On this day: a Victorian School Opens

Harby_Primary_School_1895 The village school and pupils 1895 Leicestershire England Victorian Era Christian

Pupils of the school photographed in 1895.

The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.

Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.


On this day: Mississippi Secedes


To this day, Mississippi’s state flag retains Confederate imagery.

On the 9th of January, 1861, Mississippi followed the direction of South Carolina to become the second state to secede from the Union in the American Civil War.


Scars of a whipped slave, credited either as Mississippi or Louisiana.

The first states to leave the Union were those with high numbers of slaves. Records from Mississippi in 1860 list 55% of the state’s population as being enslaved – that is nearly 440 000 people. Fewer than one thousand African-Americans in Mississippi were free.



The decision to leave was made with overwhelming support, with a vote of 84-15.

On this day: the capture of the Emanuela

On the 10th of August, 1860, the slave ship Emanuela was captured by the British HMS Brisk, with 846 slaves on board. The slave trade had been illegal in Britain for decades by this time.

On the 10th of August, 1860, the slave ship Emanuela was captured by the British HMS Brisk, with 846 slaves on board. The slave trade had been illegal in Britain for decades by this time.

The Mozambique Channel Africa

The capture took place in the Mozambique Channel. The slaves had largely been captured during local wars and sold into the Arab slave trade.

Egyptian Slavemaster and Waswahili Slave

The Arab Slave Trade

The British converted the ship into the Royal Navy’s Enchantress.

The freed slaves who survived the horrible conditions were taken to Mauritius.

On this day: the first Pony Express


The Pony Express, a mail service used in the United States to carry letters from Missouri to California, began on the 3rd of April, 1860.

First_Westbound_Pony_Express_Overland_Post-Mark_Apr3Pony Express Postmark The first westbound Pony Express trip left St. Joseph on April 3, 1860 and arrived in San Francisco on April 14.

The first journey left St Joseph, Missouri and arrived in San Francisco ten days later.

Poney Express cover of the United States. First Westbound Pony Express cover. Only one known to exist. Postmarked April 3, 1860.

Only one letter from the first journey is known to still exist.

1860 Joke Photographs

Sequence of posed joke photographs of five stages of putting on a crinoline, ca. 1860.

I’ve seen these pictures all over the internet, and people seem to think they’re serious!

In the middle of the 19th Century, crinolines reached some ridiculous sizes, but the people knew how to laugh at themselves and staged this send-up, thought to be French, around 1860.


While I’m on the topic of joke photographs people take seriously, this so-called picture of Dublin, Ireland needs to be banned. On Tumblr, tens, hundreds of thousands of people have shared it. It’s all over Pinterest. It’s as real as Santa Claus, folks.

So-called castle in Dublin Ireland