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Historical Materials

Historical Materials  »  Fitz Henry Lane Biography  »  Chronology

Chronology

A chronology of Lane's life appears in the "About the Artist" section, but documents connected to the published chronology are contained in this table. Other information can be found in the biographical section.

Related tables: Biographical information »

photo (historical)
85 Middle Street, Gloucester, Mass.
unknown photographer
1882

85 Middle Street is Lane's birthplace. In Lane's day the house wouldn't have had the extension in the back.

Also filed under: Residences »

publication
1856 Gloucester Advertiser 5.1.1856
Procter Brothers
5.1.1856
Newsprint, various dates, from bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter. Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck.

“A CARD. – The Ladies engaged in the late Fair held for the aid of the Lyceum Library, tender their sincere thanks to all that have aided them in this enterprise. More especially would they express their sense of obligation to the Chelsea Continentals, and the Gloucester Cornet Band, for their pleasing musical entertainment; and to Mr. FITZ LANE for the very generous present of a beautiful production of his pencil [unclear if painting, drawing or print], and for his efficient aid in designing and executing the arrangements for the Fair.

To the members of the Lyceum, and all interested in this Institution, they are happy to announce that their very liberal patronage of the Fair has resulted in the attainment of the object for which it was held, and that they are now able to avail themselves of the generous donation proffered them, on certain conditions, by a friend of the Library. Gloucester, April 29th, 1856.”

photo (historical)
Whittemore House
The house at 179 Washington Street, at one time the home of Fitz Henry Lane, was built c. 1700 of plank frame construction.

Also filed under: Residences »

publication
1858 Cape Ann Advertiser 1.2.1858
Procter Brothers
1858
Newsprint
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

"We visited the studio of Mr. Fitz H. Lane a few days since, and were much pleased in examining some fine paintings from the pencil of this talented artist. Among the collection was a view of Long Beach, in this town, with which we were particularly interested.

The scene is taken immediately after a storm. The waves with their snowy crests are rolling in upon the beach, breaking against the sides of a vessel which has been driven ashore. In the background is seen the residence of Mr. Fessenden, and the surrounding scenery; on the right are visible the high headlands near the residence of Mr. Geo. Hovey, while stretching far away in the distance may be seen Fresh Water Cove, Dolliver's Neck, and the Old Pine Tree, the whole forming a beautiful picture and true to Nature.

Several other paintings were in process of completion, one a beautiful sunset scene, which was really beautiful to gaze upon; also a view of a gale at sea, with a gallant ship plunging madly through the waves, forming a striking contrast to the mild placid scene of the picture at its side.

Mr. Lane's paintings are true to nature, and in viewing them one can but admire the skill and genius of this talented artist, We advise all lovers of the art, who wish to spend an hour pleasantly, to visit the studio of Mr. Lane on Locust St. We can assure them that they will come away highly gratified, and have an earnest desire to call again." (1)

(1) See p. 2, column 3, Courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society

publication
1860 Gloucester Telegraph 6.30.1860
6.30.1860
Newsprint
Gloucester Telegraph

About picture of Old Fort hanging in the Gloucester Bank: "This picture is chiefly of interest on account of its preserving so accurately the features of a view so familiar to many of our citizens and which can never exist in reality."

photo (historical)
Fitz Henry Lane House
unknown photographer
c.1979

Ivy Court was the name of the street where Lane built his stone house. "A path that became known as Ivy Court ran up the hill to the southeast from Locust Street. Lane built his stone house on top of the hill, along the southwest side of Ivy Court . . ."

From Buck and Dunlop, Fitz Henry Lane: Family and Friends, p. 152.

publication
1835 Gloucester Telegraph 1.21.1835
1.21.1835
Newspaper
Gloucester Telegraph: View of Gloucester, p. 2, col. 1
American Antiquarian Society

"VIEW OF GLOUCESTER. – We are happy to state, that Mr. F. H. Lane contemplates publishing a Lithographic view of this town, from Eastern Point, provided a sufficient number of copies are subscribed for. Mr. Lane is well known in this place as a young man of genius, and we have no hesitation in saying that we believe him qualified for the task. – A subscription paper for this work may be seen at our office, and when we consider that this interesting, and we may say truly beautiful picture is offered at the low price of $1, we cannot doubt that our fellow citizens will eagerly avail themselves of this opportunity to obtain a copy of a view of this town."

publication
1830 Gloucester Telegraph 9.18.1830
9.18.1830
Newspaper
"Distressing Fire" col. 1
Gloucester Telegraph
American Antiquarian Society

A great fire swept through Main St. in Gloucester:

“We have been called to witness the most distressing calamity which has ever visited our citizens. A considerable part of our town is in ruins. On Thursday morning, about 4 o’clock fire was discovered in the house owned and occupied by Samuel Gilbert, in Front Street, and is supposed to have commenced in a building in rear of said house, though the exact spot in which it originated is not accurately known, The flames spread with such rapidity, notwithstanding the calmness of the atmosphere, that no effectual check could be given, until they had destroyed upwards of 20 dwelling houses, together with about 40 stores, mechanic’s shops and other smaller buildings. These were mostly on the south side of the street, and between it and the water. Crossing the street, however, it destroyed several buildings, but was fortunately arrested at the store of Kimball & Hough, by demolishing two small buildings adjoining. It was finally checked by the arrival of assistance from Sandy Bay, Essex, Manchester and Ipswich, the engines from those places rendering the most important services, as without them the greater part of the village must have been consumed. We feel very grateful to the citizens of the above named places as well as to those of Salem, Beverly, Danvers & Marblehead. They set out very promptly at the first information of our distress, but in consequence of the general confusion & anxiety that prevailed, suitable measures were not taken to obtain seasonable aid from the most distant of these towns.

The disaster has fallen upon that part of our town in which the most business was transacted, and the sufferers are among our most active and enterprising citizens. No correct estimate of the losses sustained can, at present be made. – Great praise is due to the citizens generally for their intrepidity and vigorous exertions on this occasion . . . “

Lane was not mentioned by name, but he would have removed his furniture along with others.

publication
1836 Gloucester Telegraph 3.16.1836
3.16.1836
Newspaper
Gloucester Telegraph: p. 2, col. 3
American Antiquarian Society

“We have received a copy of a lithographic sketch of the town of Gloucester, executed by Mr. FITZ H. LANE of this town. The sketch itself is, we think, most admirably executed; and so far as we are acquainted with the art, there is a softness and beauty in the design, which we do not always find in the works of older and more distinguished artists. We think that the effect would have been more striking, had the view been taken from some other place than Eastern Point. There are several places whence the town could be seen to better advantage. However, we do not mean to find fault with so deserving a performance; and we hope the people of Gloucester will encourage an artist whose youth and evident talent, with other circumstances, (that of his being a native, not the least,) ought to entitle him to their liberal patronage. We venture to predict that he will one day become distinguished in his art.

Subscribers and others may obtain the print at the store of Isaac A. Smith.”

publication
1850 Gloucester Daily Telegraph 9.11.1850
Stevens, Joseph Jr.
9.11.1850
Newsprint
Gloucester Daily Telegraph
Article by Joseph L. Stevens

"The beauties of this place [Maine] are well known and appreciated among artists. We heard of Bonfield and Williams who had reluctantly left but a short time before. Fishe had spent several weeks there. Champney and Kensett were then in  another part of the island, and we have reason to believe that Church and some  others were in the immediate vicinity–Lane who was with us, made good additions  to his portfolio."

publication
1851 Boston Evening Transcript 10.31.1851
"Art Intelligence"

"-Mr. Lane, the distinguished painter of marine views, is in town on a flying visit. Lane is a resident of Gloucester in this State. Since Salmon's death, we have no one, who can paint a ship and an ocean prospect like him. His "squalls at sea" are the best things of the kind, that we remember to have seen."

manuscript
1852 Journal of John M. Stevens
John M. Stevens
September 1–November 18, 1852
Personal journal
Wilson Museum, Castine, Maine
Box 2, F1 (A00772)

John Stevens was the younger brother of Joseph Stevens, and acquainted with Lane, spending time with him in Gloucester and at the family home in Castine. His journal, quoted below, includes reference to hunting plover and teal, school, sailing, local events. Mentions Castine mill, lighthouse, and block house.

"Friday [September] 17th: Cloudy all day. Wind N. blowing quite hard. A British Rig loaded with salt from Liverpool came into port last night. She run way up by the Monument and got aground. They kedged her off this P.M. and came down. She came in with one of these old English charts as her guide. They have the town set down on the Brooksville side, two miles + three quarters from the lighthouse."

"Wednesday [September] 22. . .Went down to the Indians Camp on the Back Cove. There were five camps of them." 

Visits Gloucester from Castine:

"Wednesday [October] 27th. . .Left for Gloucester [from Boston] at 5 o'clock this P.M. arrived there safe + sound at 6 1/2 o'clock; went right down to the store and saw Joe. We then went up to his house and got supper.

"Thursday [October] 28th. At. Gloucester. Pleasant day. Went down to the "Cut" a gunning this morning before breakfast but saw no birds. Went out in the harbor this forenoon alone, had a fine sail but couldn't get a chance at any birds. Went out again this P.M. got down to East Point Light and the wind died all away, so I had to scull home."

"Friday 29th. Very pleasant day, went out in the harbor this morning with Joe. Took a walk this A.M. with "Lina", called on Mr. Lane + Doct. Hildreth. Joe + I went out in the harbor this P.M. I fired at some birds several times, but didn't get any. . . ."

View related Fitz Henry Lane catalog entries (1) »

Also filed under: Biographical information »   //  Bird Hunting »   //  Castine »   //  Castine – School »   //  Cut, The (Stacy Blvd.) »   //  Diaries / Ledgers / Etc. »   //  Stevens, Joseph, Jr. »

publication
1852 New York Times 12.17.1852
12.17.1852
Newspaper

American Art Union Second Day's Sale: Marine View- Coast of Maine (F.H. Lane) A. Edwards $50.00

publication
1855 Boston Courier 9.1855
Castine Correspondent
September 1855
Newspaper

"Mr. F. H. Lane of Gloucester . . .visits here nearly every summer"

publication
1857 Cape Ann Advertiser 8.1.1857
Procter Brothers
Various dates
Newsprint
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

“PRETTY SIGN. – If our readers wish to see something pretty, let them walk down to Burnham Bros. Railway, and take a peep at the new sign recently hung out over the paint shop of Mr. John Trask. It is a painting on canvass 4 1-2 feet by 5, executed by Fitz H. Lane, Esq., representing a view of Burnham Bros. Railways, the wharf and stores adjoining. The front view represents the ‘way’s’ with a ship and schooner receiving a coat of paint. The workshop and counting-room of Burnham Bros., and the buildings of Mr. Joseph Shepherd, together with the old Parrot and Caswell houses are plainly visible. In the background a partial view of the residence of Capt. F. Norwood, on Spring street, the Universalist Church, on Elm St., Capt. Isaac Somes’ residence on Pleasant St., and several other buildings on Prospect St. The view was taken from Rocky Neck and makes a very pretty picture.”

publication
1857 Gloucester Advertiser 7.15.1857

"Mr. Fitz H. Lane informs us that he counted on one strawberry plant in his garden, 205 berries. He had several plants which bore 150. We have not heard of any one's going ahead of this – If it has been eclipsed we would like to publish it."

publication
1858 Cape Ann Advertiser 1.30.1858
Procter Brothers
Newsprint, various dates, from bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter. Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck.

"We saw on Thursday afternoon some full-blown 'ladies' delights,' picked in the open garden of Mr. Fitz H. Lane. they were as bright and beautiful as in their own proper season."

publication
1858 Cape Ann Advertiser 2.27.1858
Procter Brothers
Various dates
Newsprint
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

Description of the Ladies Festival in support of the Lyceum Library (Lane helped with the tableaux).

"LADIES' FESTIVAL. – The Festival under the direction of the ladies interested in the Lyceum Library, which took place on the evenings of the 22d and 23d inst., was a complete success. On both evenings the 'Mammoth Sail Loft' was filled to its utmost capacity, and all present enjoyed themselves in participating and witnessing the various amuseuments. The Tableaux were very fine, the great objection to this part of the entertainment was the difficult of getting a good view, on account of the loft not being of sufficient height for the erection of a stage high enough for all to command a good prospect. As it was the 'tall ones' had a decided advantage, while the 'short ones' were obliged to satisfied with a description by their more fortunate friends..."

Another column from this day (not pictured here) describes Lane's involvement in Tableaux.

publication
1859 Procter Able Sheet 1.1859
1.1859
Newspaper

"New lithographic view of Gloucester from a painting by Lane View of the Town, price 2.25. For 2.75 your name can be added to a draw. The prizes are "the following pictures executed by Mr. Lane:

1) the original painting, from which the lithograph was taken

2) Winter Scene, cutting vessels out of the ice.

3) View of a large boulder

4) Moonlight Scene

5) Landscape"

publication
1860 New York Times 5.11.1860
5.11.1860
NY Times: Sterling vs Horn, p. 2, col. 3
American Antiquarian Society

Legal notice of Common Pleas Special Term in New York-

"Sterling vs. Horn. – Order of Referee to F. H. Lane, Esq., to take proofs, &c."

publication
1861 Cape Ann Advertiser 6.28.1861
6.28.1861
Newsprint
Cape Ann Advertiser
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

About the two magnolia trees in his garden:

"THE MAGNOLIA SEASON has arrived, and we have been favored with a fine bunch the present week from a friend, who will please accept our hearty thanks. It has been supposed that this fragrant flower could not be transplanted into our gardens and live, but must be confined to the swamps where they originally grow, but this is a mistaken idea, for there are several magnolia trees in town which have been transplanted, and are dowing well. Mr. Fitz H. Lane has two trees in a very flourishing condition in his garden, and the flowers are much larger than those in the wild state; all that is necessary is to keep them well watered, and protect them in winter by covering them with straw. We wonder that there are not more of them cultivated, for certainly they are the most fragrant of all flowers."

publication
1861 Cape Ann Advertiser 8.2.1861
8.2.1861
Newsprint
Cape Ann Advertiser

Mechanic Engine Company.
The Company will carry a beautiful banner, painted and presented to them by
 Fitz H. Lane, Esq. The design is very pretty, consisting of two figures, a
 soldier and a firemen shaking hands; on the left is a group of tents, and
on the  right, a house partially burned. The banner is trimmed with oak
leaves, and  bears the following inscriptions: "Organized Jan. 7, 1854.
Underneath. Union is  Strength."

publication
1862 Cape Ann Advertiser 8.22.1862
1862
Newspaper clipping
Cape Ann Advertiser
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

"GEN. FREMONT with his family and a portion of his staff, have been encamped at the 'Loaf' for the past fortnight. On Monday afternoon, in company with a few friends, we visited Coffin's Beach, and made a brief call at their encampment, having a strong desire to see the man of whom we have heard and read..."

publication
1863 Gloucester Telegraph 12.23.1863
12.23.1863
Newspaper
Gloucester Telegraph

"The Cape Ann Sanitary Fair: [Held Tues–Fri in the Pavilion Hotel by favor of the owner Sidney Mason of New York] In another part of the Hall hangs a fine picture, the generous gift of our own Artist, Mr. Lane. The Subject is "Coffin's Beach," as seen from the "Loaf." This is the most costly article on sale in the rooms, and is valued at $100. It will be disposed of by tickets of $1 each."

publication
1864 Gloucester Telegraph 1.30.1864
1.30.1864
Newsprint
Gloucester Telegraph

At the law term of the Supreme Court, last week, the case of Fitz H. Lane vs. Eli F. Stacy, adm'r of E. H. Stacy, was argued and decided. It appeared that said Lane and E. H. Stacy were joint sureties on a note for the accommodation of Ignatius Winter, who had given to said Stacy security in a mortgage of certain personal property. The note was finally paid by said Lane, who claimed the benefit of the security given to Stacy, but his administrator refused and cancelled the mortgage. This was a bill in equity to compel said administrator to give up said security to Lane, and the court entered a decree in conformity to the prayer of the petitioner and for costs.  Smith, Phillips. Gillis, for the petitioner, Thompson for defendant.

publication
1864 Gloucester Telegraph 9.21.1864
9.21.1864
Newspaper

"Lane's studio seldom presents so many attractions to visitors as at the present time. With unwonted rapidity his easel has turned off pictures in answer to the numerous orders which have poured in from all quarters." 

publication
1865 Boston Daily Evening Transcript 8.19.1865
8.19.1865
Newspaper
American Antiquarian Society

"The death of this gifted artist may almost be considered a national loss, at least so far as art is concerned. Mr. Lane was undoubtedly the finest marine artist in this country. We have never seen any paintings equal to his in perfect accuracy in all aspects of marine architecture and thought, and true natural position to the canvas and complete equipment of vessels."

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publication
American Notes
Charles Dickens
Chapters 1 and 2 from "American Notes" by Charles Dickens, originally published in 1842 in two volumes. Oxford University Press.

"It is the third morning. I am awakened out of my sleep by a dismal shriek from my wife who demands to know whether there's any danger. I rouse myself and look out of bed. The water jug is plunging and leaping like a lively dolphin; all the smaller articles are afloat except my shoes which are stranded on a carpet bag high and dry, like a couple of coal barges. Suddenly I behold them spring into the air and see the looking glass, which is nailed to the wall, sticking fast upon the ceiling. At the same time the door entirely disappears and a new one is opened in the floor. Then I begin to comprehend that the state room is standing on its head.

Before it is possible to make any arrangement at all compatible with this novel state of things, the ship rights. Before one can say: 'Thank Heaven!' she wrongs again. Before one can cry: 'She is wrong' she seems to have started forward and to be a creature actively running of its own accord, with broken knees and failing legs, through every variety of hole and pitfall, and stumbling constantly. Before one can so much as wonder, she takes a high leap into the air. Before she has well done that, she takes a deep dive into the water. Before she has gained the surface, she throws a somerset. The instant she is on her legs, she rushes backward. And so she goes on, staggering, heaving, wrestling, leaping, diving, jumping, pitching, throbbing, rolling and rocking, and going through all these movements sometimes by turns and sometimes all together until one feels disposed to roar for mercy."

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letter
Dorothy Little Stevens to F. H. Lane, 2.9.1853
Dorothy Little Stevens
1853
Letter
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass.
letter
Dorothy Little Stevens to F. H. Lane, Castine, 10.16.1851
Dorothy Little Stevens
1851
Letter
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, Mass.

Thanks for "View of Owl's Head", a moonlight scene:  "Mr. Lane, Dear Sir, when I expressed to you, during your visit to us, the last summer, my admiration of moonlight scenes, I did not for a moment suppose that I should ever become the possessor of one, and that so beautiful as "The View of Owls Head," which you have so kindly, and in so delicate a manner presented to me, and for which, I now beg you to accept my heartfelt thanks, also, be assured, if your pleasure in giving has been half equal to mine in receiving, you have been amply repaid for your kindness, and I alone, am the debtor. . . ."

PDF
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Gloucester Lyceum Record Book
1849
Handwritten ledger
Sawyer Free Library
letter
Joseph L. Stevens to Joseph L. Stevens, Jr., 1856
Joseph L. Stevens
1856
Letter
Castine Historical Society, Maine

"[John] says Charles proposes to come down on Saturday—to return on Monday—so that may be so—I think of defering sending the pictures till then—it has been my intention to have sent them tomorrow. [??] went away on Monday last before I had time to have them boxed. Mr. Noyes will see to that. The have been, for a day or two, in Witherle & Co.'s store, where they were much admired—& a little remarkable, among the visitors there yesterday was Mr. King—the son of the Keeper of the Light—who was engaged in catching herring while you was at the Rock. He was very much pleased—thought it as natural as life—as it was to his recollection—having only left there a week since. He observed that he would not have believed Mr. Lane had so much in him. In case Charles does not come on Saturday how shall I direct the box—for I shall send it by express to Boston—I don't remember any thing was said about that. I hope you will come over to Owl's Head, as proposed—if so, you & Lane must come & spend one night at least. Our two teacher boarders came in the boat that took you away—but we can continue to accommodate some way or other. Mary is to leave on Monday next."

manuscript
Joseph L. Stevens, Sr. Diary 1857-
Joseph L. Stevens, Sr.
c. 1857
Personal diary
Wilson Museum, Castine, Maine

Monday, July 13, 1857: "Spent the Day in visiting round Gloucester - Mr. Lane's house, studio + garden, the cemetaries, Eastern Point, +c - the town has increased wonderfully since my youth."

Friday, December 12, 1862: "Went down to Rockport in co of Mr. Lane and Lancaster"

Thursday, August 27, 1863: "Joseph & Mr. Lane came today"

Tuesday, September 1, 1863: "Joseph & Mr. Lane went in stage to Bucksport, for home"

Lane-Haskell Family Tree
Stephanie Buck
2007
Book Appendix

Sarah Dunlap and Stephanie Buck, Fitz Henry Lane: Family and Friends (Gloucester, MA: Church & Mason Publishing; in association with the Cape Ann Historical Museum, 2007). Appendix G: Family Trees: 164-6.

letter
Letter on verso of Dream Painting
Fitz Henry Lane
1862
Letter
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago

A letter affixed to the verso of Lane's Dream Painting of 1862 in which he describes how the idea for the painting came to him in a dream. Lane writes: "This picture, the Property of John S. Webber Esq, Collector of the Port and District of Gloucester, was (suggested) to the artist by a dream. Sometime last fall while asleep in bed, a richly furnished room was presented to my imagination. Upon the wall my attention was attracted to a picture which I have here endeavored to reproduce. The dream was very vivid and on awakening I retained it in memory for a long time. The effect was so beautiful in the dream that I determined to attempt its reproduction, and this picture is the result. The drawing is very correct, but the effect falls far short of what I saw, and it would be impossible to convey to canvas such gorgeous and brilliant colouring as was presented to me. This picture, however, will give to the beholder some faint idea of the ideal. /signed/ Fitz H. Lane."

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manuscript
Will of Fitz H. Lane
FItz. H. Lane
October 3, 1865
Essex County Probate Records, Volume 424, Leaves 34 & 35

The will disposed of Lane's property (including watch and diamond breast pin), his monetary assets, and gave to the city of Gloucester a painting of the Old Fort. Joseph Stevens, Jr. and T. Sewall Lancaster were named executors. It was signed by Lane on March 10, 1865.

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manuscript
William Witherle Diary August 16–21, 1852
William Witherle
1852
Personal diary
Wilson Museum, Castine, Maine (A00060-1a-1h)

Description of an excursion taken by Joseph Stevens, Jr., Lane, Witherle, Samuel Adams, Jr., and George Tilden around the islands of Maine near Mt. Desert. The group hired the Sloop "Superior" which was owned by Pilot Getchell. In his diary, Witherle mentions multiple times that "Lane took a sketch" especially when the water was calm. Lane often stayed on board the boat, while the others went ashore.

 

Excerpts of the diary include:

August 16: "Lane has a knack for frying fish."

August 17: "leaving Lane to take a sketch, we took a climb."

August 19: "went to ascend one of the highest mountains. 3/4 the way up we had to wait – once in a while for Lane who with his crutches could not keep up with us – but got along faster than we thought possible . . .Lane got up about an hour after the rest of us."


The entire text is transcribed in an account published by the Wilson Museum.

View related Fitz Henry Lane catalog entries (6) »

Also filed under: "Superior" (Sloop) »   //  Adams, Samuel, Jr. »   //  Biographical information »   //  Blue Hill »   //  Castine »   //  Diaries / Ledgers / Etc. »   //  Mount Desert Island & Rock »   //  Somes Sound »   //  Stevens, Joseph, Jr. »   //  Tilden, George »   //  Witherle, William Howe »

Citation: "Historical Materials." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?section=Chronology (accessed April 23, 2017).
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