Monday, November 26, 2007

1856 to 1858

John Halifax, Gentleman. Dina Maria Mulock Craik. British. 1856. Novel. Orphan, by perseverance, fortitude, establishes himself in life despite humble origin.

1857. Giuseppi Garibaldi founds the Italian National Association to work for unification of the country.

1857. The Dred Scott Decision announced by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney enrages abolitionists and encourages slave owners.

1857. A nationwide celebration marks the linking by rail of New York and St. Louis.

1857. U.S. cities have higher death rates than any other places in the world. Tuberculosis is the big killer, causing roughly 400 deaths per 100,000 population.

1857. The Atlantic Monthly begins publication at Boston under the editorship of James Russell Lowell.

1857. The world's first commercial passenger elevator is installed in the five-story New York store of E. G. Haughwort at the corner of Broadway and Broome Streets.

1857. Michigan State College of Agriculture opens to offer the first state courses in scientific and practical agriculture.

The Virginians. Wm. Makepeace Thackeray. British. 1857. Novel. Twin grandsons; boyhood in America; various experiences in England. Through American Revolution in which each fights on a different side.

The Flowers of Evil (Les fluers du mal). Charles Baudelaire. French. 1857. Poetry. Conflict of good, evil; seeks beauty or good in perverse, grotesque, morbid.

Tom Brown's School Days. Thomas Hughes. British. 1857. Novel. Life in an English public school. Shy, homesick boy develops manly, robust qualities.

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade. Herman Melville. American. 1857. Novel. Mississippi river boat. Plotless satire. Characters are different manifestations of the confidence man, without principle.

Barchester Towers. Anthony Trollope. British. 1857. Novel. Novel of clerical intrigue. Struggle between Mrs. Proudie, the Bishop's wife, and the insidious chaplain Slope.

1858. An assassination attempt on France's Napoleon III and his wife kills 10 and injures 150, but the January 14 bomb explosions leave the emperor and his wife Eugenie untouched. The French execute Italian revolutionist Felice Orsini and his accomplice.

1858. "A house divided against itself cannot stand," says former congressman Abraham Lincoln at Springfield, Ill., in accepting nomination as the Republican candidate for U.S. senator. "I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." Lincoln will lose to Democrat Stephen A. Douglas.

1858. Russia's Aleksandr II begins emancipating the nation's serfs.

1858. London's Linnaean Society hears a paper on the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence in nature presented by English naturalists Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin.

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