World History 1861

About the history of the world in 1861, the American Civil War begins, Italy becomes a kingdom.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1861

* The weather was first forecast daily in Great Britain.

Feb. 4 Representatives from all of the seceding Southern states except Texas convened in Montgomery, Ala., to adopt a Confederate constitution. On Feb. 9, they elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi president of the Confederate States of America.

Mar. Italy became a kingdom under King Victor Emmanuel II, with authority in all provinces from the Alps to Sicily with the exception of Venice in the northeast, Rome, and part of the Papal States.

Apr. 12 The American Civil War began as Confederate guns fired on the federal outpost at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C., forcing the commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, to abandon the garrison. Thus the South signaled President Lincoln that it was prepared to fight to stay out of the Union.

Aug. 23 Rose O'Neal Greenhow, a middle-aged Washington socialite, was arrested on charges of espionage by Allan Pinkerton, head of the Washington Secret Service, as she entered her home. Since Lincoln's inauguration, she had cultivated high-placed government officials to obtain military information that would help her beloved South. Credited with supplying the advance intelligence which led to the early Union defeat at Bull Run, Rose Greenhow was exiled from the North for the duration of the war. In 1864 she drowned while trying to reenter the U.S. through the Union blockade off the North Carolina coast.

Nov. 7 Former Pres. John Tyler of Virginia, 72 years old and barely two months away from death, was elected to the Confederate House of Representative. He died before taking his seat.

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