THE HIDDEN HAND
GETTING THE DATE
President Buchanan's request that Kansas be admitted to the Union as a slave state is rejected. [Aisha].
AUGUST 5: First trans-Atlantic cable was completed, by Cyrus W. Field. [Greg]
Slaves are sold at extremely high prices because of the strong demand for cotton, and Southerners start to seriously talk about re-opening the slave trade. [Josh]
Ohio almost becomes first state to grant woman suffrage when Ohio Senate casts a tie vote (44 to 44) to enfranchise women. [Eve]
1859 -- YEAR OF PUBLICATION
Georgia passes a law forbidding owners from emancipating slaves in their wills. [Aisha].
FEBRUARY 14: Oregon becomes the 33rd State. [Pam]
JUNE 27: The melody of the song "Happy Birthday to You" was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY. [Pam]
"George Eliot" publishes
The Lifted Veil
, establishing her as a prominant female author of Victorian England, despite her male pen-name. [Katie F.]
AUGUST 27: First commercially productive oil well drilled near Titusville, PA, by Edwin L. Drake. [Greg]
OCTOBER 16: With 21 men, abolitionist John Brown seizes U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. U.S. Marines captured the raiders, killing several, and Brown was hanged for treason on Dec 2nd [Greg]
Charles Darwin publishes
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Species in the Struggle for Life.
The Comstock Lode, the first large silver deposit discovered in the United States, is found in Nevada and it builds upon the gold rush to Pike's Peak in Colorado. [Josh]
President James Buchanan rules that the New Mexico Territory should be turned into a reservation for American Indians [Josh]
American Medical Association announces opposition to abortion. In 1860, Connecticut is the first state to prohibit all abortions, both before and after quickening. [Eve]
Washington Irving dies. [Terry]
Daniel Decatur Emmet composes "Dixie" for a minstrel show. [Sidney].
During the decade just ending, a tidal wave of 2.5 million immigrants entered the U.S., including 66,000 Chinese. [Kristen]
Erastus Beadle begins publishing the first "dime novels" (which originally cost only a nickel) [Sidney].
SOME ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE PLAY