1859 – A Very Interesting Year

But still nothing I could find about Macau. However, I did dig up the following pearls:

  1. The planet Vulcan is discovered – it lasted for over 50 years, until  Einstein’s Theory of Relativity came along in 1815 1915 and provided a solution to the error in the predicted results of Mercury’s orbit that was put down to a planet orbiting between the sun and Mercury. Of course, Vulcan was rediscovered again in the 1960s and located some 16 light years from Earth as Mr Spock’s home planet.
  2. The Piedmonts and the Sardinians got a bit uppity with the Austrians resulting in the Austro-Sardinian War of that year. There were some interesting battles in that war, including the Battle of Palestro where the Sardinians defeated an Austrian army and the Battle of Magenta where the Sardinians along with the French defeated the Austrians.
  3. On nautical matters, the French Navy’s La Gloire, the first ocean-going ironclad warship in history, is launched.
  4. John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry which is seen as the very start of the American Civil War – his body was laid to rest this year as well after being hanged for the raid leading to the words

    “John Brown’s body lies a-mold’ring in the grave
    His soul goes marching on
    Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!”.

  5. Timor was divided between Portugal and the Netherlands which would cause great suffering and consternation 116 years later.
  6. French naval forces start the seizure of Saigon and other areas of southern Vietnam resulting in Vietnam becoming a French colony (amongst others in Indo-China).
  7. The part of New South Wales with the Cane Toads and Cyclones was separated from New South Wales and because no-one could think of a better name, this area was sensitively called Queensland, thereby giving Victorians sick of their weather somewhere to go to rather than just nipping next door.
  8. There is a border dispute between the British and the Americans on the San Juan Islands which resulted from the Americans shooting a pig in the islands. San Juan Island lies between Vancouver, Canada and the US state of Washington. The pig was fortunately the only casualty in confrontation (well, it was fortunate for everyone except the pig) and the incident bears no relationship to the current Swine Flu problem.
  9. Average IQ in New South Wales increased dramatically.
  10. The Second Opium War between Qing China on one side and the British and French on the other is in full swing. 1859 was when the British lost a few gunboats.
  11. The Taiping Rebellion was also in full swing in China between the Qing Chinese and the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. One of the demands of the Taiping rebels was that foot binding of Chinese women should cease as a practice ((this is one example I use when people tell me that something cannot be changed as it is something practiced for many, many years. The Chinese had been binding women’s feet for hundred (perhaps even thousands) of years. It was in the early 20th century I believe that the practice was ordered to be stopped and that order enforced. There is only one or two cobblers in China now able to make shoes for those few poor women who had bound feet and are still living)).
  12. The Spanish-Moroccan War began with a conflict over the borders of the Spanish city of Ceuta and was fought in northern Morocco. Morocco sued for peace after the Spanish victory at the Battle of Tetuan.

OK, that’s some of the interesting stuff from 1859 but still I can find nothing specific about events in Macau in 1859. This is going to drive me crazy, I am sure.


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