Friday, November 30, 2012

Skirting the Balkan Peninsula Picturesque Dalmatia


By Robert Hichens

Roman Amphitheater at Pola
Miramar faded across the pale wa­ters of the Adriatic, which lay like a dream at the foot of the hills when Triest seemed sleeping, all its activities stilled at the summons of peace. Beneath its tower the orange-colored sail of a fish­ing-boat caught the sunlight, and gleamed like some precious fabric, then faded, too, as the ship moved onward to the forgotten region of rocks and islands, of long, gray mountains, of little cities and ancient for­tresses, of dim old churches, from whose campanile the medieval voices of bells ring out the angelus to a people still happily primitive, still unashamed to be pictur­esque. By the way of the sea we jour­neyed to a capital where no carriages roll through the narrow streets, where there is not a railway-station, where the citizens are content to go on foot about their busi­ness, and where three quarters of the bless­ings of civilization are blessedly unknown. We had still to touch at Pola, in whose great harbor the dull-green war-ships of Austria lay almost in the shadow of the vast Roman amphitheater which has lifted its white walls, touched here and there with gold, above the sea for some sixteen hundred years, curiously graceful despite its gigantic bulk, the home now of grasses and thistles, where twenty thousand spectators used to assemble to take their pleasure.

But when Pola was left behind, the ship soon entered the watery paradise. Mira­mar, Triest, were forgotten. Dalmatia is a land of forgetting, seems happily far away, cut off by the sea from many banalities, many active annoyances of modern life.

Places that are, or that seem to be, re­mote often hold a certain melancholy, a tristesse of "old, unhappy, far-off things." But Dalmatia has a serene atmosphere, a cheerful purity, a clean and a cozy gaiety which reach out hands to the traveler, and take him at once into intimacy and the breast of a home. Before entering it the ship coasts along a naked region, in which pale, almost flesh-colored hills are backed by mountains of a ghastly grayness. Flesh-color and steel are almost cruelly blended. No habitations were visible. The sea, protected on our right by lines of islands, was waveless. No birds flew above it; no boats moved on it. We seemed to be creep­ing down into the ultimate desolation.

Crossing the St Bernard Pass Swiss Alps


By Ernst Von Hesse-Wartegg
Pictures by Andre Castaigne

Band of gypsies crossing the St. Bernard
In a popular guide-book to Switzerland, it is stated that of all Alpine passes the Great St. Bernard is the least interesting. With this view the traveling public does not seem to agree, for the St. Bernard is crossed every year by more people than any other pass. On an average, twenty thousand annually arrive at the hospice on the summit, and nine tenths of them during the short summer season, from the beginning of July to the end of August, which means over three hundred daily.

Now, the whole district of the St. Ber­nard for many miles around possesses not one of the vast caravansaries character­istic of the picturesque mountain-tops in Switzerland, indeed, not even a modest inn,—where tourists may find shelter for a few days. Why, then, should these armies of tourists invade the pass every summer, if it really offers little of inter­est?

To me, who have seen almost all the passes from one end of the Alps to the other, the trip over the Great St. Bernard was most enjoyable. Though the scenery may not be so beautiful as that of the St. Gotthard, for instance, it surpasses by far even that and most of the others in wild grandeur; for nowhere else in the Alps can be found mountains of bolder aspect and greater height. On the west near the French boundary, I need only mention Mont Blanc and Mont Dolent; on the east, the glacier-covered peaks of Mont Velan, and the towering masses of the Grand Combin.

The valley of the river Dranse, which is followed by the traveler from Martigny, in the Rhone valley, to very near the summit, more than eight thousand feet above the sea, is full of romantic beauty and wildness, closed in by snow-covered mountains of fantastic shapes, their steep slopes partly covered with dark pine for­ests. Nestling on the rocks or sleeping in the valleys there are a few straggling set­tlements, with heavy-visaged natives, apparently of a different race from the Swiss, and entirely untouched by modern life. They live in tottering, wooden houses of the quaintest shapes, dark brown with age, and with wooden barns on stilts attached to them. Only a few villages, as Orsieres, Liddes, and Bourg St. Pierre on the Swiss side, and St. Remy on the Italian side, have stone houses along their narrow main thoroughfares.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Murray Bay Canada Malbaie Pointe-au-Pic


By Henry Dwight Sedgwick
Pictures by W. T. Benda

View of Malbaie (Murray Bay) from the bridge
The way to go to Murray Bay is down the St. Lawrence by boat from Quebec. There is, indeed, another way, which most people take, but it should be taken only by impatient travelers who pre­fer a speedy to a picturesque arrival.

The "bateau" is one of the three paddle­wheel boats that ply between Quebec and the Saguenay River. Each bateau has its own character, its own history, its own aliases. A bateau regards shipwreck as a baptism, and thereupon takes a new name and a new coat of paint. The dean of the fleet, at least according to the Murray Bay tradition, is a sort of Methuselah. The story goes that before our Civil War, in the days when the Mississippi ran un­-vexed to the gulf, when young Sam Clem­ens was crying out "Mark Twain," a paddle-wheeler plied between New Or­leans and Vicksburg—but this gossip is beneath the dignity of history. The ba­teau, whatever its dubious past may have been, leaves the wharf at Quebec at eight o'clock in the morning and arrives at Murray Bay at half-past one. This leg­end, which I take from the Richelieu and Ontario time-table, is less trustworthy than the other. Let us come to facts. At some time or other the bateau leaves Que­bec; it passes the Ile d'Orleans, the Falls of Montmorency, and about sixty miles of beautiful shore; and after what, if the day be fine, is a most delightful sail, draws near to Bay St. Paul. This arrival is the prologue to Murray Bay. The bateau gyrates, heaves, trembles, and sidles toward the dock. Shouts from the bateau, answering shouts from the dock; the bateau hesitates, shivers, and like a tired cow comes diffidently up alongside. The passengers crowd to the landward rail; the population of Bay St. Paul crowds to the edge of the quay. A small coil of rope is hurled through the air from the bateau; it is caught by the population of Bay St. Paul; attached to the rope is the boat's hawser, which is made fast to a pile. Friends exchange joyous greetings; the charretiers, whose carriages and carts in long sequence stretch the length of the causeway from the dock to the shore, wait politely for customers.

New York Newsboy Newspaper Boys in the 1800's


By Jacob A. Riis

Newsboys eyeing a newsgirl
The newsboys of New York were having their Christmas dinner, and I was bidden to the feast. I stood at the door and saw them file in, seven hundred strong, to take their places at the long ta­bles. Last of all came the little shavers, brimful of mischief waiting to break out. The superintendent pulled my sleeve when he set eyes upon them.

"Watch out now," he said; "they’ll be up to something."

I saw them eye the lay-out as they went down the line, where turkey and mince-pie stood waiting, and make quick, stealthy passes with their hands, but nothing hap­pened until they had taken their seats. Then up went eight grimy fists, and eight aggrieved voices piped out:

"Mister, I ain't got no pie!"

The superintendent chuckled.

"How is that?" he said. "No pie? There was one; I put it there myself, at every plate. Why, what is that?" And he patted each of the little rascals in the region of the bread-basket, where some­thing stuck out in a lump inside the shirt.

"Me pie," was the unabashed reply. "I was afeard it 'u'd get stole on me." There was just the ghost of a wink.

"Well," laughed the superintendent, "we’ll forget it. It is Christmas. Go ahead, boys, with your dinner." And they fell to.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mount Vernon Ladies Association Restoration of Mount Vernon

By Abby G. Baker

Mount Vernon, from the lawn behind the mansion
Fifty-two years ago a Southern woman—a young woman of little wealth or influence, and so averse to pub­licity that she shielded herself under an assumed name—took in hand the task of saving the home of the Father of His Country, the immortal Washington, from the wreck and ruin into which it was rapidly falling. Five years later, through her efforts, an organization representing all the women of the Union succeeded in purchasing Mount Vernon. The restora­tion of the estate to its present sightly condition has been a work of almost half a century—a work which is still going on. The achievement of this endeavor is an interesting chapter of history.

Standing among the Virginia hills, sixteen miles south of the national capi­tal, Mount Vernon commands a scene of unsurpassed loveliness. At its foot flows the silver Potomac, beyond lie the sun-dyed shores of Maryland, while to the west extends the picturesque old farm­ing country of Fairfax County. A wide, sloping lawn stretches east of the man­sion; at its termination, neatly enclosed by a low stone wall and picket fence, begins the wooded deer-park. The trees of the park have been trimmed so, as to disclose a magnificent river vista, with the ivy-covered walls of, that weather-beaten Colonial bulwark, Fort Washing­ton, in the distance.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lambs Club of New York City


By Clay Meredith Greene

Lambs Club quarters at 848 Broadway
During the Christmas week of 1874 a little coterie of souls congenial and temperaments analogous foregathered at the Delmonico's of the time, to dispatch a midnight repast at the bidding of George H. McLean. Long after the streets had grown silent under the mantle of an in­cipient dawn, the feasters tarried, and thought not of sleep.

There is an inde­finable something, almost akin to magic, which breeds rebellion against the edicts of the hours in such a gathering. The host eloquently voiced a deep regret that the night and its  entertainment must have their ending; that such a company, where actor and author, manager and bank­er, painter and poet, could sit in com­plete social har­mony, must soon tread its several' pathways in direc­tions that had no common trend, to vanish among the shadows of the un­known future.

But before he had finished, fruitful suggestion deferred the dissolution of the gathering. It was pointed out that future regrets of the same nature might be permanently avoided by organization. This was at once affected, and Henry J. Montague—at that time leading man of Wallack's Theater—was chosen as pre­siding officer. Being asked to name the new organization, Mr. Montague called it "The Lambs" after a dining-club in London of which he was a member; and it was decided that the bantling should preserve the same customs and purposes as its parent.

At a subsequent meeting, held early in the January of 1876, the following officers were elected: Shepherd, Henry J. Montague;  Boy, Harry Beckett; Cor­responding Secretary, George H. McLean; Treasurer, John E. I. Granger; Recording Secre­tary, Arthur Wal­lack.

Mrs. Clarence Mackay (Miss Katherine Duer)

By R. H. Titherington

Mrs. Clarence Mackay
An interesting chapter of the modern history of New York society is that which records the development of a dis­trict of fine country estates on Long Island, a few miles beyond the eastern boundary of the metropolis. Here, on the great sandy plain that forms the center of the island, and among the wooded hills that fringe its northern shore, a colony —or, rather, several more or less distinct colonies—of rich New Yorkers have made their summer homes. Indeed, the social life of the region may be said to last all the year round. Its calendar of amusements includes Christmas festivi­ties, spring and autumn riding with the Meadowbrook hounds, and the great automobile road race in October, as well as the summer round of polo, tennis, and golf tournaments ashore and yachting on the Sound.

A very few years ago the Meadowbrook Club was the social headquarters of these Long Island colonists. To-day the drift is further afield. The wide Hempstead plain, with its delectable possibilities of subdivision into choice suburban build­ing lots, is being invaded by the trolley-car and the real estate speculator. Fash­ion is being driven northward and east­ward, into the hills that overlook the Sound, where it is excluding all vulgar intruders by entrenching itself in the ownership of great tracts of land. Here, within a few miles' radius, are a series of estates of ducal proportions—great parks surrounding Colonial mansions or French châteaux, elaborately equipped farms for blooded stock, and ample game preserves. They recall the mansions of the Lord of Burleigh and his neighbors "ancient homes of lord and lady, built for pleasure and for state." On the list of land-owners are the names of Vander­bilt, Gould, Morgan, Whitney, and many others almost equally synonymous with millions. The whole region seems likely to grow into a suburban playground for the wealthiest class of New Yorkers—a district of "parks and ordered gardens great" that might be compared to the so-called Dukeries in England.

Red Cross Hospital Service in Spanish American War


By H. Irving Hancock

Bringing in the wounded
"I'm brain-fagged and body-tired," de­clared the doctor, halting in front of the porch and resting both elbows on the bench that ran along the whole length of the outer edge of the porch.

He had come down through Newspaper Row, as we had dubbed that part of the main street of Siboney. Here were three buildings which had been seized and oc­cupied by war correspondents. It was the principal gather­ing place of the little Cuban town. Here the correspondents came when they re­turned from the front; here they wrote their dispatches and the longer stories that went by mail; here obliging officers came who had some new item of news. Foreign attaches dropped in, too, to hear what news had escaped them, and in return they were sometimes lured into expressing more or less trenchant opinions of how the campaign was being conducted. Here, too, the home-coming mail had been received and cared for. Hence Newspaper Row became an exchange—a sort of fo­rum. Everyone who wanted to hear or tell something came our way.

It was Sunday morning, July 3rd, a beau­tiful, clear day, an ideal American day, one of the passing officers explained, with no notion of how prophetic his words were. While the heat was all that is con­veyed by the word "tropical," yet it was tempered by the breeze blowing in from the sea that was but a few yards from our porch, and he who could sit back in the shade found nothing to grumble at in the weather.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Battleship Oregon at Santiago Cuba Spanish American War


By Lt. Edward W. Eberle,
In Command of the Forward Turret during the Battle

Captain Charles Clark,
Commander of the Oregon
On Sunday, the 3rd of July, 1898, a disheartened lot of officers sat about the Oregon's ward-room breakfast-table, off San­tiago; for the officer of the morning watch had sent down the news that a press-boat had just hailed the ship and reported that the army had suffered heavy losses in front of the city, and that the outlook was very discouraging. Our officers and men were dressed in their cleanest white, and the bugle had sounded the first call for Sunday morning inspection, when suddenly, at twenty-eight minutes after nine, our sharp-eyed chief quartermaster sighted the masthead of a ship coming from behind Smith Cay. Immediately the alarm-gongs rang out the call to battle-stations; the emergency signal, "The enemy is escaping," was hoisted; and a six-pounder was fired and the siren was sounded to attract the attention of the fleet. For thirty-four long days and nights we had constantly watched that "hole in the wall," praying that Spain's fleet would come out and give battle; and after having abandoned hope, here they were at last! Our men jumped about the decks, waving their caps and cheering, and enthusiastically yelling, "There they come! There they come!" The officers were more serious, for we expected a day of hot work. No artist could do justice to that fascinating and awe-in­spiring scene, when, led by the Maria Teresa, the Spanish fleet majestically swept out of the narrow harbor. Their large red-and-yel­low ensigns stood out brilliantly against the dark-green background of the Morro and Socapa headlands, and their massive black hulls, with great white waves piled under their bows, seemed veritable things of life. At the call to general quarters, the Oregon, charged ahead at full speed under forced draft, and the fleet headed in to meet the enemy. The Teresa was just abreast the Morro as we opened fire with an eight-inch gun, to which she and the forts replied with a shower of shell. She turned sharply to the westward, and was followed by the Vizcaya, Colon, and Oquendo, in the order named. As soon as they cleared the harbor their speed was increased and their fire became furious. Our ships opened a heavy fire, and then the Oregon turned more to the westward, in order to head off the rapidly moving column.

Ballooning & Parachutes – The Flying Experiments of Montgolfier Besnier Blanchard


by Jacob Abbott.

First attempt at military aeronautics
The obstacle for man in the way of his acquiring the art of flying is not the difficulty of constructing wings, but that of obtaining the necessary force to work them. Birds are provided with muscles of large size, packed in their breasts, which are capable of exerting an enormous force—that is, enormous in relation to the size and weight of the body of the bird. By means of these muscles she can strike the air with her expanded wings so energetically as to lift herself from the ground by them, and then to impel herself through the air. If the arms of a man could be invested with an equal power in proportion to the weight of his body, any respectable mechanician could easily adapt an arrangement to them for expanding the sur­face, so that he could raise and propel himself as easily as any bird.

Thus the trouble is not, as many people have supposed, in making wings, but in obtaining the strength to work them.

Perhaps the most ingenious of the plans de­vised for furnishing man with wings was that of Besnier, a dextrous locksmith who lived in the province of Maine, in France, nearly a cen­tury ago, and who was quite distinguished in his day for his mechanical skill. His contriv­ance consisted of a double pair of wings, as seen in the engraving, to be worked by both hands and feet. The wings on each side were con­nected together by a stiff though slender bar of wood, the center of which rested on the shoul­der, as its pivot, in such a manner that the two ends, with the wings attached to them, could be brought down alternately by the action of the hands and feet. Each wing was formed of two leaves, which were hinged to the bar in such a manner as to cause them to open and present a large surface to the air in coming down, and then close again in going up.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Carlisle Indian School - Pennsylvania R. H. Pratt

By Frances Densmore

Academic Building, Carlisle Indian School
There was a time, not very long ago, when it was a serious question whether the Indians could be educated and merge themselves into American life as civilized men. The first schools established by the government and by individual enter­prise were short lived.

Gradually, however, much better progress was made through the fact that the Indian came in contact with civilized man and ob­served his ways and his industries. The triumph of civilization, the power of pros­perity the wonders of industrial art, all made a deep impression on the red man, and from them he learned much, while from schools and books he gained but little. Then came the industrial schools. The old educa­tion was literary and religious; the new education is industrial.

General Schroeder and American Rule in Guam


By the Rev. Francis E. Price

North side of Plaza
No one conversant with public affairs in Guam can doubt for a moment that the American Government, during the more than four years of its occupancy, has discharged its functions in the interest of the people. Speaking broadly, they are far more prosperous now than ever before, and, as a rule, con­tented. Many of them being of Spanish extraction they are naturally loyal to the Spanish name and inclined to criti­cize the American Government, but all admit that, although the cost of living is higher, there never was a time in the history of the island when the people were so well supplied with the comforts of life. The price paid for a day's work is many times larger and rents have in­creased from $3, $5 and $8 per month to from $15 to $6o per month. This change has affected the common people more than the better classes, and enabled them to live in decency and comfort. Said an intelligent Chamorro: "For­merly our lower class women rarely had an upper garment to wear, now almost everyone has four or five camisas. As clerk in a Government office, and inter­preter under Spanish rule, I received $2 Mexican per month, now no one re­ceives Less than $20 per month, and many much more." A large sum of money is distributed to the people monthly, and. a very large proportion goes to the poorer people, who never handled money be­fore, and naturally they like it.

College Girl Athletics Vassar Wellesley Smith


By Alice Katharine Fallows

At the freshman sophomore basketball game,
 Smith College
As the athletic sub-freshman, on her last day at home, polishes her golf-clubs and packs her racket among her chiffons and muslins, she has her own pet dream of college glory: a multitude of eager faces focused upon her, tense dramatic moments, a breathless climax, and a tumult of ap­plause.

It is a good dream. Nowadays this out-of-door young person, glorying in her strength and muscular skill, is frankly welcomed at any woman's college. Her influence is recognized as a balance that keeps the in­tellectual emphasis from swinging past the danger-line. In the composite of college ambitions hers plays a vital part.

There is small danger that the athletic freshman's brain will not be exercised. In­centives to its activity meet her wherever she turns. The matching of wits in class and out of it, the necessity of keeping up with the intellectual stride the college has set, the new impressions crowding in upon her all give her mind occupation enough and to spare. Even if she wastes her hours and plays too long, and refuses to taste deeply enough the delights of pure study, the fac­ulty has a quick way of opening her eyes. Presently she will find herself in the plight of

"Little Jill Homer,
Who sat in a corner,
Wiping her weeping eye;
She'd been with the horde
To the faculty board,
And she wailed, 'A condition have I! '"

Now a condition, or even a low grade of work, in a woman's college usually shuts the athlete out of paradise. With that blight upon her she is a pawn, a nobody—hers only to watch with wistful eyes, while others win or lose the athletic laurels for her class.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

from a postcard mailed in 1909

Hope Uncle Sam, or the Great Turkey, is bringing you as many goodies!  Spend the day with family and friends.  Better yet make a list of what you are thankful for, and keep it handy for those days when things aren't going quite so well.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

British Expedition Against King Theodore of Abyssinia

By H. M. Alden

King Theodore of Abyssinia
The English have been "carrying the war into Africa" with a vengeance. That this vengeance has been so fully accomplished is a precious consolation to the national pride of Englishmen; and there is something sublime in the very undertaking of an expedition for the release of a score of captives who had no other claim upon the British Government than their citizenship. We are reminded of the inviolable sanctity of the Roman citizen under the Caesars. Indeed, this Abyssinian expedition carries those readers who are disposed to be romantic back beyond Rome to the siege of Troy, undertaken by the Greeks for the rescue of the stolen Helen.

Abyssinia, if we are not critical as to bound­ary lines, is the ancient Ethiopia. It was the queen of this country who figures in the Bible as the Queen of Sheba, who, crossing the Red Sea, visited the court of Solomon, and from whom as one of the wives of that illustrious king, is descended the royal line of Abyssinian princes. So the Abyssinians believe, and the claim is not worth disputing. Titles thus an­cient are as difficult to disprove as they are to establish. In the earliest human literature Ethiopia occupies an exalted position. In Homer's Odyssey it is Jove's summer resi­dence, whither he flies to escape the whim­sical tyranny of jealous Juno, or to forget the cares of universal empire. But, though men­tioned in Homer and Hebrew Scripture, it is a region whose ancient history is almost entirely unknown. During the first or second century of the Christian era flourished the Auxumitic Dynasty, and the site of the principal town of this kingdom is occupied by the modern Axum in Tigre, where are to be found many vestiges of its former greatness. The arts of the Greeks and the Egyptians had at this time penetrated into the country; and we find the Greek lan­guage used in monumental inscriptions, as in the famous monument at Axum, executed before the introduction of Christianity, in which the king calls himself "son of the invincible Mars." About 1268 A.D. we find the seat of power transferred from Tigre to Shoa, in Southern Abyssinia. Christianity was introduced into the country early in the fourth century by Fru­mentius, of Tyre, who was appointed by Atha­nasius, patriarch of Alexandria, to be the first bishop, or Abuna, of Abyssinia. This connec­tion with the Coptic Church has never since that time been interrupted, and to this day the Church of Abyssinia receives its Abuna from Egypt. In the year 638 the Saracens invaded Egypt, and by extending their conquests along the northern coast of Africa cut off Abyssinia from all communication with Christian nations. If this severance from the rest of Christendom is to be considered a misfortune, the manner in which communications were reopened toward the close of the fifteenth century was still more unfortunate. The Portuguese then penetrated the country, and with them came the Jesuits, who attempted to force the Abyssinian Church to submit to Papal authority. Notwithstand­ing the resistance of the great mass of the peo­ple the Jesuits continued to push their designs through unprincipled intrigues which had no other result than to involve the unhappy king­dom in rebellion and civil war. While the country was thus torn by internal dissensions it was at the same time invaded by the Galla tribes on the southwest, and by the Mohammed­ans from the east. Thus, when the Jesuits were finally expelled, about the middle of the seven­teenth century, the unity of the kingdom was at an end. The subsequent history of the country is a record of bloody conflicts between rival chief­tains. At the close of the eighteenth century Ras Michael openly usurped the royal power, but he failed in his efforts to reunite the dis­membered kingdom. When the French Com­mission visited Abyssinia, in 1840, they found the country in this distracted condition. The northern provinces of Tigre and Semien, with Adowa as capital, were under the dominion of Ras Oubie. At Gondar Ras Ali reigned over the province of Amhara. Shoa, in the south, had long been an independent kingdom, with Angolola and Angobar for its chief towns. This is the sum of what is known of the history of Abyssinia down to the rise of King Theodore, who becomes the central figure in that history from 1850 to the close of the British Expedition.

Spanish American War Correspondents


By Richard Harding Davis.

Acton Davies
The newspaper correspondents who are allowed to accompany the Brit­ish army during an active campaign are selected on account of their former ex­perience and reputation, or on account of the importance of the paper they serve. Their number is extremely limited. The two great press associations, "Reuter's" and the "Central News," which furnish the same matter to different papers in all parts of the United Kingdom, are each allowed one or two representatives, and a dozen of the more important Lon­don dailies, like the Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Mail, and one or two of the provincial papers, such as the Manchester Guardian and the Dublin Times, are each allowed to send one spe­cial correspondent to the front.

This plan of selection and limitation is very different from the one pursued dur­ing the late war by our own government. With us, nearly every paper in the coun­try that could afford to send a repre­sentative was permitted to do so. Even weekly periodicals of a strictly literary or religious character were represented by men who were anxious to get to Cuba in any capacity, and the big dailies were each given credentials for as many as twenty correspondents, artists, and pho­tographers. As our country, unlike England, is not constantly engaged in mili­tary operations, only a few of the men who acted as correspondents during the war with Spain went to the front with any previous experience of the kind of work before them. But they had been trained in a school of journalism which teaches self-reliance and, above all other things, readiness of resource. In consequence they met the new conditions with­out anxiety and by using the same methods they had formerly employed in reporting a, horse show or a fire, they suc­ceeded in satisfactorily describing the op­erations of our army.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

DELUSIONS OF MEDICINE: Charms Talismans Amulets Astrology and Mesmerism

By Professor Henry Draper, MD

If we regard the mass of people among whom we are living, we are soon con­vinced that intellectually as well as bodily they are of very different ages. Unfortu­nately the proportion of those adult in mind is but small compared with those adult in body. Most men are in the infantile or child-like condition.

When, therefore, we speak of the high in­telligence of the age we must remember that the remark applies to the few, and that these types of advance disseminate ideas with more or less difficulty through the masses. Nay, more, if too far ahead of the times, gen­erations may elapse before their writings are credited.

Because the community as a whole does thus lag behind the age, it is of interest to us as physicians to study the medical ideas of former times, for we shall find that all those beliefs are prevailing in the various grades of society, and must be contended with, and often, alas! submitted to. It is instructive to the philosophical physician to trace, as in the case of Greece, the passage through fetichism, miracle-cure, and astrol­ogy to a sound system of medicine such as that propagated by Hippocrates, well called the Divine Old Man In the rest of Europe —and from this point of view Americans are Europeans—the same progress has taken place as its nations have passed through their infancy and childhood toward the adult condition.

In considering the cures of all ages they may be divided into two classes: first, cures by imagination; and second, cures by remedies, drugs, or hygiene. Under the former head should be put miracle-cures, invocation, exorcism, astrological medicine, amulets, charms, talismans, and mesmerism; and un­der the latter a large part of the present plan of treatment, alchemical in its origin, in which drugs are relied on to crush disease. This will eventually be succeeded by the expectant and sustaining system, such as Hippocrates taught when he says that dis­ease is caused by fermentations and other chemical changes in the fluids of the body, and that relief comes when such substances are discharged; that such changes may be local, as in erysipelas, or general, as in a fe­ver. The power of the physician is to be shown by helping on the elimination. He should watch carefully the progress of the disease, and guide it without trying to stay it. When he has learned the course of a disease, he may predict the issue of a case from experience.


Santa Claus Pagan Origins of Everyday Christmas Traditions and Beliefs


By O. M. Spencer

The Christmas Tree
The angels in the Gloria in Excelsis have probably given us the best definition of Christmas, "On earth peace, good-will toward men." This Christian idea of Christmas, with its love, charity, and for­giveness, has probably found its most strik­ing realization in the Julafred, or Yule-peace of the Scandinavians — a custom, though ancient as the Runic stones, still existing in Sweden, by virtue of a Christian baptism, as a Christian institution. Extending from Christmas-eve to Epiphany, and solemnly proclaimed by a public crier, any violation of the Yule-peace is visited with double or treble punishment. The courts are closed; old quarrels are adjusted; old feuds are forgotten; while on the Yule-evening the shoes, great and small, of the entire house­hold, are set close together in a row, that during the coming year the family may live together in peace and harmony.

To this pacific, Christian conception of the Christmas-time not a few pagan elements have been added, which are clearly traceable, as we shall see, to the old German "Twelve Nights" and the Roman Saturnalia. Hence its mirth and festivity, its jesting and feasting, its frolic and license. The decoration and illumination of our Christian churches recall the temples of Saturn radiant with burning tapers and resplend­ent with garlands. The "Merry Christmas" responds to the "bona Saturnalia," and our mod­ern Christmas pres­ents to the dona amicis.

During the Sat­urnalia, which were intended to symbolize the freedom, equality, and peaceful prosperity of the golden or Saturnian age, all labor was suspended. The schools were closed; the Senate adjourn­ed; no criminal was executed; no war proclaimed. Slaves exchanged places with their masters, or, seated at the banqueting tables wearing badges of freedom, jested with them familiarly as their equals.

Carrier Pigeons Messenger Pigeons


 By Miss E. B. Leonard
  
Method of attaching messages to carrier pigeons
Before the invention of the electric tel­egraph enabled man to outrival the boast of Shakspeare's Puck that he would "put a girdle round about the earth in for­ty minutes," the carrier-pigeon afforded the most rapid means of conveying intelligence between places far remote from each other. In ages the memory of which is dimly preserved in vague legends and traditions these graceful couriers of the air were employed to carry messages of love and war. It is surmised by some writers that the "dove" let loose from the Ark, which returned at even-tide with an olive branch in its beak, was a carrier-pigeon; but not to go back so far, we have au­thentic instances of their employ­ment by the ancient Egyptians. According to Wilkinson's work on the manners and customs of that people, on one occasion when an Egyptian king assumed the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, a prince let fly four pigeons, and commanded them to announce to the south, north, west, and east that "Horns, the son of Isis and Osiris, has put on the splendid crown of the Upper and Lower country; that the king Ramses III has put on the two crowns." Several instances of their use as messengers occur in classical his­tory. At the memorable siege of Mutina, Hirtius and Brutus held constant communication by this means, while Anthony, through whose beleaguering host no courier could make his way, beheld with rage and chagrin the passage to and fro of these aerial messengers. In vain he tried every expedient to intercept them. Nets and lures were of no avail, nor could his strongest and most expert archers bring them down as they sped their way, far above the camps, between the besieged and their friends. Anacreon, in one of his exquisite odes, gives the carrier-dove a more gentle mission than carrying bul­letins of war; and if we are to be­lieve the poets and romancers of the Middle Ages, it was the most trusted messenger between parted lovers. Wealthy Romans carried pigeons in baskets to the Amphi­theatre, for the purpose of sending home the names of guests whom they invited at that place of amusement, or to order a change in the dinner. The building being open at the top, the released messengers would rise above the walls and fly home with the important information.

Dirigible Balloon of Alberto Santos Dumont

By Sterling Heilig.

Santos-Dumont descending to his balloon shed
This article is published with the knowledge and consent of M. Santos-Dumont. Because he is resolved not to be drawn into a local controversy, and, more particularly, because he considers himself to be still in the experimental period, M. Santos-Dumont refuses to write any article, popular or technical, or to give diagrams of the inventions with which he is constantly experimenting, and which are, therefore, subject to continual changes. In the following interview, however, the writer, who has been a great deal with him during the past four years, was permitted by M. Santos-Dumont to take down questions and answers in shorthand.—S. H.

Alberto Santos-Dumont, a young Brazilian resident in Paris, after four years of invention, construction, and constant experiment, has been navigat­ing a cigar-shaped balloon with a sixteen horse-power petroleum motor under it, capable of making way against any wind that is less than forty kilometers (twenty-five miles) an hour. What this means may be imagined when it is remembered that a wind of fifty kilometers an hour is called a storm.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Henry Benjamin Whipple Bishop of Minnesota Sioux Indians


 By Rev. H. P. Nichols

Bishop Whipple
Bishop Whipple of Minne­sota, who died re­cently, in his eigh­tieth year, merited more than any other man of our generation the title of a typical American bishop. At the service of every good cause, perfectly at ease whether in a frontier camp or in Lambeth Palace, this typical American, when made a bishop, became, by the force of his personality, a bishop of the church universal.

So we of Minnesota were proud to regard him, a gift to the problems of the nation and of the world. A frontier bishop became a world bishop —the sort of character America trains. Abraham Lincoln, in his work, was another such.

A typical American bishop should be in his public action fearless and comprehen­sive, in his private character adaptive and light-hearted. These four notes were clear marks of Bishop Whipple: courage to stand before kings, to plead his cause before the American Congress; breadth, that counted no worker for good to be outside his fellow­ship, no duty too difficult to be faced; adap­tiveness, which placed him at ease wherever he found himself, always master of circum­stances, always winning the spiritual out of the sordid; light-heartedness, which is a mark of nearly every successful American —Lincoln the ruler, Beecher the orator, Whipple the minister.

No one who ever saw Bishop Whipple could forget his presence, could fail to rec­ognize him as a born king. Tall, slender, erect with the splendid carriage of his In­dian friends, his complexion bronzed from exposure and service, his features clear-cut, his eye penetrating, his hair, descending over his shoulders, as long and straight as that of an aboriginal patriarch, and always covered in recent years with a purple skull­cap, he used to come striding through the deep chancel of his cathedral, and down the broad aisle of the larger cathedral of the world, commanding attention, respect, and reverence.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

James Jesse Strang Beaver Island Michigan Mormons


By Edward Frost Watrous

James Jesse Strang
The fact that about fifty years ago a kingdom was estab­lished on Beaver Island, at the foot of Lake Michigan, which flourished for seven years, in defiance of our gov­ernment and its laws, is one of the episodes in our national life which has not yet passed into history, and is con­sequently unfamiliar to most of the present generation.

The strange story of this isolated Mormon community centers around the strong personality of the self-constituted king.

James Jesse Strang was born in the year 1813, in Cayuga County, New York. The son of a farmer, he had only the ordinary education of a country lad of that period; but as he was an indefatigable reader and possessed a retentive memory, he was con­stantly adding to his store of knowledge. He early took a prominent part in rural de­bating clubs and temperance meetings, where he showed marked oratorical ability. He was extremely voluble, self-conceited, and vision­ary, but was regarded as a promising youth, entirely reputable in character, though ec­centric. At the age of twenty-three he was admitted to the bar, and, in connection with his practice of the law, filled acceptably, at various      times, the positions of editor, school­master, lecturer, and postmaster.

At the time when the remarkable career of Joseph Smith, the Mormon "prophet," was drawing toward its close, Strang removed with his young wife to Burlington, Wisconsin, where he became one of a firm of attorneys. Previous to this he had been interested in the preaching of itinerant elders from Nauvoo, the Mormon center, and in his new home he soon fell under the same influence; his active imagination was stimulated by the so-called "revelations" of Smith to espouse some of the doctrines of the Latter-Day Saints. One year later he visited Nauvoo, where he be­came an easy convert to the belief that not alone spiritual blessings but earthly honors would be the reward of membership among the faithful. The astute leader, Smith, un­doubtedly recognized valuable material in the well-informed, eloquent, and ambitious attorney; his arguments were so convincing that in a few weeks Strang was again at Nauvoo, where he received baptism, and was ordained as an elder with authority to or­ganize a church, or, in their phraseology, "plant a stake of Zion," within the limits of Wisconsin.

Bohemian Violinist Jan Kubelik


BY H. E. Krehbiel

Jan Kubelik by Cecilia Beaux
For a year the English-speaking world has rung with the name and fame of Jan Kubelik, a marvelous violin-player, who is keeping bright the lustrous traditions of his native Bohemia and provoking dreams of me­tempsychosis and the reincarnation of Pa­ganini and other wizards of the bow. He is a mere youth, yet younger in all outward evidences of worldly and emotional experi­ences than his years betray. A lad of hum­ble origin, like his great countryman Dvorak, but one whose physical characteristics tell of election, selection, ordination, and predes­tination by nature for the large role which he has begun to play in the history of musi­cal virtuosoship in the twentieth century: a face singularly gentle and sensitive, but al­ways collected and reposeful; a body lithe, supple, shapely as a fabled wood-nymph's; sinewy arms such as a violinist needs must have, for there is much concentrated athlet­icism in his work; fingers which do not out­wardly betray their nervous muscularity, fleet in movement, automatically accurate in action, long and tapering, so that they may dance over the finger-board fleetly, daintily, securely, dividing off the vibrating segments of the strings unerringly, fluttering in the trills with the tremulous rapidity of a locust's song. His bearing on the stage, obviously unstudied, proclaims individuality in every phase. He walks and stands with the upper part of his body pitched forward. He vio­lates one of the fundamental rules of violin technics by disposing the weight of his body between both feet instead of resting it solidly on the left side where the tone is formed, thus leaving the right, whose mis­sion is tone-production, free and flexible. With his right foot advanced, he rocks back and forth under the stimulus of his music instead of swaying sidewise, as is the dis­tressing habit of so many violinists; but the movement is slight and not disturbing to enjoyment.

Chief Pontiac and the Siege of Detroit, French and Indian Wars

By Benson J Lossing

The elevated belt of inland seas which stretches from the St. Lawrence to the 10th parallel of west longitude has always formed one of the most striking and important features of this continent. At the outset, when an unbroken forest extended, in the southern sec­tion, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, through which the settler must hew his difficult way with the axe, he could, by these great inland seas, penetrate to its very center. The French, who claimed the Canada’s by right of discovery, ex­tended their explorations to Michilimackinac, and thence south to the mouth of the Mississip­pi. But the English colonies, pushing in from the Atlantic sea-board south of the St. Law­rence, forced them back, till the lakes and the river became the boundary-line between the two, and the scene of bloody conflicts. So in the Revolution a fiercer struggle took place along this belt of water. In the war of 1812 it be­came the great battle-ground between the two countries; and if so great a misfortune as a third war between England and America should ever occur, it would be the scene of some of the most sanguinary battles the world has ever seen. The importance of this water belt, in a commercial point of view, may be seen in the fleets that cover it and the vast amount of wealth that floats on its bosom.

The French early saw that the Detroit River was a miniature Straits of Gibraltar to all the water that lay beyond, and, as far back as 1701, established there its most important western station. It was com­posed of a military colony, extending for twelve or sixteen miles up and down the west bank of the river, in the center of which stood the fort, a quadrilateral structure embracing about a hundred houses. Numerous white dwellings lay scattered along the banks, each surrounded with a picket-fence, while or­chards and gardens and outhouses exhibited the thrift of the Canadian settlers. It altogether formed a beautiful and sunny opening to the gloomy wilderness; and to the trader and sol­dier, weary with their long marches and solitary bivouacs in the forest, it was ever a most welcome sight. Three large Indian villages were embraced in the limits of the settlement. A little below the fort, and on the same side of the river, were the lodges of the Pottawatamies; nearly opposite them those of the Wyandots; while two miles farther up lay sprinkled over the green meadows the wigwams of the Otta­was.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Memorial Hall at West Point

By Colonel C. W. Larned, U. S. A.

Entrance to Main Hall
Brevet Major General George W. Cullum, of the United States Army, colonel of engineers, left by will to the government two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a memorial hall at the West Point Academy commemorative of the graduates of that institution.

The building has been erected and now contains the nucleus of a collection forming an enduring monument to the gallant American officers who call West Point their alma mater. The hall is splendidly equipped, and is decorated with trophies of our wars, from the Revolution to that re­cently fought with Spain. Portraits and busts of the most famous officers will form a special feature, and the building will also be used as a social club for the benefit of visiting graduates of the national military school.

"I give and bequeath to the government of the United States the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, upon the following terms and conditions: That * * * within five years after my death, it will authorize to be built and will build and maintain upon the public grounds at West Point, New York, a fire proof stone Memorial Hall. This Memorial Hall I wish to be a receptacle of statues, busts, mural tablets, and portraits of distinguished deceased officers and graduates of the Military Academy, of paintings of battle scenes, trophies of war, and such other objects as may tend to give eleva­tion to the military profession."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Andrew Carnegie As An Educator Carnegie Institute Carnegie Libraries

By H. E. Winthrop

Andrew Carnegie in his own library

Probably no greater educational work has been done by any phil­anthropist of modern times than has been accomplished by Andrew Carnegie, and long after his fame as the head of the iron and steel indus­tries of the United States has passed he will be remembered in connection with the various institutions that bear his name.

In causing the growth of mental blades of grass where previously weeds sprouted, he has worked a distinct good to his race, and it is very ques­tionable if any man of great wealth has conferred more real benefit on his fellow-beings than has Mr. Carnegie by means of his system of free learning.

Without question the value of the public library as an educational force in America is inestimable. It is the most democratic of all forms of popular education, and within reach of all classes.

It may be argued that Rockefeller,Stanford,and others, who have found­ed universities, have ac­complished a single pur­pose of greater magnitude, but Mr. Carnegie has placed the means of acquiring an education within the reach of a greater number of persons than could be reached by any system of university instruction, and the field of his bene­faction has been wide­spread. From Wick and Edinburgh, Scotland, to Fairfield, Ia., and Atlanta, Ga., there have risen Car­negie libraries that have placed at the disposal of all, carefully compiled cat­alogues of the leading text books and authorities on all educational subjects, as well as a class of fiction that leads the uncultured taste insensibly to an ap­preciation of better things than the yellow-backed novel and the sensational story papers.