James Brothers tied to Centralia killings .Missouri Sept. 27, 1864.
Pro-Confederate guerrillas under ‘Bloody Bill’ Anderson attacked and robbed the Centralia railroad station today. When they finally rode out of town, at least 24 people lay dead. It is reported that the murderous band included the James Brothers, Frank and Jesse. It is not known whether the Anderson group is connected with “Quantrill’s Raiders”, who sacked and burned Lawrence, Kansas, last year. But observers say it is likely that the James brothers are associated with, perhaps working hand in hand with both groups.
Richmond occupied by Union troops. Virginia Apr. 5, 1865
The victorious Union army with bands loudly playing The Girl I left behind me and Dixie, marched into this capital of the Confederacy two days ago. Today, the city is still a smouldering ruin. As regiments of Negro soldiers entered the city, crowds of former slaves came out to greet them, cheering wildly. The first troops to enter Richmond were combat patrols, followed almost immediately by fire brigades, which went about saving as much of the burning city as they could.
Ravages of Civil War: Half of nation in tatters. Washington 1865.
After four long years, the Civil War has left American society with deep scars that may perhaps never heal. The war has carried “mourning into almost every home” President Lincoln said, until “it can almost be said that the heavens are hung in black.”.
No indisputable figures exist, but it is believed the fighting claimed 360,000 Union and 258,000 Confederate casualties. Even the heroes were scarred by their accomplishments. By 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant’s war of attrition had earned him the name “butcher”.
Eight are convicted in President’s Assassination. Four hanged. Washington July 8, 1865.
Four of the conspirators convicted in the assassination of President Lincoln were hanged today. Mary Surratt, Lewis Payne, David Herold and George Atzerodt, allwalked to the gallows. It was Paine who stabbed Secretary of State Seward. Herold was with John Wilkes Booth when he was shot. Three other conspirators, Samuel Arnold, Samuel Mudd and Michael O’Laughlin, are serving life terms in prison. Three months have passed since the assassination, and wild rumours about it abound. Some people even suggest that Booth is still on the lose.
Anti-Negro Klan organised in South. Tennessee Dec. 1865.
A secret society formed this year in central Tennessee, with its members riding at night in hooded white robes, has alarmed some observers, who fear it may be used against freed Negroes. “Ku Klux Klan” the name is taken from the Greek word “kuklos” or circle. The founders are said to assert that the KKK is a harmless fraternity but many fear it stands against reconstruction in the Confederacy.
Ku Klux Klan spreads throughout South. Tennessee Autumn 1866.
The head of the Ku Klux Klan reports that the organisation has received an enthusiastic welcome from Tennessee to Texas and across the old Confederacy. Former General Nathan B. Forest, one of Robert. E. Lee’s foremost cavalrymen during the war, founded the Klan last year in the town of Pulaski. While Forest says the Klan is nothing more than a congenial club of former Confederate veterans, many government officials argue that the group is committed to the denial of Negro Rights.
Injured Mary Baker Patterson cures herself. Lynn, Massachusetts, Feb. 5, 1866.
Mrs. Mary B Patterson appears to have made a miraculous recovery from injuries sustained in a fall. Mrs. Patterson, a lecturer in the theories of the late Phineas Quimby that illness exists only in the mind, now seems to be proof of those beliefs. Mrs. Patterson, always a sickly woman, was ‘cured’ by Quimby in 1862. Her fall on the ice last Thursday seemed to end this cure. But she astounded her doctor, who thought she should be bedridden for months, by getting up yesterday, just three days after her accident. She attributes this to reading Matthew 9:2, where Jesus heals a man stricken with palsy.
U.S. Purchases Alaska for $7 million. Washington Apr. 9, 1867
It was a close shave. The former Russian colony of Alaska is now a territory of the United States, but it became so by just a single congressional vote to spare. After an impassioned three hour speech by Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, the vote to transfer Alaska from Russian hands to the U.S. Was approved by a vote of 27 to 12 with six legislators absent. The total in favour of buying was one vote more than the two thirds that is required for ratification.
Nebraska becomes nations 37th State. March 1, 1867.
Nebraska the land that one explorer called “the Great American Desert” has become the 37th state in the union. In 1820, Major Stephen Long of the United States Army led an expedition to this region and declared it “wholly unfit for farming.” Farmers disagreed. Drawn by the promise of free land under the Homestead Act of 1862, thousands flocked to these prairies and began building sod houses.
Britain makes Canada a dominion. London March 29, 1867.
A stroke of the pen gave Canada self-governing status as a dominion under the British crown today. Parliament enacted the British North America Act, providing for the union of its former colonies of new Brunswick and Nova Scotia with Quebec and Ontario, which had been joined earlier as the Province of Canada East and West. Two of Britain’s other colonies in the Atlantic region, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, were participants in the confederation talks but chose to remain separate. Sir John A Macdonald was appointed first Prime Minister.
Elevator paves way for skyscraper. New York City 1868
Ever since Elisha Otis demonstrated his safety elevator in 1854, engineers have dreamed of buildings that could reach toward the sky. At a towering 130 feet, the new Equitable Life association building will certainly realise that goal. Built by Arthur Gilman, Edward Kendal and George post, it is the first building designed around Otis’s device. When completed in 1870, the buildings two steam-powered elevators will hoist passengers a full five stories.
Custer’s Seventh Cavalry wipes out Indians at Washita. Indian Territory Nov. 27, 1868.
With bugles sounding “charge” and the regimental band blaring out the legendary “Garryowen” the 800-man Seventh Cavalry Regiment under Lt. Col. George A Custer today struck a combined force of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians led by Chief Black Kettle on the Washita River. The battle took place on the plains of the Western Indian Territory, just east of the Texas Panhandle. At the time the charge was sounded the ground was covered by 12 inches of snow; by the time the battle was over the blood of more than 100 Indians including Black Kettle and his wife stained the snow.
Golden Rail spike joins East to West. Utah May 10.1869
Above the thin hiss of steam engines facing across a final connecting track today, crowds in the arid valley here read a solemn prayer for the railroad that links the nation from coast to coast.
Then President Leyland Stanford of the Central Pacific Railroad stepped between the locomotives, the C.P.‘S Jupiter and the Union Pacific’s 119. To the East, 1,086 miles of U.P. Track. To the west 690 for the C.P. Stanford paused, then swung a silver hammer at a last golden spike - and missed. Amid much hilarity, vice-president Thomas Durant of Union Pacific tried. He missed. Finally, U.P.‘S chief engineer Grenville Dodge, slammed it home, and telegraphers sped the joyous message “The Pacific railroad is done”
First Pro-Team pays short-stop $1,400. Cincinnati Apr. 7, 1869.
Those innovative Red Stockings from Cincinnati have become the first salaried team in baseball. The captain-shortstop, George Wright, contracted for a salary of $1400 for the season, which began March 15 and will end November 15. Asa Brainard, the pitcher, will receive £1200. The Red Stockings, while playing amateur ball last year, were the first club to perform in uniforms that featured shortened pants known as knickerbockers. While this seemed to amuse many of the teams fans, now other clubs are reportedly considering adopting the new baseball fashion.
Robert E. Lee wins Mississippi Boat Race St. Louis July 4, 1870
The banks of the Mississippi resounded with cannons and cheers as the Robert E Lee docked here at 11.24am, winning the great riverboat race with the Natchez. The powerful boat had completed a 1,100 mile trip up the Mississippi from New Orleans in three days, 18 hours and 14 minutes. The Natchez arrived just before 6 pm. To the not-quite-so-enthusiastic cheers of its backers. The Robert E Lee’s owner and captain, John W Cannon said on arrival that his engines with 40 inch cylinders are the “best in the world.” The Natchez with slightly less powerful engines, had been close, but lagging in the race since it left new Orleans June 30. The vessels captain, the legendary Thomas P Leathers of Natchez, claimed he would have come first had he not been delayed in fog above Devil’s Island. Leather’s Natchez came in fully six and a half hours behind Robert E Lee.
Thev historic race has galvanised the people of the Mississippi Valley. Hundreds of thousands lined the river banks from New Orleans all the way to St. Louis.
First Train from West arrives in New York. July 24, 1870
The first through train arrived from San Francisco today, completing a trans-continental route across the Central Pacific and Union Pacific lines and into the vast Eastern railway network to New York, a city served by rail links carrying 50,000 people daily. Alternate routes to the Far West are being planned. The Denver, Pacific and Kansas Pacific have linked Missouri and Colorado; the companies now aim for Santa Fe. Northern Pacific, Southern Pacific and Aitchison, Topeka and Santa Fe routes.
Death toll is soaring in Chicago Fire. Oct 8, 1871.
As midnight approaches, one of America’s greatest cities is shrouded in flames. Chicago has been afire for two and a half hours, and the conflagration grows fiercer by the minute. Already 100 people have been killed and 1000 are homeless. Damage so far is in the millions.
No one is sure how the fire started but it is believed to have begun on the West Side of town at about 9.30am. It headed north east, and only moments ago it jumped the river at Adams Street. Flames are now driving out the inhabitants of Conley’s :Patch, a disreputable part of town. Gamblers and prostitutes are fleeing their places of business.
Brigham Young arrested for bigamy. Utah Oct 2, 1871.
Federal officials today arrested the Mormon leader Brigham Young for “lewd and lascivious cohabitation” with 16 of his wives. Following his appearance before a federal judge, the 70 year old Young was allowed to return home to await his trial. The arrest of Young seems to be part of an attempt by some of the federal authorities in the territory to destroy the power of the Latter Day Saints, as the Mormons call themselves. Several other Mormon leaders also were recently arrested for polygamy. Till others have been charged with murder as a result of the killings that occurred during the Mormon War of 1857.
Rockefeller corners Ohio oil refining. Cleveland 1872
John D. Rockefeller at 33, is sitting atop he nation’s oil refining industry. His Standard Oil of Ohio now controls nearly all of the refineries here in the oil capital of the nation. Not content with easy access to Lake Erie shipping, however, Rockfeller is using the size of his firm to elicit rebates from railroads. The Pennsylvania Railroad this year, reportedly signed a secret contract
Tweed is jailed for fraud. New York Nov 19, 1872.
After a lengthy and controversial trial, William “Boss” Tweed as sentenced this morning on charges of graft and corruption. The jury found the former Grand Aachem of Tamamany Hall guilty on 204 of 220 misdemeanour counts. Judge Davis ordered Tweed to serve 13 years and pay a fine of $12,500. The one-time democratic boss winced and his face turned ashen when the foreman read out the verdict.
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