Boston, MA


Boston, Ms. Seaport and capital of the state. Situated at the W. extremity of Massachusetts Bay, into which empty Charles and Mystic Rivers. By age and commercial importance, Boston is the metropolis of New England. The population of Boston, in 1800, 24,937; in 1810, 33,250; in 1820, 43,298; in 1830, 61,391; in 1840, 93,470; and in 1850 136,884. Owing to the almost insular situation of Boston, and its limited extent, its population, as compared with that of other large cities of the Union, does not fairly represent its relative importance. (Gazetteer of the United States of America, 1854)

    Place Unit Type
    City or Town
    Containing Unit
    Date Type
    - A huge winter storms blankets New England. Crime/Disasters
    A storm dumps snow over wide areas of the East, from Washington, DC to Boston Crime/Disasters
    Abolitionist meeting to commemorate John Brown broken up in Boston Campaigns/Elections
    Abolitionists meet at Faneuil Hall, Boston to protest the arrest of Anthony Burns Legal/Political
    - Adjutant-Generals of most "loyal states" are meeting at their Annual Convention in Boston, Massachusetts Battles/Soldiers
    After thirty-five years of anti-slavery efforts under William Lloyd Garrison, the Liberator ceases publication Campaigns/Elections
    - All twenty-four passengers aboard a Boston bound ship drown when she hits rocks outside the harbor Crime/Disasters
    Anthony Burns is arrested in Boston as a fugitive slave Slavery/Abolition
    Arriving in Boston, Stephen Douglas continues his political tour Campaigns/Elections
    Banks in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia suspend payment in gold and silver Business/Industry
    Bodies of 6th Massachusetts soldiers killed in Baltimore return to Boston Battles/Soldiers
    Boston elects its first ever Democratic Party mayor Campaigns/Elections
    Boston Veterinary Institute founded Cultural
    Boston-built steam yacht delivered to the Viceroy of Egypt Business/Industry
    Celebrated historian William H. Prescott dies of a stroke at his home in Boston Education/Culture
    Charles Dickens begins his live reading tour of the United States at the Steinway Hall in Boston. Education/Culture
    Charles Dickens sails from Liverpool for his second visit to the United States. Education/Culture
    Clear but very cold weather grips most of the north-eastern United States Science/Technology
    Confederate privateer encounters the loaded Boston schooner "Enchantress" and takes her as a prize Battles/Soldiers
    Constitutional Union Party begins its presidential campaign in Boston Campaigns/Elections
    Dickens enthusiasts queue overnight for live reading tickets for his second series of Boston live readings. Education/Culture
    Edward Payson Weston sets off to walk from Boston to Washington DC to pay off an election bet Education/Culture
    Edward Payson Weston, having walked from Boston, arrives in Washington DC four hours late Education/Culture
    Electric fire alarm is patented in Boston Science/Technology
    English-style railroad coaches go into service in Massachusetts Business/Industry
    Enoch Bartlett, grower of the Bartlett Pear, dies at his home Roxbury, Massachusetts Personal
    Explorer Isaac Israel Hayes departs Boston on an fourteen month expedition to the Arctic Science/Technology
    Famous former Chief Justice of Massachusetts Lemuel Shaw dies at his home in Boston Lawmaking/Litigating
    Fanny Kemble gives her final stage reading in Boston Education/Culture
    Federal troops arrest Baltimore's four Police Commissioners in pre-dawn raids on their homes Battles/Soldiers
    First burglar alarm installed Business/Industry
    - Fourth national convention of the National Quarantine and Sanitation Association held in Boston Crime/Disasters
    Friends of imprisoned Brigadier General Charles Stone seek aid from the Massachusetts Legislature Lawmaking/Litigating
    Future boxing champion John L. Sullivan born to Irish immigrant parents in Boston Personal
    Gales and snowstorms ravage the north-eastern United States and Canada Crime/Disasters
    General Ulysses S. Grant continues his victory tour of American cities, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts Battles/Soldiers
    - Heavy snowstorm in New York City and across the north-eastern United States Crime/Disasters
    Holiday celebrations get out of hand at a Boston hotel as young guests and employees brawl Crime/Disasters
    - Huge, wind-swept fire devastates Boston's docks and kills two firefighters Crime/Disasters
    In Boston, family members officially identify the bodies of the Massachusetts soldiers killed in Baltimore Battles/Soldiers
    In Boston, Henry Longfellow begins to write his famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" Education/Culture
    In Boston, Henry Longfellow completes his famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" Education/Culture
    In Boston, Massachusetts unveils a statue of educational reformer Horace Mann at the State Capitol Education/Culture
    In Boston, Rebecca Davis Lee graduates as the first female African-American medical doctor Education/Culture
    In Boston, six men convicted of tarring and feathering a man for celebrating Lincoln's murder are pardoned Lawmaking/Litigating
    - In Boston, the American Institute of Instruction holds its 31st annual meeting Education/Culture
    In Boston, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society rejects a proposal to disband since its work is done Campaigns/Elections
    In Boston, the Massachusetts Legislature amends its Militia Act to allow troops to march out of state Lawmaking/Litigating
    In Boston, the Massachusetts State House adjourns after a five month session. Lawmaking/Litigating
    In London, Charles Dickens' literary friends hold a massive farewell banquet before his visit to America. Education/Culture
    In Virginia, future founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra left for dead on the battlefield Battles/Soldiers
    International convention of the Y.M.C.A. held in Boston, Massachusetts Religion/Philosophy
    John A. Andrew, War Governor of Massachusetts, dies suddenly at his home in Boston, aged forty-nine. Personal
    John Brown speaks about Kansas before the Massachusetts legislature’s Committee on Federal Relations Legal/Political
    Joseph Brown Smith, the first fully blind American college graduate, dies in Louisville, Kentucky Personal
    Local officials foil U.S. Senate attempt to arrest Frank Sanborn for failure to appear to testify on Harpers Ferry Lawmaking/Litigating
    Massachusetts votes to build its own ironclads to defend its coast against the Confederate Navy Lawmaking/Litigating
    Massive fire in Boston destroys new six-story mechanical steam bakery Crime/Disasters
    Mob frees fugitive Shadrach Minkins after his arrest in Boston Slavery/Abolition
    Moncure Conway becomes co-editor of "The Commonwealth, " an anti-slavery journal Slavery/Abolition
    Moncure Conway publishes "The Rejected Stone" arguing for emancipation Education/Culture
    New 1400 ton steam sloop for the expanding Union Navy is launched at the Boston Navy Yard Business/Industry
    New England Colored Citizens' Convention opens in Boston Legal/Political
    New Galway Line steamship arrives in Boston to complete its maiden Atlantic crossing Business/Industry
    New Galway Line steamship sinks on only its second Atlantic crossing Crime/Disasters
    President Johnson visits Boston to help dedicate the new Masonic Temple in the city. Education/Culture
    - Prince Albert visits Boston and meets the last living survivor of the Battle of Bunker Hill US/the World
    Robert Bacon, future Secretary of State, born in Boston, Massachusetts Personal
    Sir Frederick Bruce, British ambassador in Washington, dies suddenly in Boston, Massachusetts. Personal
    Statue of Daniel Webster dedicated on the grounds of the state house in Boston, Massachusetts Education/Culture
    Storm in Boston area kills two and damages the Great Elm on Boston Common Crime/Disasters
    Street letter box patented in Philadelphia Commercial
    Suffolk Bank announces its intention to end the Suffolk Banking System in force since 1824 Business/Industry
    The 27th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society is held in Boston Slavery/Abolition
    The Boston Public Library moves into its new building in Boylston Street Education/Culture
    The Cochituate Aqueduct that provides water to Boston gives way Science/Technology
    The Massachusetts Republican Convention meets and has harsh words for President Johnson. Campaigns/Elections
    The Prince of Wales visits Albany, New York US/the World
    The two toll bridges between Boston and Cambridge in Massachusetts are made free from this date Business/Industry
    The U.S. Navy seizes a Confederate raider, now a British civilian vessel, off the coast of Portugal Battles/Soldiers
    The U.S.S. Niagara visits Dover on the English coast to drop off a captured British crew Battles/Soldiers
    Thieves rob a New Haven Railway train express car as it rolls through the night to Boston Crime/Disasters
    Thomas Bulfinch, the Boston banker who wrote "Bulfinch's Mythology" in his spare time, dies at his home in Massachusetts. Personal
    Turkish admiral ends his visit to United States Legal/Political
    - Two South Carolina slaves stow away aboard Boston bound steamer; one escapes, one does not Slavery/Abolition
    U.S. Navy recaptures the Boston schooner "Enchantress" taken as a Confederate prize two weeks before Battles/Soldiers
    Wendell Phillips speaks against mobs in Boston and almost causes a riot Campaigns/Elections
    Whig Frederick Walker Lincoln, Jr. re-elected Mayor of Boston Campaigns/Elections
    William Lloyd Garrison writes to a friend about the impact of John Brown's death. Slavery/Abolition
    Young Men's Christian Association in America founded in Boston Religion/Philosophy
    Residents in 1860
    Name Type
    Belknap Street Church, Boston, MA Location or Site
    Bunker Hill, Boston, MA Location or Site
    Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA Location or Site
    Fort Warren, MA Location or Site
    Date Title
    Boston (MA) Liberator, "To The Public," January 1, 1831
    Boston (MA) Herald, "Great Excitement Among the Colored People," October 25, 1850
    Boston (MA) Liberator, "Slave-Hunters in Boston," November 1, 1850
    New York Herald, “Important Decision on the Fugitive Slave Law,” September 4, 1851
    Debate over the River and Harbor Bill, US Senate, August 18, 1852
    John Henry Hill to William Still, December 29, 1853
    John Henry Hill to William Still, March 8, 1854
    New York Herald, "The Boston Fugitive Case," June 3, 1854
    Richmond (VA) Dispatch, "The Virginia Springs," July 1, 1854
    Sheridan Ford to William Still, February 15, 1855
    Abigail Goodwin to William Still, August 1, 1855
    Jacob Bigelow (William Penn) to William Still, September 9, 1855
    Boston (MA) Herald, "The Fugitive Slave Case," October 10, 1855
    Anthony Brown to William Still, June 26, 1856
    New York Herald, "Our Boston Correspondance," July 26, 1856
    Frances Watkins Harper to William Still, September 12, 1856
    Rebecca Jones to William Still, October 18, 1856
    New York Times, “The Tariff Bill,” January 16, 1857
    New York Times, "Return of a Fugitive Slave," January 19, 1857
    Thomas F. Page to William Still, February 25, 1857
    New York Times, "The American Party," March 3, 1857
    New York Times, “Massachusetts Legislature,” March 16, 1857
    Charleston (SC) Mercury, "Southern Rights," May 27, 1857
    Lewis Cobb to William Still, June 2, 1857
    New York Times, "What the Dred Scott Case Decided," July 16, 1857
    New York Times, “Another Failure,” September 11, 1857
    New York Times, “The Financial Panic,” September 14, 1857
    John M. Forbes to Edward Cunningham, September 28, 1857
    Flarece P. Gault to William Still, March 22, 1858
    Louisa F. Jones to William Still, May 15, 1858
    Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Revolution in New Orleans,” June 6, 1858
    Boston (MA) Liberator, "Anti-Slavery Celebration of Independence Day," June 25, 1858
    St. Louis (MO) Republican, “Let the Jubilee be General,” August 29, 1858
    Thomas F. Page to William Still, October 6, 1858
    New York Herald, “The Suspected Slavers,” December 18, 1858
    New York Times, “Sleeping Cars upon Railroads,” December 31, 1858
    Recollection of Jesse W. Fell, Conversation with Abraham Lincoln in early 1859
    Memphis (TN) Appeal, “The Plans of the Opposition for 1860,” January 9, 1859
    Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, “Mortality in New York,” March 7, 1859
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Lincoln in New York,” April 21, 1859
    Charleston (SC) Mercury, “A Fugitive Slave Returned to Florida,” May 18, 1859
    Boston (MA) Liberator, “Letter from the Hon. J. R. Giddings,” May 27, 1859
    San Francisco (CA) Evening Bulletin, “Stage-Coach Travel Forty Years Ago,” July 22, 1859
    Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, “Convention of Colored Citizens,” August 2, 1859
    Boston (MA) Liberator, “Meetings in Boston,” August 26, 1859
    Ralph Waldo Emerson to William Emerson, October 23, 1859
    New Orleans (LA) Picayune, "Untitled," November 25, 1859
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Opinions of the People," December 3, 1859
    New York Herald, "The Slavery Agitation," December 10, 1859
    New York Times, “Practical Secession,” December 21, 1859
    Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Small Pox,” January 10, 1860
    Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Harper’s Ferry Items,” January 30, 1860
    Boston (MA) Advertiser, “Mr. Hyatt’s Case,” February 29, 1860
    New York Times, "The Massachusetts Strike," March 17, 1860
    Boston (MA) Herald, “A Fugitive,” June 7, 1857
    Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "Not Going to Dissolve the Union," August 21, 1860
    New York Herald, “Massachusetts Thoroughly Abolitionized,” September 7, 1860
    New York Herald, “American Sensations During 1860,” October 21, 1860
    Charleston (SC) Mercury, "Harper's Ferry Anniversary Celebration," October 22, 1860
    Cleveland (OH) Herald, “The Prince and the Boston Ladies,” October 23, 1860
    Boston (MA) Advertiser, "Read Your Ballot," November 6, 1860
    Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “John Brown Anniversary,” December 13, 1860
    New York Herald, “Salutes in Honor of Major Anderson,” January 6, 1861
    New York Times, “Rumored Invasion of the South,” January 25, 1861
    Richmond (VA) Dispatch, “Massachusetts Personal Liberty Bill,” March 19, 1861
    Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Beauties of the ‘Institution’,” April 2, 1861
    George W. Brown to John A. Andrew, April 20, 1861
    John A. Andrew to George W. Brown, April 21, 1861
    Chicago (IL) Tribune, “We Don’t Believe It!,” April 23, 1861
    New York Times, “How to End the War,” April 24, 1861
    Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Help From England,” May 16, 1861
    Charleston (SC) Mercury, “A War For Abolition,” June 18, 1861
    New York Times, “Famine Among the Confederates,” June 20, 1861
    Henry Bellows to William Seward, Report on Condition of Confederate prisoners in New York City, October 31, 1861
    Proclamation of Governor John A. Andrew, March 1, 1862
    Edward L. Pierce to John Albion Andrew, July 22, 1863
    Charles Sumner to Abraham Lincoln, August 7, 1863
    Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Great Central Sanitary Fair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 16, 1864
    John C. Frémont, Letter announcing his withdrawal from the Presidential Election, September 21, 1864
    Edwin Booth to Henry C. Jarrett, Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 1865
    How to Cite This Page: "Boston, MA," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,