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1861 Harper's Weekly

Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln and First Tumultuous Year in Office

Secession of Southern States and Start of Civil War

    This volume includes the full year weekly issues of Harper's Weekly of the momentous year of 1861 in 832 large pages.  It is in very good condition, better than the combined 1860-61 volume. With the one exception of the Lincoln inauguration picture shown above, I have not duplicated the images of this volume which are pictured in the description of the 1860-61 volume. All the images shown on that web page are also in this volume except for the portrait of Lincoln published on November 10, 1860 and the start of the Charles Dickens serialization of Great Expectations on November 24, 1860.

The start of this volume is preoccupied with news of secession of the Southern States, the withdrawal of their representatives from Congress and the creation of the new Confederate government.   Below is Winslow Homer's engraving of the Seceding Mississippi delegation, led by Jefferson Davis pictured at the top of the page.

The wood engraving below is entitled ""Inauguration of President Jefferson Davis of the Southern Confederacy, at Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861."

Meanwhile, some of the federal army troops were not being loyal, most notably General Twiggs who turned over his federal troops to the Texas secession militia in San Antonio in the big public square with the Alamo, which is pictured below. Even Robert E. Lee, was disgusted by this action. Texas Governor Sam Houston was later deposed after he refused to swear allegiance to a secessionist government.

While the South was consolidating their insurrection, Lincoln was arriving in Washington, D.C. to take over the reins of the federal government. Below he is pictured before his inauguration on the balcony of the Astor House.

War came soon.  In one of the most famous engravings, the women of Charleston, South Carolina are pictured on the roof tops witnessing the bombardment of the federal Fort Sumpter, which became the action that formally started the Civil War.

After Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln issued a call for Army volunteers and the North enthusiastically responded. Pictured below are new recruits marching down Broadway in New York City on their way to relieve a vulnerable Washington, D.C.

To get to Washington, D.C., the Northern troops first had to get through Baltimore, which had distinct Southern sympathies. The train system required troops to get off at one station and march to another to get to Washington. This engraving of the Massachusetts's Sixth troops fighting their way through Baltimore inspired Currier & Ives to publish "The Lexington of 1861" which depicted the same scene.

The description of the 1860-61 volume showed a balloon view of Washington, D.C., with the Capitol Dome under construction and the engraving below is a view of the Rotunda under the dome, completed initially in 1824 in time for Lafayette's grand tour of America.

This volume includes many wood engravings by the famous 19th Century artist Winslow Homer. A complete list of his wood engravings in this volume is below: You can see much of Homer's 1861 work in Harper's at this web site.

January 5, 1861; p. 1; "The Georgia Delegation in Congress"
January 5, 1861; pp. 8-9; double page; "seeing the Old Year Out"
February 2, 1861; p. 65; "The Seceding Mississippi Delegation in Congress" (Shown above)
February 23, 1861; p. 117; page; "The Late Rev. Dr. Murray"
March 16, 1861; p. 161; page; "The Inaugural Procession at Washington Passing the Gate of the Capitol Grounds"
March 16, 1861; p. 165; 1/3 page; "Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln Entering the Senate Chamber Before the Inauguration"
March 16, 1861; p. 168-169; double page; "The Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States at the Capitol, Washington, March 4, 1861"
April 27, 1861; p. 257; page; "General Thomas Swearing in the Volunteers Called into the Service of the United States at Washington, D.C."
April 27, 1861; p. 269; page; "General Beauregard"
May 11, 1861; p. 289; page; "Colonel Wilson, of Wilson's Brigade"
May 25, 1861; p. 329; "The Seventy-Ninth Regiment (Highlanders), New York State Militia"
June 8, 1861; p. 356; "The Advance Guard of the Grand Army of the United States Crossing the Long Bridge over the Potomac at 2 A.M. on May 24, 1861"
June 29, 1861; p. 401; "The War - Making Havelocks for the Volunteers"
June 13, 1861; p. 439; "Crew of the United States Steam Sloop 'Colorado' Shipped at Boston, June 1861"
July 20, 1861; p. 449; Filling Cartridges at the United States Arsenal, at Watertown, Massachusetts"
September 14, 1861; p. 577; 1/6 page; "Flag-Officer Stringham"
November 23, 1861; pp. 744-745; double page; "The Songs of the War"
December 21, 1861; pp. 808-809; double page; "A Bivouac Fire on the Potomac"
December 28, 1861; pp. 824-825; double page; "Great Fair Given at the City Assembly Rooms, New York, December, 1861, in Aid of the City Poor"

Below is a picture of the cover of this volume. There are some repairs and tape on the spine and the text is in very tight and clean condition.

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