- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
ix

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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ten; and in 1851 Maine adopted prohibition—some
striking parallelisms to the United States of
1924. Material development in some parts of
the land was so rapid that it was difficult to follow
the character of the growth. Cincinnati was known
simultaneously either as “The Queen of the West”
or as “The City of Hogs,” depending upon the
observer and the circumstances of the observation.
And yet esthetic, spiritual, and educational matters
were also given more attention than ever before.
Professor Longfellow was at this time writing
good poetry in Cambridge; Fanny Kemble was
giving readings in Shakespeare; Boston was listening
to some remarkable Unitarians; and while
adventurers were rushing to the gold fields of
California, New York installed its first public
school system. By 1850—and this is perhaps the
most important condition to note here—slavery
had been wholly abandoned in the Northern States,
which meant a distinct North and South with all
the consequences arising from this cleavage. The
foremost statesmen of the day, like Clay and
Webster, spent their energy vehemently debating
the Fugitive Slave Bill and the Compromise of
1850.

To this America came in 1849 a frail, middle-aged
Swedish spinster, Fredrika Bremer, whose
interests embraced the whole universe, and who

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