United States and American History: Early 1890

About the history of the United States in 1890, population and census results, vigilantes in Senate, Theodore Roosevelt calls Tolstoy a pervert.


--U.S. population--62,622,250.

--Black Beauty, His Grooms and Companions by Anna Sewell was published in Boston by the American Humane Education Society, as a paper-bound tract against cruelty to animals. It sold for 20cent.

--Despite the fact that vigilantism was illegal, 4 ex-vigilantes, including Leland Stanford, served in the U.S. Senate.

--The Sherman Anti-Trust Act introduced in Congress by Sen. John Sherman, O., was passed with almost no dissent. It was intended to combat the monopolistic greed of big businessmen. However, it was 1st used successfully not against the corporations, but against Eugene Debs and the American Railway Union in 1894-1895.

--The governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, labeled Leo Tolstoi a "sexual and moral pervert," during the controversy sparked by the U.S. Post Office's banning of Tolstoi's The Kreutzer Sonata.

--The U.S. Government made an official declaration that the western frontier was now closed.

June 1 Facts learned from the census: The richest 1% of the population received more income than the poorest 50%. One-half of the national income was enjoyed by 1/8 of the families, and of the 12 million families in the U.S., 5 1/2 million had no property.


Agriculture, hunting, fishing Domestic, personal service Manufacturing Trade & transportation Profession

Blacks 57% 31% 6% 5% 1%

Native Whites 47% 12% 19% 16% 6%

Foreign-Born Whites 26% 27% 31% 14% 2%

July 3-10 Wyoming became a State after vowing, "We will stay out of the Union 100 years rather than come in without woman suffrage." Idaho was also admitted to the Union.

July 16 Newspapers in New York City announced the end of a 2-month strike by cloakmakers, much to the surprise of the cloakmakers, who had not yet been consulted by their leaders. A mass meeting was held at which the terms of the agreement were explained to the cloakmakers who rejected it by a vote of 1,536 to 20. In his book Memoirs of a Cloakmaker, A. Rosenberg described the dramatic scene that followed.

The enthusiasm was indescribable. Men and women jumped on the tables. Their voices could be heard 10 blocks away. After the audience cooled off a little, the chairman of the meeting declared that though everybody voted for the continuation of the strike, the thing most needed was money and that was lacking, and he would advise the people to reconsider their decision. But he had hardly concluded his sentence, when one of the people walked up to the chairman's table and taking off a ring from his finger handed it over to the chairman with the request to sell it or pawn it and give the money to the strikers. In less time than it takes to tell it, the chairman's table became covered with rings, watches, earnings, brooches, and other pieces of jewelry. All were shouting that these offerings be sold and the strike go on. He who witnessed this scene will never forget it. Many cried. Others yelled and argued. The entire meeting gave the impression of an immense cauldron.

The strike was won 9 days later.

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