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The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Fifth Edition
Paul Lauter, General Editor
Timeline - 1861

To jump to a new date on the timeline, enter a date between 1530 and 2000 and click Go.
Mary Boykin Chesnut
   from Mary Chesnut's Civil War text file
image file

Rebecca Harding Davis
   Life in the Iron Mills**
Mid-Nineteenth Century Views of
Image file

Thomas Wentworth Higginson
   from Nat Turner's Insurrection text file

Harriet Ann Jacobs
 from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
   Chapter I: "Childhood"** text file
   Chapter VI: "The Jealous Mistress"** text file
   Chapter X: "A Perilous Passage in the Slave Girls Life"** text file
   Chapter XLI: "Free at Last"** text file
   Chapter XVI: "Scenes at the Plantation"** text file
   Chapter XXI: "The Loophole of Retrea"t** text file

Walt Whitman
 from Drum-Taps
   Beat! Beat! Drums!**

Related Literary Events
Louise Imogen Guiney was born.

Sophie Jewett was born.

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) was born.
Meeting of National Convention of Workingmen in Philadelphia.

The remaining lower South states secede.

Crittenden compromise plan collapses.

Upper South secedes.

President Lincoln calls for volunteers to suppress the rebellion (April).

Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina join the Confederacy (April–May).

President Lincoln imposes a naval blockade on the South (April).

Emancipation of Russian serfs by Czar Alexander II.

Confederate States of America names Jefferson Davis as president.

Income tax is introduced to pay for Civil War.

Confederate States of America established.

Civil War begins with attack on Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina (April 12).

Battle of Bull Run, first major engagement of the Civil War, is won by the Confederate States of America (July 21).

First Confiscation Act (August).

Free blacks in the North petitioned President Lincoln for the right to bear arms. Their service was accepted later in the Civil War.
First Ph.D. awarded in the U.S., at Yale University.

text file  Vassar College founded.
c. 1861
Emily Dickinson
   [I can wade Grief]**
   [I felt a Funeral, in my Brain]**
   [I like a look of Agony]**
   [If your Nerve, deny you]**
   [I'm Nobody! Who Are You?]**
   [It sifts from Leaden Sieves]**
   [Rearrange a "Wife's" affection!]**
   [There came a Day at Summer's full,]**
   [There's a certain Slant of light,]**
   [Wild NightsWild Nights!]**
   Letter To recipient unknown**
   Letter To Samuel Bowles**