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November 27, 2020

40 Rare and Amazing Photos Document Everyday Life of the U.S. in the 1860s

The 1860s in the United States was a time of turmoil and change. The first half of the decade was dominated by the American Civil War, with the later half seeing the country pull itself out from the damage during the Reconstruction.

Life of the U.S. in the 1860s


It was also an era of migration, with Lincoln’s 1862 Homestead Act encouraging people to move West with the promise of 160 acres of free land.

Take a look at these rare and amazing photos from Ronald S. Coddington to see what life of the U.S. looked life in the 1860s.

A clean-shaven gent sits upright upon a light four-wheeled buggy, hid hands firmly grasp the reins attached to two horses

A bearded man wearing shirtsleeves and a derby stands beside a male horse, Springfield, Massachusetts

A beardless man attired in frock coat and top hat sits astride his white mare in front of an auction house and men's store

A child dressed in ruffled shirt, cape and fur hat sits on a horse in the front yard of a home adorned with four stately columns, Latrobe, Pennsylvania

A Civil War Era Academy

A crowd of folks gather around the Glen Mountain House in Watkins Glen, New York

A Day at Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota

A few townspeople walk down slick sidewalks, while a trolley makes its way down a wet street. Signs advertising a book store and coal dealer are visible, Hartford, Connecticut

A gent in civilian attire enjoys the view from Umbrella Rock on Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga, Tennessee

A gentleman stands with his hat and cane in front of the entrance to a building that features a triangular arch, New York City

A group of boys armed with saws and an ax show off their woodcutting skills in the backyard

A group of men stand outside a wood frame building with a sign labeled "Doors Sash & Blinds", Northfield, Minnesota

A man and woman pose below the porch of a home, New York City

A man in a dark suit seated with a newspaper, map, or other large-format document, is surrounded by a group of Union soldiers and civilians, Virginia

A mother, father and son pose along the walkway leading to the entry door of their home

A woman with her hair pulled back in a bun, wearing an unadorned dress and apron with striped pattern, stands on a wood-planked terrace, Lee, Massachusetts

About twenty-five people stand on the decks and inside the pilot's house of the “G.B. Knapp” at the St. Croix River

Beer, schnapps and cigars in Cincinnati, Ohio

Boatman at Emerald Pool, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Dedication of an Early Civil War Monument, Hopkinton, Iowa

Destination “Oatmeal”, Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Four ladies stand on the second floor landing of a clapboard dwelling as a young girl sits with a dog and open book, Corning, New York

Grave of Mary Greenleaf Woods (died 1864), Kenyon-Rosse Chapel Cemetery, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio

Inscribed on the back of this portrait of a couple in a carriage pulled by two horses is “Mrs. & Mr. Hunt, Proctorsville, Vt.”

Local stores, Newbury, Vermont

Mississippi Valley Tobacco Works prior to its destruction, Burlington, Iowa

On the road to Mesopotamia, Ohio

One gentleman stands outside, and another sits upon a second floor window sill, at the establishment of Brink & Ransom, dealers in reapers and mowers, on Second Street in Louisville, Kentucky

Party at Judges' Cave Rock, New Haven, Connecticut

Seven men and an intrepid dog are perched on top of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

Soldiers and their ladies at play, New York City

Supporting Abraham Lincoln’s bid for a second term, Hudson, New York

Taking a break on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont

The hunting and fishing party, Champlain, New York

The words “A Bowery Horse” are inscribed in period pencil on the back, Poughkeepsie, New York

Townspeople gather outside Tipton's store, its windows filled with general merchandise

Train wreck, Richmondville, New York

Two young boys in wool suits and matching hats sit in a horse-drawn carriage, Farmer Village, Seneca County, New York

Vacationers in Saratoga Springs, New York

Visiting the grandkids, New York City




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