The Year Was 1826

Thomas Jefferson.bmpThe year was 1826 and it found Thomas Jefferson in a financial crisis. The former U.S. President and his grandson, in desperation, appealed to the Virginia General Assembly to hold a lottery to dispose of property to pay off debts and provide for his old age and family. Even his beloved Monticello was to be included in the prize. Patriotic organizations from throughout the country began soliciting donations and the money raised helped put off the need for the lottery, temporarily.

On 4 July, Thomas Jefferson died, followed hours later by John Adams. Their deaths cast a shadow over the fiftieth anniversary of the country they helped to found.

The temperance movement blossomed in 1826 with the founding of the American Temperance Society. With many churches getting involved there were soon 2,220 societies in the United States
In England, the rail industry was taking off and in 1826 work began on the Manchester and Liverpool railway that included the first railway tunnel. The line was completed in 1830.

In Manitoba, Canada, a record spring flood wiped out the Red River Settlement and forced the Hudson Bay Company to relocate its operations to a site further downstream. The devastation prompted a migration of Swiss-German settlers from the area to the U.S. The extent of the flooding has been a consideration in flood prevention plans in the area to this day.

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