Nineteenth-century History

19th Century

Kings of Bavaria: Conclusion – After the Fall of the Monarchy

The rule of the Bavarian kings ended with the German Revolution of 1918-1919 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. The royal family became enemies of the Nazis and had to flee Germany, but never gave up the dream of restoring the monarchy.

Kit Carson

No one person in the history of the American west played so many important roles in the shaping of this vast American landscape than Kit Carson. Despite his modest upbringing and the modest attitude he would carry with him throughout his life, the epic adventures he would lead in his lifetime would ...

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

There are few mining towns of the old west which are still operational. Most mining operations were shut down for a large variety of different reasons and the towns supporting them then slowly dried up and eventually became ghost towns. Idaho Springs, Colorado, however, is one of the few which are s...

Documentary about the Yukon Passage

I have spent about the last hour watching a very interesting documentary produced in the 1970s about the Yukon Passage during the Klondike Gold Rush. The primary focus of the documentary is not the gold rush itself, but rather the way in which prospectors would have gotten to the Klondike region in ...

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln

A few days ago I ran into an interesting, but ambitious project online called “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln”. According to the project’s website, they are “dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Linc...

Britain and the American Civil War

When most people think of the American Civil War, they do not tend to think of the reaction that the United Kingdom had to it. Despite being across the Atlantic, a large number of people in Britain followed the war with great interest. For the most part, their reaction was quite mixed. Some people h...

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: South Pass City, Wyoming

There are many towns throughout the American west which serve as excellent examples of what a mining “boom town” was like. South Pass City, Wyoming is one such town. It is a relatively rare example, however, in that it has survived practically unchanged into the present and as such can b...

Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Joshua A. Norton is a little known figure in American history. He was the first and only self-declared emperor of the United States of America. He styled himself as His Majesty, Emperor Norton I. Most of his contemporaries understandably branded him as crazy, unstable and as having gone off the deep...

A 19th Century Journal – William Steinway

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has just released an online version of the journal kept by entrepreneur William Steinway throughout most of this life. He documented his life in almost daily increments for over 36 years of his life. The journal contains 2,500 pages in nine vol...

A politically correct (censored) Huckleberry Finn?

As most of my readers probably know, I am a huge fan of Mark Twain. The name of this blog comes from a quote he made about history and a lot of my inspiration comes from his works. The recent news of a Montgomery, Alabama-based publisher publishing a censored version of one of Twain's most famous bo...
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Who were the real cowboys? (Part 1)

“Always drink upstream from the herd.” That was the advice of just one of hundreds of anonymous cowboys of the 19th century. While many of us are familiar with romanticized cowboys such as those played by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in western films, many of us do not know much about t...

Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Joshua A. Norton is a little known figure in American history. He was the first and only self-declared emperor of the United States of America. He styled himself as His Majesty, Emperor Norton I. Most of his contemporaries understandably branded him as crazy, unstable and as having gone off the deep...

The Hanging Judge

“I have ever had the single aim of justice in view… ‘Do equal and exact justice,’ is my motto, and I have often said to the grand jury, ‘Permit no innocent man to be punished, but let no guilty man escape.'” Few judges in American history have such a reputation as...

The Modocs – Introduction

“Well, I tell you what I will do. I give you twenty-five head of ponies if you take my place today, as you say Heaven is such a nice place. Because I do not like to go right now.” These were the words of the Modoc chief Keintpoos – or “Captain Jack” as he was...