AFTER THE SERMON AT THE CEMETERY, a number of uniformed First Defenders carried the simple coffin to the burial site and laid Nicholas Biddle to rest. Bank War, in U.S. history, the struggle between President Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Biddle, president of the Bank of the United States, over the continued existence of the only national banking institution in the nation during the second quarter of the 19th century. But most of the First Defenders were quick to reenlist, this time “for three years, or the course of the war.” Almost to a man, the National Light Infantry became Company A of the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry, while most members of the Washington Artillery reenlisted into the ranks of Company B, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, with James Wren remaining as captain. Captain Thomas Yeager was extremely concerned about the situation and expected “an intended massacre in Baltimore.” While the First Defenders were met by Union troops lead by Lt. General John C. Pemberton to get them to the station, this would only be halfway. Jacqueline Dormer/staff photo A flag marks the grave of First Defender Nicholas Biddle, who was the first to shed blood in the Civil War. Nor is it known where Biddle first settled in Pennsylvania. In History. His Was the Proud Distinction of Shedding the First Blood In the Late War For the Union, Being Wounded While Marching Through Baltimore With the First Volunteers From Schuylkill County 18 April 1861. Biddle refused the president’s advice to seek medical attention, insisting that he preferred to remain with his company. All of them except Nicholas Biddle, of course. Another story, perhaps more plausible, has the escaped slave settling in Pottsville itself and becoming a servant at the Mountain House hotel, where he was employed during the January 1840 dinner. The term of service for the initial 75,000 Northern volunteers—including those in the ranks of the First Defender companies—was for three months, and in late July 1861, the soldiers were mustered out. Email This BlogThis! Pottsville’s leading newspaper, The Miners’ Journal, appealed to the community for help. On September 10, 1833, President Jackson pulled the government deposits out of the Bank of the United States (BUS) and put it into the state banks. His was the Proud Distinction of Shedding the First Blood in the Late War for the Union, Being Wounded while marching through Baltimore with the First Volunteers from Schuylkill County, 18 April 1861. He preferred to remain with the company. John Malkovich, actor (Places in the Heart), producer (Juno), director, fashion designer. 3 Bray Hammond, Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War (Princeton There were chants of “N****r in uniform!” The mob threw objects at the group and Biddle was struck in the head with a brick. Grace Hopper, mathematician and computer pioneer. The First Defenders on the other had guns—that didn’t work. Biddle, however, had willingly marched off to war as the orderly of Captain Wren, the Washington Artillery’s commanding officer. Read the poem "Grave of Nick Biddle" dedicated to the Civil War's first blood. He had been associated with the company since its formation in 1840 and was so highly regarded by the members of the unit that they considered him one of their own and issued him a uniform. The surviving First Defenders contributed $1 each to pay for a tombstone, upon which was inscribed: In Memory of Nicholas Biddle, Died August 2, 1876, Aged 80 Years. Jackson’s veto was only one part of the war on the “monster bank.” In 1833, the president removed the deposits from the national bank and placed them in state banks. Battered and bruised, the First Defenders would arrive in Washington D.C later in the day where President Lincoln met them personally. Preserving the Civil War's Legacy A short, focused history of the politics of Reconstruction in a changing America In The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy , historian Paul Kahan focuses on the unique political, economic, and cultural forces unleashed by the Civil War and how Grant addressed these issues during his tumultuous two terms as chief executive. Biddle would return to Pottsville and passed in 1876 at 82. Continue Reading. Billy Edd Wheeler, singer, songwriter ("Jackson," "Coward of the County"). Little is known about Biddle’s life, except that he was born a slave in Delaware about 1796 and later escaped. Bookmark /2004678578/ Bookmark:2004678578 Bookmark:2004678578. Sarah Spencer Washington. Like many lives of African-Americans at the time, that of Nicholas Biddle leaves history with more questions than answers. April 18, 1861,” it reads. The marker for his grave had been destroyed not only after he was buried. The surviving veterans of the Washington Artillery and the National Light Infantry once again answered the call. ... the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the seizure of Spanish Florida, the battle of New Orleans, the declaration of war on the Federalist bank of America, ... developed during civil war era for fast communication with the west. BIDDLE’S INJURIES WERE THE MOST SERIOUS, an irony considering he wasn’t technically a soldier since the Federal government would not muster him in because of his race. But Biddle refused. The First Official Casualty of the Civil War was a 65-year-old Escaped Slave. A few years after graduation from Princeton College, John Biddle entered the United States Army, serving for most of the War of 1812 in the Niagara Frontier under General Scott. It’s odd considering he didn’t change his name until his late-30s or early-40s. But exactly when he slipped the chains of human bondage is not known. William Lipscomb, chemist; awarded Nobel Prize in 1976. "Nick Biddle," of Pottsville, Pa., the first man wounded in the great American Rebellion, "Baltimore, April 18, 1861" / W. R. Mortimer. After Biddle moved to the Pennsylvania State Senate, he lobbied for the rechartering of the Second Bank of the United States. Did Andrew Jackson Shut down the bank to stop him? John Cassavetes, actor (The Dirty Dozen), film director, screenwriter (Faces). Biddle spent the rest of his life in Pottsville, performing odd jobs until he began to suffer from rheumatism. He reportedly soon found work as a servant in the lavish home of Nicholas Biddle, the wealthy financier and longtime president of the Second Bank of the United States, whose name the escaped slave adopted as his own. He also writes heavily on wrestling, comics, gaming, and Black sci-fi and fantasy. Charles John Biddle (1819 – September 28, 1873) was an American soldier, lawyer, Congressman, and newspaper editor. “Poor Nick had to take it” as the mob closed in like “wild wolves,” Captain James Wren, Biddle’s commander, later recorded. Nicholas Biddle (January 8, 1786 – February 27, 1844) was an American financier who served as the third and last president of the Second Bank of the United States (chartered 1816–1836). “In Memory of the First Defenders And Nicholas Biddle, of Pottsville, First Man To Shed Blood In The Civil War. The following morning, the two companies, along with the Ringgold Light Artillery from Reading, the Logan Guards from Lewistown and the Allen Infantry of Allentown, boarded the North Central Railroad and began their journey to Washington via Baltimore. It was upon seeing Biddle that they exploded. As for the Union soldier who was the first to spill blood, Nicholas Biddle was unable to enlist for the Union. Before he died, the proud figure claimed he had enough money saved up in the bank for a proper funeral and burial, but upon his death it was discovered that there was not a penny to his name. One thing about Biddle is that real name is basically lost to history. The latter could be hinting to a gentleman by the name of Nicholas Biddle, an African-American soldier passing through Baltimore on April 18, 1861 on his way to Washington and the battlefields of the Civil War. John Milton, British writer and poet (Paradise Lost). A true American aristocrat, he read classics in their original language and collected art. Departing Pottsville on April 17, 1861, they reached Harrisburg late that evening. Kirk Douglas, American actor (Spartacus). He is the author of First in Defense of the Union: The Civil War History of the First Defenders, and maintains a Web site on the 48th Pennsylvania at 48thpennsylvania.blogspot.com. Private Ignatz Gresser, a native of Germany, suffered from a painful ankle wound, and Private David Jacobs had a fractured left wrist and a few broken teeth. He reportedly shook hands with Biddle and encouraged him to seek medical attention. "On this day in 1861, Nicholas Biddle became “the first blood of the Civil War” in the midst of mob violence in Baltimore." Nicholas Biddle's Management In 1823, the BUSII entered its third stage under President Nicholas Biddle, who as a Pennsylvania state legislator had been a supporter of the first Bank of the United States. Troops of color weren’t admitted into the U.S Army until May 1863 with the establishment of the United States Colored Troops. Around this time, the Philadelphia’s famous banker Nicholas Biddle had rolled into town to establish an iron furnace. The Biddle family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a prominent Old Philadelphian family descended from English immigrants William Biddle (1630–1712) and Sarah Kempe (1634–1709), who arrived in the Province of New Jersey in 1681. Nicholas Biddle (17861844) established the Bank of the United States as a prototype of the modern central banking system. When civil war erupted in April 1861, Biddle, described as "a gently aging man of sixty-five," departed Pottsville with the Washington Artillerists, as an aide, ... "In Memory of Nicholas Biddle, Died August 2, 1876. Not only that, but it was what you could call a “hostile city” at the time. Old Hickory's attack on Biddle's bank had some unexpected consequences Editor's Note: Bray Hammond wrote this essay for American Heritage in 1956 and developed it into Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1958. 2 Fritz Redlich, The Molding of American Banking: Men and Ideas (New York: Hafner, 1947) p. 110. Following his retirement from banking, he helped establish Girard College in Philadelphia and held literar… A brother, Major Thomas Biddle, served in the U. S. Army and another brother, Commodore James Biddle, was a noted Naval officer. Biddle adopted the name and whoever … The following day the Pratt Street Riot broke out. Before setting out from the Pennsylvania capital, the soldiers of the five companies took the oath of allegiance and were all sworn in as soldiers of the United States. Biddle soon was the target of more than just oaths, as salvos of bricks pried loose from the streets began to fly through the air. . Portrait photographs--1860-1870. “Nigger in Uniform! Nicholas Biddle. At the time, however, Biddle received the attention even of Abraham Lincoln as the president visited the militiamen being billeted at the U.S. Capitol on April 19. One account has him settling in Philadelphia, where he possibly was taken in by abolitionists. Also see . Previous Post The 2020 Blake Mini Library “Breaking Barriers” Collection. He also served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He took an active interest in the city’s two militia companies, the National Light Infantry and the Washington Artillery, whose members he quickly befriended. When news of President Lincoln’s call to arms spread throughout the North in April 1861, both the National Light Infantry and the Washington Artillery were quick to tender their services. Source: Blackfacts.com. Lincoln wanted to thank the men who had arrived to defend Washington only four days after he called for 75,000 volunteers to quell the rebellion that began with the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12. Redd Foxx (John Sanford), comedian, actor; best known for his starring role in the TV series Sanford and Son. Traveling to D.C, the Defenders had to change connecting trains in Baltimore, a slave port. The Pennsylvanians were the first of the volunteers to arrive in the District of Columbia and would thus go down in history as the “First Defenders.” Their Baltimore injuries occurred as the men arrived for the final leg of their journey from Pennsylvania to Washington. The militia managed to escape but not with thirty-six of their men being injured and having to leave the bulk of their gear. 1 Thomas P. Govan, Nicholas Biddle: Nationalist and Public Banker (University of Chicago Press, 1959) p. 412. William Barret Travis, commander of the Texas troops at the battle of the Alamo. of hostilities was Daniel Hough, an Irish immigrant soldier who died at Fort Sumpter on April 14, 1861, four days before Nicholas Biddle, who was injured during a civil disturbance at a train station in Baltimore several days later. Biography Biddle was born and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, he would head to Washington D.C. to join the Union’s call for soldiers. Biddle, the bank’s director, retaliated by restricting loans to the state banks, resulting in a reduction of the money supply. Erected By His Friends In Pottsville. “In Memory of the First Defenders And Nicholas Biddle, of Pottsville, First Man To Shed Blood In The Civil War. "In Memory of Nicholas Biddle, Died Aug.2, 1876, Aged 80 years. black history culture race. The rest of the way, the Defenders were escorted by Baltimore police. Nicholas Biddle becomes the first African American in uniform to be wounded in the Civil War ... Nicholas Biddle becomes the first African American in uniform to be wounded in the Civil War. It’s odd considering he didn’t change his name until his late-30s or early-40s. If this is true, then, as Schuylkill County historian Herrwood Hobbs wrote, “something of financier Biddle rubbed off on him,” and he adopted the capitalist’s name. The 6th Massachusetts was taking the same route as the First Defenders and retaliated by firing on the Baltimore rioters. So you think the Civil War only happened because of events and decisions after 1850? Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, speaker of the House of Representatives. The entire Baltimore police force had been summoned to escort the volunteers through the streets, but even the police had a difficult time controlling the raucous crowd of 2,000, which jeered the anxious militiamen while hurrahing for Jefferson Davis and the Southern Confederacy. Nicholas Biddle, an African American Union soldier was the first man wounded in the Civil War. Biddle, Nicholas--Military service. African Americans--Military service. Quakers, they had emigrated from England in part to escape religious persecution.Having acquired extensive rights to more than 43,000 acres (170 km 2) … Since that time, remembrance of Biddle’s role in the Civil War has faded almost to the point of oblivion, and, shamefully, his tombstone has been destroyed by vandals. Nick Biddle, however, did not accompany Wren when the 48th left Schuylkill County in September 1861. Dick Butkus, pro football player; inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1979. On this day in 1861, Nicholas Biddle became “the first blood of the Civil War” in the midst of mob violence in Baltimore. Nicholas Biddle died in his home on August 2, 1876, at the age of 80. While Pennsylvania was technically outside of the slaveholding U.S, it was a border state. COPYRIGHT (C) 2017 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - BLACK THEN He remained in Pottsville, still nursing the painful head wound he had suffered in Baltimore. Posted May 15, 2020. Of course, it didn’t help that there was a train of Union recruits was in the city. Joel Chandler Harris, writer, creator of the Uncle Remus tales. The president learned the Pennsylvanians had been attacked while traveling through Baltimore en route to the capital. It was on this subject that he made his first speech, which attracted general attention at the time, and was warmly commended by Chief-Justice Marshall and other leaders of public opinion. Judi Dench (Dame Judith Dench), actress; known to James Bond fans for her role as M in Bond films beginning with Golden Eye (1997), her many awards include an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Chocolat, 2000). HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. Read the poem “The Grave of Nick Biddle“, a stirring ode written in 1876 about April 18, 1861, the day “In Baltimore City, where riot ran high.”. Contributor Names The Grave of Nick Biddle: Ode to the Man who was the First Casualty of the Civil War. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. The other origin of Biddle is that he escaped to Philadelphia early on and worked in the service the more famous Biddle, then he took the name upon settling in Pottsville. Now known as the Gillingham House, the residence served as a station house for escaped slaves heading further into the north. Nicholas Biddle was the first casualty of the Civil War. Others in the group were hit by bricks and bottles as the mob tried to overtake the train. By admin. A few bolder Confederate sympathizers lunged at the unarmed Pennsylvanians with knives and drawn pistols. Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest. Did Nicholas Biddle try to buy the presidential election in 1832? “Peace, Union, and Glory”: Berks County African Americans in the Civil War By LAURA HIRNEISEN After Lincoln’s initial call for troops in 1861, Pottsville resident Nicholas Biddle, then sixty-five years old, promised himself he would join the fighting, even if it had to be on the sly. The angry citizens of Baltimore were spoiling for a fight and picked up whatever weapons and projectiles they could find. A grateful President Lincoln later greeted the Pennsylvanians. Next Post On Race, Ballet and Being Muslim: We are not less than anyone else. According to this account, Biddle, along with his servant, traveled to the Schuylkill County seat of Pottsville in January 1840 for a celebratory dinner at the Mountain House hotel in the nearby village of Mount Carbon. A large crowd gathered in front of Biddle’s home and then, as a drum corps played, began the solemn procession up Minersville Street to the “colored burying ground” adjacent to the Bethel A.M.E. Church. As he grew older and more infirm he couldn’t perform any labor. Impoverished in his final years, he walked the streets of Pottsville seeking charity. At the time some considered Biddle’s blood the first shed in hostility during the Civil War. Photographic prints--1860-1870. In addition to working in a hotel, Biddle was also heavily involved in the Underground Railroad and worked with the Gillingham Family. Biography of Nicholas Biddle. Masako, Crown Princes of Japan, wife of Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Along with 80 industrialists and capitalists, they celebrated the success of William Lyman’s Pottsville Furnace, the first in the United States to smelt iron by an anthracite-fired blast furnace continuously for 100 days. Born in the late 1790s, he escaped slavery in Delaware and resided in Pennsylvania most of his adult life where he worked in a Pottsville hotel. Biddle's work as a banker has been extensively treated in Ralph C. H. Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States (1903); Fritz Redlich, The Molding of American Banking: Men and Ideas (2 vols., 1947-1951); Walter B. Smith, Economic Aspects of the Second Bank of the United States (1953); and Bray Hammond, Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War (1957). On April 18, 1951, the 90th anniversary of the First Defenders’ famed march through Baltimore, the people of Pottsville dedicated a bronze plaque for the Civil War Soldiers’ Monument in Garfield Square. First Casualty of the Civil War Disputed. Chartered in 1816 and was prosperous under Nicholas Biddle. Many of the Pennsylvanians present that day believed Biddle was the first man to be struck down by an enemy combatant in the Civil War. The first man to shed blood during the Civil war was an escaped slave by the name of Nicholas Biddle from Pottsville, PA. Due to his having escaped a life of slavery very little is known of Mr. Biddle's life. While serving with the Washington Artillery in Baltimore in the first days of the war, he was targeted by a Confederate and badly injured by a brick thrown on April 18, 1861. By Dannie Gore Nicholas Biddle first to shed blood for The Civil War. Biddle adopted the name and whoever he was called before was forgotten. United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Military personnel--Union. In befriending members of the National Light Infantry and the Washington Artillery, Biddle joined the First Defenders—several militias from Pennsylvania—as the orderly of Captain James Wren. Henry Kendall, particle physicist; shared Nobel Prize in 1990. Banker (1786-1844) Born in Philadelphia on January 8, 1786, Biddle entered the University of Pennsylvania at the age of ten. Born in the late 1790s, he escaped slavery in Delaware and resided in Pennsylvania most of his adult life where he worked in a Pottsville hotel. Even his real name is unknown. By Editor. In History. Posted March 22, 2020. He had arrived in Pottsville as a … When the engineer stepped in, the mob stopped trying to knock the locomotive off the tracks. Using the power of the bank to expand and contract the money supply, Biddle played a prominent role in creating a stable currency and in bringing order to the chaotic American marketplace. By the time the American Civil War broke out Nicholas Biddle was in his mid-60s. Whatever the truth, by 1840 Biddle had made Pottsville his home, taking up residence in a modest dwelling on Minersville Street. 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