Where did the American economy stand in 1859?
Abraham Lincoln Appears on the Scene
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It was in reasonably good shape. There had been a sharp economic downturn in 1857, but things were improving throughout 1859. Cotton, not surprisingly, was the single biggest export, but there were all sorts of new businesses. One of the most successful of American products sold within the nation were pianos and pianofortes. An advertisement in the Evening Journal Almanac, published in Albany, New York, lists elegant pianos, made by Boardman, Gray, and Company, for $150.