Return to home 1855 Jan 5,
King Camp Gillette, inventor (safety razor), was born.
1855 Jan 9, The clipper ship
Guiding Star disappeared in Atlantic and 480 died.
1855 Jan 21, John M. Browning,
US weapons manufacturer, was born.
1855 Feb 5, Viscount Palmerston
(70) became Britain's prime minister and served until his death in
(PC, 1992, p.273)
1855 Feb 10, US citizenship
laws were amended to include all children of US parents born abroad.
1855 Feb 11, Josephine Marshall
Jewell Dodge, American educator, pioneer in the concept of day
nurseries for children, was born.
1855 Feb 19, Nicholas I
Pavlovich (58), tsar of Russia (1825-55), died. Alexander II became
tsar of Russia.
1855 Feb 22, In Washington DC
the Know-Nothing Party seized control of the Washington Monument
Association and kept control for 3 years.
(ON, 3/00, p.10)
1855 Feb 24, US Court of Claims
was formed for cases against the government.
1855 Feb, There was a run on
the California bank in Columbia and rumors of a failure caused a run
throughout the state.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T9)
1855 Mar 3, Congress approved
$30,000 to test camels for military use. Sec. of War Jefferson Davis
sent agents to northern Africa to purchase a small herd of camels
and sent them to New Mexico to transport goods to California
(SC, 3/3/02)(SFC, 2/20/04, p.A22)
1855 Mar 3, Registration of
letters was authorized by Congress.
1855 Mar 3, Architect Robert
Mills (b.1781) designer of the Washington Monument in Washington,
D.C., died. The structure, begun in 1848, was not completed until
1855 Mar 8, The first train
crossed Niagara Falls on a suspension bridge.
1855 Mar 13, Percival Lowell
(d.1916), astronomer, was born. He predicted the discovery of the
planet Pluto. He also wrote "The Soul of the Far East" and "Occult
Japan." He predicted the existence of a planet beyond Neptune before
Pluto was discovered by Tombaugh in 1930.
(NH, 12/96, p.22)(HN, 3/13/99)
1855 Mar 15, Louisiana
established the 1st health board to regulate quarantine.
1855 Mar 24, Andrew Mellon,
U.S. financier and philanthropist, was born. He developed interests
in coal, railroads, steel and water power. He also donated his
entire collection of paintings to the National Gallery of Art.
1855 Mar 24, Manhattan, Kansas,
was founded as New Boston, Kansas.
1855 Mar 27, Abraham Gesner
1855 Mar 30, First election in
Territorial Kansas. Some 5,000 "Border Ruffians" invaded the
territory from western Missouri and forced the election of a
1855 Mar 31, Charlotte Bronte
(b.1816), English author (Jane Eyre), died.
1855 Apr 21, The 1st train
crossed the Mississippi River's 1st bridge.
1855 Apr 26, Composer
Gioacchino Rossini left Italy.
1855 Apr 29, Anatol K. Liadov,
Russian composer (Bewitched Lake) [OS], was born.
1855 May 3, Macon B. Allen
became the first African American to be admitted to the Bar in
1855 May 4, Camille Pleyel
(66), Austrian piano builder, composer, died.
1855 May 5, NYC regained Castle
Clinton. It would be used for immigration.
1855 May 10, Anatoli Liadov,
composer (Enchanted Lake), was born in St Petersburg, Russia.
1855 Jun 1, William Walker
(1824-1860), US adventurer, stormed into Granada, Nicaragua. On July
12, 1857, he declared himself president. Walker reestablished
slavery and planned an 18-mile canal from Lake Nicaragua to the
Pacific. (SSFC, 4/10/05, p.F4)(www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/walker.html)
1855 Jun 5, The anti-foreign,
anti-Roman Catholic Know-Nothing Party held its 1st convention.
1855 Jun 13, Verdi's opera "Les
Vepres Sicilenne" was produced (Paris).
1855 Jun 14, Robert Marion
"Fighting Bob" La Follette, reform movement leader, Governor of
Wisconsin, U.S. Senator, Progressive Party presidential candidate,
1855 Jun 15, Stamp duty on
British newspapers was abolished.
1855 Jun 17, Heavy
French-British shelling of Sebastopol killed over 2000.
1855 Jul 4, One of America's
greatest poets -- Walt Whitman -- published the first edition of his
famous "Leaves of Grass", a collection of 12 poems. Whitman
published the edition himself and had about 1,000 copies printed. He
later recalled about the publication, "I don't think one copy was
sold, not a copy." The book was published in Philadelphia after the
Boston district attorney cited 22 passages as violating a state law
against obscenity. The book revealed the poets homosexuality in
(SFEC, 9/14/97, BR p.7)(IB, Internet,
12/7/98)(SFC, 3/3/99, Z1 p.9)
1855 Jul 4, The Whaling ship
Candace, built in Boston in 1818, entered SF Bay and never left. In
2005 it was found at a SF construction site at Folsom and Spear
(SFC, 1/28/06, p.A1)
1855 Jul 18, In Philadelphia
William Still, a leader in the Underground Railroad, liberated Jane
Johnson and her 2 sons from Col. John H. Wheeler, the recently
appointed US Minister to Nicaragua. Still was tried and acquitted.
"The Underground Railroad" by William Still was published in
(ON, 10/01, p.5)
1855 Jul 30, Wilhelm von
Siemens, German industrialist, was born.
1855 Aug 4, John Bartlett, a
Cambridge bookseller, published the 1st edition of "Bartletts
(WSJ, 10/18/02, p.W17)(MC, 8/4/02)
1855 Sep 3, General William
Harney defeated Little Thunders Brule Sioux at the Battle of Blue
Water in Nebraska.
1855 Sep 6, Ferdinand B.
Hummel, composer, was born.
1855 Sep 9, Sevastopol, under
siege for nearly a year, fell to the Allies. France, England, the
Ottoman Empire and Sardinia (as Italy was then known) defeated the
Russians at Sevastopol in the decisive battle of the Crimean War.
1855 Sep 27, George F.
Bristow's "Rip Van Winkle," 2nd American opera, opened in NYC.
1855 Oct 9, Isaac Singer
patented sewing machine motor.
1855 Oct 9, Joshua Stoddard of
Worcester, Mass., patented the 1st calliope.
1855 Oct 12, Arthur Nikisch,
later conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, was born in
1855 Oct 13, Gottfried Rieger,
composer, died at 91.
1855 Oct 17, The Bessemer steel
making process was patented.
1855 Oct 18, Franz Liszt's
1855 Oct 26, Charles Post,
creator of breakfast cereals (Post Cereals), was born. [see Oct 25,
1855 Nov 5, Eugene V. Debs,
American socialist leader and first president of the American
Railway Union, was born.
1855 Nov 11, The 6.9 Ansei Edo
earthquake hit near Edo (Tokyo), Japan. Some 8,000 casualties
resulted with about 14,000 structures destroyed.
1855 Nov 11, Soren A.
Kierkegaard (b.1813), Danish philosopher and theologian, died. In
2005 Joakim Garff authored Søren A. Kierkegaard: A Biography.
1855 Nov 21, Franklin Colman, a
pro-slavery Missourian, gunned down Charles Dow, a Free Stater from
Ohio, near Lawrence, Kansas.
1855 Nov 26, Several thousand
people staged a parade and banquet at South Park, SF, to celebrate
the Allied victory over the Russians in the Crimean War, the capture
of the Malakoff fortress in Sevastopol.
(SFC, 7/21/00, p.WBb3)
1855 Dec 12, Jean de
Charpentier (b.1786), a German-Swiss geologist, died in Bex,
1855 Dec 14, Ice hockey was
played by 2 military teams in Canada. [see 1875]
(CFA, 96, p.60)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
1855 Dec 27, Paul Ehrenreich,
German ethnologist and mythologist, was born.
c1855 Alexandre Marie Colin
painted a portrait of Napoleon III.
(WSJ, 4/3/03, p.D8)
1855 Eugene Delacroix painted
"The Riding Lesson."
(WSJ, 9/24/98, p.A16)
1855 Camille Pissarro
(1830-1903), French impressionist, moved to France from his native
St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
(WSJ, 1/14/97, p.A16)(Hem., 1/97, p.124)(WUD,
1855 James McNeill Whistler,
American painter and etcher, moved to France and England.
(WUD, 1994, p.1628)
1855 P.T. Barnum wrote "The
Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself."
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R40)
1855 Alexander Herzen, the
father of Russian socialism, published "My Past and Thoughts." In
1998 Aileen M. Kelly published "Toward Another Shore," a collection
of writings on the Russian Revolutionary tradition.
(WSJ, 8/24/98, p.A10)
1855 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
composed his poem "Hiawatha."
(NH, 5/97, p.34)
1855 A novella by Herman
Melville, "Benito Cereno" looked at the 1839 rebellion of the
Amistad slave ship through the eyes of an American interloper.
(WSJ, 12/5/97, p.A16)
1855 The 800 plus-page "The
Annals of San Francisco" was published.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4,5)
1855 The Point Bonita
Lighthouse was built for ships approaching the Golden Gate of San
(G, Summer 97, p.5)
1855 The Hoyt House,
overlooking the Hudson River in Dutchess County, N.Y., was designed
by Calvert Vaux. It was acquired by the state in 1962 for $300,000.
It became an orphan property of the state and in 1998 was offered to
private benefactors on a 40-year lease.
(SFC, 3/11/98, Z1 p.9)
1855 The Lawler House in Suisun
City, Ca. was built at 718 Main St.
(Hem., Nov.95, p.91)
1855 The Point Pinos Lighthouse
on the Monterey Peninsula began operation.
(Hem., 1/96, p.26)
1855 Dwight L. Moody, Biblicist
and later founder of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, embraced
Jesus as his personal savior in a Boston shoe store.
(WSJ, 7/7/99, p.A1)
c1855 Black cast iron furniture
(SFC, 7/17/96, z-1, p.7)
1855 Marshall Field (21) moved
to Chicago from Pittsfield, Mass. Potter Palmer, owner of a retail
and wholesale operation, later sold his business to Marshall Field
and bookkeeper Levi Z. Leiter. In 1947 John Tebbel authored "The
Marshall Fields: A Study in Wealth." In 2002 Axel Madsen authored
"The Marshall Fields: The Evolution of an American Business
(WSJ, 10/9/02, p.D8)
1855 The first white man,
surveyor Henry Washington, arrived in the area of Twenty-Nine Palms
of Southern California.
(Sp., 5/96, p.123)
1855 John Brown moved to Kansas
to join the escalating fight between pro and anti slavery factions.
(ON, 7/02, p.6)
1855 In Oregon some 400
pioneers arrived via the Oregon Trail and established the first
Christian communal society west of the Mississippi at Aurora.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, p.T6)
1855 In the summer the first
tourists visited Yosemite Valley.
(SFEC,12/28/97, Z1 p.1)
1855 Millard Fillmore, the 13th
president of the United States, declined to accept an honorary
degree from the University of Oxford, proclaiming, "I had not the
advantage of a classical education, and no man should, in my
judgment, accept a degree he cannot read."
1855 The US government signed a
treaty with some American Indians that gave them permanent rights to
their existing lands. The Makah tribe of Washington secured a right
to hunt whales in exchange for ceding title to their land. In 1972
the Marine Mammals Protection Act prohibited the slaughter of whales
without a permit.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, Par. p.5)(SFC,10/24/97,
p.A9)(SSFC, 7/13/08, p.E4)
1855 Nez Perce elders agreed to
sell most of their land to the US government. They retained some 10
thousand square miles as a reservation in the area where Washington,
Oregon and Idaho meet. Gold was soon discovered in the area and in
1863 the US government called for a new deal.
(ON, 3/04, p.1)
1855 In northern California
tensions between the Wintu Indians and miners brewed into the Battle
of Castel Crags. This became one of several triggers for the Modoc
(SSFC, 5/14/06, p.G8)
1855 The US built the Panama
(SSFC, 5/14/06, p.G4)
1855 George Calvert Yount
(1794-1865) founded a town he named Sebastopol in Napa Valley, Ca.
Another town already had that name and in 1867 it was renamed
12/5/04, Par p.8)
1855 A depression slowed
progress in San Francisco when the money supply dwindled after banks
had overextended in loans to unprofitable ventures.
(SFC, 5/19/96,City Guide, p.16)
1855 George Hunzinger (d.1898)
moved to New York from Germany and established himself as a cabinet
maker. He patents included a material made by weaving flat wire
covered with woven textile used for furniture seating. His family
continued the business to 1925.
(SFC, 2/4/98, Z1 p.6)
1855 In Connecticut Thomas Day
purchased the Hartford Courant newspaper. He wrote in one editorial:
"We believe the Caucasian variety of the human species superior to
the Negro variety; and we would breed the best stock." In 2000 the
Courant apologized for running ads for the sale of slaves up to
(SFC, 7/6/00, p.C2)
1855 Anderson Preserve Co.
incorporated. It sold Boston Market Catsup throughout the US.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1855 Chicago Gas was
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R-45)
1855 Organic chemist Benjamin
Stillman laid the foundations for the Pennsylvania oil rush by his
discovery that petroleum could be distilled into lubricants and
kerosene for cooking and illumination. Suddenly there was a use for
the crude oil that seeped to the surface, annoying farmers by
ruining the land and polluting the water supply.
1855 Conical innersprings came
into use in furniture seats.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.4)
1855 Dr. Philip Cammann of NYC
improved the design of the Laennec stethoscope by adding rubber ear
pieces and rubber tubing to conduct the sound. [see 1826]
(ON, 9/00, p.11)
1855 Yellow Fever broke out in
Norfolk, Va., after a steamship carrying mosquitoes in its cisterns
docked from the West Indies.
(SSFC, 5/22/05, Par p.4)
1855 Sotos Ochado proposed an
artificial language in which words for related subjects began with
the same letter, e.g. words beginning with a would refer to
inorganic objects, b the liberal arts etc.
(Wired, 8/96, p.86)
1855 Palaeoscincus, one of the
armored dinosaurs, was discovered by Dr. Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden
in the United States.
1855 Some 240 cases of
archeological material was lost when transport rafts were attacked
and sunk by Arab brigands at Kurnah, where the Tigris and Euphrates
join to form the Shatt-al-Arab.
1855 The third pandemic of
plague erupted in China.
(NG, 5/88, p.682)
1855 The English Commons voted
for an inquiry into the conduct of the Crimean campaign.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.67)
1855 In England Edward Agar led
the Great Bullion Robbery of a mail train with a railroad guard as
an accomplice. In 1998 Donald Thomas published "The Victorian
Underworld," on the emergence of the urban criminal class in
(SFEC, 1/3/99, BR p.8)
1856 Thomas Burberry founded a
clothing firm to sell raincoats.
(Economist, 9/22/12, p.76)
1855 Londons Smithfield
livestock market closed and moved to Islington.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.16)
1855 Napoleon III ordered up a
list of the best wines of Bordeaux and ranked the best according to
quality and price. Those at the top became known as the first
growths and included Châteaux Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour,
and Margaux. Mouton Rothschild was elevated in 1973.
(WSJ, 4/23/04, p.A1)(SFC, 10/1/04, p.W6)
1855 Paris held the Exposition
Universelle. A series of photographs of Charles Deburau as the mime
Pierrot won a gold medal.
(Smith., 5/95, p.79-80)
1855 The World Alliance
of the YMCA was established at the first International Conference
held in Paris. Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), Swiss Calvinist,
founded the Geneva branch of the YMCA in 1852. In 1855 he took part
in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of its international
1855 David Livingstone, English
physician and explorer, first saw the 328-foot waterfall on the
Zambezi River. Livingstone named the falls, which straddled the
Zambia and Zimbabwe border, Victoria Falls. The local name is
Musi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders).
1855-1875 The "raising of Chicago" took place. The
town, built on mud, had begun to sink and forced new foundations and
new drainage lines. The work was hailed as one of the wonders of the
(SFEC, 6/11/00, Z1 p.2)
1855-1880 Edward "Ned" Kelly was an outlaw folk
hero who was hung for his crimes. Inspired by tales of the American
ironclad, the Monitor, Kelly wore an 80-pound suit of armor during
his final crimes. In 2000 Peter Carey authored the novel "True
History of the Kelly Gang."
(SFC, 5/3/97, p.E4)(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.W8)(SSFC,
1/14/01, BR p.1)
1855-1905 Fiona MacLeod (William Sharp), Scottish
author and poet: "My heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely
1855-1916 Josiah Royce, American philosopher:
"Love is never merely an amiable tolerance of whatever form human
frailty and folly may take."
1855-1920 Olive Schreiner, South African author
and feminist: "My feeling is that there is nothing in life but
refraining from hurting others, and comforting those that are sad."
1855-1926 Eugene V. Debs, American socialist
leader: "No man ever made a great speech on a mean subject."
1855-1930 George Edward Woodberry, American poet,
critic and educator: "To feel that one has a place in life solves
half the problem of contentment."
1856 Jan 5, Pierre J. David
(67), [David d'Angers], French sculptor, died.
1856 Jan 8, Dr. John A. Veatch
discovered borax in Tuscan Springs, Calif.
1856 Jan 12, John Singer
Sargent (d.1925), American Gilded Age portrait painter (Wyndham
Sisters), was born.
(SFC, 4/11/01, p.E1)(MC, 1/12/02)
1856 Jan 18, Daniel Nathan Hale
Williams, surgeon (1st open heart operation), was born.
1856 Feb 5, John Muir wrote
about sawmills encroaching on Redwood forests and the problem of
"sheep-mens" fires in this days issue of the Sacramento Daily
(SFEM, 5/18/97, p.28)
1856 Feb 14, Frank Harris,
journalist, writer (My Life & Loves), was born in England.
1856 Feb 17, Heinrich Heine
(b.1797), German journalist and poet, died in Paris. His prose work
included a series of travel memoirs that began in 1826 with The
1856 Feb 18, The American
(Know-Nothing) Party abolished secrecy.
1856 Feb 19, Tin-type camera
was patented by Hamilton Smith in Gambier, Ohio.
1856 Feb 25, Charles Lang Freer
(1854-1919), U.S. art collector, was born.
(HN, 2/25/98)(WSJ, 11/6/98, p.W10)
1856 Feb 29, Hostilities in
Russo-Turkish war ceased.
1856 Mar 5, Covent Garden Opera
House was destroyed in a fire.
1856 Mar 25, A.E. Burnside
patented the Burnside carbine.
1856 Mar 30, Russia signed
Peace of Paris ending the Crimean War.
1856 Apr 3, Gunpowder in church
exploded killing 4,000 in Rhodes.
1856 Apr 5, Booker T.
Washington, Black American educator, was born in Franklin County,
Va. The former slave later founded the Tuskegee Institute. Booker
Taliaferro Washington later became the 1st black on US stamp.
(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 4/5/99)(MC, 4/5/02)
1856 Apr 11, Battle of Rivas;
Costa Rica beat William Walker's invading Nicaraguans.
1856 Apr 18, Eureka, Ca., was
founded in Humboldt County.
(SSFC, 4/2/06, p.F10)
1856 Apr 23, Free Stater J.N.
Mace in Westport, Kansas shot pro-slavery sheriff Samuel Jones in
1856 Apr 24, Henri Philippe
Pétain, French Marshall, was born. He was known as the 'hero of
Verdun' but collaborated with the Nazis after the fall of France in
1940 and convicted of treason in 1945. Petain was executed in 1951.
(HN, 4/24/99)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.84)
1856 Apr 26, Some 20 settlers
of Honey Lake Valley, California, met at the cabin of Isaac Roop and
formed "the independent Territory of Nataqua." They named the cabin
Fort Defiance, chose Peter Lassen as their surveyor and selected
Susanville, named after Roop's daughter, as the territorial capital.
(SFC, 2/27/04, p.D4)
1856 Apr 28, Yokut Indians
repelled an attack on their land by 100 would-be Indian fighters in
1856 Apr 29, A peace treaty
between England and Russia was signed.
1856 May 3, Adolphe Charles
Adam (52), French composer, critic (Giselle), died.
1856 May 6, Robert Peary,
arctic explorer, was born. He reached the North Pole in 1909. [see
1909 &1856-1920, Peary]
(HFA, 96, p.30)(AHD, p.964)(HN, 5/6/98)
1856 May 6, Sigmund Freud
(d.1939), father of psychology and the Viennese physician who
discovered the unconscious, was born. He treated his hysterical
patients by encouraging them to associate freely. He insisted that
sexual desires and fears lay just beneath the surface of everyones
mind. A biography of Freud was later written by Peter Gay.
(V.D.-H.K.p.281-282)(SFEC, 1/11/98, BR p.9)(HN,
1856 May 6, U.S. Army troops
from Fort Tejon and Fort Miller prepare to ride out to protect
Keyesville, California, from Yokut Indian attack.
1856 May 13, Peter Henry
Emerson, 1st to promote photography as an independent art, was born.
1856 May 14, James P. Casey,
editor of the SF Times, shot James King, proprietor of the rival
Evening Bulletin. King died 6 days later. A Vigilance Committee of
2,600 later marched up Sacramento St. and broke into the jail where
Casey was held. On May 22 Casey was lynched with his unfortunate
cell mate, gambler Charles Cora.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.1)(SFC, 6/12/10, p.C3)
1856 May 15, Lyman Frank Baum
(d.1919) was born in Chittenango, NY. He had been a failed
storekeeper, a reporter and, when his first children's book was
published in 1897, a traveling china salesman. Two years later, Baum
teamed with poster artist William Wallace Denslow to produce Father
Goose, His Book, the best-selling children's book of the year. The
Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 was the second collaboration for
Baum and Denslow. This color woodcut, "You ought to be ashamed of
yourself!" is one of 24 full-page color plates that illustrated the
first edition of the beloved children's classic [see 1891].
(HNPD, 5/14/99)(AP, 5/15/07)
1856 May 19, Senator Charles
Sumner spoke out against slavery.
1856 May 20, Henri E. Cross
(d.1910), French painter, was born. His real surname was Delacroix
but was changed in 1881.
1856 May 20, Massachusetts
Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874), an outspoken antagonist against
slavery, gave the "Crime Against Kansas" speech. [see May 22] Sumner
helped form the Republican Party.
1856 May 20, James King, editor
of the Evening Bulletin, died from wounds suffered on May 14. His
death brought about the rising of vigilantes and the take over of
the SF government.
1856 May 21, Grace Hoadley
Dodge, philanthropist, helped organize the YWCA, was born.
1856 May 21, Lawrence, Kansas,
was captured and sacked by pro-slavery forces.
1856 May 22, Charles Cora, a
gambler, and James Casey, a member of the SF Board of supervisors,
were hanged by the SF Committee of Vigilance led by merchant Charles
Doane, following a drumhead trial at Fort Gunnybags, the vigilante
headquarters on Sacramento St. There was widespread belief that Cora
and Casey were in cahoots with then sheriff David Scannel. Cora
was in jail for recently killing US Marshal William H. Richardson,
who had drunkenly insulted Cora's mistress, Belle Ryan.
(GenIV, Winter 04/05)(SFC, 6/12/10, p.C1)(SFC,
1856 May 22, Massachusetts
Senator Charles Sumner was assaulted on the Senate floor by South
Carolinas Preston Brooks. Representative Brooks, a pro-slavery
Democrat from South Carolina, used a cane to attack Senator Charles
Sumner, a Republican abolitionist from Mass. Sumner was beaten
unconscious and was unable to resume duties for 3 years. Brooks
resigned from his seat but was re-elected. Sumner's injuries in the
attack compelled his absence from the Senate until December, 1859.
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A6)(HNQ, 7/7/99)
1856 May 24, The Potawatomi
Massacre took place in Kansas. John Brown, American abolitionist and
horse thief, presided over the hacking to death with machetes of
five unarmed pro-slavery Border Ruffians in Potawatomi, Kansas.
(WSJ, 4/10/95, A-16)(WSJ, 3/16/98, p.A20)(MC,
1856 May 26, George Templeton
Strong, composer, essayist, was born.
1856 Jun 5, U.S. Army
troops in the Four creeks region of California, headed back to
quarters, officially ending the Tule River War. Fighting, however,
continued for a few more years.
1856 Jun 8, The British
resettled 194 people from Pitcairn Island onto Norfolk Island.
(SFEM, 3/12/00, p.66)
1856 Jun 16, James Strang, king
of Big Beaver Island, Mich., was ambushed by Thomas Bedford and
Alexander Wentworth. They shot him three times and then
pistol-whipped him and fled to Mackinac on the USS Michigan. Bedford
and Wentworth were brought before a justice of the peace and after a
brief hearing were fined $1.25 for court costs and released as
public heroes. Soon after, 75 vigilantes sailed to Beaver Island and
cleared out the Strangite adherents.
(Smith., Aug. 1995, p.88)
1856 Jun 17, In Philadelphia,
the Republican Party opened its first national convention. John C.
Fremont (1830-1890), American explorer, was the 1st Republican
presidential candidate. He platform pledged to end polygamy and
slavery. He lost to James Buchanan by about 500,000 votes. Fremont
went on to serve as territorial governor of Arizona from 1878 to
1883. In 2003 Lewis L. Gould authored "Grand Old Party: A History of
(AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 6/17/98)(SFEC, 2/13/00, BR
p.5)(HNQ, 3/11/00)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.W17)(SSFC, 11/23/03, p.M1)
1856 Jun 19, Elbert Hubbard
(d.1915), US, editor, publisher, author (Message to Garcia), was
born. "The love we give away is the only love we keep." "If you want
work well done, select a busy man -- the other kind has not time."
"To escape criticism -- do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
(AP, 7/22/97)(AP, 9/29/97)(AP, 12/12/98)(MC,
1856 Jul 7, In California the
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors held their 1st meeting at the
general store of John Vogan on Main Street in Redwood City. The
county had just recently been created.
(Ind, 2/3/01, 5A)(SFC, 5/18/13, p.C2)
1856 Jul 9, Nikola Tesla,
electrical engineer, inventor (Tesla Coil), was born in Croatia.
1856 Jul 12, William Walker, an
American, declared himself president of Nicaragua. His execution a
few years later in Honduras was rumored to have been staged.
(SFC, 7/7/96, BR
1856 Jul 26, George Bernard
Shaw (d.1950), Irish-born, English dramatist, critic and social
reformer (Pygmalion-Nobel 1925), was born in Dublin. "The worst sin
toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be
indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity."
(V.D.-H.K.p.237)(HN, 7/26/98)(AP, 3/15/00)
1856 Jul 29, Robert Schumann
(46), German composer, died. He had starved himself to death in a
madhouse. The 1947 film "Song of Love" was based on the Robert and
Clara Schuman. In 2000 J.D. Landis authored "Longing" a novel based
on the love affair between Robert Schuman and Clara Wieck.
(BLW, 1963 ed. p.49)(WSJ, 9/22/00, p.W12)
1856 Aug 11, A band of
rampaging settlers in California killed four Yokut Indians. The
settlers had heard unproven rumors of Yokut atrocities.
1856 Aug 12, Anthony Fass
patented an accordion.
1856 Aug 18, In SF thousands of
armed men paraded through the streets and then formally dissolved
the second Committee of Vigilance. They had run SF for nearly 4
months much to the distress of Mayor James Van Ness and militia
officer William T. Sherman.
(SFC, 8/18/06, p.B1)
1856 Aug 19, Gail Borden
(1801-1874) received a patent for condensed milk and opened a small
factory for its production in Walcottville, Conn. At this time milk
in NYC sold for 6-7 cents a quart.
(ON, 5/04, p.5)(AP, 8/19/06)
1856 Aug, Henry Bessemer,
English mechanical engineer, presented a paper titled The
Manufacture of Iron Without Fuel. In 1860 he established the
Bessemer Steel Works in Sheffield. His Bessemer conversion process
revolutionized the steel industry.
(ON, 9/06, p.6)
1856 Aug, Paul Du Chaillu,
French-American journalist and hunter, hired a large number of men
and women from the Mbondemo tribe to hunt for gorillas in Gabon.
(ON, 11/04, p.11)
1856 Sep 2, Paul Du Chaillu
(1831-1903), French-American journalist and hunter, shot and killed
his 1st gorilla in Gabon. Over the next 3 years he killed 31
gorillas. In 1861 he published Explorations & Adventures in
(ON, 11/04, p.12)
1856 Sep 3, Louis H. Sullivan,
architect who gained fame for his design of the Chicago Auditorium
Theater, was born in Boston, Mass. The leading figure in the
so-called Chicago style of architecture, Louis Sullivan is regarded
as the spiritual father of modern U.S. architecture and is
particularly identified with the aesthetics of skyscraper design.
Born in 1856, Sullivan attended MIT and was among the first to
stress the vertical lines of steel skeleton construction.
(HN, 9/3/98)(HNQ, 6/11/99)(MC, 9/3/01)
1856 Sep 3, The Royal British
Bank announced a suspension of business. In 1858 eight directors of
the bank were put on trial for conspiracy to defraud the public. A
jury found each of the defendants guilty of the charges. They were
given sentences ranging from a nominal fine of one shilling to
imprisonment for up to one year.
1856 Sep 14, At the Battle of
San Jacinto, Nicaragua defeated invaders. General José Dolores
Estrada led his men against the powerful forces of William Walker
and his filibusters, who sought to take over Nicaragua and all of
1856 Sep 24, John Marsh,
Harvard graduate and pioneer California settler, was murdered on the
road between Pacheco and Martinez while traveling to SF. Marsh was
the 1st non-Hispanic to live in Contra Costa County. He had made a
fortune attracting settlers to Contra Costa and selling them land.
His new 7,000 stone mansion in Brentwood was later made the
center-piece of the John Marsh/Cowell Ranch State Park.
(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.B3)
1856 Oct 1, The first
installment of Gustav Flauberts novel Madame Bovary (Emma Bovary)
appeared in the Revue de Paris after the publisher refused to print
a passage in which the character Emma has a tryst in the back seat
of a carriage. It was later considered as the first novel of a
liberated woman in modern literature. In 1998 Dacia Maraini
published "Searching for Emma." A TV version for Masterpiece Theater
was shown in 2000.
(HN, 10/1/00)(SFEC, 6/28/98, Par p.18)(WSJ,
1856 Oct 7, Cyrus Chambers Jr.
patented a folding machine that folded books and newspapers.
1856 Oct 8, Chinese police
boarded the British vessel Arrow, arrested 12 Chinese crewmen on
suspicion of piracy and lowered the British flag. This began the 2nd
(EWH, 4th ed, p.911)(MC, 10/8/01)
1856 Oct, Migrants to Utah
pulling handcarts encountered a blizzard and were rescued by a mule
train sent by Brigham Young. More than 200 Mormons died near
Martins Cove, Wyo., as they migrated West using handcarts.
8/13/98, p.A9)(Econ, 12/22/07, p.39)
1856 Nov 4, Democrat James
Buchanan was elected US president. The American or Know-Nothing
Party had nominated Zachary Taylor over Millard Fillmore. The
Know-Nothing Party was an anti-foreigner, anti-Catholic political
organization. Buchanan easily won the presidential election, gaining
174 electoral votes to Republican John C. Fremonts 141, and
Fillmores eight. Fremont failed to carry California after Jasper
OFarrell testified against him in the 1846 murder of 3 Californios.
p.E10)(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A25)(HNQ, 6/17/01)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E1)
1856 Nov 13, Louis Brandeis,
was born. He became the first Jew to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1856 Nov 15, The clipper ship
Neptunes Car arrived in SF after sailing 136 days from NYC. Mary
Ann Patten (1837-1861), the pregnant 19-year-old wife of Captain
Joshua Patten (d.1857), commanded the ship for much of its voyage
after the captain fell ill.
(AH, 2/05, p.60)
1856 Nov 24, Bat Masterson was
born in Quebec, Canada. [see Nov 24, 1853]
1856 Dec 18, Joseph John
Thomson, English physicist, was born. He discovered the electron and
won a Nobel Prize in 1906.
1856 Dec 22, Frank Kellogg,
Secretary of State (1925-29) who tried to outlaw war with the
Kellogg-Briand Pact, was born. He won a Nobel Prize in 1929.
(HN, 12/22/98)(MC, 12/22/01)
1856 Dec 28, Woodrow Wilson,
28th president of the United States (1912-1921), who brought the
country into World War I, was born in Staunton, Va. He won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1919. "The American Revolution was a beginning, not a
(AP, 12/28/97)(HN, 12/28/98)(AP, 7/2/99)(MC,
1856 Dec 29, Snow fell in San
Francisco and accumulated to 2-3 inches.
(SFEM, 12/22/96, p.20)
1856 Francois Flameng (d.1923),
French painter, was born. He painted imagined scenes from the
domestic life of Napoleon Bonaparte.
(MT, Fall/03, p.13)
1856 James Pierson Beckwourth
(1798-1866, a mountain man born as a slave, authored his
autobiography: The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth,
Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of
(SSFC, 7/18/04, p.14)(www.beckwourth.org/)
1856 Alexis de Tocqueville
(1805-1859), French writer, authored "The Old Regime and the French
(Econ, 4/19/14, SR p.15)
1856 The ballet "Le Corsaire"
(The Corsair) was first performed in Paris to a score by Adolph
Adam. It was based on a work by Lord Byron.
(SFC, 12/20/99, p.E1)
1856 The St. James Light, a
lighthouse, was built by Irish immigrants on Big Beaver Island in
northern Lake Michigan.
(Smith., Aug. 1995, p.88)
1856 The Steinway Mansion was
built in Astoria, NYC, home of the scion of the great piano-making
(SFC, 5/26/96, T-8)
1856 John Breuner, German
cabinet maker, founded his furniture business. It later expanded to
a chain of 17 stores and was sold in 1985.
(SFC, 5/28/96, p.A15)
1856 St. Pauls prep school was
founded in Concord, New Hampshire. In 2003 headmaster Bishop Craig
Anderson was paid an annual salary of $524,000.
(WSJ, 8/25/03, p.A1)
1856 Mauve began to be used to
describe a purplish color that was the first synthetic dye.
(SFC, 6/29/96, E4)
1856 The last presidential
candidate of the Whig Party was Millard Fillmore in 1856. Fillmore
and his running mate Andrew J. Donelson were also the nominees of
the American (Know Nothing) Party that year. In 1999 Michael F. Hold
published "The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party."
(HNQ, 9/10/98)(WSJ, 7/8/99, p.A16)
1856 Walt Whitman declared that
"Always America will be agitated and turbulent."
(WSJ, 11/21/95, p.A-12)
1856 Orvis, a fly-tackle
manufacturer, began operations in Manchester, Vermont. In 1993 the
company was a $100 million business.
(WSJ, 2/28/97, p.B7)
1856 The William Mason
locomotive was built.
(SFEC, 4/25/99, p.T6)
1856 In San Francisco The Call
newspaper was started by five unemployed printers and quickly became
one of the citys leading papers. Its original building stood at 612
(SFC, 10/5/13, p.C1)
1856 San Franciscos Lowell
High School opened as the Union Grammar School and attained its
current name in 1896.
(http://tinyurl.com/y4q3tp)(SFC, 5/26/12, p.A9)
1856 The 1st theater in
California was built in the gold-mining town of Nevada City.
(SSFC, 2/5/06, p.F9)
1856 The DAgostini Winery in
Amador County, Ca. was founded. It later became the Sobon Estate
(SFC, 12/10/95, p.T-1)
1856 In California Mifflin W.
Gibbs founded the states first black newspaper and lobbied for the
repeal of the states "black laws."
(SFC, 7/18/98, p.A15)
1856 The Mendocino Indian
Reservation was established at Fort Bragg, Ca., near the mouth of
the Noyo River.
(SFC, 4/28/12, p.A6)
1856 John C. Fremont and Edward
D. Baker passed through the Feather River region of northern
California. Baker was known as the "Gray Eagle of Republicanism" and
gave this name to the town of Graegle around 1916.
(SSFC, 7/7/02, p.C10)
1856 Sam Hughes, a Welsh
immigrant ill with tuberculosis, left his job as a baker in the
California Gold Rush and departed by stage coach to Texas. The stage
coach driver afraid that Sam might die enroute, dumped him in
Tucson, Arizona. Later Sam at age 32 married a Mexican girl age 12
named Atanacia Santa Cruz.
(AWAM, Dec. 94, p.29,32)
1856 William Thomson, later
Lord Kelvin, discovered the property of magneto-resistance. The
change in some materials of electrical resistance under a magnetic
field was later used in data storage systems.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.89)
1856 The Australian state of
Victoria first adopted paper ballots for voting.
(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A1)
1856 Australia's Van Dieman's
Island was renamed Tasmania.
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.37)
c1856 Rabbits were let loose in
Australia about 140 years ago.
(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.B-6)
1856 Descendants of the Bounty
mutineers moved from Pitcairn to Norfolk Island, 1,000 miles from
the Australia mainland.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.38)
1856 The Victoria Cross was
created to honor soldiers of the British Empire during the Crimean
War who showed particular gallantry in the face of enemy attack. All
the crosses were made from the bronze of Russian cannons captured in
1856 British Guiana issued a
1-cent magenta, a 4-cent magenta and a 4-cent blue stamp initialed
by a postal employee while waiting for a shipment of stamps to
arrive from London. In 1980 the 1-cent magenta was purchased for
$935,000 by chemicals heir John E. DuPont. In 2014 the it was
expected to sell at auction for $10-20 million.
(WSJ, 4/7/00, p.W9)(SFC, 2/15/14, p.A7)
1856 Near Dusseldorf in the
Neander Valley, limestone minors quarrying in a cave found an
unusual human skeleton. A beetle-browed, low-sloping skullcap, part
of a pelvis, and some remarkably thick and slightly curved limb
bones fell into the hands of the local science teacher.
(NG, Nov. 1985, p. 614)
1856 The order of nuns known as
the "Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration" was founded in France. It
was named after a 13th century saint who jettisoned her family's
wealth for a life of poverty. The nuns spent their time praying on
behalf of others.
(WSJ, 9/19/03, p.A1)
1856 In France Emperor Napoleon
III decided to quell an impending revolt in Algeria by sending a
magician, who would demonstrate the power of the Europeans to the
natives. He sent Jean-Eugene Robert Houdin (1805-1871). The 1998
novel "The Magicians Wife" by Brian Moore is based on the historic
events. The magician is named Henri Lambert.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A20)(SFEC, 1/25/98, BR p.5)
1856 The Countess de
Castiglione (Virginia Oldoini) became the mistress of Napoleon III.
She was chosen by her cousin Camillo Cavour, prime minister of
Sardinia under King Victor Emanuel, to win the emperors support for
a war against the Austrians.
(WSJ, 12/27/00, p.A10)
1856 Theodore Chasseriau
(b.1819), Dominican-born artist, died in Paris. His paintings
included "The Toilette of Esther."
(WSJ, 11/26/02, p.D8)
1856 Christian Schibsted
purchased a hand operated printing press to print a newspaper for
somebody else. When the contract moved elsewhere he began his own
newspaper and in 2006 the original press could be seen in the Oslo
headquarters of the Schibsted newspaper firm.
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.52)
1856 Lothar von Faber of
Germany bought a graphite mine in Siberia to secure raw material for
his pencil manufacturing operations.
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.73)
1856 In Sweden Andre Wallenberg
founded Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). By 2006 it was one of
the Nordic regions biggest banks.
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.73)
1856 A Turkish imperial edict
lifted a ban on Christian bell-ringing in Jerusalem, whnich at this
time was part of the Ottoman empire. The British were given the
honor of erecting the citys first outdoor bell since the crusades.
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.35)
1856-1858 The 2nd Anglo-Chinese Opium War.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)
1856-1900 Oscar Wilde, English [Irish] writer,
poet and dramatist, a rebel of every kind, ended up playing the part
of a mocking fool. He despaired of his countrymen ever waking up,
but they did, for they became enraged by his mockery and jailed him,
ruining his life. He wrote the play "The Importance of Being
Ernest." He was found guilty of violating the Criminal Law Amendment
Act which prohibited indecent relations between consenting adult
males. He served 2 years in prison where he read the whole of Dante
and wrote the letter "De Profundis," and the poem "The Ballad of
Reading Gaol." "At every single moment of one's life one is what one
is going to be no less than what one has been." [see 1854]
(V.D.-H.K.p.279)(HT, 3/97, p.71)(AP, 10/10/99)
1856-1915 Booker T. Washington, American
educator: "To be successful, grow to the point where one completely
forgets himself; that is, to lose himself in a great cause."
1856-1915 Frederick Winslow Taylor, American
efficiency expert. In 1997 Robert Kanigel wrote the biography: "The
One Best Way: FW Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency." Taylor was a
member of the first winning US Open doubles tennis duo. "In the past
the man was first. In the future the system will be first."
(WSJ, 6/13/97, p.A17)(Wired, 2/98, p.112)
1856-1920 May 6, Robert Peary, American naval
officer and Arctic explorer, was born. He reached the North Pole in
(HFA, 96, p.30)(AHD, p.964)
1856-1922 Tom Watson, US congressman and
quintessential Negrophobe. C. Van Woodward in 1938 authored the
biography: "Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel."
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.C14)
1855-1926 In Baja, Mexico, an estimated 3,350 gray
whales were harpooned in their spawning grounds in Magdalena Bay.
(SFEM, 5/7/00, p.9)
1856-1929 The Children's Aid Society and The New
York Foundling Hospital sponsored Orphan Trains that relocated
homeless New York children to adoptive homes in the sparsely
populated West and Midwest. Needy children were chosen for
relocation and if they were not true orphans, a release for
placement was obtained from the remaining parent or guardian. The
train route was chosen and the children, after being given new
clothing, boarded the train accompanied by the society's agent.
Advance notice was placed in local newspapers and a screening
committee was responsible for matching the orphans with prospective
families. When the train arrived, the orphans were displayed in a
church or other public building and if an agreeable match was made,
the child was left with his or her new family. Those not selected
would reboard the train for the next stop. It was up to the agent to
keep tabs on adopted children, and if they were not determined to be
happy and well-treated, they would be removed and, hopefully,
adopted by a new family. While this procedure was risky and many
children were placed in abusive situations, Orphan Train sponsors
believed that youngsters placed with western families had a better
chance than those living on the streets of New York. In the 75 years
of the Orphan Trains, between 150,000 and 200,000 children were
1856-1930 Daniel Guggenheim, American
industrialist and philanthropist.
1856-1933 Elisabeth Marbury, American writer: "The
richer your friends, the more they will cost you."
1856-1941 US Justice Louis D. Brandeis: "The
greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of
zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
1856-1945 Walter Long Williams, veterinarian. He
did pioneering work in identifying equine venereal disease.
(WSJ, 5/5/99, p.A20)
1856-1950 Minna Antrim, American writer:
"Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills."
1857 Jan 6, Patent for reducing
zinc ore was granted to Samuel Wetherill in Penn.
1857 Feb 7, A French court
acquitted author Gustave Flaubert of obscenity for his serialized
novel "Madame Bovary."
1857 Feb 12, Eugene Atget,
French photographer, was born. He took over 10,000 photographs
1857 Feb 18, Max Klinger,
German graphic artist, painter, sculptor, was born.
1857 Feb 22, Heinrich Hertz,
German physicist, was born in Hamburg. He became the first person to
broadcast and receive radio waves. The radio wave unit of frequency
was named after him.
(HN, 2/22/01)(AP, 2/22/07)
1857 Feb 22, Lord Robert
Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, was born in London.
1857 Feb, Charles Darwin in a
letter to his cousin Fox, wrote: "I am become most deeply interested
in the way facts fall into groups." [indeed]
(NH, 5/96, p.7)
1857 Mar 3, Under pretexts,
Britain and France declared war on China.
1857 Mar 6, After years in
litigation, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Roger Taney,
ruled that Dred Scott did not gain his freedom by living in a free
territory. The essence of the decision was that as a slave, Dred
Scott was not a citizen and therefore could not sue in a federal
court. The opinion also stated that Congress could not exclude
slavery in the territories and that blacks could not become
citizens. That ruling further increased the tension already
simmering between the North and the South. Dred Scott was a slave
who accompanied his owner, army surgeon John Emerson, to military
posts in Wisconsin and Illinois in 1834-35. In 1846 Scott, backed by
abolitionists, sued for his freedom on the grounds that he became
free when he lived in an area where slavery was outlawed. Montgomery
Blair (b.1813) was one of the lawyers in the Scott vs. Sanford case.
In this case the Supreme Court invalidated the 1820 Missouri
(AP, 3/6/98)(HN, 3/6/98)(HNPD, 3/11/99)(HN,
5/10/99)(SFC, 11/30/00, p.A3)
1857 Mar 8, Ruggiero
Leoncavallo, Italian composer (I Pagliacci/Zaza), was born.
1857 Mar 12, The opera "Simon
Boccanegra," by Giuseppe Verdi, premiered in Venice, Italy.
1857 Mar 23, Culinary expert
Fannie Farmer was born in Boston.
1857 Mar 23, Elisha Otis
installed the first modern passenger elevator in the 5-story
Haughwout and Co. building at 488 Broadway in New York City.
1857 Mar 25, Frederick
Laggenheim took the 1st photo of a solar eclipse.
1857 Apr 18, Clarence S.
Darrow, defense attorney at the Scopes monkey trial, was born near
1857 Apr 21, Alexander Douglas
patented the bustle.
1857 Apr 27, Establishment of
Jewish congregations in Lower Austria prohibited.
1857 Apr, The Royal Society
held their first meeting in Burlington House in London after moving
over from Somerset House. They were soon joined by the Linnean
Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
1857 May 1, William Walker,
conqueror of Nicaragua, surrendered to the US Navy. Cornelius
Vanderbilt helped finance a Costa Rican army, which defeated
Walkers forces, and paid men under Walkers command to defect.
Walker later sought protection on a British naval vessel, whose
captain turned him over to Hondurans, who executed him in 1860.
1857 May 10, Hendrik
Zwaardemaker, Dutch physiologist (olefactometer), was born.
1857 May 10, The Seepoys of
India revolted against the British Army. The Bengal Army, Indian
soldiers in the British army, staged a revolt in what is viewed as
the first attempt at independence. The Rani of Jhansi, a charismatic
female strategist, led the Hindu revolt.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)(HN, 5/10/98)(SSFC, 11/9/03,
1857 May 11, Indian mutineers
against the British seized Delhi.
1857 May 13, Ronald Ross,
bacteriologist, was born.
1857 May 19, William Francis
Channing and Moses G. Farmer were granted the first patent for an
electric fire alarm system.
1857 Jun 2, Edward Elgar
Broadheath, English composer (Pomp & Circumstance), was born in
1857 Jun 2, Karl Gjellerup,
poet, novelist (Nobel 1917), was born in Denmark.
1857 Jun 2, James Gibbs of
Virginia patented a chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine.
1857 Jun 18, Henry Clay Folger,
American lawyer and businessman, co-founder of the Folger
Shakespeare Library, was born.
1857 Jun 27, H. Goldschmidt
discovered asteroid #45, Eugenia.
1857 Jun 30, Charles Dickens
reads from "A Christmas Carol" at St. Martin's Hall in London--his
first public reading.
1857 Jul 12, George E. Ohr
(d.1918), ceramics artist (the mad potter of Biloxi), was born in
1857 Jul 15, British women and
children were murdered in the second Cawnpore Massacre during the
1857 Jul 15, Carl Czerny (66),
Austrian pianist, composer, died.
1857 Jul 27, Jose Celso
Barbosa, Puerto Rican statesman and humanitarian, was born in
1857 Jul 29, James Holman
(1786), former British lieutenant in the Royal Navy, died in London.
An illness in 1810 left him blind. In 1822 he set off on a journey
to travel around the world. In 2006 Jason Roberts authored A Sense
of the World: How a Blind Man Became Historys Greatest Traveler.
(SSFC, 6/4/06, p.M1)
1857 Jul 30, Thorstein Veblen
(d.1929), political economist and sociologist, was born in Wisconsin
to Norwegian immigrants. He authored "The Theory of the Leisure
Class" in 1899.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R20)(SFEC, 7/11/99, BR p.4)(HN,
1857 Aug 25, The California
gold rush town of Columbia burned down in a 2nd fire that was blamed
on a Chinese cook. Miners soon evicted all Chinese from the town.
(SFEM, 3/12/00, p.T6)(CVG, Vol 16, p.24,34)
1857 Aug 24, The New York
branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. failed, sparking the
Panic of 1857. The sharp but short 1857-58 financial crash in the US
was touched off by the failure of the New York branch of the Ohio
Life Insurance and Trust Company. Over speculation in real estate
and railroad securities fed the panic. Financial crashes spread to
Liverpool, Glasgow, Paris, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Vienna.
(AP, 8/24/07)(WSJ, 9/28/95c, p.A-18)(Econ,
1857 Aug, A human skeleton was
found in a limestone cave in the Neanderthal, near Hochdal, between
Dusseldorf and Elberfeld. The discovery is described by D.
Shaaffhausen in his paper Discovery of the Neanderthal Skull.
(RFH-MDHP, 1969, p.140-141)
1857 Sep 3, John McLoughlin
(b.1784), Hudson's Bay Co. pioneer at Fort Vancouver and in Oregon
Country, died in Oregon City. In the late 1840s his general store in
Oregon City was famous as the last stop on the Oregon Trail.
1857 Sep 5, Charles Darwin
first outlined his theory of evolution in a letter to American
botanist Asa Gray dated September 5, 1857. The leading botanist of
his time, Gray was one of the founders of the National Academy of
1857 Sep 11, The Mountain
Meadows Massacre of the Fancher emigrant wagon train in Utah
Territory was carried out by Mormons fearful of an impending
invasion by the US Army. Church patriarch and adopted son of Brigham
Young, John Doyle Lee, offered safe passage to the nearly 150 men,
women and children on the Fancher train from Arkansas crossing
Mormon Utah bound for California, if they left their weapons,
livestock and wagons behind-ostensibly to appease hostile Indians.
All but the youngest children were slaughtered. Lee, who first
blamed the massacre on Paiute Indians, was excommunicated in 1870
and tried, convicted and executed in 1877 for his role in the
killings. 120 settlers were killed; 17 children, all under 7, were
spared. In 2002 Will Bagley authored Blood of the Prophets: Brigham
Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. In 2011 the site was
dedicated as a national historic landmark.
(SFC, 10/23/02, p.H4)(AP, 9/11/07)(SFC, 9/12/11,
1857 Sep 12, A wooden-hulled
steamship, the SS Central America under Capt. William L. Herndon,
sank off Cape Romain, SC. The ship carried 21 tons of gold from
California to New York. The brig Marine and the Norwegian bark Ellen
rescued some 141 people. 425 (428) of 528 (578) passengers were
drowned. The survivors included Ansel Ives Easton (d.1868) and his
new wife Adeline. The wreck was in 8,000 feet of water and in
1987-1988 salvage operations were begun by Tommy Thompson. He hauled
in $500 million worth of gold bars, coins and nuggets. After a court
battle he was awarded 92% of the gold. The story is told in the 1998
book "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue sea" by Gary Kinder. The loss of
the gold sparked "The Panic of 1857." The SS Central America sank
off Cape Romain, SC.
(WSJ, 5/22/98, p.W3)(WSJ, 6/19/98, p.W9)(SFEC,
6/28/98, BR p.3)(WSJ, 12/3/99, p.W16)(WSJ, 1/28/00, p.B1)(ON, 7/01,
p.2)(Ind, 12/1/01, 5A)
1857 Sep 13, Milton S. Hershey,
chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist, was born in Dauphin
1857 Sep 15, William Howard
Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served as 26th president (R)
of the United States (1909-1913) and as chief justice. He is most
remembered for his "dollar diplomacy."
(AP, 9/15/97)(HN, 9/15/99)
1857 Sep 15, Mormon leader
Brigham Young called out the Nauvoo Legion to fight the U.S. Troops
if they enter Utah Territory.
1857 Sep 15, Timothy Alden of
NYC patented a typesetting machine.
1857 Sep 20, Delhi, India, fell
to British forces.
1857 Sep 23, The Russian
warship Leffort disappeared in the Finland Gulf in a storm; 826
1857 Oct 2, In SF the
cornerstone for the new St. Francis Church was laid.
(SFC, 10/4/99, p.A21)(SSFC, 3/25/12, DB p.41)
1857 Oct 6, The American Chess
Association organized. The 1st major US chess tournament was held in
NYC. [see Oct 10]
1857 Oct 10, The American Chess
Association formed (NYC). [see Oct 6]
1857 Oct 29, Conrad Haebler,
German historian (Early Printers of Spain and Portugal), was born.
1857 Oct 30, Gertrude Atherton,
novelist, was born.
1857 Oct, Paul Morphy won fame
as the first American chess hero. The New Orleans native became the
worlds leading chess player after he defeated Adolf Anderssen of
Germany. Morphy beat all the world's masters who took him on,
although Englishman Howard Staunton managed to avoid a match. Morphy
then issued a challenge to take on any player, but none responded,
and Morphy retired.
1857 Nov 2, Joseph F.F.
Babinski, Polish-French neurologist (Babinski reflex), was born.
1857 Nov 5, Ida M. Tarbell
(d.1944), muckraking journalist, was born in Erie County, Pa.
1857 Nov 7, Dennistoun, Cross
and Co., an American bank with branches in Liverpool, Glasgow, New
York and New Orleans, collapsed taking with it the Western Bank of
Scotland with 98 branches. In the last three months of this year
there were 135 bankruptcies.
(Econ, 4/12/14, p.52)
1857 Nov 9, Atlantic Monthly
magazine was 1st published.
1857 Nov 23, George Smythe
(b.1818), 7th Viscount Strangford, died. In 2006 Mary S. Millar
authored Disraelis Disciple: The Scandalous Life of George
(http://tinyurl.com/mhqn3)(WSJ, 9/2/06, p.P9)
1857 Nov 26, First Australian
Parliament opened in Melbourne.
1857 Dec 3, Joseph Conrad
(d.1924), novelist, was born in Berdychiv, Poland, as Teodor Jozef
Konrad Korzeniowski. He is best known for Heart of Darkness. His
work The Secret Agent had a profound effect on Unabomber Theodore
J. Kaszynski in the late 20th cent. Conrad also wrote the short
story The Informer.
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.A3)(HN, 12/3/98)(AP, 12/3/07)
1857 Dec 8, 1st production of
Dion Boucicault's "Poor of NY."
1857 Dec 17, Sir Francis
Beaufort (b.1774), Irish-born hydrogapher, died in London. In 2004
Scott Huler authored Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How
a Nineteenth-Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry.
(NH, 11/1/04, p.51)
1857 Dec 29, Franz Liszt's "Die
Hunnenschlacht," premiered in Weimar.
1857 Dec 31, Britains Queen
Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
1857 Augustus Leopold Egg began
to paint his 3-part work "Past and Present." It was completed in
(WSJ, 2/19/97, p.A15)
1857 Jean-Francois Millet
painted "The Gleaners."
(WSJ, 7/12/99, p.A26)
1857 Thomas Brewer wrote "North
American Oology," a work on bird eggs.
(AH, 6/02, p.40)
1857 Charles Dickens
(1812-1870), English novelist, completed his serial novel Little
1857 Thomas Hughes authored
"Tom Browns School Days." Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget
Flashman is a fictional character originally created by the author
Thomas Hughes in his semi-autobiographical work Tom Brown's
Schooldays. In this book, set at Rugby School, Flashman is the
notorious bully, who persecutes its eponymous hero Tom Brown.
1857 Fitz Hugh Ludlow authored
"The Hasheesh Eater."
(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.4)
1857 Adalbert Stifter
(1805-1868), Austrian writer, authored his novel Indian Summer. He
noted the issue of bureaucracy long before it was covered by
(WSJ, 2/10/07, p.P8)
1857 Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882), British novelist, authored his novel Barchester
Towers," which explored the mixed motives of various characters. The
book established his fame.
(WSJ, 12/11/98, p.W10)(WSJ, 9/1/07, p.P9)
1857 The New Dungeness Light
Station was built at the end of the Dungeness Spit in Dungeness Bay,
(SSFC, 11/12/06, p.G8)
1857 Landscape architect
Frederick Law Olmstead and architect Calvert Vaux won the
competition to develop NYC's Central Park.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T5)(NG, 5/93, p.9)(SFC, 4/5/04,
1857 Count Agoston Haraszthy
founded the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, Ca.
1857 The Sisters of Mercy
established the West Coasts 1st hospital, St. Marys Hospital, in
the SF Bay Area.
(SFC, 7/24/06, p.B8)
1857 In Oakland, Ca.,
Theophilide St. Germaine and her husband, a French count, built a
structure at 301 Broadway to serve as a wine shop. In 2014 the
building, home to Vegan Soul Food, was believed to be the oldest
structure in the city.
(SFC, 4/2/14, p.E3)
1857 Lincoln at Springfield,
Ill. expounded on the idea of equality as equality of opportunity as
opposed to equality of result.
(WSJ, 2/10/95), p.A-8)
1857 Pres. Lincoln made a
speech on the Dred Scott decision where he pointed out that the
Declaration of Independence asserts that all men are equal in their
right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
1857 The US ditched its
half-cent. Its value approximated the dime of 2013.
(Econ, 3/2/13, p.34)
1857 Andrew Johnson, Democrat
of Tennessee, was elected to Senator.
(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A3)
1857 A court case in New York,
Livingstone v Bank of New York, held that a bank could not be deemed
insolvent merely because, during a general panic, it could not
redeem its notes in specie.
(Econ, 12/1/12, p.90)
1857 John Thompson was
discredited as a banker in the panic 1857. He later went on with his
two sons as front men to found the forerunners of what are now City
Bank and Chase Manhattan.
(WSJ, 5/8/95, p.A-14)
1857 Dred Scott and his wife
Harriet sued for their freedom after living in free territory. The
Supreme Court ruled that black people were not citizens and could
not expect federal protection. Dred Scott was quoted to have said:
"Will nobody speak for me at Washington, even without hope of other
reward than the blessings of a poor black man and his family." The
decision was overturned by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.A7)
1857 Joseph Henry, head of the
Smithsonian Institute, began providing daily national weather
reports to the Washington Evening Star.
(ON, 2/06, p.7)
1857 Laclede Gas Light Co. was
formed and dominated the natural gas business in St. Louis as late
as 1942. It began by providing gas-powered street lamps to the city.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, R45)
1857 The Stanley Rule &
Level Co. was founded in New Britain, Conn.
(SFC, 11/1/03, p.E4)
1857 Joseph C. Gayette of NYC
was said to have invented toilet paper.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, Z1 p.4)
1857 The earliest horse-drawn
potato planter was patented in the US.
(SFC, 4/30/97, z1 p.6)
1857 Paul Broca, a French
neurologist, discovered that particular regions of the brain are
specialized for particular functions. In 1861 he authored a
classical paper that detailed damage in the brains left temporal
lobe to loss of speech.
1857 William Rowan Hamilton,
Irish mathematician, devised the routing conundrum. A simple version
of this is known as the traveling salesman problem. It poses the
question: Given an arbitrary collection of cities a salesman has to
travel between, what is the shortest route linking those cities?
(Wired, 8/95, p.115)
1857 James Hall, president of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, pointed out
the great thickness of the Paleozoic rocks in the Appalacian
Mountains compared with the Mississippi Valley and offered the
explanation that as the weight of the sediment accumulated it had
pushed down the crust beneath it. He believed that eventually the
crust could take the strain no longer. It buckled and the strata
were crumpled and raised high above their original level. This
theory is in contrast to Danas later theory of geosynclines in
1857 Lt. Edward F. Beale
visited El Morro, New Mexico, with a camel caravan testing the
feasibility of employing camels as Army animals in the American
(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.F9)
1857 Army Lt. Joseph Ives
surveyed the Grand Canyon with "wondering delight," but concluded
that it was "altogether valueless." His chief scientist John Strong
Newberry declared that it was a geological paradise.
(SFEC, 10/4/98, BR p.12)
1857 The Fort Tejon, Ca.,
earthquake, estimated at magnitude 8, ruptured ground for 225 miles
from Parkfield to Tejon Pass. It killed 2 people and destroyed the
Teyon Army post.
(SFC, 5/21/01, p.A4)(SFC, 12/10/04, p.A4)
1857 Franz Kruger (b.1797),
German Biedermeier artist of cityscapes and rural genre scenes,
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)
1857 In Australia the Botanical
Garden in Adelaide was founded.
(SFEC, 10/25/98, p.T5)
1857 In Austria Ludwig Moser
(d.1916) started a glassmaking shop in Carlsbad. The work was
intended for royal families around the world and included intricate
gold overlay and detailed hand painting.
(SFC, 3/5/97, z-1 p.2)
1857 Neuhaus began making
chocolate in Belgium.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.T9)
1857 The Reading Room of the
British National Library opened. It was designed by Sydney Smirke.
His brother, Sir Robert Smirke, had designed the British Museum 7
years earlier. The design met the wishes of Sir Anthony Panazzi, the
Italian librarian. Its copper dome, supported by 20 cast iron
ribs, measured 140 feet.
(SFC,10/23/97, p.A17)(WSJ, 2/9/00, p.A24)
1857 The British Matrimonial
Causes Act proclaimed that a husbands legal responsibilities went
on after a marriage ended.
(SFC, 4/12/97, p.E3)
1857 In England Dean Richard
Trench lectured on the need for a complete English dictionary at the
London Library and the project was soon undertaken by The
(WSJ, 9/14/98, p.A30)
1857 In Montreal, Canada, the
Anglican Christ Church Cathedral was constructed. In the 1980s it
was elevated on pylons to allow for an expansion of the underground
(SSFC, 10/9/05, p.D5)
1857 In British Columbia nine
American slaves arrived at Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island to
make a fresh start in a new land. They were later joined by settlers
(SFEC, 7/26/98, p.T5)
1857 Ludwig Moser began making
Moser glass in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia.
(SFC, 5/14/08, p.G6)
1857 The coffin of the Egyptian
Pharaoh, Kamose, was discovered outside of Thebes, but the body
crumbled to dust when exposed to the air... a ceremonial dagger from
the site is now in Brussels.
1857 The Paris salon of this
year set standards so exclusive that Emp. Napoleon III ordered the
rejected paintings to be hung as a separate show in 1863. [see 1863]
(Calg. Glen., 1996)
1857 In Germany H. Sichel &
Sohne, the producers of the popular Blue Nun white wine, was
(SFC, 10/8/97, Z1 p.4)
1857 In Hong Kong Cheong Ah
Lum, the colonys foremost baker, so hated the Britons that he tried
to poison 400 of the most important "gwailos" with arsenic laced
bread. No one died but many got sick.
(SFEC, 11/10/96, p.A18)
1857 In India the 1st madrasah,
religious school, was founded in Deoband in the wake of a jihad
against British colonial government.
(WSJ, 10/2/01, p.A1A14)
1857 In India Lakshmi Bai
(1835-1858), the Rani of Jhansi, a widowed child bride, cut her
saris into trousers to ride into battle during the Sepoy Mutiny
against the British. She was one of the leading figures of the
Indian Rebellion and became a symbol of resistance to the rule of
the British East India Company.
1857 In Italy the Lido Palace
was built overlooking Lake Maggiore for the Marquis Durazzo of
(SSFC, 12/2/01, p.C6)
1857 The Vienna-Trieste railway
1857 Luigi Monti, an Italian
Roman Catholic friar, founded the Congregation of the Children of
the Immaculate Conception in order to provide charitable health
services to orphans and the poor. In 1967 the Congregation opened a
factory outside of Rome to make dermatological drugs and cosmetics,
which were sold commercially. In 2003 Pope John Paul II beatified
Monti. In 2004 the Congregation acquired a biotechnology research
firm specializing in cancer research and renamed it Nerviano Medical
(WSJ, 12/7/06, p.B8)
1857 In Lebanon the modern wine
industry began when a group of Jesuit monks founded Chateau Ksara in
the Bekaa Valley.
(SFC, 1/11/08, p.F4)
1857 Banco Santander was
founded in Spain to finance trade between the port city of Santander
and Latin America.
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-6)
1857-1861 James Buchanon served as the 15th
president. John Cabell Breckinridge (1821-1875) was the US
vice-president under Buchanan. Breckenridge was a Confederate
General in the Civil War. [His ?brother-in-law was Lloyd Tevis,
founder of Wells Fargo]
(WUD, 1994, p.183)(A&IP, ESM, p.96b,
photo)(SFC, 11/9/96, p.A12)(WUD, 1994, p.183)
1857-1903 George Gissing, English author and
critic: "That is one of the bitter curses of poverty; it leaves no
right to be generous."
1857-1922 Arthur Wesley Dow, artist and teacher,
was inspired by William Morris and in turn influenced such artists
Georgia O'Keefe, Max Weber, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Gertrude
Kasebier. He was later considered as one of the greatest art
educators of his day. He considered crafts equal to the fine arts.
(SFEM, 8/15/99, p.4)(SFC, 9/11/99, p.C12)(WSJ,
1857-1926 Emile Coue, French pharmacist. In 1920
 he devised the mantra "Every day, in every way, Im getting
better and better" to promote his theory of self-improvement through
(NH, 7/98, p.20)(SFEC, 6/20/99, Z1 p.8)
1857-1938 Clarence Darrow, American lawyer: "You
can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the
other mans freedom. You can only be free if I am free."
1858 Jan 14, Emperor Napoleon
III and Empress Eugenie escaped unhurt after an Italian assassin
threw a bomb at their carriage as they traveled to the Paris Opera.
The hoop skirt was first worn by Empress Eugenie to conceal her
(HN, 1/14/99)(SFEC, 7/23/00, Z1 p.2)(AP, 1/14/08)
1858 Jan 18, Daniel Hale
Williams, the first physician to perform open heart surgery and
founder of Provident Hospital in Chicago, Ill., was born.
1858 Jan 21, Felix Marma
Zuloaga became president of Mexico upon the ouster of Ignacio
1858 Jan 25, Britain's Princess
Victoria (the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert),
married Crown Prince Frederick William (the future German Emperor
and King of Prussia) at St. James's Palace. The ceremony's
tradition-setting music, personally selected by the Princess Royal,
included the "Bridal Chorus" from Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" and
the "Wedding March" by Felix Mendelssohn.
1858 Jan 28, John Brown
organized a plan to raid the Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. [see Oct 16,
(MC, 1/28/02)(ON, 7/02, p.7)
1858 Feb 1, John Brown went to
see Frederick Douglass in Rochester and told him of his plan to
steal weapons at Harpers Ferry, Va.
(ON, 7/02, p.6)
1858 Feb 11, Bernadette
Soubirous (14), a French millers daughter, claimed for the first
time to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes.
(AP, 2/11/97)(HN, 1/11/02)
1858 Feb 8, A record brawl in
the US House of Representatives erupted over the issue of slavery.
Wisconsin Congressman John F. Potter pulled a wig off a Mississippi
congressman and declared Ive scalped him.
1858 Feb 26, In India
pioneering tea-planter Maniram Dewan was hanged by British colonial
rulers for taking part in the 1857 rebellion. The Sepoy Mutiny
leader had introduced commercial tea production to the Assam region.
1858 Feb, British explorers Sir
Richard Burton and John Speke (1827-1864) explored Lake Tanganyika,
1858 Mar 2, Frederick Cook, New
Orleans, patented a cotton-bale metallic tie.
1858 Mar 4, Sen. James Henry
Hammond, D-S.C., declared, "Cotton is king" in a speech to the US
1858 Mar 4, Matthew Calbraith
Perry (63), the American naval officer who'd opened trade relations
between the US and Japan, died in New York.
1858 Mar 5, In San Francisco
advocates of civil rights rescued Archy Lee, a slave held by Charles
Stovall of Mississippi, from being taken from the city aboard the
ship Orizaba. The story was later told by Rudolph Lapp (1915-2007)
in Archy Lee: A California Fugitive Slave Case (1969).
(SFC, 1/11/14, p.C2)
1858 Mar 9, The mailbox was
1858 Mar 10, Henry David
Thoreau at Fair Haven Pond heard the love call of the red-tailed
(WSJ, 4/17/96, p.A-18)
1858 May 11, Minnesota became
the 32nd state of the Union.
(AP, 5/11/97)(HN, 5/11/98)
1858 Mar 12, Adolph Simon Ochs,
publisher of The New York Times, was born.
1858 Mar 18, Rudolf Diesel,
German mechanical engineer, was born in Paris. He designed the
compression-ignition engine (1893).
(HN, 3/18/99)(AP, 3/18/08)
1858 Mar 21, British forces in
India lifted the siege of Lucknow, ending the Indian Mutiny.
1858 Mar 17, The Fenian
Brotherhood, a brigade of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), a
secret revolutionary group, was founded in Dublin by James Stephens.
John O'Mahony headed the IRB's American wing, popularly known as the
Fenian Brotherhood, which was composed of immigrants and Irish
Americans whose ultimate goal was to free Ireland from British rule.
1858 Mar 23, Eleazer A. Gardner
of Philadelphia patented the cable street car, which ran on overhead
1858 Mar 30, Hyman L. Lipman of
Philadelphia patented the pencil with an eraser attached on one end.
(HN, 3/30/98)(SFC, 9/16/98, Z1 p.6)
1858 Mar 31, Norddeutscher
Lloyd Bremen launched the SS New York, a passenger cargo vessel. It
was sold to Edward Bates of Liverpool in 1874 and later wrecked near
Staten Island. In 1994 Edwin Drechsel (1914-2006) later authored a
2-volume history of the North German shipping line.
1858 Apr 5, Washington Atlee
Burpee, founded the world's largest mail-order seed company, was
1858 Apr 6, President Buchanan
issued a proclamation declaring Mormons in the Utah Territory to be
in a state of rebellion against the US government.
1858 Apr 10, Londons Big Ben
bell was cast at the Whitechapel Foundry in East London. It was
placed into St. Stephens Tower at the Houses of Parliament.
(SFC, 4/11/08, p.A16)
1858 Apr 15, At the Battle of
Azimghur, Mexicans defeated the Spanish loyalists.
1858 Spring, Darwin sent
advance proofs of "Origin of the Species" to Asa Gray, Harvard
botanist, who was working up the botanical reports for the Great
Exploring Expedition then surveying northern Japan. Gray was
introduced to Darwins ideas by the geologist James Dwight Dana.
[see Sep 5, 1857]
(NH, 6/96, p.6)
1858 Apr 23, Max K.E. Ludwig
Planck, German physicist (Planck Constant, Nobel 1918), was born.
1858 Apr 30, Mary Scott Lord
Dimmick, Pres. B. Harrison's first lady, was born.
1858 May 1, Anthony Johnson
Showalter, composer, was born.
1858 May 4, In the Mexican War
of Reform liberals established their capital at Vera Cruz.
1858 May 8, John Brown held an
1858 May 11, Minnesota became
the 32nd state of the Union.
1858 May 15, Emily Folger,
Shakespeare scholar, was born.
1858 May 28, Dion Boucicault's
"Foul Play," premiered in London.
1858 Jun 2, Donati Comet was
1st seen and named after it's discoverer.
1858 Jun 16, In a speech
accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in
Springfield, Ill., Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery
issue had to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself
(AP, 6/16/98)(HN, 6/16/98)
1858 Jun 16, Dr. John Snow
(b.1813), English obstetrician, died of a stroke. He is considered
the father of epidemiology for his efforts in documenting the spread
of cholera in London epidemics.
(ON, 5/05, p.10)
1858 Jun 18, The US and China
signed a treaty promoting "peace, amity and commerce."
1858 Jun 20, Charles Chesnutt,
African-American novelist, was born in Cleveland. In 2002 Werner
Sollors edited "Chesnutt: Stories, Novels, and Essays."
(HN, 6/20/01)(WSJ, 1/22/02, p.A11)
1858 Jun 22, Giacomo Puccini
(d.1924), Italian composer of Madam Butterfly, was born. His work
included the opera "Calaf."
(WUD, 1994, p.1162)(WSJ, 10/22/97, p.A20)(HN,
1858 Jun 29, George Washington
Goethals, engineer of the Panama Canal, was born.
1858 Jun, The US Army entered
Utah and installed a new governor.
(SFC, 10/23/02, p.H4)
1858 Jul 1, The Darwin-Wallace
theory of evolution was 1st read at a meeting of the Linnaean
Society of London.
(NH, 2/02, p.75)
1858 Jul 2, Czar Alexander II
freed the serfs working on imperial lands.
1858 Jul 9, Franz Boas,
anthropologist, was born.
1858 Jul 13, Louis Martin and
Zelie Guerin married in Alencon, France, and for 10 months refrained
from sex in a Josephite marriage. Assured by a priest that raising
children was a sacred activity they went on to have 9 children, 5 of
whom joined religious order. Their youngest daughter became famous
as St. Theresa of Liseux, The Little Flower, canonized in 1925.
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.W11)
1858 Jul 14, Emmeline
Pankhurst, British suffragist and founder of the Women's Social and
Political Union, was born in Manchester, England.
(HN, 7/14/98)(AP, 7/14/08)
1858 Jul 16, Eugene Ysaye,
violinist, conductor, composer (Pierill Houou), was born in Belgium.
1858 Jul 20, An admission of 50
cents was charged for the first time at the All Star baseball game
between New York and Brooklyn.
(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.B8)
1858 Jul 23, Jewish
Disabilities Removal Act was passed by British Parliament.
1858 Jul 24, During the
Illinois senatorial campaign Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln
challenged Democrat Steven Douglas to a series of joint debates,
which covered the slavery controversy and its impact on the nation.
The debates illuminated the positions of Lincoln and Douglas on
slavery, which Lincoln regarded as "a moral, a social and a
political wrong," while Douglas evaded the moral issue. Even though
Lincoln narrowly won the popular vote, Douglas prevailed in the
state legislature 54-41 and thus the election. The debates propelled
Lincoln to national prominence.
(HNPD, 9/4/99)(AP, 7/24/08)
1858 Jul 26, Baron Lionel de
Rothschild became the 1st Jew elected to British Parliament.
1858 Jul 29, Japan signed a
treaty of commerce and friendship with the United States.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 215)(HN, 7/29/98)
1858 Jul, British explorer John
Speke (1827-1864) discovered Lake Victoria, Africa, during a side
trip under the Burton expedition.
1858 Jul-1858 Aug, The summer
Great Stink, aka The Big Stink, took place when the smell of
untreated sewage almost overwhelmed people in central London,
England. This persuaded the government to commission Sir Joseph
Bazalgette to lay down a new network of sewers.
1858 Aug 5, Cyrus W. Field
completed the first transatlantic cable. It linked Newfoundland to
Ireland. The cable burned out after several weeks of use.
1858 Aug 16, A telegraphed
message from Britains Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was
transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. The cable
linked Ireland and Canada and failed after a few weeks.
1858 Aug 17, The 1st bank in
1858 Aug 21, The first of seven
debates between Illinois senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen Douglas took place in Ottowa, Ill. Douglas went on to win
the Senate seat in November, but Lincoln gains national visibility
for the first time. Douglas stated in the 1st debate: "I believe
this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made
by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity
forever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men."
(WSJ, 3/3/00, p.W11)(HN, 8/21/00)(AP, 8/21/08)
1858 Aug 23, "Ten Nights in a
Bar-room," a play about the tragic consequences of consuming
alcohol, opened in New York.
1858 Aug 24, Richmond "Daily
Dispatch" reported 90 blacks arrested for learning.
1858 Aug 27, The 2nd of 7 of
the Lincoln-Douglas debates in the 1858 Illinois senatorial race of
took place in Freeport, Ill. Stephen Douglas formulated what became
known as the Freeport Doctrine, which stated that the people of a
territory could, by lawful means, exclude slavery prior to the
formulation of a state constitution. Douglas first pronounced it in
response to a question posed by Lincoln as to how Douglas could
reconcile the doctrine of "popular sovereignty" with the Dred Scott
(HNQ, 6/4/99)(ON, 4/08, p.2)
1858 Sep 1, The 1st
transatlantic cable failed after less than 1 month.
1858 Sep 8, Lincoln made a
speech about when you can fool people.
1858 Sep 15, The third debate
between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas
was held in Jonesboro, Ill.
1858 Sep 15, The Butterfield
Overland Mail Company began delivering mail from St. Louis to San
Francisco. The company's motto was: "Remember, boys, nothing on
God's earth must stop the United States mail!"
1858 Sep 15, Charles E Vicomte
de Foucauld (d.1916), French explorer and hermit, was born in
1858 Sep 17, Dred Scott, US
slave, died. (See Mar 6, 1857, decision US Supreme Court).
1858 Sep 18, Abraham Lincoln
and Stephen A. Douglas held the fourth of their senatorial debates,
this one in Charleston, Ill.
1858 Sep 28, Donati's comet
became the 1st to be photographed.
1858 Sep 29, Rudolf Diesel,
engineer, was born. He invented the diesel engine.
1858 Oct 7, Lincoln and Douglas
held their 5th debate in Galesburg, Ill., on the Knox College
(SFEM, 10/29/00, p.8)(ON, 4/08, p.2)
1858 Oct 9, Gerard L.F.
Philips, Dutch engineer and manufacturer, was born.
1858 Oct 13, The sixth debate
between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas
took place in Quincy, Ill.
1858 Oct 15, John L. Sullivan,
heavyweight boxing champ (1882-92), was born in Mass.
1858 Oct 15, The seventh and
final debate between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen Douglas took place in Alton, Ill.
(ON, 4/08, p.2)(AP, 10/15/08)
1858 Oct 18, The play "Our
American Cousin" by Tom Taylor premiered at Laura Keene's theater in
1858 Oct 19, Alice Josephine
McLellan Birney, child welfare worker, was born. Her ideas evolved
into the PTA.
1858 Oct 21, Jacques
Offenbach's opera "Orphee aux Enfers," premiered in Paris. The
Can-Can music was part of the opera. Dancers in Paris displayed
their tail feathers in a high kick routine called the "cancan." The
word was a diminutive form of "canard," the word for duck, whose
evenly displayed feathers were likened to those of the dancers.
(SFEC, 3/23/97, z1 p.7)(MC, 10/21/01)
1858 Oct 26, Hamilton Smith
patented rotary washing machine.
1858 Oct 27, Theodore
Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901-1909) who was
the namesake of the "Teddy" bear, was born in New York City in a
townhouse at 28 East 20th Street. Today a reconstruction of the
house is a National Historic Site and open to the public. The 26th
president of the U.S., Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919. He wrote
the 4-volume "The Winning of the West." In 1996 The American
Experience series broadcast a 4-hr. TV special that covered his
life. His pursuit of boxing left him blind in one eye. He put 230
million acres of land under federal protection. "Death is always and
under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means
that life itself has become one."
(WSJ, 9/30/96, p.A14)(SFC, 10/4/96, p.C13)(AP,
10/27/97)(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A20)(HN, 10/27/98)(HNQ, 11/18/98) (AP,
1858 Oct 27, Theodore
Roosevelts words, "The only one who makes no mistakes is one who
never does anything," were inscribed on the New York City home where
he was born. The Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic
Site is located at 28 E. 20th Street in Manhattan, www.nps.gov/thrb.
1858 Oct 28, Rowland Hussey
Macy opened his first New York store at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street
(AP, 10/28/08)(SFC, 6/1/04, p.A1)
1858 Oct 31, Jeanie Johnston, a
triple-masted barque, sank in the middle of the Atlantic with a load
of timber. The crew was rescued by a Dutch ship. She was built in
Quebec City for the Donovan family of Tralee. She was the best known
of the "famine ships" that carried Irish refugees to the New World
during the potato famine and returned with timber and food. A copy
of the ship, built in Ireland, was scheduled for completion in 2000.
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.A8,10)
1858 Oct, Coaches of the
Butterfield Overland Stage Co. began serving the SF peninsula. The
Butterfield operation was already charged with carrying the US Mail
from St. Louis to SF via southern Ca.
(Ind, 10/31/98, p.5A)
1858 Nov 2, In Illinois Abraham
Lincoln won 4,085 more popular votes for the Senate than did Sen.
Stephen Douglas; however Illinois senators were elected by the state
legislatures and Douglas won reelection there by 8 votes.
(ON, 4/08, p.3)
1858 Nov 9, NY Symphony
Orchestra made its 1st performance.
1858 Nov 20, Selma Lagerdorf,
Swedish novelist, was born. Her work included "The Story of Gosta
1858 Dec 22, Giacomo Puccini,
Italian operatic composer best known for Madam Butterfly, La Boheme
and Tosca, was born in Lucca, Italy. [see Jun 22]
(HN, 12/22/98)(MC, 12/22/01)
1858 Dec 31, Vincas Kudirka
(d.1899), author of the Lithuanian national anthem, was born in
(LC, 1998, p.30)(LHC, 12/31/02)
1858 Dec, The French
governments Council of State limited the ability of Paris to
condemn property. Land could be seized for roads but properties
along the projected roads could not be expropriated.
(ON, 9/06, p.10)
1858 August Czartoryski
(d.1893) was born as a Polish prince. He became a Salesian priest
and was beatified in 2004.
1858 Longfellow wrote his poem:
The Courtship of Miles Standish.
(WSJ, 11/24/04, p.A1)
1858 Francis Frith (1822-1898)
took a six month expedition up the Nile and shot numerous
photographs that included 21 mammoth-plate views (20 x 24 inches).
(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-16)(SFC, 9/11/97, p.E3)
1858 The Wornall House, at 61st
Terr., Kansas City, Mo., was built by John B. Wornall as the center
of a 500 acre farm. It was used as a hospital during the Civil War
and survived two battles.
(Postcard, Paragon Products)
1958 In Virginia miners and
financiers settled on the banks of the Levisa Fork River and founded
the town of Grundy to extract local coal deposits. Repeated flooding
forced the town in 1997 to plan for a move to higher ground.
(SFC, 8/11/97, p.A3)
1858 Jacob Gundlach bought a
vineyard in Sonoma, Ca., and called it Rhinefarm. Charles Bundschu
from Mannheim, Germany, known for his prose and keen business sense,
joined the company in 1868, and became part of the family when he
married Jacob Gundlachs daughter Francisca in 1875.
1858 Charles Krug, a German
immigrant, decided to put Napa wine onto a business footing using
the Mission grapes. He served a short apprenticeship under Col.
Agoston Haraszthy in Sonoma.
(WCG, 7/95, p.21)
1858 In NYC Central Park was
opened to the public.
(NG, 5/93, p.32)
1858 Stanford Health Services
in Palo Alto, Ca. was founded as part of the Univ. of the Pacific.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-10)
1858 In Washington DC the
original board of the Washington Monument regained control after the
Know-Nothing Party disbanded due to a split between pro- and
(ON, 3/00, p.10)
1858 Sen. Seward denounced "an
aristocracy of slaveholders" who controlled the country through
their southern legislators: "I know that the Democratic Party must
go down, and the Republican Party must rise in its place.
(WSJ, 11/20/01, p.A16)
1858 The California Supreme
Court invalidated a law that prohibited the sale of goods on Sunday.
(WSJ, 8/11/00, p.W13)
1858 John Mohler Studebaker
(b1833) joined his two older brothers in a South Bend firm producing
wagons. The company went on to become the worlds largest producer
of farm wagons and carriages.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A12)(HNQ, 1/21/02)
1858 A silver rush happened at
Mt. St. Helena, Ca., but only a small amount of silver was produced.
(WCG, 7/95, p.22)
1858 Pay dirt [silver] was
struck in the Pikes Peak region of the Colorado Territory.
1858 The city of Denver began
as one of several prospecting camps on Cherry Creek in what is now
downtown Denver. Gold-seeking settlers at the foot of the Rockies
decided to call their settlement "Denver" after the governor of the
Kansas Territory, in which the settlement was located.
1858 Geographer Antonio
Snider-Pellegrini showed how the continents had once fit together.
(NH, 10/02, p.79)
1858 Hadrosaurus, one of the
duck-billed dinosaurs, was unearthed by the Philadelphia anatomist
1858 John Speake discovered
Lake Victoria, Africa.
(NG, May 1985, p.629)
1858 Canada developed its own
(Econ, 5/12/12, p.78)
1858 Gold was reported found on
the sand banks of the Fraser River in BC. The first Chinese arrived
in British Columbia seeking gold along the Fraser River.
(enRoute, 2/96, p.21)(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.T4)
1858 Henry Gray (1827-1861),
English anatomist and surgeon, authored the textbook Grays
Anatomy. It defined the genre and dissected the body along thematic
lines. In 2008 Ruth Richardson authored The Making of Mr Grays
Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame.
p.72)(http://streetanatomy.com/blog/?p=48)(Econ, 11/15/08, p.99)
1858 Florence Nightingale
published her Notes on matters affecting the health, efficiency and
hospital administration of the British army, in which she presented
a new form of data display later known as Nightingales Rose or
Nightingales coxcomb. This year she also became the first female
fellow of the Statistical Society of London.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.74)
1858 In England the Covent
Garden Royal Opera House was constructed in London. In 1997 it was
scheduled for a $361 million refurbishment and slated to reopen in
(SFC, 7/14/97, p.E3)
1858 Britain made British
Columbia a crown colony.
(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.T4)
1858 The East India Company was
abolished and the British government assumed the administration of
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)
1858 Charles Frederick Worth,
an English tailor in Paris, began haute couture. He was hired by
Napoleon to create a suitable wardrobe for Princess Eugenie and
trigger a demand for French fashion.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R40)
1858 In India King Rao Ram
Baksh Singh was hanged in Uttar Pradesh after rising up against
British colonial forces. In 2013 swami Shobhan Sarkar said a dream
informed him that the king had left a $50 billion treasure under his
(SFC, 10/18/12, p.A3)
1858 The Maori responded to
Britains colonization of New Zealand by choosing a monarch of their
(SFC, 8/16/06, p.B7)
1858 Papal police took Edgardo
Mortara (6), a Jewish boy, from the arms of his father after a
Catholic housemaid claimed to have baptized the boy during an
illness. Edgardo grew up a church ward and later became a priest.
(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D4)
1858-1863 These years are covered in Michael
Shaaras Civil War era novel "Gods and Generals."
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.D8)
1858-1867 Edgar Degas painted his portrait: "The
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.E1)
1858-1868 Brahms spent about ten years composing
his "Ein Deutsches Requiem, Opus 45," for solo voices, chorus and
orchestra. It is considered his greatest choral work.
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed.p.310 )
1858-1862 In Mexico Benito Juarez served his 1st
term as president. He succeeded in resisting the French and offered
a moment of democracy before bending the constitution to stand for
(WUD, 1994, p.772)(SFC, 4/5/01, p.A12)
1858-1919 Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian composer
(WUD, 1994, p.821)
1858-1922 Allesandro Moreschi, the last castrato
singer. He was a member of the Sistine Chapel Chorus and recorded a
few phonograph records in the first decade of the 20th century. "The
sound on those records makes one shiver."
1858-1933 Henry Watson Fowler, English
lexicographer-author: "We tell our thoughts, like our children, to
put on their hats and coats before they go out."
1858-1943 Beatrice Potter Webb, English
sociologist: "Religion is love; in no case is it logic."
1858-1945 Felix Emmanuel Schelling, American
educator and scholar: "True education makes for inequality; the
inequality of individuality, the inequality of success; the glorious
inequality of talent, of genius; for inequality, not mediocrity,
individual superiority, not standardization, is the measure of the
progress of the world."
1858-1947 Max Planck, German physicist. He proved
that in order to fit the theoretical curves of the energy
distribution with the experimental curve of emission of hot bodies,
it is necessary to assume that this minimum amount of radiant energy
be equal to hv, where v is the frequency and h a universal constant
known as the quantum, or Plancks, constant. This constant is 10-27
1858-1950 Agnes Repplier, American essayist: "The
man who never tells an unpalatable truth 'at the wrong time' (the
right time has yet to be discovered) is the man whose success in
life is fairly well assured."
1859 Jan 9, Carrie Lane Chapman
Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters, was born.
1859 Jan 20, The Federal War
began in Venezuela. Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860) led the Federalist
Army until his assassination on Jan 10, 1860.
1859 Jan 22, Brahms' 1st piano
concerto (in D minor) premiered in Hanover.
1859 Jan 27, Kaiser Wilhelm II,
German emperor (1888-1918) during World War I, was born. He was
forced to abdicate in 1918.
(HN, 1/27/99)(MC, 1/27/02)
1859 Feb 1, Victor Herbert was
born. (cellist, conductor: Pittsburgh Symphony; composer: operettas:
Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta; songs: Ah Sweet Mystery of Life
(at Last Ive Found You)
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1859 Feb 14, George Washington
Gale Ferris, inventor of the Ferris Wheel, was born.
1859 Feb 14, Oregon was
admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
(HN, 2/14/98)(AP, 2/14/98)
1859 Feb 17, Giuseppe Verdi's
opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premiered in Napoli.
1859 Feb 18, Shalom Aleichem
(Solomon Rabinowitz, d.1916), Russian-Yiddish playwright,
author and humorist, was born. "To want to be the cleverest of all
is the biggest folly."
(WUD, 1994 p.35)(AP, 1/13/01)
1859 Feb 19, Svante Arrhenius,
Swedish chemist, founder of physical chemistry, was born.
1859 Feb 19, Daniel E. Sickles,
NY congressman, was acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary
insanity. This was the 1st time this defense was successfully used.
Sickles had shot and killed Philip Barton Key, son of Francis Scott
Key, author of "Star Spangled Banner." He shot Lee, the DC district
attorney, in Lafayette Square for having an affair with his wife.
Sickles pleaded temporary insanity and the sanctity of a mans home
and beat the murder rap.
(WSJ, 3/29/02, p.W10)(MC, 2/19/02)
1859 Feb 25, The "insanity
plea" was 1st used to prove innocence.
1859 Feb 28, Arkansas
legislature required free blacks to choose exile or slavery.
1859 Mar 1, The present seal of
San Francisco was adopted (its 2nd).
1859 Mar 8, Kenneth Grahame,
Scottish author who created the childrens classic "The Wind in the
Willows," was born.
1859 Mar 10, Henry David
Thoreau recorded in his journal the hearing of his first spring
(WSJ, 4/17/96, p.A-18)
1859 Mar 19, The opera "Faust"
by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.
1859 Mar 21, Zoological Society
of Philadelphia, the 1st in US, was incorporated.
1859 Mar 21, The Scottish
National Gallery opened in Edinburgh.
1859 Mar 26, A.E. Houseman
(d.1936), critic, classics scholar and poet (A Shropshire Lad), was
born. A 1997 fictionalized portrait of Alfred Edward Housman, "The
Invention of Love: Memory Play," was written by Tom Stoppard. He is
best known for his work "A Shropshire Lad."
(SFEC, 3/29/98, p.T9)(SFC, 1/15/00, p.B1)(HN,
1859 Mar 26, 1st sighting of
Vulcan, a planet thought to orbit inside Mercury.
1859 Mar 28, 1st performance of
John Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra.
1859 Apr 3, Reginald De Koven,
composer (Robin Hood), was born.
1859 Apr 4, Knut Hamsun,
Norwegian writer, was born. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in
1920. His work included "From the Cultural Life in Modern America"
(1889), "Hunger," "The Growth of the Soil," "Victoria," and "An
Overgrown Path." A film portrait of his life was produced in 1997.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, DB p.47-49)
1859 Apr 4, Giacomo Meyerbeer's
Opera "Dinorah" was produced in Paris.
1859 Apr 7, Walter Camp,
father of American football, was born in Connecticut.
(HN, 4/7/97)(MC, 4/7/02)
1859 Apr 9, Realizing that
France had encouraged the Piedmontese forces to mobilize for
invading Italy, Austria began mobilizing its army.
1859 Apr 11, Basil Harwood,
composer, was born.
1859 Apr 14, Charles Dickens'
"A Tale Of Two Cities" was published.
1859 Apr 14, Jamsetjee
Jeejeebhoy (b.1783), Bombay (later Mumbai) merchant and
philanthropist, died. He is best know for pioneering Indias opium
trade to China.
1859 Apr 16, Alexis de
Tocqueville (b.1805), French writer, died in Cannes. His collected
writings filled 17 volumes and included "Democracy in America"
(1835) and "The Old Regime and the French Revolution" (1856). In
2001 a new English translation by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba
Winthrop was published. In 2001 Sheldon S. Wolin authored
"Tocqueville Between Two Worlds." In 2006 Hugh Brogan authored
Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of
Revolution A Biography.
p.A18)(www.tocqueville.org/chap1.htm)(Econ, 11/25/06, p.85)
1859 Apr 25,
Ground was broken in Egypt for the Suez Canal.
(AP, 4/25/97)(HN, 4/25/02)
1859 Apr 27, "Pomona" sank in
North Atlantic drowning all 400 aboard.
1859 Apr 29, In the Italian
Campaign some 150,000 Piedmontese troops invaded Piedmontese
territory as the French army raced to support them and the Austrian
army mobilized to oppose them.
1859 Apr, In Paris, France,
about 20 unlicensed stockbrokers were arrested and had their papers
seized at the instigation of the markets regulated brokers. the
unregulated brokers were freed within days under pressure from
(Econ, 5/11/13, SR p.9)
1859 May 3, France
declared war on Austria.
1859 May 6, Baron Freidrich von
Humboldt (b.1769), German naturalist and explorer who made the first
isothermic and isobaric maps, died.
1859 May 9, Threatened by the
advancing French army, the Austrian army retreated across the River
Sesia in Italy.
1859 May 10, French emperor
Napoleon III left Paris to join his troops preparing to battle the
Austrian army in Northern Italy.
1859 May 15, Pierre Curie,
physicist (Nobel 1903), was born. He and his wife discovered
(HN, 5/15/99)(MC, 5/15/02)
1859 May 20, A scratch force of
Austrians collide with Piedmontese cavalry at the village of
Montebello, in northern Italy.
1859 May 22, Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle (d.1930), author of the Sherlock Holmes series, was born in
Edinburgh, Scotland. He wrote 4 novels featuring Sherlock Holmes.
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly
recognizes genius." In 1999 Daniel Stashower published the
biography: "Teller of Tales."
(AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 5/22/98)(WSJ, 4/12/99, p.A21)
1859 May 26, Captain James
Simpson and his party, looking for the shortest route across Nevada,
crossed the Hickison Summit into Big Smoky Valley. Their path was
later followed by the Pony Express (1860) and the Overland Mail and
1859 May 28, The French army
launched a flanking attack on the Austrian army in Northern France.
1859 May 30, The Piedmontese
army crossed the Sesia River and defeated the Austrians at Palestro,
1859 Jun 2, French forces
crossed the Ticino River, the last natural barrier between
themselves and Milan with the Austrians in retreat.
1859 Jun 4, The French army
under Napoleon III took Magenta from the Austrian army after a
bloody battle in northern Italy.
1859 Jun 11, Comstock silver
load was discovered near Virginia City, Nevada. Prospector James
Finney stumbled across thick, bluish clay in western Nevada. A
fellow minor, Henry Comstock, gave his name to the lode, the most
lucrative silver ore mine in history. Otts Assay Office in Nevada
City, Ca., first assayed samples of the rich Comstock Lode of
Nevada. Four Irishmen known as the Bonanza Kings bought up shares in
the Comstock mines and became rich. They were John Mackay, James
Fair, James Flood, and William OBrian. Ore from the Comstock lode
was hauled by horse-drawn wagon over Donner Pass to SF.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.T6)(SFC, 4/14/96, T-3)(SFC,
5/19/96,City Guide, p.17)(RFH-MDHP, 1969, p.107)(SC, 6/11/02)
1859 Jun 11, Prince Metternich
(b.1773), Austrian diplomat and statesman, died in Vienna.
(WUD, 1994 ed., p.903)(Internet)
1859 Jun 21, Henry Ossawa
Tanner, African-American painter, was born.
1859 Jun 24, At the Battle of
Solferino, also known as the Battle of the Three Sovereigns, the
French army led by Napoleon III defeated the Austrian army under
Franz Joseph I in northern Italy.
(HN, 6/24/99)(HNQ, 9/16/99)
1859 Jun 30, French acrobat
Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a
tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.
(AP, 6/30/97)(HN, 6/30/98)
1859 Jul 1, John Wise (d.1879),
O. A. Gager and John La Mountain took off on a maiden balloon flight
to carry mail from St. Louis to NYC. They landed in Jefferson
County, New York state on July 2. Their over 800-mile flight stood
as a record until 1900.
(ON, 11/00, p.8)
1859 Jul 8, With the signing of
the truce at Villafranca Austria ceded Lombardy to France. France
also received Nice and Savoy.
1859 Jul 12, William Goodale
patented a paper bag manufacturing machine in Mass.
1859 Jul 28, Balington Booth,
founder of Volunteers of America, was born.
1859 Aug 3, U.S. Army captain
George Edward Pickett faced the British in the Pacific Northwest.
Pickett had served with valor in the Mexican War right after his
graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point,
and he had subsequently seen duty at several frontier posts. On
August 3, 1859, the man whose name would be forever linked to the
most famous of all Civil War charges was the American commander on
the scene as the United States and Great Britain again stood on the
brink of war in the San Juan Islands Pig War.
1859 Aug 9, The escalator was
patented. The first working escalator appeared in 1900.
Manufactured by the Otis Elevator Company for the Paris Exposition,
it was installed in a Philadelphia office building the following
1859 Aug 12, Katherine Lee
Bates (d.1929), educator, author and composer of "America the
Beautiful," was born.
(WUD, 1994 p.126)(HN, 8/12/01)
1859 Aug 17, Harry Colcord
crossed over the Niagara Falls while strapped to the back of French
tightrope walker Blondin.
1859 Aug 27-28, The US oil
business was born in Titusville, Pa. Former army officer Colonel
Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well in Titusville, Pa.,
striking oil at 70 feet and setting off a wild scramble for wealth
similar to the California gold rush of 1849. The land belonged to
the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company. Until that time, the company had
simply collected oil that seeped out of the ground. Drake's plan was
to produce it in large quantities for use in heating and
illumination. Overnight oil fields sprang up in Pennsylvania but
competition, disorganization and oversupply kept oil prices low. It
was not until John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company came
onto the scene in 1870 that the petroleum industry developed into a
vastly profitable, although much hated, monopoly.
(HFA, '96, p.36)(AP, 8/27/97)(HNPD, 10/4/98)(WSJ,
10/4/96, p.A9) (HNQ, 2//99)
1859 Aug 28, Leigh Hunt
(b.1784), English poet and essayist, died. He is remembered for his
immortal couplet: The Two divinist things this world has got: / A
lovely women in a rural spot. In 2005 Nicholas Roe authored Fiery
Heart: The first Life of Leigh Hunt. Anthony Holden authored The
Wit in the Dungeon: The Life of Leigh Hunt.
(RTH, 8/28/99)(Econ, 1/29/05, p.80)(WSJ, 12/6/05,
1859 Sep 1, The 1st Pullman
sleeping car went into service. George M. Pullman began outfitting
railroad cars. His company was incorporated in 1867.
(SFC, 7/1/98, Z1 p.6)(MC, 9/1/02)
1859 Sep 1, Richard C.
Carrington (33) and R. Hodgson independently made the 1st
observation of a solar flare. A day later auroras lit up all of the
British Isles. Telegraph communication was disrupted in every
technically advanced nation.
(ON, 4/12, p.5)
1859 Sep 5, Harriot E. Wilsons
"Our Nig," was published, the first U.S. novel by an African
1859 Sep 13, David C.
Broderick, a US Senator, faced David S. Terry, Chief Justice of the
California Supreme Court, in a duel at Lake Merced. Broderick was
hit in the chest and died after 60 hours. Terry resigned his
position and was charged with murder, but not convicted. The weapons
used were a pair of Belgian .58-caliber pistols on loan from an
associate of Terry. Brodericks weapon was set with a hair-trigger,
and misfired. The pistols sold at auction in 1998 for $34,500.
(PI, 5/30/98, p.5A)(SFC, 11/25/98, p.B8)
1859 Sep 15, Isambard Brunel
(b.1806), engineer of Englands Thames Tunnel, died. He was the son
of Marc Brunel, the engineer who initiated the project. In 2002 R.
Angus Buchanan authored Brunel: The Life and Times of Isambard
1859 Sep 17, Joshua A. Norton
proclaims himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of
Mexico with a proclamation delivered to the offices of the San
(HFA, 96, p.64)
1859 Sep 20, George Simpson
patented the electric range.
1859 Oct 4, Karl Baedeker
(b.1801), German travel writer and tour guide (Die Schweiz), died.
1859 Oct 9, Alfred Dreyfus,
French artillery officer who was falsely accused of giving French
military secrets to foreign powers, was born.
1859 Oct 16, On Sunday evening
radical abolitionist John Brown and a tiny army of five black and 13
white supporters seized the Federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry,
Virginia (now West Virginia). Convinced that local slaves would rise
up behind him, Brown planned to establish a new republic of
fugitives in the Appalachian Mountains. Brown's plans immediately
went awry when the expected slave rebellion did not happen and the
townspeople trapped Brown's men inside the engine house at the
Federal arsenal. Within 24 hours, Brown and his four surviving men
were captured by a force of 90 U.S. Marines under the command of Lt.
Col. Robert E. Lee, pictured here. Brown, quickly convicted of
criminal conspiracy and treason and sentenced to death, was hanged
on December 2, 1859. As he went to the gallows, Brown handed a note
to one of his guards: "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the
crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with
blood." The incident is the backdrop for George MacDonald Frasers
novel "Flashman and the Angel of the Lord." Brown was convicted and
executed at Charlestown for treason against the state of Virginia.
In 2011 Tony Horwitz authored John Brown and the Raid That Sparked
the Civil War.
(WSJ, 4/10/95, p. A-16)(AP, 10/16/97)(HNPD,
10/16/98)(HNQ, 2/3/00)(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.F4)
1859 Oct 17, Childe Hassam
(d.1935), American impressionist painter, etcher and illustrator,
was born. His work included "St. Patrick's Day."
(WUD, 1994, p.649)(HN, 10/17/00)
1859 Oct 18, Henri Bergson
(d.1941), French philosopher (Creative Evolution- Nobel 1927), was
born. He is said to have taught that man acts first and thinks later
as opposed to Descartes who said man thinks before he acts. He won
the 1927 Nobel Prize for Literature. His dualistic philosophy held
that man's intellect enables him to appraise the world and his
intuition tells him something of the all-pervading life force, or
elan vital. He was a spokesman for "process philosophy." "Only those
ideas that are least truly ours can be adequately expressed in
(AHD, 1971, p.125)(WSJ, 11/21/95, p.A-12)(SFC,
3/27/99, p.C2)(WSJ, 6/22/99, p.A22)(AP, 10/18/99)(MC, 10/18/01)
1859 Oct 19, Pres. James
Buchanan signed a letter that confirmed the return of California
mission properties to the church.
(SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T5)
1859 Oct 19, Georg Knorr,
German engineer (brake system trains), was born.
1859 Oct 20, John Dewey
(d.1952), American political philosopher, educational theorist and
writer (Learn by doing), was born in Michigan. He was called an
advanced liberal and in 1995 Alan Ryan publishes a biography on
Dewey titled: John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism.
Ryan points out that Deweys ideas were anti-institutional, that he
advocated economic and social democracy, that he was more of a
romantic and concerned with how things ought to be in an ideal
world. "Open-mindedness is not the same as empty-mindedness. To hang
out a sign saying, Come right in; there is no one at home is not
the equivalent of hospitality."
(Civil., Jul-Aug., 95, p.77)(MT, Fall. 97,
p.15)(WSJ, 6/22/99, p.A22)(MC, 10/20/01)(AP, 2/25/98)
1859 Oct 22, Louis (Ludwig)
Spohr (75), composer (Faust), died.
1859 Oct 22, Spain declared war
on the Moors in Morocco.
1859 Nov 12, The first
flying-trapeze circus act was performed by Jules Leotard at the
Circus Napoleon in Paris. He designed the garment that bears his
(HN, 11/12/00)(MC, 11/12/01)
1859 Nov 19, Mikhail Mikhayl
Ippolitov-Ivanov, Russian musician (Armenian Rhapsody), was born.
1859 Nov 22, Ludwig "Louis"
Spohr (75), German violinist and composer (Faust), died.
1859 Nov 23, Billy the Kid
(born as Henry McCarty), was born as William H. Bonney (d.1881) in
New York City. He later became a US outlaw. A ballet titled "Billy
the Kid" by Aaron Copland was written in 1938.
(HFA, 96, p.42)(WUD, 1994, p.148)(MesWP)(HNQ,
1859 Nov 24, Cass Gilbert
(d.1934), architect, was born. His work included the NYC Woolworth
Building, completed in 1913.
(HN, 11/24/00)(WSJ, 1/10/00, p.A20)
1859 Nov 24, British naturalist
Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," or "The
Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." The first
printing of 1,250 copies sold out in a single day. It explained his
theory of evolution.
(V.D.-H.K.p.280)(WSJ, 2/24/97, p.A20)(AP,
1859 Nov 28, Washington Irving
(b. Apr 3,1783) American essayist, author, historian, biographer,
attorney/lawyer, died. He was buried in the Hudson Valley Old Dutch
Church cemetery in Tarrytown. He was born in New York City and wrote
the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." In 2007 Andrew
Burstein authored The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of
(USAT, 11/12/99, p.2D)(WSJ, 2/27/07, p.D5)
1859 Dec 2, George Seurat
(d.1891), French artist, was born in Paris. He entered the Ecole des
Beaux Arts in 1875. His method of painting with bright colors
juxtaposed as tiny dots was called pointillism, often called
(SFC, 5/6/97, p.E4)(WUD, 1994, p.1306)(DPCP
1859 Dec 2, John Brown, US
abolitionist, was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous
October. Brown was convicted and executed at Charlestown for treason
against the state of Virginia after his unsuccessful October 16-18
raid at Harpers Ferry. Six of Browns men were later convicted and
hanged. In 1910 Oswald Garrison Villard authored an account of
Browns life. In 1972 Richard O. Boyer authored "The Legend of John
Brown." In 1998 Russell Banks published his novel "Cloudsplitter,"
narrated by Owen Brown (1824-1889), the 3rd son of John Brown. In
2005 David S. Reynolds authored John Brown: Abolitionist.
(SFEC, 2/22/98, BR p.8)(ON, 7/02, p.8)(WSJ,
4/19/05, p.D8)(SSFC, 4/24/05, p.B1)
1859 Dec 5, Dion Boucicault's
"Octaroon," premiered in NYC.
1859 Dec 8, Thomas De Quincey
(b.1785), English essayist, died. In 2006 his essays on murder were
collected and published under the title On Murder. He is best know
for his famous Confessions of an Opium Eater (1821).
1859 Dec 10, In Venezuelas war
for independence from Spain Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860) led the
Battle of Santa Ines. Zamora and 3,400 men defeated the Central Army
of 2,300 men, with about 1,200 casualties altogether on both sides.
Zamora had returned to Venezuela to lead the Federal War, which
lasted to 1863.
1859 Dec 18, South Carolina
declared itself an "independent commonwealth."
1859 Dec 28, Thomas Babington
Macaulay (b.1800), English essayist, historian and politician, died.
He was one of the first to advocate Indian independence, albeit on
the grounds of English commercial self interest. In 2012 Zareer
Masani authored Macaulay: Pioneer of Indias Modernization.
(www.britannica.com)(Econ, 10/30/04, p.48)(Econ,
1859 Dec 31, Luigi Ricci (54),
1859 Havelock Ellis (d.1939),
English psychologist, was born "What we call progress is the
exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance."
1859 Frederick Church painted
his fantasy landscape "the Heart of the Andes."
(WSJ, 9/14/00, p.A24)
1859 Jean-Francois Millet
painted "The Angelus," and it became the most reproduced painting of
the 19th century.
(SFEC, 8/22/99, BR p.3)
1859 John Rogers bronze statues
were used as molds for low cost painted plaster statues until 1892.
An 1873 version showed Lincoln and Grant reading a map with Sec. of
War Edward M. Stanton standing behind wiping his glasses.
(SFC, 4/2/97, Z1 p.6)
1859 George Washington Parke
Custis, Martha Washingtons grandson, wrote: "Recollections and
Private Memoirs of Washington."
(HT, 5/97, p.46)
1859 Francis Galton published
his "Hereditary Genius." He advocated arranged marriages between men
of distinction and women of wealth that would, he said, eventually
produce a gifted race.
1859 J.S. Mill authored On
Liberty in which he formulated the idea that society could restrict
individual liberty only for societys own protection.
(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.W11)(Econ, 4/24/04, p.86)
1859 The Murrays "Handbook for
Travelers in India" was first published.
1859 Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910) authored "Notes on Hospitals," which combined two papers
presented the year before at the Social Science Congress. She
addressed every aspect of hospital management, from the purchase of
iron bedsteads to replace the wooden ones, to switching to glass
cups instead of tin. The 108-page book went on into three editions
and established Nightingale once more as an international authority.
1859 Evangelist Phoebe Palmer
published "Promise of the Father" on womens right to preach.
(SFC, 3/30/97, Z1. p.6)
1859 Joseph Prestwich, English
geologist, published his "Verification of Boucher de Perthes
Claims" [that early man made stone tools]. The paper is a model of
careful detailing of evidence, and from it we may date the birth of
1859 Samuel Smiles (1812-1904),
Scottish doctor and writer, authored Self-Help. It became a
classic work on self-improvement.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.86)
1859 Author Emily Thornwell
provided maidens with a model of the correct manner of accepting a
marriage proposal in her etiquette book, "The Ladies' Guide to
"Sir: The attentions which you have so long and
so assiduously shown to me have not escaped my notice; indeed how
could they, since they were directed exclusively to me?...On
consulting my parents, I find that they do not object to your
proposal; therefore, I have only this to add--may we still entertain
the same regard which we have hitherto cherished for each other,
until it shall ripen in that affection which wedlock shall sanction,
and which lapse of time will not allow to fade. Believe me to be,
Yours, sincerely attached...."
1859 Brahms played his
composition "Pianoforte Concerto in D minor" for the first time in
public in Hanover under J. Joachim.
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed. p. 61)
1859 Berlioz wrote his version
of Glucks opera "Orphee et Eurydice."
(SFC, 8/27/96, p.B3)
1859 Dixie, the musical anthem
of the Civil War South, was first performed in New York City.
(SFC, 9/22/96, zone 1 p.2)
1859 The SF Call reported on
the "Hoochie Coochie" dancers on the stages of the Bella Union, The
Olympic and the Midway Plaisance and other dance halls: "dances of
licentious and profane character, obscenity were served in superior
1859 Pres. Buchanan ordered a
blockade of Cuba to intercept American-owned slave ships.
(SSFC, 2/8/04, p.C12)
1859 The US was party to a
Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty [with Paraguay]. The
treaty was cited in 1998 (along with the 1963 Vienna Convention) as
protecting the right of individuals jailed in a foreign land to
contact their national consulate.
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.A3)
1859 In the US the Highlander
Regiment, aka Cameron Highlanders, was formed. It was made up
primarily of emigrant Scots and Scottish-Americans. It adopted the
numerical designation of 79.
(RC handout, 5/27/96)
1959 Northern and Southern
leaders socialized together for the last time at the Napier Ball in
the Willard Hotel before the start of the US Civil War.
(SFC, 1/5/06, p.E4)
1859 Lyman Cutlar, an American
farmer, shot and killed a Berkshire boar uprooting his potato patch
and the British threatened to put him into irons. The Pig War on San
Juan Island forced an arbitration under Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany,
who awarded the San Juan islands off Washington state to the US. Six
Royal Marines and 16 US soldiers died during the 13-year occupation
from drownings, disease and suicides.
(SFEC, 6/18/00, p.T8)
1859 The Texas Supreme Court
said that the people cannot be oppressed and enslaved who are not
(NG, 5/88, mem. forum)
1859 The town of Bodie, east of
the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Calif., was founded. It was 8,400
feet high and later the site of a gold find. William S. Body found
gold in Mono County and prompted the growth of the town of Bodie. It
was later made a State Historic Park maintained in its original
condition. In 2002 it became the states official Gold Rush ghost
town. Neighboring Calico was designated the states official Silver
Rush ghost town in 2003.
(SFC, 6/23/96, p.T3)(SFEC,11/23/97, p.D5)(SFC,
1859 Colonel Frederick W.
Lander led an expedition to the West to survey a railroad route
across Nevada to California. Artist Alfred Bierstadt accompanied the
1859 Richard Tobin, SF
attorney, co-founded the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society.
(Daly City Fog Cutter, Vol 8 No. 3, 2008)
1859 Claire Brown was the first
black woman to come to Colorado. She helped establish the Adriance
Church, one of the states first churches.
(Hem., 5/97, p.20)
1859 A law banning the carrying
of concealed weapons was passed in Ohio.
1859 Gustave Stomps
(1827-1890), a German immigrant, founded a furniture company in
Dayton, Ohio. The Stomps Burkhardt Co. of Dayton operated from 1890
(SFC, 9/19/07, p.G6)
1859 The Riemann Hypothesis was
(SFC, 5/25/00, p.A2)
1859 One of the first reports
relating tobacco to cancer was published in France.
1859 John Augustus, Boston
businessman, died. He had instituted a practice called probation and
helped spare some 2,000 convicted offenders from prison sentences.
In 1891 the Mass. state legislature established the 1st official
judicial probation system. In 1925 the US Congress passed the
National Probation Act.
(ON, 5/02, p.5)
1859 Peter Lassen was killed at
Paiute Peak near the Black Rock Desert by a single shot through the
(SFC, 8/25/98, p.A9)
1859 In Australia the Yalumba
Winery in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, was begun by the Sam
(SFEC, 10/25/98, p.T5)
1859 A treaty between Britain
and Guatemala defined the boundaries of Belize.
(SFC, 11/2/00, p.A12)
1859 There was a rain of tiny
fish over England.
(SFC, 5/30/98, p.E4)
1859 James Whistler
(1834-1903), American painter, moved to London.
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.83)
1859 Imam Shamil (1797-1871),
Caucasian (Chechen) warrior, surrendered and became an honorary
captive of Alexander II.
(SFC, 8/13/99, p.A14)
1859 The Muslim North Caucasus
region of Chechnya was incorporated into the Russian empire after
hundreds of years of fighting. Czarist armies conquered Chechnya
after decades of fighting.
(SFC, 5/13/97, p.A12)(SFC, 10/26/02, p.A10)
1859 One of the first reports
relating tobacco to cancer was published in France.
1859 Gaston Plante, French
physicist, invented the first rechargeable battery.
(Econ, 3/8/08, TQ p.23)
1859 Leon Benouville (b.1821),
French painter, died. His paintings included The Wrath of Achilles
1859 A series of at least 4
Olympic competitions began in Athens, Greece.
(WSJ, 7/19/96, p.R16)
1859 Roatan Island, 40 miles
off the mainland, was ceded to Honduras. The British had settled the
island with African slaves and the islanders speak English with a
Caribbean accent. It was controlled for a time by the pirate Henry
(SFEC, 5/4/97, p.T10)
1859 The onion-domed Great
Synagogue was erected in the Jewish quarter of Budapest, Hungary.
(Sm, 3/06, p.76)
1859 The present church in
Thingvellir, Iceland, was constructed.
(NH, 6/96, p.53)
1859 The first polo club, The
Retreat in Silchar, India, was founded. It was organized by British
soldiers in northern India.
(Hem., 7/95, p.87)
1859 Dr. David Livingstone,
Scottish missionary, arrived in Malawi. The town of Livingstonia was
later named in his honor.
(SFC, 8/18/99, p.A10)
1859 Melchor Ocampo, a Mexican
lawyer, scientist and liberal politician, penned a 537-word ode to
marriage, which was incorporated as the vows in a new civil marriage
law. They were meant to replace religious vows as Mexican liberals
stripped away the Roman Catholic Churchs control over much of the
countrys political, social and economic life. Conservative foes
summarily executed Ocampo by firing squad for promoting the
separation of church and state, but kept the amended vows in the new
civil marriage law.
1859 In Serbia the Zastava
manufacturing plant in Kragujevac began operations.
(SFC, 5/20/99, p.A12)
1859 After four years in the
United States, Alfred Nobel returned to Sweden and built a factory
to manufacture the explosive nitroglycerin.
1859-1909 The Indian-head penny was minted over
(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.W15)
1859-1927 Jerome K. Jerome, English author and
humorist: "It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one
has plenty of work to do."
1859-1947 Carrie Chapman Catt, American feminist:
"No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom
supported by popular opinion."
1859-1954 The colonial period of Vietnam.
(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.T1)