Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1837 to 1839

1837. Buildings and paved streets occupy only one-sixth of Manhattan; the rest remains planted in farms and gardens.

1837. London's Buckingham Palace will be the royal residence of the new queen, Victoria, and her successors.

Twice-Told Tales. Nathaniel Hawthorne. American. 1837. Stories. "Howe's Masquerade"; "The Grey Champion"; "the Great Carbuncle"; "The Minister's Black Veil."

The French Revolution. Thomas Carlyle. British. 1837. History. Central motif is the nemesis that follows upon oppression of the poor.

Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens. British. 1837/39. Novel. Depicts the world of poverty, crime and workhouse of the 19th century London. Illustrates that poverty breeds crime.

1838. The "underground railway" organized by u.S. abolitionists transports Southern slaves to freedom in Canada, but slaving interests at Philadelphia work on the fears of Irish immigrants and other working people who worry that freed slaves may take their jobs.

1838. The Trail of Tears takes more than 14,000 members of the Cherokee Nation from tribal lands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, 800 miles westward to Indian territory west of the Red River. Escorted with their horses and oxen by troops under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott, the Cherokee journey by wagon and keelboat for anywhere from 93 to 139 days. An estimated 4,000--mostly infants, children and old people--die enroute of a variety of diseases.

1838. Famine kills thousands in the north of Ireland as crops fail.

The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. Edgar A. Poe. American. 1838. Novel. English boy stows away on a whaler; mutiny,savagery, cannibalism, pursuit. In end, emergence of great white figure. Intrigued Melville.

"Ligeia." Edgar A. Poe. American. 1838. Story. Narrator's mysterious dark-haired wife dies after lingering illness. Marries Rowena. She dies. In opium state, he sees corpse of Rowena arise. She has been transformed into Ligeia.

Nicholas Nickleby. Charles Dickens. British. 1838. Novel. Attacks schools and school masters; led to reformation.

"The Divinity School Address." Ralph Waldo Emerson. American. 1838. Speech. Stressed the divinity of man and the humanity of Christ. Denied miracles. Did not quote scripture. Upheld intuition, rather than ritual, as a means of knowing God. Shocked conservative clergymen.

1839. Charles Goodyear pioneers effective use of rubber.

1839. The first state-supported normal school (teacher's college) is founded at Lexington, MA, through the efforts of Board of Education Secretary Horace Mann.

1839. Baseball rules are devised by West Point cadet Abner Doubleday of Cooperstown, NY. His dicta call for a diamond-shaped field and two teams of nine players each.

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