Peter Cooper, founder of Cooper Union, and his wife were guests of Augustus L. Allen of Poughkeepsie and called on Matthew Vassar. They also visited the college site to see Main Building under construction. Mr. Allen was a charter trustee of the college. 

President Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates.

"In this city...after a lingering illness, which she bore with great meekness and fortitude, Catharine, wife of M. Vassar, aged 73 years."     Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle


Not quite 21 years old but already feeling successful in his leadership of the family business, Matthew Vassar married Catharine Valentine, a resident of Fishkill, on March 7, 1813. The young couple "hired part of a dwelling at the rate of forty dollars a year, payable in advance," Vassar's friend and biography Benson Lossing recorded, "which his father thought was a very extravagant beginning; and the whole outfit of the young couple for housekeeping did not exceed, in cost, one hundred fifty dollars. Yet it was a genteel display of home comforts, for the time. Neatness and industry characterized his chosen helpmate, and their humble dwelling-place had an air of elegance which more spacious mansions and more costly furnishings do not always present. With mutual interests they worked lovingly together."

Matthew Vassar's companion on his tour of England and the Continent in 1845—along with his secretary, Cyrus Swan—Mrs. Vassar nonetheless preferred to stay out of the public eye. She took part in neither Poughkeepsie society nor her husband's subsequent and frequent travels. Described as a "home-body," she seems also to have shown little interest in her husband's plans for founding a college for women in Poughkeepsie. She was apparently an invalid for several years before her death.

The Vassars had no children.

The tide of the Civil War turned in favor of the Union, as the Confederates were defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania.

Dedicating the battlefield at Gettysburg as a National Cemetery, Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.