover. They were shot by the men known as the Smith gang of Skullbone, Gibson County, Tennessee. Cudd was shot by some person in ambush about dusk and died about four o’clock next morning. I am opposed to conscription and such hiding in the weeds.” ~ Diary of Williamson Younger.

cavalry raid images

November 4– Friday– Johnsonville, Tennessee– Confederate forces shell the town and Federal gunboats and barges on the Tennessee River, causing considerable damage. Yet the damage will not hinder or stop General Sherman’s operations in Georgia.

November 4– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “We will probably start on our campaign very soon. I am ready, it is of no use to wait; the sooner, the better.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

November 4– Friday– Terrell County, Georgia– Hundreds of refugees from the city of Atlanta and from Cobb County are living in a tent city established by the Confederate government.

November 4– Friday– London, England– “At the meeting, which was packed to suffocation (for there is now evidently a revival of the working classes taking place), Major Wolff (Thurn-Taxis, Garibaldi’s adjutant) represented the London Italian Working Men’s Society. It was decided to found a ‘Working Men’s International Association’, the General Council of which should be in London and should act as an ‘intermediary’ between the workers’ societies in Germany, Italy, France, and England. Ditto that a General Working Men’s Congress should be summoned in Belgium in 1865. A provisional committee was appointed at the meeting: Odger, Cremer, and many others, some of them old Chartists, old Owenits, etc., for England; Major Wolff, Fontana, and other Italians for Italy; Le Lubez, etc., for France; Eaccrius and I for Germany. The committee was empowered to coopt as many members as it chose. So far so good. I attended the first meeting of the committee. A subcommittee (including myself) was appointed to draft a declaration of principles and provisional statutes.” ~ Letter from Karl Marx to Frederick Engels.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

November 5– Saturday– New York City– “The city is full of noises tonight. There is a grand McClellan demonstration in progress. . . . I have still respect for him left to believe that he must feel himself in a horribly false position. A general who commanded at Malvern Hill and Antietam in 1862 must be tempted to doubt his own identity when he hears Governor Seymour’s ‘friends’ hurrahing for him in 1864.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

November 5– Saturday– New York City– “The19th of October, first made for ever memorable by the surrender of the army of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, has received a new baptism as a day sacred to Liberty and Union in the famous Shenandoah Valley. On the 19th day of October, 1864, in that valley of many battles, a victory was gained by the Federal arms in behalf of American unity, only second in importance to that achieved eighty-three years ago in the cause of American Independence. General Sheridan, under the severest test to which the leader of an army can be subjected, has proved himself the possessor of the highest qualities of generalship. The battle of the 19th instant, with its disastrous opening and triumphant termination, is the most remarkable in all the lengthy catalogue of this sanguinary war. . . . The issue depending upon this battle of the 19th was Richmond or Washington. Had the enemy succeeded in what they had every reason to expect in the morning, the complete rout and dispersion of the Union army, we doubt not that Early would have advanced again upon our national capital. It is possible, too, that under such circumstances he might, by rapid marching, have effect a passage into the city; it is certain that, in requiring from General Grant immediate reinforcements for the defense of Washington, Richmond would have been instantly relieved. And thus another campaign might have been lost, entailing the most serious consequences upon the national cause, politically and financially, at home and abroad. But with the crushing defeat suffered by the enemy Richmond is correspondingly weakened. General Lee is not in a position to spare another reinforcement to Early in the Shenandoah valley . . . . Next came mysterious rumors of serious embarrassments to Sherman, of actual disasters in Missouri, and of some terrible impending blow in Virginia from General Lee, at some point where least expected. Manipulating all these things to suit their nefarious purposes, the gold gamblers of Wall street, with all their rebel sympathizing mercenaries, worked the market successfully in arresting the fall of gold, and in securing another rise from day to day, affecting all the business interests and classes of the community. Thus stood the issue between the worshipers of Jeff Davis and the golden calf, on the one side, and the cause of the country and the people at large, on the other side, when the tidings of Sheridan’s late victory came flashing over the wires. The price of gold instantly declined; but the operators for a rise still held a footing upon doubts and mysteries which they saw in our official reports. In a short time, however, all doubts, all drawbacks to the public confidence in the national currency, whether emanating from Virginia, Georgia or Missouri, will be at an end. In this view, to all consumers of the essentials or luxuries of life, and to all manufacturers and business men, requiring raw materials of any kind, in their various branches of industry, we would still recommend economy, and a holding up, in their purchases, as far as practicable, for the better times are that surely coming. The welcome day so long expected is at last visibly dawning, and with the rising sun of the Union redeemed, our Wall Street secession gold speculators, and their vocation in the interest of the rebellion, will be gone.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly.

General Phil Sheridan

General Phil Sheridan

Emancipation of the Working Classes~October 1864~24th to 29th

Emancipation of the Working Classes ~ Karl Marx

The German exile Karl Marx delivers a stirring speech to a leftist gathering in London, England. Immigrant conscripts are arrested in Richmond for trying to evade military service. A Georgia woman tells her sweetheart how much she treasures his letters. A Virginia woman informs her brother of the deaths of friends. Another updates her husband on family and community news. A hospitalized soldier writes of his desire to vote in upcoming presidential election. The radical Wendell Phillips encourages abolitionists to keep the pressure on Lincoln for the total elimination of slavery. Canada moves toward confederation.

CW graves-3

October 24– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “An inquest was held on Saturday, on the body of James J. Brooke, the little boy, eight years old, who was shot by Williamm Bohannon, one of the nurses at Seabrook’s Hospital. We have before given the facts of the murder. A witness before the Coroner testified that the child was not more than five feet from Bohannon when the latter shot him. The jury rendered in their verdict that the child had come to his death by a gunshot wound, inflicted by Bohannon. The murderer will be examined before the Mayor this morning.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

October 24– Monday– London, England– “If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure? It was not the wisdom of the ruling classes, but the heroic resistance to their criminal folly by the working classes of England, that saved the west of Europe from plunging headlong into an infamous crusade for the perpetuation and propagation of slavery on the other side of the Atlantic. The shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by Russia: the immense and unresisted encroachments of that barbarous power, whose head is in St. Petersburg, and whose hands are in every cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations. The fight for such a foreign policy forms part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes. Proletarians of all countries, unite!” ~ Speech by Karl Marx to the International Working Men’s Association.

Engels & Marx with Marx's daughters

Engels & Marx with Marx’s daughters

October 25– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Daniel O’Donnell, Patrick Grant, John Doyle, A. Mehegan, P. Farley and F. Curran, Irishmen and conscripts, were yesterday morning picked up by General Garey’s scouts on the Williamsburg road, near Boar Swamp, ten miles below the city. The party were evidently attempting to make their way to the enemy’s lines. They were all detailed conscripts, who have recently been ordered to go to their commands in the field. They have been committed to the Castle. O’Donnell is a plumber and gas-fitter, doing business on Broad street, above Ninth. He being put hors de combat, the city is, we believe, without an accomplished gas-fitter.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 25– Tuesday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Nothing affords me greater pleasure than a perusal of your letters. I hope the time is not far distant when we shall see each other. I do really think you ought to be permitted to visit Georgia this winter. Two years is a long time to be kept from home enduring so many hardships, sufferings and dangers. I haven’t a word of news to write concerning the two armies, in this state. Hood, though, is certainly in Sherman’s rear, and doing much damage.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer.

October 25– Tuesday– Kaluga, Russia– Birth of Alexander Gretchaninov, composer. [Dies January 3, 1956.]

Alexander Gretchaninov, 1911

Alexander Gretchaninov, 1911

October 26– Wednesday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– Two men are arrested for having robbed Martin Feely, a city councilman, of $4500 yesterday.

October 26– Wednesday– Moffett’s Creek, Virginia– “I seat myself this morning to write you the limited page. Received a letter dated 12 September last week. All are well this morning. Hope you also are in health and tolerable comfort. I have sad news to inform you of. Your friend Sergeant Ben Hupp was killed last Wednesday [the] 19th at Cedars Creek. ‘Twas a great shock to me to hear of it and I judge will be much more so to you who was an (almost) inseparable companion. Seems as if death has come nearer to you than ever before. We can’t help but feel his death. Not more than 3 weeks since he was at home and now dead. Can scarce believe it’s true. Ought not this to be sufficient to rouse you to reflection? Yes and God grant we may not be hardened by this, his Providence. Mrs Hupp only yesterday eve received a letter from Baylor informing her of the circumstances the first she knew of it. . . . Hope you will get home before winter– if not can we send from here any thing for your comfort or will you be allowed to receive.” ~ Letter from Mary A. Smiley to her brother Thomas Smiley.

freshly buried dead soldiers

freshly buried dead soldiers

October 26– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At the Mayor’s Court: William Bohannon, charged with murdering a boy named James J. Brooke, on Friday afternoon last, was sent before the Hustings Court for examination. His counsel, A. J. Crane, Esq., expects to prove that the accused is irresponsible for his actions, on account of mental deficiency.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

October 27– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Yesterday about noon, as the Camp Lee train was coming down the Fredericksburg railroad, Broad street, a number of boys, white and black, as usual, jumped on to steal a ride. As the train passed Third Street one of the boys, a free Negro named Harris, about fourteen years old, from some cause fell from the position he had taken in rear of the tender. The passenger coach wheels passed directly over his head, crushing his skull horribly and killing him instantly. Accidents of this kind are constantly occurring on this road, but the warnings seem to be utterly lost on the boys, who, we believe, would, in spite of the efforts of the railroad officers to keep them off, continue to jump on the train if a dozen of them were killed a day.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 27– Thursday– outside of Atlanta, Georgia– “At 10 ½ o’clock some 30 Yankees rode up. Took Phillip’s wagon and two horses, all our meal and flour, one keg of syrup and several articles from the house that I do not know of, one bushel [of] grain, the last we had. They stayed some 15 or 20 minutes and put back over the river. They also took John E’s saddlebags and a large tin cup.” ~ Diary of a local farmer.

cavalry raid

cavalry raid

October 27– Thursday– Quebec City, Quebec, Canada– The conference on confederation ends and the delegates return to their provinces to submit to the various provincial legislatures the “Seventy-Two Resolutions” which they have adopted.

October 28– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “As for the common world, . . . the Governors and Senators, whose voices are loudest in this canvass, their dissent does not surprise me. It took them twenty years to find out that the Abolitionists were no fanatics, and to join us in 1861. I cheerfully give them ten years more to see, not men like trees walking, but clearly, the whole meaning of this issue and its needs. Day dawns gradually from twilight to noon, for all who keep their eyes open; for those who will open their eyes wide enough only to take in a party platform or candidate, it remains always twilight. Reform cries always, ‘No danger in opening your eyes wide!’ Lincoln will obey the strongest. Only agitation will keep us the strongest, or show him that we are so. Agitate! agitate! now, in the harvest time, when every ear in the nation is open, when hearts and minds are malleable! Indeed, gentlemen, this course is our only safety. Remember the pregnant words of Macaulay, ‘The true secret of the power of agitators is the obstinacy of Government. Liberal governments make moderate citizens.’ Mr. Lincoln, in 1848, when he opposed the Mexican war, dared to tell Polk and his party that it was the duty of a good citizen to distinguish, in such times, between the President and the Country. . . . Gentlemen, I will cheerfully support any man for the Presidency whom I believe honest, capable, and resolved to end this war so as ‘to form a more perfect union,’ to ‘insure domestic tranquility’ forever, ‘to establish justice’ for all men of every race, and ‘to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity meaning by ourselves every one born under the flag, and every one who takes refuge beneath it. Against every other man I mean to agitate, till I bayonet him and his party into justice.” ~ a recent speech by Wendell Phillips, quoted in today’s edition of The Liberator.

Wendell Phillips

Wendell Phillips

October 28– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “The election yesterday passed off without the occurrence of any of the serious disturbances which too often attend such occasions. We heard of one or two little skirmishes in different parts of the city but none of them attained the dignity of an ‘engagement.’ Not a little ill-feeling was created by ‘challengers’ at some of the precincts who insisted that every foreigner offering to vote should exhibit his naturalization papers. In one instance an old gentleman who proposed to vote the Union ticket was challenged. He was requested to produce his papers. He could not do so, having mislaid them. He was naturalized forty years ago and has been voting ever since, but in consequence of not being able to find his papers he could not voteyesterday. There were other cases of similar hardship that came to our knowledge. Quite a number of Copperheads refused to take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of West Virginia, as provided by law, and therefore were not allowed to vote. The great majority of those to whom the oath was presented, however, took it, but with a wry face, and deposited their votes.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

October 28– Friday– Moffett’s Creek, Virginia– “I received your letter on Tuesday evening and was glad to hear that you were well & I hope when these few lines reach you may still be enjoying good health. I would have written yesterday but there was no one to take the letter to the Post Office, as there was no one at home but myself until it was too late. Alex is staying with us now he came down the same day you left so we are doing better than we expected. We heard some very bad news yesterday heard that Mr Hupp was killed last Wednesday shot just below the eye and never knew what hurt him. Becca and Sister were over last Friday night– Becca is going down to Churchville next week for the cloth and wants me to go down to Aunt Sallies– she will have a buggy and thinks it will be a good opportunity for me. I expect to go over to the meeting tomorrow or next day. next time you write let me know whether Davis is there or not & how he is getting along. There was two burials at New Providence last Sabbath– Miss Eliza Beard and Mr Culton’s child. We are all well. when you write again direct to Greenville as I expect to be over at Pa’s. I believe I have told all the news. As Mag is waiting I will have to close. I hope you will get home soon. May God watch over and protect you is the prayer of your devoted Wife.” ~ Letter from Ginnie Ott to her husband Enos.

CW graves

October 29– Saturday– McDougall Hospital, New York City– “I am still here but am fit to go [to] the Regiment at any moment. The sooner the better. All soldiers here living in Michigan, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey and New York soldiers living west of Albany, were transferred or furloughed. It is reported here that Pennsylvania troops are to stay here and vote. I don’t know how it is. There was no agent around yet, to give us tickets. Five sixth of the men won’t vote if kept here, since men from other states were transferred. The Doctors say that they have no order for us yet and don’t know if one will come for us or not. The Ohio troops are in the same fix. I expect we will be kept here and not get a chance to vote. To day every man in the Hospital was Vaccinated. There is now about three hundred men here since the rest were transferred. Out of the 300 men here not fifty votes will be poled if they are kept here. Can’t you send me a blank filled up, all but signed, so that I can send it home and still vote? If I don’t get it nothing will be lost. Don’t write to me until you hear further from me, but send a blank or something so that I can vote, as soon as you receive this. From three to eight die every day here. I am well.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Henry C. Metzger to his father in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

A Most Spirited Contest~September 1859~the 1st to 12th

A Most Spirited Contest ~Peter Zinn.

In the fall of 1864, many could look back to the fall of 1859 when peace and prosperity reigned, North and South. Yet the signs of trouble were there. Lincoln was rising in popularity in the North as Republicans looked for a winning candidate for 1860 while his successful law practice continued. Democrats looked to Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois as a likely candidate. The escape of slaves to Canada continued, much to the disgust of slave-holders. Abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison held Daniel Webster in scorn for his support of the Compromise of 1850. Nature herself gave signs and portents in the heavens. Mexico and Italy were in turmoil. Meanwhile many people who would assume important roles in the struggle yet to come lived their lives unaware of the challenges to come.

fugitive slaves headed north

fugitive slaves headed north

September 1– Thursday– Columbus, Ohio– “I enclose herewith a notice that appeared in our Statesman this morning by which you see that Douglas is posted for two meetings in Ohio. Now, we desire to head off the little gentleman, and in behalf of the Republican State Central Committee I invite you to visit our State, to make a few Speeches, say 3, or 4, at such prominent points as we may select. We would prefer the time, Say the 13 14, 15 [or] 16, & 17, September, or if preferable to you from the 27th, to October 1st . . . . Our State Fair occupies the week of the 20th &c. We will be happy to pay your expenses & use you well. If you can come, telegraph me when & how long, also write me. We want to make our victory complete this year.” ~ Letter from William T. Bascom to Abraham Lincoln.

September 1– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– The first Pullman sleeping car is completed by George Pullman’s company.

September 1– Thursday– Montreal, Quebec Province, Canada– “It is with extreme pleasure that I set down to enclose you a few lines to let you know that I am well & I hope when these few lines come to hand they may find you & your family in good health and prosperity. I left your house November 3rd, 1857, for Canada. I Received a letter here from James Carter in Petersburg, saving that my wife would leave there about the 28th [of August] or the first September and that he would send her on by way of Philadelphia to you to send on to Montreal if she come on you be please to send her on and as there is so many boats coming here all times a day I may not know what time she will [arrive]. So you be please to give her this direction, she can get a cab and go to the Donegana Hotel and Edmund Turner is there [and] he will take you where I lives and if he is not there cabman take you to Mr Taylor’s on Durham St. nearly opposite to the Methodist Church. Nothing more at present but Remain your well wisher.” ~ Letter from escaped slave John Scott to William Still.

William Still, conductor on the underground railroad

William Still, conductor on the underground railroad

September 2– Friday– Hartford, Connecticut– Delia Salter Bacon, age 48, dies in the Retreat for the Insane. Well-educated, a friend of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Delia Bacon in the period from 1845 to 1858 (prior to being institutionalized) argued and attempted to prove that the plays of William Shakespeare had really been written by a coterie of radicals under the leadership of Francis Bacon. Delia had also been swept up in a nasty social and church conflict in 1847 when her brother Leonard, a minister, brought charges of misconduct against Alexander MacWhorter, a theological student ten years Delia’s junior whom Leonard believed had trifled with his sister’s affections, among other things.

September 2– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “A Temperance Convention was hold in Athol, Worcester County, last week. There was a large attendance from all the towns in North Worcester County. . . . The following resolutions, offered by Mr. Hoyt, were discussed, and finally adopted. It will be Seen that the letter of Wendell Phillips to Chief Justice [Lemuel] Shaw and President [James] Walker [of Harvard] was unequivocally endorsed . . . . Resolved, That the recent letter of prominent friend and advocate of the cause, to the Chief Justice of Massachusetts and the President of Harvard University, challenges the admiration of the people, and has the hearty sanction of all who care to see a proper administration of the laws of the Commonwealth, a pure example set before the youth of her educational institutions. Resolved, That the new organization of the friends of temperance into a ‘State Alliance’ meets our approval, and we bid it a hearty ‘God-speed’ in the work. The Convention was spirited and successful.” ~ The Liberator. [Wendell Phillips, 1811–1884, known as the Golden Trumpet of abolition for his eloquence and powerful speaking voice, is like his friend William Lloyd Garrison a supporter of temperance and women’s rights as well as abolition.]

Wendell Phillips, eloquent reformer

Wendell Phillips, eloquent reformer

September 2– Friday– Cincinnati, Ohio– “The announcement of [Senator] Stephen A. Douglas to address the Democracy of Ohio at Columbus and Cincinnati, has suggested your appearance in Cincinnati on behalf of the Opposition. Allow me to explain, that in Hamilton county, in which Cincinnati is located, the opponents of modern political democracy united in 1858, and after a most spirited contest, carried the county – before that time considered impossible – and it is now contemplated to do the same thing this fall; and to do it well. I am requested by several of our friends to ascertain whether you would be willing to address the opposition, and if so, at what time. Our Election is on the 11th October, and we would desire to have you here as soon after Judge Douglas as may be convenient. He speaks in Cincinnati, on the 8th instant. I am authorized to say your expenses would be paid. Should you visit Cincinnati, and circumstances permit, I have no doubt your aid will be sought from other sections of Ohio, if it has not been done already. I am a member of the Republican State Central Committee, and shall immediately write to our secretary at Columbus the purport of this letter. The political contest in Ohio promises to be very spirited. Both sections– all factions – of the modern Democracy act together; and they are making a desperate fight. Please reply without unnecessary delay.” ~ Letter from Peter Zinn to Abraham Lincoln.

Stephen A Douglas

Stephen A Douglas

September 2– Friday– Springfield, Illinois– Attorney Abraham Lincoln and Attorney Stephen Logan are in the third day of representing Quinn Harrison, accused of the murder of Greek Crafton, Sangamon County ne’er-do-well. They call as a defense witness Peter Cartwright, famous Methodist circuit-riding preacher and grandfather of defendant, who gives spectacular testimony for the defense.

Abraham Lincoln, attorney-at-law

Abraham Lincoln, attorney-at-law

September 2– Friday– London, England– One of the most spectacular magnetic storms of the century which has been raging since August 28th, reaches its most intense point during the first two days of September. Magnetic compasses are rendered useless, arcing in telegraph wires disrupts communications and causes numerous fires in Europe and the United States. The Northern Lights from the Arctic are seen as far south as Rome and Hawaii.

September 3– Saturday– Springfield, Illinois– Attorney Lincoln makes the concluding defense argument in the trial of Quinn Harrison, doing so by “examining the evidence with great skill and clearness, discussing the law and replying to the positions assumed by the prosecution with a subtle and resistless logic, and frequent illustrations of singular fitness” as a newspaper account records. The jury returns a verdict of not guilty.

September 3– Saturday– the Carribean Sea around the West Indies– In its second day a hurricane passes over St. Kitts and later St. Croix, with high winds and large downpours of rain.

September 3– Saturday– Castres, Languedoc, France– Birth of August Marie Joseph Jean Jaur s to middle class parents. [He will become the leading French social democrat, the head of the French Socialist Party, and one of the most famous European progressives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He will vehemently oppose the outbreak of European war in 1914 and will die by the hand of an ultra-nationalist assassin in Paris on July 31, 1914.]

August Jean Jaures, French socialist leader, 1904

August Jean Jaures, French socialist leader, 1904

September 4– Sunday– New York City– “Arrest of a Missouri Judge. Judge John Watson was recently arrested at Keytersville, Chariton county, on the charge of having been one of the party that broke open the county safe, about a year and a half ago, and robbed it of some $5,000. The Grand Jury of that county indicted him for grand larceny and burglary, and he was required to give bail to the amount of $3,000. This case attracts a great deal of public attention, partly from the fact that the accused is a man of considerable wealth, and at the time the crime was committed was one of the judges of the county court.” ~ New York Herald.

September 4– St Louis, Missouri– Edward Bates, lawyer and politician, observes his 66th birthday. [Next year he will be one of the challengers to Lincoln for the Republican nomination for president. He will serve as Attorney General in Lincoln’s Cabinet. He dies March 25, 1869.]

Edward Bates

Edward Bates

September 5– Monday– Dessau, Saxony, Germany– W Friedrich Olivier, landscape painter, dies at 68 years of age.

September 6– Tuesday– New York City– “Northern Mexico. By an arrival of New Orleans, of which telegraphic advices have already been received, we have dates from the Rio Grande to August 11. General Miguel Blanco left Monterrey on the 2nd of July for the interior, with 450 riflemen, well mounted and armed, most of them with six shooters. Also left for the seat of war, on the 2nd instant, Chief of Division Guerra, with a battery and munitions, guarded by a company of riflemen. How many pieces were in the battery is not stated. The official paper of Zacatecas says that in consideration of the Anti-Catholic conduct of D. Pedro Espinosa. Bishop of Guadalajara, the Governor has instructed the Commissioners to the United States to bring with them Catholic priests of the country who can perform their duties without meddling with politics. This is only in case the curates now in town abandon their posts, as the Bishop has commanded; for the Government, Christian above all things, can never permit the people whom it governs to need spiritual aid. . . . The State of Zacatecas has decreed, in imitation of the Federal Government, that civil marriages performed by the political chiefs of partidos, or presidents of municipalities (answering to our chief justices of counties and mayors of cities,) shall henceforth be considered valid. In the same State, a considerable sum of money has been appropriate to the support of the clergy, who are forbid to charge for baptism, marriages and other similar offices.” ~ New York Times.

September 6– Tuesday– Springfield, Illinois– “Yours of the 2nd in relation to my appearing at Cincinnati in behalf of the Opposition is received. I already had a similar letter from Mr. W. T. Bascom, Secretary of the Republican State central committee at Columbus, which I answer to-day. You are in correspondence with him, and will learn all from him. I shall try to speak at Columbus and Cincinnati; but can not do more.” ~ Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Peter Zinn.

September 7– Wednesday– Springfield, Illinois– Attorney Abraham Lincoln deposits $50 in his bank account, and writes a check for $1.75 to D. J. Boynton, furnace and stove dealer. [The deposit would equal $1450 today and the check would equal $50.60, using the Consumer Price Index.]

September 8– Thursday– Brunswick, Maine– At Bowdoin College, Professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain turns 31 today. [Chamberlain will gain fame as commanding officer of the 20th Maine Regiment and earn the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic service at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Before his death on March 24, 1914, he will serve as governor of Maine and president of Bowdoin College.]

Professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin serving as a Union officer

Professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin serving as a Union officer

September 8– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– Grover & Baker sewing machines are available at $40 each. The manufacturer claims that this model is “the best low-priced one now before the public. It is truly a family machine, and will perform more work in one hour than the best seamstress is one day, and do it better.” [The price would equal $1160 today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

September 9– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Webster Statue, in front of the State House, will be inaugurated on the afternoon of the17th of September. Reverend Dr. Lethrop will offer the prayer, Professor Felton will deliver the statue into the hands of Mayor [Frederic W] Lincoln [a Republican but no relation to Abraham], representing the city, and His Honor will immediately place it in the custody of the State, Governor Banks receiving it. Brief addresses will be delivered, and Mr. Everett will then pronounce his oration on Webster. So reads the announcement in the daily papers. Many centuries ago, a certain ‘herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath setup.’ The object in the erection of the Webster statue is essentially the same as Nebuchadnezzar had in view in the erection of his image– namely, contempt for ‘the higher law,’ repudiation of the one living and true God, and the triumph of despotic power; but there are some features in these two cases which are dissimilar. Webster’s image is of iron; that of Nebuchadnezzar was of gold. These who refused to bow down and worship the letter, were to be cast into a burning fiery furnace: those who shall refuse to do homage to the former are not to be subjected to any legal penalties. But the reason which led to the rejection of the one, are quite as imperative in demanding the condemnation and removal of the other. The grant of a portion of the State House grounds for the erection of this status, by the last Legislature, was an outrageous abuse of trust, and an insult to the moral and human feelings of the people of this Commonwealth. It was adroitly obtained at the heel of the session, without debate, in a thin House, through Boston pro-slavery management and the connivance of Governor Banks, who, since his elevation to the Chair of State, has evidently sought to conciliate the ‘cottonocracy,’ and to adulterate the little Republicanism he ever possessed, hoping thereby to promote his elevation to a still higher position. There is no reason to doubt that it was his private influence that prevented the passage of a law a the last Legislature, forbidding the arrest or trial of any one claimed as a fugitive slave within the limits of Massachusetts. . . . In spite of the grant that has been made by the Legislature, in spite of the display that will be made in carrying the grant into execution, the Webster statue must be removed. This must be the special business of the next Legislature, coupled with that of making Massachusetts free to every hunted slave who seeks an asylum upon her soil; and in order to effect this, let the people send in their petitions, and especially see to it that no Senator or Representative is elected who is not ready to discharge this duty.” ~ The Liberator.

William Lloyd Garrison, radical abolitionist & founding editor of The Liberator

William Lloyd Garrison, radical abolitionist & founding editor of The Liberator

September 9– Friday– New Orleans, Louisiana– “Friday morning last, the morning of the last auroral borealis, the operators of the National Telegraph office in Washington City found, on going to their business, a series of electrical currents, entirely independent of the batteries, in possession of the wires. These currents seem to have been manageable, for the operators actually went to work and sent messages from New York to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, correctly without the use of a particle of galvanic battery, using this independent electricity of the air in the place of that supplied by the ordinary batteries.” ~New Orleans Daily Picayune.

September 10– Saturday– Chicago, Illinois– “I send you [Stephen A.] Douglas’ late speech in Columbus Ohio. You will see the new grounds he takes and the new coloring he gives to his old dogmas I observe that you are invited to make speeches in Columbus & Cincinnati. You will draw big crowds and be well received. I know the Buckeyes well – being raised in that state. Do not consider me presumptuous for offering a suggestion or two, viz: As you are not a candidate you can talk out as boldly as you please. There is no Egypt in Ohio Any doctrine you can teach in Bloomington will take in Columbus. Cincinnati is nearly as radical as Chicago. They are willing to obey the Fugitive law but want it repealed or modified and have so declared in their platform. Don’t act on the defensive, but pitch hot shot into the back of doughface [Northerners who supported slavery] and pro slavery democracy. Rake down the swindling pretension of Douglas that his Kansas Nebraska bill guarantees or permits popular sovereignty. We have made a leading article on that subject in our today’s paper. If you will lay bare the fraud, delusion and sham of squatter sovereignty, you will do our cause in Ohio much service, as it will break the back of the Democratic pretense. You made some strong points in your Chicago speech a year ago on the drift and tendency of the principles of the Democracy, and the duty of patriots to resist the aggressions of the oligarchy. Your peroration to the spirit of Liberty was capital. Look over that speech again. Do not fail to get off some of your ‘anecdotes & hits’ – no people relish such things more than the Buckeyes. I have only one word more of advice to offer viz: Go in boldly, strike straight from the shoulder, — hit below the belt as well as above, and kick like thunder.” ~ Letter from Joseph Meharry Medill to Abraham Lincoln.

September 11– Sunday– Palma, Campania, Italy– Following the upheaval in Italy of the war between Piedmont-Sardinia and France against the Austrian Empire, the National Assembly of Palma and Piacenta vote unanimously to expel the Bourbon dynasty from the state. [The following day, the Assembly will vote again, also unanimously, inviting Palma and Piacena’s annexation by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.]

September 12– Monday– Buffalo, New York– “Several gentlemen of this City expressed to me this evening an anxiety to have you visit this City. They informed me they had written Governor Chase to that effect, and at their request I wish to say that I desire to second their efforts to get you here I have no doubt you will do them much good I hope you will come without fail.” ~ Letter from Joshua Reed Giddings to Abraham Lincoln.

Joshua Reed Giddings

Joshua Reed Giddings

Such Wicked Instument as the Federal Army~September 1864~26th to 28th

Such Wicked Instrument as the Federal Army ~ Sally Wendel Fentress.

While Southerners lament Sherman’s wickedness, his process of forcing civilians out of Atlanta moves ahead. He advises President Lincoln of his situation. Plenty of fighting takes place throughout the South. North and South vibrate with political activity. Consideration of possible Canadian federation makes the news in the United States. European radicals form the International Workingmen’s Association which, in several forms and spin-offs, will be a political force for the next half century.

September 26– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “We took a stroll in the vicinity of the Chattanooga depot yesterday morning, and witnessed some interesting sights. About twenty box cars filled with refugees, principally from the late confederate city of Atlanta, were upon the track, awaiting orders to proceed further northward. Each car appeared to contain a separate family, and many of the occupants did not wear the wretched aspect one would suppose, after making such a lengthy journey with such limited accommodations. A large portion of them were children, the apparent ages of many of whom would seem to indicate that all the able-bodied male population of the South had not abandoned the peace and quiet of family joys for the field of Mars. Some appeared to have been in comfortable circumstances, and they appeared to like the change.” ~ Nashville Daily Times and True Union.

Atlanta refugees in boxcars

Atlanta refugees in boxcars

September 26– Monday– Port Republic, Virginia; Weyer’s Cave, Virginia; Brown’s Gap, Virginia; Roswell, Georgia; Vache Grass, Arkansas; Osage Mission, Kansas; Richland Creek, Tennessee; Arcadia Valley, Missouri; Shut-in-Gap, Missouri; Ironton, Missouri– Brawls, altercations, raids, and minor engagements.

September 27– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Hallett & Davis piano factory on East Newton Street is entirely destroyed by fire. The loss is close to $250,000. About 200 pianos, in various states of construction, are lost. [The loss would amount to $3,820,000 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

September 27– Tuesday– New York City– “A rigid economy on the part of housekeepers at this crisis in the gold market, would bring about a wonderful revolution in the general provision business, before the dawn of another Sunday morning. The fall in gold may stagger the dealers to some perceptible degree. But in order to strike a blow at the petty trade combination which they shall really feel, economy, rigid and systematic, is the grand requirement of the time. Most families could do with half the quantity of butter they consume, and feel as well as look the better for the abstinence. The same applies – although in a less degree – to heavy joints of meats which are often allowed to go to waste. Let economy be the order– if only to see how the experiment will work.” ~ New York Times.

hairstyle & ornaments~ Godey's Lady's Book ~ September 1864

hairstyle & ornaments~ Godey’s Lady’s Book ~ September 1864

September 27– Tuesday– Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania– “I take this opportunity to write to you to let you know how I am. I am well and my wound is Almost healed up and I hope that these few lines will find you well. I received your letter and was glad to hear from you and to hear that you was well. I haven’t got transferred to New York yet I tried to when I was at home but I could not. So I had to come back here. the Doctor ask me when I came back if I did not want my discharge. I told him that I would rather be transferred to New York and if I could not that I would like to have my discharge, he said that he would get me transferred or give me my discharge. I walk with crutches yet. Thomas Flood is well and is ward master of this ward. I think [it] likely that I shall go home. Some time this month there was an order in the paper that we was all A’goin’ to be Sent home to vote.” ~ Letter from Union soldier James S. Stilwell to Walt Whitman.

September 27– Tuesday– Winchester, Virginia– “At Newtown a Negro told me that [Confederate Colonel John] Mosby and some of his men were in town and would attack us as we passed through. I caught a citizen and sent him to Colonel Mosby with my compliments and told him to get out of town or I would burn it. The citizen asked me if I had orders to burn the town. I told him we would have the fire and get the order afterwards. The Rebels left, and we could see them on the hills but not near enough to fight. . . . One lady invited me into her house and gave me a good lunch. Two young ladies present turned their chairs and sat facing the wall but this did not take my appetite away. I dined at a house near Kernstown and then returned to Winchester, arriving late in the afternoon. . . . I passed last evening with some young ladies in the city and today I am invited to dine with one of the residents. I hope we shall be allowed to spend the winter in Winchester, for it is great fun. One young girl told me that when the Union and Rebel troops were fighting in front of her house, she ran out on the front steps in her excitement. She also said when she saw the Union flag she cried for joy.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

September 27– Tuesday– Centralia, Missouri– A small Confederate force attacks the town, killing 24 Union soldiers in the town and another 116 in an ambush. The Confederates burn parts of the town.

September 28– Wednesday– New York City– “The preliminary conferences of the delegates appointed to discuss the question of a Federative Union of the Provinces, have closed. Meetings of a more or less formal character have been held at the capital towns of the three Maritime Colonies, and the leading delegates who have been entertained at a public banquet in Halifax have partially broken the seal of silence heretofore imposed upon their deliberations. The sum of the revelation then is, that the scheme of Union, so far as it has been canvassed, is found to be practicable. The members present at the various conferences are united in their opinion as to the desirability of a Union, which, while it shall leave each Province a certain control in all matters of local concern, shall yet subordinate the whole to a strong central governing body. The general feeling is in favor of a federal system which shall designate the specific powers, functions and responsibilities of the local governing bodies; leaving all else to the absolute control of the central body – our system inverted, as it were, in this essential feature. The whole scheme, however, is only yet conceived in the crudest form. Another meeting of the delegates will be held at Quebec, to consider something like a common basis of action for reference to the Legislature of each separate Province as they now stand. During the coming sessions of the Colonial Parliaments, the business of Federation will be dealt with in detail; and probably several sessions will be consumed in its discussion, before a final decision is reached. The important announcement has been made by Sir Richard Graves Macdonnell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, that he has instructions from the Imperial authorities in England to give all the official aid and encouragement in his power to the proposed scheme of federation. And we find that at the Halifax banquet Admiral Sir James Hope, speaking, as he said, from an intimate knowledge of the state of public feeling in England is thus reported, on the question of ultimate independence for the confederated Colonies: ‘Rest well assured that your aspirations for nationality will find nothing else than a cordial response among us.’ . . . . And it is this question of ultimately cutting loose from the monarchical system that will be found to be the great source of sectional division and strife. The purest monarchists in this hemisphere to-day are the descendants of the French noblesse of Lower Canada. All their traditions go back beyond the imperial and revolutionary era. The edicts of the Kings of France are their law; the customs of the monarchical era are still their rule. And from these it will be an almost hopeless task to undertake to wean them by any specious promise of independence.” ~ New York Times.

delegates to the Canadian Charlottetown Conference

delegates to the Canadian Charlottetown Conference

September 28– Wednesday– New York City– “The Journal of Commerce takes upon itself to deny our statement that when the news of Sheridan’s victory was posted on its bulletin, the crowd that gathered round cheered for President Lincoln. We are not surprised at this, for the fact is a hard one for the Copperheads to get over. Certainly no one in the crowd thought of cheering for McClellan. But we allege again that the crowd did cheer for President Lincoln, and if the Journal desires it the fact can easily be established by affidavit.” ~ New York Times.

September 28– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– President Jeff Davis approves the request of General John Bell Hood to relieve native Georgian General William J. Hardee of duty with Hood’s army. Hardee, who does not get along well with Hood, accepts an assignment to command the troops along Georgia’s Atlantic coast. [There he will encounter Sherman and his army again in December.]

September 28– Wednesday– Bolivar, Tennessee– “Since my last date I have entered into an arduous task that of school teaching. Aunt Anne requiring an assistant, I agreed to assist her in the mornings, Ida in the afternoons. Have heard a report of the capture of Athens, Alabama, by General Forrest. Rumor says that he captured 30 pieces of artillery besides 1300 prisoners. Ma has been attacked with Erysipelas [skin disease causing raised red patches on the face and legs] again. Has not been well since her first attack and is now very sick. I think that she despairs of her life but the Doctor seems to have no fears. Ma has so much depending on her that she, in her hurry and anxiety to get well, injured herself more materially than she otherwise would do. Oh, what if the Great God should see fit to take her! What a helpless family she would leave! Since the Federal invasion our property has been ruined and stolen. Three brothers in the Army, nothing to live upon. Good God! shall we be reduced from ease and affluence to abject poverty! We can collect no debts that have long since been due, therefore we are so helpless it is truly hard, very hard to say ‘Thy will be done.’ O When will the cruel, cruel war cease. How long shall we be outraged and humiliated by our heavenly Parent through such wicked instrument as the Federal Army.” ~ Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.

September 28– Wednesday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I have positive knowledge that Jeff Davis made a speech at Macon on the 22nd which I mailed to General Halleck yesterday. It was bitter against Johnston & Governor Brown. The militia is on furlough. Brown is at Milledgeville trying to get a legislature to meet next month but he is afraid to act unless in concert with other Governors. Judge Wright of Rome has been here and Messrs Hill and Nelson former members of our Congress are also here now and will go to meet Wright at Rome and then go back to Madison and Milledgeville. Great efforts are being made to re-enforce Hood’s army and to break up my Railroads, and I should have at once a good reserve force at Nashville. It would have a bad effect if I were to be forced to send back any material part of my army to guard roads so as to weaken me to an extent that I could not act offensively if the occasion calls for it.” ~ Letter from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to President Lincoln.

September 28– Wednesday– London, England– A varied assortment of leftists and radicals from England, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland and Italy meet at St Martin’s Hall. They form the International Workingmen’s Association [a/k/a The First International, which will function in various states of turmoil until 1876].

delegates to the First International

delegates to the First International

September 28– Wednesday– Cambridge, England– Birth of Barry Dell Pain, journalist, poet and author. [Dies May 5, 1928].

Barry Pain--1891

Barry Pain–1891

Now Contemplates Surrender to a Rebel Conspiracy~August 1864~30th & 31st

Now Contemplates Surrender to a Rebel Conspiracy ~ New York Times.

As the month ends the Democrats nominate General McClellan for president and the New York Times blasts them as unpatriotic. Around both Atlanta and Richmond food grows scarce.


August 30– Tuesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Some Wagons . . . have come 15 or 20 miles with their little supplies to exchange for something to eat, they get very little in return. One old Woman told me that the Yankees had taken all the Horses & Mules in the neighborhood, they afterwards picked up some old, rejected Horses, after getting them in a condition to work, the Rebels came & took them; leaving in the neighborhood only 1 steer (which she had in the Wagon) to go to Mill & do all the work for the neighbors– the old lady was quite out of temper & out of humor with every body; she must have felt more embittered after she finished her trading this morning, as I noticed the soldiers had determined to steal all they could from her & pay but little for the balance.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 30– Tuesday– Augusta, Georgia– “The subject of an armistice is attracting general attention. I do not feel sanguine with regard to it and indeed think that it would be a suicidal move upon the part of our government to agree to an armistice. Our ports would still continue blockaded; we would be denied the privilege of strengthening our position and Lincoln in the meanwhile would be elected.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.

August 31– Wednesday– New York City– “In perfect keeping with the cowardly innuendoes thus directed against the Union Army, is the plank of this rotten and perilous structure which is directed against the continuance of the war. ‘Justice, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities and a convention of the States.’ Should this convention fail; should the rebel delegates refuse to join it; or should the basis of their agreement to enter it be– as every authoritative assurance of the Southern authorities from Jefferson Davis downwards, proves it would be– absolute independence for the South, what then? Does this Chicago Convention, or those for whom it speaks, offer us no alternative before agreeing to a hopeless and helpless surrender of the Union? In all this wordy declaration of principles, where is there the first sign of a resolution to make the rejection of peace on the basis of the Union the ground and justification for enforcing by arms the supremacy of the Constitution? From first to last there is not even the barest intimation that the power of the National Government must at all hazards be asserted. The soldiers (who are considered fit objects of pity) are to have ‘care, protection and kindness’ extended to them for their needless sufferings in a four years’ war which has proved an irredeemable failure, and after that the framers of this platform are to consider their relations with the national army, its hopes, its aspirations, its patriotic endurance and its unequaled sacrifices finally wound up. . . . It will be Interesting to see how these prayers [for peace expressed in a recent speech by General McClellan] can be made to dovetail with a party creed which is framed – expressly and elaborately framed – for the purpose of accepting a degrading peace, and which even now contemplates in its complaisant paradoxes the surrender to a rebel conspiracy of all that is valuable in the national life, and all that stands between us and permanent disruption and ruin.” ~ New York Times on the Democratic Party’s platform adopted at the Chicago convention.

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

August 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Any person or persons engaged in bringing out cotton, in strict conformity with authority given by W. P. Fessenden, Secretary of the United States Treasury, must not be hindered by the War, Navy, or any other Department of the Government or any person engaged under any of said Departments.” ~ Executive order issued by President Lincoln

August 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “General McClellan was to-day nominated as the candidate of the so-called Democratic party. It has for some days been evident that it was a foregone conclusion and the best and only nomination the opposition could make. The preliminary arrangements have been made with tact and skill, and there will probably be liberality, judgment, andsense exhibited in launching and supporting the nominee, which it would become the Union men to imitate. That factious, narrow, faultfinding illiberality of radicals in Congress which has disgraced the press ostensibly of the Administration party, particularly the press of New York City, has given strength to their opponents. McClellan will be supported by War Democrats and Peace Democrats, by men of every shade and opinion ; all discordant elements will be made to harmonize, and all differences will be suppressed. Whether certain Republican leaders in Congress, who have been assailing and deceiving the Administration, and the faultfinding journals of New York have, or will, become conscious of their folly, we shall soon know. They have done all that was in their power to destroy confidence in the President and injure those with whom they were associated. If, therefore, the reelection of Mr. Lincoln is not defeated, it will not be owing to them. In some respects I think the President, though usually shrewd and sensible, has mismanaged. His mistakes, I think, are attributable to Mr. Seward almost exclusively. It has been a misfortune to retain Stanton . . . . the President is honest, sincere, and confiding, traits which are not so prominent in some by whom he is surrounded.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

General McClellan, Democratic nominee for president

General McClellan, Democratic nominee for president

August 31– Wednesday– Staunton, Virginia– “I guess we have no news except what you will have heard before this reaches you. Rumor says that Early has had a fight, and whipped the Yankees badly, and captured prisoners four or five hundred, and they say he is now at Bushers hill twelve miles below Winchester Lee, (I am glad to hear) has captured two thousand prisoners, and nine pieces of artillery, but the yanks still hold the Weldon railroad. I had the wholesome pleasure of listening to two sermons last Sunday and of drinking in the word . . . as preached from the pulpit, of the Episcopal Church. – Excellent sermons; but not to be compared with that delivered by Mr. Preston, at Rocky Spring.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Robert Yates Ramsey to a friend.

August 31– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At 8 o’clock Monday evening, as some each old shell were being melted up in Cook’s foundry, on 8th street, in rear of the War Department, one of the shell, which chanced to be loaded, exploded with a tremendous report, and threw ashes and cinders about at a great rate. Fortunately, no damage was done and nobody hurt.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 31– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Bright and pleasant. The only news to-day was a dispatch from General Hood, stating that the enemy had left Holly Springs, Mississippi, for the Mississippi River, supposed to reinforce Sherman, whose communications are certainly cut. It seems to me that Sherman must be doomed. Forces are gathering from every quarter around him, and it is over 200 miles to Mobile, if he has any idea to force his way thither-ward. Attended an auction to-day. Prices of furniture, clothing, etc. still mounting higher. Common salt herrings are at $16 per dozen; salt shad, $8 a piece. Our agent was heard from to-day. He has no flour yet, but we still have hopes of getting some.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

tending the wounded

tending the wounded

August 31– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “A poor family Mrs. Rogers . . . gave me a terrible account of the sufferings of the families in her neighborhood from the Federal Foraging parties who are constantly coming among them, taking every little thing could find, and very often what was not wanted by them would be destroyed, that the day before yesterday a party of 7 were in the neighborhood but not more than 2 miles to her House, insulting the Women & taking & destroying every thing they could find, tearing up Bed & family Clothing, throwing away provisions & Butter Milk which they could not take away. Soon after a party of our men [Confederate soldiers] came upon them & took the whole party & took them off, & she heard from their neighbors that as our men were seen afterwards with the horses & no prisoners they thought the 7 poor wretches had been killed. She told me that the Yankees has burnt her Uncle’s (D. Daniels) dwelling House. These foraging parties commit many wanton & cruel depredations, keeping alive those bad feelings which will perpetuate this sad war.” ~ Diary of William King.

sherman & artillery

August 31– Wednesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “We are enjoying pleasant weather now with our easy times; the nights are very cool, everything is wet in the morning. Today there was a reconnaissance sent out; they found some rebel forces not very far out. From the main army we hear nothing; we I do not know what it is doing, nor exactly where it is. Things seem to be picking up a little in Virginia. Our success in holding the Weldon Railroad, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the rebels to drive us from it, is certainly of importance.” ~ Letters from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

August 31– Wednesday– Geneva, Switzerland– Ferdinand Lassalle, jurist, philosopher and socialist activist, age 39, dies of wounds sustained in a duel thee days ago. [His small political party of 4600 members will become part of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1875.]

Ferdinand Lassalle

Ferdinand Lassalle

The Progress of Insurrectionary Upheaval~July 1, 1863

The Progress of Insurrectionary Upheaval~Robert Dale Owen

Away from Gettysburg Pennsylvania the war and the world continue. A socialist theorist argues for compensated emancipation. A new treaty between the United States and Great Britain attempts to resolve old but still sore issues. Union soldiers anticipate the fall of Vicksburg while a New York lawyer wonders what General is up to in Pennsylvania. Colonel Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts wait for what comes next. A friend asks Walt Whitman for a favor. In Canada an adventurer is born. It is not all about that battle in Pennsylvania.

July– Boston, Massachusetts– In the July issue of The Atlantic Monthly Robert Dale Own, age 61, political activist and socialist theorist, makes an impassioned plea based on the U S Constitution, history and the current political situation brought on by insurrection, for Congress to past legislation abolishing slavery with a provision for some compensation as Great Britain offered thirty years ago when slavery was ended throughout the British Empire. “Those who demur to the passage of an act which meets the great difficulty before us broadly, effectually, honestly, and in accordance with the dictates of Christianity and civilization, would do well to consider whether, in the progress of this insurrectionary upheaval, we have not reached a point at which there is no prudent alternative left.”

Robert Dale Owen

Robert Dale Owen

July 1– Wednesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong updates the war news.  Sundry telegrams confirming what the newspapers tell us, that Meade is advancing and that Lee has paused and is calling in his scattered columns either for battle or for a retreat with his wagon loads of plunder. Harrisburg breathes more freely, and the Pennsylvania militia is mustering in considerable (numerical) force. Much good they would do, to be sure, in combat with Lee’s desperadoes, cunning sharp-shooters, and stark, hard-riding moss-troopers.”

July 1– Wednesday– Poolesville, Maryland– Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell to Effie Shaw: “Wars are bad, but there are many things far worse. I believe more in ‘keeping gunpowder dry’ than you do, but am quite convinced that we are likely to suffer a great deal before the end of this.”

July 1– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of State Seward and Lord Lyons, British Minister, sign a treaty between the United States and Great Britain regarding the final settlement of the claims of the Hudson’s Bay and Puget’s Sound Agricultural Companies to solve problems from 17 years ago. “Whereas it is desirable that all questions between the United States authorities on the one hand, and the Hudson’s Bay and Puget’s Sound Agricultural Companies on the other, with respect to the possessory rights and claims of those companies, and of any other British subjects in Oregon and Washington Territory, should be settled by the transfer of those rights and claims to the government of the United States for an adequate money consideration: It is hereby agreed that the United States of America and her Britannic Majesty shall, within twelve months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, appoint each a commissioner for the purpose of examining anddeciding upon all claims arising out of the provisions of the above-quoted articles of the treaty of June 15,1846.” [The 1846 treaty to which the document refers had settled the border between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest.]

Lord Lynos, Her Majesty's Minister to the United States

Lord Lynos, Her Majesty’s Minister to the United States

July 1– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles in his diary: “We have reports that the Rebels have fallen back from York, and I shall not be surprised if they escape capture, or even a second fight, though we have rumors of hard fighting to-day.”

July 1– Wednesday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his sister-in-law Clemence Haggarity: “There is a late-order from Washington, cutting down the pay of colored troops from $13 to $10 per month. They have not yet decided here whether we come under the order or not. If we do, I shall refuse to have the regiment paid off, until I hear from Governor Andrew. Another bit of insanity is a proposition to arm the Negroes with pikes instead of muskets. They might as well go back eighteen centuries as three, and give us bows and arrows. General Strong says the regiment shall retain their rifles; but Montgomery and Higginson are in a great stew about it; and, indeed, such an act would take all the spirit and pluck out of their men, and show them that the government didn’t consider them fit to be trusted with fire-arms; they would be ridiculed by the white soldiers, and made to feel their inferiority in every respect. The folly of some of our leaders is wonder-full! I can’t imagine who started the idea. I hope the gentleman has a book of drill for the pike all ready. There is some movement on foot in this Department. We do not know exactly what will be done yet. I don’t believe Charleston will be taken without some hard knocks.”

54th Massachusetts Regiment

54th Massachusetts Regiment

July 1– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– Will Wallace writes to his friend Walt Whitman to request a favor. “I am ambitious and write consulting you. I see many Inspectors in the Army, some as to cleanliness and discipline of Hospitals others as to the ventilation etc etc I have met a number whom I consider inqualified [sic] for the position from the fact that they are not acquainted with Hospital life. My ambition points to this branch for myself I feel qualified for an inspector of Hospitals and I think can produce testimonials and certificates to that effect from officers of high standing in this Dept and in the Ninth Army Corps. Can you bring any influence to bear on this matter in the City of Washington. You will confer quite a favor by replying in regard to this question.”

July 1– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– Union soldier Frank Guernsey to his wife Fannie: “We are getting a little impatient with affairs at Vicksburg. There is no doubt but Grant has got a sure thing on them but it takes so long to accomplish his ends.I tell you Fannie, this is a good place for a fellow to learn patience and to exercise it too, everything in this department is staked on the issue at Vicksburg if we are successful as we shall be in the end, the war will be virtually closed in the south west. We shall then probably have to go to Va. and try a little of our kind of argument with General Lee. There are some troops in this department that don’t know what the word retreat means. I don’t know how it will be with the 32nd. I am rather anxious that we should have a chance to try our hands, but that will come quick enough after we are mounted. We shall probably get more fighting then than we want.”

Vicksburg under siege

Vicksburg under siege

July 1– Wednesday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Union soldier Lucius Barber updates the status of the siege. “We now had several of their forts undermined and about ready to be blown up, but General Grant thought proper to demand a surrender before proceeding to extremities. Accordingly it was made with the request, that in case of non-acceptance, he, Pemberton [the Confederate commander], would have the women, children and non-combatants removed, as he [Grant] should shell the city. He [Grant] received the haughty reply from the commander that he [Pemberton] was placed there to defend the women, children and helpless, not to turn them off, and the blood be on their own heads for the sacrifice of the women that were killed in the terrible bombardment which followed. They sought shelter in caves, but they were built to protect them from fire from the river side. From the rear it afforded them sorry protection. So sharp was our target shooting that a rebel could not even show his head above the works, but that a dozen bullets would speed after him. There was not a spot in the sand-banks, which formed their loop-holes, but what was pierced with bullets. The rebels lay in their trenches . . . without scarcely stirring. They dared not attempt to leave. Food and water was brought to them in the night. They showed a perseverance and valor worthy of a better cause.”

July 1– Wednesday– Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada– Birth of William Grant Stairs, explorer, soldier and adventurer, the sixth child and third son of John and Mary Morrow Stairs. He will play a key role in 1891 in the European struggle to control the Katanga region of the Congo.

William Grant Stairs

William Grant Stairs