Questions tagged [19th-century]

The 19th century began on January 1, 1801, and ended on December 31, 1900.

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Why did water stored on premodern ships "go brackish" or "go bad" while at sea?

I have read in several Napoleonic historical fiction novels that water stored on ships would somehow spoil over time. The water is described as completely unpalatable if not undrinkable, and alcohol (...
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What event are the lyrics of "Wild Wild Western" by Okay referring to?

The (German) lyrics refer to a day 8th Sep 1878 and to Cheyennes. Unluckily full text is copyright-blocked. (Best I can offer is the Youtube vid!) Googling around hints that it refers to Northern ...
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What was the new identity of the white slave in Kentucky ~1840, called the Boy John, after he was freed?

In 1897, a book called "The Boy John" was published by a Kentucky lodge of the Order of Odd Fellows (a mutual benefit society with history going back to England), detailing the efforts of ...
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How did this Order of the Odd Fellows health insurance plan work in this 1845 newspaper article?

The newspaper in question comes from the Library of Congress's Chronicling America collection, an incredible resource if you are unaware of it. It is a massive online collection of old newspapers. ...
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What are some examples of Enlightenment works that would definitively not be Romantic?

I've been researching the Romantic era and am confused by how expansively people seem to define it. It seems that the scholarly emphasis is more on encompassing as much as possible with this ...
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Sources for tracking a ship in the 1840s

I am trying to determine the itinerary of a Danish ship that traveled in the "East Indies" 1841–43. I have its name, captain, departure from and return to Copenhagen. Additionally, I have ...
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Who was the sitter for John Everett Millais's painting "The Somnambulist"?

John Everett Millais (born in Southampton, England) painted "The Somnambulist" in 1871. Who was his sitter?
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How large is a 19th century stage house near Kaluga, Russia?

On creating a fiction story I wanted to visit a stage house in the 19th century, and I don't have a reference for how large such an establishment can be on a main road. My fictional history setting is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What were women's social conditions in early 19th century Russia?

In "White Nights", one of Dostoevsky's masterpieces, the narrator meets Nastenka, the young girl with whom he falls in love, during a night walk. My question is: from an historical point of ...
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Why did Filipinos form the guards of the Ever victorious Army?

The Ever Victorious Army was formed under the Chinese imperial Authority and the commercial counters in Shanghai. It was formed by Frederick Ward, an American. During a time (I could not identify the ...
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Were people buried in the 19th century with a cloth around their head if so why?

Question in almost EVERY version I have seen of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol", the ghost of Jacob Marley is shown with a cloth bound tightly around his head, keeping his jaw shut. My ...
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How did pirates back in the day not get killed themselves when they attacked ships? [closed]

Maybe I'm completely misinformed about how things were done "back in the day" (I imagine 1600s-1800s, when all ships were completely made out of wood with sails), but once the pirates had ...
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What would a criminal defense attorney charge in late 19th century America?

What would a criminal defense attorney charge on the American frontier in a murder trial in 1885? I am specifcally interested in what it would have cost three cowpokes to mount a murder defence in ...
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What did Nathan Forrest do on September 19 1863?

I am currently reading a book on bad military leaders in history, and this one chapter concerns a man named Nathan Forrest. I only have very basic knowledge on the US Civil War, so I have trouble ...
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Did anyone in the 19th century deliberately use bank runs to bankrupt their competitiors like in *Tai-Pan* by James Clavell?

In James Clavell's semi-historical novel Tai-Pan, Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock head two competing British merchant companies that earn their income by trade with China around the time of the Opium Wars:...
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Did they have dorm mothers for finishing schools in the 19th century?

I'm currently writing a novel, and was doing a lot of research on 19th century finishing schools for young ladies. In my book, the girls need to stay on site or next to the finishing school. However, ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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Did Lord Acton ever say "freedom faces four major challenges"?

I read a Chinese article that quoted a passage purported to be from Lord Acton, describing how "freedom faces four major challenges". The original Chinese states: 每个时代,自由都会面临着四大挑战: ...
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8 votes
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What did 'bookseller' cover as an occupation on British census documents during Victorian times?

I have been researching some of my husband's ancestors who lived in the poorest parts of Liverpool during the second part of the 19th century. Two of his female relatives who had been widowed turned ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What was so good about the 19th Century Osage police?

I was recently directed to an article written by Historian Art Burton for a police publication about policing in late 19th Century Indian Territory. I got interested in this due to a family story ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where can I find fully translated letters from János Bolyai and Farkas Bolyai?

The mathematicians János Bolyai occupies an interesting place in the history of mathematics for the development of hyperbolic geometry. Certain quotations from letters between him and his father (the ...
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Can anyone identify this 19th century US military uniform?

I found this among our family photos and am trying to figure out who it might be.
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3 votes
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What was the wealth distribution in US antebellum North / South

My question relates to the following quote from chapter XI of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: I had very strangely supposed, while in slavery, that few of the comforts, and ...
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How did composers of the mid 18th and early 19th century get discovered and hired for jobs?

Say you were a composer of the mid 18th and early 19th century during the time of composers such as Beethoven and Mozart. How would you go about getting yourself discovered by others? Was it through ...
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What is this 19th century British army uniform?

I believe this chap is a distant relative of mine. It is in a large photo album my granny had but of course no names anywhere. On the back of this photo it is noted "Sept 1881" taken in ...
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At what age did girls start wearing corsets in 1880s-1890s Britain?

So, I found some contradicting information to answer this on the internet and almost none of it was dated to a specific time of the victorian era, so I would like to know if anyone can answer this ...
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Would a house built in 1745 have a water tank in the attic? (up to 1847)

Was looking at the floorplans on this page (picture 43), was wondering if buildings from 1745-1847 were likely to have water tanks in the attic? Would this have been added during a relatively modern (...
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11 votes
3 answers
557 views

How did they measure speed in the 19th century so they could issue the first speeding ticket?

The first speeding ticket was issued in UK. In 1896 a person was caught driving 13 kilometers per hour in a zone where the maximum limit was 3km/h. Without a portable radar speed gun (also radar gun ...
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Did the concept of "all for one and one for all" actually exist in France in the 17th century, or did it come later?

The phrase "all for one and one for all" comes from the book "The Three Musketeers," which was set in the 1620s. But the book itself was published in 1844, which opens the ...
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Did the world suffer a general economic decline in 1870?

Last year the World Bank reported that : According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War, ...
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Was there something in Lord Palmerston's career that made him associated with temporary appointments becoming permanent?

While researching the quote "nothing more permanent than something temporary", I stumbled upon this quote from the "Royal United Service Institution Journal" from 1888: I fear ...
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What's a major 19th Century history of the American Revolution from a British perspective?

I recently read McCaulay's History of England, which he initially projected to cover in detail events up to the reign of Queen Victoria. I was excited to see his take on the American revolution, ...
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Why was the Ottoman flag changed from an eight-pointed star to five-pointed in the 19th century?

According to Wikipedia, alongside the crescent, the flag of the Ottoman empire had an eight-pointed star until 1844 or so, when the star was changed to five points. It seems the eight-pointed star was ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Did the Duke of Cambridge wear rouge?

I'm looking for evidence that the Prince George, Duke of Cambridge - Queen Victoria's cousin and the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army - enhanced his complexion by the judicious and semi-discreet ...
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33 votes
2 answers
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How long was a sea journey from England to East Africa 1868-1877?

I'm trying to find out how long the sea journey took from England to East Africa in the period 1868-1877. One source I've found suggests something like 3 months earlier in the 1860s. It mentions a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Are the coal mining revenue provided in the "Gentleman Jack" realistic for 1830s?

The "Gentleman Jack" series is based on the diaries of Anne Lister - a XIX century woman, often declared as "first modern lesbian" (the "gentleman" is apparently a slur, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What was the route for ships from England to South Africa in 1840?

I am writing a piece that requires me to understand the route that ships would have taken from Liverpool to Cape Town in the 1840s. What I have not been able to ascertain is whether the ships would ...
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5 votes
1 answer
170 views

How to track down a Spanish/Latin American soldier that fought in wars internationally (18th/19th century)?

The details are scant, but I hope it's enough to get the community interested and a clear answer emerge (there can't be that many people who fit the bill?). I read a long time ago about a famous ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can you identify this US Army uniform?

This is my great-grandfather. I would like to know what he did in the Army. Can you identify whether he was infantry or cavalry?
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6 votes
2 answers
920 views

When was the first full length book sent over telegraph?

When was the first full length book sent over telegraph? or What was the longest message sent over telecommunications before 1900?
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1 vote
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61 views

Can you identify this European uniform or awards?

This is my great great grandfather. I am having trouble identifying the uniform. It should be from around 1860-1890 ish. It would be from a German speaking country. The story that was passed down was ...
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6 votes
2 answers
560 views

What is this military uniform from the 1870s?

This is a Tintype photo from around 1860 to 1870 time period. I don't know what country this comes from. The photo was discovered in the United States with a group of pictures tracing a German ...
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Could a person in Victorian UK be in charge of their own money at 18 years old?

Could a male or female in Victorian UK be in charge of his or her own money at 18 years old? (Circa 1888) Could a legal guardian argue in court that since the age of majority was 21, he should be in ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Did "music pendants" exist in the 1800s/early 1900s?

I watched somebody play a video game recently (Maid of Sker) which is a period horror set in the late 1800s, and in it there is an object that caught my attention. They call it a "music pendant&...
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3 votes
1 answer
240 views

Why is the Amazon rubber boom said to have started in 1879?

According to Amazon Rubber Boom From the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, rubber began to exert a strong attraction to visionary entrepreneurs. The activity of latex extraction in ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why did Burgers' Transvaal try to build rail east?

According to shanskraal, [Thomas Burgers, president of the Transvaal Republic] considered a railway link with the non-British port of Delagoa Bay (Maputo) as essential for the economic survival of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What decided the First Sekhukhune War?

I'm trying to find out more about the First Sekhukhune War, and in particular exactly how and why Sekhukhune won. As wars in historical times go, it seems to be very sparsely documented. Here's what I ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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To what extent was the US government financed by land expropriations between 1790 and 1846?

How significant was land expropriation as a source of US federal, state, and local government revenue between 1790 and 1846? I chose 1846 as the breakpoint because of the Walker Tariff; feel free to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How can I evaluate the relative fiscal burden on different groups in the US, for various periods between 1790 and 1846?

What are some good ways to evaluate the relative burden of government finance on different groups in the US, for various periods between 1790 and 1846? I'm especially interested in state and local ...
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How significant were government-linked enterprises as a source of revenue for the United States between 1790 and 1846?

What proportion of US government (federal,state,local) revenue came from profits or debt issuance of government-linked enterprises between 1790 and 1846? I chose 1846 as the breakpoint because of the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How realistic is the food consumption in Astrid Lindgrens 'Emil of Lönneberga' books?

The books take place on a small rural farm in Smaland in Sweden. I don't think it is spelled out exactly what time period it takes place but I would put it around 1830 to 1850. If someone has some ...
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