United States and American History: Late 1848

About the history of the United States in late 1848, the creation of the Associated Press, invention of air-conditioning, the Seneca Falls woman's rights convention.


May Ten men, representing the 6 leading New York newspapers, were brought together in an office of the New York Sun by 57-year-old David Hale, editor of the Journal of Commerce. Hale told his colleagues that it had become too difficult and too expensive for them to gather national and international news individually. One publisher alone, the upstart Scotsman, James Gordon Bennett, used newsboats, railroads, a private pony express, and even carrier pigeons for a pigeon post, to collect his news. Samuel F. B. Morse's new telegraph was still in its infancy, with only a single wire available to all New York papers. Hale suggested a "union of the foremost New York newspapers, each contributing its share to a general fund which could be used in a concerted effort to provide readers with wider coverage of all important world events." After much debate, the 10 men finally agreed to form a union of newspapers that would gather and share news. It was decided the organization would be called the Associated Press.

June 27 A Broadway theater bill announced a steam-powered "extensive apparatus for the perfect ventilation of the entire building." This air-conditioning machinery was patented by J. E. Coffee.

July First woman's rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, N. Y. Organizers of the convention were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions drawn up at the convention declared that woman was man's equal, advocated suffrage for women, and called attention to other inequities and limitations imposed upon women. Of the 260 women and 40 men who attended the convention, only one, Charlotte Woodward, lived to see women vote.

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