Slave shackles, ca. 1862Item 6644 info
Maine Historical Society
The discovery of gold in California in 1849 and the building of railroads contributed to the opening of the West.
Social movements -- women's rights, abolition, and temperance -- led to further change and disruption.
The tensions surrounding the American Civil War and the issue of slavery culminated in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1864.
Longfellow was the common man's poet. His poems addressed the life experiences of readers in a changing world.
He understood and was understood by the masses.