Return to home 1860 Jan 10,
Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860), leader of the Federalist Army in
Venezuela, was assassinated.
1860 Jan 17, Anton Chekhov
(d.1904), Russian playwright and short story writer, was born. "Man
is what he believes." He was famous for "The Seagull" and "Three
Sisters. " Part of his letters were published in a 1955 edition
edited by Lillian Hellman. In 1997 his later letters from 1899 to
actress Olga Knipper were edited by Jean Benedetti and published as:
"Dear Writer, Dear Actress: The Love Letters of Anton Chekhov and
(WUD, 1994, p.252)(WSJ, 12/5/97, p.A16)(HN,
1860 Feb 22, Shoe-making
workers of Lynn, Mass, struck successfully for higher wages. The
strike in Lynn and Natick, Massachusetts, spread throughout New
England and involved 20,000 workers. The strike was for higher wages
and included women. The workers won their major demands.
(HNQ, 8/3/98)(MC, 2/22/02)
1860 Feb 26, White settlers
massacred a band of Wiyot Indians at the village of Tuluwat on
Indian Island near Eureka, Ca. At least 60 women, children and
elders were killed. Bret Harte, newspaper reporter in Arcata, fed
the news to newspapers in San Francisco. On Oct. 21, 2019, the
tribe regained control of Indian Island, the site of the massacre.
(SFC, 2/28/04, p.D1)(AP, 10/21/19)
1860 Feb 29, Herman Hollerith,
inventor of a tabulation mechanism (1864) that was a forerunner to
the computer, was born.
(HN, 2/29/00)(WSJ, 3/21/00, p.A20)
1860 Mar 1, Suzanna Salter,
first female mayor, was born.
1860 Mar 6, While campaigning
for the presidency, Abraham Lincoln made a speech defending the
right to strike.
1860 Mar 9, The first Japanese
ambassador to the United States, Niimi Buzennokami, and his staff
arrived in San Francisco.
1860 Mar 11, Thomas Hastings,
architect of the New York Public Library, was born.
1860 Mar 12, US Congress
accepted the Pre-emption Bill. It provided free land in West for
1860 Mar 19, William Jennings
Bryan, orator, statesman, known as "The Great Communicator," was
1860 Mar 27, M.L. Byrn patented
a "covered gimlet screw with a 'T' handle" (corkscrew).
1860 Apr 2, The first Italian
Parliament met at Turin. Italy was unified. The Rothschild banking
empire bankrolled Italy’s independence.
(AP, 4/2/97)(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)(SFC, 7/12/96,
1860 Apr 3, The US Pony Express
mail system began when one horse and rider carrying a bulging mail
pouch began the 10 1/2-day run from San Francisco, Calif., to St.
Joseph, Mo. Riders left St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, Ca., at
the same time. They averaged 12 mph over 75-100 mile segments
between 157 relay stations located 5 to 20 miles apart. The freight
company of Russell, Majors and Waddell began the service. The
enterprise failed after only 18 months, however, due to mounting
financial losses and competition from the ever-expanding telegraph
network. Donald C. Biggs (d.2000 at 72), prof. of history at SF
State, later authored "The Pony Express: Creation of the Legend."
2/15/97, p.D4)(AP, 4/3/97)(SFC, 6/12/00, p.A24)(SFC, 7/22/17, p.C2)
1860 Apr 6, Rene Lalique
(d.1945), French goldsmith, jeweler, glassmaker and artist, was
born. He helped mold the shape of 20th century art nouveau, art deco
and architectural ornamentation.
(SFC, 3/26/97, z1 p.7)(Hem., 6/98, p.134)(MC,
1860 Apr 7, William Keith
Kellogg, the brother of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), was
born. Will later founded the W.K. Kellogg company in Battle Creek,
Mich., to market the cornflakes invented by his older brother. [see
1860 Apr 14, First Pony Express
rider arrived in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph,
Missouri. The bay horse and rider with 25 letters arrived on the
steamer Antelope following a 10½ day journey.
(SFC, 8/5/17, p.C1)
1860 Apr 23, Democratic
convention in Charleston, SC, divided over slavery.
1860 Apr 23, The Pony Express
rider missed the boat at Benicia, Ca. Thomas Bedford, a 34-year-old
stable keeper, was hired on the spot and boarded the ferry Carquinez
with his horse. His discovered that his horse had lost a shoe and
borrowed a horse from Martinez blacksmith Casemoro Briones and
delivered the mail to the ferry at Oakland. The mail reached SF 9
hours and 15 minutes from the time it left Sacramento.
(SFC, 4/28/97, p.A19)
1860 Apr 27, Thomas J Jackson
(the future "Stonewall") was assigned to command Harpers Ferry.
1860 Apr 29, Lorado Taft, US
sculptor (Black Hawk), was born.
1860 Apr, John Speke and James
Grant left England on an expedition to confirm Lake Victoria as the
source of the Nile.
(ON, 10/01, p.9)(WSJ, 5/20/06, p.P9)
1860 May 2, William Maddock
Bayliss, British physiologist, co-discoverer of hormones, was born.
1860 May 2, Theodor Herzl,
journalist, founder (Zionist movement), was born in Austria.
1860 May 9, James Matthew
Barrie (d.1937), novelist (Margaret Ogilvy, Peter Pan), was born in
1860 May 11, Giuseppe Garibaldi
landed at Marsala, Sicily. He began a series of campaigns that
politically unified most of the Italian peninsula in 1861.
(HN, 5/11/99)(ON, 10/06, p.7)
1860 May 15, Ellen Louise Axson
Wilson, first wife of President Woodrow Wilson, was born.
1860 May 16, The Republican
convention operned in Chicago.
1860 May 18, The Republican
Convention in Chicago nominated Abraham Lincoln for US president and
Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine as Vice President. Other
presidential candidates included William Seward and Salmon Chase.
1860 May 21, Willem Einthoven,
Dutch physiologist, inventor of the electrocardiogram, was born.
(HN, 5/21/01)(MC, 5/21/02)
1860 May 21, Phinneas Gage died
in SF from a major seizure. Gage had survived an 1848 blasting
accident in Vermont when tamping iron blasted through his skull.
[see Sep 13, 1848]
(ON, 10/02, p.10)
1860 May 22, In Lebanon a small
group of Maronites fired on a group of Druzes at the entrance to
Beirut, killing one and wounding two. This sparked off a torrent of
violence which swept through Lebanon.
1860 May 26, Garibaldi occupied
1860 May 29, Isaac [Manuel F]
Albéniz, Spanish pianist, composer (Iberia), was born.
1860 Jun 6, William R. Inge,
English theologian, Deacon St. Paul's Cathedral, was born.
1860 Jun 7, Workmen started
laying track for Market Street Railroad in SF.
Jun 9, The first dime novel: "Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White
Hunter," written by Ann Sophia Stephens (1813-1886), was published
by Beadle and Adams in NYC.
1860 Jun 22, Nathan Maroney, a
Philadelphia station agent for Adams Express Co., pleaded guilty to
the theft of $40,000 after Pinkerton agents, who had secretly
befriended him, appeared in court to testify against him.
(ON, 7/06, p.12)
1860 Jun 23, The U.S. Secret
Service was created to arrest counterfeiters and protect the
1860 Jun 25, Gustave
Charpentier, French composer (Louise), was born.
1860 Jun 29, Thomas Addison
(67), English physician (A-Biermer Disease), died.
1860 Jul 1, Charles Goodyear
(b.1800), inventor or the vulcanization process for rubber, died. In
2002 Charles Slack authored "Noble Obsession" an account of his
quest to develop a form of rubber impervious to high temperatures.
1860 Jul 4, In San Francisco
the Market Street Railroad Co. opened a line on Market from Third to
Valencia running both horsecar and steam train lines. This was the
first street railway on the Pacific Coast. It was opened by banker
Francois Pioche. The steam railway ran from Battery and Market to
Valencia and then south to his Willows beer garden.
(GenIV, Winter 04/05)(SSFC, 7/4/10, p.C2)(SFC,
1860 Jul 7, Gustav Mahler,
conductor of the Vienna State Opera House, was born in Kalischat,
(HN, 7/7/98)(MC, 7/7/02)
1860 Jul 14, Owen Wister
(d.1938), novelist, was born in Germantown, Pa. His 1902 novel
"The Virginian" inspired 5 films.
(HN, 7/14/01)(SFC, 1/9/02, p.D8)(AH, 10/02, p.18)
1860 Jul 19, Lizzie Borden,
teacher, famous 1892 murder suspect, was born.
1860 Jul 25, The 1st US
intercollegiate billiard match was between Harvard and Yale.
1860 Jul, Fighting in Lebanon
spilled over into Damascus. With the connivance of the military
authorities and Turkish soldiers, Muslim fanatics organized pogroms
which lasted three days (July 9-11). 25,000 Christians were killed
including the American and Dutch consuls. Churches and missionary
schools were set on fire. Many Christians were saved through the
intervention of the Muslim Algerian exile Abd al-Qadir and his
1860 Aug 3, The American Canoe
Association was founded at Lake George, NY.
1860 Aug 5, Joseph Carey
Merrick, "Elephant Man," was born.
1860 Aug 8, Queen of Sandwich
Islands (Hawaii) arrived in NYC.
1860 Aug 11, The first US
successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nev.
1860 Aug 13, Annie Oakley
(d.1926), sharp-shooter and entertainer, was born in Darke County,
Ohio, as Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee (Mosey). She became a markswoman
and toured with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.
(WUD, 1994, p.992)(SFEC, 8/3/97, Z1 p.2)(HN,
1860 Aug 13, Montenegro’s
Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš (1841-1921) was still in Paris when, in
consequence of the assassination of his uncle Danilo I, he succeeded
1860 Aug 20, Robert O’Hara
Burke led a group of 15 men, 27 camels and 23 horses out of
Melbourne on an expedition to cross Australia.
(ON, 12/01, p.1)
1860 Aug 30, The first British
tramway was inaugurated at Birkenhead by an American, George Francis
1860 In Alabama the slave ship
Clotilda delivered 110 slaves to Mobile, destined for the cotton
growing plantations in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. This was the
last ship to bring slaves to the US. In 2019 the Alabama Historical
Commission announced that wreckage of the ship was found on a a
muddy stretch of the Mobile River. Alabama steamship owner Timothy
Meaher had financed the last slave vessel that brought African
captives to the United States, and he came out of the Civil War a
(SFC, 1/24/18, p.A6)(SFC, 5/24/19, p.A10)(AP,
1861 Sep 1, Ulysses Grant
assumed command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau, MI.
1860 Sep 3, Edward Albert
Filene, merchant, was born. He established the US credit union
1860 Sep 6, Jane Addams
(d.1935) was born. She is known for her work as a social reformer,
pacifist, and founder of Hull House in Chicago in 1889, and as the
first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (1931). “The
essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of one’s
self." “You do not know what life means when all the difficulties
are removed! I am simply smothered and sickened with advantages. It
is like eating a sweet dessert the first thing in the morning."
(AHD, 1971, p.15)(AP, 8/28/97)(HN, 9/6/98)(AP,
1860 Sep 7, Anna Marie
Robertson (Grandma Moses, d.1953), American folk painter, best known
for her paintings of rural life, was born. Anna Mary Robertson began
painting at the age of 78. Her primitive and untrained art holds
great appeal in its simplicity. [see 1953]
(MC, 9/7/01)(HN, 9/7/02)
1860 Sep 7, Edith Sitwell,
poet, was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1860 Sep 7, The Excursion
steamer "Lady Elgin" sank and drowned 340 people in Lake Michigan.
1860 Sep 12, William Walker
(b.1824), conqueror of Nicaragua, was convicted and executed by the
government of Honduras. The British had arrested him and turned him
over to the government. In 2008 Stephen Dando-Collins authored
“Tycoon’s War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to
Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer."
1860 Sep 13, John J. Pershing
(d.1948), aka "Black Jack," was born in Laclede, Missouri. He led
the campaign against Pancho Villa in Mexico and commanded the
American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I.
1860 Sep 14, Hamlin Garland,
author, was born. He wrote about the Midwest in novels such as "A
Son of the Middle Border" and "The Book of the American Indian."
1860 Sep 21, Arthur
Schopenhauer (b.1788), German philosopher known for his pessimism
and philosophical clarity, died. At age 25 he published his doctoral
dissertation," On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient
Reason," which examined the four separate manifestations of reason
in the phenomenal world.
1860 Oct 7, During the 2nd
Opium War British troops on the outskirts of Beijing began to
plunder the gardens of Yuanmingyuan (the garden of perfection and
light), the imperial summer palace built by the Qing emperor
Qianlong in 1709. Lord Elgin’s cavalry soon set fire and let the
gardens burn for 3 days and nights.
1860 Oct 12, British and French
troops captured Beijing.
1860 Oct 13, The 1st US aerial
photo was taken from a balloon over Boston.
(HFA, ‘96, p.40)(MC, 10/13/01)
1860 Oct 15, 11-year-old Grace
Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate
Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by
growing a beard.
1860 Oct 17, The British Open
was 1st held at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The prize was a
red leather belt with a silver buckle. The belt was retired in 1872
and replaced with a silver claret jug.
1860 Oct 31, Juliette Low,
founder of the Girl Scouts, was born.
1860 Nov 6, Former Illinois
congressman Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th US president. He
defeated three other candidates, John Breckinridge, John Bell and
Stephen Douglas. He won the US presidential elections with a
majority of the electoral votes in a 4-way race. Following his
election South Carolina seceded from the Union followed by
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Hannibal Hamlin was his vice-president.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)(HN, 11/6/98)(SFC, 12/21/98,
1860 Nov 13, South Carolina’s
legislature called a special convention to discuss secession from
1860 Nov 18, Ignacy Jan
Paderewski (d.1941), composer and 3rd prime minister of Poland
(1919), was born.
1860-1861 Nov-Apr. This five month period is
described in the 1997 book: "Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession,
and the Coming of the Civil War" by Maury Klein.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1860 Dec 18, Edward Alexander
MacDowell, American composer (Indian Suite), was born.
1860 Dec 20, South Carolina
became the first state to secede from the Union.
(AP, 12/20/97)(HN, 12/20/98)
1860 Dec 24, South Carolina
issued a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and
Justify the Secession of South Carolina."
(Econ, 12/1/12, p.34)
1860 Dec 26, Major Robert
Anderson, under cover of darkness, concentrated his small federal
force at Ft. Sumter, SC.
1860 Walter Richard Sickert
(d.1942), English Impressionist painter, was born. In 2002 Patricia
Cornwell, crime writer, reported that he was Jack the Ripper.
(WSJ, 9/27/01, p.A16)(SSFC, 2/24/02, Par p.2)
1860 Frederic Edwin Church
created his painting "Twilight in the Wilderness."
(WSJ, 9/19/02, p.D12)
1860 William Craft authored
“Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom." He and his wife Ellen had
escaped under disguise from Macon, Georgia, to Philadelphia in 1848.
(ON, 10/04, p.10)
1860 George Eliot, aka Mary Ann
Evans, wrote her novel "The Mill on the Floss."
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.C1)
1860 Charles Dickens wrote his
novel "Great Expectations." It was made into a 1997 film with the
setting transferred to New York and Florida in the 1990s.
(SFEC,11/23/97, DB p.43)
1860 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807-1882), published his poem “Paul Revere’s Ride," (The Midnight
Ride of Paul Revere).
1860 Henry Creswicke Rawlinson
(1810-1895), English diplomat and Assyriologist, authored “Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia," the 1st book on deciphering Assyrian
(ON, 11/07, p.4)(http://tinyurl.com/34fg4f)
1860 Gottfried Semper authored
(WSJ, 1/29/00, p.A24)
1860 The martini drink cocktail
(SFC,12/24/97, Z1 p.6)
c1860 Golf balls began to be
made of guttal percha, a tree sap.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.A12)
1860 The Woodlawn Vase was
created by Tiffany & Co. as a trophy for the Woodlawn Racing
Assoc. in Louisville, Ky. It was buried during the Civil War and by
1917 was associated with the Preakness.
(WSJ, 11/21/00, p.A24)
1860 The 95,000 acre Baca
Ranch, NM, was founded under a land grant to a Spanish leader. The
property contained the Valles Caldera, the collapsed crater of an
ancient volcano. The property was sold to James P. Dunigan, an oil
man, in 1962 for $2.5 mil. It was sold to the US government in 1999
for $101 million.
(SFC, 9/9/99, p.A3)
1860 Pinos Altos, NM, was
founded when three 49ers stopped to take a drink in Bear Creek and
(WSJ, 5/21/04, p.W2)
1860 In New York Bard College
began as a small school in Annandale-on-Hudson. It was next to
Montgomery Place, whose landscape was attributed to Andrew Jackson
Downing, America’s most famous 19th century landscape architect.
(WSJ, 11/24/98, p.A20)
1860 A US government expedition
explored the northwest border of the Wyoming territory. Ferdinand
Hayden (30) served as doctor and geologist.
(ON, 11/02, p.1)
1860 US sailors intercepted 3
American slave ships on their way to Cuba. The Wildfire, the William
and the Bogota carried some 1,432 African slaves from the area of
Benin and Congo to be sold in Cuba. The slaves were taken to Key
West for 3 months and then returned to Africa.
(SSFC, 2/8/04, p.C12)
1860 The total value of US
slaves was $3.5 billion, the equivalent of $68.4 billion in 2006.
The US gross national product was only about 20% above the value of
the nation’s slaves.
(WSJ, 3/24/06, p.W4)
1860 In South Carolina by the
time of the Civil War the Ball family owned some 4,000 slaves who
worked 25 plantations along the Cooper River. The family kept a
history and in 1998 descendant Edward Ball published "Slaves in the
(SFEC, 2/22/98, BR p.1,8)(SFEC, 4/19/98, p.A22)
1860 In San Francisco the
Calvary Cemetery was established.
(SFC, 3/31/18, p.C2)
1860 St. Teresa of Avila's
Catholic Church in Bodega Bay, Ca., was founded.
(SFEM, 6/13/99, p.27)
1860 More laws in California
were passed that allowed the enslavement of Indians.
(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)
1860 California’s Legislature
decreed that “Negroes, Mongolians and Indians shall not be allowed
into public schools."
(SFC, 4/15/17, p.C2)
1860 California began its
official mineral collection. It was later house in the California
State Mineral and Mining Museum in Mariposa County.
(SSFC, 7/1/07, p.W8)
1860 In California the 25-room
Burgess Mansion, later known as the Secret Garden Mansion, was built
in The Corners, renamed Walnut Creek in 1862. The Leech House was
built in The Corners. In 2006 it stood as a restaurant and offices
at 1533 N. Main St.
(SFC, 7/4/98, p.A17)(SFC, 7/17/06, p.B5)
1860 California pioneer John
Bidwell founded Chico, Ca. His Rancho Chico became a model for
agriculture across the state.
(SFC, 3/9/01, p.WBb 7)(SFC, 4/21/07, p.B5)
1860 Sam Brannan, California’s
first millionaire, bought the spring grounds at Indian Springs and
the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel. His name of Calistoga is the
combination of California and Saratoga, a famous New York spa.
Two years later he opened the rest of the resort, which included a
racetrack, bath houses and horse stables.
(Flyer on Indian Springs, 7/95)(SFEC, 2/22/98,
p.T5)(SSFC, 10/21/18, p.M6)
1860 Miners numbered some 3,000
in the town of Volcano in California’s Amador county. John Doble, a
miner from Indiana, noted this in his diary.
(SSFC, 4/8/01, p.T4)
1860 A mattress on the floor of
the Tremont House Hotel in Chicago rented for $2.50 per night.
(Hem., 7/96, p.26)
1860 Milton Bradley started a
lithograph company in Springfield, Mass. In 1866 Bradley launched
the board-game industry in North America with “The Checkered Game of
Life," which innovated on earlier representations of life as a board
game. By 1880 he expanded into manufacturing jigsaw puzzles. Hasbro
bought Milton Bradley in 1992.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_of_Life)(SFC, 6/11/08, p.G3)
1860 John Wagner established
Nevada's longest-operating brewery in Carson City during the rush to
Virginia City. The Carson Brewing Co. built a new two-story brewery
in 1865 in the commercial form of Classical Revival, on the corner
of Division and King streets, where it was later turned into an arts
and performance center.
1860 John and Frank Wyeth
established a drugstore in Philadelphia. It grew to become
Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in 1926 and was later acquired by American
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.B2)
1860 Sewanee Mining Co. was
reorganized and incorporated as Tennessee Coal and Railroad Co.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, R45)
1860 The Great Lakes Brewing
Co. was established in Cleveland and is the oldest licensed saloon
(SFC, 6/2/96, p.T-11)
c1860 Mass production of
watches began in the US in this decade.
(NG, Mar, 1990, p. 113)
1860 Of the more than 8 million
whites in the American South in 1860, those who owned slaves
numbered 383,637. Of those, 2,292 were large planters who held more
than 100 slaves.
1860 A US federal head count
numbered 32,654 men and 1,577 women in Colorado.
(SFEC, 1/30/00, Z1 p.2)
1860 Edward Lartet, geologist,
presented his paper Proofs that Man Existed with Extinct Animals.
(RFH-MDHP, 1969, p.121-122)
1860 Cinnabar or quicksilver
was discovered in the Mayacamas Range of Calistoga, Ca. The mercury
was used to recover gold and silver from ores by amalgamation, and
in the manufacture of explosives, drugs and paints.
(WCG, 7/95, p.22)
1860 The release of carbon into
the atmosphere was estimated to have been about 93 million tons.
(NOHY, Weiner, 3/90, p.40)
1860 Cornelius Felton
(1807-1862), professor of Greek literature, succeeded James Walker
as president of Harvard.
1860 In Britain Queen Victoria
decreed that men who chose to remain unmarried would not be welcome
in Her Majesty’s Rifle Corp. She held that "normal married life
improves a man’s marksmanship."
(SFEC, 12/15/96, zone 1 p.5)
1860 Britain forswore most
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.74)
1860 Thomas Huxley was asked by
Bishop Samuel ("Soapy Sam") Wilberforce whether his ape ancestry
resided on his father’s side or his mother’s side. Huxley responded
that he would prefer descent from an ape rather than from a man of
keen faculties and wide influence who employed his gifts to ridicule
(WSJ, 10/10/97, p.A20)
1860 English inventor Frederick
Walton made "linoleum" out of linseed oil.
(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D4)
1860 Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910) founded the Nightingale School and Home for Nurses in
London, the first secular institution in the world to train nurses.
(ON, 12/11, p.6)
1860 In the Convention of
Peking China ceded the Kowloon Peninsula to Britain for all time.
(SFC, 3/11/97, p.A12)(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)(SFC,
1860 In China the Taiping
Rising marked the first looting of Peking by the "big-nosed
(WSJ, 4/20/95, p. A-13)
1860 Signor Beato (d.1907),
photographer, shot views of the Dagu forts, guarding the approaches
to Beijing, with heaps of dead following their capture by an
(WSJ, 11/27/00, p.A36)
1860 George Belden Crane
decided that German grapes were a better idea for the Napa Valley
than the native Missions.
(WCG, 7/95, p.21)
1860 The Parc Monceau in Paris
was taken over by the state to enable Baron Haussmann to complete
the Boulevard Malesherbes.
(SFEC, 3/26/00, p.T12)
1860 France sent 5,000 troops
to Syria to stop the massacre of Maronite Christians at the hands of
the Druze, which the Ottoman authorities were neither willing nor
able to stop.
(SFC, 9/7/08, Books p.5)
1860 The 1st French gendarmes
arrived in Vietnam.
(WSJ, 2/2/04, p.A12)
1860 Parisian inventor
Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville captured 10-second clip of a woman
singing "Au Clair de la Lune," using a phonautograph, a device that
created visual recordings of sound waves.
1860 In France the Yonne
Department had almost 99,000 acres of grapevines for wine. Diseases
such as oidium and phylloxera destroyed the Chablis vines in the
late 19th century and the Carmenére grape was wiped out in France.
In 1994 the Carmenére grape was found to be thriving in Chile.
(SFC, 7/16/97, Z1 p.4)(WSJ, 12/28/01, p.A17)
1860 Theodor Herzl, the founder
of Zionism, was born in Pest, Hungary.
(CNT, Nov., 1994, p.212)
1860 Indian law established use
of the death penalty.
1860 A British seaman proposed
digging a deeper, 19-mile shipping canal in the shallow Palk strait
between India and Sri Lanka. In 2004 India planned to go ahead with
(Econ, 11/6/04, p.44)
1860 During the excavation of
Pompeii, Italy, Giuseppe Fiorelli got the idea of pouring liquid
plaster into the spaces left by decomposed bodies in the beds of
(SFEM, 10/11/98, p.14)
1860 In Mexico City the
Hosteria de Santo Domingo restaurant began serving Chile en Nogada,
a chili dish that displays the national colors (green, white &
(WSJ, 9/5/96, p.B1)
1860 Russia’s Emp. Alexander II
presented the Mariinsky theater in St. Petersburg as a birthday
present to his wife, Maria.
(Econ, 5/11/13, p.87)
1860 Russian pioneers founded
(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D4)
1860 Savoy was ceded to France.
(WUD, 1994, p.1272)
1860 The Serb King Knez Mihaljo
(SFC, 12/27/96, p.A1,15)
1860s Lone Pine, Ca., was named after a solitary
(SFEC, 8/17/97, p.T3)
1860s Land surveyor William Magee discovered an
enormous mass of rich ore in Northern California and bought the land
for an iron mine.
1860s A 1000 Paiutes of Owens Valley, Ca., were
forcibly relocated to Fort Tejon in the Tehachapi Mountains by the
(SFEC, 4/13/97, Z1 p.6)
1860s Svend Foyn invented the harpoon cannon for
(SFEC, 1/12/97, zone 3 p.4)
1860s Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters was a
bitters medicine made at this time. They used a painted amber bottle
shaped like an Indian woman holding a shield. An original sold for
$4,800 in 1987.
(SFC,12/17/97, Z1 p.16)
1860s In Britain palace garden parties were begun
to extend royal hospitality to Brits from all walks of life.
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A8)
1860s The last African slave ship landed in Cuba
in the late 1860s.
(WSJ, 12/1/97, p.A20)
1860s Italian immigration to America slowly began.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.49)
1860s In Malaysia prospectors for tin founded the
city of Kuala Lumpur ("muddy confluence") at the confluence of the
Kelang and Gombak rivers.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T3)
1860-1865 Anti-slavery, pro-Union guerrillas in
Kansas during the American Civil War were commonly known as
Jayhawkers. As a bird, the Jayhawk does not exist, but Jayhawkers
were very real. Jayhawkers coursed about Kansas and Missouri,
impelled by substantially more malice than charity as they fought
their Confederate counterparts, the Bushwhackers, who favored the
Confederacy. Some Bushwhackers were semi-legitimate soldiers, even
grudgingly acknowledged as such by the Confederate Army. Such men as
William Quantrill, "Bloody Bill" Anderson, John Thrailkill, David
Pool, Jo Shelby and Jeff Thompson were in this category. Others were
simply banditti with a quasi-military excuse for vengeful ambush,
robbery, murder, arson and plunder.
(HNQ, 5/24/01)(HN, 5/30/01)
1860-1870 Lewis Carroll took photographs of Alice
Lidell, his inspiration for Alice In Wonderland.
(WSJ, 9/29/95, p.A-10)
1860-1870 Erdmann and Reinhold Schlegelmilch,
apparently unrelated, began making dinnerware in the 1860s in
(SFC, 4/2/08, p.G2)
1860-1870 The Maoari Wars broke out in New Zealand
over issues of land ownership after colonists flooded the islands.
(NG, Aug., 1974, C. McCarry, p.197)
1860-1884 Maria Bashkirtsev, Russian born writer.
She studied art in Paris and wrote "The Journal of a Young Artist."
She died of tuberculosis.
(WP, 1951, p.23)
1860s-1890s The Saud family moved to exile in
Kuwait when the Ottoman Empire conquered much of Arabia.
(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1860-1900 Baled cotton remained the number one
American export item from 1860 to 1900, rising from $192 million to
$243 million. During the period its proportion of total exports
dropped from approximately 60 percent to about 17 percent, as meat,
grain, petroleum products and machinery grew.
1860-1910 Auguste Moreau, a French bronze
sculptor, worked over this period. His art included the sculpture
"Eglantine" (wild rose), which depicted a woman draped in a vine of
roses. It was used as the design for a clock c1900. His bronzes were
copied in spelter, a soft white metal that’s mostly zinc.
(SFC, 2/18/98, Z1 p.3)(SFC, 3/11/98, Z1 p.5)
1860-1911 Gustav Mahler, Bohemian born composer,
wrote 10 symphonies.
(T&L, 10/80, p. 104)
1860-1921 James Gibbons Huneker, American author
and critic: "We are all snobs of the Infinite, parvenus of the
1860-1935 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American
economist and feminist: "A concept is stronger than a fact."
1860-1937 Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish
dramatist-author: "The life of every man is a diary in which he
means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he hoped to make
1860-1947 Don Simon Iturbi Patino, part Indian
Bolivian miner, made a fortune in tin. While working as a clerk a
customer in debt offered him the deed to an old tin mine. It turned
out to be one of the richest deposits on earth. He served as an
ambassador to Spain and France but was shunned by Bolivian
(WSJ, 1/11/98, p.R18)
1860-1949 James Ensor, Belgian painter. He was a
master at dredging disturbing, uncensored images from the depths of
(WUD, 1994 p.475)(WSJ, 6/5/01, p.A23)
1860-1958 Industry burned fossil fuel at a rate
that doubled every two decades or so, injecting a total of more than
76 billion tons of carbon into the air.
(NOHY, Weiner, 3/90, p.5)
1861 Jan 2, Helen Herron Taft,
First Lady to President Robert Taft, was born.
1861 Jan 2, The USS Brooklyn
was readied at Norfolk to aid Fort Sumter.
1861 Jan 2, SC seized the
inactive Ft. Johnson in Charleston Harbor.
1861 Jan 2, Frederik Willem IV
(b.1795), king of Prussia (1840-61) and Germany (1849-61), died.
1861 Jan 3, Delaware rejected a
proposal that it join the South in seceding.
1861 Jan 3, US Ft. Pulaski
& Ft. Jackson, Savannah, were seized by Georgia.
1861 Jan 5, The merchant vessel
Star of the West set sail from New York to Fort Sumter, in response
to rebel attack, carrying supplies and 250 troops.
1861 Jan 5, Alabama troops
seized Forts Morgan & Gaines at Mobile Bay.
1861 Jan 6, Florida troops
seized the Federal arsenal at Apalachicola.
1861 Jan 6, Governor of
Maryland sent a message to the people of Maryland, strongly opposing
Maryland’s secession from the Union.
1861 Jan 6, NYC mayor proposed
that NY become a free city to continue trading with the North &
1861 Jan 9, Mississippi
became the 2nd state to secede from the Union.
(HN, 1/9/98)(AP, 1/9/99)(MC, 1/9/02)
1861 Jan 9, The Star of the
West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements to Federal troops at
Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated after being fired on by a battery in
1861 Jan 10, Ft. Jackson and
Ft. Philip were taken over by LA state troops.
1861 Jan 10, US forts &
property were seized by Mississippi.
1861 Jan 10, Florida became the
3rd state to secede from the Union.
(AP, 1/10/98)(HN, 1/10/99)(MC, 1/10/02)
1861 Jan 11, Alabama became the
4th state to secede from the Union.
(AP, 1/11/98)(HN, 1/11/99)
1861 Jan 15, Elisha Otis
received patent # 31,128 for his steam elevator.
1861 Jan 17, Lola Montez
(b.1821), dancer and actress, died in NYC. Born in Ireland as Eliza
Rosanna Gilbert she became famous as a "Spanish dancer," courtesan,
and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of
(SFC, 5/31/14, p.D1)
1861 Jan 19, Georgia became the
5th state to secede from the Union.
(AP, 1/19/98)(HN, 1/19/99)
1861 Jan 21, U.S. Senator
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four (five) other Southern
senators made emotional farewell speeches. Just weeks after his home
state of Mississippi seceded from the Union, Davis prepared to leave
Washington, D.C., and the country he had served as a soldier,
cabinet member and member of Congress. One more time, Davis
enumerated the reasons why the South felt secession was its only
recourse: "...when you deny to us the right to withdraw from a
Government which...threatens to be destructive to our rights, we but
tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our
independence...." Davis then apologized to any senators he may have
offended, and finished his address by saying, "...it only remains
for me to bid you a final adieu."
(AP, 1/21/01)(HNPD, 1/21/99)
1861 Jan 25, Pres. Lincoln
picked Ferdinand Schavers, a black man, as his first bodyguard.
(Hem., 5/97, p.18)(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1861 Jan 26, Louisiana became
the 6th state to secede from the Union.
1861 Jan 29, Kansas became the
34th state of the Union and entered as a free state.
(HFA, ‘96, p.22)(AP, 1/29/98)(NH, 7/98, p.28)
1861 Feb 1, A furious Governor
Sam Houston stormed out of a legislative session upon learning that
Texas had voted 167-7 to secede from the Union. Texas became the 7th
state to secede.
(AP, 2/1/97)(HN, 2/1/99)(MC, 2/1/02)
1861 Feb 2, Solomon R.
Guggenheim, philanthropist (Guggenheim Museum NYC), was born.
1861 Feb 2, Mohammed VI, last
sultan of Ottoman Empire (1918-22), was born.
1861 Feb 4, Delegates from six
southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate
States of America. They included Mississippi, Florida, Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. They elected Jefferson Davis as
president of Confederacy.
(AP, 2/4/97)(ON, 11/00, p.1)
1861 Feb 4, Winfield Scott, US
general-in-chief, decided to relieve Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee as
commander of federal forces in Texas and bring him to Washington DC
where Lee could take command of forces guarding DC.
(ON, 12/05, p.11)
1861 Feb 4, The Apache Wars
(HFA, ‘96, p.22)
1861 Feb 5, The kinematoscope
was patented by Coleman Sellers in Philadelphia.
1861 Feb 6, The 1st meeting of
Provisional Congress of Confederate States of America.
1861 Feb 6, English Adm. Robert
Ritzroy issued the 1st storm warnings for ships.
1861 Feb 7, The general council
of the Choctaw Indian nation adopted a resolution declaring
allegiance with the South "in the event a permanent dissolution of
the American Union takes place."
1861 Feb 8, Delegates from
seceded states adopted a provisional Confederate Constitution in
(HN, 2/7/97)(MC, 2/8/02)
1861 Feb 9, Confederate
Provisional Congress declared all laws under the US Constitution
were consistent with constitution of Confederate states. The
Congress elected Jefferson Davis president and Alexander H. Stephens
vice president. Jefferson Davis' Mexican War exploits led him to the
Confederate White House. In 2001 William C. Davis authored "The
Union That Shaped the Confederacy: Robert Toombs and Alexander H.
(HN, 2/9/97)(AP, 2/9/99)(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A18)(MC,
1861 Feb 9, Tennessee voted
1861 Feb 11, President-elect
Lincoln departed Springfield, Ill., for Washington.
1861 Feb 11, The US House
unanimously passed a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with
slavery in any state.
1861 Feb 11, Australian
explorers Burke and Wills approached the coast of Carpetaria but
were forced to turn back when no path through the coastal marsh was
(ON, 12/01, p.2,3)
1861 Feb 12, State troops
seized US munitions in Napoleon, Ak.
1861 Feb 13, Abraham Lincoln
was declared president.
1861 Feb 13, In Australia the
4-man Burke party began their 700-mile return to Cooper’s Creek
under constant rain.
(ON, 12/01, p.2)
1861 Feb 15, Alfred North
Whitehead (d.1947), English philosopher (Adv of Ideas) and
mathematician, was born. "We think in generalities, but we live in
detail." "I have always noticed that deeply and truly religious
persons are fond of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who
aren’t." "It is more important that a proposition be interesting
than that it be true."
(AP, 4/11/97)(AP, 10/5/97)(AP, 9/8/98)(MC,
1861 Feb 15, Ft. Point was
completed & garrisoned. It never fired cannon in anger.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1861 Feb 18, Jefferson F. Davis
was inaugurated as the Confederacy’s provisional president at a
ceremony held in Montgomery, Ala., where the Confederate
constitutional convention was held. Davis was sworn in on Feb 22 in
(AP, 2/18/98)(HN, 2/18/98)(AH, 10/04, p.60)
1861 Feb 18, At Fort Wise,
Kansas, Indian tribes ceded possessions, enough to constitute two
great States of the Union, retaining only a small district for
themselves on both sides of the Arkansas river, which included the
country around Fort Lyon.
1861 Feb 18, Victor Emmanuel II
of Sardinia became the first King of Italy.
(HN, 2/18/98)(MC, 2/18/02)
1861 Feb 19, Pres.-elect
Lincoln traveled through NYC on his way to Washington.
(WSJ, 2/12/04, p.D12)
1861 Feb 20, The Confederacy
Dept. of Navy formed.
1861 Feb 20, Steeple of
Chichester Cathedral was blown down during a storm.
1861 Feb 22, Edward Weston left
Boston on a bet to walk to Lincoln's inauguration.
1861 Feb 22, Jefferson Davis
was sworn in as the permanent president of the Confederate States of
America in Richmond, Va., on Washington’s birthday.
(AH, 10/04, p.60)
1861 Feb 23, President-elect
Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office after an
assassination plot was foiled in Baltimore. Allan Pinkerton, founder
of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, may have saved Abraham Lincoln’s
life by uncovering a plot to assassinate the president-elect in
Baltimore, Md. At the detective’s suggestion, Lincoln avoided the
threat by secretly slipping through the city at night. A few months
later, Pinkerton joined Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s staff as
chief intelligence officer. Using the name "Major Allen," the
private detective remained with McClellan until late 1862, catching
southern spies and running an espionage network in Confederate
(AP, 2/23/98)(HNPD, 3/22/99)
1861 Feb 23, Texas by popular
referendum became the 7th state to secede from the Union.
(HN, 2/23/98)(MC, 2/23/02)
1861 Feb 26, Ferdinand I, 1st
tsar of modern Bulgaria (1908-18), was born in Vienna.
1861 Feb 27, In the Warsaw
massacre Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule
over Poland. Five marchers were killed.
1861 Feb 28, The territory of
Colorado was organized.
(AP, 2/28/98)(HN, 2/28/98)
1861 Mar 2, The Territory of
Nevada was created by an act of Congress. The first elected governor
of the state was Henry G. Blasdel. US Congress created the Dakota
& Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska & Utah territories
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.1B)(SFEC, 7/9/00, DB p.67)(SC,
1861 Mar 3, Russian Czar Alexander II
issued a manifest and statutes to end feudal control of serfs as
part of a program of westernization.
(HN, 3/3/99)(LHC,3/1/03)(WSJ, 12/6/07, p.D7)
1861 Mar 4, Abraham Lincoln was
1861 Mar 4, The US Government
Printing Office, created by Congressional Joint Resolution 25 of
June 23, 1860, began operations.
1861 Mar 4, The first official
flag of the Confederacy, the "Stars and Bars" flag, was adopted, and
was almost immediately criticized by peers because of matters of
principle and functionality.
1861 Mar 5, Pres. Lincoln
appointed William H. Seward as his Sec. of State. Seward served
until March 4, 1869.
1861 Mar 6, Provisionary
Confederate Congress established Confederate Army.
1861 Mar 8, St. Augustine,
Florida, surrendered to Union armies.
1861 Mar 9, First hostile act
of the Civil War occurred when Star of the West fired on Sumter,
1861 Mar 10, Taras Shevchenko
(b.1814), Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political
figure, died in St. Petersburg. He was a member of the Sts. Cyril
and Methodius Brotherhood and an academician of the Imperial Academy
of Arts. Shevchenko propounded an ethnic nationalism that divided
Ukraine from its imperial Russian masters. His poetry helped codify
the Ukrainian language.
1861 Mar 11, The Confederate
convention in Montgomery, Ala., adopted a constitution.
Representatives from the 7 Confederate states ratified the
constitution of the Confederate states of America.
(AP, 3/11/98)(Econ, 12/1/12, p.34)
1861 Mar 13, Jefferson Davis
signed a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the
1861 Mar 14, Abraham Louis
Niedermeyer (58), composer, died.
1861 Mar 16, Arizona Territory
voted to leave the Union.
1861 Mar 19, Maori War in New
1861 Mar 23, London's 1st
tramcars, designed by Mr. Train of New York, began operating.
1861 Mar 27, Black
demonstrators in Charleston staged ride-ins on street cars.
1861 Apr 4, John McLean
(b.1785), US Supreme Court Justice, died after serving over 31
1861 Apr 5, Gideon Wells, the
Secretary of the Navy, issued official orders for the relief of Fort
Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C.
1861 Apr 5, Federals abandoned
Ft. Quitman, Tx.
1861 Apr 6, Pres. Lincoln
dispatched 3 ships and 600 men to Fort Sumter as a relief expedition
carrying provisions. He followed this with a note to South Carolina
Gov. Francis W. Pickens that no arms were included.
(ON, 11/00, p.2)
1861 Apr 8, Elisha Graves Otis
(50), US elevator builder (Otis), died.
1861 Apr 11, On April 11, 1861,
Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard ordered the Federals under the command
of Major Robert Anderson to surrender Fort Sumter, but Anderson
refused. Anticipating war between North and South, Confederate
President Jefferson Davis had ordered Beauregard to clear the harbor
forts in Charleston, South Carolina, of Union troops. For three long
months, Anderson and his besieged troops had waited for
reinforcements at Fort Sumter. Back in Washington, Union naval
officer Gustavus Fox raced against time to organize just such a
1861 Apr 12, The Confederates
sent a final ultimatum for the surrender of Fort Sumter, South
Carolina, at 12:45 a.m. Upon receiving Anderson's refusal, Gen'l.
Beauregard's artillery began to bombard Fort Sumter at 4:30 a.m. For
34 hours, the Confederates and Federals traded fire before Anderson
surrendered on April 13. The Civil War had begun.
(Hem. 1/95, p. 70)(AP, 4/12/97)(HN,
1861 Apr 13, After 34 hours of
bombardment, Union-held Fort Sumter surrendered at 2:30 pm to
Confederates under the command of Gen PGT Beauregard. No Union
defenders were killed in the 34-hour rebel assault on Charleston
Harbor‘s Fort Sumter led by Major Robert Anderson. Likewise, none of
the Confederate attackers were killed in this action. Union Pvt.
Daniel Hough became the war‘s first official casualty when he was
killed by a premature discharge of a cannon used as a salute in the
evacuation ceremonies after the surrender.
(HN, 4/13/98)(HNQ, 8/31/00)(MC, 4/13/02)
1861 Apr 14, Winfield Scott, US
general-in-chief, met with Pres. Lincoln and his cabinet to plan a
response to the surrender of Fort Sumter. They decided to
enlarge the 17,000 member US army and raise 75,000 new volunteers to
suppress the rebellion.
(ON, 12/05, p.11)
1861 Apr 15, Three days after
the attack on Fort Sumter, S.C., President Lincoln declared a state
of insurrection and called out for 75,000 Union volunteers.
(AP, 4/15/97)(HN, 4/15/98)
1861 Apr 15, Samuel (41) and
Florence Baker (20) left Cairo to search for explorers John Speke
and James Grant.
(ON, 10/01, p.9)
1861 Apr 16, US president
Lincoln outlawed business with confederate states.
1861 Apr 17, The Virginia State
Convention voted to secede from the Union. Virginia became the
eighth state to secede from the Union and moved troops to take over
National Capital. Federal troops were rushed down the
Chesapeake-Delaware Canal and arrived in time to stop Confederate
troops from taking Washington D.C. The Wheeling Conventions declared
Virginia’s secession from the Union unconstitutional and named
Francis H. Pierpont governor of the Reorganized Government of
Virginia, which was quickly recognized by the federal government. At
the outbreak of the Civil War, representatives of Virginia’s western
counties had gathered in the city of Wheeling (as the temporary
capital) to form the Reorganized Government of Virginia. In 1862 a
state constitution was adopted by the convention and on June 20,
1863, West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state in the Union.
(AP, 4/17/97)(HN, 4/17/98)(NG, Sept. 1939,
1861 Apr 17, In Australia
Charles Gray, the ex-sailor in the Burke party, was found dead in
his bed roll.
(ON, 12/01, p.2)
1861 Apr 18, Colonel Robert E.
Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies.
1861 Apr 18, Battle of Harpers
1861 Apr 18, The Kansas
Frontier Guards drilled and set up camp in the East Room of the
White House with the mission to protect President Lincoln from a
feared Rebel attack on Washington. The collection of Kansans in
Washington, many office seekers and politicians, were organized and
led by the state's first senator, James Henry Lane, a friend of the
president and former leader of the Free State movement in Kansas.
With Virginia's secession from the Union on April 17, rumors spread
of an impending rebel strike on Washington. Lane organized the force
of 50 men and offered their service to the War Department, arriving
in the White House in the evening of April 18. As additional Union
troops entered the city, the Frontier Guard was dismissed from the
White House on April 19. The unofficial unit was assigned various
positions in the city during the following week and, in a ceremony
attended by the president, was disbanded on April 25.
1861 Apr 19, President Lincoln
ordered the blockade of Confederate ports.
1861 Apr 19, Baltimore riots
resulted in four Union soldiers, 9 civilians killed. The 6th
Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, the first Union troops to pass
through pro-secessionist Baltimore, Md., entered Baltimore expecting
trouble. As they marched through the streets on their way to the
defense of Washington, D.C., the troops were attacked by
rock-throwing rioters bearing Confederate flags. Four soldiers and
nine civilians were killed in the daylong melee.
(HN, 4/19/97)(HNPD, 4/23/99)
1861 Apr 20, Robert E. Lee
resigned from U.S. Army.
1861 Apr 20, Thaddeus Lowe
landed in South Carolina only to be surrounded by a group of
incredulous Carolinians who believed he was a spy. Lowe managed to
persuade the crowd that his 500-mile trip from Cincinnati, Ohio, was
merely an innocent aerial journey to test his strange craft. He
later tried to convince the Union to use his skill as a balloonist.
(HNQ, 4/5/01)(ON, 2/05, p.7)
1861 Apr 20, Battle of Norfolk,
VA. [see Apr 21]
1861 Apr 21, The Gosport Navy
Yard on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Va., was burned and U.S.
Navy ships destroyed by Federal troops carrying out the orders of
Commodore Hiram Paulding. With the Confederate noose tightening
around Gosport following Virginia‘s secession, and Union defenders
dispatched by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles unable to reach
the yard, Paulding determined he must destroy and abandon the
installation. Considered the most extensive and valuable naval
shipyard in the Union, the loss of Gosport and 10 ships docked
there, including the Merrimack—later refitted by the rebels and
known as the CSS Virginia—was called by Horace Greeley as "The most
shameful, cowardly, disastrous performance that stains the annals of
the American Navy."
1861 Apr 21, In Australia the
Burke party of 3 reached Cooper’s Creek and found a message that the
4-man depot party under William Brahe had left earlier the same day
for Darling with 6 camels and 12 horses. The Burke party departed
Cooper’s Creek for the police station at Mount Hopeless, 150 miles
(ON, 12/01, p.3)
1861 Apr 22, Robert E. Lee was
named commander of Virginia forces.
1861 Apr 23, Robert E. Lee
assumed command of the military and naval forces of Virginia, which
he organized thoroughly before they were absorbed by the
1861 Apr 23, Arkansas troops
seized Fort Smith.
1861 Apr 23, Battle of San
1861 Apr 25, The Richmond
Fayette Light Artillery was mustered into state service and first
stationed at the Baptist College artillery barracks. The unit fought
under General Magruder through the battles at Wynns Mill, Yorktown
and Williamsburg. It fought the Maryland campaign with major General
McLaw’s Division and was transferred to Major Pickett’s Division and
fought at Fredericksburg.
(RC handout, 5/27/96)
1861 Apr 25, Women in New York
held a meeting out of which plans were made for the formation of the
Civil War related Women's Central Association of Relief. This led to
the formation of the Civil War Sanitary Commission, a forerunner of
the Red Cross.
1861 Apr 27, President Lincoln
suspended the writ of habeas corpus.
1861 Apr 27, West Virginia
seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union.
1861 Apr 29, The Maryland House
of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union.
(AP, 4/29/98)(HN, 4/29/98)
1861 Apr 29, In Australia the
Burke party shot one of their last 2 camels after it got stuck in
mud. Supplies were divided between the 3 men and one camel.
(ON, 12/01, p.4)
1861 Apr 30, President Lincoln
ordered Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory.
1861 Apr, William Woods
Averell, recently convalesced Union officer, was sent out west in
civilian garb from Washington, D.C., carrying orders to a fort
commander in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Averell was to
proceed through secessionist lands to Fort Arbuckle in Indian
Territory. Ordinarily, orders to frontier posts were telegraphed to
Fort Smith, Arkansas--some 180 miles east of Fort Arbuckle--and a
courier dispatched from there. But with Arkansas likely to secede at
any time, such orders might be intercepted by secessionists.
1861 May 3, Lincoln asked for
42,000 Army Volunteers and another 18,000 seamen.
1861 May 3, Gen. Winfield Scott
presented his Anaconda Plan to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan.
(www.civilwarhome.com/scottmcclellananaconda.htm)(ON, 12/05, p.12)
1861 May 5, Peter Cooper
Hewitt, electrical engineer, inventor of the mercury-vapor lamp, was
1861 May 5, CS troops abandon
1861 May 6, Jefferson Davis
approved a bill declaring War between US and Confederacy.
1861 May 6, Arkansas and
Tennessee becomes 9th & 10th state to secede from US. [see Jun
(AP, 5/6/97)(HN, 5/6/98)(MC, 5/6/02)
1861 May 7, In Australia the
lost Burke party encountered some Aborigines and partook of some
nardoo cakes that provided a euphoric effect.
(ON, 12/01, p.4)
1861 May 8, Richmond, Va, was
named the capital of the Confederacy.
1861 May 10, Union troops
marched on state militia in St Louis, Mo.
1861 May 13, Britain declared
its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1861 May 16, Pres. Lincoln
commissioned Benjamin F. Butler, a Massachusetts politician, as a
major general of volunteers in the US Army.
(ON, 2/12, p.1)
1861 May 16, Confederate
government offered war volunteers a $10 premium.
1861 May 16, Kentucky
proclaimed its neutrality. [see May 20]
1861 May 18, Battle of Sewall's
Point VA was the 1st Federal offense against South.
1861 May 18, Friedrich Hebbel's
"Kriemhildes Rache" premiered in Weimar.
1861 May 20, Kentucky
proclaimed its neutrality in Civil War. [see May 16]
1861 May 20, North Carolina
voted to secede from the Union and became the 11th and last state to
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)
1861 May 20, US marshals
appropriated the previous year's telegraph dispatches, to reveal
1861 May 21, The Confederate
Congress, meeting in Montgomery, Ala., voted to move the capital of
the Confederacy from Montgomery to Richmond, Va.
1861 May 22, Union Major
General Benjamin F. Butler took command of Fort Monroe on the
southern tip of the Virginia peninsula.
(ON, 2/12, p.1)
1861 May 23, Virginia citizens
voted 3 to 1 in favor of secession, becoming the last Confederate
(HN, 5/23/98)(MC, 5/23/02)
1861 May 23, Pro Union and pro
Confederate forces clashed in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
1861 May 24, General Benjamin
Butler, Union commander of Fort Monroe, Va., declared slaves to be
the contraband of war in order to avoid returning them to their
owners under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.
1861 May 24, Shortly after
Union troops quietly occupied Alexandria, Va., 24-year-old Colonel
Elmer E. Ellsworth and a handful of friends from the 11th New York
Regiment impulsively entered the Marshall Hotel to forcibly remove a
Confederate flag from the roof. Hotel proprietor James W. Jackson
shot and mortally wounded Ellsworth as he descended the stairs, flag
in hand. Jackson himself was then shot by a Union soldier. Only
weeks after the outbreak of the Civil War, both the North and the
South had received the first martyrs to their respective causes.
1861 May 25, John Merryman was
arrested under suspension of writ of habeas corpus. This later
sparked a supreme court decision protecting the writ.
1861 May 26, Postmaster General
Blair announced the end of postal connection with South.
1861 May 26, Union blockaded
New Orleans, LA., and Mobile, AL.
1861 May 29, Dorothea Dix
offered to help set up hospitals for Union Army.
1861 May 30, In Australia
William Wills returned to the Cooper’s Creek depot and left an
updated message as to the Burke party’s plight.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 May 31, Gen. PGT
Beauregard was given command of Confederate Alexandria Line.
1861 May, Battery "D" Fifth US
Light Artillery had been stationed at West Point but was moved to
Washington, D.C. and assigned to the Army of the Potomac.
(RC handout, 5/27/96)
1861 May, The 79th Highlander
Regiment was mustered into Federal service with 795 men. It suffered
over 558 casualties during the war. After the regiment fought at the
battle of First Bull Run, it adopted standard Federal uniforms.
(RC handout, 5/27/96)
1861 May, The 7th Regiment of
Virginia Volunteers was mustered into the young Confederacy under
the command of Col. James Kemper. It was part of Pickett’s All
Virginia Division. The regiment fought in 45 battles, from First
Manassas until Clover Hill, Appomattox Court House in April, 1865.
(RC handout, 5/27/96)
1861 May, The 33rd Virginia
Volunteer Infantry Regiment formed at Harper’s Ferry as part of the
Stonewall Brigade under Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. It was nicknamed
"Jackson’s Foot Cavalry" for it’s long marches of 25-30 miles a day.
(RC Handout, 5/27/96)
1861 Jun 1, The US and the
Confederacy simultaneously stopped mail interchange.
1861 Jun 1, The first skirmish
in the Civil War was at Fairfax Court House, Arlington Mills, Va.
(DTnet, 6/1/97)(HN, 6/1/98)
1861 Jun 1, British
territorial waters & ports were put off-limits during Civil War.
1861 Jun 3, In the first Civil
War land battle, Union forces defeated Confederates at Philippi, in
1861 Jun 3, Stephen A Douglas,
"Little Giant", senator (Lincoln Debates), died.
1861 Jun 5, Federal marshals
seized arms and gunpowder at Du Pont works in Delaware.
1861 Jun 6, Lincoln's cabinet
declared Union government will pay for expenses once states have
1861 Jun 8, Tennessee voted to
secede from the Union and joined the Confederacy. [see May 6]
(AP, 6/8/97)(HN, 6/8/98)
1861 Jun 9, Mary Ann "Mother"
Bickerdyke, Civil War hospital worker, began working in Union
hospitals. "The midwife must give way to the physician. Woman,
therefore, must become physician."
1861 Jun 10, Thaddeus Lowe
demonstrated his balloon, the Enterprise, along with its telegraphy
capabilities for Pres. Lincoln at the White House lawn.
(ON, 2/05, p.8)
1861 Jun 10, The Virginia
village of Big Bethel became the site of the 1st major land battle
of the Civil War. Private Henry L. Wyatt was the 1st Confederate
soldier killed in a Civil War battle. 18 Union soldiers were killed.
(AH, 10/01, p.50)
1861 Jun 10, Dorthea Dix, known
for her work with the mentally ill, was appointed superintendent of
women nurses for the Union Army.
1861 Jun 11, Union forces under
General George B. McClellen repulsed a Confederate force at Rich
Mountain in Western Virginia.
1861 Jun 13, Pres. Lincoln
approved a plan for the formation of the Civil War Sanitary
1861 Jun 16, Battle of Vienna,
VA., and Secessionville, SC (James Island).
1861 Jun 17, President Abraham
Lincoln witnessed Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air
1861 Jun 19, Loyal Virginians,
in what would soon be West Virginia, elected Francis Pierpoint as
their provisional governor.
1861 Jun 24, Federal gunboats
attacked Confederate batteries at Mathias Point, Virginia.
1861 Jun 24, Tennessee became
the 11th and last state to secede from US.
1861 Jun 25, Abdul Mejid, the
31st Ottoman sultan, died. He had dreamed of a tunnel under the
Bosphorus Straits connecting Asia to Europe.
1861 Jun 29, William James
Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, was born.
1861 Jun 29, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning (55), writer, died.
1861 Jun 29, Australian
explorers Robert O’Hara Burke and John King left William Wills in
search of Aborigines.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 Jun 30, CSS Sumter slipped
past USS Brooklyn blockade.
1861 Jun, James D. Bulloch
arrived in London to procure ships and arms for the Southern
(ON, 7/01, p.6)
1861 Jul 1, The US War
Department decreed that Kansas and Tennessee were to be canvassed
1861 Jul 2, Australian explorer
Robert O’Hara Burke died near Cooper’s Creek and John King pressed
on to look for native Aborigines. King later returned to William
Wills but found him dead. King continued to survive with the local
Aborigines until he was rescued. In 1991 Tom Bonyhady authored
"Burke and Wills: From Melbourne to Myth."
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 Jul 3, US Colonel Jackson
received his CSA commission as brigadier general.
1861 Jul 3, Pony Express
arrived in SF with overland letters from NY.
1861 Jul 4, In a special
session of 27th Congress Lincoln requested 400,000 troops.
1861 Jul 4, Union and
Confederate forces skirmished at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
1861 Jul 9, Confederate cavalry
led by John Morgan captured Tompkinsville, Kentucky. "The Yankees
will never take me a prisoner again," vowed Confederate General John
1861 Jul 12, Anton Stepanovich
Arensky, composer, was born.
1861 Jul 13, Battle of
Corrick's Ford, VA (Carrick's Ford): Union army took total control
of western Virginia.
1861 Jul 14, Union troops tried
to force a crossing at Seneca Falls on the Potomac, northwest of
Washington but were repulsed by the Confederates. A company of the
Louisiana Tiger Rifles helped defend the line.
1861 Jul 14, Gen McDowell
advanced toward Fairfax Courthouse, VA, with 40,000 troops.
1861 Jul 14, Naval Engagement
at Wilmington, NC. USS Daylight established a blockade.
1861 Jul 17, At Manassas, VA,
Gen Beauregard requested reinforcements for his 22,000 men and Gen
Johnston was ordered to Manassas.
1861 Jul 18, Union and
Confederate troops skirmished at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia, in a
prelude to the Battle of Bull Run.
1861 Jul 20, The Congress of
the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Va.
1861 Jul 20, The New York
Tribune compared Peace Democrats to the venomous Copperhead snake,
which strikes without warning. During the American Civil War,
Northerners who advocated restoration of the Union through a
negotiated settlement with the South was referred to as Peace
1861 Jul 20, In the first major
battle of the Civil War [see June 10], Confederate forces repelled
an attempt by the Union Army to turn their flank in Virginia. The
battle becomes known by the Confederates as Manassas, while the
Union called it Bull Run. It was fought on Judith Carter Henry’s
(HN, 7/20/98)(HNQ, 5/10/02)
1861 Jul 21, In the first major
battle of the Civil War, Confederate forces repelled an attempt by
the Union Army to turn their flank in Virginia. The battle became
known by the Confederates as Manassas, while the Union called it
Bull Run. The 33rd Virginia Infantry held Henry House Hill at the
first Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a
Confederate victory. This was the spot from which Jackson took on
the title of "Stonewall" and his brigade the "Stonewall Brigade."
Union forces had 3,000 men killed, wounded, or missing in action
while the Confederates suffered 2,000 casualties. Bernard Bee
coined the nickname associated with Confederate General Thomas J.
"Stonewall" Jackson. At the Battle of First Manassas, it is General
Bee who supposedly rallied his troops by calling out, "Look! There
is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally to the Virginians!"
Though there is some controversy about exactly what was said, when
Bee said it, and what exactly he meant by it, the words helped
create a legend. Bee couldn‘t explain further; he was mortally
wounded during the battle and died the next day. Brig. Gen. Irvin
McDowell was in command of the Union forces at the First Battle of
Bull Run (First Manassas).
(HT, 3/97, p.48)(AP, 7/21/97)(HN, 7/21/99)(HN,
1/18/00)(HNQ, 7/30/01)(MC, 7/21/02)
1861 Jul 25, The Crittenden
Resolution, calling for the American Civil War to be fought to
preserve the Union and not for slavery, was passed by Congress.
1861 Jul 27, President Abraham
Lincoln replaced General Irwin McDowell with General George B.
McClellen, a pro-slavery Democrat, as head of the Army of the
(AP, 7/27/97)(HN, 7/27/98)(ON, 12/03, p.1)
1861 Jul 27, Battle of Mathias
Point, VA. Rebel forces repelled a Federal landing.
1861 Aug 1, Sally Louisa
Tompkins opened Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She ceased
operating the hospital on June 13, 1865.
1861 Aug 5, The US federal
government levied an income tax for the first time to finance the
Civil War. It was 3% of incomes over $800 effective from Jan 1. This
was superseded by the Tax Act of July 14, 1862, which took effect as
of January 1, 1862.
1861 Aug 5, US Army abolished
1861 Aug 10, General Nathaniel
Lyon died at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri. He was the 1st
Union general to die in the Civil War. The 2nd land battle of the
Civil War was fought along Wilson’s Creek in southwest Missouri. The
fight was considered a Confederate victory. This 1st major battle
west of the Mississippi was pivotal in determining the fate of the
most populous state west of the Mississippi River in the early
months of the Civil War."
6/5/02)(www.civilwarhome.com/wilsonscreek.htm)(AM, 11/04, p.28)
1861 Aug 10, Friedrich Julius
Stahl (b.1802), conservative German jurist and publicist, died in
Bruckenau. He developed the idea that Germans are a people based on
1861 Aug 11, James Bryan
Herrick, physician who first described sickle-cell anemia, was born.
1861 Aug 12, Texas rebels were
attacked by Apaches.
1861 Aug 14, Martial Law was
declared at St. Louis, Missouri.
1861 Aug 15, Lincoln directed
reinforcements to be sent to Missouri.
1861 Aug 16, President Lincoln
prohibited the states of the Union from trading with the seceding
states of the Confederacy.
1861 Aug 16, Union and
Confederate forces clashed near Fredericktown and Kirkville,
1861 Aug 23, Rose O’Neal
Greenhow was arrested by Union secret service operative Allan
Pinkerton and held under house arrest for five months. She had
supplied Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard with a warning that Union General
Irvin McDowell was planning an attack on Manassas in July 1861.
Greenhow, a 44-year-old widow with four daughters, was recruited in
1861 to be the operating head of the Confederacy’s first spy ring. A
Washington socialite with many friends in high government circles,
Rose was perfectly placed to gather intelligence about Federal troop
strengths and movements. Rose Greenhow was finally released and sent
South on June 2, 1862. She drowned in a shipwreck on September 30,
1861 Aug 27, Union troops made
an amphibious landing at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
1861 Aug 27, At the Battle of
Cape Hatteras, SC, Union troops took Fort Clark.
1861 Aug 28, The Battle of Fort
1861 Aug 30, Union General John
Fremont declared martial law throughout Missouri and made his own
emancipation proclamation to free slaves in the state. However,
Fremont’s order was countermanded days later by President Lincoln.
(HN, 8/30/98)(AP, 8/30/06)
1861 Sep 20, Lexington,
Missouri, was captured by Union forces.
1861 Sep 6, Union General
Ulysses S. Grant’s forces captured Paducah, Kentucky from
Confederate forces. A lifelong friend and trusted aide of Ulysses S.
Grant, Ely Parker rose to the top in two worlds, that of his native
Seneca Indian tribe and the white man’s world at large.
1861 Sep 9, Sally Louisa
Tompkins (b.1833) was commissioned as a Confederate captain of
cavalry. Born into a wealthy and altruistic family in coastal
Mathews County, Virginia, Tompkins was destined for a life of
philanthropy. After moving to Richmond, she spent much of her time
and a considerable portion of her fortune assisting causes she
considered worthy. With the onset of civil war, she labored on the
behalf of the South's wounded soldiers, and for this she became the
first and only woman to receive an officer's commission in the
1861 Sep 10, Confederates at
Carnifex Ferry, Virginia, fell back after being attacked by Union
troops. There were 170 casualties. The action was instrumental in
helping preserve western Virginia for the Union.
(HN, 9/10/98)(MC, 9/10/01)
1861 Sep 13, In the 1st naval
battle of Civil War, Union frigate "Colorado" sank privateer "Judah"
off Pensacola, Fla.
1861 Sep 17, Mary Smith Peake,
the daughter of a white Englishman and a free woman of color, began
teaching the runaway slaves under an oak tree near Fort Monroe, Va.,
thus founding the first American school for freed slaves. The tree
became known as the Emancipation Oak after Pres. Lincoln’s
Emancipation Proclamation was read there in 1863.
(ON, 2/12, p.2)
1861 Sep 18, Australian
explorer John King (d.1872) was found by a rescue party. A land
prospector or "squatter" touring the area in 1875 met an Aboriginal
woman who claimed to have witnessed Robert O’Hara Burke being shot
by John King, and he detailed her story in his journal. Historian
Darrell Lewis unearthed the story around 1990.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)(AFP, 7/23/11)
1861 Sep 25, Secretary of US
Navy authorized the enlistment of slaves.
1861 Sep 30, William Wrigley,
Jr., founder of the Wrigley chewing gum empire and owner of the
Chicago Cubs baseball team, was born.
1861 Sep, Harry Macarthy
delivered a stirring performance of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" on a New
Orleans stage, causing a near riot. Born an Englishman, he became
famous throughout the Confederacy as an entertainer. Macarthy was a
hit, and for the rest of the war, he would do his best to keep his
song and himself popular, taking his show on the road all over the
South and providing diversion for thousands of civilians and
soldiers. He lifted the morale of war-weary Southerners and became
the most popular performer in his adopted country, the Confederate
States of America.
1861 Oct 4, Frederic Remington
(d.1909), American Western painter and sculptor, was born.
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.1213)(HN,
1861 Oct 4, The Union ship USS
South Carolina captured two Confederate blockade runners outside of
New Orleans, La.
1861 Oct 6, Naval Engagement at
Charleston, SC, the USS Flag vs. Britain’s Alert.
1861 Oct 11, Battle of
Dumfries, Va., at Quantico Creek.
1861 Oct 12, The Confederate
ironclad Manassas attacked the northern ship Richmond on the
Mississippi River. The Manassas was the Confederacy‘s first
operational ironclad. Originally a New England tugboat called the
Enoch Train, the ship was refit with iron sheathing and an iron prow
for ramming. The underpowered ship was used in defense of New
Orleans, finally being dispatched by the Union warship Mississippi.
(AP, 10/12/97)(HNQ, 7/12/00)
1861 Oct 15, The British
steamship Fingal, purchased by James D. Bulloch for the US Southern
Confederacy, ran into the Austrian brig Siccardi, which sank with
her load of coal in England’s Holyhead harbor. The Fingal quickly
sailed for Savannah. The Fingal was later converted to an ironclad
and renamed Atlanta.
(ON, 7/01, p.6)
1861 Oct 16, The Confederacy
started selling postage stamps.
1861 Oct 21, Battle of Ball’s
Bluff, Va., was a disastrous Union defeat which sparked
1861 Oct 22, The 1st telegraph
line linking West & East coasts was completed. [see Oct 24]
1861 Oct 23, President Abraham
Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C. for
all military-related cases.
1861 Oct 24, West Virginia
seceded from Virginia.
1861 Oct 24, Western Union
completed the first transcontinental telegraph line. The first
transcontinental telegraph message was sent as Justice Stephen J.
Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Lincoln.
Telegraph lines linked the West Coast to the rest of the country and
made the Pony Express obsolete late in the year.
(SFC, 4/28/97, p.A19)(AP, 10/24/97)(HN, 10/24/98)
1861 Oct 26, The Pony Express
ended after 18 months of operation. [see Apr 3, 1860]
(SFC, 8/5/17, p.C4)
1861 Nov 1, Lieutenant General
Winfield Scott, 50 year veteran and leader of the U.S. Army at the
onset of the Civil War, retired. Gen. George B. McClellan was made
General-in-Chief of the Union armies.
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)
1861 Nov 6, Dr. James Naismith
(d. Nov 28, 1939), Canadian physical education instructor, was born.
He invented the game of basketball in 1891.
(DTnet, 11/28/97)(HN, 11/6/99)
1861 Nov 6, Jefferson Davis was
elected to a six-year term as president of the Confederacy.
(AP, 11/6/97)(HN, 11/6/98)
1861 Nov 7, Union General
Ulysses S. Grant launches an unsuccessful raid on Belmont, Missouri.
1861 Nov 7, Union forces
capture the Hilton Head-Beaufort-Port Royal area of Southern
(Smith., 4/95, p.14)(HN, 11/7/98)
1861 Nov 8, Union Captain
Charles Wilkes of the sloop San Jacinto seized Confederate
commissioners John Slidell and James M. Mason from the British mail
ship Trent. Lincoln's response to uproar: "One war at a time." The
Confederates were released. In 1977 Norman F. Ferris authored "The
Trent Affair: A Diplomatic Crisis."
(HN, 11/6/98)(ON, 1/01, p.7)(MC, 11/8/01)
1861 Nov 9, During the Civil
War, soldiers of the Illinois 11th, 18th, and 29th Regiments, after
forcing the Confederates south, set up camp in Bloomfield, Missouri.
Upon finding the newspaper office empty, they decided to print a
newspaper for their expedition, relating the troop's activities.
They called it the Stars and Stripes.
1861 Nov 10, Robert T.A. Innes,
astronomer (Proxima Centauri), was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1861 Nov 11, In China the Qing
Dynasty established a new ministry of foreign affairs. It was housed
in a building that had housed the Department of Iron Coins and was
considered as a temporary institution.
(WSJ, 5/16/97, p.A16)
1861 Nov 16, Vaclav Suk,
composer, was born.
1861 Nov 18, The first
provisional meeting of the Confederate Congress was held in
1861 Nov 18, Poet and
abolitionist Julia Ward Howe (inset) accompanied her husband, Dr.
Samuel Howe, to Fort Griffin, Virginia, to review Union troops
defending the capital. The ceremony was cut short when the Federals
were forced to give chase to a nearby party of Confederates. Dr. and
Mrs. Howe returned to their Washington hotel, but Mrs. Howe awoke in
the early morning hours with "long lines" of a poem in her mind. She
rose in darkness and wrote six stanzas of The Battle Hymn of the
Republic on her husband's stationery based on chapter 63 of the Old
Testament’s Book of Isaiah. In February 1862, The Atlantic Monthly
printed the poem for a $5 payment. Soon troops all over the North
were singing the stirring words to the popular tune of John Brown's
Body, which had been composed in 1852.
(HNPD, 11/20/98)(HNQ, 5/21/02)
1861 Nov 19, Julia Ward Howe
wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" while visiting Union troops
near Washington. [see Nov 18]
1861 Nov 26, West Virginia was
created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virginia.
1861 Nov 28, The Confederate
Congress admitted Missouri to the Confederacy, although Missouri had
not yet seceded from the Union.
(DTnet, 11/28/97)(HN, 11/28/98)
1861 Nov 30, Harper's Weekly
publishes E.E. Beers' "All quiet along the Potomac."
1861 Nov 30, The British
Parliament sent to Queen Elizabeth an ultimatum for the United
States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were
seized on the British ship Trent.
1861 Dec 1, The U.S. gunboat
Penguin seized the Confederate blockade runner Albion carrying
supplies worth almost $100,000.
1861 Dec 3, In his first annual
message Pres. Lincoln argued that "labor is prior to, and
independent of capital. Capital is the fruit of labor, and could
never have existed if labor had not first existed..."
1861 Dec 4, Lillian Russell,
singer and actress, was born Helen Louise Leonard in Clinton, Iowa.
She performed in burlesque and light opera, debuting in Gilbert and
Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in 1879. Russell was praised for her
voluptuous beauty and was frequently photographed. Women everywhere
tried to emulate her plump physique by buying potions and corsets to
accentuate their curves. Although Russell was the ideal beauty of
her time, her 186-pound figure--which she kept by eating without
restraint--would be quite a departure from today's standard of
beauty. Russell later wrote a newspaper column on health, beauty and
love, and she died in 1922.
1861 Dec 4, The Federal Senate,
voting 36 to 0, expelled Senator John C. Brekenridge of Kentucky
because he joined the Confederate Army.
1861 Dec 5, In the U.S.
Congress petitions and bills calling for the abolition of slavery
1861 Dec 6, Union General
George G. Meade led a foraging expedition to Gunnell’s farm near
1861 Dec 7, USS Santiago de
Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halted the British schooner
Eugenia Smith and captured J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and
Confederate purchasing agent.
1861 Dec 8, Aristide Maillol,
French painter and sculptor (Seated Woman), was born.
1861 Dec 8, The American Bible
Society announced that it would distribute 7,000 Bibles a day to
1861 Dec 8, CSS Sumter captured
the whaler Eben Dodge in the Atlantic. The war began affecting the
Northern whaling industry.
1861 Dec 9, U.S. Senate
approved the establishment of a committee that would become the
Joint Committee on the Conduct of War.
1861 Dec 10, Kentucky was
admitted to the Confederate States of America.
1861 Dec 11, A raging fire
swept the business district of Charleston, South Carolina, adding to
an already depressed economic state.
1861 Dec 13, Battle of
Alleghany Summit, WV.
1861 Dec 14, Prince Albert of
England, husband of Queen Victoria and one of the Union’s strongest
advocates, died in London. The book "Uncrowned King: The Life of
Prince Albert" was later written by Stanley Weintraub.
(WUD, 1994, p.34)(WSJ, 1/26/98, p.A16)(AP,
1861 Dec 17, The Stonewall
Brigade began to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal near
1861 Dec 20, Transports were
loaded with 8,000 troops in England. They were setting sail for
Canada so that troops would be available if the "Trent Affair" was
not settled without war.
1861 Dec 21, Pres. Lincoln
signed legislation establishing the Medal of Honor. The medal was
first authorized for Sailors and Marines, and the following year for
Soldiers as well.
1861 Dec 23, Lord Lyons, The
British minister to America presented a formal complaint to
secretary of state, William Seward, regarding the Trent affair.
1861 Dec 24, The USS Gem of the
Sea destroyed the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the
coast at Georgetown, S.C.
1861 Dec 25, Stonewall Jackson
spent Christmas with his wife; their last together.
1861 Dec 26, Friedrich Engel,
German mathematician (group theory), was born.
1861 Dec 30, Banks in the
United States suspended the practice of redeeming paper money for
metal currency, a practice that would continue until 1879.
1861 Dec, French, British and
Spanish troops landed at Veracruz, Mexico, seeking to force Benito
Juarez to resume his financial obligations.
(PCh, 1992, p.485)
1861 Matthew Brady, born in
upstate NY around 1823, determined to make a complete photographic
record of the Civil War.
1861 William Wrigley, Jr., was
born in Philadelphia. He began his business career by selling soap
manufactured by his father. In 1891, Wrigley moved to Chicago where
he founded and became president of Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Company,
manufacturers of chewing gum, earning him the money to acquire the
Chicago Cubs and to build Wrigley‘s Stadium. Wrigley is especially
noted for his effective advertising techniques.
1861 Dante Gabriel Rossetti
painted "Fair Rosamund."
(WSJ, 2/9/00, p.W2)
1861 Sam Beeton and his wife
Isabella Mayson (1840-1868) published “Beeton’s Book of Household
Management." Mayson was a columnist for the Englishwoman’s Domestic
Magazine." Beeton had made his fortune publishing the British
edition of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin." In 2005 Kathryn Hughes authored “The
Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton."
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.93)
1861 Rebecca Harding Davis
authored “Life in the Iron Mills."
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.E1)
1861 The book "Great
Expectations" by Charles Dickens was published.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, DB p.43)
1861 Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897)
authored “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" under the pseudonym
Linda Brent. In 2004 Jean Fagan Yellin (73) authored “Harriet
Jacobs: A Life."
(SFC, 6/23/04, p.E1)
1861 Samuel F.B. Morse,
inventor of the telegraph, authored a pamphlet titled: "An Argument
on the Ethical Position of Slavery in the Social System."
(WSJ, 10/28/03, p.D10)
1861 Sir Francis Turner
Palgrave (1824-1897) edited “The Golden Treasury," a 4-volume
anthology of the best songs and lyrical poems in the English
(WSJ, 1/20/07, p.P11)(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.W10)
1861 Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882), British novelist, authored his novel “Orley Farm,"
which told the story of an unjust will.
(WSJ, 2/24/07, p.P10)
1861 Young’s "Scientific
Secrets" was published. It is a book of recipes and formulas for
furniture polish, beers, wines, and directions on interpreting
(CM, 12/94, p.59)
1861 The US Army’s red brick
bastion at Fort Point, San Francisco, was built.
(HT, 5/97, p.63)
1861 An Octagon House was built
in San Francisco at Gough and Union by William C. McElroy, a miller
and his wife Harriet. In 1953 the Colonial Dames persuaded PG&E
to sell it for $1 on the condition that they move it across the
street to 2645 Gough.
(SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.33)(SFEC,11/2/97, DB
p.31)(SSFC, 7/24/11, p.A2)
1861 In San Francisco the
Oakdale Bar and Clam House opened at the corner of Oakland and
Bayshore. It later came to be known as the Old Clam House.
(SSFC, 2/19/12, p.A2)
1861 The Donohue House in Elk,
California, was built by an Irish immigrant.
(SFC, 9/1/96, T3)
1861 Solomon Gump founded
Gump’s. In 2018 the San Francisco-based luxury retailer filed for
(SFC, 6/22/01, WBb p.9)(SSFC, 8/5/18, p.A9)
1861 The California state
Legislature gave the Sisters of Mercy $5,000 to help build an asylum
for women in SF. Magdalene Asylum was built on Potrero St. and by
1874 housed 150 women and girls. In 1904 it was renamed to St.
Catherine's Home and Industrial School.
(SSFC, 8/24/03, p.A27)
1861 Alcatraz Island became an
official US military prison.
(OAH, 2/05, p.A1)
1861 In his first annual
message Lincoln argued that "labor is prior to, and independent of
capital. Capital is the fruit of labor, and could never have existed
if labor had not first existed..."
(WSJ, 2/10/95), p.A-8)
1861 General Winfield Scott
offered Robert E. Lee, "the very best soldier I ever saw in the
field," command of the Union army, but Lee declined, deciding to
support the Confederacy.
1861 The first Confederate flag
had three stripes and a circle of 7 stars in the upper left corner.
The commonly seen battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia had
an 13 stars on an "X" field with 7 stars along each line of the x.
(WSJ, 2/4/97, p.A20)
1861 Virginia seceded from the
Union and moved troops to take over National Capital. Federal troops
were rushed down the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal and arrived in time
to stop Confederate troops from taking Washington D.C. The Wheeling
Conventions declared Virginia’s secession from the Union
unconstitutional and named Francis H. Pierpont governor of the
Reorganized Government of Virginia, which was quickly recognized by
the federal government. At the outbreak of the Civil War,
representatives of Virginia’s western counties had gathered in the
city of Wheeling (as the temporary capital) to form the Reorganized
Government of Virginia. In 1862 a state constitution was adopted by
the convention and on June 20, 1863, West Virginia was admitted as
the 35th state in the Union.
(NG, Sept. 1939, p.379)(HNQ, 6/16/99)
1861 According to Hardee’s
Tactics, used extensively to instruct infantrymen in the Civil War,
every officer "should, by practice, be enabled, if necessary," to
perform the important function of sounding bugle calls. This
knowledge, so necessary in general instruction, becomes of vital
importance on actual service in the field." Lieutenant Colonel
William J. Hardee published this admonition for career officers of
the U.S. Army in 1861. That very year, the Civil War erupted, and
huge numbers of civilians were hastily made officers. As Hardee (who
ultimately became a Confederate lieutenant general) would have
admitted, most of these volunteer officers knew very few of the
dozens of bugle calls, and could not sound any of them. According to
section 55 under "Instruction of the Battalion" in Hardee’s Rifle
and Light Infantry Tactics (1862, J.O. Kane edition), "Every officer
will make himself perfectly acquainted with the bugle signals; and
should, by practice, be enabled, if necessary, to sound them.
1861 Ardent Confederate
Isabelle (Belle) Boyd became one of the Civil War's most notorious
spies. When only 16, she fatally wounded a Union soldier who entered
her family's home in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).
During the next year, she regularly provided intelligence to Rebel
commanders. She was arrested several times and twice served
sentences in Washington, D.C., prisons. When captured aboard a
Confederate blockade-runner in 1864, Belle was banished to Canada.
While traveling in England to further the Southern cause, she
created a sensation by marrying Sam Hardinge, a Union officer. A
widow with one child by war's end, Boyd published her memoirs,
returned to America and later earned a living by acting and
lecturing on her wartime experiences.
1861 Orion Clemens was
appointed Secretary of the Territory of Nevada. He took along his
young brother, Sam Clemens (Mark Twain).
(SFEC, 9/17/00, Z1 p.2)
1861 Pres. Lincoln appointed
Anson Burlingame, congressman from Mass., as ambassador to China.
(Ind, 8/11/01, 5A)
1861 Union Major General
William T. Sherman battled bitterly with the press throughout the
Civil War, after 1861 news reports called the nervous,
quick-tempered general "insane." Once, when told about reporters
killed by shells, he exclaimed, "Good! Now we’ll have news from hell
1861 Leaders of Alabama’s
Winston County called for a meeting of area citizens. The meeting
was be held at a Double Springs tavern owned by William Bauck "Bill"
Looney. The date of the meeting is controversial. Some say it was
held on July 4, 1861. Others say the meeting took place in April,
1862. The second of three resolutions said: "We agree with Jackson
that no state can legally get out of the Union… But if we are
mistaken in this, and a state can lawfully or legally secede or
withdraw, being only a part of the Union, then a county, any county,
being a part of the state, by the same process of reasoning, could
cease to be a part of the State. In 1987 “The Incident at Looney's
Tavern" was made into a play and in 1993 it became the Alabama
Musical Drama by Act no. 93-110.
1861 Leland Stanford was
elected Governor of California.
(Ind, 6/2/01, 5A)
1861 The College of California
was founded in Oakland.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4)
1861 Col. Agoston Haraszthy, a
Hungarian immigrant to the US who settled in Sonoma, California, was
asked by Calif. Governor John Downey to go to Europe and to find
sample cuttings of the best European varieties of grapes.
Haraszthy’s methodology, personality and perseverance earned him the
name of Father of California Wines.
1861 Samuel A. Bishop brought
the first herd of 600 cattle to Owens Valley in mid-east California.
(SFEC, 9/29/96, T7)
1861 The Central Pacific
Railroad was founded by Sacramento merchants Leland Stanford,
Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington.
(SFC, 4/18/98, p.A1)
1861 Chicago Mayor John
Wentworth fired all the 60 policemen, 3 sergeants and 1 captain as
his last official act. For 12 hours the city was without police as
the Board of Commissioners worked to replace them.
(SFC, 3/20/99, p.B4)
1861 James Buchanan, 15th
President of the United States, retired to Wheatland, his
1861 Camels were brought to
Virginia City, Nevada to carry supplies and salt for miners at the
(SFEC, 8/25/96, DB p.67)
1861 Henry Morton founded the
Paris Manufacturing Co. in South Paris, Maine. The company made
various toys and then desks from the late 1800s. In 1978 it became
(SFC, 1/23/08, p.G5)
1861 In Philadelphia John
Wanamaker (1838-1922) and Nathan Brown (d.1868) purchased a 6-story
men’s clothing store called McNeill’s Folly and renamed it the Oak
Hall Clothing Bazaar.
(ON, 12/05, p.4)
1861 John Wallace Cowden
founded the Cowden pottery in Harrisburg, Pa. It became Cowden &
Son from 1888-1904.
(SFC, 3/29/06, p.G6)
1861 American cotton exports
reached 4 million bales a year.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.46)
1861 At the outbreak of
the American Civil War, the Northern population was approximately 22
million, while the total Southern population was about 9 million. Of
the total population of 9 million in the 11 seceded states, 3.5
million were black slaves. The 22 million in the 23 Northern and
border states were augmented during the war by heavy foreign
1861 In Albania the first
school known to use Albanian language in modern times was opened in
(www, Albania, 1998)
1861 Britain passed a law for
drivers of horse-drawn carriages with a maximum penalty of two years
for wanton and furious driving.
1861 Britain passed a law
against soliciting for murder.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.53)
1861 Britain introduced the
Single Bottle Act allowing grocers to sell wine by the bottle.
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.132)
1861 The British firm
Butterfield & Swire began trading in Hong Kong and China.
(Econ, 6/30/07, SR p.13)
1861 Henry Gray (b.1827),
English anatomist and surgeon, died of smallpox. He had authored the
textbook “Gray’s Anatomy" (1858).
1861 Shanghai came under attack
from the Taiping rebellion (1851-1864, led by the self-proclaimed
younger brother of Jesus Christ. To help pay for their defense,
China’s provincial governments borrowed money from foreign
investors. As collateral they offered claims on Shanghai’s customs
(Econ, 11/19/11, p.78)
1861 Ch'ing Emperor Hsien Feng
died in exile and his widow Orchid (26) became China's Empress
(SSFC, 2/1/04, p.M6)
1861 Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
impressionist painter, entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied
with Charles Gleyre.
1861 Germain Sommeiller
(d.1871), French engineer, began work on the Mount Cenis Tunnel
(Frejus Tunnel) between France and Italy, using his newly developed
pneumatic drills. Work proceeded from opposite ends and connected on
Dec 26, 1870.
(ON, 2/03, p.8)
1861 Felix Nadar invented a
battery operated flash lamp and began exploring the sewers and
catacombs of Paris.
(Econ, 12/8/12, IL p.15)
1861 Protestant banker Edouard
Andre (d.1894) married Catholic painter Nelie Jacquemart and caused
a minor scandal.
(SFEC, 3/26/00, p.T12)
1861 Germany abolished a number
of discriminatory laws including the Matrikel law, which allowed
only the oldest son in a Jewish family to marry.
(SFC, 3/19/17, p.C1)
1861 The first Archaeopteryx
fossil was found in Germany in mid-Jurassic rocks dating to about
155-150 million BC. The very rare remains of the first bird,
Archaeopteryx, was about the size of a dove, had a long,
reptile-like tail but with real feathers, not scales, and it
possessed teeth in its beak.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.101)(SFC, 7/28/11, p.A8)
1861 In Greenland the first
Eskimo newspaper began.
(WSJ, 4/10/00, p.A44)
1861 In Bombay, India, the
Magen David synagogue was erected at the sole expense of David
(WSJ, 9/17/98, p.A20)
1861 British colonial rulers
framed an anti-homosexuality law for India.
1861 In India the Murree
Brewery Co. Ltd. was founded by British colonialists. It became a
listed company in 1902. In 1947 it came under the control of
(SFC, 7/10/00, p.A8)(Econ, 4/21/12, p.58)
1861 The Risorgimento movement
resulted in Italian unification. The Carbonari was a secret society
in early 19th century Italy who advocated liberal and patriotic
ideas and opposed the conservative regimes imposed on Italy by the
Allies who had defeated Napoleon in 1815. As with other secret
societies of the age, the Carbonari had an initiation ceremony,
complex symbols and a hierarchical organization though its exact
origins are left to conjecture. They recruited primarily among
nobility, small landowners and officeholders and may have been an
offshoot of the Freemasons. Their influence is credited with
preparing the way for the Risorgimento movement.
1861 Radama II (1829-1863), the
son of Queen Ranavalona I, succeeded her to rule Madagascar.
1861 Benito Juarez became the
president of Mexico. Napoleon III persuaded Archduke Maximilian of
Austria to take the throne of Mexico.
(SCal, May 1995)
1861 In Russia Dmitri Ivanovich
Mendelyev, chemist, determined that the maximum solubility of
alcohol in water occurs at a ratio of 40% to 60%. This became the
ideal mixture for sipping vodka for Russians.
(WSJ, 2/2/98, p.A23)
1861 Thailand's King Mongkut
offered to send a pair of elephants to the United States as a gift
of the friendship between the two countries. President Abraham
Lincoln politely declined.
1861 The L’Osservatore Romano
newspaper was founded as the mouthpiece for the Vatican.
(WSJ, 10/13/08, p.A16)
1861-1865 In 1860, Lincoln became the first
president elected from the new Republican Party. Abraham Lincoln was
fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington,
D.C., on April 14, 1865. In 1996 a new biography of Abraham Lincoln
by David Donald was published.
(HN, 2/12/98)(AP, 2/12/98)(AHD, 1971, p.759)(WSJ,
2/10/95, p.A-8)(SFC, 9/1/96, Par. p.12)(HNPD, 2/12/99)(SFC, 4/30/99,
1861-1865 The American Civil War. In 1996 "A Short
History of the Civil War" by James L. Stokesbury, Canadian
professor, was published. 185,000 black soldiers served in the
Colored Troops. In 1997 James M. McPherson published "For Cause and
Comrades," a collection of letters by the men who fought in the war.
(SFC, 9/1/96, Par. p.12)(SFC, 9/11/96, p.C1)
1861-1865 During the American Civil War,
Confederate prisoners who were pressed into service by the Union to
fight against Indians on the Western frontier were referred to as
1861-1865 The U.S. Military Railroads`
Construction Corps under Herman Haupt performed spectacular
engineering feats during the American Civil War.
1861-1865 The American Civil War left over 600,000
(WSJ, 5/7/99, p.A1)
c1861-1865 Walt Whitman went to Virginia during
the Civil War to nurse his brother George, who had been wounded in
battle. Afterward, Whitman volunteered in army hospitals in
1861-1865 The Napoleon 12-pounder gun howitzer was
the most popular smoothbore artillery piece employed in the American
Civil War (there was also a 6-pounder Napoleon that was less widely
used). The muzzle-loaded artillery piece—named for French emperor
Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)--was adopted by the U.S. Army shortly
before the Civil War. Confederates captured a great many Federal
pieces, but also copied the design to manufacture themselves. The
cannon fired a variety of ammunition and had a maximum effective
range of between 800 and 1,000 yards.
1861-1865 The National Museum of Health and
Medicine (NHMH) was founded in Washington DC to advance medical care
during the Civil War.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.T10)
1861-1865 In 2001 Russell F. Weigley won the
Lincoln Prize for his book: "A Great Civil War: A Military and
(WSJ, 2/15/00, p.A16)
1861-1865 Major Gen’l. Dan Butterfield wrote
"Taps" during the Civil War and created the first military shoulder
1861-1865 The mid-downtown park, donated to San
Francisco by Mayor John Geary, became the site of rallies on behalf
of the Union that gave the park its name. Many of the rallies were
led by Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King. The block was renamed
Union Square to commemorate the rallies.
(SFEC, 3/15/98, p.W27)(SSFC, 7/21/02, p.F2)
1861-1865 Turin was the capital of Italy.
(WSJ, 8/18/99, p.A17)
1861-1869 William Henry Seward was the American
Sec. of State during these years
(HFA, ‘96, p.30)(AHD, p.1187)
1861-1871 In 2007 Michael Knox Beran authored
“Forge of Empires: 1861-1871: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the
World They Made," a work of comparative history in which he focuses
on the US, Russia and the unifying German states during the 1860s.
(WSJ, 12/6/07, p.D7)
1861-1876 Abdul Aziz succeeded Abdul Meçid in the
Ottoman House of Osman.
(Ot, 1993, xvii)
1861-1880 Rob Cox tells the story of William
Mumler and other photographers of the dead and living dead in his
article The Transportation of American Spirits: Gender, Spirit
Photography and American Culture, 1861-1880 in Ephemera Journal 7,
(MT, 10/95, p.10-11)
1861-1920 Louise Imogen Guiney, American poet and
essayist: "Quotations (such as have point and lack triteness) from
the great old authors are an act of filial reverence on the part of
the quoter, and a blessing to a public grown superficial and
1861-1925 Rudolf Steiner was a theosophist who saw
himself as a bridge between the scientific and spiritual traditions.
1861-1941 Sir Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Nobel
Prize-winning poet: "Each child comes with the message that God is
not yet discouraged of man."
1861-1950 Minna Antrim, American writer: "A fool
bolts pleasure, then complains of moral indigestion."