150 years ago, America was embroiled in one of the bloodiest wars ever fought on native soil: the American Civil War. 150 years ago, the North fought the South, brother fought brother, nation fought nation. 150 years ago, when the naval blockade of Southern ports threatened to choke the Confederacy, a little submarine defeated a Union vessel, sending it to the bottom of the sea. Almost in the same breath, however, the H.L. Hunley also sank. How and why it sank is a mystery.
A new segment I am rolling out slowly but surely is a quick snapshot of an important event in history each week. This week, I will be discussing the creation of the Smithsonian Institution. Comprised of nineteen museums, galleries, etc., the Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world. It was founded in the mid-nineteenth century with a bequest from James Smithson, an English chemist and mineralogist.
In the exultant rush of feel-good hormones due to a sudden influx of good karma, I’m feeling rather cheeky…much like Ambrose Bierce…wait, who the hell is he?!
In an attempt to steer away from England for a post or two, I’ve taken the liberty of devoting this post to a topic completely unrelated to previous ones. A little known historical interest of mine lies in the Yukon (or Klondike) gold rush of the late nineteenth century.
In doing research on how the scarcity of women impacted the nineteenth century gold rush phenomenon, I found one particularly interesting “nugget” of information. Apparently, someone attempted to create a virtual dating site back in the mid-1800s, or, at least a close equivalent. Eliza Farnham concocted a scheme in the 1850s to provide wives to miners and other men in moral-lacking California through shipping women via vessel.
Finally. Yes, I chose a topic for my first historical post…and no, it is not about Tudor history at all. I have a strange fascination with gold rushes as well, especially the Yukon (or Klondike) gold rush of the late 1890s. If you played MECC’s 1994 game of The Yukon Trail, you would know exactly what I mean (of course, if you even remember that game, then you are indeed a child of the ’90s)—I will not lie, I found it online and still play it from time to time.