In the early 1830s, the city of Baltimore was developing as a bustling urban center and port. The city diverted the streams around John Barron’s successful wharf and lowered the water level, which negatively impacted his business. He sued the city to recover his financial losses.
The election of 1884 was the first to put a Democrat in the White House since the Civil War. That it did, albeit narrowly was a testament to the way even the earliest stages of industrialization had transformed the country, setting it on the road to something far removed from its, rural, agricultural, protestant roots.