Category Archives: History

Dorothea Dix: A Beacon of Hope in Civil War Nursing and Mental Health Reform

Today, we celebrate the monumental contributions of Dorothea Dix, a true pioneer in the field of mental health care and a formidable figure during the Civil War era. Dix’s unyielding dedication to the humane treatment of the mentally ill transformed the landscape of psychiatric care in the 19th century. During the Civil War, Dix was […]

The First National “Decoration Day”

The First National “Decoration Day” In the last years of the Civil War and immediately afterward, communities in the Southern states decorated soldiers’ graves with flowers during the springtime “decoration days.”  After visiting a Confederate cemetery in 1866, General John A. Logan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed in an Independence […]

The Fulton Steamboat

Photo credit: Clermont, the first steam ship, designed by Robert Fulton, 1807. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images Known for developing the first commercially successful steamboat with the help of business partner Robert Livingston, Robert Fulton began his life as an author and later turned his focus to engineering. He married the niece of his steamboat business partner, […]

The Lovely Lee Sisters of Coton Farm

“The sisters were surrounded by a gaggle of doting admirers. Winnie Lee, the fiery, red-haired, hazel eyed beauty, was directly behind Fanny, sitting in an oversized chair between the fair-haired Betsy and the dark-haired Molly. There were nearly half a dozen men at their feet.” –Masque of Honor There are various accounts of just how […]

American Romanticism: 19th Century Literature & Ideology

The 19th Century was an incredibly rich time in American history. In the wake of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the United States was still at the early stages of forming its own identity and a culture of its own. This time period, historically remembered as the Romantic Era, greatly affected American […]

Influenza Pandemics in the 19th Century

Throughout human history, epidemics have had enormous impact on the civilizations of the world. From great plaques to disfiguring disease, mankind has been at constant war with these invisible enemies. During the 18th century, there were thirteen severe epidemics throughout the world. In the 19th century, there were twelve. Historians and virologists estimate that eight […]

Top News Stories of the 19th Century

The delivery of the daily news was quite different in the 19th century than today.  Throughout the 1800s, newspaper distributors, or “post riders” would deliver papers to smaller post offices and suburban areas. Over time, young boys called “newsboys” were employed and assigned specific routes to deliver newspapers to people’s homes. It was also commonplace […]

The Rise of Mass Entertainment: Leisure Time and Fun in Pre-Civil War America

In a time of growth and territorial expansion, early 19th Century America saw many changes occur in day-to-day life. Advancements in technology brought a new wave of industrialization, and the population grew exponentially. Due to an economic boom, the American people were living more comfortably and in better conditions. Whereas before only the wealthy could […]

19th Century Culture: The Irish in the Antebellum & Their Impact on American Culture

Our country has persistently been a symbol of freedom and hope for those seeking refuge—from its birth, to the present day, and especially so in the 1800s. The newly prosperous America was seen as the land of opportunity, attracting immigrants from around the world. From the beginning of the century, an overwhelming majority of these […]