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Madison, 1859

Madison was home to about 6,500 people in 1859, when this picture of Pinckney Street was taken from its corner with Main Street, looking west.   

This State Journal editorial ran on Jan. 1, 1853:

We greet our friends this morning and wish them all a “Happy New Year.” Old ’52, adieu! Thy work is done — and ’53, young and vigorous, takes thy place.

The past has been a year fraught with many and exciting events. Death has made serious inroads among the great of the world. Two of the mightiest men of this nation have been called to their final rest. Long will it be before any one year will witness the death of two such men as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster again. For the first half of this century, they have stood first among the great. ... Who will make good their places?

The past year has been full of wonders! While it has taken from us those who have been long great, it has also made prominent what was obscure before. Who, a year ago, would have dreamed that Frank Pierce would now have been the president-elect of the Union? A man would have been deemed crazy or a fool who would have suggested such a thing.

But it is even so. General Pierce, who a year ago was scarcely known out of his own state, is now the chosen head of this great and mighty nation. His every movement becomes a subject of newspaper notoriety, and millions are trying to believe he is among the greatest of the living. What a change! He must remember old ’52 with gratitude.

We cannot today refer to the many prominent events of the old year. We have endeavored to serve them up as they occurred. Our efforts will now be put in requisition, to chronicle the events of the new year, and we trust our readers will so sustain us that we shall be enabled to present them in daily parcels.

Again, we wish a “Happy New Year” to all readers and friends.

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