Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1837 Part IV NEXT-1838 Part II    
 
 
     
1830 - 1839
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830-1839
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830 Part I
Webster Daniel
Hayne Robert Young
Webster–Hayne debate
Blaine James
Gascoyne-Cecil Robert Arthur Talbot
French conquest of Algeria
French Revolution of 1830
Charles X
Louis-Philippe
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830 Part II
Francis Joseph I
Elisabeth of Austria
Diaz Porfirio
Gran Colombia
Wartenburg Johann David Ludwig
Petar II Petrovic-Njegos
Grey Charles
November Uprising (1830–31)
Milos Obrenovic I
Mysore
Red Jacket
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830 Part III
William Cobbett: "Rural Rides"
Coulanges Numa Denis
Smith Joseph
Mormon
Honore de Balzac: La Comedie humaine
Dickinson Emily
Emily Dickinson
"Poems"
Genlis Comtesse
Goncourt Jules
Hayne Paul Hamilton
Heyse Paul
Victor Hugo: "Hernani"
Mistral Frederic
Rossetti Christina
Smith Seba
Stendhal: "Le Rouge et le Noir"
Tennyson: "Poems, Chiefly Lyrical"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830 Part IV
Bierstadt Albert
Albert Bierstadt
Corot: "Chartres Cathedral"
Delacroix: "Liberty Guiding the People"
Leighton Frederic
Frederic Leighton
Pissarro Camille
Camille Pissarro
Impressionism Timeline
Ward John Quincy Adams
Waterhouse Alfred
Auber: "Fra Diavolo"
Bellini: "The Capulets and the Montagues"
Bulow Hans
Donizetti: "Anna Bolena"
Goldmark Karl
Karl Goldmark - Violin Concerto No 1
Karl Goldmark
Leschetizky Teodor
Remenyi Eduard
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1830 Part V
Reclus Jean Jacques Elisee
Markham Clements Robert
Brown Robert
Hessel Johann Friedrich Christian
Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Lyell Charles
Raoult Francois Marie
Reichenbach Karl
Royal Geographical Society
Thimonnier Barthelemy
Thomson Wyville
Lander Richard Lemon
Charting the Coastline
John Biscoe
Lockwood Belva Ann
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1831 Part I
Battle of Ostroleka
Caprivi Leo
Charles Albert
Leopold I of Belgium
Belgian Revolution (1830-1831)
Goschen George Joachim
Turner Nat
Gneisenau August Wilhelm Antonius
Labouchere Henry
Clausewitz Carl
Garfield James Abram
Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33)
Russell John
Pedro II of Brazil
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1831 Part II
Blavatsky Helena
Gregory XVI
Farrar Frederic William
Gilman Daniel Coit
Harrison Frederic
Miller William
Adventist
White Helen Gould Harmon
Roscoe William
Thomas Isaiah
Winsor Justin
Wright William Aldis
Rutherford Mark
Darby John Nelson
Plymouth Brethren
Balzac: "La Peau de chagrin"
Calverley Charles Stuart
Donnelly Ignatius
Victor Hugo: "Notre Dame de Paris"
Jackson Helen Hunt
Leskov Nikolai
Raabe Wilhelm
Sardou Victorien
Trumbull John
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1831 Part III
Begas Reinhold
Reinhold Begas
Meunier Constantin
Constantin Meunier
Bellini: "La Sonnambula"
Bellini: "Norma"
Joachim Joseph
Joseph Joachim - Violin Concerto, Op 11
Joseph Joachim
Meyerbeer: "Robert le Diable"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1831 Part IV
Barry Heinrich Anton
Guthrie Samuel
Liebig Justus
Chloroform
Colomb Philip Howard
Darwin and the Beagle
Maxwell James Clerk
North Pole
Routh Edward John
Sauria Marc Charles
Great cholera pandemic
Garrison William Lloyd
Godkin Edwin Lawrence
Hirsch Moritz
Hood John Bell
French Foreign Legion
London Bridge
Pullman George Mortimer
Schofield John
Smith Samuel Francis
Stephan Heinrich
Whiteley William
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1832 Part I
Reform Bill
Gentz Friedrich
Roberts Frederick Sleigh
Democratic Party
Clay Henry
Calhoun Caldwell John
"Italian Youth"
Falkland Islands
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Europe, 1815-1832
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1832 Part II
Bancroft Hubert Howe
Fowler Thomas
Krause Karl Christian Friedrich
Rask Rasmus
Stephen Leslie
Vaughan Herbert Alfred
White Andrew Dickson
Alcott Louisa May
Alger Horatio
Arnold Edwin
Balzac: "Le Colonel Chabert"
Bjornson Bjornstjerne Martinius
Busch Heinrich
Carroll Lewis
Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll - photographer

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" 
"
Through the Looking-Glass" 
Delavigne Casimir
Echegaray Jose
Washington Irving: "Tales of the Alhambra"
Kennedy John Pendleton
Pellico Silvio
Aleksandr Pushkin: "Eugene Onegin"
Tennyson: "Lady of Shalott"
Watts-Dunton Theodore
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1832 Part III
Constable: "Waterloo Bridge from Whitehall Stairs"
Dore Gustave
Gustave Dore
Manet Edouard
Edouard Manet
Orchardson William
William Orchardson
Hughes Arthur
Arthur Hughes
Berlioz: "Symphonie Fantastique"
Damrosch Leopold
Donizetti: "L'Elisir d'Amore"
Garcia Manuel Vicente Rodriguez
Malibran Maria
Viardot Pauline
Garcia Manuel
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1832 Part IV
Wundt Wilhelm
Crookes William
Hayes Isaac Israel
Bolyai Janos
Koenig Rodolph
Nordenskiold Nils Adolf Erik
Reaching for the Pole
Nares George Strong
Scarpa Antonio
Vambery Armin
Conway Moncure Daniel
Declaration of Independence, 1776
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1833 Part I
Gordon Charles George
Otto of Greece
Amalia of Oldenburg
Randolph John
Harrison Benjamin
Isabella II
Santa Anna Antonio Lopez
Whig Party
Muhammad Ali dynasty
Zollverein
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1833 Part II
Bopp Franz
Bradlaugh Charles
Dilthey Wilhelm
Fawcett Henry
Furness Horace Howard
Ingersoll Robert Green
Pusey Edward Bouverie
Alarcon Pedro Antonio
Balzac: "Eugenie Grandet"
Booth Edwin
Charles Dickens: "Sketches by Boz"
George Cruikshank. From Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz, 1836.
Gordon Adam Lindsay
Lamb: "Last Essays of Elia"
Longfellow: "Outre-Mer"
Morris Lewis
George Sand: "Lelia"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1833 Part III
Burne-Jones Edward
Edward Burne-Jones
Rops Felicien
Felicien Rops
Guerin Pierre-Narcisse
Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
Herold Ferdinand
Ferdinand Herold - Piano Concerto No.2
Ferdinand Herold
Brahms Johannes
Brahms - Hungarian Dances
Johannes Brahms
Chopin: Etudes Op.10 & 25
Heinrich Marschner: "Hans Heiling"
Mendelssohn: "Italian Symphony"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1833 Part IV
Weber Wilhelm Eduard
Muller Johannes Peter
Roscoe Henry Enfield
Wheatstone bridge
Back George
Factory Acts
Burnes Alexander
Home Daniel Dunglas
Nobel Alfred
SS "Royal William"
Slavery Abolition Act 1833
General Trades Union in New York
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1834 Part I
Grenville William Wyndham
Grand National Consolidated Trades Union
Quadruple Alliance
Peel Robert
South Australia Colonisation Act 1834
Xhosa Wars
Cape Colony
Carlism
First Carlist War
Battle of Alsasua
Battle of Alegria de Alava
Battle of Venta de Echavarri
Battle of Mendaza
First Battle of Arquijas
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1834 Part II
Acton John Emerich
Eliot Charles William
Gibbons James
Seeley John Robert
Spurgeon Charles
Treitschke Heinrich
Maurier George
Balzac: "Le Pere Goriot"
Bancroft George
Blackwood William
Edward Bulwer-Lytton: "The Last Days of Pompeii"
Dahn Felix
Frederick Marryat: "Peter Simple"
Alfred de Musset: "Lorenzaccio"
Pushkin: "The Queen of Spades"
Shorthouse Joseph Henry
Stockton Frank Richard
Browne Charles Farrar
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1834 Part III
Perov Vasily
Vasily Perov
Bartholdi Frederic Auguste
Degas Edgar
Edgar Degas
Ingres: "Martyrdom of Saint Symphorian"
Whistler James McNeill
James McNeill Whistler
Morris William
William Morris
Adolphe Adam: "Le Chalet"
Barnett John
John Barnett: "The Mountain Sylph"
John Barnett
Berlioz: "Harold en Italie"
Borodin Aleksandr
Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor
Aleksandr Borodin
Elssler Fanny
Kreutzer Conradin
Kreutzer - Das Nachtlager in Granada
Konradin Kreutzer
Santley Charles
Ponchielli Amilcare
 Amilcare Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours
Amilcare Ponchielli
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1834 Part IV
Haeckel Ernst
Arago Francois
Buch Leopold
Faraday: "Law of Electrolysis"
Langley Samuel Pierpont
McCormick Cyrus Hall
Mendeleyev Dmitry
Runge Friedlieb Ferdinand
Phenol
Steiner Jakob
Depew Chauncey Mitchell
Burning of Parliament
Gabelsberger Franz Xaver
Hansom Joseph Aloysius
Hunt Walter
Lloyd's Register
Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1835 Part I
Ferdinand I of Austria
Bernstorff Christian Gunther
Brisson Henri
Masayoshi Matsukata
Olney Richard
Lee Fitzhugh
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Palma Tomas Estrada
Riyad Pasha
White George Stuart
Second Seminole War
Texas Revolution (1835 – 1836)
Battle of Gonzales
Siege of Bexar
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1835 Part II
Leake William Martin
Abbott Lyman
Brooks Phillips
Caird Edward
Dahlmann Friedrich
Finney Charles Grandison
Harris William Torrey
Hensen Viktor
Jevons William Stanley
Skeat Walter William
Cousin Victor
Strauss David Friedrich
Giacomo Leopardi: "Canti"
Austin Alfred
Butler Samuel
Gaboriau Emile
Hemans Felicia Dorothea
Hogg James
Ireland William Henry
Mathews Charles
Menken Adah Isaacs
Simms William Gilmore
Mark Twain
Carducci Giosue
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1835 Part III
Constable: "The Valley Farm"
Corot: "Hagar in the Desert"
Defregger Franz
Kunichika Toyohara
Toyohara Kunichika
Cui Cesar
Cesar Cui "Orientale"
Cesar Cui
Donizetti: "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Halevy Fromental
Halevy: "La Juive"
Placido Domingo - Rachel, quand du Seigneur
Fromental Halevy
Saint-Saens Camille
Camille Saint-Saens - Danse Macabre
Camille Saint-Saens
Thomas Theodore
Wieniawski Henri
Wieniawski - Polonaise de Concert in D major No. 1, Op. 4
Henri Wieniawski
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1835 Part IV
Newcomb Simon
Schiaparelli Giovanni Virginio
Geikie Archibald
Chaillu Paul
Locomotive: Electric traction
Talbot Wiliam Henry Fox
Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society
Sacher-Masoch Leopold Ritter
Masochism
Heth Joice
Bennett James Gordon
Carnegie Andrew
Chubb Charles
Colt Samuel
Field Marshall
Green Henrietta Howland
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1836 Part I
Crockett Davy
Houston Sam
Battle of the Alamo
Battle of San Jacinto
BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO
Cannon Joseph Gurney
Chartism
Arkansas
Chamberlain Joseph
Campbell-Bannerman Henry
Great Trek
Voortrekker
Xhosa
Inoue Kaoru
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1836 Part II
Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Nature"
Ramakrishna
Aldrich Thomas Bailey
Besant Walter
Frederick Marryat: "Mr. Midshipman Easy"
Burnand Francis Cowley
Carlyle: "Sartor Resartus"
Dickens: "Pickwick Papers"
Eckermann Johann Peter
Gilbert William Schwenk
Gogol: "The Government Inspector"
Harte Bret
Newell Robert Henry
Reuter Fritz
Pusckin: "The Captain's Daughter"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1836 Part III
Alma-Tadema Lawrence
Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Corot: "Diana Surprised by Actaeon"
Fantin-Latour Henri
Henri Fantin-Latour
Homer Winslow
Winslow Homer
Lefebvre Jules Joseph
Jules Joseph Lefebvre
Lenbach Franz
Franz von Lenbach
Poynter Edward
Edward Poynter
Tissot James
James Tissot
Carle Vernet
Carle Vernet
Adolphe Adam: "Le Postilion de long jumeau"
Delibes Leo
Delibes - Lakme - Flower duet
Leo Delibes
Reicha Antoine
Glinka: "A Life for the Tzar"
Mendelssohn: "St. Paul"
Meyerbeer: "Les Huguenots"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1836 Part IV
Bergmann Ernst
Daniell John Frederic
Davy Edmund
Ericsson John
Gray Asa
Lockyer Norman
Colt's Manufacturing Company
Crushed stone
Schwann Theodor
Pepsin
Schimper Karl Friedrich
Gould Jay
"The Lancers"
Ross Betsy
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1837 Part I
William IV, King of Great Britain
Michigan
Van Buren Martin
Cleveland Grover
Itagaki Taisuke
Holstein Friedrich
Boulanger Georges
Carnot Sadi
Caroline affair
Ernest Augustus I of Hanover
Rebellions of 1837
Lafontaine Louis-Hippolyte
Baldwin Robert
Sitting Bull
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1837 Part II
Thomas Carlyle: "The French Revolution"
Green John Richard
Lyon Mary
Mount Holyoke College
Mann Horace
Moody Dwight
Murray James
Oxford English Dictionary
Old School–New School Controversy
Balzac: "Illusions perdues"
Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Twice-told Tales"
Braddon Mary Elizabeth
Eggleston Edward
Ebers Georg
Howells William Dean
Swinburne Algernon Charles
Wyndham Charles
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1837 Part III
Carolus-Duran
Carolus-Duran
Legros Alphonse
Alphonse Legros
Marees Hans
Hans von Marees
Auber: "Le Domino  noir"
Balakirev Mily
Balakirev - Symphony No.1
Mily Balakirev
Berlioz: "Requiem"
Dubois Theodore
Theodore Dubois - Piano Concerto No. 2
Theodore Dubois
Lesueur Jean-Francois
Lesueur: Coronation music for Napoleon I
Jean-François Lesueur
Lortzing: "Zar und Zimmermann"
Cosima Wagner
Waldteufel Emile
Emile Waldteufel - waltzes
Emile Waldteufel
Zingarelli Niccolo
Nicola Antonio Zingarelli - Tre ore dell'Agonia
Nicola Zingarelli
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1837 Part IV
Analytical Engine
Borsig August
Burroughs John
Cooke William
Telegraph
d'Urville Jules Dumont
Kuhne Wilhelm
Van der Waals Johannes Diderik
Fitzherbert Maria Anne
Hanna Mark
Lovejoy Elijah
Morgan John Pierpont
Pitman Isaac
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1838 Part I
Osceola
Gambetta Leon
Weenen Massacre
Battle of Blood River
Anti-Corn Law League
Cobden Richard
Bright John
Rodgers John
Weyler Valeriano
Wood Henry Evelyn
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1838 Part II
Adams Henry
Bowditch Nathaniel
Bryce Viscount
Montagu Corry, 1st Baron Rowton
Lecky William Edward Hartpole
Lounsbury Thomas Raynesford
Mach Ernst
Mohler Johann Adam
Sacy Antoine Isaac Silvestre
Sidgwick Henry
Trevelyan George Otto
Lytton: "The Lady of Lyons"
Daly Augustin
Dickens: "Oliver Twist"
Victor Hugo: "Ruy Blas"
Irving Henry
Villiers de l'Isle-Adam
Rachel Felix
Roe Edward Payson
Schwab Gustav Benjamin
Scudder Horace Elisha
Creevey Thomas
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1838 Part III
Dalou Jules
Jules Dalou
Mauve Anton
Anton Mauve
Richardson Hobson Henry
Henry Hobson Richardson
Fortuny Maria
Maria Fortuny
Berlioz: "Benvenuto Cellini"
Bizet Georges
Bizet - Carmen - Habanera
Georges Bizet
Bruch Max
Max Bruch - Violinkonzert Nr. 1
Max Bruch
Lind Johanna Maria
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1838 Part IV
Abbe Cleveland
Cournot Antoine-Augustin
Daguerre-Niepce method of photography
Dulong Pierre-Louis
Hyatt Alpheus
Muir John
Perkin William Henry
Stevens John
Zeppelin Ferdinand
Belleny John
United States Exploring Expedition
Wilkes Charles
Hill Octavia
Wanamaker John
Woodhull Victoria
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1839 Part I
Uruguayan Civil War (1839-1851)
Rudini Antonio Starabba
Treaty of London
First Opium War (1839-1842)
Richter Eugen
Frederick VI of Denmark
Christian VIII of Denmark
Natalia Republic
Abdulmecid I
Ranjit Singh
Van Rensselaer Stephen
Cervera Pascual
First Anglo-Afghan War
Anglo-Afghan Wars
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1839 Part II
Fesch Joseph
Paris Gaston
Peirce Charles Sanders
Reed Thomas
Anzengruber Ludwig
Sparks Jared
Galt John
Herne James
Longfellow: "Hyperion"
De Morgan William
Ouida
Dickens:  "Nicholas Nickleby"
Pater Walter
Рое: "The Fall of the House of Usher"
Praed Winthrop Mackworth
Smith James
Sully-Prudhomme Armand
Stendhal: "La Chartreuse de Parme"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1839 Part III
Beechey William
William Beechey
Cezanne Paul
Paul Cezanne
Sisley Alfred
Alfred Sisley
Thoma Hans
Hans Thoma
Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Gomes Antonio Carlos
Antonio Carlos Gomes - Il Guarany - Ouverture
Antonio Carlos Gomes
Moussorgsky Modest
Moussorgsky - Boris Godunov
Modest Mussorgsky
Paine John Knowles
John Knowles Paine - Symphony No.1
John Knowles Paine
Randall James Rider
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1839 Part IV
Crozier Francis Rawdon Moira
Grey George
Into the Interior
Garnier Frangois
Goodyear Charles
Vulcanization
Jacobi Moritz
Mosander Carl Gustaf
Przhevalsky Nikolay
Smith William
Mond Ludwig
Stephens John Lloyd
Catherwood Frederick
George Henry
Kundt August
Schonbein Christian Friedrich
Steinheil Carl August
Doubleday Abner
Macmillan Kirkpatrick
Cadbury George
Cunard Samuel
Cunard Line
Grand National
Lowell John
Lowell Institute
Rockefeller John
Stanhope Hester Lucy
Weston Edward Payson
Willard Frances
 
 
 

Coronation of Queen Victoria, 1837
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1838 Part I
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Osceola
 

Osceola (1804 – January 30, 1838), born as Billy Powell, became an influential leader of the Seminole in Florida. Of mixed parentage, Creek, Scots-Irish, and English, he was raised as a Creek by his mother, as the tribe had a matrilineal kinship system. They migrated to Florida when he was a child, with other Red Stick refugees, after their defeat in 1814 in the Creek Wars.

 

Osceola (1836 lithograph). Osceola (1838 lithograph).
 
 

In 1836, Osceola led a small band of warriors in the Seminole resistance during the Second Seminole War, when the United States tried to remove the tribe from their lands in Florida. He became an adviser to Micanopy, the principal chief of the Seminole from 1825 to 1849. Osceola led the war resistance until he was captured in September 1837 by deception, under a flag of truce, when he went to a US fort for peace talks. Because of his renown, Osceola attracted visitors as well as leading portrait painters. He died a few months later in prison at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina, of causes reported as an internal infection or malaria.

 

Osceola, Seminole leader by George Catlin
  Occeola, (born c. 1804, Georgia, U.S.—died Jan. 30, 1838, Charleston, S.C.), American Indian leader during the Second Seminole War, which began in 1835 when the U.S. government attempted to force the Seminole Indians off their traditional lands in Florida and into the Indian territory west of the Mississippi River.

Osceola moved from Georgia to Florida, where, although not a chief, he came to be acknowledged as a leader of the Seminoles. He led the young Indians who opposed the Treaty of Payne’s Landing (1832), by which some of the Seminole chiefs agreed to submit to removal from Florida. In 1835 he and a group of braves murdered Charley Emathla, a chief who was preparing to emigrate with his people, and Gen. Wiley Thompson, the U.S. Indian agent at Ft. King.
For the next two years, U.S. troops attempted to crush Seminole opposition. The Indians withdrew into the Everglades and fought back, employing guerrilla tactics. In October 1837 Osceola and several chiefs went to St. Augustine, Fla., under a flag of truce to attend a parley with Gen. T.S. Jesup. By special order of the General, the Indians were seized and imprisoned. Osceola was removed to Ft. Moultrie at Charleston, S.C., where he died. The war continued until 1842, but only sporadically after Osceola’s death.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1838
 
 
Gambetta Leon
 

Leon Gambetta, (born April 2, 1838, Cahors, France—died Dec. 31, 1882, Ville-d’Avray), French republican statesman who helped direct the defense of France during the Franco-German War of 1870–71. In helping to found the Third Republic, he made three essential contributions: first, by his speeches and articles, he converted many Frenchmen to the ideals of moderate democratic republicanism. Second, by his political influence and personal social contacts, he gathered support for an elective democratic political party, the Republican Union.

Finally, by backing Adolphe Thiers, who was elected provisional head of government by the National Assembly of 1871, against royalists and Bonapartists, he helped transform the new regime into a parliamentary republic. Gambetta was briefly premier of France from Nov. 14, 1881, to Jan. 16, 1882.

 

Portrait of Gambetta (painted by Léon Bonnat)
  Life
Gambetta’s mother was from Gascony; his father was an Italian who had emigrated to Cahors and had opened a grocery store there. A successful pupil at the local high school, ambitious and naturally eloquent, young Gambetta refused to stay in a provincial town with no other prospect than to work in his father’s store. Against his father’s will, he went to Paris to study law.

Gambetta professed very strongly republican opinions, and his exuberant and generous nature soon made him highly popular among the Paris students. In 1859 he was called to the bar, but he was unsuccessful as a lawyer until 1868, when a political case known as the Affaire Baudin made him suddenly famous. Jean-Baptiste Baudin, a deputy (legislator) killed resisting Napoleon III’s coup d’état of 1851, had become a republican martyr, and eight journalists were being prosecuted for attempting to have a monument erected in his memory. As counsel of one of the accused, Gambetta delivered an extremely forceful speech in which he indicted the imperial regime, its origin, and its policy.

Press reports of his speech made his political fortune, and almost overnight Gambetta became an acknowledged leader of the Republican Party. In 1869 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly.

 
 
He opposed the steps that led to the outbreak of the Franco-German War in July 1870, but, once it had begun, he urged the quickest possible victory over the Germans. After the disastrous defeat of the French at Sedan, in which Napoleon III was captured on Sept. 1, 1870, Gambetta played a principal role in proclaiming the republic and forming a provisional government of national defense. He became minister of the interior in this government.

The most pressing problem of the provisional government was the defense of Paris, which was besieged by the Germans. Most members of the government stayed in the city, but Gambetta, as their delegate, left Paris in a balloon on Oct. 7, 1870, floating over the German lines. Establishing himself at Tours, he began to arouse unoccupied France for the defense of the entire country. He became war minister as well, assuming virtually unlimited powers.

Of the two main French armies, one had been captured at Sedan, and the other was besieged at Metz and soon forced to surrender. Gambetta, as always enthusiastic and indefatigable, succeeded in raising new armies, which were trained and supplied with arms. These achieved some local successes but were more often defeated.

When Tours was threatened by the Germans, Gambetta left for Bordeaux in southwestern France. Though he wished to continue fighting, the country was tired of war, and the provisional government signed an armistice on Jan. 18, 1871.

 
The armistice convention provided for the election of a National Assembly, which met at Bordeaux in March 1871 to ratify the peace terms. Gambetta was elected a deputy for Strasbourg, in Alsace, but, after the ratification of the peace, which yielded most of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, he lost his seat and retired for a short time to Spain.

In by-elections in July 1871, he was elected to the National Assembly by the département of the Seine. The assembly was to determine whether France would remain a republic or restore the monarchy. The majority of the deputies were monarchists. There were, however, two candidates to the throne, the heads, respectively, of the elder and the younger branch of the Bourbons, and they were unable to reach agreement on which should become king. With supreme skill, Gambetta managed to push ratification of the republic through the weary assembly. The republican constitution of 1875 formed the basis of the French Third Republic until the latter’s demise in 1940.

 
 

Léon Gambetta, by Alphonse Legros (1875)
  Parliamentary intrigue prevented Gambetta from being elected president of the republic, but he became president of the Chamber of Deputies, a position in which he exercised great power. He attempted to promote a tolerant republic, an “Athenian republic,” as he described it. In spite of his corpulence, disheveled beard, and badly groomed appearance, his natural warmth, generosity, and liberalism made him highly popular.

Jules Grévy, the president, disliked Gambetta and for a long time refused to ask him to form a government. After Gambetta at last was appointed premier in November 1881, he pursued, in foreign affairs, a policy of establishing a closer relationship with Great Britain and, in domestic affairs, an ambitious program of domestic reform. He was overthrown in January 1882 before achieving either goal.

In 1872 he began a liaison with Léonie Léon, a pretty, well-educated woman, and, after his resignation, he settled with her outside Paris, with the intention of marrying her. While handling a revolver, he shot himself in the arm, and, as his health was very poor, the wound healed slowly.
During his convalescence, he was stricken with appendicitis, but the doctors did not operate. He died on Dec. 31, 1882, at the age of 44.

 
 
Assessment
Gambetta was honoured with a national funeral. His reputation has remained largely undiminished; there is hardly a town in France without a street bearing his name. Yet his fame rests on what he achieved in his long years of opposition and during the Franco-German War rather than during the two terms—totaling three years—in which he exercised power. He was a fervent advocate both of fully modern democracy—universal suffrage, freedom of the press, right of meeting, trial by jury for political offenses, separation of church and state—and of national unity. For the sake of the latter, he occasionally struck bargains with his political opponents, thus gaining an undeserved reputation as an opportunist. Undoubtedly, he was largely responsible for the consolidation of parliamentary democracy in France, but his compromises resulted in a fragile party system that served to weaken democratic government.

Jacques Chastenet de Castaing

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Talleyrand, Fr. statesman, d. (b. 1754)
 
 

Talleyrand
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Queen Victoria's (Victoria) coronation
 
 

Coronation of Queen Victoria, 1837
 
 
     
 
Queen Victoria

Victorian Era
     
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Weenen Massacre
 

The Weenen Massacre (Afrikaans: Bloukransmoorde) was the massacre of Voortrekkers by the Zulu on 17 February 1838.

 
After the massacre of Piet Retief and his delegation (about a hundred persons), the Zulu King Dingane sent his impis to exterminate the remaining voortrekkers who were camped at Doringkop, Bloukrans (Blaauwekrans), Moordspruit, Rensburgspruit and other sites along the Bushman River (Zulu: Mtshezi), in the present province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The present day town of Weenen, situated close to these sites, derives its name from the Dutch word for "weeping".

Among the Voortrekkers, 41 men, 56 women and 185 children were killed. In addition another 250 or 252 Khoikhoi and Basuto that accompanied the Voortrekkers were killed, bringing the casualties to about 534. The murdered included George Biggar, the son of Alexander Biggar, a trader at Port Natal.

Biggar and his second son, Robert, subsequently participated and died in retaliatory attacks on the Zulus. Most people camped at the Klein- and Groot-Moordspruit were murdered. Here a Boer woman Johanna van der Merwe sustained 21 assegai wounds but survived. The camps at Rensburgspruit, where Hans van Rensburg and Andries Pretorius were camped, were successful in defending themselves.

  Hans van Rensburg's party were compelled to leave their wagons and retreat on foot to a hill, Rensburgkoppie, which was protected by a cliff on one side. Here they were cornered by the Zulus, whom they kept at bay with limited ammunition. When their ammunition was almost depleted, a young man by the name of Marthinus Oosthuizen arrived on horseback. By shouting instructions they informed him where to locate and salvage ammunition from their camp. This Oosthuizen was able to deliver by charging with his horse through the Zulu file, while covered by the defenders of the hill. With the defense strengthened, the Zulus retreated.

Two months afterwards, on 15 April 1838, Andries Pretorius reflects in his journal: "As we were separated from one another, they succeeded in their attack at daybreak at Blaauwekrans, thereby killing 33 men, 75 women and 123 children." This implies a total of 231 deaths at the Blaauwekrans camps. The name Blaauwekrans (Zulu: Msuluzi) refers to bluish cliff faces present in the area.

The town of Weenen was established two months after the massacre.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

Depiction of a Zulu attack on a Boer camp in February 1838. The Weenen Massacre was the massacre of Voortrekkers by the Zulu on 17 February 1838.
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Battle of Blood River
 

The Battle of Blood River is the name given for the battle fought between 470 Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 15,000–21,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Casualties amounted to three thousand of king Dingane's soldiers dead, including two Zulu princes competing with prince Mpande for the Zulu throne. Three Pioneers commando members were lightly wounded, including Pretorius himself.

In the sequel to the Battle of Blood River in January 1840, Prince Mpande finally defeated King Dingane in the Battle of Maqongqe, and was subsequently crowned as new king of amaZulu by his alliance partner Andries Pretorius. After these two battles, Dingane's prime minister and commander in both the Battle of Maqongqe and the Battle of Blood River, General Ndlela, was strangled to death by Dingane on account of high treason. General Ndlela had been the personal protector of Prince Mpande, who after the Battles of Blood River and Maqongqe, became king and founder of the Zulu dynasty.

 
Background
The Trekkers—called Voortrekkers after 1880—had to defend themselves after the betrayal murder of chief Trekker leader Piet Retief, his entire entourage, and some of their women and children living in temporary wagon encampments during 1838.

On 6 February 1838, two days after the signing of a negotiated land settlement deal between Retief and Dingane at UmGungundlovu, which included Trekker access to Port Natal in which Britain had imperial interest, Dingane invited Retief and his party into his royal residence for a beer-drinking farewell. The accompanying request for the surrender of Trekker muskets at the entrance was taken as normal protocol when appearing before the king. While the Trekkers were being entertained by Dingane's dancing soldiers, Dingane suddenly accused the visiting party of witchcraft. Dingane's soldiers then proceeded to impale all Retief's men, lastly clubbing to death Retief, while leaving the Natal treaty in his handbag intact.

Immediately after the UmGungundlovu massacre, Dingane sent out his impis (regiments) to attack several Trekker encampments at night time, killing an estimated 500 men, women, children, and servants, most notably at Blaukraans.

Help arrived from farmers in the Cape Colony, and the Trekkers in Natal subsequently requested the pro-independence Andries Pretorius to leave the Cape Colony, in order to defend the Voortrekkers who had settled in Natal.

After the Battle of Blood River, the Dingane-Retief treaty was found on Retief's bodily remains, providing a driving force for an overt alliance against Dingane between Prince Mpande and Pretorius.

  Prelude
On 26 November 1838, Andries Pretorius was appointed as general of a wagon commando directed against Dingane at UmGungundlovu, which means "the secret conclave of the elephant". By December 1838, Prince Mpande and 17,000 followers had already fled from Dingane, who was seeking to assassinate Mpande. In support of Prince Mpande as Dingane's replacement, Pretorius' strategy was to target Dingane only. To allow Prince Mpande to oust King Dingane through military might, Pretorius had first to weaken Dingane's personal military power base in UmGungundlovu. Dingane's royal residence at UmGungundlovu was naturally protected against attack by hilly and rocky terrain all around, as well as an access route via Italeni passing through a narrow gorge called a defile.

Earlier on 9 April 1838, a Trekker horse commando without ox wagons, thereafter called the "Flight Commando", had unsuccessfully attempted to penetrate the UmGungundlovu defence at nearby Italeni, resulting in the loss of several Trekker lives. Trekker leader Hendrik Potgieter had abandoned all hope of engaging Dingane in UmGungundlovu after losing the battle of Italeni, and subsequently had migrated with his group out of Natal. To approach UmGungundlovu via the Italeni defile with ox wagons would force the wagons into an open column, instead of an enclosed laager as successfully employed defensively at Veglaer on 12 August 1838.

The military commander during Dingane's attack on Veglaer, was Ndlela kaSompisi. The highly experienced general Ndlela had served under Shaka, and was also prime minister and chief advisor under Dingane. Ndlela with his 10,000 troops had retreated from Veglaer, after three days and nights of fruitless attempts to penetrate the enclosed Trekker wagon laager.

 
 
General Ndlela personally protected Prince Mpande—whom Pretorius later crowned as Zulu king in 1840—from Dingane's repeated assassination plans. King Dingane desired to have his half brother Mpande, the only prince with children, eliminated as a threat to his throne. Prince Mpande was married to Msukilethe, a daughter of general Ndlela.

General Ndlela, like Pretorius the promotor of Prince Mpande, was responsible for Dingane's UmGungundlovu defence during the Trekkers' second attack attempt under Pretorius in December 1838.
 
 
Given general Ndlela's previous defence and attack experience at Italeni and Veglaer during April 1838 and August 1838 respectively, Ndlela's tactical options were limited. Proven UmGungundlovu defence tactics were to attack Trekker commandos in the rocky and hilly terrain on the narrowing access route at Italeni, thereby neutralising the advantages mounted riflemen had over spear-carrying foot soldiers. Ndlela had to let Pretorius come close to UmGungundlovu at Italeni, and lure the Trekkers into attack.

Ndlela was not to attack the Trekkers when they were in a defensive wagon laager position, especially not during the day. The problem for Pretorius was that he had somehow to find a way to make Dingane's soldiers attack him in a defensive laager position at a place of his choice, far away from UmGungundlovu and Italeni.

On 6 December 1838, 10 days before the Battle of Blood River, Pretorius and his commando including Alexander Biggar as translator had a meeting with friendly Zulu chiefs at Danskraal, so named for the Zulu dancing that took place in the Zulu kraal that the Trekker commando visited.

  With the intelligence received at Danskraal, Pretorius became confident enough to propose a vow, which demanded the celebration, by the commando and their posterity, of the coming victory over Dingane.

The so-called covenant included that a church would be built in honour of God, should the commando somehow be successful and reach UmGungundlovu alive in order to diminish the power of Dingane. Building a church in Trekker emigrant context was symbol for establishing a settled state, like the Republic of Natalia, which was established during 1840, when the Dingane-Retief treaty was implemented under King Mpande.

After the meeting with friendly Zulu chiefs at Danskraal, Pretorius let the commando relax and do their washing for a few days at Wasbank till 9 December 1838. From Wasbank they slowly and daily moved closer to the site of the Battle of Blood River, practicing laager defence tactics every evening for a week long.
Then, by halting his advance towards UmGungundlovu on 15 December 1838, 40 km before reaching the defile at Italeni, Pretorius had eliminated the Italeni terrain trap.

 
 

An artist's impression of the Battle of Blood River.
 
 
Battle
On 15 December 1838, after the Trekker wagons crossed the Buffalo River, 50 kilometres (31 mi) away from their target UmGungundlovu via the risky Italeni access route, an advance scouting party including Pretorius brought news of large Zulu forces arriving nearby. While Cilliers wanted to ride out and attack, Pretorius declined the opportunity to engage Dingane's soldiers far away from their base and Italeni. Instead Pretorius built a fortified Wagon Laager on terrain of his own choosing, in the hope that general Ndlela would attack it as at Veglaer.

As the site for the overnight wagon camp, Pretorius chose a defensible area next to a hippo pool in the Ncome River that provided excellent rear protection. The open area to the front provided no cover for an attacking force, and a deep dry river bed protected one of the wagon laager flanks. As usual, the ox wagons were drawn into a protective enclosure or laager. Movable wooden barriers that could be opened quickly were fastened between each wagon to prevent intruders, and two cannon were positioned.

Mist settled over the wagon site that evening. According to Afrikaner traditions, the Zulu were afraid to attack in the night due to superstitions about the lamps which the Boers hung on sjamboks [whip-stocks] around the laager. Whether or not there is any truth in this, historian S.P. Mackenzie has speculated that the Zulu held back until what they perceived as the necessary numbers had arrived.

During the night of 15 December, six Zulu regiments or 6,000 Zulu soldiers led by Dambuza (Nzobo) crossed the Ncome river and started massing around the encampment, while the elite forces of senior general Ndlela did not cross the river. Ndlela thereby split Dingane's army in two.

On 16 December, dawn broke on a clear day, revealing that "all of Zululand sat there", according to one Trekker eyewitness. But General Ndlela and his crack troops, the Black and White Shields, remained on the other side of the river, observing Dambuza's men at the laager from a safe position across the hippo pool. According to the South African Department of Art and Culture:

"In ceremonies that lasted about three days, izinyanga zempi, specialist war doctors, prepared izinteleze medicines which made warriors invincible in the face of their opponents."

This could explain why Dambuza's forces were sitting on the ground close to the wagon laager when the Trekkers opened fire during the day.

Only Dambuza's regiments repeatedly stormed the laager unsuccessfully. The attackers were hindered by a change introduced during Shaka's rule that replaced most of the longer throwing spears with short stabbing spears. In close combat the stabbing spear provided obvious advantages over its longer cousin. A Zulu eyewitness said that their first charge was mown down like grass by the single-shot Boer muskets.

  In November 1838 460 men set out under Boer General Andries Pretorius to take on the Zulus. Andries Pretorius selected Jan Gerritze Bantjes (1817-1887) as his scribe and secretary in recording events of the campaign and coming retaliation battle with the Zulus. Bantjes wrote in his journal the daily progress of the commando from when they started out on 27 November 1838 until they reached their selected battle site over two weeks later on 15 December. They avoided being led into a trap as happened on the previous attempt to attack the Zulus in April which ended almost in disaster. On the journey, they had small skirmishes with various kraals but the main Zulu army had not arrived yet to attack. Boer and Zulu scouts were constantly monitoring each other's whereabouts. On Sunday, 9 December as Bantjes wrote in his journal, the Boers congregated under a clear sky to sing appropriate psalms and celebrate the Sabbath, taking a vow which became known as the "Day of The Vow or Covenant" that "if the Lord might give us victory, we hereby deem to found a house as a memorial of his Great Name at a place where it shall please Him, and that they also implore the help and assistance of God in accomplishing this Vow and that they write down this Day of Victory in a book and disclose this event to our very last posterities in order that this will forever be celebrated in the honour of God."

On Sunday 16 December 1838, while laagered near the Umslatos River or Hippo Pool, they were attacked by more than 30,000 Zulus, being outnumbered more than 60 to 1.

As Bantjes wrote in his journal - "Sunday, December 16 was like being newly born for us - the sky was clear, the weather fine and bright. We hardly saw the twilight of the break of day or the guards, who were still at their posts and could just make out the distant Zulus approaching. All the patrols were called back into the laager by firing alarm signals from the cannons. The enemy came forward at full speed and suddenly they had encircled the area around the laager. As it got lighter, so we could see them approaching over their predecessors who had already been shot back. Their rapid approach (though terrifying to witness due to their great numbers) was an impressive sight. The Zulus came in regiments, each captain with his men behind (as the patrols had seen them coming the day before) until they had surrounded us. I could not count them, but I was told that a captive Zulu gave the number at thirty-six regiments, each regiment calculated to be "nine hundred to a thousand men strong." The battle now began and the cannons unleashed from each gate, such that the battle was fierce and noisy, even the discharging of small arms fire from our marksmen on all sides was like thunder. After more than two hours of fierce battle, the Commander in Chief gave orders that the gates be opened and mounted men sent to fight the enemy in fast attacks, as the enemy near constantly stormed the laager time and again, and he feared the ammunition would soon run out.

With the power of their firearms and with their ox wagons in a laager formation and some excellent tactics, the Boers fought off the Zulu. After three hours, the Boers had killed an estimated 3,000 Zulu soldiers and had only three of their men wounded, among them Pretorius.

 
 
Jan Gerritze Bantjes kept his journal of the entire campaign and the Battle of Blood River. The Zulu withdrew in defeat, many crossing the river which had turned red with blood and thereafter known as the Battle of Blood River. The Boers celebrated the Day of the Covenant every year on 16 December and most of them credit the victory to God. After the battle, follow up attacks on the capital UmGungundlovu set the Zulu King Dingaan to flight with what retainers chose to follow him into exile.

Buckshot was used to maximise casualties. Mackenzie claims that 200 indigenous servants looked after the horses and cattle and helped load muskets, but no definite proof or witness of servants helping to reload is available. Writing in the popular Afrikaans magazine, Die Huisgenoot, a Dr. D.J. Kotze said that this group consisted of 59 "non-white" helpers and three English settlers with their black "followers".
 
 
After two hours and four waves of attack, with the intermittent lulls providing crucial reloading and resting opportunities for the Trekkers, Pretorius ordered a group of horsemen to leave the encampment and engage the Zulu in order to disintegrate their formations. The Zulu withstood the charge for some time, but rapid losses led them to scatter. The Trekkers pursued their fleeing enemies and hunted them down for three hours. Cilliers noted later that "we left the Kafirs lying on the ground as thick almost as pumpkins upon the field that has borne a plentiful crop."

Bantjes recorded that about 3,000 dead Zulu had been counted, and three Trekkers were wounded. During the chase, Pretorius was wounded in his left hand by an assegaai (Zulu spear).

Of the 3,000 dead Zulu soldiers, two were princes, leaving Ndlela's favourite Prince Mpande as frontrunner in the subsequent battle for the Zulu crown.

Four days after the Battle of Blood River, the Trekker commando arrived at King Dingane's great kraal UmGungundlovu (near present day Eshowe), only to find it deserted and ablaze. The bones of Retief and his men were found and buried where a memorial stands today.

Afterwards the clash was commemorated as having occurred at Blood River (Bloedrivier). 16 December is a public holiday in South Africa; before 1994 it was known as "the Day of the Vow", "the Day of the Covenant" and "Dingaan's Day"; but today it is "the Day of Reconciliation".

  Aftermath
With UmGungundlovu as Dingane's political power base destroyed, and Dingane's military might weakened due to the disastrous Battle of Blood River, Prince Mpande openly joined into the military alliance with Pretorius. The Zulu civil war erupted into the open.

Following the Battle of Maqongqe in January 1840, the forces of Mpande did not wait for Pretorius' cavalry to arrive, and attacked the remaining regiments of Dingane, who were again under the command of general Ndlela, as at the previous Battle of Blood River.

Again Dingane's general Ndlela strayed from normal fighting tactics against Mpande, sending in his regiments to fight one at a time, instead of together in ox horn formation.

After Maquongqe Dingane had to flee Natal completely, but before he did so, he had general Ndlela slowly strangled by cow hide for high treason, on the grounds that he had fought for, instead of against Mpande, with the same disastrous result for Dingane as at Ncome-Blood River.

Dambusa, Dingane's other general, had already been executed by Mpande and Pretorius when he fell into their hands before the battle.

Afterwards Pretorius approved and attended the crowning of Zulu King Mpande in Pietermaritzburg. They agreed on the Tugela river as the border between Zululand and the Republic of Natalia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1838
 
 
Anti-Corn Law League
 
The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners’ interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages.
 
The Corn Laws were taxes on imported grain designed to keep prices high for cereal producers in Great Britain. The laws indeed did raise food prices and became the focus of opposition from urban groups who had far less political power than rural Britain.

The corn laws imposed steep import duties, making it too expensive for anyone to import grain from other countries, even when food supplies were short.

The laws were supported by Conservative landowners and opposed by Whig industrialists and workers. The League was responsible for turning public and elite opinion against the laws. It was a large, nationwide middle-class moral crusade with a utopian vision. Its leading advocate Richard Cobden, according to historian Asa Briggs, promised that repeal would settle four great problems simultaneously:

First, it would guarantee the prosperity of the manufacturer by affording him outlets for his products. Second, it would relieve the 'condition of England question' by cheapening the price of food and ensuring more regular employment.

Third, it would make English agriculture more efficient by stimulating demand for its products in urban and industrial areas.

Fourth, it would introduce through mutually advantageous international trade a new era of international fellowship and peace. The only barrier to these four beneficent solutions was the ignorant self-interest of the landlords, the 'bread-taxing oligarchy, unprincipled, unfeeling, rapacious and plundering.'

  The League was founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright.
Cobden was the chief strategist; Bright was its great orator. The League was controlled by a handful of rich sponsors. The main tactic of the league was to defeat protectionists at bi-elections by concentrating its financial strength and campaign resources. The idea was that it would gain nationwide publicity from a handful of election campaigns every year. The strategy resulted in numerous defeats, which the League blamed on the tyrannical power of the landlords. The tactic also required very expensive subsidies so that League supporters would have a 40 shilling freehold and thus become enfranchised. In any case the League had no capability of contesting 150-200 seats in a general election. Furthermore, Peel neutralized the League's strategy by ramming repeal through Parliament without a general election.

The League marked the emergence of the first powerful national lobbying group into politics, one with a centralized office, consistency of purpose, rich funding, very strong local and national organization, and single-minded dedicated leaders. It elected men to Parliament. Many of its procedures were innovative, while others were borrowed from the anti-slavery movement. It became the model for later reform movements.

The League played little role in the final act in 1846 when Sir Robert Peel led the successful battle for repeal. It then dissolved itself. Many of its members continued their political activism in the Liberal Party, with the goal of establishing a fully free-trade economy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

A meeting of the Anti-Corn Law League in Exeter Hall in 1846
 
 
 
Cobden Richard
 

Richard Cobden, (born June 3, 1804, Dunford Farm, near Midhurst, Sussex, Eng.—died April 2, 1865, London), British politician best known for his successful fight for repeal (1846) of the Corn Laws and his defense of free trade.

 
Cobden was the fourth of 11 children of a poor farmer. Raised by relatives, he attended a second-rate boarding school and then entered his uncle’s warehouse in London. In 1828 he and two other young men set up a calico wholesale business and in 1831 opened a calico-printing mill in industrial Lancashire. He made enough money to enable him to travel abroad, and, between 1833 and 1839, he visited France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, and the Middle East. During that period he wrote two influential pamphlets—England, Ireland, and America (1835) and Russia (1836)—in which he demanded a new approach to foreign policy, based not on attempts to maintain a balance of power but on the recognition of the prime necessity of promoting international economic expansion through the free movement of men and materials. He continued to advance similar free-trade arguments throughout his life.
 
 

Richard Cobden
  Between 1839 and 1846 he became a prominent figure in British politics, devoting most of his energies to the repeal of the British Corn Laws, which he maintained were both economically disastrous and morally wrong. In his view, the only class that benefitted from protection were the landlords, and they were enriched at the expense of the middle classes and working classes alike. He proved himself a brilliant organizer, building up the Anti-Corn Law League, which became a national organization in 1839 and the most efficient and successful of all 19th-century British pressure groups. He entered Parliament in 1841, one year after he had married a Welsh girl, Catherine Williams.
Thereafter, he could conduct his political campaign not only by mobilizing public opinion but also by directly confronting Sir Robert Peel, the prime minister, in debate. Cobden played a considerable part in converting Peel to take the momentous and controversial decision to repeal the Corn Laws in 1846. Peel then paid a remarkable tribute to Cobden as the man whose name, above all others, ought to be associated with the measure.

The seven-year struggle established Cobden’s reputation but left him financially ruined. A public subscription was raised for him in 1847, and, with part of the proceeds, he bought the house in Sussex where he had been born and continued to live there for the rest of his life with his wife and five daughters (his only son died suddenly in 1856). Unlike most of the radicals who shared his views, Cobden came from the south of England.
 
 
 Nor was he—as most of them were—a religious dissenter but rather was a member of the Church of England. Yet he and the Quaker John Bright were the acknowledged leaders of what came to be called the Manchester school, which espoused free trade and an economic system free of government interference. He sat in Parliament for the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1847 to 1857 and for Rochdale, Bright’s hometown, from 1859 to his death.
 
 
His association with Bright was close. They were at one in believing that free trade would result in the reduction of armaments and the promotion of international peace. They were at one also in demanding a reduction of taxation and a check on imperial expansion. One of Cobden’s most powerful pamphlets, 1793 and 1853, in Three Letters (1853), was a plea to his contemporaries to avoid “past errors” and keep out of war with France. During the next three years, he argued eloquently that Britain should be friendly with Russia, even after the Crimean War had begun. He was bitterly attacked for his opinions during the war, when he and Bright often seemed to be standing alone in face of belligerent public opinion. In 1857 he was successful in rallying members from all sides of the House of Commons to support a motion criticizing the aggressive China policy of Lord Palmerston, the prime minister. At the general election that followed, however, Palmerston won overwhelming national support, and Cobden lost his seat.

The attacks and his defeat strengthened his radicalism on domestic issues, and he was openly scornful of Palmerston’s middle-class supporters. He was ill at ease during the political lull of the early 1860s, when there seemed to be little interest in political reform. Indeed, he asked the working classes in 1861 why they did not have a leader among them who could lead a revolt against their political tormentors. He demanded a system of universal education and, after some initial hesitation, was a staunch supporter of the North during the American Civil War.

  There was no 19th-century Englishman who had a more confident belief in the future of America than Cobden. His correspondence with Charles Sumner, an American statesman and abolitionist, provided an important unofficial contact between Britain and the United States.

The most important activity of the last years of his life was his successful attempt to improve relations between Britain and France. Despite the differences in their political views, Palmerston had invited Cobden to join his broad-based ministry in 1859 as president of the Board of Trade. Cobden declined, but he worked indefatigably for a commercial treaty with France in 1860. The “most favoured nation” clause incorporated in the treaty, which stipulated that neither party could enforce against the other any prohibition on imports or exports that did not also apply to other nations, was to be duplicated in many later agreements with other nations. Cobden did not live long enough to see the eclipse of his free-trade hopes, which continued to be shared by the Cobden Club, founded to perpetuate his principles. The strain of the protracted Anglo-French negotiations undermined his health, and he had to spend many months outside London.

He died in 1865, having made a last effort to leave his sickbed and attend Parliament to vote against new expenditures on national fortifications.

Lord Asa Briggs

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Bright John
 

John Bright, (born Nov. 16, 1811, Rochdale, Lancashire, Eng.—died March 27, 1889, Rochdale), British reform politician and orator active in the early Victorian campaigns for free trade and lower grain prices (he was a co-founder of the Anti-Corn Law League), as well as campaigns for parliamentary reform.

 
Bright was the eldest surviving son of Jacob Bright, a self-made cotton-mill owner. John Bright inherited bluntness of manner from his father, imaginative sensitivity from his mother. The Brights were Quakers, and John was educated at a succession of Quaker schools in the north of England, where, instead of receiving a classical education, he developed a lifelong love of the Bible and of the 17th-century English Puritan poets (especially Milton), a love often revealed in his speeches. Quaker beliefs shaped his politics, which consisted mainly of demands for an end to inequalities (social, political, or religious) between individuals and between peoples. While still in his 20s he had led a successful campaign in his native borough against the payment of compulsory taxes for the Anglican church.
 
 

John Bright
  In the same spirit he became a founder-member of the Anti-Corn Law League, which fought for lower grain prices, and by 1841 he had emerged as the chief supporting speaker to Richard Cobden, the leader of the league. For five years, until repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, Cobden and Bright spoke frequently together from platforms throughout the country. Cobden’s speeches provided persuasive arguments; Bright concentrated upon denouncing the privileged political position of the agricultural landlords, which had enabled them to use Parliament to pass the Corn Laws. Although Cobden had taught Bright the high moral and economic case for free trade, Bright tended to speak in narrower terms on behalf of the manufacturers and mill hands, who (he insisted to the latter) shared a common interest in overturning the Corn Laws.

Bright became a member of Parliament for Durham in 1843 and for Manchester in 1847. In 1839 he had married a fellow Quaker, Elizabeth Priestman; but she died of consumption in September 1841, leaving Bright with one daughter. In later life he liked to tell an emotional story of how Cobden visited him after his bereavement and how the two friends made a compact together to crusade against the Corn Laws.

Bright’s old-age recollections, however, tended to be unconsciously self-inflating, sacrificing accuracy for effect. In reality, he had begun to work closely with Cobden well before his wife’s death. He also deeply disliked being opposed, even by Cobden.

 
 
This was an unfortunate product of his sensitive nature, and he often expressed his disappointment with a brusqueness that hurt the feelings of others.

In 1847 Bright married again; his second wife was Margaret Elizabeth Leatham, another Quaker, two of whose brothers later became Liberal members of Parliament. She, too, took an interest in politics, though Bright did little to encourage this. Certainly, he strongly disapproved discussion of “women’s rights” by the females of his family. Four sons and three daughters were born to the Brights, their father adopting a typical Victorian patriarchal attitude, affectionate but dominating. As he grew older, Bright even came to look like an Old Testament patriarch, his striking appearance adding to the effect of his oratory.
 
 
During his prime in the 1850s and 1860s, Bright’s speeches came to be widely reported, winning admiration even from opponents. He regarded his speaking powers as a gift from God, comparing himself on the platform to a clergyman in his pulpit. In this spirit the greatest of all his oratorical series was delivered against British involvement in the Crimean War. He variously denounced the war as un-Christian, contrary to the principles of international free trade, and harmful to British interests.

“The Angel of Death,” he said, “has been abroad throughout the land; you may almost hear the beating of his wings.” He blamed Lord Palmerston and the aristocracy for deluding the British people; British foreign policy and the expensive network of diplomatic appointments constituted “a gigantic system of outdoor relief for the aristocracy.”

Frustration at his failure to stop the war plunged Bright into a severe nervous breakdown (1856–58). His anti-war views also helped to lose him his Manchester seat in 1857, but within a few months he was elected member of Parliament for Birmingham, which he was to represent for the rest of his life. A speech-making campaign for parliamentary reform launched from Birmingham by Bright at the end of 1858 faded out within a few months, but it marked the beginning of the movement toward the great reform agitation of the mid-1860s.

During the second half of 1866 Bright suddenly found himself the hero and chief mouthpiece of the reformers, accepted alike by those who demanded universal suffrage and those who wanted more limited reform. In terms of immediate influence this was the high point of his career. Paradoxically, his position was strengthened by the uncertainty of his own precise preference—he had always left details and close logic to Cobden, who died in 1865.

  But Bright was well-satisfied with the household franchise introduced by the 1867 Reform Act, which extended the vote to skilled urban artisans but still excluded the town and country labourers. He was impressed by the artisans’ intelligence and independence, and he recommended every man who wanted the vote to acquire these qualities. The Brights were benevolent employers, but this same faith in self-help and independence placed Bright at the head of those manufacturers who opposed factory legislation, trade unions, and social reform. This was the negative side of his belief in equality. Its positive side led him strongly to support the North against the slave-owning South during the American Civil War (1861–65) and to press both before and after the Indian Mutiny (1857) for less-authoritarian British rule in India.

He entered William Gladstone’s Cabinet as president of the Board of Trade in 1868, but another breakdown forced his resignation in 1870. Although he served twice more in Gladstone cabinets (1873–74, 1880–82), the rest of his career was but an epilogue. His radicalism no longer seemed dangerous, allowing him during the last 20 years of his life to be widely accepted (as the economist and journalist Walter Bagehot remarked) as “a great institution.” He helped to shape Gladstone’s Irish land reforms of 1870 and 1881, but his pugnacious streak (always strong, even in the cause of peace) led him in 1886 to reject Gladstone’s lead in proposing Irish Home Rule. Bright announced that he was not prepared to see power given to Irish nationalists who had made a mockery of parliamentary government.
Bright was greatly admired and venerated in old age, but historians subsequently tended toward a more critical view of his personality and achievement.

Donald Read

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1838
 
 
Rodgers John
 

John Rodgers (July 11, 1772 – August 1, 1838) was a senior naval officer in the United States Navy who served under six Presidents for nearly four decades during its formative years in the 1790s through the late 1830s, committing the bulk of his adult life to his country. His service took him through many operations in the Quasi-War with France, both Barbary Wars in North Africa and the War of 1812 with Britain. As a senior officer in the young American navy he played a major role in the development of the standards, customs and traditions that emerged during this time.

 
Rodgers was, among other things, noted for commanding the largest American squadron in his day to sail the Mediterranean Sea. After serving with distinction as a lieutenant he was soon promoted directly to the rank of captain (the rank of Master Commandant did not exist at that time). During his naval career he commanded a number of warships, including the USS John Adams, the flagship of the fleet that defeated the Barbary states of North Africa. During the War of 1812 Rodgers fired the first shot of the war aboard his next flagship, the USS President, and also played a leading role in the recapture of Washington after the capital was burned by the British, while also having to endure his own hometown and house burned and his family displaced. Later in his career he headed the Navy Board of Commissioners and served briefly as Secretary of the Navy. Following in his footsteps, Rodgers' son and several grandsons and great-grandsons also became commodores and admirals in the United States Navy.
 
 

John Rodgers
  Early life
Many of Rodgers' family emigrated to America from the British Isles in the years prior to the American Revolution. Rodgers' father, Colonel John Rodgers, was born in Scotland in 1726 and was a proponent of the patriot cause. He emigrated to America and married Elizabeth Reynolds from Delaware in 1760. Born in 1742, she also was of Scottish ancestry. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters, of which John Rodgers was among the oldest.  Rodgers was born in 1772 on a farm in a village near the "Susquehanna Ferry" on the north shore of the Susquehanna River (flowing into the northeastern Chesapeake Bay near today's Perryville in Cecil County, where the tavern house still exists) where he was raised for the first thirteen years of his childhood. While Rodgers was still a youth, the village on the south shore (in Harford County) was named "Havre de Grace" by the passing Marquis de Lafayette after a famous port of the same name in France. The young Rodgers was an unusually strong and vital boy who spent much of his time fishing in the waters of the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay near his home. He attended school in this locale and read many books about seafaring life, fostering his love of ships and the sea. He had often seen schooner-rigged ships berthed at Havre de Grace but longed to see the large square-rigged vessels he had always read about. With a strong desire to see such ships he decided to go to Baltimore and, not revealing this desire to anyone, made his way on foot to the city.
 
 
Upon realizing that John was missing, Rodgers' father, Colonel Rodgers, set out on horseback and came upon his son just as he was entering the city, insisting that his son return home to the family. But John, now in his mid-teens and with Baltimore in sight, ardently refused. Realizing that his son had his heart set on seeing the large seagoing ships berthed at Baltimore and its famous waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point and even going to sea, Colonel Rodgers relented and arranged his son's apprenticeship with Captain Benjamin Folger, a master ship builder of Baltimore, a veteran of the American Revolution who had served aboard merchant ships and as commander of the Felicity, the ship used in the capture of the notorious privateer 'Jack-o-the-Lantern'. By the time the young Rodgers joined him, Folger was captain of his own ship, the Maryland. John Rodgers was put aboard a ship on which he would remain for the five years of his apprenticeship. Upon bidding his son farewell, Colonel Rodgers requested that his son never indulge in strong drink, and to this request the younger Rodgers promised, and kept his word. In adult life Rodgers did not indulge in spirituous drink.

Rodgers was married in 1806 to Minerva Denison [8] and had three sons, Robert, Frederick and John, and two daughters. His son John Rodgers Jr. was born in Maryland in 1812, and also entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, serving aboard the Baltimore-built USS Constellation and the USS Concord in the Mediterranean and later becoming a rear admiral during the Civil War. Rodgers also had several grandsons and great-grandsons who became officers in the U.S. Navy.

 
 
First command
At the age of seventeen Rodgers was made first mate of the merchant ship Harmony by Captain Folger. By the time Rodgers completed his five years of apprenticeship in 1793 Folger highly recommended him for command of a merchant ship named Jane that was regularly employed in the European trade and owned by the prominent Baltimore merchants Samuel and John Smith. Rodgers served as the captain of this ship between four and five years, sailing out of Baltimore for various ports in Europe. His first voyage took him to the Spanish port of Cadiz in the early months of 1793, returning home with a load of salt. Rodgers' next voyage sent him to Hamburg, Germany, but due to severe conditions on the North Sea he was forced to put up in England for the winter and did not reach his destination until spring of the next year. In September 1795 he departed for Baltimore from Liverpool, arriving home after a passage that consumed three months. Many events during his command of Jane can be ascertained from the ship's logbooks covering the period of July–August 1796, a time when France and England were still at war. It was aboard the Jane that Rodgers mastered the art of ship's command, the skills of which came readily to him.

While in command of the Jane, Rodgers' strong and determined character was made evident during one of his voyages navigating the North Sea. Adverse winter winds had carried the vessel off course, the ship's provisions were almost exhausted, and three of his crewmen had frozen to death in one night, while most of the others had lapsed into hopeless despair. When Rodgers ordered some of the crew to go aloft to secure the ice encrusted rigging, they refused. Outraged at their desolation, Rodgers stripped off his jacket and shirt and, before going aloft, told the insubordinate crew to watch what a man could do. While he climbed the frozen rigging bare-chested, the crew, awe struck, immediately rose to his aid and in little time they secured the faltering rigging.
Under the grim circumstances of their situation Rodgers put the matter behind him and days later they safely reached port.

  Naval career
Rodgers' service in the United States Navy extended through the Quasi War with France, the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War in North Africa and through the War of 1812. In 1815 he was appointed to the Board of Naval Commissioners, serving through the Second Barbary War until he retired in 1837.

Quasi War
On March 8, 1798, President John Adams appointed junior officers for the first three ships constructed for the young American Navy; Rodgers was appointed second lieutenant of the frigate USS Constellation, under the command of Thomas Truxtun. All of these officers were expeditiously confirmed by the Senate the next day. Rodgers participated in the capture of the French frigate L'Insurgente during Constellation's engagement, and he immediately was made prize master of the surrendered French vessel. Rodgers, along with Midshipman Porter and eleven seamen, boarded the badly damaged French frigate with the challenge of sailing her to a friendly port while also guarding more than 160 prisoners. That evening, gale force winds separated the two ships, leaving Rodgers, Porter, and the few American seamen aboard the now-renamed Insurgent to save the ship and to control the prisoners without support from the crew of the Constellation nearby. To make matters worse, just before surrendering their ship, the French crew had thrown overboard the gratings to the hold along with handcuffs and other items used to secure prisoners. Greatly outnumbered, Rodgers had seized all weapons and ordered the prisoners to the lower hold, giving orders to open fire with blunderbusses should the prisoners try to breach the passageway from their hold. After guarding the prisoners and navigating the captured vessel for two days and three nights through stormy winter weather, Rodgers arrived at Bassettere, Saint Kitts, on February 13, 1799. On this date, Britain and France were still at war so the inhabitants of the British colony were delighted to see the French vessel arriving in American hands. For the Americans' effort, the British commander of St. Kitts sent Truxtun a letter of congratulations and offered him every service within his command.

 
 
The two ships were then refitted and supplied while the Insurgent received a new crew. On March 5, 1799, Rodgers was promoted to captain and received written orders to take command of the captured ship.

In June 1799 Rodgers relinquished command of the Insurgent, then at Norfolk, Virginia, receiving a letter from Secretary of the Navy Stoddert ordering him to Baltimore to supervise the outfitting of the USS Maryland, a sloop-of-war bearing 20 guns, and then to take command of that ship. Three months later the Maryland was commissioned under Rodgers' command. In March 1801, he delivered to France the ratified Convention of 1800 (Treaty of Mortefontaine), which ended the Quasi-War.

 
 

USS Enterprise engaging Tripoli
 
 
First Barbary War
Placed in command of the John Adams on May 3 of the following year, Rodgers was ordered to sail for Tripoli to patrol its surrounding waters for three weeks, joining the Constitution and the President, along with a number of other vessels.

Upon his arrival he immediately approached the harbor fortifications of Tripoli and engaged the gunboats and batteries defending the city. During this time he also pursued and boarded several neutral ships that were attempting to bring grain and other supplies to Tripoli, the inhabitants of which were facing starvation and other difficulties because of the blockade. After twelve days the John Adams encountered the Tripolian vessel Meshouda, bearing 20 guns, which Rodgers engaged and captured.

The Tripolian vessel previously had been blockaded at Gibraltar and was carrying a load of military supplies to Tripoli. His brilliant record fighting the corsairs won Rodgers appointment as commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron in May 1805. Since Commodore James Barron's health at this time had deteriorated, it was practically impossible for Barron to maintain command of the squadron.
  Receiving a letter dispatched to him by the Essex on May 22, Rodgers assumed command of the squadron consisting of the ships Constitution, President, Constellation, Enterprise, Essex, Siren, Argus, Hornet, Vixen, Nautilus, and Franklin, together with a number of gunboats (including No. 5) and bomb vessels. Rodgers was thus in command of the largest American squadron to assemble in the Mediterranean until the twentieth century. The blockading force was so overwhelming that, after much deliberation and appeals from the Dey, a peace treaty with Tripoli was negotiated by the end of July.

When news of the treaty reached Washington in the fall of 1805, President Jefferson ordered all of the ships home with the exception of a frigate and two smaller supporting vessels. Before returning home, Rodgers sailed to Malta and Syracuse to close down military hospitals and settle accounts. He then stopped to pay a visit on the Dey of Algiers, who by then was well aware of the treaty with Tripoli, and consequently extended every courtesy to Rodgers, even consenting to him donning his sword. In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, Rodgers later wrote "I am the first Christian that has ever been permitted to visit the Dey of Algiers with sidearms...."

 
 

USS President engaging HMS Little Belt
 
 
Other service
A year later, he returned to the United States to take command of the New York Flotilla. After the Embargo Act was passed at the close of 1807, Rodgers commanded operations along the Atlantic coast enforcing its provisions.

At the outbreak of the War of 1812 the American navy was not prepared to deal with Britain's large and formidable navy with its hundreds of ships and seasoned commanders and crews, many of whom were already experienced and battle hardened from the Napoleonic wars with France. In 1811, Rodgers was in command as Commodore of the President off Annapolis when he heard that an American seaman had been "impressed" by a British frigate off Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Commodore Rodgers was ordered to sea to "protect American commerce", but he may have had verbal instructions to retaliate for the impressment of British subjects off of American vessels, which was causing much ill-feeling and was a main cause of the War of 1812.

  Early in 1811, Secretary of the Navy Hamilton had ordered the USS President and the USS Argus on patrol duty along the Atlantic coast from the Carolinas to New York. Commodore John Rodgers was in command of President off the coast of North Carolina. On May 16, 1811, he sighted and followed the British sloop Little Belt, commanded by Arthur Bingham, thinking it to be HMS Guerriere.

After some hailing and counterhailing, of which very different versions are given on either side, a gun was fired, each side accusing the other of the first shot. Rodgers continued to engage the much smaller vessel and after several more broadsides from President, bearing 44 guns, the Little Belt, with only 20, was cut to pieces.
The Little Belt lost 13 men killed, including a midshipman and a lieutenant, and 19 wounded, while the President incurred only one wounded. The incident came to be known as the Little Belt Affair. It was one among many mishaps between America and Britain that led to the War of 1812.
 
 

USS President engaging HMS Belvidera
 
 
War of 1812
When the United States declared war against Britain on June 18, 1812, many of the American ships were lacking crews and in need of repairs while others were still away at sea. The only ships available for service at this time were berthed at New York, under the command of Commodore John Rodgers. These were Rodgers' own flagship, the President, along with the United States, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, the Congress, commanded by Captain Smith, [Note 7] the Hornet, commanded by Captain Lawrence, and the Argus, commanded by Lieutenant Sinclair. However, the British vessels in American waters at this time were relatively few in number and not themselves very representative of the overall might of the Royal Navy.

Fearing that Congress might consider confining all American ships to port, as soon as Rodgers received news of the declaration of war in June, he departed New York harbor with his squadron within the hour. In anticipation of the war, Rodgers had already had his squadron fitted and ready to embark on the high seas. Their first objective was a British fleet reported to have recently departed from the West Indies, and Rodgers set a course south-east in search of these ships. The President passed Sandy Hook on June 21. In the early morning of the 23rd a ship was spotted on the horizon to the north-east which turned out to be the frigate HMS Belvidera, commanded by Captain Richard Byron. Rodgers immediately gave chase, with the Congress following close behind. The Belvidera had already been informed of the inevitability of war by a passing New York pilot boat and immediately turned about, crowded on all sails and began flight to the north-east with a fresh wind behind all ships coming from the west.

The USS President was an unusually fast frigate and by noon had gained on the Belvidera, now only some two and a half miles distant, approximately 75 miles south-west of Nantucket island. While the President was closing its distance with Belvidera Captain Byron began clearing the decks and preparing for action and made ready his stern guns.

  By 4:30 the wind had relaxed some but the Belvidera was now close enough to be engaged. Seizing this first and tenuous possibility, the President's forecastle bow chasers fired the first shot of the war, by Rodgers himself, with two more almost immediately following.

All three shots struck Belvidera at her stern, striking the rudder assembly and captain's quarters, killing or wounding nine men. With only a few more shots needed to disable the British vessel the President fired again, but the tide of battle turned when one of its guns burst, killing 16 men, wounding others, including Rodgers, who was violently thrown back with his leg broken from the impact. There was a pause of panic about the entire ship, as now every gun was suspected. Byron seized the opportunity and fired his stern chasers, killing yet another six men. The Belvidera continued a brisk fire, causing damage to the rigging and foresails. The President continued chase, but without adequate foresails to stabilize her bearing she began yawing and losing ground, allowing the Belvidera to escape and return to Halifax, taking with her the news of the declaration of war.

Rodgers' squadron patrolled the waters off the American upper east coast until the end of August, 1812. He commanded the "U.S.F. President" for most of the war, capturing 23 prizes, one of the most successful records in the conflict. On land, Rodgers rendered valuable service by transferring his command briefly to Baltimore in September 1814, during the Battle of Baltimore defending the city's east side extensive dug-in fortifications devised by the Maryland Militia's state commander, Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith at Baltimore on Loudenschlager's Hill (today's Hampstead Hill in western Patterson Park), known as "Rodgers' Bastion", one of several holding some of the near 100 pieces of artillery with 20,000 troops Smith had amassed for facing the British after sending down the southeastern "Patapsco Neck" peninsula, Brig Gen. John Stricker's regiments of the City Brigade at the Battle of North Point and the additional simultaneous naval attack on Fort McHenry protecting the harbor and when Washington was invaded and burned, the month before after the Battle of Bladensburg.
 
 
Rodgers' home town of Havre de Grace was directly affected by the war. In 1813, during his third cruise of the war, his home was plundered and then burned by British marines led by the infamous Admiral George Cockburn with its valuables stolen or destroyed in the fire. Rodgers' mother, wife and two sisters were forced to flee to a friend's house not far from the village. In little time the British made their way to this house also with orders to destroy it and all such dwellings in the area. Rodgers' sister, Mrs. Goldsborough, pleaded with the officer in charge of the detail, begging him to forego the destruction of their haven for the sake of their aging mother.

The officer maintained that he was under strict orders and would have to obtain the consent of his commanding officer, whereupon Mrs. Goldsborough returned with the officer to again plead her case.
 
 

Commodore John Rodgers
  The commanding officer agreed to spare the house, but by the time they had returned it had already been set ablaze. However, the fire had not yet taken hold and upon hearing the news that the house was to be spared the British marines through frantic efforts were able to put out the flames in time and save the house from complete ruin.

In April 1814, Rodgers returned to Havre de Grace where he received orders to take command of "U.S.S. Guerriere" at Philadelphia, so named after the captured prize of Isaac Hull, and bearing 53 guns. Early in May of that year he had replaced the senior officer of the Navy, Commodore Alexander Murray, as commander of the Delaware squadron. Rodgers then ordered Lieutenant Charles Morgan to take charge of the squadron to reorganize it, giving him specific instructions regarding the outfitting of the ships with armament and the drilling of its use which was to be performed daily.

Finally on June 20, 1814, the Guerriere was launched with a crew of 200 men, while more than fifty thousand spectators gathered on the shores of the Delaware and in small boats to witness the occasion. During that summer Rodgers spent most of his time at Philadelphia's naval yard outfitting this ship.
The Delaware squadron also comprised some 20 gunboats, sloops and galleys and was one among several fleets assigned to patrol the chief ports along the upper Atlantic coastline.
 
 
Burning of Washington
Commodore John Rodgers played a major role in the recapture of Washington after it had been burned by the invading British in 1814. As a naval officer he was generally unfamiliar with the tactics and deployments of land battle, yet he restored order after the invasion of Washington and he coordinated orders from Secretary of the Navy William Jones for the employment of marines and sailors as naval infantry. Along with ground forces under his two principal subordinates, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and Commodore David Porter, Rodgers' flotilla of ships on the Potomac River forced the retreat of the British.
 
 

Washington being burned by the British in 1814
 
 
In the summer of 1814, American naval forces in the Chesapeake Bay consisted mainly of a fleet of gunboats under the command of Commodore Joshua Barney, a veteran of the American Revolution. On August 20, a fleet commanded by British Rear Admiral Cockburn sailed up the Patuxent River searching for Barney's flotilla while British troops marched in the same direction along its shore. Secretary of the Navy Jones responded by ordering Commodore Rodgers in Philadelphia and Commodore Porter in New York to proceed towards Washington with several detachments of sailors and marines.

The orders were dispatched by mail but did not reach Philadelphia until ten o'clock the morning of the 22nd. As Rodgers was at Reedy Island on the Delaware River inspecting his flotilla he did not receive the Secretary's orders until he returned at eleven o'clock that evening—-thirteen hours later. Upon receiving the dispatch Rodgers immediately made preparations to march towards Baltimore. Secretary Jones, not knowing that his initial orders had reached Rodgers later than he had anticipated, expected Rodgers to be at his designated station by the evening of the 23rd, and had sent him follow up orders that morning directing Rodgers to Bladensburg, Maryland, five miles north-east of Washington. Consequently Rodgers did not receive his orders until it was too late to execute them.

By August 24, Admiral Cockburn's forces had already moved up the Patuxent, forcing Barney to abandon and burn his flotilla. With the area secured, Cockburn's forces advanced on Washington. That afternoon they defeated American troops under General Winder and Commodore Barney at Bladensburg; by 8 o'clock that evening British troops entered Washington. Within twenty four hours, under the direct supervision of Admiral Cockburn, the British force set fire to the capitol building, the White House, and other structures. With the American forces defeated and in retreat, President James Madison and Secretary Jones had fled the capital and made their way up the Potomac River to remain in hiding in the countryside. Rodgers proceeded to Baltimore, arriving on the 25th. The citizens there were in a panic fearing their city would suffer the same fate as had just befallen Washington.
In the panic the Americans burned the Columbia and the Argus which were nearby, ready for service. Upon Rodgers' arrival he immediately took up preparing defensive measures about the area, the actions of which restored order among the citizenry; with the inhabitants' courage somewhat restored, Rodgers combined his command with that of Porter's and secured a small flotilla on the Patapsco River, which flows south-east into Chesapeake Bay at Baltimore.

  With a force of some thousand sailors and marines Rodgers set up defenses about Baltimore, dividing this force into two regiments, one under the command of Porter, the other under the command of Oliver Hazard Perry, who already had been stationed in Baltimore.
In the meantime, President Madison and Secretary Jones returned to Washington, but by August 27 British naval forces under the command of Captain James Gordon advanced on the capital a second time, making their approach by way of the Potomac River with two frigates and a number of smaller vessels reaching Fort Washington, twelve miles down river from the capital. The fort was abandoned when fired upon; the American forces retreated to Alexandria, five miles up river, just seven miles outside of Washington. On August 29, Gordon advanced on and captured this town and port, seizing supplies which were then loaded aboard the invading vessels. Upon receiving orders to join Admiral Cockburn's squadron to the south, Gordon's flotilla sailed down river but was delayed due to adverse winds near Fort Washington. Fearing the British had further designs on the capital, Secretary Jones again began preparing defensive forces. On August 29, he sent Rodgers orders to proceed to Bladensburg from Baltimore with 650 seamen and marines. The day before, Rodgers had ordered Porter to Washington; Porter's 100 sailors and a handful of officers arrived on August 30 with the purpose of guarding the capital. The next day Rodgers and Porter together arrived at Bladensburg where Rodgers met with Secretary Jones. As the American forces were regrouped and in strong defensive positions, the British decided to withdraw. The American forces commanded by Porter and Perry began harassing the retreating British while Rodgers was attacking the British fleet with fireships. Rodgers had previously improvised his fireships at the Washington Navy Yard. On September 3, he proceeded down the Potomac in a Gig closely followed by his fireships and barges, the latter being manned with 60 marines armed with muskets and swords. When they reached Alexandria, Rodgers entered the abandoned town and ordered the American flag hoisted.

Other battles followed with the British attempting to mount counteroffensives on the Potomac and at Baltimore, but these were ultimately defeated largely through the efforts of forces commanded by Rodgers and Porter.

The burning of Washington shocked the nation and was denounced by most European governments. According to The Annual Register, it had "...brought a heavy censure on the British character...", with some members of Parliament joining in the criticism. However, most British citizens felt it was justified retaliation for American incursions into Canada and because the United States had initiated the war.

 
 
Later naval career
In 1815, after the War of 1812 had ended, Congress established the Board of Navy Commissioners. Rodgers was a prolific political writer whose thoughts appealed to President Madison, leading him, with the consent of the Senate, to appoint Rodgers to the Board of Navy Commissioners, along with Isaac Hull and David Porter.

Rodgers headed the Board from 1815 through 1824 and again from 1827 until he retired in May 1837. Rodgers also served briefly as Secretary of the Navy in 1823. From November 1824 through May 1827, he commanded the Mediterranean Squadron.

He resigned as Secretary in 1823 and, after his final naval command, returned to New York where he became the Navy agent at the port there.

Societies
During the 1820s, Rodgers was a member of the prestigious Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, who counted among their members former presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service, medical and other professions.

  Final years
Several years before Rodgers retired from the Board of Naval Commissioners his health began to decline, it is believed from a case of cholera. On advice that his condition would benefit from a leave of absence he was persuaded to take a trip across the Atlantic to England. Rodgers subsequently resigned his commission with the blessing of President Jackson and the Secretary of the Navy. On May 10 he sailed for London, embarking from New York on a packet ship, the Montreal and spent several weeks in London. He also visited the towns of Plymouth and Portsmouth and was escorted and given much attention by the Admiralty of the Royal Navy and many notable people. He was the guest of two close friends, Admiral Sir James Stirling and Lady Hillyarm who were present at the Mediterranean Station while Rodgers was serving there, dealing with the piracy of the Barbary states.

Late in August 1837 Rodgers returned to the United States with little improvement in his health. He remained at his home at Lafayette Square in Washington for several weeks, but with his health now steadily declining again he was placed in the care of the naval asylum at Philadelphia under the care of a naval doctor and friend, Dr. Thomas Harris.

 
 
His wife took up residence in a boarding house nearby. Soon his already frail condition began to rapidly worsen and when it was certain his death was imminent his wife was sent for, but Rodgers had already lapsed into unconsciousness by the time she arrived at his bedside. Rodgers' last words were spoken to his butler and close friend, asking, "...do you know the Lord's Prayer?" His butler replied "yes, master." Rodgers responded, "Then repeat it for me". Rodgers died in the arms of his butler on August 1, 1838 at the age of 66.

Rodgers' funeral took place at the home of Commodore Biddle. In attendance was Brigadier General Prevost who had called upon the uniformed men in the city to honor Rodgers with a parade through Washington.

Rodgers was buried in the family burial site in the Congressional Cemetery at Washington, his grave marked by a pyramidal shaped sandstone monument which also bears the names of his wife, Minerva Denison, his son Frederick, and two daughters who were also laid to rest here in later years.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Weyler Valeriano
 

Don Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau, Marquis of Tenerife, Duke of Rubí, Grandee of Spain, (September 17, 1838 – October 20, 1930) was a Spanish general, and Governor General of the Philippines and Cuba. He was noted for his Reconcentración policy of interning peasants under deplorable conditions.

 

Don Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau
  Vaeriano Weyler y Nicolau, marquis de Tenerife, (born Sept. 17, 1838, Palma, Majorca—died Oct. 20, 1930, Madrid), Spanish general who, as captain general of Cuba shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish–American War (1898), used stern antirebel measures that were exploited by U.S. newspapers to inflame public opinion against Spanish rule of Cuba.

Weyler entered the military early in life. He fought against the Cuban rebels (1868–72) and then returned to Spain to serve against the Carlists, Bourbon traditionalists.

He was captain general of the Canary Islands (1878–83), of the Balearic Islands (1883), and of the Philippines (1888), where he helped suppress native uprisings.

Eight years later he was sent to Cuba, also to quell insurgency. His harsh and energetic policies raised a storm of American protest, which helped lead to his recall in October 1897.

Weyler then held a variety of governmental posts and in 1921–23 was army commander in chief. In 1926 he took part in an abortive plot against the Primo de Rivera regime.

At his death, his reputation as a severe and unyielding military man was undiminished.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1838
 
 
Wood Henry Evelyn
 
Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood VC, GCB, GCMG (9 February 1838 – 2 December 1919) was a British Army officer.
 
 After an early career in the Royal Navy, Wood joined the British Army. He served in several major conflicts including the Indian Mutiny where, as a lieutenant, he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for valour in the face of the enemy that is awarded to British and Commonwealth forces, for rescuing a local merchant from a band of robbers who had taken their captive into the jungle, where they intended to hang him. Wood further served as a commander in several other conflicts, notably the Third Anglo-Ashanti War, the Anglo-Zulu War, the First Boer War and the Mahdist War. His service in Egypt led to his appointment as Sirdar where he reorganised the Egyptian Army. He returned to Britain to serve as General Offier Commanding-in-Chief Aldershot Command from 1889, as Quartermaster-General to the Forces from 1893 and as Adjutant General from 1897. His last appointment was as General Offier Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command from 1905.
 
 
Ancestry and early life
Wood was born at Cressing near Braintree, Essex as the fifth and youngest son of Sir John Page Wood, 2nd Baronet, a clergyman, and Emma Caroline Michell, daughter of Charles Collier Michell. Wood was an elder brother of Katherine Parnell (Kitty O'Shea). Sir Matthew Wood, 1st Baronet, was his grandfather and Lord Chancellor William Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley was an uncle. His maternal grandfather had been an admiral in the Portuguese navy. One of his mother’s brothers was a British admiral, another rose to be Surveyor-General of Cape Colony. Wood was educated at Marlborough College but ran away after an unjust beating.
 
 

Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood
  Early military career

Crimea

Like his near contemporary John French, Wood began his career in the Royal Navy, serving under his uncle Captain Frederick Mitchell on HMS Queen, but vertigo stopped him going aloft. Wood served as a midshipman in the Crimean War during the siege of Sebastopol, in Captain William Peel’s 1,400 strong naval brigade, whose job was to man some guns on a ridge opposite Sebastopol. He was at Inkerman and aged 16, he was seriously wounded in an attack on the Redan, almost losing his left arm, which doctors wanted to amputate. Wood was mentioned in despatches and received his first, but unsuccessful, recommendation for a VC.

Invalided home with a letter of recommendation from Lord Raglan, written five days before his own death, Wood left the Royal Navy to join the British Army, becoming a cornet (without purchase) in the 13th Light Dragoons on 7 September 1855 and reporting to their depot with his arm still in a sling; He had only £250 a year in private income, rather than the £400 needed, and was soon in debt. His uncle paid for his promotion to lieutenant (1 February 1856).

Wood returned to the Crimean Theatre (January 1856) but within a month was in hospital at Scutari with pneumonia and typhoid. His parents were told he was dying and his mother arrived on 20 March 1856 to find one of Florence Nightingale’s nurses striking him. He was so emaciated that the bones of his hips came through his skin. Against medical advice he was brought home to England where he recovered.

 
 
India
Wood considered joining the French Foreign Legion, but instead became a lieutenant in the 17th Lancers to get to India. He reached Bombay on 21 December 1858. Whilst out hunting he was attacked by a wounded tiger – it was shot in the nick of time by his companion; – he also rode a giraffe belonging to a friendly Indian prince to win a bet with a brother officer - he stayed on long enough to win the bet, but was trampled badly, the animal's rear hoof breaking through both cheeks and crushing his nose.
 
 

Wood in 1852 when in the Royal Navy (from a painting by Lady Wood)
  In India, Wood saw action at Rajghur, Sindwaho, Kharee, and Barode during the Indian Mutiny. On 19 October 1858 during an action at Sindwaho while in command of a troop of light cavalry, twenty-year-old Lieutenant Wood attacked a body of rebels, whom he routed almost single-handedly. At Sindhora, with the help of a daffadar and a sowar, he rescued a local merchant from a band of robbers who had taken their captive into the jungle, where they intended to hang him. For this, Wood was awarded the Victoria Cross.

His citation reads:

For having, on the 19th of October, 1858, during Action at Sindwaho, when in command of a Troop of the 3rd Light Cavalry, attacked with much gallantry, almost single handed, a body of Rebels who had made a stand, whom he routed. Also, for having subsequently, near Siudhora, gallantly advanced with a Duffadar and Sowar of Beatson's Horse, and rescued from a band of robbers, a Potail, Chemmum Singh, whom they had captured and carried off to the Jungles, where they intended to hang him.

Wood also saw action at Kurai (25 October 1859). He became deaf for a week whilst studying Hindustani at Poona, which he attributed at the time to overwork. In December 1859 he joined the 2nd Central India Horse, whose main function was the suppression of banditry.
In this role he had to deal with an incipient mutiny and sort out the regimental accounts. He was invalided back to Britain in November 1860 with fever, sunstroke and ear problems.

 
 
UK
On 16 April 1861, Wood was promoted to captain. His captaincy cost him £1,000 official payment to the government and £1,500 “over regulation” to buy out his predecessor. He was promoted again this time to brevet major (for services in India) on 19 August 1862.

Wood passed the exam to enter the new Staff College, Camberley, but another officer from 17th Lancers had higher marks and as at that time only one officer was permitted from each regiment each year, Wood had to transfer to the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot on 21 October 1862. He took up his place in January 1863, and graduated in 1864. Whilst at Staff College he took boxing lessons.

In the autumn of 1865 the 73rd were ordered to Hong Kong, but Wood disliked the new commanding officer so much that he paid £500 to transfer into the 17th (Leicestershire) Regiment of Foot. Having just written to propose to his future wife, he read in 1867 that “General Napier” was to lead an expedition to Abyssinia; he packed his bags and went to London to volunteer, but then heard this was not to be General William Napier whom he knew from India, but General Robert Napier, whom he did not know and who was unlikely to grant him a staff position.

After a stint as an aide-de-camp in Dublin, where the damp climate brought on a recurrence of fever and ear trouble, Wood was given a staff position until 1871. He was Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General, then brigade major of North Camp at Aldershot. In the summer of 1871 he paid £2,000 to purchase a full majority in the 90th Light Infantry, one of the last such transactions before the purchase of commissions system was abolished. Nursing his children through diphtheria (he had sent his pregnant wife away), he was prescribed morphine for insomnia and nearly died of an overdose.

Wood was promoted to brevet lieutenant-colonel on 19 June 1873.

 
 
Imperial wars

Third Ashanti War

In 1874, Wood served in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War, commanding a flank at the Battle of Amoaful (21 January 1874) where he was wounded and the Battle of Esaman. He helped recruit a regiment from among the coastal African tribes, although he wrote of the Fantis that “it would be difficult to imagine a more cowardly, useless lot of men”. He did, however, discourage British officers from using physical abuse on them. He was wounded just above the heart, confining him to a stretcher for a day. Relying on chlorodyne and laudanum to keep going, he was ordered to lead the sick and wounded back to the coast. It was erroneously reported in the London press that he had been captured and probably flayed alive. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 31 March 1874.

Wood presented two African chieftains with a walking stick, a hat and an umbrella. Twenty-two years later, later his eldest son was also in Ashanti. While there, he saw a native carrying a stick which the man would not sell, saying it belonged to his chief. On closer inspection, Wood Junior read an inscription; 'Presented to Chief Andoo by Colonel Evelyn Wood, 1874.'

He was promoted brevet colonel on 1 April 1874 and was appointed Superintendent of Garrison Instruction at Aldershot, a position he held until 1878. A man of modest means for much of his life, Wood took his profession very seriously – like many who had served under Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount in the Ashanti War he was a member of the reforming “Wolseley ring”, although the two men were never on particularly good terms.

With a young family to support but not hopeful of getting a staff position, Wood had studied law. He was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1874.

  Zulu War
In 1878 Wood fought with the 90th Light Infantry under Lieutenant-General Thesiger (who later became Lord Chelmsford) in Natal. They fought against the Gaika tribe in the last of the Xhosa Wars (Battle of Tutu Bush, May 1878). He was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant-colonel on 13 November 1878.

In January 1879, Wood took part in the Anglo-Zulu War and was given command of the 3,000-strong 4th (left) column of the army that crossed the Zulu frontier. Defeat of other British forces at Isandlwana forced him to retreat to fortified positions at Kambula. Defeated at Hlobane on 28 March 1879, where he had his horse shot under him, he recovered and decisively beat the Zulus at Kambula (29 March 1879). He was given the local rank of brigadier-general on 3 April and also took part in the final battle at Ulundi.

At the end of the war, Wood headed the negotiations which took place on Conference Hill. The Zulus squatted round the negotiating tent in a large crescent. According to one witness, they were 'apathetic'. The tension rose when Wood emerged from the tent and ordered his band to play 'God Save the Queen' and the accompanying soldiers to give a cheer. The bandmaster was then told to play something lively. He, being Irish, 'treated them to 'Patrick's Day in the Morning'. The effect was magical; one after another, the Zulus rose and, swaying and dancing, swarmed around the British soldiers on their horses. Of particular interest was the bass drummer who was greatly admired by the Zulus. The negotiations were successful. He was also advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 23 June 1879.

Wood was paid £100 for a series of London newspaper articles, his first published work. Wood was by now so deaf from various fevers that an officer had to accompany him at night as he might not hear a sentry’s challenge.

 
 
He was disappointed not to be made a major-general. Wood and his wife had to take a six month trip to escort the former Empress Eugenie to see the spot where her son, the Prince Imperial, had been killed - to his annoyance he received no pay whatsoever for this mission, despite its being official business at the Queen's request.

Wood recommended Redvers Buller for his VC after the Zulu War. Wood was briefly placed on the staff in Ireland and in that role was again given the local rank of brigadier-general in December 1879.

 
 

Wood by Spy in Vanity Fair, 1879
  First Boer War
Wood then commanded the Chatham Garrison and in that role was given the local rank of brigadier-general again in January 1880. With the First Boer War going on, he was sent back to South Africa in January 1881 with the local rank of brigadier-general, as second-in-command to Sir George Colley, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Natal, succeeding him after his defeat and death at Majuba Hill (27 February 1881), and earning promotion to the local rank of major-general.

Wood had intended to renew the fight and relieve the towns under siege, but was ordered by the Cabinet to make peace. Wood wrote to his wife that the treaty would make him ”the best abused man in England for a time”. Wolseley (who thought the treaty “infamous” and “ignominious”) and other officers thought he should have resigned his commission rather than sign it.

He had to travel to Pretoria, and was injured on the way when the horses of his carriage bolted. He was offered, but declined, the Governorship of Natal. In April 1881 he was appointed to a commission of inquiry into all matters relating to the future settlement of the Transvaal Territory.

Although the peace negotiations were an embarrassing reverse for Britain, they brought Wood political and royal favour. The Queen thought highly of him (and Buller). Wood had already impressed Lord Beaconsfield (then Prime Minister), who had met him at the Queen’s suggestion after the Zulu War, and now impressed William Gladstone, the current Prime Minister.

He was promoted to major-general (30 November 1881) and remained in Natal until February 1882, was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George on 17 February 1882 and then returned to the Chatham command.

 
 
Egypt and Sudan
Wood was given command of a brigade in the Egyptian expedition to suppress the Urabi Revolt. However, his brigade remained behind in Alexandria, so he missed the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. After a brief visit to England in November 1882 he returned to be Sirdar (commander) of the Egyptian Army from December 1882 until 1885, during which period he thoroughly reorganised it, with Francis Grenfell and Kitchener working under him.

He had 25 British officers (who were given extra pay and Egyptian ranks a grade or two higher than their British ones) and a few NCOs, although to Wood’s annoyance Lt-Gen Stephenson, commander of the British occupation forces, was confirmed as his senior in June 1884.

During the cholera epidemic of 1883, British officers earned the respect of Egyptian soldiers by nursing them. Wood gave Sundays off from drill as well as Fridays (the Muslim holy day), so that Egyptian soldiers would see that their British officers took their own religion seriously.

In the Gordon Relief Expedition  Wood was in charge of the line of communication. He commanded the British at the Battle of Ginnis in December 1885. He was the only officer to be given an important command despite advising against Wolseley’s choice of the Nile route.

Wood briefly took Redvers Buller’s place as Chief of Staff as Buller had to take charge of the desert column after Stewart was mortally wounded at Abu Klea. In this job Wood became unpopular for employing female nurses (against the advice of army doctors at that time) and quarrelled with his friend Buller when Wood recommended a more cautious advance which would give time to build up supply depots.

By this stage Wood was so deaf that Wolseley complained he had become hoarse from shouting at him. Wolseley wrote of Wood that “he has done worse than I expected” and in his journal described him as “the vainest but by no means the ablest of men. He is as cunning as a first class female diplomatist … (but has not) real sound judgement…… intrigues with newspaper correspondents … he has not the brains nor the disposition nor the coolness nor the firmness of purpose to enable him to take command in any war … a very second rate general … whose two most remarkable traits (a)re extreme vanity & unbounded self-seeking" although a letter to his wife (complaining that Wood was “a very puzzle-headed fellow”, wanting in method and vain) suggests that Wolseley still bore Wood a grudge about the peace after Majuba Hill.

Ill once again, Wood handed over the job of Sirdar to Francis Grenfell. To his annoyance, he received no honours from the Nile expedition.

  Home commands
Aldershot

In 1886, Wood returned to Britain to take charge of Eastern Command at Colchester. Then, from 1 January 1889 to 8 October 1893 he was General Officer Commanding of Aldershot Command, one of the most important posts in the army at home. He was promoted to lieutenant-general (1 April 1890) and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 30 May 1891.

At Aldershot Wood was concerned with the well-being of both troops and animals, recommending the rebuilding of barracks and training of army cooks. At Aldershot he arranged for sick men’s food to be prepared in hospitals rather than brought in tins from their own units. He experimented with training soldiers on bicycles, night marches (in the teeth of opposition, particularly from the Duke of Cambridge, who thought it might interfere with horses’ rest) and negotiated with the railway companies for cheap rail tickets for soldiers going on leave. He also carried out extensive training manoeuvres for the regulars under his command and for Militia and Volunteer forces. He made contributions to a Baptist chapel for a time, and ensured that Baptist services were as well publicised as those of other denominations. With the help of some high-ranking Roman Catholic friends, he agreed on an ecumenical service for Irish regiments which was acceptable both to Roman Catholic soldiers and their Anglican officers and chaplains.

While Wood was at Aldershot his aides-de-camp included Captain Edward Roderic 'Roddy' Owen (Lancashire Fusiliers), a famous amateur jockey (Wood was a keen rider and huntsman), and Major Hew Dalrymple Fanshawe, 19th Hussars. Fanshawe (who commanded V Corps during World War I), later became Wood's son-in-law, marrying his elder daughter Anna Pauline Mary on 25 July 1894.

Administering the Army
Wood saw further staff service at the War Office as Quartermaster-General to the Forces from 1893 to 1897. He was promoted to full general on 26 March 1895 and was Adjutant-General to the Forces from 1897 to 1901. His duties in the 1890s were similar to those of a Chief of the General Staff, had such a job then existed. He also served as Deputy Lieutenant of Essex from 10 August 1897.

Wood wrote several books at this time by writing each day for an hour before daybreak – in 1895 he published a book on the Crimean War, in 1896 a book on Cavalry at Waterloo, and in 1897 “Achievements of Cavalry”. He was a patron of Captain Douglas Haig, who had attracted his attention by reporting on French cavalry manoeuvres in the early 1890s, although they did not actually meet face-to-face until an 1895 staff ride where Haig was serving as an aide to Colonel John French.

 
 
Haig wrote that Wood was “a capital fellow to have upon one’s side as he always gets his own way”. He arranged Haig's posting to the 1898 Sudan War – with orders to write privately to Wood reporting on Kitchener, the expedition commander.

Wood, who had experience of commanding both infantry and cavalry, supported the concept of mounted infantry and proposed that each infantry battalion have one mounted company. The concept of mounted infantry fell back into disfavour in the Edwardian period as French and Haig rose to the top of the Army.

Wolseley told him that his role in the 1881 Peace made it impossible for him to be given a field command in the Second Boer War, despite his offer to serve under Buller, his junior. He was nonetheless disappointed when Roberts was appointed commander-in-chief rather than himself. His three sons served in the war. During this campaign, he became ill from War Office work.

 
Southern Command
Wood was appointed to command the II Army Corps and Southern Command 1 October 1901, holding the positions until 1904. On 8 April 1903, he was promoted field marshal. That same year, he was awarded the freedom of the Borough of Chelmsford.
 
 

Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood, 1900
  Personal life

Family

Wood’s mother was left short of money after 1866 when her husband died and, already 66 years old, she went on to write fourteen novels and translated Victor Hugo’s L’Homme qui Rit into English. Wood's sister Anna was also a novelist under her married name Steele - one of her novels featured a henpecked VC who may have been based on her brother. She left her husband on her wedding night - apparently still a virgin - when she discovered that he expected to have sex with her. Evelyn was once sued for assault after striking Colonel Steele in one of his many attempts to “reclaim” his wife. During the Indian Mutiny another sister, Maria Chambers, conveyed her children to safety through mutineer-controlled country carrying a phial of poison for each child.

Marriage and children
In 1867 Wood married the Hon. Mary Paulina Anne Southwell, a sister of Thomas Southwell, 4th Viscount Southwell, a friend from India. Southwell opposed the marriage as the Southwell family were Roman Catholic and Wood, although not a man of particularly strong religious views, refused to leave the Church of England. Having barely seen Paulina for four years, he proposed by letter in 1867 on the understanding that she would never “by a word or even by a look” try to prevent him from volunteering for war service. They had three sons and three daughters but she died on 11 May 1891, while Wood was commanding at Aldershot.
After his wife’s death Wood was deeply touched to receive 46 letters of condolence from NCOs and private soldiers who had served under him.
 
 
Hunting
Wood hunted an average 46 days out of his 60 days leave each year, almost up until his death. He was convinced that hunting was of great value in training officers by encouraging horsemanship, developing an eye for terrain and rapid decision-making under danger. He was often injured, on one occasion whilst at Staff College falling on the crown of his head so badly that his neck swelled as if he were suffering from a large double goitre. During the Second Boer War he was injured in the chest when he fell against a crucifix, worn under his shirt, which had belonged to his late wife.
 
 
Parnell divorce scandal
The Wood family were financially dependent on their wealthy, eccentric spinster Aunt Ben. She gave each sibling £5,000 but gave Wood no money as he had married a Catholic. She later paid him an allowance for a time. His brother-in-law later paid him enough of a salary to keep horses, grooms, hounds and servants, supposedly for supervising estates in Ireland, although it is unclear that he ever devoted much time to this task. Wood had to appeal to Aunt Ben for cash after the First Boer War.

Wood and his siblings, Charles and Anna, demanded equal shares of Aunt Ben's inheritance, but in March 1888 she made a new will, leaving everything (£150,000 plus lands) in a trust for the sole benefit of her favourite niece, Wood's sister Katherine, better known as Kitty O'Shea. The other siblings tried to have Aunt Ben declared insane, a petition dismissed after she was examined by the eminent physician Sir Andrew Clark. When Aunt Ben died in May 1889, the siblings alleged undue influence by Kitty. Her husband, Captain William O'Shea (18th Hussars), an Irish MP, at this point also contested the will, claiming it contravened his marriage contract and also sued for divorce. Kitty was the lover of the Irish nationalist politician Charles Stewart Parnell, the ensuing public scandal helped to destroy his career and the chance of Irish Home Rule. It is unclear whether the siblings encouraged O’Shea in his divorce to blacken Kitty’s name. It was suggested that Wood’s sister Anna Steele was herself a former lover of William O’Shea – when the will was overturned Anna used her share to live as a recluse, keeping a pet monkey to which she fed anchovy sandwiches. Sir Evelyn probably received about £20,000 in the eventual settlement.

  Retirement
After retiring from active service in December 1904, Wood lived at Upminster in Essex and became chairman of the Territorial Force Association for the City of London.

On 11 March 1911 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London.

Wood became colonel of the Royal Horse Guards in November 1907. He was a governor of Gresham's School from 1899 to 1919.

As a qualified barrister, he had become Honorary Colonel of the 14th Middesex (Inns of Court) Rifle Volunteer Corps in November 1899 and supported its incorporation as an officer training unit in the new Territorial Force in 1908.

He also became colonel of the 5th Battalion, the Essex Regiment.

Wood's autobiography appeared in 1906. In retirement he wrote Our Fighting Services (1916) and Winnowed Memories (1917) which one historian described as “stuffed with adulatory letters he had received, extracts of speeches he had given and anecdotes in which his wisdom or cleverness figured”.

Wood died in 1919, and was buried with full military honours in the Military Cemetery at Aldershot in Hampshire. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 

 
 
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