Matthew Brady / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Cassius Marcellus Clay


19 October 1810 – 22 July 1903 (Aged 93)

Born in Madison County, Kentucky. Died in Whitehall, Kentucky.

Cassius Marcellus Clay was born into a slave-holding family but was to become a major figure in the abolitionist movement.

Clay served three terms on the Kentucky legislature, before being defeated due to his views on slavery. These views saw him survive an assassination attempt during a political debate. 

In 1845, Clay began publishing the anti-slavery newspaper, True American and served as a Captain in the Mexican-American War the following year.

During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, he was appointed American minister to Russia, where he is credited with gaining Russian support for the Union and in being influential during negotiations for the purchase of Alaska.

Clay became increasingly paranoid in later years. He divorced his wife of 45 years and married the 15-year-old orphaned sister of one of his tenants. 

Shortly before his death, he was judged mentally insane. Nine years after his death, a descendant of African-American slaves, named his son Cassius Marcellus Clay, in tribute to the abolitionist. 

This newborn would later give his son the same name. Of course, this Cassius Jr. went on to become one of the greatest ever heavyweight boxing champions, Muhammad Ali.

Frederick Law Olmsted


Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

26 April 1822 – 28 August 1903 (Aged 81)

Born in Hartford, Connecticut. Died in Waverly, Massachusetts.

Frederick Law Olmsted is famed for designing many U.S. public parks, the first project being New York’s Central Park with Calvert Vaux.

He also reported on slavery for The New York Times between 1852 and 1855.

Among Olmsted’s greatest achievements was being the head of the first Yosemite commission and leading the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, when it was threatened with industrialization by the building electrical power plants.

He also designed the U.S. Capitol Grounds, planned Boston’s ‘Emerald Necklace’ of green space, and created many other park systems across the U.S.

Paul Gauguin


Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903 (Aged 54)

Born in Paris, France. Died in Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia.

Gauguin was a French Post-Impressionist artist who influenced many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

He was not too well known prior to his death but is now recognized for his experimental use of color and a style that was distinguishably different from Impressionism.

Calamity Jane

(Folk Hero)

H. R. Locke / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

1 May 1852 – 1 August 1903 (Aged 51)

Born in Princeton, Missouri. Died in Terry, South Dakota.

Calamity Jane was an American frontierswoman and professional scout, who made her name out West, having been orphaned at the age of 12.

She is known for her claim of being an acquaintance of western showman Wild Bill Hickok.

She increased her reputation with stories of heroism and charity in western dime novels and her autobiography.

Her performances in Wild West shows immortalized her as one of the West’s most colorful characters.