1860's America Events and People


"Blind Tom"

Approx. 1860

"Blind Tom" Wiggins published his own works for the first time less then a year after he was the first black person to preform in the White House. Wiggins published his two original songs "Oliver Gallop" and "Virginia Polka"

Harriet Tubman

Approx. 1860

By 1860, Harriet Tubman rescued at least 300 slaved from their plantations and owners in the south. Over 19 missions to plantations, Tubman risked her life time and time again to insure the freedom of others. She is also known for 'never losing a passenger" on any of her missions.

Pemberton Mill Collapse

January 10th, 1860

Pemberton Mill Collapse is both the "worst industrial accident in Massachusetts history" and the "worst industrial calamity in American history". This event resulted in over 120 people loosing their lives and happened without any warning that could have saved lives.

Pony Express Run

April 3rd, 1860 - October 24th, 1861

This 19 month operation was designed to deliver packages, mail and newspapers and eventually reduced the coast to coast delivery time to just 10 days! If it was so effective then why did it end? Simply an advance in technology. From the time the pony express ran, until 1869 when the official United States Post Office was established, mail and such was delivered in the railways and other modes of transportation.

The Sinking of the PS Lady Elgin

September 6th, 1860

The PS Lady Elgin was a fancy steamboat that crashed into a smaller boat, and in turn sunk on that stormy night. The sinking was the result of at least 400 deaths and "one of the greatest marine horrors on record". As with most fatal crashes, there was a law passed because of this. From then on, running lights were required on all boats to avoid similar accidents.

Captain Jack Wilson's death

September 8th, 1860

Captain Wilson was the captain on the Lady Elgin and was one of the lives captured by the sinking. Captain Wilson was nervous about the stormy weather, and despite the best efforts of him and his crew, they couldn't seem to prevent the drowning of over 400 people. Unfortunately it won't be years from this incident that life boats are mandated because of the Titanic

South Carolina Secedes

December 20, 1860

South Carolina was "the first state to secede from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860". SC was essentially the founder of the confederate union, and ten states followed suit by 1861, before the start of the war. Their first point was that they were angry at the slavery disagreement between the states.

James D. Bulloch - European Agent

1861 - 1864

Before resigning, Bulloch served in the navy for about 15 years. Later he decided to become an agent for the confederate side after trying to leave the union before the official start of the war. Over his years with the confederates he did many things to aid them, and there are rumors that John Wilkes Booth actually met with Bulloch within days before the assassination

Clara Barton

1861 - Approx. 1864

Clara Barton, also known as "the angel of the battlefield" was an amazing woman who from the beginning of the war was there on the field helping wounded soldiers and anyone in general who needed help. She started many organizations throughout the war, and even late into her life she helped those who were affected by the war. She seemed to not be able to stop helping

Elizabeth Keckley makes friends with Linclons Mary Todd

March 1st, 1861

After introducing herself to Lincoln and Mary Todd, she became friendly with Mary. Mary eventually invited Elizabeth to the White House to do many things. Over the years, Elizabeth makes dressed for Mary, helped her get dressed, helped her prepare for social events and became a confidant for Mary when she needed to talk

Abraham Lincoln is elected president

March 4th, 1861

This was the start of Lincoln's first and only fully served term as the President of the United States. Over the next five years until his assassination, Lincoln would go on to do many things such as the Emancipation Proclamation and deliver the Gettysburg address. Unfortunately Lincoln wouldn't see the end of the civil war, he is assassinated before the official ending.

StoneWall Jackson Commander

April 27, 1861

Jackson was ordered to create and command a unit in Shenandoah Valley, " Jackson became known for his relentless drilling of his troops; he believed discipline was vital to success on the battlefield",

Kit Carson


Kit Carson did many things in his career, but two main ones were he lead the uprising of Mexicans against the rule and was a frontiersman who lead a regiment of men for the union side, and was a fierce soldier but eventually had to retire because he has such a poor state of health. After his retirement, he only lived to 1868.

Assasination of Abraham Lincoln

April 15th, 1865

Everyone knows the story, a crazed actor who wasn't a fan of Lincoln, he snuck up behind Lincoln and shot him in the head in front of his wife and two friends. That must have been very traumatic for the people viewing it, especially poor Mary who went home covered in her husband's blood and brain.

Election of Ulysses S Grant

March 4th 1869

This was the start of Grant's first of two terms as the President of the United States. Over the next eight years until the end of his term, Grant would go on to do many things such as started "the civil right laws to fight the Ku Klux Klan" and " brought in the Civil Rights Acts of 1870 & 1875 which guarantee equal rights for African Americans"