The Year in Review: 1861

Kansas finally won admittance to the union at the beginning of the year, as the nation's 34th state and as a free state, but the end of the long stalemate over Kansas came as several other states were seceding from the federal government. Seven Deep South or Gulf states formed the Confederate States of America in February, raising the stakes of Abraham Lincoln's inauguration as president in March. Lincoln tried to respond to the crisis with a mixture of determination and flexibility but the initial results pleased few contemporaries. War erupted over the resupply of Fort Sumter in April and the crisis over slavery escalated to unprecedented proportions. Four more of the nation's fifteen slave states joined the rebellion. By the end of the year, nearly one million Americans were in uniform and thousands had been killed in various skirmishes and battles. Yet the long, hard war had only just begun and few realized the scope of the bloodshed to come.

January 1861
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February 1861
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March 1861
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April 1861
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May 1861
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June 1861
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July 1861
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August 1861
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September 1861
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October 1861
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November 1861
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December 1861
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Notable books published in 1861:

Dickens, Charles Dickens.  Great Expectations.  London:  Chapman and Hall, 1861.

Eliot, George.  Silas Marner.  Edinburgh, England:  W. Blackwood and Sons, 1861.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell.  Elsie Venner.  Boston:  Ticknor and Fields, 1861.

Jacobs, Harriet.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  Boston:  The author, 1861.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.  Paul Revere's Ride.  Ticknor and Fields, 1861.
 

How to Cite This Page: "The Year in Review: 1861," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/almanac/1861.