The New 1840's!
First Oil Well
"Colonel" Edwin Drake used a drilling expert "Willam Smith" to drill for oil in Titusville Pennsylvania. "Willam Smith" drilled down 60ft and oil gushed to the surface. Prior to this well, oil had been barreled from rock oil which is just oil that had made it to the surface and created pools of oil in the rocks.
New York Times Founded
First published Henry Raymond and George Jones on September 18th, 1851, under the name "New York Daily Times". It was created to produce on every day except on Sundays. Articles in the 1851's include things like "Is Europe Ripe for Revolution?" "The Expected Arrival of Kossuth at Washington" "Cold Weather in the East" and "Fugitive Slave Riots in Lancaster."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin was read mostly in the U.S. but it was also read abroad. It's publication is said to have inspired the anti-slavery movement in the 1850's. Beecher Stowe's work is said to have sold fifty thousand copies in the first eight weeks, and reached half a million copies within the first six months. The book is credited as one of the causes of the Civil War.
May 24th, 1856, John Brown and his Free State volunteers murdered five men that were settled on the Pottawatomie Creek in southeastern Kansas. They chose these men because they were members of the pro-slavery Law and Order Party, but they themselves were not slave owners. This occurred three days after the Missouri Border Ruffians burned an anti-slavery haven in Lawrence. Brown's murders occurred at three different houses. At one farm, the owner and two of his sons were dragged outside and hacked up with sabers that had been donated to Brown in Akron, Ohio. John Brown's portion of the abolitionist community that supported him downplayed this occurrence on the fight against slavery.