1859: A year of evil and warning

There are times in history which evil and hate run through humanity at blinding speeds.

The spirit of hate, like the wind; it comes and goes yet no one knows from whence it came, or where it goes. Yet, the results are visible, for all to see in historical accounts. The idea of this article came about in much the same way. It came to me while watching an Italian crime series. In all crime movies motive is part of the plot. In this particular show, the motive hinged on the discovery of old photograph negatives. These negatives were images of some of the atrocities which took place during the Italian war of independence of 1859.

The combination of two things; 1859 and war, triggered memories of the Civil war’s beginnings in our country. What were the odds, on two sides of the globe, war would find it’s beginnings at roughly the same time. It appeared as if the winds of war swept across the globe, for different reasons, but the reasons, had the same outcome – death and destruction.

It’s easy to look back and see the historical account, yet the exact starting moment eludes us. The exact moment when evil became action. We can look back and say well this happened, or they did this and they responded with this. But when exactly did everyone on opposing sides just act in one accord? When was the moment when reason, everyone’s reason, just fled? The spirit of evil is like that. It comes, distorts reason, and provokes evil acts. The mystery of mob mentality is a perfect example.

Maybe these are just random thoughts of mine, which mean nothing to anyone but me. Maybe I see patterns that I use to deduce reason out of the evil acts of men. Maybe I see warning signs. Signs that indicate evil is coming, is operating even now, and we should recognize it and try to avoid the outcomes ignoring the warnings evil would bring.

Looking at some of the notable events of 1859 we see the War of Italy’s independence, which involved not only Italy, but France and Austria. While this war was going on at the northern end of Italy, another war, a war of unification of Italy was going on in the south, which bled over into 1860. The war of unification was were the atrocities were taking place while most of the world was focused on the war in the north.

In the U.S. the boiling point of secession of the southern states in 1859 would lead to the outbreak of the civil war. The historical accounts of the civil war garners so much attention we overlook other wars within and just outside of the continental U.S. taking place during this same time. Wars with the same deadly outcome. Wars that could’ve affected or altered the events of history.

In California, there was the Mendocino war, also known as the California Indian wars. Not much attention is paid to them today, yet 100’s perhaps 1000’s of men, women, and children were killed when the white settlers and Indians took turns raiding each others camps. Evil, little noticed, having its way with men.

On the other side of the world, in India, the remaining Indian mutineers were being executed, ending the Indian rebellion against the British.

Spain declares war on Morocco.

Then there was the great Pig War of 1859. An almost serious war between the U.S. and Britain over possession of San Juan island. An island between Vancouver, B.C. and Washington state. Both sides were brought to the brink of war when Lyman Cutler, and American settler, shot a pig, which was destroying his potato farm. The pig in question belonging to a British citizen. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed. But historians wonder, had war broken out again between the U.S. and Britain, how it would have affected the Civil War.

There are other notable event s that took place in 1859, which we will briefly touch on. Some good, some not so good. Reflecting that evil comes as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The discover of “The Codex Sinaiticus,” at the time, the oldest known copy of the Bible complete with Apocrypha. It’s discovery would bring a renewed interest in God. On the other hand Darwin’s publication “Origin of the Species,” would be used by agnostics and atheists to try to downplay or outright destroy mans relationship with God. It was truly a “Tale of Two Cities,” which happened to be published in the same year.

We also learned in 1859 a man could be acquitted of murder using the ‘temporary insanity’ defense, which was successfully introduced in the same year. Who knew it would become a defense used even today. How insane is that?

Along with the winds of war and destruction, incidents of man’s rational began to wander, if not outright disappear. Joshua Abraham Norton, a resident of San Francisco, declared himself emperor of the United States and protector of Mexico, calling for the abolition of Congress. Most considered him eccentric, and like most eccentrics there existed a thin line between madness and unknowingly prophetic. He wrote many ‘decrees’ because that’s what emperors do. In his decree to abolish congress, we read this:

fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled.”

Sounds hauntingly familiar does it not?

There were other events from 1859 that are worth looking into, outside of the scope of this article, which are an interesting read. However a couple of events remain of note, and an important part of this article. These events were perhaps signs from God to turn our attention back to him and become aware of the direction evil was leading us in. The first was a volcanic eruption in Hawaii which lasted for 300 days.

The most important event would take place in September of 1859. A perfect solar storm was witnessed and recorded by amateur astronomer Richard Carrington. When effects of the solar storm hit earth it became a worldwide event. Here are a couple of excerpts:

That night, telegraph communications around the world began to fail; there were reports of sparks showering from telegraph machines, shocking operators and setting papers ablaze. All over the planet, colorful auroras illuminated the nighttime skies, glowing so brightly that birds began to chirp.”


One eyewitness account from a woman on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina ran in the Charleston Mercury: “The eastern sky appeared of a blood red color. It seemed brightest exactly in the east, as though the full moon, or rather the sun, were about to rise. It extended almost to the zenith. The whole island was illuminated. The sea reflected the phenomenon, and no one could look at it without thinking of the passage in the Bible which says, ‘the sea was turned to blood.’ The shells on the beach, reflecting light, resembled coals of fire.”

What does this have to do with the events of 2020? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps they are just random thoughts from someone who sees how quickly evil can blow in like a gentle wind, and leave a vast wake of hate and destruction behind. Perhaps we will see an astrological event from God which makes us realize we must not be tools of evil but workers of good.

Some would say you could pick any year and put to together a chain of events and draw similar conclusions. Maybe so.

For the most part, the world of 1859 witnessed the Carrington event (a once in every 500 year event), received a warning and ignored it -how about 2020? It’s been an historical year. What will our warning be? Will we get one? If we ignore it, what will our outcome be?

1 thought on “1859: A year of evil and warning

Comments are closed.