1860s Life

Major Events of the Decade


The most important news in the Village concerns the lives of its inhabitants: birth, marriage, death, accident, religion, politics. Nevertheless, there was an interest and a hunger for news from the outside world. That was the function of the local weekly newspaper that, for its avid readers, provided a window on the rest of the world. That window was seen through the eyes of the local editor who selected a variety of items, many of them odd or obscure, that he thought would interest readers. These items were re-printed from his reading of other newspapers, journals, and published books from all regions of the world. Many of the events might have happened weeks or months before, but they were "news" to the Village. The telegraph and the train assisted in bringing a more timely understanding of what was happening elsewhere. Here is a selected list of some of the news items that interested readers of 1860s publications.

General
  • Canadian Confederation is achieved
  • The American Civil War
  • Emperor Napoleon III rules in France
  • Chancellor Bismarck unifies German Confederation
1860s
  • The Prince of Wales visits North America
  • Garibaldi fights for Italian unity
  • Abraham Lincoln elected President
1861
  • American Civil War begins
  • Viscount Monck becomes Governor-General
  • Flush toilet patented by Thomas Crapper
  • U.S. and Britain at the brink of war
1862
  • John Sandfield Macdonald forms Liberal government
  • Gold discovered in B.C. cariboo region
  • Foucault measures the speed of light
1863
  • Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln
  • 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
  • Taiping Rebellion
  • Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
1864
  • Leo Tolstoy writes 'War and Peace'
  • Charlottetown Conference proposes larger confederation
  • Canadian Temperance Act passed
  • Quebec Conference creates articles of Confederation
  • First Cheese factory in Canada, in Ingersoll
1865
  • Ottawa becomes permanent seat of government
  • First soda pulp mill in Canada
  • "Alice in Wonderland" published in Britain
  • Joseph Lister performs first antiseptic surgery
  • Transatlantic cable successfully laid
  • President Lincoln assassinated
  • Defeat of the South: end of American Civil War
1866
  • Irish Republican Army invades Canada from the US
  • End of American-Canadian Free Trade Treaty
  • Alfred Nobel invents dynamite
  • Cholera kills hundreds in London
  • Great fire in Quebec city destroys 2,500 houses
  • Dominion of Canada chosen as our new name
1867
  • Canadian Confederation proclaimed on July 1st
  • Britain and France turn down plans for Channel tunnel
  • First ship passes through Suez Canal
  • Livingstone explores the Congo in Africa
  • The Jesse James gang robs banks in US
  • US purchases Alaska from Russian Czar for $7.2 million.
  • "Blue Danube" waltz premieres in Vienna
  • Second Reform Bill passed in Britain
1868
  • Spanish Revolution begins, Queen Isabella flees
  • Thomas D'Arcy McGee assassinated in Ottawa
  • Rupert's Land becomes part of Dominion of Canada
  • Christopher Latham Sholes patents the type-writer
  • Skeleton of Cro-magnon man found in France
  • Great Train Robbery - Reno brothers in England make off with $98,000 in cash
1869
  • Canada officially acquires the Hudson Bay territories
  • Suez Canal in Egypt officially opens
  • Baptist minister invents rickshaw in Yokohama, Japan
  • The Metis in Manitoba rebel, led by Louis Riel
  • Jules Verne writes "20,000 Leagues under the Sea"
  • Canadian settlers occupy the Red River Valley
Upper Canada Village

13740 County Road 2
Morrisburg, ON, K0C 1X0
Tel: 1-800-437-2233 or 613-543-4328
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