Greatest 12 Characters of the 1850's

Who is on this list, what this list is about and how they got on the list!

 The last Days of Pequod
 The last Days of Pequod


This is one of a set of lists I made showing a progression of the greatest characters in a heroic style throughout time. Focusing for the most part on one decade at a time. The heroes that we know and love today were inspired by heroes before them. Some are even real people who moved into folklore. Before comics there were pulp magazines. Before that there was dime novels and before that was the penny dreadfuls. There were many others as well like Gothic novels, story papers and yes even a real novel.  

The List 

 These are the greatest characters between the years of 1850 and 1859.  These would be characters who will go on to be the biggest influences in comics either directly or indirectly.  In other words these will become great inspirations to future comic characters and stories. Right now they are in order of year.  

 Now you will know hatred!
 Now you will know hatred!

New Stuff

Just about all these characters are from novels.  About half are from the book Moby Dick.  This novel has been made into comics over and over again and the characters are the basis of other stories as well.  Even Jean Luc Picard was compared to Ahab when pursuing the Borg.

Here is the past list

Greatest 12 Characters of the 1840's

Here is the next list   

Greatest 12 Characters of the 1860's

List items

  • Hester Prynne is brutalized and punished for the crime of adultery and lives a tragic life while protecting her lover Arthur Dimmesdale and her child Pearl. She first appears in the Scarlet Letter in 1850.

  • Allamistakeo is part of the Scarabaeus family, and a kind of mummy as he is embalmed and has an average life span of 800 years. Allamistakeo is first seen in Some Words With A Mummy written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1850.

  • In 1851 the book Moby Dick featured many great characters. So many in fact that it is even argued who the main protagonist is. The character of Captain Ahab is a man obsessed by a whale that bit off his leg. He leads his men on a doomed mission of hate and revenge. "He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it."

  • Queequeg is a fascinating character and is a favorite among readers. He is mysterious and spiritual. He is a warrior in a different time. He first appeared in 1851 in the book Moby Dick.

  • Starbuck is the Quaker first officer of the Pequod. He seems to be the only man on the ship who seems rational and tries to get Ahab to stop madness. Starbuck is also the character the coffee shop Starbucks was named after. He first appeared in 1851 in the book Moby Dick.

  • Ishmael is a man filled with depression and thoughts of suicide. He joins the Pequod crew to end his doomed cycle of depression. He is widely considered the protagonist in the story along with Ahab. He first appeared in 1851 in the book Moby Dick.

  • Stubb is the seemingly happy man aboard the Pequod. He is the ships second officer and is rarely seen without a pipe in his mouth and a smile on his face. He first appeared in 1851 in the book Moby Dick.

  • One of a few men to become folk-legends in his own time Jim Bowie really became a popular fictional character in the Early Life in the Southwest—The Bowies written in 1852.

  • Uncle Tom, the title character, was initially seen as a noble, long-suffering Christian slave. The name Uncle Tom has a new meaning today despite this and the intention of the author. At the time it was written it was seen as an eye awaking novel putting a light on the suffering of Africans in America. Uncle Tom first appeared in Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852.

  • A real man who became a folklore hero got his first fictionalized start in 1859 in the story the Life & Times Of Col. Daniel Boone.

  • You may know Sydney Carton by the quote "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." He is a character of redemption living a life of drunkeness and shame only to redeem himself through sacrifice for his love. He first appeared in A Tale of Two Cities in 1859.

  • Walter Hartright is first appears in The Woman in White in 1859, It is considered to be among the first mystery novels. It is also considered an early example of detective fiction with Walter Hartright, employing many of the detective techniques of later private detectives.