When we think of the summer, regardless of the century throughout history, we think of rising temperatures and the harsh living conditions that the summer has become known for. 1860 Arkansas was no exception, as this week’s “150 Years Ago” column features an article written in Fayetteville, Arkansas showing the temperatures’ unwavering rise in the mercury.
According to several newspaper accounts this week 150 years ago, a drought appears general all over the Southern states. The drought is so serious that lawmakers in Alabama are considering postponing debt collecting until another crop can be harvested. What does this all mean? This means that the South’s crops, the financial backbone of the future Confederate states, are in dire straits and that the South, due to this severe hot weather and devastation of crops, will surely have a negative financial impact:
[FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.] THE ARKANSIAN, July 14, 1860
Mercury.—Quicksilver is rising—has been doing its “level best” to get out of the glass. To another column we refer our readers for the degrees which it stood on different days this week. More scorching heat, with the breezes that stir every day, was never known in this latitude.—Even the turkies are using fans to cool themselves. The young corn at 1 o’clock P.M., is all in curls, like young lassies getting ready for a Mechanic’s Festival.
Also included in this week’s “150 Years Ago…” column is a very important “first” in Arkansas history. Due to the subject of Independence Day last week, the following was also printed last week. Usually, the editor will not back track to previous weeks, but the nature of the following is self-explanatory in its importance:
[FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.] THE ARKANSIAN, July 7, 1860, p. 3, c. 1
First Telegram to an Arkansas Paper.
We sent this day a health to the “Republican.” That paper rejoins:
St. Louis, July 7, 1860.
St. Louis greets Arkansas on the completion of the Telegraph to Fayetteville, in uniting the two cities so closely together new ties will be formed binding the North centre and the South more, indissolubly to each other. May the Union be perpetuated.”