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The Lexington of 1861, Currier & Ives, 1861
  — Cator Prints, Enoch Pratt Public Library


1860 Druid Hill Park opens (still the largest city park).

1861 1861 Civil War's first blood is shed, on Pratt Street, when a Baltimore mob attacks Massachusetts volunteers.

1863 1863 President Lincoln delivers the "Liberty Address" at Maryland Institute and spends the night as a guest of William Albert on Mount Vernon Place

1866 Peabody Institute opens.

1870  Pimlico Race Course opens

1876  Johns Hopkins University opens.

1877  Employees of B&O Railroad strike along line, riot in Baltimore, to institute biggest labor strike in U.S. history.

1886  Streets are renumbered, with Charles Street as the new divider between east and west (replacing Calvert Street).

1887  Chesapeake oyster harvesting and canning peaks.

 Enoch Pratt Free Library opens.

1889  Johns Hopkins Hospital opens


Henrietta Szold opens school for immigrant children.

Foundry and melting pot, 1861-1904

Abroad pogroms in Russia and Poland send thousands into exile. The French build the Eiffel Tower and develop the first popular form of photography. Dostoyevsky publishes Crime and Punishment, and Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

On April 19, 1861, [the mayor] confronted and tried to appease a pro-Confederate crowd but failed to prevent shedding of the first blood in the Civil War. Southern sympathizers that day attacked Massachusetts troops moving through the city to defend Washington. Soon afterward, Baltimore was occupied by Union troops, who stayed longer even than did troops in New Orleans. An English newspaperman, William Howard Russell, called wartime Baltimore "the Warsaw of the United States."

After the Civil War, Baltimore became the "Poor House of the Confederacy." Virginians and others came here seeking to recoup their fortunes. Since some of them brought a love of education and cultural expression, they raised the tone of the town. European immigrants also arrived. Women and children, as well as men, worked in factories turning out canned tomatoes, pianos , straw hats, umbrellas, and trains.

The Times
A German immigrant named Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the linotype. Russian Jews worked in sweatshops making clothes. And some jobs went to freed slaves drifting north, mostly in domestic service and other menial work. In time off work, newcomers took what pleasures they could in new parks, church socials, and clubs. By the end of the century, streetcar lines wove together all parts of town and extended to waterside resorts where people could try to escape the awful subtropical heat. Everyone sampled the finfish and shellfish pulled from the bay.

Four rich men endowed institutions that made them known outside their city. George Peabody gave the first cultural center-a public library, an art gallery, a conservatory of music, and space for the Maryland Historical Society's collections

Enoch Pratt paid for the first public circulating library and branch libraries. William and Henry Walters, father and son, paid for 5,000 years of the world's art. To house the collections, Henry built a palatial gallery, which he willed with the collections to the citizens of Baltimore.

Johns Hopkins founded a university (one that stressed graduate scholarship) and a hospital (to which a medical school was later added). His gifts are credited with moving American medical training and all scholarship into the modern world. Hopkins physicians such as William Osler Baltimoreans practically deified.



Shivers, Frank R., Jr. Walking in Baltimore: An Intimate Guide to the Old City. pp. 1-17. © 1995 The Johns Hopkins University Press. Reproduced with permission of The Johns Hopkins University Press

© 2003. Baltimore City Historical Society.