Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in America.

Matthew Vassar bought land for his college, 200 acres at the site of a former fairgrounds, two miles east of Poughkeepsie. 

Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States.  Six weeks later South Carolina seceded from the Union, followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Matthew Vassar wrote to Susan B. Anthony: "Dear Madam, In reply to your note of yesterday inquiring whether the report is true that I had made an appropriation $400,000—to found a College for girls, in all respects equal to Harvard and Yale I answer yes, and the grounds for its location purchased, the contract for the erection of the buildings awarded, and the work will be commenced early the ensuing Spring. Yours very Respectully, M. Vassar."