Monday, August 20, 2012

From Robert McNamara, your Guide to 19th Century History


In the 19th century a particular patch of Manhattan known as the Five Points was widely regarded as the most crime-ridden and dangerous neighborhood in America. Its notoriety made it one of the sights Charles Dickens wanted to see for himself after his first crossing of the Atlantic, and its legend has been a part of popular culture ever since.
The raucous slum, which took its name as it stood where several haphazardly laid-out streets converged in irregular corners, was the home of flamboyant Irish-American gangsters. And stories of police raids on the Five Points became standard fare in newspapers of the day.  The site of the notorious neighborhood is now... Read more

In the summer of 1862 one of Abraham Lincoln's greatest political supporters, Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, was losing patience. A dedicated opponent of slavery, Greeley had helped organize the anti-slavery Republican Party in the mid-1850s.   When Lincoln rose from obscurity as an opponent to the spread of slavery to the western territories, Greeley took notice. The New York Tribune covered... Read more

In the summer of 1812 few expected the small navy of the United States to accomplish much against the might of Britain's Royal Navy.
As the War of 1812 began,... Read more

There's one big reason the name President James G. Blaine doesn't ring a bell. Blaine, the anticipated winner in the election of 1884, had his campaign overturned by a colossal gaffe a week before the election.   A crack about "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" cost him dearly. And Grover Cleveland, a man with his own scandalous problems, won the election.


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