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Title: Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History
Author: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis), 1870-1942 [Editor]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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[Illustration: Mme. Roland in the Prison of Ste. Pélagie.]


_A Series of Pen and Pencil Sketches of_



Copyright, 1894, BY SELMAR HESS

edited by Charles F. Horne

[Illustration: Publisher's arm.]

New-York: Selmar Hess Publisher

Copyright, 1894, by SELMAR HESS.


  SUBJECT                         AUTHOR                          PAGE

  BENEDICT ARNOLD,            _Edgar Fawcett_,                     207
  PETER COOPER,               _Clarence Cook_,                     299
  CHARLOTTE CORDAY,           _Oliver Optic_,                      229
  GENERAL GEORGE A. CUSTER,   _Elbridge S. Brooks_,                391
  SIR HUMPHRY DAVY,           _John Timbs, F.S.A._,                277
  THOMAS ALVA EDISON,         _Clarence Cook_,                     404
  JOHN ERICSSON,              _Martha J. Lamb_,                    311
  CYRUS W. FIELD,             _Murat Halstead_,                    354
  GENERAL JOHN C. FRÉMONT,    _Jane Marsh Parker_,                 340
  ROBERT FULTON,              _Oliver Optic_,                      267
  WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON,     _William Lloyd Garrison_,            318
    GORDON,                   _Colonel R. H. Veitch, R.E._,        384
  NATHAN HALE,                _Rev. Edward Everett Hale_,          212
  ANDREAS HOFER,                                                   246
  DR. EDWARD JENNER,          _John Timbs, F.S.A._,                263
  ELISHA KENT KANE,           _General A. W. Greely_,              325
  THADDEUS KOSCIUSKO,                                              216
  LOUIS KOSSUTH,                                                   304
  MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE,      _William F. Peck_,     221
  FERDINAND DE LESSEPS,       _Clarence Cook_,     334
  DAVID LIVINGSTONE,          _Professor W. G. Blaikie, L.L.D._,   350
  _Letter of Affection and
    Advice from Livingstone
    to his Children_,                                              353
  QUEEN LOUISE OF PRUSSIA,    _Mrs. Francis G. Faithfull_,         249
  MARIE ANTOINETTE,           _Mrs. Octavius Freire Owen_,         241
  _Letter to Marie Antoinette
    from Maria Theresa on the
    Duties of a Sovereign_,                                        242
  SAMUEL F. B. MORSE,                                              297
  FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE,       _Lizzie Alldridge_,                  369
  DR. LOUIS PASTEUR,          _Dr. Cyrus Edson_,                   378
  MADAME ROLAND,              _Ella Wheeler Wilcox_,               233
  GENERAL SAN MARTIN,         _Hezekiah Butterworth_,              281
  HENRY M. STANLEY,           _Noah Brooks_,                       395
  GEORGE STEPHENSON,          _Professor C. M. Woodward_,          286
  QUEEN VICTORIA,             _Donald Macleod, D.D._,              361
  JAMES WATT,                 _John Timbs, F.S.A._,                256
  WILLIAM WILBERFORCE,                                             272




  ILLUSTRATION                           ARTIST              TO FACE PAGE

    STE. PÉLAGIE,                     _Évariste Carpentier_ _Frontispiece_
  THE ARCH OF STEEL,                  _Jean Paul Laurens_          224
  CHARLOTTE CORDAY AND MARAT,         _Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry_   230
  MARIE ANTOINETTE,                   _Théophile Gide_             244
  QUEEN LOUISE VISITING THE POOR,     _Hugo Händler_               250
  THE FIRST VACCINATION--DR. JENNER,  _Georges-Gaston Mélingue_    266
  VICTORIA GREETED AS QUEEN,          _H. T. Wells_                362
  PASTEUR IN HIS LABORATORY,          _Albert Edelfelt_            380


  ANDREAS HOFER LED TO EXECUTION,     _Franz Defregger_            248
    OF STEAM,                         _Marcus Stone_               256
    THE TELEGRAPH,                    _From a photograph_          298
  CUTTING THE CANAL AT PANAMA,        _Melton Prior_               338
  WINDSOR CASTLE,                     _G. Montbard_                364
    ARABS,                            _W. H. Overend_              388
  CUSTER'S LAST FIGHT,                _A. R. Ward_                 394
    THE CONGO,                        _W. H. Overend_              400
    MENLO PARK,                                                    406


         [Footnote 1: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Benedict Arnold.]

Some of Arnold's biographers have declared that he was a very
vicious boy, and have chiefly illustrated this fact by painting him
as a ruthless robber of birds'-nests. But a great many boys who
began life by robbing birds'-nests have ended it much more
creditably. The astonishing and interesting element in Benedict
Arnold's career was what one might term the anomaly and incongruity
of his treason. Born at Norwich, Conn., in 1741, he was blessed from
his earliest years by wholesome parental influences. The education
which he received was an excellent one, considering his colonial
environment. Tales of his boyish pluck and hardihood cannot be
disputed, while others that record his youthful cruelty are
doubtless the coinings of slander. It is certain that in 1755, when
the conflict known as "the old French war" first broke out, he gave
marked proof of patriotism, though as yet the merest lad. Later, at
the very beginning of the Revolution, he left his thriving business
as a West India merchant in New Haven and headed a company of
volunteers. Before the end of 1775 he had been made a commissioned
colonel by the authorities of Massachusetts, and had marched through
a sally-port, capturing the fortress of Ticonderoga, with tough old
Ethan Allen at his side and 83 "Green Mountain Boys" behind him.
Later, at the siege of Quebec, he behaved with splendid courage.
Through great difficulties and hardships he dauntlessly led his band
to the high-perched and almost impregnable town. Pages might be
filled in telling how toilsome was this campaign, now requiring
canoes and bateaux, now taxing the strength of its resolute little
horde with rough rocks, delusive bogs and all those fiercest
terrors of famine which lurk in a virgin wilderness. Bitter cold,
unmerciful snow-falls, drift-clogged streams, pelting storms, were
constant features of Arnold's intrepid march. When we realize the
purely unselfish and disinterested motive of this march, which has
justly been compared to that of Xenophon with his 10,000, and to the
retreat of Napoleon from Moscow as well, we stand aghast at the
possibility of its having been planned and executed by one who
afterward became the basest of traitors.

During the siege of Quebec Arnold was severely wounded, and yet he
obstinately kept up the blockade even while he lay in the hospital,
beset by obstacles, of which bodily pain was doubtless not the
least. The arrival of General Wooster from Montreal with
reinforcements rid Arnold, however, of all responsibility. Soon
afterward the scheme of capturing Quebec and inducing the Canadas to
join the cause of the United Colonies, came to an abrupt end. But in
his desire to effect this purpose Arnold had identified himself with
such lovers of their country as Washington, Schuyler, and
Montgomery. And if the gallant Montgomery had then survived and
Arnold had been killed, history could not sufficiently have
eulogized him as a hero. Soon afterward he was promoted to the rank
of brigadier-general, and on October 11, 1776, while commanding a
flotilla of small vessels on Lake Champlain, he gained new celebrity
for courage. The enemy was greatly superior in number to Arnold's
forces. "They had," says Bancroft, "more than twice his weight of
metal and twice as many fighting vessels, and skilled seamen and
officers against landsmen." Arnold was not victorious in this naval
fray, but again we find him full of lion-like valor. He was in the
Congress galley, and there with his own hands often aimed the cannon
on its bloody decks against the swarming masses of British gunboats.
Arnold's popularity was very much augmented by his fine exploits on
Lake Champlain. "With consummate address," says Sparks, "he
penetrated the enemy's lines and brought off his whole fleet,
shattered and disabled as it was, and succeeded in saving six of his
vessels, and, it might be added, most of his men." Again, at the
battle of Danbury he tempted death countless times; and at Loudon's
Ferry and Bemis's Heights his prowess and nerve were the perfection
of martial merit. It has been stated by one or two historians of
good repute that Arnold was not present at all during the battle of
Saratoga; but the latest and most trustworthy researches on this
point would seem to indicate that he commanded there with discretion
and skill. He was now a major-general, but his irascible spirit had
previously been hurt by the tardiness with which this honor was
conferred upon him, five of his juniors having received it before
himself. He strongly disliked General Gates, too, and quarrelled
with him because of what he held to be unfair behavior during the
engagement at Bemis's Heights. At Stillwater, a month or so later in
the same year (1777), he issued orders without Gates's permission,
and conducted himself on the field with a kind of mad frenzy, riding
hither and thither and seeking the most dangerous spots. All concur
in stating, however, that his disregard of life was admirable, in
spite of its foolish rashness. In this action he was also severely

One year later he was appointed to the command of Philadelphia, and
here he married the daughter of a prominent citizen, Edward Shippen.
This was his second marriage; he had been a widower for a number of
years before its occurrence, and the father of three sons. Every
chance was now afforded Arnold of wise and just rulership. In spite
of past disputes and adventures not wholly creditable, he still
presented before the world a fairly clean record, and whatever minor
blemishes may have spotted his good name, these were obscured by the
almost dazzling lustre of his soldierly career. But no sooner was he
installed in his new position at Philadelphia than he began to show,
with wilful perversity, those evil impulses which thus far had
remained relatively latent. Almost as soon as he entered the town he
disclosed to its citizens the most offensive traits of arrogance and
tyranny. But this was not all. Not merely was he accused on every
side of such faults as the improper issuing of passes, the closing
of Philadelphia shops on his arrival, the imposition of menial
offices upon the sons of freemen performing military duty, the use
of wagons furnished by the State for transporting private property;
but misdeeds of a far graver nature were traced to him, savoring of
the criminality that prisons are built to punish. The scandalous
gain with which he sought to fill a spendthrift purse caused wide
and vehement rebuke. For a man of such high and peculiar place his
commercial dabblings and speculative schemes argued most deplorably
against him. There seems to be no doubt that he made personal use of
the public moneys with which he was intrusted; that he secured by
unworthy and illegal means a naval State prize, brought into port by
a Pennsylvanian ship; and that he meditated the fitting up of a
privateer, with intent to secure from the foe such loot on the high
seas as piratical hazard would permit. His house in Philadelphia was
one of the finest that the town possessed; he drove about in a
carriage and four; he entertained with excessive luxury and a large
retinue of servants; he revelled in all sorts of pompous parade.
Such ostentation would have roused adverse comment amid the simple
colonial surroundings of a century ago, even if he had merely been a
citizen of extraordinary wealth. But being an officer intrusted with
the most important dignities in a country both struggling for its
freedom and impoverished as to funds, he now played a part of
exceptional shame and folly.

Naturally his arraignment before the authorities of the State soon
followed. The Council of Pennsylvania tried him, and though their
final verdict was an extremely gentle one, its very mildness of
condemnation proved poison to his truculent pride. Washington, the
commander-in-chief, reprimanded him, but with language of exquisite
lenity. Still, Arnold never forgave the stab that was then so
deservingly yet so pityingly dealt him.

His colossal treason--one of the most monstrous in all the records
of history, soon afterward began its wily work. Under the name of
_Gustavus_ he opened a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, an
English officer in command at New York. Sir Henry at once scented
the sort of villainy which would be of vast use to his cause,
however he might loathe and contemn its designer. He instructed his
aide-de-camp, Major John André, to send cautious and pseudonymic
replies. In his letters Arnold showed the burning sense of wrong
from which he believed himself (and with a certain amount of
justice) to be suffering. He had, when all is told, received harsh
treatment from his country, considering how well he had served it in
the past. Even Irving, that most dispassionate of historians, has
called the action of the court-martial just mentioned an
"extraordinary measure to prepossess the public mind against him."
Beyond doubt, too, he had been repeatedly assailed by slanders and
misstatements. The animosity of party feeling had more than once
wrongfully assailed him, and his second marriage to the daughter of
a man whose Tory sympathies were widely known had roused political
hatreds, unsparing and headstrong.

But these facts are merely touched upon to make more clear the
motive of his infamous plot. Determined to give the enemy a great
vantage in return for the pecuniary indemnity that he required of
them, this unhappy man stooped low enough to ask and obtain from
Washington, the command of West Point. André, who had for months
written him letters in a disguised hand under the name of John
Anderson, finally met him, one night, at the foot of a mountain
about six miles below Stony Point, called the Long Clove. Arnold,
with infinite cunning, had devised this meeting, and had tempted the
adventurous spirit of André, who left a British man-of-war called
the Vulture in order to hold converse with his fellow-conspirator.
But before the unfortunate André could return to his ship (having
completed his midnight confab and received from Arnold the most
damning documentary evidence of treachery) the Vulture was fired
upon from Teller's Point by a party of Americans, who had secretly
carried cannon thither during the earlier night. André was thus
deserted by his own countrymen, for the Vulture moved away and left
him with a man named Joshua Smith, a minion in Arnold's employ. Of
poor André's efforts to reach New York, of his capture and final
pathetic execution, we need not speak. On his person, at the time of
his arrest, was found a complete description of the West Point post
and garrison--documentary evidence that scorched with indelible
disgrace the name of the man who had supplied it.

On September 25, 1780, Arnold escaped to a British sloop-of-war
anchored below West Point. He was made a colonel in the English
army, and is said to have received the sum of £6,315 as the price of
his treachery. The command of a body of troops in Connecticut was
afterward given him, and he then showed a rapacity and intolerance
that well consorted with the new position he had so basely
purchased. The odium of his injured countrymen spoke loudly
throughout the land he had betrayed. He was burned in effigy
countless times, and a growing generation was told with wrath and
scorn the abhorrent tale of his turpitude. Meanwhile, as if by
defiant self-assurance to wipe away the perfidy of former acts, he
issued a proclamation to "the inhabitants of America," in which he
strove to cleanse himself from blame. This address, teeming with
flimsy protestations of patriotism, reviling Congress, vituperating
France as a worthless and sordid ally of the Crown's rebellious
subjects, met on all sides the most contemptuous derision. Arnold
passed nearly all the remainder of his life--eleven years or
thereabouts--in England. He died in London, worn out with a nervous
disease, on June 14, 1801. It is a remarkable fact that his second
wife, who had till the last remained faithful to him, suffered
acutely at his death, and both spoke and wrote of him in accents of
strongest bereavement.

To the psychologic student of human character, Benedict Arnold
presents a strangely fascinating picture. Elements of good were
unquestionably factors of his mental being. But pride, revenge,
jealousy, and an almost superhuman egotism fatally swayed him. He
desired to lead in all things, and he had far too much vanity, far
too little self-government, and not half enough true morality to
lead with success and permanence in any. The wrongs which beyond
doubt his country inflicted upon him he was incapable of bearing
like a stoic. Virile and patriotic from one point of view, he was
childish and weak-fibred from another. He has been likened to
Marlborough, though by no means so great a soldier. Yet it is true
that John Churchill won his dukedom by deserting his former
benefactor, James II, and joining the Whig cause of William of
Orange. If the Revolution had been crushed, we cannot blind our eyes
to the fact that Arnold's treason would have received from history
far milder dealing than is accorded it now. Even the radiant name of
Washington would very probably have shone to us dimmed and blurred
through a mist of calamity. Posterity may respect the patriot whose
star sinks in unmerited failure, but it bows homage to him if he
wages against despotism a victorious fight. Supposing that Arnold's
surrender of West Point had extinguished that splendid spark of
liberty which glowed primarily at Lexington and Bunker Hill, the
chances are that he might have received an English peerage and died
in all the odor of a distinction as brilliant as it would have been
undeserved. The triumph of the American rebellion so soon after he
had ignominiously washed his hands of it, sealed forever his own
social doom. That, it is certain, was most severe and drastic. The
money paid him by the British Government was accursed as were the
thirty silver pieces of Iscariot; for his passion to speculate
ruined him financially some time before the end of his life, and he
breathed his last amid comparative poverty and the dread of still
darker reverses.

Extreme sensitiveness is apt to accompany a spirit of just his
high-strung, petulant, and spleenful sort. Beyond doubt he must have
suffered keen torments at the disdain with which he was everywhere
met in English society, and chiefly among the military officers whom
his very conduct, renegade though it was, had in a measure forced to
recognize him. When Lord Cornwallis gave his sword to Washington,
its point pierced Arnold's breast with a wound rankling and
incurable. He had played for high stakes with savage and devilish
desperation. Our national independence meant his future slavery; our
priceless gain became his irretrievable loss. It is stated that as
death approached him he grew excessively anxious about the risky and
shattered state of his affairs. His mind wandered, as Mrs. Arnold
writes, and he fancied himself once more fighting those battles
which had brought him honor and fame. It was then that he would call
for his old insignia of an American soldier and would desire to be
again clothed in them. "Bring me, I beg of you," he is reported to
have said, "the epaulettes and sword-knots which Washington gave me.
Let me die in my old American uniform, the uniform in which I fought
my battles!" And once, it is declared, he gave vent to these most
significant and terrible words: "God forgive me for ever putting on
any other!" That country which he forswore in the hour of its direst
need can surely afford to forgive Benedict Arnold as well. Grown the
greatest republic of which history keeps any record, America need
not find it difficult both to forget the wretched frailties of this,
her grossly misguided son, and at the same time to remember what
services he performed for her while as yet his baleful qualities had
not swept beyond all bounds of restraint.

[Signature: Edgar Fawcett.]


         [Footnote 2: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Nathan Hale.]

Nathan Hale, a martyr soldier of the American Revolution, was born
in Coventry, Conn., on June 6, 1755. When but little more than
twenty-one years old he was hanged, by order of General William
Howe, as a spy, in the city of New York, on September 22, 1776.

At the great centennial celebration of the Revolution, and the part
which the State of Connecticut bore in it, an immense assembly of
the people of Connecticut, on the heights of Groton, took measures
for the erection of a statue in Hale's honor. Their wish has been
carried out by their agents in the government of the State. A bronze
statue of Hale is in the State Capitol. Another bronze statue of him
has been erected in the front of the Wadsworth Athenæum in Hartford.
Another is in the city of New York.

Nathan Hale's father was Richard Hale, who had emigrated to
Coventry, from Newbury, Mass., in 1746, and had married Elizabeth,
the daughter of Joseph Strong. By her he had twelve children, of
whom Nathan was the sixth.

Richard Hale was a prosperous and successful farmer. He sent to Yale
College at one time his two sons, Enoch and Nathan, who had been
born within two years of each other. This college was then under the
direction of Dr. Daggett. Both the young men enjoyed study, and
Nathan Hale, at the exercises of Commencement Day took what is
called a part, which shows that he was among the thirteen scholars
of highest rank in his class.

From the record of the college society to which he belonged, it
appears that he was interested in their theatrical performances.
These were not discouraged by the college government, and made a
recognized part of the amusements of the college and the town. Many
of the lighter plays brought forward on the English stage were thus
produced by the pupils of Yale College for the entertainment of the
people of New Haven.

When he graduated, at the age of eighteen, he probably intended at
some time to become a Christian minister, as his brother Enoch did.
But, as was almost a custom of the time, he began his active life as
a teacher in the public schools, and early in 1774 accepted an
appointment as the teacher of the Union Grammar School, a school
maintained by the gentlemen of New London, Conn., for the higher
education of their children. Of thirty-two pupils, he says, "ten are
Latiners and all but one of the rest are writers."

In his commencement address Hale had considered the question whether
the higher education of women were not neglected. And, in the
arrangement of the Union School at New London, it was determined
that between the hours of five and seven in the morning, he should
teach a class of "twenty young ladies" in the studies which occupied
their brothers at a later hour.

He was thus engaged in the year 1774. The whole country was alive
with the movements and discussions which came to a crisis in the
battle of Lexington the next year. Hale, though not of age, was
enrolled in the militia and was active in the military organization
of the town.

So soon as the news of Lexington and Concord reached New London, a
town-meeting was called. At this meeting, this young man, not yet of
age, was one of the speakers. "Let us march immediately," he said,
"and never lay down our arms until we obtain our independence." He
assembled his school as usual the next day, but only to take leave
of his scholars. "He gave them earnest counsel, prayed with them,
shook each by the hand," and bade them farewell.

It is said that there is no other record so early as this in which
the word "independence" was publicly spoken. It would seem as if the
uncalculating courage of a boy of twenty were needed to break the
spell which still gave dignity to colonial submission.

He was commissioned as First Lieutenant in the Seventh Connecticut
regiment, and resigned his place as teacher. The first duty assigned
to the regiment was in the neighborhood of New London, where,
probably, they were perfecting their discipline. On September 14,
1775, they were ordered by Washington to Cambridge. There they were
placed on the left wing of his army, and made their camp at the foot
of Winter Hill. This was the post which commanded the passage from
Charlestown, one of the only two roads by which the English could
march out from Boston. Here they remained until the next spring.
Hale himself gives the most interesting details of that great
victory by which Washington and his officers changed that force of
minute-men, by which they had overawed Boston in 1775, into a
regular army. Hale re-enlisted as many of the old men as possible,
and then went back to Coventry to engage, from his old school
companions, soldiers for the war. After a month of such effort at
home, he came back with a body of recruits to Roxbury.

On January 30th his regiment was removed to the right wing in
Roxbury. Here they joined in the successful night enterprise of
March 4th and 5th, by which the English troops were driven from

So soon as the English army had left the country, Washington knew
that their next point of attack would be New York. Most of his army
was, therefore, sent there, and Webb's regiment among the rest. They
were at first assigned to the Canada army, but because they had a
good many seafaring men, were reserved for service near New York,
where their "web-footed" character served them well more than once
that summer. Hale marched with the regiment to New London, whence
they all went by water to New York. On that critical night, when the
whole army was moved across to New York after the defeat at
Brooklyn, the regiment rendered effective service.

It was at this period that Hale planned an attack, made by members
of his own company, to set fire to the frigate Phoenix. The frigate
was saved, but one of her tenders and four cannons and six swivels
were taken. The men received the thanks, praises, and rewards of
Washington, and the frigate, with her companions, not caring to risk
such attacks again, retired to the Narrows. Soon after this little
brush with the enemy, Colonel Knowlton, of one of the Connecticut
regiments, organized a special corps, which was known as Knowlton's
Rangers. On the rolls of their own regiments the officers and men
are spoken of as "detached on command." They received their orders
direct from Washington and Putnam, and were kept close in front of
the enemy, watching his movements from the American line in Harlem.
It was in this service, on September 15th, that Knowlton's Rangers,
with three Virginia companies, drove the English troops from their
position in an open fight. It was a spirited action, which was a
real victory for the attacking force. Knowlton and Leitch, the
leaders, were both killed. In his general orders Washington spoke of
Knowlton as a gallant and brave officer who would have been an honor
to any country.

But Hale, alas! was not fighting at Knowlton's side. He was indeed
"detached for special service." Washington had been driven up the
island of New York, and was holding his place with the utmost
difficulty. On September 6th he wrote, "We have not been able to
obtain the least information as to the enemy's plans." In sheer
despair at the need of better information than the Tories of New
York City would give him, the great commander consulted his council,
and at their direction summoned Knowlton to ask for some volunteer
of intelligence, who would find his way into the English lines, and
bring back some tidings that could be relied upon. Knowlton summoned
a number of officers, and stated to them the wishes of their great
chief. The appeal was received with dead silence. It is said that
Knowlton personally addressed a non-commissioned officer, a
Frenchman, who was an old soldier. He did so only to receive the
natural reply, "I am willing to be shot, but not to be hung."
Knowlton felt that he must report his failure to Washington. But
Nathan Hale, his youngest captain, broke the silence. "I will
undertake it," he said. He had come late to the meeting. He was pale
from recent sickness. But he saw an opportunity to serve, and he did
the duty which came next his hand.

William Hull, afterward the major-general who commanded at Detroit,
had been Hale's college classmate. He remonstrated with his friend
on the danger of the task, and the ignominy which would attend its
failure. "He said to him that it was not in the line of his duty,
and that he was of too frank and open a temper to act successfully
the part of a spy, or to face its dangers, which would probably lead
to a disgraceful death." Hale replied, "I wish to be useful, and
every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable
by being necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a
peculiar service, its claims to perform that service are imperious."
These are the last words of his which can be cited until those which
he spoke at the moment of his death. He promised Hull to take his
arguments into consideration, but Hull never heard from him again.

In the second week of September he left the camp for Stamford with
Stephen Hempstead, a sergeant in Webb's regiment, from whom we have
the last direct account of his journey. With Hempstead and Asher
Wright, who was his servant in camp, he left his uniform and some
other articles of property. He crossed to Long Island in citizen's
dress, and, as Hempstead thought, took with him his college diploma,
meaning to assume the aspect of a Connecticut schoolmaster visiting
New York in the hope to establish himself. He landed near
Huntington, or Oyster Bay, and directed the boatman to return at a
time fixed by him, the 20th of September. He made his way into New
York, and there, for a week or more apparently, prosecuted his
inquiries. He returned on the day fixed, and awaited his boat. It
appeared, as he thought; and he made a signal from the shore. Alas!
he had mistaken the boat. She was from an English frigate, which lay
screened by a point of woods, and had come in for water. Hale
attempted to retrace his steps, but was too late. He was seized and
examined. Hidden in the soles of his shoes were his memoranda, in
the Latin language. They compromised him at once. He was carried on
board the frigate, and sent to New York the same day, well guarded.

It was at an unfortunate moment, if anyone expected tenderness from
General Howe. Hale landed while the city was in the tenor of the
great conflagration of September 21st. In that fire nearly a quarter
of the town was burned down. The English supposed, rightly or not,
that the fire had been begun by the Americans. The bells had been
taken from the churches by order of the Provincial Congress. The
fire-engines were out of order, and for a time it seemed impossible
to check the flames. Two hundred persons were sent to jail upon the
supposition that they were incendiaries. It is in the midst of such
confusion that Hale is taken to General Howe's head-quarters, and
there he meets his doom.

No testimony could be stronger against him than the papers on his
person. He was not there to prevaricate, and he told them his rank
and name. There was no trial, and Howe at once ordered that he
should be hanged the next morning. Worse than this, had he known it,
he was to be hanged by William Cunningham, the Provost-Major, a man
whose brutality, through the war disgraced the British army. It is a
satisfaction to know that Cunningham was hanged for his deserts in
England, not many years after.[3]

         [Footnote 3: Such is the current tradition and belief, that
         he was hanged at Newgate; but Mr. George Bancroft found no
         such name in the records of the prison.]

Hale was confined for the night of September 21st in the greenhouse
of the garden of Howe's head-quarters. This place was known as the
Beckman Mansion, at Turtle Bay. This house was standing until within
a few years.

Early the next day he was led to his death. "On the morning of the
execution," said Captain Montresor, an English officer, "my station
being near the fatal spot, I requested the Provost-Marshal to permit
the prisoner to sit in my marquee while he was making the necessary
preparations. Captain Hale entered. He asked for writing materials,
which I furnished him. He wrote two letters; one to his mother and
one to a brother officer. The Provost-Marshal destroyed the letters,
and assigned as a reason that the rebels should not know that they
had a man in their army who could die with so much firmness."

Hale asked for a Bible, but his request was refused. He was marched
out by a guard and hanged upon an apple-tree in Rutgers's orchard.
The place was near the present intersection of East Broadway and
Market Streets. Cunningham asked him to make his dying "speech and
confession." "I only regret," he said, "that I have but one life to
lose for my country."

[Signature: Edward E. Hale.]



Among the remarkable men of modern times there is perhaps none whose
fame is purer from reproach than that of Thaddeus Kosciusko. His
name is enshrined in the ruins of his unhappy country, which, with
heroic bravery and devotion, he sought to defend against foreign
oppression and foreign domination. Kosciusko was born at Warsaw
about the year 1746. He was educated at the School of Cadets, in
that city, where he distinguished himself so much in scientific
studies as well as in drawing, that he was selected as one of four
students of that institution who were sent to travel at the
expense of the state, with a view of perfecting their talents. In
this capacity he visited France, where he remained for several
years, devoting himself to studies of various kinds. On his return
to his own country he entered the army, and obtained the command of
a company. But he was soon obliged to expatriate himself again, in
order to fly from a violent but unrequited passion for the daughter
of the Marshal of Lithuania, one of the first officers of state of
the Polish court.

[Illustration: Thaddeus Kosciusko.]

He bent his steps to that part of North America which was then
waging its war of independence against England. Here he entered the
army, and served with distinction as one of the adjutants of General
Washington. While thus employed, he became acquainted with
Lafayette, Lameth, and other distinguished Frenchmen serving in the
same cause, and was honored by receiving the most flattering praises
from Franklin, as well as the public thanks of the Congress of the
United Provinces. He was also decorated with the new American order
of Cincinnatus, being the only European, except Lafayette, to whom
it was given.

At the termination of the war he returned to his own country, where
he lived in retirement till the year 1789, at which period he was
promoted by the Diet to the rank of major-general. That body was at
this time endeavoring to place its military force upon a respectable
footing, in the vain hope of restraining and diminishing the
domineering influence of foreign powers in what still remained of
Poland. It also occupied itself in changing the vicious constitution
of that unfortunate and ill-governed country--in rendering the
monarchy hereditary, in declaring universal toleration, and in
preserving the privileges of the nobility, while at the same time it
ameliorated the condition of the lower orders. In all these
improvements Stanislas Poniatowski, the reigning king, readily
concurred; though the avowed intention of the Diet was to render the
crown hereditary in the Saxon family. The King of Prussia (Frederick
William II.), who, from the time of the treaty of Cherson, in 1787,
between Russia and Austria, had become hostile to the former power,
also encouraged the Poles in their proceedings; and even gave them
the most positive assurances of assisting them, in case the changes
they were effecting occasioned any attacks from other sovereigns.

Russia at length, having made peace with the Turks, prepared to
throw her sword into the scale. A formidable opposition to the
measures of the Diet had arisen, even among the Poles themselves,
and occasioned what was called the confederation of Targowicz, to
which the Empress of Russia promised her assistance. The feeble
Stanislas, who had proclaimed the new constitution in 1791, bound
himself in 1792 to sanction the Diet of Grodno, which restored the
ancient constitution, with all its vices and all its abuses. In the
meanwhile Frederick William, King of Prussia, who had so mainly
contributed to excite the Poles to their enterprises, basely
deserted them, and refused to give them any assistance. On the
contrary, he stood aloof from the contest, waiting for that share of
the spoil which the haughty empress of the north might think proper
to allot to him, as a reward of his non-interference.

But though thus betrayed on all sides, the Poles were not disposed
to submit without a struggle. They flew to arms, and found in the
nephew of their king, the Prince Joseph Poniatowski, a general
worthy to conduct so glorious a cause. Under his command Kosciusko
first became known in European warfare. He distinguished himself in
the battle of Zielenec, and still more in that of Dubienska, which
took place on June 18, 1792. Upon this latter occasion he defended
for six hours, with only 4,000 men, against 15,000 Russians, a post
which had been slightly fortified in twenty-four hours, and at last
retired with inconsiderable loss.

But the contest was too unequal to last; the patriots were
overwhelmed by enemies from without, and betrayed by traitors
within, at the head of whom was their own sovereign. The Russians
took possession of the country, and proceeded to appropriate those
portions of Lithuania and Volhynia which suited their convenience;
while Prussia, the friendly Prussia, invaded another part of the

Under these circumstances the most distinguished officers in the
Polish army retired from the service, and of this number was
Kosciusko. Miserable at the fate of his unhappy country, and at the
same time an object of suspicion to the ruling powers, he left his
native land and retired to Leipsic, where he received intelligence
of the honor which had been conferred upon him by the Legislative
Assembly of France, who had invested him with the quality of a
French citizen.

But his fellow-countrymen were still anxious to make another
struggle for independence, and they unanimously selected Kosciusko
as their chief and generalissimo. He obeyed the call, and found the
patriots eager to combat under his orders. Even the noble Joseph
Poniatowski, who had previously commanded in chief, returned from
France, whither he had retired, and received from the hands of
Kosciusko the charge of a portion of his army.

The patriots had risen in the north of Poland, to which part
Kosciusko first directed his steps. Anxious to begin his campaign
with an action of vigor, he marched rapidly toward Cracow, which
town he entered triumphantly on March 24, 1794. He forthwith
published a manifesto against the Russians; and then, at the head of
only 5,000 men, he marched to meet their army. He encountered, on
April 4th, 10,000 Russians at a place called Wraclawic, and entirely
defeated them after a combat of four hours. He returned in triumph
to Cracow, and shortly afterward marched along the left bank of the
Vistula to Polaniec, where he established his head-quarters.

Meanwhile the inhabitants of Warsaw, animated by the recital of the
heroic deeds of their countrymen, had also raised the standard of
independence, and were successful in driving the Russians from the
city, after a murderous conflict of three days. In Lithuania and
Samogitia an equally successful revolution was effected before the
end of April, while the Polish troops stationed in Volhynia and
Podolia marched to the reinforcement of Kosciusko.

Thus far fortune seemed to smile upon the cause of Polish
freedom--the scene was, however, about to change. The undaunted
Kosciusko, having first organized a national council to conduct the
affairs of government, once more advanced against the Russians. On
his march he met a new enemy in the person of the faithless
Frederick William, of Prussia, who, without having even gone through
the preliminary of declaring war, had advanced into Poland at the
head of 40,000 men.

Kosciusko, with but 13,000 men, attacked the Prussian army on June
8th, at Szcekociny. The battle was long and bloody; at length,
overwhelmed by numbers, he was obliged to retreat toward Warsaw.
This he effected in so able a manner that his enemies did not dare
to harass him in his march; and he effectually covered the capital
and maintained his position for two months against vigorous and
continued attacks. Immediately after this reverse the Polish
general, Zaionczeck, lost the battle of Chelm, and the Governor of
Cracow had the baseness to deliver the town to the Prussians without
attempting a defence.

These disasters occasioned disturbances among the disaffected at
Warsaw, which, however, were put down by the vigor and firmness of
Kosciusko. On July 13th the forces of the Prussians and Russians,
amounting to 50,000 men, assembled under the walls of Warsaw, and
commenced the siege of that city. After six weeks spent before the
place, and a succession of bloody conflicts, the confederates were
obliged to raise the siege; but this respite to the Poles was but of
short duration.

Their enemies increased fearfully in number, while their own
resources diminished. Austria now determined to assist in the
annihilation of Poland, and caused a body of her troops to enter
that kingdom. Nearly at the same moment the Russians ravaged
Lithuania; and the two corps of the Russian army commanded by
Suwarof and Fersen, effected their junction in spite of the battle
of Krupezyce, which the Poles had ventured upon, with doubtful
issue, against the first of these commanders, on September 16th.

Upon receiving intelligence of these events Kosciusko left Warsaw,
and placed himself at the head of the Polish army. He was attacked
by the very superior forces of the confederates on October 10, 1794,
at a place called Macieiowice, and for many hours supported the
combat against overwhelming odds. At length he was severely wounded,
and as he fell, he uttered the prophetic words "_Finis Poloniæ_." It
is asserted that he had exacted from his followers an oath, not to
suffer him to fall alive into the hands of the Russians, and that in
consequence the Polish cavalry, being unable to carry him off,
inflicted some severe sabre wounds on him and left him for dead on
the field; a savage fidelity, which we half admire even in
condemning it. Be this as it may, he was recognized and delivered
from the plunderers by some Cossack chiefs; and thus was saved from
death to meet a scarcely less harsh fate--imprisonment in a Russian

Thomas Wawrzecki became the successor of Kosciusko in the command of
the army; but with the loss of their heroic leader all hope had
deserted the breasts of the Poles. They still, however, fought with
all the obstinacy of despair, and defended the suburb of Warsaw,
called Praga, with great gallantry. At length this post was wrested
from them. Warsaw itself capitulated on November 9, 1794; and this
calamity was followed by the entire dissolution of the Polish army
on the 18th of the same month.

During this time, Kosciusko remained in prison at St. Petersburg;
but, at the end of two years, the death of his persecutress, the
Empress Catharine, released him. One of the first acts of the
Emperor Paul was to restore him to liberty, and to load him with
various marks of his favor. Among other gifts of the autocrat was a
pension, by which, however, the high-spirited patriot would never
consent to profit. No sooner was he beyond the reach of Russian
influence than he returned to the donor the instrument by which this
humiliating favor was conferred. From this period the life of
Kosciusko was passed in retirement. He went first to England, and
then to the United States of America. He returned to the Old World
in 1798, and took up his abode in France, where he divided his time
between Paris and a country-house he had bought near Fontainebleau.
While here he received the appropriate present of the sword of John
Sobieski, which was sent to him by some of his countrymen serving in
the French armies in Italy, who had found it in the shrine at

Napoleon, when about to invade Poland in 1807, wished to use the
name of Kosciusko in order to rally the people of the country round
his standard. The patriot, aware that no real freedom was to be
hoped for under such auspices, at once refused to lend himself to
his wishes. Upon this the emperor forged Kosciusko's signature to an
address to the Poles, which was distributed throughout the country.
Nor would he permit the injured person to deny the authenticity of
this act in any public manner. The real state of the case was,
however, made known to many through the private representations of
Kosciusko; but he was never able to publish a formal denial of the
transaction till after the fall of Napoleon.

When the Russians, in 1814, had penetrated into Champagne, and were
advancing toward Paris, they were astonished to hear that their
former adversary was living in retirement in that part of the
country. The circumstances of this discovery were striking. The
commune in which Kosciusko lived was subjected to plunder, and among
the troops thus engaged he observed a Polish regiment. Transported
with anger, he rushed among them, and thus addressed the officers:
"When I commanded brave soldiers they never pillaged; and I should
have punished severely subalterns who allowed of disorders such as
those which we see around. Still more severely should I have
punished older officers, who authorized such conduct by their
culpable neglect." "And who are you," was the general cry, "that you
dare to speak with such boldness to us?" "I am Kosciusko." The
effect was electric: the soldiery cast down their arms, prostrated
themselves at his feet, and cast dust upon their heads according to
a national usage, supplicating his forgiveness for the fault which
they had committed. For twenty years the name of Kosciusko had not
been heard in Poland save as that of an exile; yet it still retained
its ancient power over Polish hearts; a power never used but for
some good and generous end.

The Emperor Alexander honored him with a long interview, and offered
him an asylum in his own country. But nothing could induce Kosciusko
again to see his unfortunate native land. In 1815 he retired to
Soleure, in Switzerland; where he died, October 16, 1817, in
consequence of an injury received by a fall from his horse. Not long
before he had abolished slavery upon his Polish estate, and declared
all his serfs entirely free, by a deed registered and executed with
every formality that could insure the full performance of his
intention. The mortal remains of Kosciusko were removed to Poland at
the expense of Alexander, and have found a fitting place of rest in
the cathedral of Cracow, between those of his companions in arms,
Joseph Poniatowski, and the greatest of Polish warriors, John


         [Footnote 4: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Marquis de la Fayette.]

Marie Jean Paul Roch Yves Gilbert Motier, Marquis de la Fayette,[5]
one of the most celebrated men that France ever produced, was born
at Chavaignac, in Auvergne, on September 6, 1757, of a noble family,
with a long line of illustrious ancestors. Left an orphan at the age
of thirteen, he married, three years later, his cousin Anastasie,
Countess de Noailles. Inspired from the earliest age with a love of
freedom and aversion to constraint, the impulses of childhood became
the daydreams of youth and the realities of maturer life. Filled
with enthusiastic sympathy for the struggling colonies of America in
their contest with Great Britain, he offered his services to the
United States, and, though his enterprise was forbidden by the
French Government, hired a vessel, sailed for this country, landed
at Charleston in April, 1777, and proceeded to Philadelphia. His
advances having been treated by Congress with some coldness, by
reason of the incessant application of other foreigners for
commissions, he offered to serve as a volunteer and at his own
expense. Congress may be excused for having taken him at his word;
on July 31st it appointed him major-general, without pay the titular
honor, which carried with it no command, being, perhaps, the highest
ever given in America to a young man of nineteen years. Having
accepted the cordial invitation of General Washington, the
commander-in-chief, to live at his head-quarters and to serve on his
staff, Lafayette was severely wounded in the leg at the battle of
the Brandywine, on September 11th, and the intrepidity he displayed
in that engagement was equalled by the fortitude that he evinced
during the following winter, in which he shared the privations of
the American army in the wretched camp at Valley Forge. His fidelity
to Washington at this time, when the latter was maligned by secret
foes and conspired against by Conway's cabal, cemented the
friendship between those great men. Lafayette was soon afterward
detached to take command of an expedition that was to set out from
Albany, cross Lake Champlain on the ice, and invade Canada; but, on
arriving at the intended starting-point, and finding that no
adequate preparations had been made, he refused to repeat the
unfortunate experiment of Montgomery and Arnold of two years before,
and waited for suitable supplies to be sent to him before setting
out. These came not, the ice melted in March, and he returned to
Valley Forge, with the thanks of Congress for his forbearance in
abstaining from risking the loss of an army in order to acquire
personal glory. France having declared war against England, May 2,
1778, and at the same time effected an alliance with the colonies,
Lafayette returned home in January, 1779; on his arrival at Paris he
was lionized and fêted, and during his stay there he received from
the United States Congress a sword with massive gold handle and
mounting, presented to him in appreciation of his services and
particularly of his gallantry at the battle of Monmouth, on June
28th, in the preceding year. The high reputation that he had
acquired in America increased his influence at home to such a degree
that he was able to accomplish the object of his mission and procure
money and troops from the ministry of war. These followed him to
this country in the following year, but little was accomplished
thereby, D'Estaing, the commander of the fleet, being blockaded in
the harbor of Newport, and Washington being unwilling to undertake
the contemplated attack on New York, even with the assistance of the
French military force, without naval co-operation. In February,
1781, Lafayette was sent with a division into Virginia, where he
soon found himself arrayed against the British general, Lord
Cornwallis. That distinguished officer, the best, perhaps, of all on
that side of the conflict, expected to make short work of his
youthful antagonist, but Lafayette, who had learned from Washington
the art of skilful retreat combined with cautious advance,
succeeded, after a long series of skirmishes, in shutting Cornwallis
up in Yorktown. In September, the French fleet, under the Count de
Grasse, appeared and landed a force of 3,000 men under the Marquis
de St. Simon. Lafayette was urged to make the assault at once and
gain the glory of an important capture, but a feeling of honor,
combined possibly with prudential considerations, impelled him to
wait for the arrival of the main allied army under Washington and
Rochambeau. They came a fortnight later, the investment was
regularly made, and on October 14th Lafayette successfully led the
Americans to the assault of one of the redoubts, while another was
taken by the French under the Baron de Viomesnil. The surrender of
Cornwallis, with his army of 7,000, took place on the 19th, which
ended, practically, the American war of independence, though the
final treaty of peace was not signed till January 20, 1783, the
first knowledge of which came to Congress by a letter from
Lafayette, who had returned to Europe in the meantime. Revisiting
the United States in 1784, he was treated with great consideration
by his old comrades in arms, and the next year he travelled through
Russia, Austria, and Prussia, in the last of which he attended the
military reviews of Frederick the Great in company with that
renowned soldier.

         [Footnote 5: The condensed form of the name, when used apart
         from the title, is preferable to the open, for, though he
         employed the conventional style, De La Fayette, up to the
         time of the French Revolution, he then abandoned it, and
         always afterward wrote it as one word, Lafayette, which is
         now the family name.]

From this time Lafayette's history is bound up with that of his
country. Beginning by formulating plans for meliorating the
condition of the slaves on his plantation in French Guiana, his
philanthropic thoughts soon turned homeward. He saw France groaning
under oppression and the people suffering from a thousand antiquated
abuses. Some of these he succeeded in mitigating, in his capacity of
member of the Assembly of the Notables, in 1787, but, as nothing of
permanent value was accomplished by that body, he urged the
convocation of the States General. In this assemblage, which met at
Versailles, on May 4, 1789, he sat at first among the nobility, but
when the deputies of the people declared themselves to be the
National Assembly--afterward called the Constituent Assembly--he was
one of the earliest of his order to join them and was elected one of
the vice-presidents. On July 14th the Bastille was taken by the mob,
and on the following day Lafayette was chosen commandant of the
National Guard of Paris; an irregular body, partly military, partly
police, having no connection with the royal army and in full
sympathy with the people, from which its ranks were filled. On the
17th King Louis XVI. came into the city, where he was received by
the populace with the liveliest expressions of attachment and
escorted to the Hôtel de Ville, where Lafayette and Mayor Bailly
awaited him at the foot of the staircase, up which he passed under
an arch of steel formed by the uplifted swords of the members of the
Municipal Council. Bailly offered to the king a tricolor cockade,
which had been recently adopted as the national emblem, Lafayette,
in devising it, having added white, the Bourbon color, to the red
and blue that were the colors of Paris, to show the fidelity of the
people to the institution of royalty. The king accepted the badge,
pinned it to his breast, appeared with it on the balcony before the
vast throng, and returned to Versailles with the feeling, on his
part and that of others, that the reconciliation between all parties
was complete and that the era of popular government had begun.
Instead of that, the troubles continually increased, and Lafayette
was placed in a most trying position, equally opposed to the
encroachments of the destructionists and to the intrigues of the
court, and longing as eagerly for the retention of the monarchy as
for the establishment of the constitution. The brutal murder of
Foulon, the superintendent of the revenue, and of his son-in-law
Berthier, who were torn in pieces by the enraged populace on the
22d, in spite of the commands, entreaties, and even tears of
Lafayette, so disgusted him that he resigned his command, and
resumed it only when the sixty districts of Paris agreed to support
him in his efforts to maintain order. On October 5th a mob of
several thousand women set out from Paris to march to Versailles,
with vague ideas of extorting from the National Assembly the passage
of laws that should remove all distresses, of obtaining in some way
a supply of food that should relieve the immediate needs of the
capital, and of bringing back with them the royal family. The
National Guard were urgent to accompany the women, partly from a
desire to protect them in case of a possible collision with the
royal troops, but still more to bring on a conflict with a regiment
lately brought from the frontier, and to exterminate the body-guard
of the king, the members of which had, at a supper given a few
nights before, been so indiscreet as to trample the tricolor under
their feet and pin the white cockade to their lapels. Lafayette did
all in his power to prevent the march of the National Guard, sitting
on his horse for eight hours in their midst, and refusing all their
entreaties to give the word of command, till the Municipal Council
finally issued the order and the troops set forth. Arrived at
Versailles he posted one of his regiments in different parts of the
palace, to protect it in case it were really attacked by rioters,
and then, in the early morning, repairing to his head-quarters in an
adjoining street, he threw himself on a bed, for a short season of
necessary repose. Monarchical writers generally have reproached him
for this act, calling it his "fatal sleep," the source of unnumbered
woes, the beginning of the downfall; but it is difficult to see
wherein he can justly be blamed for yielding, wearied out with
fatigue, to the imperative demand of nature, after providing as far
as possible for the preservation of order. Awakened in a few minutes
by the report that the worst had happened, he hurried to the scene
and found that the mob, having broken down the iron railings of the
courtyard, had invaded the palace and massacred two of the
body-guard, and that the lives of the king and queen were in instant
peril. With characteristic courage, activity, and address he
prevented the further effusion of blood, and the entire royal
family, together with the Assembly, migrated to Paris the same day,
escorted by the citizen soldiers and a turbulent mob both male and
female. July 14, 1790, was memorable for the Oath of Federation,
taken in the Champ de Mars, with imposing ceremonies, upon a
platform of earth raised by the voluntary labors of all the
citizens. Lafayette, as representative of the nation, and
particularly of the militia, was the first to take the oath to be
faithful to the law and the king and to support the constitution
then under consideration by the Assembly. With a shout of
affirmation from all of the National Guard, the taking of the entire
oath by the president of the Assembly and the king, followed by a
roar of assent from nearly half a million of spectators, and the
joyful spreading of the news throughout the country by prearranged
signals, the dream of peace and harmony came back again, as bright
and as fleeting as the year before. Three days later the National
Guard of France, outside of the city, united in an address to
Lafayette, expressive of their confidence in his ability and his
patriotism, and regretting their inability to serve under him, for,
by the terms of a law proposed by himself, the commander of the
militia of Paris was to have no authority over other troops. In
September the municipality made a strong appeal to him to revoke his
declaration that he would accept no pay or salary or indemnity of
any kind, but he refused fixedly, saying that his fortune was
considerable, that it had sufficed for two revolutions and that it
would be devoted to a third, if one should arise, for the benefit of
the people. By the death of Mirabeau, April 2, 1791, the last chance
of a compromise between the court party and the radicals was taken
away. Two weeks later the royal family attempted to leave the
Tuileries for St. Cloud, in order to pass the Easter holidays there
and to hear mass in the royal chapel; but the populace blocked the
way, and even a portion of the National Guard, in a state of
semi-mutiny, threatened to interfere if the other battalions fired
on the people. This, nevertheless, Lafayette offered to do, and to
force a passage at all hazards, but the king positively forbade the
shedding of blood on his account, and resumed his virtual
imprisonment in the palace. Lafayette was so chagrined by the
seditious behavior of his troops that he again threw down his
commission, whereupon an extraordinary revulsion of feeling took
place; the municipality and the citizens were terror-stricken lest
universal anarchy should ensue, and even the National Guard,
repentant of their disgraceful conduct, cast themselves at the feet
of their general, joining their voices to those of others in
entreating him to resume his office, which, after three days, he
consented to do, upon promise of obedience in the future.

[Illustration: The Arch of Steel.]

This was the meridian of Lafayette's career, when his popularity and
his influence were at their height. Power we can hardly call it, for
that implies some voluntary deed of assumption, and he always acted
in obedience to others, to some authority constituted at least under
the forms of law, or, in the absence of that, to the sovereign
people. From this time difficulties thickened around him and he was
constantly environed by suspicion and by intrigues of all kinds
against his character and his life, but he never swerved from the
line of his duty. Not one of the political parties gave him its
entire confidence, and each in turn conspired against him, only to
be baffled by the underlying conviction, on the part of the masses,
of his supreme patriotism and integrity. After the flight of the
king and his family, on June 20th, Lafayette was violently denounced
in the Jacobin club as a friend to royalty, and accused of having
assisted in the evasion; but the attempt to proscribe him in the
Assembly failed utterly, and that body appointed six commissioners
to protect him from the sudden fury of the people. The royal
fugitives having been stopped at Varennes and brought back to the
Tuileries on the 25th, he saved them, by his personal efforts, from
being torn in pieces by the mob, but was compelled to guard them
much more strictly than before. On July 17th a disorderly assemblage
gathered in the Champ de Mars to petition for the overthrow of the
monarchy, and, in the tumult that ensued on the appearance of the
troops, Lafayette ordered a volley of musketry, whereby the rioters
were dispersed with a loss of several killed and wounded, but
whereby, also, while that act of firmness elicited commendation from
all lovers of order, occasion was given for further intrigues on the
part of his enemies and the shattering of his influence among the
lower classes. A momentary gleam of sunshine broke forth in
September, when, the king having accepted the new constitution,
Lafayette took advantage of the general state of good feeling
thereby produced to propose a comprehensive act of amnesty for all
offences committed on either side during the revolution, which was
passed by the Constituent Assembly just before its final adjournment
on the 30th. On that day he resigned, permanently, the command of
the National Guard, and retired to his estate at Chavaignac, being
followed by the most gratifying testimonials of public regard, among
them a sword and a marble statue of Washington, presented by the
city of Paris, and a sword cast from one of the bolts of the
Bastille, given by his old soldiers. Contrary to his personal
wishes, his friends and his patriotism persuaded him, in November,
to stand as a candidate for the mayoralty of Paris, with the result
that might have been foreseen, for Pétion, being supported both by
the Jacobins and by the court party, was elected by a large
majority. This defeat did not prevent Lafayette's appointment, a
month later, to the command of one of the three armies formed to
defend the frontier against an expected invasion of the Austrians,
the rank of lieutenant-general being given to him, with the exalted
honor of marshal of France. War was declared against Austria, April
20, 1792, and hostilities began, but even the active service in
which he was engaged could not keep his thoughts from the political
condition of the country, and on June 16th he wrote to the
Legislative Assembly, which had succeeded the Constituent in the
previous autumn, a letter in which he pointed out the dangers that
menaced the nation and denounced the Jacobins as the faction whose
growing power was full of peril to the state. Four days later the
mob invaded the Tuileries and passed riotously through all the
rooms, insulting in the grossest manner the royal family, who were
compelled to stand before them and undergo this humiliation for
three hours. On hearing of this event Lafayette hurried from his
camp and appeared before the Assembly, entreating the punishment of
the instigators of the outrage. His sublime audacity in thus
opposing his own personality to the machinations of his enemies, and
that, too, before a body already irritated by his unasked advice,
paralyzed the fury of his adversaries, while his eloquence charmed
the hearts of his hearers; but all was in vain, and the only result
of this heroic action was that a decree of accusation was brought in
against him, which was rejected by a vote of 406 to 224. Upon the
massacre of the Swiss Guards, on August 10th, followed by the actual
deposition and imprisonment of the king, Lafayette sounded his army
to ascertain if they would march to Paris in defence of
constitutional government, but he found them vacillating and
untrustworthy. His own dismissal from command came soon after:
orders were sent for his arrest, and nothing remained for him but

On August 19th he left the army and attempted to pass through
Belgium on his way to England, but he was captured by Austrian
soldiers near the frontier. He protested that he no longer held rank
as an officer in the army and should be considered as a private
citizen; but his rights were not respected in either capacity, for
he was not treated as a prisoner of war neither was he arraigned as
a criminal. On the contrary, without any charges being preferred
against him, and without the formality of a trial of any kind, he
was immediately thrown into prison and was detained in various
Belgian, Prussian, and Austrian jails and fortresses for more than
five years, the last three being passed in close confinement at
Olmutz. An unsuccessful attempt at escape increased the severity of
his detention, and he nearly lost his life through the hardships and
privations that he endured, till his wife and daughters came, in
1795, and voluntarily shared his incarceration. The only reason for
the savage treatment that he received, unjustified by any forms of
international, of military, or of criminal law, seems to have lain
in the fact that he had been a member of the National Assembly and
prominent in the constitutional struggle for liberty. A feeling of
revenge, as mean as it was groundless--for he had done everything in
his power to protect the dignity as well as the life of Marie
Antoinette, the sister of the Austrian emperor--joined with a fear
that other peoples might follow the lead of the French and overthrow
monarchical institutions unless deterred by some world-shocking
example, formed the mainspring of this atrocious procedure. Efforts
were made in this country and in England to procure the release of
the prisoner, but no governmental action was taken in that
direction, the United States Congress declining to pass a resolution
to that effect, so that President Washington was left alone in his
unceasing attempts, by instructions to our ministers abroad and by a
personal letter to the emperor, to repay some of the debt that he
and the whole country owed to our adopted citizen. It was not till
the successes of the French republican armies enabled General
Bonaparte, at the instance of the Directory, to insist upon the
liberation of Lafayette as one of the conditions of the treaty of
Campo Formio, that he was discharged on September 19, 1797, the
Austrian Government pretending that this was done out of regard for
the United States of America. Passing into Denmark and Holland he
resided in those countries for two years, when he returned to France
only to receive from Bonaparte a significant message recommending to
him a very quiet life, a piece of advice which, as it accorded with
his own desires, he followed, settling down at Lagrange, an estate
inherited by his wife, as his own property had been confiscated by
the National Convention, which had succeeded the Legislative
Assembly. True to the principles that he had always entertained, he
cast his vote, in 1802, with less than nine thousand others, and in
opposition to the suffrages of more than three-and-a-half millions,
against the decree to make Bonaparte consul for life, writing after
his name on the polling register the statement that he could not
vote for such a measure till public freedom was sufficiently
guaranteed. This insured the continued displeasure of the military
despot, who revenged himself by refusing to Lafayette's only son,
George Washington, the promotion that he had earned by his brilliant
exploits in the army. President Jefferson's offer in 1803, of the
governorship of the province of Louisiana, just after its purchase
from France, was rejected by Lafayette, who continued in his
retirement through the time of the empire and after the first
restoration of the Bourbons, till the return from Elba, in March,
1815, of Napoleon, who used every exertion to conciliate him and win
his support. All these overtures he declined, but, on the other
hand, accepted an election to the popular branch of the Legislature,
of which he was chosen vice-president. After the battle of Waterloo,
on June 18th, Napoleon returned to Paris and proposed to his council
the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies and the assumption of
absolutely dictatorial power; a desperate project which was
frustrated only by the alertness, vigor, and energy of Lafayette,
whose eloquent appeals induced the Legislature to compel the final
abdication of the emperor, under the alternative threat of
forfeiture and expulsion. Five commissioners, with Lafayette at the
head, appointed by the chambers, proceeded to the head-quarters of
the allied sovereigns, at Haguenau, to treat for peace; but, while
negotiations were pending, the foreign armies pushed on toward the
capital, and he returned on July 3d, to find that Paris had
capitulated and was at the mercy of the conquerors, who dictated
their own terms, forcibly dissolved the Corps Législatif, and
replaced Louis XVIII. on the throne. Lafayette retired to Lagrange,
but was again elected, in 1817, a deputy, in spite of the strenuous
opposition of the Government, and exerted his influence in favor of
liberal measures, though with indifferent success. In 1824, on the
invitation of President Monroe, he revisited this country, travelled
through every State, was received with the highest honors by
Congress (which voted him $200,000 and a township of land for his
services), by legislatures, by colleges, by corporations of cities,
by societies of all kinds by his surviving comrades of the
revolution, and by the whole nation; took part in the laying of the
corner-stone of the Bunker Hill Monument June 17, 1825, and sailed
for home in September, on the United States frigate Brandywine,
which had been put at his disposal by the Government. Soon after his
return to France he was re-elected to the Corps Législatif, and
served as a member for most of the remainder of his life. The stupid
tyranny of King Charles X. having caused an outbreak of the
Parisians in July, 1830, Lafayette unhesitatingly espoused the
popular cause, and, though nearly seventy-three years old, accepted
the command of the National Guard; after a conflict of three days
the royal troops gave way, the king abdicated, to be succeeded by
the Duke of Orleans as King Louis Philippe, and Lafayette had the
satisfaction of contributing largely to the establishment of what he
had advocated so strongly forty years before--a constitutional
monarchy. He died at his home, in the country, on May 20, 1834, but
his remains were taken to Paris for interment, and as the funeral
train passed through the streets the lamentations on every hand
attested the affection and the sorrow of the people. Few men have
lived who present a figure so attractive to the eye of the student;
fewer still, so prominent on the theatre of history, who will bear,
with so little possibility of censure, the closest scrutiny, the
severest judgment. His actions were visible to all the world, his
motives were transparent, his sentiments were unconcealed, his life
was blameless. To the physical endowments of dignity of person and
resistless charm of manner he added all desirable qualities of head
and heart, a dauntless courage, an enthusiasm beautiful and yet
consistent, a sublime patriotism, a disinterested generosity. If,
with all these, he seems to have failed of achieving the highest
success, it was because not of what he lacked but of what he
possessed in the fullest degree, a lofty integrity that forbade him
to pander to the passions of the mob, a supreme regard for the
rights of the community and of the individual. He might have
snatched the sovereign power, but in doing it he would have lost his
self-respect. In place, then, of glittering success, he obtained the
quiet admiration of mankind and the loving gratitude of two nations.

[Signature: William F. Peck.]


         [Footnote 6: Copyright. 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: A guillotine.]

The despotism of Louis XIV. and the exhaustion of the finances by his
wars and his reckless extravagance had reduced France to a very
unhappy condition. His son, the Grand-Dauphin, died four years before
his father, and his grandson, the Duke of Burgundy, a year later.
Louis the Great was therefore succeeded by his great-grandson, Louis
XV. During this reign the nation continued on the decline. He was
followed by his grandson, Louis XVI., a better man than his immediate
predecessor, but too weak to carry out the reforms necessary to
restore the prosperity of the nation. Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu,
and many other writers, as well as the influence of the American
Revolution, had fostered democratic ideas among the people, for the
government was reeking with abuses.

The parliament had not assembled for three-quarters of a century;
but representatives of the people met in 1789, in spite of the
opposition of the king. The extreme of license followed the extreme
of absolutism. The king opposed the Constituent Assembly, for this
body changed its name several times, till the political conflict
ended in the death by the guillotine of Louis XVI., and later by the
execution of his queen, Marie Antoinette. For every two hundred and
fifty of the gross population there was a member of the nobility who
was exempted from the payment of any land tax, though this kind of
property was almost exclusively in their possession, and from many
other taxes and burdens, which all the more heavily weighed down
the great body of the people. The latter had a long list of genuine
grievances which the king and his advisers refused to remedy.

The revolution became an accomplished fact in the capture and
destruction of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789, which day is still
celebrated as a national holiday in France. It had been for hundreds
of years a prison for political offenders, and was regarded by the
people as the principal emblem and instrument of tyranny. The
population became as intemperate as their rulers had been, thousands
perished by the guillotine, and the reign of terror was established.
The National Convention proclaimed a republic; but this body was
divided by conflicting opinions, and had not the power to inaugurate
their ideal government. Blood flowed in rivers, and the reaction was
infinitely more terrible than the tyranny which had produced it.

The Convention was divided into at least four parties, though the
lines which separated them were not very clearly defined. The
Jacobins were the most prominent, and the most radical. It had its
origin in the Jacobin Club, formed in Versailles, taking its name
from a convent in which it met. This organization soon spread
through its branches all over France, and its party was the most
violent and blood-thirsty in the convention. Danton, Robespierre,
Marat, Desmoulins, and other desperate leaders were of this faction.

The Girondists were next in numbers and influence. They were the
moderate republicans of the time, though at first they were inclined
to accept the constitution, and favor a limited monarchy. Its name
came from the earliest leaders of the party who were representatives
from the department of the Gironde. Its members labored to check the
violence and bloodshed of the times, and might be called the
respectable party of the period. Unfortunately they were in the
minority, and all the members of the party in the Convention who did
not escape, were arrested, convicted, and guillotined.

The Montagnards (mountaineers) or Montagne (Mountain) was the term
applied to the Democrats holding the most extreme views, though its
members were also Jacobins and Cordeliers. Among them were the most
blood-thirsty, unreasonable, and intolerant men of the time, for
Danton, Robespierre, Marat, St. Just, and others of that stamp,
affiliated with them. They took their name from the fact that they
were grouped together in the uppermost seats of the chamber of the
Convention. The Cordeliers was hardly more than another name for a
club of the same men, so called from the chapel of a Franciscan
monastery where they held their meetings.

[Illustration: Charlotte Corday and Marat.]

Jean Paul Marat was one of the most prominent personages of the
Revolution, whose infamy will continue to be perpetuated down to
generations yet to come, with other of his red-handed associates. He
was a Frenchman, though he spent considerable time in Holland and
Great Britain, where he practised medicine, having studied the
profession at Bordeaux. He made some reputation as a political
writer, and in Edinburgh obtained a degree. It is believed that he
was convicted for stealing, and sentenced to five years imprisonment
at Oxford under several _aliases_. Perhaps he was sincere in his
opinions, and he threw himself vigorously into the work of the
Revolution in Paris, issuing inflammatory pamphlets, which he caused
to be printed and circulated secretly. He established an infamous
journal, attacking the king and all his supporters, and especially
the Girondists, whose moderation disgusted him. His virulence caused
him to be intensely hated, and twice he was compelled to flee to
London, and once to hide in the sewers. In the latter he contracted
a loathsome disease of the skin which soon began to eat away his
life; and his sufferings from it intensified his zeal and his

Marat was elected to the Convention as a delegate from Paris.
Perhaps he was to a greater degree responsible for the September
massacre than any other man. While he was dying of his malady he was
urging on his fanatical measures, and declared that most of the
members of the Convention, Mirabeau first, ought to be executed. His
most virulent hatred was directed against the Girondists, whose
execution he advocated with all the venom of his nature. Though he
could write only when seated in a bath, he continued to hurl his
invectives against them, impatient for the guillotine to do its gory
work upon them.

The avenger was at hand. Charlotte Corday d'Armont was the
granddaughter of Corneille, the great tragic poet of France. Though
of noble descent, she was born in a cottage, for her father was a
country gentleman so poor that he could not support his family. His
daughters worked in the fields like the peasants, till he was
compelled to abandon them. Then they obtained admission to a convent
in Caen, where they were received on account of their birth and
their poverty. The library furnished Charlotte abundant reading
matter, and she read works on philosophy, though she also rather
inflated her imagination by the perusal of romances, which had some
influence on her after life.

When monasteries and convents were abolished, she was turned loose
upon the world; but her aunt, as poor almost as her father, took the
young woman, now nineteen years old, to her home in Caen. Charlotte
had developed into a beautiful girl, rather tall, honest, and
innocent. She had imbibed republican sentiments from her father in
spite of his nobility, and Caen was the head-quarters of the
Girondists. She was familiar with the details of the struggle
between the Jacobins and the Girondists, and they inspired her with
an intense feeling against the persecutors of her people, as she
regarded the latter. The members of that party who had been driven
from Paris instructed her. She was a woman; but if she had been a
queen she had the nerve to rule a nation and fight its battles.

A tremendous purpose took possession of her being. It was not
prompted by the spirit of revenge. She was mistaken, but she
believed that the removal of Marat was the remedy for the evils of
the time; and this became the work of her life, upon which she
entered, fully conscious that her path ended at an ignominious
grave. She had an admirer in a young man by the name of Franquelin,
and though she favored him she sacrificed her attachment to what she
regarded as a lofty, even a sublime duty. She had the means to
proceed to Paris and she went by the coach. She deceived her aunt,
her father, and her sisters with the statement that she was going to
England in search of remunerative employment. She went to a hotel in
the great city which had been recommended to her in Caen.

A friend had given her a letter of recommendation to Duperret, a
Girondist deputy, by the aid of which she hoped to get into the
presence of Marat. She had arranged a plan for the assassination of
the brawling fanatic, and it was to take place at the celebration of
the anniversary of the destruction of the Bastille, July 14th, on
the Champ de Mars. She desired to do the deed as publicly as
possible, not to make it sensational, but in order to produce the
stronger impression upon the minds of the people. The postponement
of the celebration, for the suppression of the rebellion among the
Vendeans, prevented the execution of her first plan, and she then
decided to strike down her victim in his seat at the "summit of the
mountain," in the midst of the victim's accomplices. Then she
learned that Marat was confined to his lodgings by his malady. She
promptly determined to confront him in his own home.

She wrote a note to him, professing to be a sufferer at the hands of
the Girondists, asking for an appointment at his house. He made it,
but was unable to keep it. She wrote another note, and then went to
the house in the Rue de l'École de Médecine, now a part of the
Boulevard St. Germain. The woman with whom Marat lived refused to
admit her, and she crowded up a short stairway. Her intended victim
heard the altercation, and suspecting it was the person who had sent
him two notes, he called out to Catherine Everard to admit her.
Charlotte had visited the Palais Royal and purchased a knife, which
was concealed in her bosom in readiness to do the deed.

Marat, though at the height of his pernicious influence, lived in
mean and squalid apartments, in a sort of pride of poverty as "the
friend of the people." In spite of his disease, which compelled him
to work in a bath, he was always busy. The room was littered with
papers and pamphlets. He was only five feet in height, with a
naturally disagreeable face, increased by his malady. At the very
time his visitor entered his den, he was making out on a board
before him a list of Girondists to be executed. She would not look
at him, but she told him a story she had invented, and gave him the
names of Girondist refugees at Caen; to which he replied as he wrote
them down, that "they should have the guillotine before they were a
week older."

At these words, as though they had steeled her arm, she drew the
knife from her bosom, and with superhuman power, plunged it to the
hilt and to the heart of Marat. He called for help and then expired.
Assistance came, and the house was thronged with National Guards and
policemen. They were necessary to save the murderess from the fury
of those who forced their way into the house. She was arrested, and
conveyed in the same carriage in which she had come to the
Conciergerie. All Paris groaned and howled.

She had the form of a trial, and the guillotine quickly followed it.
Her fortitude did not forsake her at any time, and she died as
firmly as any martyr ever went to the stake. Her beauty and her
heroism excited the sympathy of the crowd, but they could not save
her. She was a mistaken heroine, but her courage and fortitude were

[Signature: William S. Adams.]


         [Footnote 7: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Madame Roland.]

France has produced many remarkable women; perhaps no other country
can boast such an array of illustrious names; they shine from the
pages of French history like fixed stars from the firmament. Among
them, down the long vista of a hundred years, brilliant and
beautiful, shines the name of Madame Roland, the spirit of the great
French Revolution personified.

Striking beauty, great genius, and wonderful courage in the hour of
martyrdom, rendered this woman an unusual character in an unusual
epoch. Surrounded by deceit, she was honest and fearless. In the
midst of immorality and license, she was pure, and brave enough to
resist temptation which came from without and from within, and she
went to the scaffold with an untarnished name and soul.

Manon Philipon, as Madame Roland was known in her childhood, was
born in Paris in the year 1754. Her father was a worker in enamel,
who thrived well enough in his art when he was content to toil at
it, but a restless spirit of speculation led him into ventures which
brought him neither profit nor renown.

Manon's beauty was a direct inheritance from both father and mother.
Gratien Philipon was a handsome man, and vain and frivolous as he
was handsome; but his beautiful wife was serious-minded, and much
the superior of her husband in intellect as well as morals. Of seven
children born to this couple, only one lived--Manon, the subject of
our sketch--who inherited the combined beauty of both parents, with
the rectitude and high ideals of the mother. But there lies no
explanation of inheritance from either father or mother to make us
understand how the child of these common people became at nine years
of age a student of Plutarch, Tasso, and Voltaire, and a philosopher
at the age of eleven. It requires a deeper law than that of heredity
to explain these things.

At ten, Manon developed a strongly religious tendency, which was
fostered, no doubt, by daily studying the "Lives of the Saints."
While reading the accounts of martyrs who had died at the stake
rather than resign their faith, the child often regretted that she
had not lived in those "good old days," so happy a thing it seemed
to her to die for one's principles. This privilege was granted her
in after-years, strangely enough; and she proved as courageous in
reality as she had in childhood imagined herself capable of being
under similar circumstances.

Manon's religious feelings were culminated by a request made to her
mother, in a paroxysm of tears, that she might be placed in a
convent to prepare herself for her first communion; accordingly, she
was taken to the Convent of the "Sisters of the Congregation" in
May, 1765, when she was eleven years old. Side by side with this
nunnery, where the precocious child passed one of the happiest
epochs of her life, stood the prison which was to immure her in
later years. Should such a circumstance and situation be unfolded in
the pages of fiction, we would call it strained and unnatural.

During the year Manon passed in the convent, she made the
acquaintance of two sisters, Henrietta and Sophie Cannet, who were
allied to the nobility; and she afterward attributed her facility in
writing to the correspondence with the younger of these sisters,
which continued without interruption over more than a decade of
years. In her memoirs, written under the shadow of the guillotine,
she says, "In the gloom of a prison, in the midst of political
storms, how shall I recall to my mind, and how describe, the
rapture, the tranquillity I enjoyed at that period; but when I
review the events of my life, I find it difficult to assign to
circumstances that variety and that plenitude of affection which
have so strongly marked every point of its duration, and left me so
clear a remembrance of every place at which I have been."

After she left the convent, she found her passion for reading
unabated, and as her father's library was limited, she was obliged
to borrow and hire books; from these she made copious extracts and
abstracts which formed her valuable habit of reflection upon what
she had read.

Her first feelings of contempt and bitterness toward the aristocrats
were roused by the air of condescension which the Cannets exhibited
to her in her occasional visits to Sophie. They were stupid and
arrogant people, but they made her realize that the daughter of an
artisan was not on equal footing with people allied to the nobility,
albeit she was a prodigy of beauty, learning, and talent, and they
the dullest of beings.

"I endeavored," she says, "to think with hope that everything was
right, but my pride told me things were ordered better in a
republic." So, as early as at the age of fourteen, we find this
remarkable being philosophizing upon republics, and taking part in
mind against the evils and injustice fostered by monarchies.

Madame Roland wandered from prescribed creeds, and became a liberal
in her religious ideas. She has been called an Atheist, but every
line she writes, and her life of self-sacrifice, disprove this
assertion. Her "one prayer," to which she says she confined herself,
is, to my mind, sublime with beautiful and practical religion.

"O Thou who hast placed me on the earth, enable me to fulfil my
destination in the manner most conformable to the Divine will, and
most beneficial to my fellow-creatures."

I can imagine no more perfect religious faith, no more complete
submission to, and acknowledgment of, a Supreme Power than this
prayer contains. It strikes me as far more devout and respectful
than the prayers of many people who endeavor to dictate to God and
direct Him what to do and what not to do, what to bestow and what to

She writes of her religious agitations with great reluctance to
Sophie Cannet, fearful of disturbing the serenity of her friend's
convictions; but she continued to conform to her mother's religious
ideas during that good woman's life, and even afterward she kept up
the forms of Catholicism for the sake of a valued family servant who
was devoted to her.

This delicate consideration of the feelings of others has been
mistaken by some bigoted minds for deceit or vacillation on the part
of Madame Roland; as if such a being were capable of either.

We owe all our knowledge of her early private life to the voluminous
correspondence between her and Sophie Cannet; to this friend she
wrote those long, journal-like letters, in which one young girl
often pours out the inmost secrets of her heart and soul to another;
but, unlike the letters of the ordinary girl, Manon's contained
criticisms of the books she had read, and discussions of
philosophical subjects, which bear evidence to her wonderful
precocity of thought and feeling in her "teens."

Originality, unselfishness, genius of the rarest order, are all
displayed in these letters; already had her mind grasped some great
truths which it requires the average philosopher half a century to
discover, when at seventeen, she says, "Man is the epitome of the
universe. The revolutions of the world without are an image of those
which take place in his own soul."

Upon the news of the mortal illness of Louis XV., she writes to
Sophie this strongly humanitarian passage: "Although the obscurity
of my birth, name, and position seem to preclude me from taking any
interest in the government, yet the common weal touches me in spite
of it. My country is something to me, and the love I bear it is
unquestionable. How could it be otherwise when nothing in the world
is indifferent to me? A love of humanity unites me to everything
that breathes. A Caribbean interests me; the fate of a Kaffir goes
to my heart. Alexander wished for more worlds to conquer. I could
wish for more to love."

In spite of her philosophy, her seriousness, and her learning,
however, Manon Philipon was a girl, and a charming one; and we learn
in her letters to Sophie how she was pestered with lovers of low and
high degree, during her long maidenhood. I might better say with
proposals for her hand, since, as we know, French custom does not
permit the "love-making" which American girls consider their natural

Manon was so beautiful, brilliant, and magnetic, that when she went
out to promenade with her father, she was greeted with admiring
glances and remarks; and from the fruit vender of whom she made
occasional purchases, and the butcher who served the family with
joints, to dancing and drawing masters, up along the line to
merchants, professional, and literary men, she seemed to fascinate
and attract with no effort on her own part.

Each one in turn asked for her hand and was rejected; and a host of
others followed, to meet a similar fate, until her father threatened
to marry her to the first stranger who crossed his portal, whether
either one wished it or no. She says in her memoirs, "The
respectable character of my mother, the appearance of some fortune,
and my being an only child, made the project of matrimony a tempting
one to a number of persons who were strangers to me. The greater
part, finding it difficult to obtain an introduction, adopted the
expedient of writing to my father. These letters were always shown
to me. I wrote the answers, which my father faithfully copied. I was
much amused at acting the part of my own father, and dismissed my
suitors with dignity, leaving no room for resentment or hope. Here
began to break out those dissensions with my father which lasted
ever after. He loved and respected commerce, I despised it; and he
was much concerned at my rejection of suitors who possessed any

After the death of Madame Philipon, which occurred in her daughter's
twenty-first year, Manon's life at home became almost unbearable.
Her extreme grief impaired her health, and anxiety and mortification
were added by the excesses and frivolous extravagances into which
her father plunged. He formed associations with people of bad
character, and took to gambling. Manon strove to make herself an
agreeable companion, and to entertain him at home, but the attempt
was futile. She filled her lonely hours with study, and with writing
letters to Sophie. One day a tall, thin gentleman, bald and yellow,
past forty, and looking older, presented a letter of introduction
from Miss Cannet.

It was M. Roland, an austere philosopher, of an ancient family, to
whom Sophie had often referred. Manon admired his intellect and his
respectability; and when, after some two or three years, he made an
offer of marriage, she was ready to accept; but M. Philipon bluntly
and insolently refused his consent, through a strong personal
dislike which he had conceived for the severe moralist and

Manon could not marry against her father's wishes, but she could
leave the home now so distasteful to her. She had saved only a small
sum from her mother's fortune, amounting to about one hundred
dollars per year. With this, she retired to the Convent of the
Congregation, and shut herself up with her books, and received only
her old friends.

M. Roland, for whose sake she had taken so decisive a step, was far
from an ardent lover in his conduct at this juncture. He wrote her
affectionately, but he made no reference to his proposal of marriage
until six months had passed. Then he came to Paris, had an interview
through iron gratings, and expressed himself determined to make her
his wife. Since she had left her father's roof, she was at liberty
to accept his somewhat tardy proposal, and she emerged from the
convent to become Madame Roland.

We have seen that M. Roland was not an ardent lover, and it is
readily understood that this beautiful, intense girl, in the very
prime of young womanhood, was not in love with him. She felt only
esteem for his virtues, and admiration for his intellect. But she
was twenty-five years old, and virtually homeless; of all the score
of men who had sought her hand in marriage, no one had ever stirred
her heart, and she married, believing, no doubt, that this cold
regard and high admiration which the character of M. Roland
elicited, was all that she could feel for any man.

It was not until the thunders of the Revolution shook the world,
that her heart awoke to real passion; and even then, in a situation
where hundreds of women who have professed greater religious fervor,
have fallen, she conquered herself, and virtually died to protect
her husband's life.

During the first year of their marriage, the Rolands lived in Paris.
Manon had imagined a happy association with her friends, the
Cannets; but her husband was morbidly jealous of these friends, and
extracted a promise from her that she would see them as little as
possible. She became his amanuensis and secretary, and scarcely ever
left his side.

During the next ten years we find her passing the greater part of
her time in the Clos de la Platière, an ancient and humble
country-seat belonging to the Roland family. Here, with her taxing
domestic duties, the exactions of her husband, the care of her child
Eudora, the tyrannies of her aged mother-in-law, this wonderful
woman had little opportunity for the exercise of her talents.

It seems strange to think of this beautiful martyr, whose name is a
synonym for all that is grand and heroic, passing the best years of
her womanhood in preparing dishes for the appetite of a dyspeptic
husband, in looking after house-linen, and arranging lessons for a
child. Matilda Blind says "This affects one with something of the
ludicrous disproportion of making use of the fires of Etna to fry
one's eggs by."

Yet Madame Roland performed these and less agreeable duties as
cheerfully and as perfectly as she had performed her chosen tasks in
the convent years before. Women doctors were not known in those
days, but the genius of Madame Roland embraced a knowledge of
medicine with other things; and she often went three leagues to
relieve a sick peasant, and was ever ready to sacrifice herself for
the good of others.

There was very little happiness for her in the companionship of her
husband. He was twenty-two years her senior, and possessed an
imperious temper and an exacting nature. But the most ardent wife
could not have better performed her duty to the most lovable of

Naturally democratic in her feelings and sympathies, Madame Roland
took the keenest interest in the progress of the Revolution; from
her quiet retreat she studied its leading members, and when, in
1791, her husband was chosen deputy to the Constituent Assembly, she
accompanied him to Paris, and their apartments became the rendezvous
for such men as Brissot, Buzot, Danton, Robespierre, Pétion, and
many more, who met to confer with one another and to exchange ideas
and suggestions. Madame Roland sat apart with her embroidery and
listened. Of these meetings she speaks thus in her "Memoirs": "Good
ideas were started and excellent principles maintained; but there
was no path marked out, no determinate point toward which each
person should direct his views. Sometimes for very vexation, I could
have boxed the ears of these philosophers."

Had not her sex precluded this silent spirit of the Girondists from
taking part in these counsels, if, instead of acting second hand
through her husband, she could have taken the lead, as her genius,
perception, honesty, and courage entitled her to do, who knows that
she might not have averted the disasters which befell the party
through its dissensions.

In March, 1792, Roland was elected minister of the interior; and
Madame Roland presided over the establishment that had been
sumptuously fitted up for Madame Necker. Roland became the idol of
the patriotic party, and was enchanted with his excellent position.
He urged upon King Louis XVI., in whom he reposed great faith, the
necessity of a decree against the priesthood, and the establishment
of a camp in the suburbs of Paris. Louis demurred, Roland insisted
in the famous letter written by his wife, and placed in the king's
hands June 11th. This letter became immensely popular. The Assembly
ordered it to be printed and copies sent to all departments,
together with expressions of national regret at the discharge of
Roland and his friends, which the letter caused. But they were
recalled to office after the dreadful August 10th.

Twice a week Madame Roland gave a dinner to fifteen of her husband's
colleagues, with whom he wished to converse. No other lady was
present. The Girondists were at the apex of society, and Madame
Roland was the life and impetus of the party. She endeavored to
infuse its members with her hatred of false pride and old
prejudices, and with her desire to establish a liberal democracy.
Always enthusiastic, and vexed with the lack of unity and direct
purpose in the Assembly, she was over-zealous in some of her

Among the brilliant men whom she entertained at these dinners, was
one, young, handsome, elegant, and refined, whose many manly
qualities woke in her heart that long-delayed passion which a nature
so ardent must sometime feel. This man was Buzot; and he was as
irresistibly drawn to this beautiful, brilliant woman as the magnet
to the steel.

Madame Roland was at this time thirty-eight years old; her brilliant
color and her open expression made her look much younger, and her
tall, finely developed form, her splendid eyes and engaging smile,
charmed and attracted all who came near her. But though domestic
life and morality were held at the lowest possible value in those
chaotic days, and each man made a law for himself, Madame Roland
never wavered in her loyalty and devotion to the man whose name she
bore. Only through her remarkable letters written to Buzot from her
prison cell, and never made public till 1863, does the glory and
intensity of her hopeless passion display itself.

From the very first, Madame Roland had distrusted Danton. It was not
long before her intuitions proved correct, for Danton soon showed
his jealousy and dislike of the minister, whom he found too honest
to tamper with. He feared, too, the penetration, frankness, and
genius of Roland's wife. Men who saw the insidious, selfish
qualities of Danton, began to cultivate and conciliate him out of
fear of his enmity.

Robespierre, whom Madame Roland had at first believed in as an
honest friend to liberty, became an ally of Danton and Marat, and
Roland soon realized that it was not the monarchists he had to
contend against, but the new party headed by these dissenting
Girondists, who were savage with a thirst for human blood.

The Rolands were accused of trying to establish an aristocracy of
talent on the ruins of a monarchical aristocracy; their semi-weekly
dinners were represented as sumptuous feasts where, like a new
Circe, Madame Roland strove to corrupt the unfortunates who partook
of her banquets.

She was called before the Convention December 7th, to listen to the
charges against her; her eloquence won the admiration of even her
enemies. But her safety was in danger, and she was obliged to sleep
with a pistol under her pillow for fear of the outrages of
desperadoes who lurked about her house.

The strife between the two parties grew more bitter, and the
downfall of Roland had been determined upon by his savage opponents,
once his fawning friends and colleagues. An attempt was made to
arrest Roland by six armed men, deputies of the Insurrectionists. He
replied that he did not recognize their authority, and refused to
follow them. Madame Roland at once set off for the Tuileries, where
the Insurrectionists, more cruel and blood-thirsty than the deposed
Monarchists, were in session. At the door the sentinels forbade her
to enter. Obliged to return home without having been enabled to
address the Convention, as she hoped to do, she found that her
husband had taken refuge in the house of a friend.

She sought him out, embraced him, and returned once more to the
Tuileries in another vain hope of arousing their former friends to
resolute action. But she was obliged to return to her apartment in
the evening, without having accomplished anything. Late that night
she was torn from her child and her home, and cast into the Prison
of the Abbaye, from which she was set at liberty a month later, and
wild with happiness, allowed to reach her own door; but as she
attempted to enter she was again seized and conveyed to the Prison
of Sainte Pélagie. The respite had only been given in malice to
render her second incarceration more bitter.

Under the same roof were murderers and women of the town; and in the
morning, when the cell-doors were opened, the scum of the earth, as
one authority tells us, collected in the corridor. On each side of
this corridor (the only place where the prisoners could take
exercise) were small cells, and one of these, separated only by thin
walls from the most depraved beings, whose vile language was
constantly audible to her ears, this refined and elegant woman was
forced to occupy. She suffered acutely from this proximity to
depravity and vulgarity at first; but ere long she transformed the
vicinity in which her cell was situated "from an inferno to an oasis
of peace." When she walked in the corridor, where at first she was
pointed at, abused and reviled, she was now surrounded by wretched
beings who clung to her skirts and regarded her as a divinity. Her
sweet voice soothed brawls, her words of courage inspired the most
hopeless. Everybody loved her, everybody desired her acquittal.

Meantime she was writing her famous "Memoirs," and the touching
letters to her husband, her child, and to Buzot. After an
imprisonment of more than six months, she was finally called before
the judge and the prosecution, and accused of being the wife of
Roland, the conspirator, the friend of his accomplices. Twenty-one
Girondists had already been executed, and she could not hope to
escape. She was condemned to death as guilty of traitorous relations
with conspirators. She heard the sentence proudly, and replied, "You
consider me worthy to share the fate of the great men whom you have
assassinated. I shall try to carry to the scaffold the courage they
have shown."

Robespierre signed her death-warrant. He had been her friend, guest,
and correspondent. She had helped him when he was unknown, defended
him when he was in need of a defender. But he sent her to the
scaffold; and on November 9, 1793, the tumbril came to convey her to
the guillotine. It had taken many others on that same day; and now
her only companion on that fatal ride was a trembling old man named
La Marche. He wept bitterly, but Madame Roland cheered him with
words of courage and strength.

When they arrived at the Place de la Concorde, she begged the
executioner to permit the "etiquette of the scaffold" to be waived,
and to allow La Marche to die first, that the sight of her death
might not accentuate his fear and misery. So to the last moment of
her life she was true to her religion of thoughtfulness for others.

Beautiful, self-possessed, and calm, she stood upon the scaffold in
the pride of her womanhood, and spoke those last immortal words as
she lifted her eyes to the statue of Liberty, "O Liberty, how many
crimes are committed in thy name."

Then the axe fell, and the assassins of the Revolution had added
another victim to their list. Seven days after this event, M. Roland
committed suicide by stabbing himself through the heart.

[Signature: Ella Wheeler Wilcox.]




[Illustration: Marie Antoinette.]

Maria Theresa, the Empress of Austria, was not highly educated; and
she was incapable of directing the studies of her children, although
by precept and example she laid the foundation of characters, all of
which became more or less remarkable. Marie Antoinette, her youngest
child, was perhaps the most neglected. She once innocently caused
the dismissal of her governess, through a confession that all the
letters and drawings shown to her mother, in proof of her
improvement, had been previously traced with a pencil. At fifteen
her knowledge of Italian, studied under Metastasio, was the only
branch of her education which had been fairly attended to, if we
except considerable conversance with the "Lives of the Saints" and
other legendary lore, the favorite fictions of monastic compilers.
Nature had, nevertheless, done much for the young archduchess; she
possessed great facility for learning, and was not slow in taking
advantage of opportunities for improvement when they were afforded.
In person she was most attractive. "Beaming with freshness," says
Madame Campan, "she appeared to all eyes more than beautiful. Her
walk partook at once of the noble character of the princesses of her
house and of the graces of the French; her eyes were mild, her smile
lovely. It was impossible to refrain from admiring her aërial
deportment; her smile was sufficient to win the heart; and in this
enchanting being, in whom the splendor of French gayety shone forth,
an indescribable but august serenity--perhaps, also, the somewhat
proud position of her head and shoulders--betrayed the daughter of
the Cæsars." Such, according to her affectionate chronicler,
appeared Marie Antoinette, when her nuptials were celebrated at
Versailles with the Dauphin of France.

Superstitious minds discovered fatal omens from the earliest years
of the hapless dauphiness. She had begun ill by first drawing breath
upon the very day of the earthquake of Lisbon; this made a great
impression on the mother, and later upon the child also. Another
incident was not less discouraging: the empress had "protected a
person named Gassner," who fancied himself inspired, and affected to
predict events. "Tell me," she said to him one day, "whether my
Antoinette will be happy?" At first Gassner turned pale and remained
silent, but, urged by the empress, and dreading to distress her by
his own fancies, he said, equivocally, "Madame, there are crosses
for all shoulders." Goethe notices that a pavilion erected to
receive Marie Antoinette and her suite in the neighborhood of
Strasburg was lined with tapestry depicting the story of Jason, "the
most fatal union" on record; and a few days later, when the young
queen arrived from Versailles to witness the rejoicings of the
people upon her marriage, she was compelled to fly, terrified, from
a scene remarkable not for festivity and happiness, but for the
variety and horror of its accidents. These circumstances threw a
gloom over the prospective triumphs of the impressionable bride; but
her nature and age were alike favorable to vivacity, and she shook
off the morbid influence.

Something of her mother's wise advice to her as to the course she
should follow in her new position has been preserved in the
following letter:


"... Do not take any recommendations; listen to no one, if you would
be at peace. Have no curiosity,--this is a fault which I fear
greatly for you; avoid all familiarity with your inferiors. Ask of
Monsieur and Madame de Noailles, and even exact of them, under all
circumstances, advice as to what, as a foreigner and being desirous
of pleasing the nation, you should do, and that they should tell you
frankly if there be anything in your bearing, discourse, or any
point which you should correct. Reply amiably to every one, and with
grace and dignity; you can if you will. You must learn to refuse....
After Strasburg you must accept nothing without taking counsel of
Monsieur and Madame de Noailles; and you should refer to them every
one who would speak to you of his personal affairs, saying frankly
that being a stranger yourself, you cannot undertake to recommend
any one to the king. If you wish you may add, in order to make your
reply more emphatic, 'The empress, my mother, has expressly
forbidden me to undertake any recommendations.' Do not be ashamed to
ask advice of any one, and do nothing on your own responsibility....
In the king you will find a tender father who will also be your
friend if you deserve it. Put entire confidence in him; you will run
no risk. Love him, obey him, seek to divine his thoughts; you cannot
do enough on this moment when I am losing you.... Concerning the
dauphin I shall say nothing; you know my delicacy on this point. A
wife should be submissive in everything to her husband, and should
have no thought but to please him and do his will.... The only true
happiness in this world lies in a happy marriage; I know whereof I
speak. Everything depends on the wife if she be yielding, sweet, and
amusing.... I counsel you, my dear daughter, to reread this letter
on the twenty-first of every month. I beg you to be true to me on
this point. My only fear for you is negligence in your prayers and
studies; and lukewarmness succeeds negligence. Fight against it, for
it is more dangerous than a more reprehensible, even wicked state;
one can conquer that more easily. Love your family; be affectionate
to them--to your aunts as well as to your brothers-in-law and
sisters-in-law. Suffer no evil-speaking; you must either silence the
persons, or escape it by withdrawing from them. If you value your
peace of mind, you must from the start avoid this pitfall, which I
greatly fear for you knowing your curiosity....

  "Your mother,

The grand annoyance Marie Antoinette experienced upon her entrance
into the French Court, was the necessity of observing a system of
etiquette to which she had been unaccustomed, and soon pronounced,
with girlish vehemence, insupportable. Barrière copies a ridiculous
anecdote in illustration of this from the manuscript fragments of
Madame Campan: "Madame de Noailles" (this was the first lady of
honor to the dauphiness) "abounded in virtues; I cannot pretend to
deny it. Her piety, charity, and irreproachable morals rendered her
worthy of praise, but etiquette was to her a sort of atmosphere; at
the slightest derangement of the consecrated order, one would have
thought she would have been stifled, and that life would forsake her
frame. One day I unintentionally threw this poor lady into a
terrible agony. The queen was receiving I know not whom--some
persons just presented, I believe; the lady of honor, the queen's
tire-woman, and the ladies of the bed-chamber were behind the queen.
I was near the throne with the two women on duty. All was right; at
least, I thought so. Suddenly I perceived the eyes of Madame de
Noailles fixed on mine. She made a sign with her head, and then
raised her eyebrows to the top of her forehead, lowered them, raised
them again, then began to make little signs with her hand. From all
this pantomime, I could easily perceive that something was not as it
should be; as I looked about on all sides to find out what it was,
the agitation of the countess kept increasing. The queen, who
perceived all this, looked at me with a smile. I found means to
approach her Majesty, who said to me in a whisper: '_Let down your
lappets, or the countess will expire._' All this bustle arose from
two unlucky pins, which fastened up my lappets, while the etiquette
of costume said '_Lappets hanging down_.'"

To the Countess de Noailles Marie Antoinette speedily gave the name
of Madame l'Étiquette; this pleasantry the object of it could
pardon, not so the French nation. The avowed dislike to ceremony
manifested by the lively little dauphiness, her desire to substitute
the simple manners of her native Vienna for the stately formality of
Versailles, displeased more than her genuine condescension and
affability attracted. Early also in her married life, to beguile the
heavy tedium of their evenings, she instituted a variety of childish
games which became talked of and condemned; she liked theatrical
representations, and persuaded her two young brothers-in-law, with
the princesses, to join her in performing plays, and though they
were kept secret for a time, she suffered for her innocent
contrivances in public opinion. It must be remembered that Marie
Antoinette had no sincere friends upon her arrival in France, except
the Duc de Choiseul and his party, and his disgrace prevented her
deriving much benefit from the man who had first negotiated her
marriage. The house of Austria was looked upon with dislike and
doubt; nor were these, even in the case of the young dauphin's aunt,
Madame Adelaide, made a matter of concealment. Thus, at her entrance
upon public life, Antoinette was met with cynicism and prejudice,
and unfortunately her own conduct rather increased than quieted the
insidious voice--the "_bruit sourd_"--of both.

Louis XV. had manifested from the first great pleasure in the
society of his grandson's bride. After dining in his apartment at
the Tuileries, upon her arrival at Paris, she was obliged to
acknowledge the shouts of the multitude, which filled the garden
below, by presenting herself on the balcony. The Governor of Paris
had told her politely at the time, that "these were so many lovers."
Little did she think that at the very moment a strong party around
her was planning her divorce, under the supposition that the
dauphin's coldness to his bride proceeded from dislike. Louis was a
timid, though rough, youth at the time, and for a considerable
period treated the attractions which the courtiers so highly
extolled, with churlish indifference. The French king, indeed, did
his best to promote a better understanding, and when the reserve of
the dauphin once thawed, the latter became tenderly attached to her,
and greatly improved by her influence and society.

An interesting trait of this youthful pair is told, as occurring at
the moment when they might have been excused for entertaining other
and more selfish thoughts. They were expecting the intelligence of
the death of Louis XV. It had been agreed, as the disorder was one
frightfully contagious, that the court should depart immediately
upon learning it could be of no further assistance, and that a
lighted taper, placed in the window of the dying monarch's chamber,
should form a signal for the cavalcade to prepare for the journey.
The taper was extinguished; a tumult of voices and advancing feet
were heard in the outer apartment. "It was the crowd of courtiers
deserting the dead sovereign's ante-chamber, to come and bow to the
new power of Louis XVI." With a spontaneous impulse the dauphin and
his bride threw themselves upon their knees, and shedding a torrent
of tears, exclaimed, "O God! guide us, protect us; we are too young
to govern." Thus the Countess de Noailles found them as she entered,
the first to salute Marie Antoinette as Queen of France.

[Illustration: Marie Antoinette.]

For some time the young queen's liking for children was ungratified by
the possession of any of her own, and this gave rise to an amusing
attempt to adopt one belonging to others. One day, when she was
driving near Luciennes, a little peasant boy fell under the horses'
feet, and might have been killed. The queen took him to Versailles,
appointed him a nurse, and installed him in the royal apartments,
constantly seating him in her lap at breakfast and dinner. This child
afterward grew up a most sanguinary revolutionist! It was nine years
before Marie Antoinette had the blessing of any offspring; four
children were after that interval, born to her, two of whom died in
their infancy, and two survived to share their parent's subsequent
imprisonment. The sad history of her son's fate, a promising and
attractive boy, is well known.

We have seen the Austrian princess was no favorite with her
husband's nation. After a time accusations as unjust as serious
assailed her, and in the horrors of the succeeding revolution the
popular feeling evinced itself in a hundred frightful ways. Louis
XVI., a mild prince, averse to violence or bloodshed, was unfit to
stem the tide of opposition; had he possessed the energy of his
queen, the Reign of Terror had perhaps never existed. Throughout her
misfortunes, in every scene of flight, of opprobrium, and
desolation, her magnanimity and courage won, even from the ruffians
around, occasional expressions of sympathy. A harrowing and
melancholy history is hers, and one which has been often vividly
narrated; its details, also, are sufficiently recent to be still
fresh within the recollection of many. For these reasons, and
further because it seems to us a repellent, if not a mischievous,
act to amplify such records before advancing age shall have invested
them to the mind with deeper significance, we gladly pass over the
picture suggested by this dark historical page, and, resuming the
narrative where Madame de Campan drops it, content ourselves with a
description of the last scene in the terrible drama.

When this devoted woman left her royal mistress in the miserable
cell at the Convent of the Feuillans, she never again saw her.
Imprisonment, and the intense grief she experienced, more for others
than for herself, completely transformed the once beautiful queen;
her hair was prematurely silvered, like that of Mary Stuart, her
figure bowed, her voice low and tremulous. Then came the separation
from the king. Once more only did her eyes again behold him, and
after the parting between the dethroned monarch and his adoring
family, he might indeed have been able to say, "The bitterness of
death was passed." However weak at intervals, the unhappy Louis met
his death heroically. The sufferings of his wife at the time when
the guns boomed out the fearful catastrophe, may be supposed to have
been as great as the human frame has power to endure. Shortly after,
she was separated from her children and conveyed to the prison of
the Conciergerie, a damp and loathsome place, whence she was
summoned one morning in October to receive a sentence for which it
is probable she ardently longed. Let us look at her through the bars
of her prison upon her return thither after it was pronounced.

It is four o'clock in the morning. The widowed Queen of France
stands calm and resigned in her cell, listening with a melancholy
smile to the tumult of the mob outside. A faint illumination
announces the approach of day; it is the last she has to live!
Seating herself at a table she writes, with hurried hand, a last
letter of ardent tenderness to the sister of her husband, the pious
Madame Elizabeth, and to her children; and now she passionately
presses the insensible paper to her lips, as the sole remaining link
between those dear ones and herself. She stops, sighs, and throws
herself upon her miserable pallet. What! in such an hour as this can
the queen sleep? Even so!

And now look up, daughter of the Cæsars! Thou art waked from dreams
of hope and light, from the imaged embrace of thy beloved Louis, thy
tender infants, by a kind voice, choked by tears. Arise! emancipated
one, thy prison doors are open. Freedom, freedom is at hand!

Immediately in front of the palace of the Tuileries--scene of the
short months of her wedded happiness--there rises a dark, ominous
mass. Around is a sea of human faces; above, the cold frown of a
winter's sky. With a firm step the victim ascends the stairs of the
scaffold, her white garments wave in the chill breeze, a black ribbon
by which her cap is confined beats to and fro against her pale cheeks.
You may see that she is unmindful of her executioners--she glances,
nay, almost smiles, at the sharp edge of the guillotine, and then
turning her eyes toward the Temple, utters, in a few agitated words,
her last earthly farewell to Louis and her children. There is a
hush--a stillness of the grave--for the very headsman trembles as the
horrible blade falls--anon, a moment's delay. And now, look! No,
rather veil your eyes from the dreadful sight; close your ears to that
fiendish shout--_Vive la République!_ It is over! the sacrifice is
accomplished! the weary spirit is at rest!

Let us dwell upon this last mournful pageant only sufficiently far
as to imitate the virtues, and emulate the firmness and resignation
with which she met her doom. Nothing is permitted without a meaning,
all is for either warning or example; and while breathing a prayer
that Heaven may avert a recurrence of such outrages, let us remember
that moral indecision, the undue love of pleasure, and an aimless,
profitless mode of life, as surely, and not less fatally, may raise
the surging tide of events no human skill can quell, as the most
selfish abandonment to uncontrolled desires.



Andreas Hofer, a native of the village of St. Leonard, in the valley
of Passeyr, was born on November 22, 1767. During the greater part
of his life he resided peaceably in his own neighborhood, where he
kept an inn, and increased his profits by dealing in wine, corn, and
cattle. About his neck he wore at all times a small crucifix and a
medal of St. George. He never held any rank in the Austrian army;
but he had formed a secret connection with the Archduke John, when
that prince had passed a few weeks in the Tyrol making scientific
researches. In November, 1805, Hofer was appointed deputy from his
native valley at the conference of Brunnecken, and again at a second
conference, held at Vienna, in January, 1809.

[Illustration: Andreas Hofer.]

The Tyrol had for many years been an appendage of the Austrian
states, and the inhabitants had become devoted to that government;
so that when, by the treaty of Presburg, the province was
transferred to the rule of the King of Bavaria, then the ally of
Napoleon I., the peasants were greatly irritated, and their
discontent was further provoked by the large and frequent exactions
which the continual wars obliged the new government to levy on the
Tyrolese. The consequence was, that when their own neighborhood
became the theatre of military operations between Austria and
France, in the spring of 1809, a general insurrection broke out in
the Tyrol. His resolution of character, natural eloquence, and
private influence as a wealthy citizen, joined to a figure of great
stature and strength, pointed out Andreas Hofer to his countrymen as
the leader of this revolt; and with him were united Spechbacher,
Joseph Haspinger, and Martin Teimer, whose names have all become
historical. A perfect understanding was maintained between the
insurgents and their late masters, and the signal of the
insurrection was given by the Archduke John in a proclamation from
his head-quarters at Klagenfurth. An Austrian army of 10,000 men,
commanded by the Marquis Castellar, was directed to enter the Tyrol
and support the insurrection, which broke out in every quarter on
the night of April 8, 1809. The Austrian general himself crossed the
frontier at daybreak on the 9th. On their side the Bavarians marched
an army of 25,000 men into the province to quell the revolt. Hofer
and his band of armed peasantry fell upon the Bavarians while
entangled in the narrow glens, and on April 10th defeated Besson and
Lemoine at the Sterzinger Moos. The next day a troop of peasants
under Teimer took possession of Innsbrück. On the 12th Besson
surrendered with his division of 3,000 men. In a single week all the
fortresses were recovered, nearly 10,000 troops of the enemy were
destroyed, and the whole province was redeemed.

Incensed by this interruption of his plans, Napoleon despatched
three armies almost simultaneously to assail the province at three
different points. One of these forces was under the command of
Marshal Lefebvre, who, on May 12th, defeated the united army of the
Austrian soldiers, under Castellar, and the Tyrolese peasantry,
under Haspinger and Spechbacher, at Feuer Singer. The troops made a
bad use of their victory, slaughtering the inhabitants of the
villages on their route, without distinction of age or sex. The
Bavarian and French officers encouraged and took part in the
excesses of the soldiers; while the insurgents, far from
retaliating, refrained from every species of license, and nursed
their wounded prisoners with the same care as their own friends.
Hofer himself was not always present in action, his talent
consisting rather in stimulating his countrymen than in actual
fighting; but at the battle of Innsbrück (May 28, 1809), he led the
Tyrolese, exhibited both skill and daring, and defeated the
Bavarians with a loss of 4,000 men. The whole of the Tyrol was
delivered a second time. But after the battle of Wagram (July 6th),
and the armistice of Znaim which immediately followed, the Austrian
army was obliged to evacuate the Tyrol, leaving the helpless
insurgents to the mercy of an exasperated enemy. Marshal Lefebvre
now invaded the province a second time, and entered it by the road
from Salzburg, with an army of 21,000 troops, while Beaumont, having
crossed the ridge of Schnartz with a force 10,000 strong, threatened
Innsbrück from the north. On July 30th Innsbrück submitted. A series
of desperate contests followed along the line of the Brenner, mostly
with doubtful success, but in one the marshal was defeated, when
twenty-five pieces of artillery and a quantity of ammunition fell
into the hands of the Tyrolese. Again, on August 12th, Marshal
Lefebvre, with an army of 25,000 Bavarian and French soldiers, 2,000
of whom were cavalry, was totally beaten by the Tyrolese army,
consisting of 18,000 armed peasants. The battle, which was fought
near Innsbrück, is said to have lasted from six in the morning until
midnight. For a third time the Tyrol was free.

After this victory, entirely achieved by the peasantry themselves,
Hofer became the absolute ruler of the country; coins were struck
with his effigy, and proclamations issued in his name. His power,
however, scarcely lasted two months, and became the cause of his
ruin ultimately. Three veteran armies, comprising a force of nearly
50,000 French and Bavarian troops, were despatched in October to
subdue the exhausted province; and, unable to make head against
them, Hofer was obliged to take refuge in the mountains. Soon after,
a price having been set on his head, a pretended friend (a priest
named Donay) was induced to betray him, January 20, 1810. After his
arrest he was conveyed to Mantua, and the intelligence having been
communicated by telegraph to the French emperor, an order was
instantly returned that he must be tried. This order was a sentence;
and after a court-martial, at which, however, the majority were
averse to a sentence of death, Hofer was condemned to be shot. His
execution took place on February 20, 1810, his whole military career
having occupied less than forty weeks. The Emperor Francis conferred
a handsome pension upon the widow and family of Hofer, and created
Hofer's son a noble. The Austrian government also raised a marble
statue of heroic size in the cathedral of Innsbrück, where the body
of the patriot was interred; while his own countrymen have
commemorated his efforts by raising a small pyramid to mark the spot
where he was taken.

[Illustration: Andreas Hofer led to Execution.]




[Illustration: Queen Louise of Prussia.]

There is at Paretz, near Potsdam, a flower-bordered walk leading
from a grotto overlooking the Havel to an iron gate, above which is
inscribed "May 20, 1810" and the letter "L." Within the grotto an
iron table bears in golden characters, "Remember the Absent."

These words were engraved by order of Friedrich Wilhelm III. of
Prussia; and the "absent" he would have remembered--"the star of his
life, who had lighted him so truly on his darkened way"--was the
wife who died of a broken heart before reaching middle age.

Louise Augusta Wilhelmina, third daughter of Duke Charles of
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was born on March 10, 1776, in the city of
Hanover. Her mother died when she was six years old, and henceforth
she and her sister Frederica lived with their grandmother, the
Landgravine of Darmstadt, sometimes at the Burgfreiheit Palace,
sometimes at a château in the Herrengarten, surrounded by formal
gardens and orangeries. The girls were brought up simply, making
their own clothes, and going much among the poor. Now and then they
made expeditions to Strasburg or the Vosges Mountains; and, when the
Emperor Leopold was crowned at Frankfort, the Frau von Goethe housed
them hospitably, and was highly entertained by the glee with which
they worked a quaint sculptured pump in her courtyard. Two years
later the advance of French troops compelled them to seek refuge
with their eldest sister, the reigning Duchess of Hildburghausen;
and on their homeward way they visited the Prussian head-quarters,
that the Landgravine might present them to the king. His sons were
with him, and long afterward the Crown Prince told a friend, "I felt
when I saw her, 'tis she or none on earth."

The wooing was short. On April 24, 1793, he exchanged betrothal
rings with Louise, and then rejoined his regiment. Soon after, the
Princesses of Mecklenburg went over to the camp, Louise appearing "a
heavenly vision" in the eyes of Goethe, who saw her there.

In the December of that same year Berlin, gay with flags and ablaze
with colored lamps, welcomed Duke Charles and his daughters; and on
Christmas Eve the diamond crown of the Hohenzollerns was placed on
her fair head, and in her glistening silver robe she took part in
the solemn torch procession round the White Saloon.

Then her young husband took her home to their palace in the "Unter
den Linden." They were very happy. In the sunshine of his wife's
presence the prince's spirit, crushed in childhood by a harsh tutor,
soon revived, while Louise, though the darling of the court, was
always most content when alone with him.

"Thank God! you are my wife again," he exclaimed, one day, when she
had laid aside her jewels.

"Am I not always your wife?" she asked, laughingly.

"Alas! no; too often you can be only the crown princess."

Her father-in-law never wearied of showering kindnesses on his
"Princess of Princesses." On her eighteenth birthday he asked if she
desired anything he could give. "A handful of gold for the Berlin
poor," was the prompt petition.

"And how large a handful would the birthday child like?"

"As large as the heart of the kindest of kings."

The Castle of Charlottenberg, one of his many gifts to the young
pair, proving too splendid for their simple tastes, he bought for
them the Manor of Paretz, about two miles from Potsdam. There Louise
busied herself with household affairs, while her husband gardened,
strolled over his fields, or inspected his farm stock. They played
and sang together, or read Shakespeare and Goethe, while to complete
this home-life came two baby boys: Fritz, born in October, 1795, and
Friedrich Wilhelm, in March, 1797. Someone once asked Louise if this
country existence was not rather dull. "Oh! no," she exclaimed; "I
am quite happy as the worthy lady of Paretz."

But in the late autumn of 1797 the king died, and the quiet freedom
of Paretz had to be exchanged for the restraints of court life.
Little as either of the two desired regal pomp, they played their
new parts well. Friedrich Wilhelm, stately in bearing, and
acknowledged as the handsomest man in his realm, looked every inch a
king; and if his laconic speech and caustic criticisms sometimes
gave offence, the winning gentleness of his beautiful wife more than
made amends. Nobles and citizens, statesmen, soldiers, and savants
were alike made welcome; and Louise knew instinctively how to make
each show at his best. With eager interest she discussed
Pestalozzi's ideas with his disciples; and when Gotlöeb Hiller, the
poet-son of a miner, was presented to her, she led him aside, and by
the friendly ease with which she talked of things familiar to him,
speedily banished his shyness. Indeed, ready as she was to recognize
high gifts and to learn from all able to teach, yet it was to the
obscure and suffering that her tones were most soft and gracious.
Even in trifles her thoughtfulness was unfailing. When a count and a
shoemaker were announced at the same moment, she gave audience first
to the shoemaker. "For time is more valuable to him."

[Illustration: Queen Louise visiting the Poor.]

At Dantzic she constantly wore an amber necklace, because it had
been the gift of the townsfolk. The voice which in childhood had
pleaded for the panting footman running beside her grandmother's
coach, might still be heard interceding, for when the royal carriage
was overturned near Warsaw, and the Oberk of Messterin rated the
servants, Louise interposed: "We are not hurt, and our people have
assuredly been more alarmed than we."

Sometimes the midday meal was spread beneath a forest tree, and from
far and near the peasants flocked to get "even a glimpse of her
lovely face." They followed in crowds while she and the king climbed
the Schneekoppe on foot, but loyal shouts died into awed silence
when, at the summit, Friedrich Wilhelm bared his head, and the two
standing side by side gazed at the glorious view. "That was one of
the most blessed moments of my life," Louise said afterward; "we
seemed lifted above this earth and nearer our God."

They entered the mines at Woldenberg by a swift-flowing stream, and
twenty years afterward the steersman of their boat was fond of
telling how, in the dark cavern--"The Foxes' Hole"--he saw her well
by the torchlight. "In all my life I never saw such a face. She
looked grand, as a queen should look, but gentle as a child. She
gave me with her own hands two Holland ducats. My wife wears them
when she goes to church, for what she touched is holy."

Louise had never meddled in foreign politics. She had been, she
designed to be, only the "Landesmutter," and even when the murder of
the Duc d'Enghien, seized on Prussian soil, aroused in Berlin a
storm of indignation, in which she fully shared, she yet sympathized
in the mental distress which found vent in her husband's
often-repeated words, "I cannot decide for war."

At last he did decide. In October, 1805, Napoleon ordered Bernadotte
to march his army corps through Anspach. This contemptuous comment
on Prussia's ten-years' forbearance was too much for the king's
pride. Armies were raised in Franconia, Saxony, Westphalia, and
while the excitement was at fever point the czar came to Berlin. All
his rare charm of manner was brought to bear, and at midnight, in
the presence of Louise, the two monarchs, standing with clasped
hands beside the tomb of the great Friedrich, solemnly pledged
themselves to a close alliance.

Alexander departed to lead his Russians to Moravia, and Friedrich
Wilhelm despatched a protest to the French camp; but the envoy,
Haugwitz, arriving on the eve of Austerlitz, waited the issue of the
battle, and then, withholding his packet, proposed to the victor a
fresh treaty with Prussia. There was wrath in Berlin when his doings
became known. The king at first disowned the disgraceful compact,
but Austerlitz had just taught him what Napoleon's enemies might
expect. French troops were already massing on his frontier, and in
an evil hour he broke faith with the czar! To Louise, who neither
feared foe nor deserted friend, that was a bitter time--doubly sad,
indeed, since most of the long winter was spent by the dying bed of
her youngest child. When she lost him her own strength broke down,
and the doctors ordered her away to drink the Pyrmont waters. In the
late summer she was able to rejoin her husband, and he had startling
news to tell, for war with France was close at hand.

Since Haugwitz's fatal agreement Napoleon had heaped injuries on
Prussia. Now, at least, king and people were of one mind. The young
Prussian officers sharpened their swords on the French ambassador's
window-sills, patriotic songs were hailed with thunders of applause
in street and theatre, and when the queen, clad in the uniform of
her own Hussars, rode at their head through the city, she was
greeted with passionate loyalty.

Unhappily, Friedrich Wilhelm, hitherto too tardy, was now too
precipitate. He had been passive while France crushed Austria, and
Austria, suspicious and disabled, neither could nor would assist
him. Russia, with better reason for distrust, responded generously
to his appeal, but he did not wait for her promised aid. For all his
haste, Napoleon, with 180,000 men, was nearing the Thuringian Forest
before the Prussian troops left Berlin. They were very confident,
those Prussian troops, and the shouting multitudes who watched the
well-trained artillery and cavalry defiling by, hardly dreamed of
disaster; yet it came almost at once. The Saxon corps, led by the
king's cousin, Prince Louis, pushing on too fast, was surprised and
surrounded, and the gallant young commander, the queen's dear
friend, the idol of the army, fell while rallying his men.

Louise, who had hurriedly joined the king from Weimar, could hardly
be persuaded to leave him, but on the evening of October 13th he
confided her to a cavalry escort, promising speedy tidings of the
coming battle. As she threaded the lonely passes of the Hartz
Mountains she heard the distant cannonading, and a broken sentence
now and again fell from her lips: "We know that all things work
together for good." Late in the misty October twilight she drove
into Brunswick. At Brandenburg a courier brought the news her
trembling heart awaited. All was lost! Twenty thousand Prussians lay
on the fields of Auerstadt and Jena, and the French were already in
Weimar. The king was alive, but two horses had been killed under
him. Grief-stricken, travel-worn as she was, Louise must not halt.
Before she reached Berlin her children had been sent to
Schwedt-on-Oder. She followed thither, almost terrifying them by her
changed, despairing looks. As soon as she could check her weeping,
she told her boys all she knew about Prince Louis's death. "Do not
only grieve for him. Be ready for Prussia's sake to meet death as he
met it," and then, in burning, never-forgotten words, she bade them
one day free their country and break the power of France.

There seemed only a choice between utter destruction and utter
submission, and yet when Napoleon demanded the cession of almost the
whole kingdom, Friedrich Wilhelm and his wife agreed that "only
determined resistance can save us." She was slowly rallying at
Königsberg from a fever caught in the crowded city, when the cry was
raised of the coming French. Propped by pillows, swathed in shawls,
she drove through blinding sleet to Memel, the one fortress still
left to the king. At her first halting-place the wind whistled in
through a broken window, and the melting snow dripped from the roof
on to her bed. Her companions trembled for her, but she, calm and
trustful, hailed as a good omen the sunshine which welcomed them
within the walls of Memel.

A week later Benningsen and his Russians, who had been wading
knee-deep through Polish forests and fording swollen streams, always
with 90,000 Frenchmen in hot pursuit, turned to bay amid the frozen
lakes and drifted snows of Eylau. Next day those snows for miles
around were red with blood. It was hard to tell with whom the costly
victory lay, but Napoleon despatched Bertrand to the Russian
outposts to propose an armistice, and Benningsen sent him on to
Memel, reminding the Prussian king that it could not be their
interest to grant what it was Napoleon's interest to ask. The terms
were, indeed, far easier than those offered after June; but
Friedrich Wilhelm, true to the ally who had held the field almost
single-handed through that terrible winter, would make no separate
agreement, nor did Louise receive more favorably a message to
herself, conveying Napoleon's wish to pay his court to her in her
own capital.

Though the piercing Baltic winds tried her strength greatly, she
employed herself whenever able in reading and visiting the over-full
hospitals. To a dear friend she said, "I can never be perfectly
miserable while faith in God is open to me." "Only by patient
perseverance," so she wrote to her father, "can we succeed. Sooner
or later I know we shall do so."

It was not to be yet. On June 14, 1807, Napoleon annihilated the
Russians at Friedland, and four days later Dantzic fell. Her tone
grew sadder. "We are not yet bereft of peace. My great sorrow is
being unable to hope."

As the czar could resist no longer and Napoleon desired peace, they
met at Tilsit, and there, on a covered raft moored midway in the
Niemen, arranged the outlines of a treaty. The next day Friedrich
Wilhelm, yielding to stern necessity, accepted terms "to the last
degree hard and overwhelming." The czar, believing that Louise might
move even Napoleon to clemency, her husband begged her to join him
at Tilsit. On reading this summons she burst into tears, declaring
this the hardest task ever given her to do. "With my broken wing how
can I succeed?" she pathetically asked.

Napoleon paid his respects soon after her arrival, and they met at
the stairhead. Louise, for Prussia's sake, forced herself to utter
courteous regrets that he should have to mount so steep a staircase.
He answered blandly that no difficulties were feared when striving
for a reward beyond. Then, touching her gauze robe, asked, "Is it

"Shall we speak of such trifles at such a time?" was her only reply.

He was silent; then demanded, "How could you make war on me?"

She told him that they had overrated their strength.

"And relying on the great Friedrich's fame you deceived yourselves."

Louise's clear eyes met his steadily. "Sire, resting on the great
Friedrich's fame, we might naturally deceive ourselves, if, indeed,
we wholly did so."

Then she told him that she had come to entreat him to be generous to
Prussia. He answered respectfully, but made no promise. Again, with
exceeding earnestness, she implored at least for Magdeburg, just
then Friedrich Wilhelm entered, and Napoleon abruptly took leave.

"Sire," said Talleyrand warningly to him, when they were alone,
"shall posterity say that you threw away your great conquest for the
sake of a lovely woman?"

Louise meanwhile dwelt again and again on Napoleon's words, "You ask
a great deal, but I will think about it." Yet her heart was heavy,
and when arrayed for the evening banquet in the splendid attire so
long unworn, she likened herself sadly to the old German victims
decked for sacrifice. Napoleon said of her afterward, "I knew I
should see a beautiful and dignified queen; I found the most
interesting woman and admirable queen I had ever known."

The treaty of Tilsit restored to Friedrich Wilhelm a fragment of his
kingdom, but even this was to be held by the French till after the
payment of a huge indemnity. Napoleon's threat that he would make
the Prussian nobles beg their bread had hardly been a vain one, for
the unhappy Prussians had to feed, lodge, and clothe every French
soldier quartered in their land. Dark as was the outlook, Louise was
upheld by loving pride in her husband. "After Eylau he might have
deserted a faithful ally. This he would not do. I believe his
conduct will yet bring good fortune to Prussia."

To help forward that good fortune they sold most of the crown lands
and the queen's jewels, and had the gold plate melted down. Amid
their heavy anxieties and pains they were not wholly unhappy, these
two, who loved each other so entirely. "My Louise," the king said to
her one day, "you have grown yet dearer to me in this time of
trouble, for I more fully know the treasure I possess."

She, too, could write of him, "The king is kinder to me than ever, a
great joy and reward after a union of fourteen years." Still those
about her told of sleepless nights when prayer was her only relief.
Her eyes had lost their brightness, her cheeks were pale, her step
languid. By the Christmas of 1808 the last French soldier had
quitted Prussian soil; but it was not deemed safe for the royal
family to return at once to Berlin, and they spent the summer at
Hufen, near Königsberg. Parents and children were constantly
together, and the mother taught herself to believe that the sharp
trials of those years would tell for good on her boys and girls. "If
they had been reared in luxury and prosperity they might think that
so it must always be."

It was not till the end of 1809 that the exiles turned their faces
homeward. They travelled slowly, for the queen was still feeble.
Everywhere a glad welcome greeted them; and on December 23d, the day
on which, sixteen years before, she had entered the capital a
girl-bride, Louise drove through its familiar streets in a carriage
presented to her by the rejoicing citizens. Her father was waiting
at the palace gate. He helped her to alight and led her in. Three
years had gone by since she last crossed the threshold of her home,
and what years they had been! Nor was the return all joy, for she
knew and dreaded the changes she would find there. Napoleon and his
generals had not departed empty handed. They had stripped the rooms
of paintings and statues, of manuscripts and antiquities.

As the doors closed a great shout arose from the vast crowd before
the palace. Presently she appeared in the balcony, and all saw the
traces of long anguish in the lovely face, now bright with grateful

After a solemn service in the Dom, the king and queen drove through
the illuminated city to the opera-house. "The queen sat beside her
husband"--so wrote Fouqué afterward--"and as she talked she often
raised her eyes to him with a very touching expression.... Our
beloved queen has thanked us with tears. Bonaparte has dimmed those
heavenly eyes ... and we must do all we can to make them sparkle

The bare walls, the empty cabinets of the palace, accorded with the
almost ascetic habits now maintained there. Self-denial was made
easy by one belief, that Prussia would arise from her great
suffering stronger than before. The king and queen were not left to
work alone toward that high end. Able generals replaced those who,
through treachery or faint-heartedness, had surrendered the
fortresses. Stein, now chief minister, curtailed the rights of the
nobles, and gave the serfs an interest in guarding the soil they
tilled; while Scharnhorst, by an ingenious evasion of Napoleon's
edict limiting the Prussian army, contrived to have 200,000 men
rapidly drilled and trained. The universities founded at Berlin and
Breslau became the head-quarters of secret societies for the
deliverance of the Fatherland. Princes and professors, merchants
ruined by the Berlin decrees, and peasants ground down by French
exactions, joined the Jugendbund, and implicitly obeyed the orders
of its unseen heads. Through town and country spread that vast
brotherhood, fired by the songs of Tieck and Arnim to live or die
for Prussia.

And Louise watched thankfully the dawning promise of better days,
"though, alas! we may die before they come."

Perhaps that sad presentiment haunted her husband too. If she jested
with her children he would say wistfully, "The queen is quite
herself to-day. What a blessing it will be if her mind recovers its
joyous tone!"

That spring Louise was attacked by spasms of the heart. They did not
last long, and when the court moved to Potsdam she seemed to regain
strength, and showed much interest in discussing with Bishop Eylert
how best to train her boys so that they might serve their country.
Though very weak, she accompanied her family to Hohengieritz, the
king perforce returning to Berlin. The loving eyes that watched her
saw signs of amendment, but early on Monday, July 16th, the spasms
recurred. For hours no remedies availed. She could only gasp for
"Air! air!" and when the sharp pain had passed lay exhausted, now
murmuring a few words of some hymn learnt as a child, faintly
thanking God for each solace sent her, or entreating her grandmother
to rest. No complaint passed her lips; she was only "very, very

They told her that couriers had been despatched for the king, and
she asked anxiously, "Will he soon come?" Before dawn he came,
bringing the two elder boys. For those who tried to cheer him he had
only one mournful reply: "If she were not mine she might recover." A
gleam of joy lighted her pale face when he came to her bedside, but
perceiving his emotion she asked, "Am I then so very ill?" Unable to
reply, he hurriedly left the room, and she said to those standing
by, "His embrace was so wild, so fervent, that it seemed as though
he would take leave of me. Tell him not to do that, or I shall die
at once."

He returned bringing in the children.

"My Fritz! my Wilhelm!" She had only time for one long gaze, and
then the agonizing pain came again. One of the doctors tried to
raise her, but she sank back. "Only death can help me;" and as all
watched in breathless silence, she leaned her head against the
shoulder of a faithful attendant, murmured, "Lord Jesus, shorten
it!" and with one deep-drawn breath passed away.




[Illustration: James Watt.]

James Watt was born at Greenock, January 19, 1736. He was the fourth
child in a family which, for a hundred years, had more or less
professed mathematics and navigation. His constitution was delicate,
and his mental powers were precocious. He was distinguished from an
early age by his candor and truthfulness; and his father, to
ascertain the cause of any of his boyish quarrels, used to say, "Let
James speak; from him I always hear the truth." James also showed
his constructive tastes equally early, experimenting on his
playthings with a set of small carpenter's tools, which his father
had given him. At six he was still at home. "Mr. Watt," said a
friend to the father, "you ought to send that boy to school, and not
let him trifle away his time at home." "Look what he is doing before
you condemn him," was the reply. The visitor then observed the child
had drawn mathematical lines and figures on the hearth, and was
engaged in a process of calculation. On putting questions to him, he
was astonished at his quickness and simplicity. "Forgive me," said
he, "this child's education has not been neglected; this is no
common child."

[Illustration: Watt discovering the Condensation of Steam.]

Watt's cousin, Mrs. Marian Campbell, describes his inventive capacity
as a story-teller, and details an incident of his occupying himself
with the steam of a tea-kettle, and by means of a cup and a spoon
making an early experiment in the condensation of steam. To this
incident she probably attached more importance than was its due, from
reverting to it when illustrated by her after-recollections. Out of
this story, reliable or not in the sense ascribed to it, M. Arago
obtained an oratorical point for an _éloge_, which he delivered to the
French Institute. Watt may or may not have been occupied as a boy with
the study of the condensation of steam while he was playing with the
kettle. The story suggests a possibility, nothing more; though it has
been made the foundation of a grave announcement, the subject of a
pretty picture, and will ever remain a basis for suggestive

Watt was sent to a commercial school, where he was provided with a
fair outfit of Latin and with some elements of Greek; but
mathematics he studied with greater zest, and with proportionate
success. By the time he was fifteen, he had read twice, with grave
attention, Gravesande's "Elements of Natural Philosophy;" and "while
under his father's roof he went on with various chemical
experiments, repeating them again and again, until satisfied of
their accuracy from his own observations." He even made himself a
small electrical machine, about 1750-53; no mean performance at that
date, since, according to Priestley's "History of Electricity," the
Leyden phial itself was not invented until the years 1745-46.

His pastime lay chiefly in his father's marine store, among the
sails and ropes, the blocks and tackle: or by the old gray gateway
of the Mansion House on the hill above Greenock, where he would
loiter away hours by day, and at night lie down on his back and
watch the stars through the trees.

At this early age Watt suffered from continual and violent
headaches, which often affected his nervous system for many days,
even weeks; and he was similarly afflicted throughout his long life.
He seldom rose early, but accomplished more in a few hours' study
than ordinary minds do in many days. He was never in a hurry, and
always had leisure to give to his friends, to poetry, romance, and
the publications of the day; he read indiscriminately almost every
new book he could procure. He assisted his father in his business,
and soon learned to construct with his own hands several of the
articles required in the way of his parent's trade; and by means of
a small forge, set up for his own use, he repaired and made various
kinds of instruments, and converted, by the way, a large silver coin
into a punch-ladle, as a trophy of his early skill as a metal-smith.
From this aptitude for ingenious handiwork, and in accordance with
his own deliberate choice, it was decided that he should proceed to
qualify himself for following the trade of a mathematical instrument
maker. He accordingly went to Glasgow, in June, 1754, and from
there, after a year's stay, he proceeded for better instruction to

On Watt's arrival in the metropolis, he sought a situation, but in
vain, and he was beginning to despond, when he obtained work with
one John Morgan, an instrument-maker, in Finch Lane, Cornhill. Here
he gradually became proficient in making quadrants, parallel rulers,
compasses, theodolites, etc., until, at the end of a year's
practice, he could make "a brass sector with a French joint, which
is reckoned as nice a piece of framing work as is in the trade."
During this interval he contrived to live upon eight shillings a
week, exclusive of his lodging. His fear of the press-gang and his
bodily ailments, however, led to his quitting London in August,
1756, and returning to Scotland, after investing twenty guineas in
additional tools.

At Glasgow, through the intervention of Dr. Dick, he was first
employed in cleaning and repairing some of the instruments belonging
to the college; and, after some difficulty, he received permission
to open a shop within the precincts as "mathematical instrument
maker to the University." Here Watt prospered, pursuing alike his
course of manual labor and of mental study, and especially extending
his acquaintance with physics; endeavoring, as he said, "to find out
the weak side of nature, and to vanquish her." About this time he
contrived an ingenious machine for drawing in perspective; and from
fifty to eighty of these instruments, manufactured by him, were sent
to different parts of the world. He had now procured the friendship
of Dr. Black and another University worthy, John Robison, who, in
stating the circumstances of his first introduction to Watt, says:
"I saw a workman, and expected no more; but was surprised to find a
philosopher as young as myself, and always ready to instruct me."

It was some time in 1764 that the professor of natural philosophy in
the University desired Watt to repair a pretty model of Newcomen's
steam-engine. Like everything which came into Watt's hands, it soon
became an object of most serious study.

The interesting little model, as altered by the hand of Watt, was
long placed beside the noble statue of the engineer in the Hunterian
Museum at Glasgow. Watt himself, when he had got the bearings of his
invention, could think of nothing else but his machine, and
addressed himself to Dr. Roebuck, of the Carron Iron-works, with the
view of its practical introduction to the world. A partnership
ensued, but the connection did not prove satisfactory. Watt went on
with his experiments, and in September, 1766, wrote to a friend: "I
think I have laid up a stock of experience that will _soon_ pay me
for the trouble it has cost me." Yet it was between eight and nine
years before that invaluable experience was made available, so as
either to benefit the public or repay the inventor; and a much
longer term elapsed before it was possible for that repayment to be
reckoned in the form of substantial profit.

Watt now began to practise as a land-surveyor and civil engineer.
His first engineering work was a survey for a canal to unite the
Forth and Clyde, in furtherance of which he had to appear before the
House of Commons. His consequent journey to London was still more
important, for then it was that he saw for the first time the great
manufactory which Boulton had established at Soho, and of which he
was afterward himself to be the guiding intelligence. In the
meantime, among his other performances, he invented a micrometer for
measuring distances; and, what is still more remarkable, he
entertained the idea of moving canal-boats by the steam-engine
through the instrumentality of a _spiral oar_, which as nearly as
possible coincides with the screw-propeller of our day.

Watt's negotiations for partnership with Boulton were long and
tedious. Dr. Roebuck's creditors concurred because, curiously
enough, _none of them valued Watt's engine at a farthing_. Watt
himself now began to despair, and his health failed; yet in 1774,
when he had removed to Birmingham, he wrote to his father: "The
fire-engine I have invented is now going, and answers much better
than any other that has yet been made; and I expect that the
invention will be very beneficial to me."

A long series of experimental trials was, nevertheless, requisite
before the engine could be brought to such perfection as to render
it generally available to the public, and therefore profitable to
its manufacturers. In January, 1775, six years of the patent had
elapsed, and there seemed some probability of the remaining eight
running out as fruitlessly. An application which was made for the
extension of its term was unexpectedly opposed by the eloquence of
Burke; but the orator and his associates failed, and the extension
was accorded by Act of Parliament.

The first practical employment of Watt's engines to any considerable
extent was in the mining districts of Cornwall, where he himself
was, in consequence, compelled to spend much of his time subsequent
to 1775. Here he had to contend not only with natural obstacles in
the dark abysses of deeply flooded mines, but with a rude and
obstinate class of men as deeply flooded by inveterate prejudices.
The result in the way of profit was not, however, satisfactory,
notwithstanding the service to the mining interest was enormous. "It
appears," says Watt, in 1780, "by our books, that Cornwall has
hitherto eat up all the profits we have drawn from it, and all we
have got by other places, and a good sum of our own money to the

At this stage Watt himself was more fertile in mechanical inventions
than in any other portion of his busy life. Taking his patents in
their chronological order, the first (subsequent to that of 1769)
was "For a new method of copying letters and other writings
expeditiously," by means of copying _presses_. Of the same date was
his invention of a machine "for drying linen and muslin by steam."
On October 25, 1781, he took out his third patent (the second of the
steam-engine series), "for certain new methods of applying the
vibrating or reciprocating motion of steam or fire engines, to
produce a continued rotative motion round an axis or centre, and
thereby to give motion to the wheels of mills or other machines."
One of these methods was that commonly known as the _sun-and-planet
wheels_; they were five in all. A favorite employment of his in the
workshops at Soho, in the later months of 1783 and earlier ones of
1784, was to teach his steam-engine, now become nearly as docile as
it was powerful, to work a tilt-hammer for forging iron and making
steel. "Three hundred blows per minute--a thing never done before,"
filled him, as his biographer says, with feelings of excusable
pride. Another patent in the steam-engine series, taken out in 1784,
contained, besides other methods of converting a circular or angular
motion into a perpendicular or rectilineal motion, the well-known
and much-admired _parallel motion_, and the application of the
steam-engine to give motion to wheel-carriages for carrying persons
and goods. To ascertain the exact number of strokes made by an
engine during a given time, and thereby to check the cheats of the
Cornish miners, Watt also invented the "Counter," with its several
indexes. Among his leading improvements, introduced at various
periods, were the _throttle-valve_, the application of the
_governor_, the _barometer_ or float, the _steam-gauge_, and the
indicator. The term during which he seems to have thus combined the
greatest maturity with the greatest activity of intellect, and the
portion of his life which they comprehended, was from his fortieth
to his fiftieth year. Yet it was a term of increased suffering from
his acute sick-headaches, and remarkable for the infirmities over
which he triumphed; notwithstanding, he himself complained of his
"stupidity and want of the inventive faculty."

Watt's chemical studies in 1783, and the calculations they involved
from experiments made by foreign chemists, induced him to make a
proposal for a philosophical _uniformity of weights and measures_;
and he discussed this proposal with Priestley and Magellan. While
Watt was examining the constituent parts of water, he had
opportunities of familiar intercourse not only with Priestley, but
with Withering, Keir, Edgeworth, Galton, Darwin, and his own
partner, Boulton--all men above the average for their common
interest in scientific inquiries. Dr. Parr frequently attended their
meetings, and they kept up a correspondence with Sir William
Herschel, Sir Joseph Banks, Dr. Solander, and Afzelius. Mrs.
Schimmelpenninck, who was greatly given to physiognomical studies,
has left us this picture of Watt at this period.

"Mr. Boulton was a man to rule society with dignity; Mr. Watt, to
lead the contemplative life of a deeply introverted and patiently
observant philosopher. He was one of the most complete specimens of
the melancholic temperament. His head was generally bent forward, or
leaning on his hand in meditation; his shoulders stooping, and his
chest falling in; his limbs lank and unmuscular, and his complexion
sallow. His intellectual development was magnificent; comparison and
causality immense, with large ideality and constructiveness,
individuality, an enormous concentrativeness and caution.

"He had a broad Scottish accent; gentle, modest, and unassuming
manners; yet, when he entered a room, men of letters, men of
science, nay, military men, artists, ladies, even little children,
thronged round him. Ladies would appeal to him on the best means of
devising grates, curing smoky chimneys, warming their houses, and
obtaining fast colors. I can speak from experience of his teaching
me how to make a dulcimer and improve a Jew's harp."

In the year 1786, Watt and Boulton visited Paris, on the invitation
of the French Government, to superintend the erection of certain
steam-engines, and especially to suggest improvements in the great
hydraulic machine of Marly, which Watt himself designates a
"venerable" work. In Paris Watt made many acquaintances, including
Lavoisier, Laplace, Fourcroy, and others scarcely less eminent; and
while here he discussed with Berthollet a new method of _bleaching_
by chlorides, an invention of the latter which Watt subsequently
introduced into England.

Meanwhile Watt had vigilantly to defend his patents at home, which
were assailed by unworthy and surreptitious rivals as soon as it was
proved that they were pecuniarily valuable. Some of the competing
engines, as Watt himself described them, were simply asthmatic.
"Hornblower's, at Radstock, was obliged to stand still once every
ten minutes to snore and snort." "Some were like Evan's mill, _which
was a gentlemanly mill_; it would go when it had nothing to do, but
it refused to work." The legal proceedings, both in equity and at
common law, which now became necessary, were numerous. One bill of
costs, from 1796 to 1800, amounted to between £5,000 and £6,000; and
the mental and bodily labor, the anxiety and vexation, which were
superadded, involved a fearful tax on the province of Watt's

With the year 1800 came the expiration of the privilege of the
patent of 1769, as extended by the statute of 1775; and also the
dissolution of the original copartnership of Messrs. Boulton and
Watt, then of five-and-twenty years' duration. The contract was
renewed by their sons, the business having become so profitable that
Watt and his children were provided with a source of independent
income; and at the age of sixty-four the great inventor had
personally realized some of the benefits he contemplated.

Henceforth Watt's ingenuity became excursive, discretionary, almost
capricious; but in every phase and form it continued to be
beneficent. In 1808 he founded a prize in Glasgow College, as an
acknowledgment of "the many favors that learned body had conferred
upon him." In 1816 he made a donation to the town of Greenock, "to
form the beginning of a scientific library" for the instruction of
its young men. Nor, amid such donations, were others wanting on his
part, such as true religion prescribes, to console the poor and
relieve the suffering.

In 1816, on a visit to Greenock, Watt made a voyage in a steamboat
to Rothsay and back again. In the course of this experimental trip
he pointed out to the engineer of the boat the method of "backing"
the engine. With a foot-rule he demonstrated to him what he meant.
Not succeeding, however, he at last, under the impulse of the ruling
passion (and we must remember he was then eighty), threw off his
overcoat, and putting his hand to the engine himself, showed the
practical application of his lecture. Previously to this, the
"backstroke" of the steamboat engine was either unknown or not
generally known. The practice was to stop the engine entirely a
considerable time before the vessel reached the point of mooring, in
order to allow for the gradual and natural diminution of her speed.

With regard to the application of steam power to _locomotion on
land_, it is remarkable enough that, when Watt's attention was first
directed, by his friend Robison, to the steam-engine, "he (Robison)
at that time drew out an idea of applying the power to the moving of
wheel-carriages." "But the scheme," adds Watt, "was not matured, and
was soon abandoned on his going abroad."

In 1769, however, when he heard that a linen-draper, one Moore, had
taken out a patent for moving wheel-carriages by steam, he replied:
"If linen-draper Moore does not use my engine to drive his chaises,
he can't drive them by steam." In the specification of his patent of
1784, he even described the principles and construction of
"steam-engines which are applied to give motion to wheel-carriages
for removing persons or goods, or other matters, from place to
place," and in 1786, Watt himself had a steam-carriage "of some size
under hand;" but his most developed plan was to move such carriages
"on a hard smooth plane," and there is no evidence to show that he
ever anticipated the union of the rail and wheel.

Among Watt's mechanical recreations, soon after the date of the last
of his steam-engine patents, were four plans of making lamps, which
he describes in a letter to Argand; and for a long time lamps were
made at Soho upon his principles, which gave a light surpassing,
both in steadiness and brilliancy, anything of the kind that had
appeared. About a year after, in 1788, he made "a pretty instrument
for determining the specific gravities of liquids," having, he says
to Dr. Black, improved on a hint he had taken.

Watt also turned his "idle thoughts" toward the construction of an
_arithmetical machine_, but he does not appear ever to have
prosecuted this design further than by mentally considering the
manner in which he could make it perform the processes of
multiplication and division.

Early in the present century Watt devised, for the Glasgow
water-works, to bring pure spring-water across the Clyde, an
articulated suction-pipe, with joints formed on the principle of
those in a lobster's tail, and so made capable of accommodating
itself to all the actual and possible bendings at the bottom of the
river. This pipe was, moreover, executed at Soho from his plans, and
was found to succeed perfectly.

Watt describes, as his hobby, a _machine to copy sculpture_,
suggested to him by an implement he had seen and admired in Paris in
1802, where it was used for tracing and multiplying the dies of
medals. He foresaw the possibility of enlarging its powers so as to
make it capable of working even on wood and marble, to do for solid
masses and in hard materials what his copying machine of 1782 had
already done for drawings and writings impressed upon flat surfaces
of paper--to produce, in fact, a perfect fac-simile of the original
model. He worked at this machine most assiduously, and his "likeness
lathe," as he termed it, was set up in a garret, which, with all its
mysterious contents, its tools, and models included, have been
carefully preserved as he left them.

It is gratifying to find that the charm of Watt's presence was not
dimmed by age. "His friends," says Lord Jeffrey, speaking of a visit
which he paid to Scotland when upward of eighty, "in that part of
the country never saw him more full of intellectual vigor and
colloquial animation, never more delightful or more instructive." It
was then also that Sir Walter Scott, meeting him "surrounded by a
little band of northern literati," saw and heard what he felt he was
never to see or hear again--"the alert, kind, benevolent old man,
his talents and fancy overflowing on every subject, with his
attention alive to everyone's question his information at everyone's
command." Campbell, the poet, who saw him later, in the beginning
of 1819 (he was then eighty-three), describes him as so full of
anecdote, that he spent one of the most amusing days he had ever had
with him. Lord Brougham, later still, in the summer of the same
year, found his instructive conversation and his lively and even
playful manner unchanged. But in the autumn of this year, on August
19th, he expired tranquilly at his house at Heathfield. He was
buried at Handsworth. A tribute to his memory was but tardily
rendered by the nation.

Jeffrey and Arago added more elaborate tributes to Watt's genius;
and Wordsworth has declared that he looked upon him, considering his
magnitude and universality, "as perhaps the most extraordinary man
that this country has ever produced." His noblest monument is,
however, his own work.




[Illustration: Dr. Edward Jenner.]

Few of the many thousand ills which human flesh is heir to, have
spread such devastation among the family of man as small-pox. Its
universality has ranged from the untold tribes of savages to the
silken baron of civilization; and its ravages on life and beauty
have been shown in many a sad tale of domestic suffering. To stay
the destroying hand of such a scourge, which by some has been
identified with the Plague of Athens, was reserved for Edward
Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination.

The great fact can, however, be traced half a century before
Jenner's time. In the journal of John Byron, F.R.S., under date June
3, 1725, it is recorded that: "At a meeting of the Royal Society,
Sir Isaac Newton presiding, Dr. Jurin read a case of small-pox,
where a girl who had been inoculated and had been vaccinated, was
tried and had them not again; but another [a] boy, caught the
small-pox from this girl, and had the confluent kind and died."

This case occurred at Hanover. The inoculation of the girl seems to
have failed entirely; it was suspected that she had not taken the true
small-pox; doubts, however, were removed, as a boy, who daily saw the
girl, fell ill and died, "having had a very bad small-pox of the
confluent sort." This is the first use of the word _vaccination_, or,
more familiarly, cow-pox, which is an eruption arising from the
insertion into the system of matter obtained from the eruption on the
teats and udders of cows, and especially in Gloucestershire; it is
also frequently denominated _vaccine matter_; and the whole affair,
inoculation and its consequences, is called vaccination, from the
Latin _vacca_, a cow.

It is admitted that Jenner's merit lay in the scientific application
of his knowledge of the fact that the chapped hands of milkers of cows
sometimes proved a preventive of small-pox, and from those of them
whom he endeavored to inoculate resisting the infection. These results
were probably known far beyond Jenner's range, and long before his
time; for we have respectable testimony of their having come within
the observation of a Cheshire gentleman, who had been informed of them
shortly after settling on his estate in Prestbury parish, in or about
1740. This does not in the least detract from Jenner's merit, but
shows that to his genius for observation, analogy, and experiment, we
are indebted for this application of a simple fact, only incidentally
remarked by others, but by Jenner rendered the stepping-stone to his
great discovery--or, in other words, extending its benefits from a
single parish in Gloucestershire to the whole world.

We agree with a contemporary, that, "among all the names which ought
to be consecrated by the gratitude of mankind, that of Jenner stands
pre-eminent. It would be difficult, we are inclined to say
impossible, to select from the catalogue of benefactors to human
nature an individual who has contributed so largely to the
preservation of life, and to the alleviation of suffering. Into
whatever corner of the world the blessing of printed knowledge has
penetrated, there also will the name of Jenner be familiar; but the
fruits of his discovery have ripened in barbarous soils, where books
have never been opened, and where the savage does not pause to
inquire from what source he has derived relief. No improvement in
the physical sciences can bear a parallel with that which ministers
in every part of the globe to the prevention of deformity, and, in a
great proportion, to the exemption from actual destruction."

The ravages which the small-pox formerly committed are scarcely
conceived or recollected by the present generation. An instance of
death occurring after vaccination is now eagerly seized and
commented upon; yet seventy years have not elapsed since this
disease might fairly be termed the scourge of mankind, and an enemy
more extensive and more insidious than even the plague. A family
blighted in its fairest hopes through this terrible visitation was
an every-day spectacle: the imperial House of Austria lost eleven of
its offspring in fifty years. This instance is mentioned because it
is historical; but in the obscure and unrecorded scenes of life this
pest was often a still more merciless intruder.

Edward Jenner was the third son of the Vicar of Berkeley, in
Gloucestershire, where he was born, May 17, 1749. Before he was nine
years of age he showed a growing taste for natural history, in
forming a collection of the nests of the dormouse; and when at
school at Cirencester he was fond of searching for fossils, which
abound in that neighborhood. He was articled to a surgeon at
Sudbury, near Bristol, and at the end of his apprenticeship came to
London, and studied under John Hunter, with whom he resided as a
pupil for two years and formed a lasting friendship with that great
man. In 1773 he returned to his native village, and commenced
practice as a surgeon and apothecary, with great success.
Nevertheless, he abstracted from the fatigues of country practice
sufficient time to form a museum of specimens of comparative anatomy
and natural history. He was much liked, was a man of lively and
simple humor, and loved to tell his observation of nature in homely
verse; and in 1788 he communicated to the Royal Society his curious
paper on the cuckoo. At the same time he carried to London a drawing
of the casual disease, as seen on the hands of the milkers, and
showed it to Sir Everard Home and to others. John Hunter had alluded
frequently to the fact in his lectures; Dr. Adams had heard of the
cow-pox both from Hunter and Clive, and mentions it in his "Treatise
on Poisons," published in 1795, three years previous to Jenner's own
publication. Still, no one had the courage or the penetration to
prosecute the inquiry except Jenner.

Jenner now resolved to confine his practice to medicine, and
obtained, in 1792, a degree of M.D. from the University of St.

We now arrive at the great event of Jenner's life. While pursuing
his professional education in the house of his master at Sudbury, a
young countrywoman applied for advice; and the subject of small-pox
being casually mentioned, she remarked she could not take the
small-pox because she had had cow-pox; and he then learnt that it
was a popular notion in that district, that milkers who had been
infected with a peculiar eruption which sometimes occurred on the
udder of the cow, were completely secure against the small-pox. The
medical gentlemen of the district told Jenner that the security
which it gave was not perfect; and Sir George Baker, the physician,
treated it as a popular error. But Jenner thought otherwise; and
although John Hunter and other eminent surgeons disregarded the
subject, Jenner pursued it. He found at Berkeley that some persons,
to whom it was impossible to give small-pox by inoculation, had had
cow-pox; but that others who had had cow-pox yet received small-pox.
This led to the doctor's discovery that the cow was subject to a
certain eruption, which had the power of guarding from small-pox;
and next, that it might be possible to propagate the cow-pox, and
with it security from the small-pox, first from the cow to the human
body, and thence from one person to another. Here, then, was an
important discovery, that matter from the cow, intentionally
inserted into the body, gave a slighter ailment than when received
otherwise, and yet had the same effect of completely preventing
small-pox. But of what advantage was it for mankind that the cows of
Gloucestershire possessed a matter thus singularly powerful? How
were persons living at a distance to derive benefit from this great
discovery? Dr. Jenner, having inoculated several persons from a cow,
took the matter from the human vesicles thus produced, and
inoculated others, and others from them again; thus making it pass
in succession through many individuals, and all with the same good
effect in preventing small-pox.

An opportunity occurred of making a trial of the latter on May 14,
1796 (a day still commemorated by the annual festival at Berlin),
when a boy, aged eight years, was vaccinated with matter from the
hands of a milkmaid; the experiment succeeded, and he was inoculated
for small-pox on July 1st following without the least effect. Dr.
Jenner then extended his experiments, and in 1798 published his
first memoir on the subject. He had originally intended to
communicate his results to the Royal Society, but was admonished not
to do so, lest it should injure the character which he had
previously acquired among scientific persons by his paper on the
natural history of the cuckoo. In the above work Dr. Jenner
announces the security against small-pox afforded by the true
cow-pox, and also traces the origin of that disease in the cow to a
similar affection of the heel of the horse.

The method, however, met with much opposition, until, in the
following year, thirty-three leading physicians and forty eminent
surgeons of London signed an earnest expression of their confidence
in the efficacy of the cow-pox. The royal family of England exerted
themselves to encourage Jenner; the Duke of Clarence, the Duke of
York, the king, the Prince of Wales, and the queen bestowed great
attention upon Jenner. The incalculable utility of cow-pox was at
last evinced; and observation and experience furnished evidence
enough to satisfy the Baillies and Heberdens, the Monros and
Gregorys of Britain, as well as the physicians of Europe, India, and
America. The new practice now began to supersede the old plan
pursued by the Small-pox Hospital, which had been founded for
inoculation. The two systems were each pursued until 1808, when the
hospital governors discontinued small-pox inoculation.

A committee of Parliament was now appointed to consider the claims
of Jenner upon the gratitude of his country. It was clearly proved
that he had converted into scientific demonstration a tradition of
the peasantry. Two parliamentary grants, of £10,000 and £20,000,
were voted to him. In 1808 the National Vaccine Establishment was
formed by Government, and placed under his direction. Honors were
profusely showered upon him by various foreign princes, as well as
by the principal learned bodies of Europe.

Dr. Jenner passed the remainder of his years principally at Berkeley
and at Cheltenham, continuing to the last, his inquiries on the
great object of his life. He died at Berkeley, in February, 1823, at
the green old age of seventy-four: his remains lie in the chancel of
the parish church of Berkeley. A marble statue by Sievier has been
erected to his memory in the nave of Gloucester Cathedral; and
another statue of him has been placed in a public building at
Cheltenham. Five medals have been struck in honor of Jenner: three
by the German nation; one by the surgeons of the British navy; and
the fifth by the London Medical Society.

[Illustration: The First Vaccination--Dr. Jenner.]

Dr. Jenner was endowed with a rare quality of mind, which it may be
both interesting and beneficial to sketch. A singular originality of
thought was his leading characteristic. He appeared to have
naturally inherited what in others is the result of protracted
study. He seemed to think from originality of perception alone,
and not from induction. He arrived by a glance at inferences which
would have occupied the laborious conclusions of most men. In human
and animal pathology, in comparative anatomy, and in geology, he
perceived facts and formed theories instantaneously, and with a
spirit of inventive penetration which distanced the slower
approaches of more learned men. But if his powers of mind were
singularly great, the qualities which accompanied them were still
more felicitous. He possessed the most singular amenity of
disposition with the highest feeling, the rarest simplicity united
to the highest genius. In the great distinction and the superior
society to which his discovery introduced him, the native cast of
his character was unchanged. Among the great monarchs of Europe,
who, when in Great Britain, solicited his acquaintance, he was the
unaltered Dr. Jenner of his birthplace. In the other moral points of
his character, affection, friendship, beneficence, and liberality
were pre-eminent In religion, his belief was equally remote from
laxity and fanaticism; and he observed to an intimate friend, not
long before his death, that he wondered not that the people were
ungrateful to him for his discovery, but he was surprised that they
were ungrateful to God for the benefits of which he was the humble


         [Footnote 8: Copyright, 1864, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Robert Fulton.]

Very few inventors have achieved success in giving to the world new
or improved methods of carrying on the business of life without long
and hard study, repeated experiments and failures, and trying
struggles with opposing elements. Many have labored through long
years of poverty and obscurity to dazzle their fellow-beings in the
end by the triumph of genius. The idea of an inventor has almost
become coupled with that of anxiety, patient or impatient waiting,
trials, and hardships. They are usually enthusiasts in the special
pursuit to which they devote themselves, and the coldness and
incredulity of those whose approval they seek to win, wear heavily
upon them. The chilling common-sense of men more practical than
themselves overwhelms them.

If the wonderful improvements of the present and the past age could
be placed in comparison with the attempts, the struggles, to
accomplish what has now been achieved, the list of failures would
far outnumber that of successes. Many of those who have rendered
priceless blessings to their own and after generations by the
production of wonderful machines or methods from the fine fibre of
their brains, were plundered and buffeted, even in the midst of
their grand successes, to such a degree that it requires a lofty
comprehension to determine whether their lives were triumphs or
defeats. Sometimes the failure of one generation becomes the success
of the next.

Born the same year that gave Robert Fulton to the world was Eli
Whitney, who really made "cotton king," so that the great staple of
the South yielded millions upon millions of dollars to the planters;
but he might have died a beggar, so far as his marvellous invention
affected his fortunes. Before he had fully completed his machine for
separating the seeds from the cotton, which only two persons had
been permitted to see, his workshop was broken open, and it was
stolen. His idea was incorporated in other machines before he had
obtained his patent, though it was only his own that transmuted
cotton into gold. False reports, the repudiation of contracts for
royalties fairly made, the refusal of Congress, through Southern
influence, to renew his patent, constant litigation to protect his
rights, harassed his life, and robbed him of the pecuniary results
of his success. Defeated, he gave up the battle, devoted his
attention to the manufacture of firearms, and finally made a fortune
in this business. Fulton's experience was not very different.

On the other hand, important discoveries in methods and mechanical
appliances have been made by accident, as it were, and fortunes
accrued from very little labor or study; but these are the
exceptions rather than the rule.

It would be difficult to estimate the influence upon the prosperity
of the United States of steam-navigation. It came but a few years
after the organization of the Federal Government, when the greater
portion of the territorial extent of the country was a wilderness,
and preceded the general use of railroads by a quarter of a century.
Transportation on the inland waters of the nation was slow,
difficult, and expensive, and the introduction of the steamboat upon
its great lakes and rivers, notably upon the latter, was a new era
in its history. On the great streams of the West flatboats floated
for weeks, laden with the productions of the States, on their way to
a market, where days or hours are sufficient at the present time.
Between the metropolis of the nation and the capital of New York,
the sloops, which were the only means of communication by water,
required an average of four days to make the trip of about one
hundred and fifty miles, while to-day it is accomplished in half a
day or less.

Now all the navigable rivers of the country are alive with
steamboats, and the growth and development of the States have been
mainly indebted to the introduction of steam navigation. On the
great lakes, though more available for transportation by means of
sailing vessels, the same powerful agency has achieved wonders, and
all of them are now covered by lines of steamers, by which, either
as tow-boats or independent vessels, a large proportion of the
inland commerce of the nation is carried on. On the ocean the result
of the introduction of steam-navigation is even more impressive, and
nations separated by thousands of miles of rolling billows now join
hands, as it were, with hearts commercially united, if not more
intimately, through the medium of peace-giving commerce, of which
thousands of gigantic steamers are the angel-messengers. On the
Atlantic a score or more of them leave the one side for the other
every week, and at the present time a merchant may breakfast in New
York on Saturday, and dine in London the next Saturday.

It is now conceded, both in Europe and America, that the world is
indebted to Robert Fulton for the practical application of steam to
the purposes of navigation. Whatever has been claimed for or by
others in regard to the priority of the invention or application of
the mighty power of steam to the propulsion of vessels, Fulton was
"the first to apply it with any degree of practical success," as an
English work states it. As one who labored for years over the idea
which came from his own brain, though it also came to others, who
wellnigh sacrificed his own life in its improvement, and who
achieved the crowning glory of its utility, he is certainly entitled
to be regarded and honored as the Father of Steam-Navigation.

Robert Fulton was born in a small village near Lancaster, in the
State of Pennsylvania, in the year 1765. He was the son of a poor
man of Scotch-Irish descent, who died when his son was only three
years old. He obtained only a common-school education, which he
afterward increased by his own efforts. He early manifested a taste
for, and considerable skill in, drawing and painting, and he
selected this art as his profession, though he was more inclined to
mechanical occupations, and spent his leisure hours in the shops of
the workmen in his vicinity. He was somewhat precocious in his
development, and at the age of seventeen he established himself as a
portrait painter. He could hardly have attained to any high standard
in art, though it appears that he had considerable success in his
occupation, for at the age of twenty-one he had purchased a small
farm in the western part of the State, where he placed his mother,
indicating that he had a proper filial regard for the welfare of his
remaining parent. It was evident from this success that he had
decided talent and that it attracted the attention of others.

He was advised to visit England and place himself under the tuition
of Benjamin West, the eminent American painter, who had achieved
distinguished success in art. He followed this advice, was kindly
received by the great artist, and remained as an inmate of his home
for some years. In the palaces and mansions of the British nobility
were treasured up many of the most noted pictures of the day and of
the past. In order to see, study, and copy these, Fulton procured
letters of introduction which gave him admission to these paintings.
He resided for some time in the stately mansions of the Duke of
Bridgewater and Earl Stanhope. Both of these peers were largely
interested in making internal improvements in England, especially in
promoting inland navigation by canals.

The duke was the possessor of immense wealth, and he had invested
largely in companies connected with the canal system. Through him
Fulton became interested in the same subject, and his mechanical
tastes and talent drew him in that direction. The result was that he
abandoned his easel and became a civil engineer, a profession hardly
known by that name in the early part of this century. Earl Stanhope
was also of a mechanical turn of mind, and had projected some
important enterprises. At that time he was engaged upon a scheme
which afterward filled up so much of the existence of Fulton--the
application of steam to navigation.

The earl had devised a method of accomplishing the result, and had
caused a small craft to be built which was to be propelled by a
series of floats, by some compared to the paddles of a canoe, and by
others to the feet of water-fowls. He described his plan to Fulton,
who did not regard it as practicable, and stated plainly the reasons
for his belief. The earl clung to his idea, highly as he appreciated
the talents of the critic. The inventor resided at Birmingham about
two years, and was employed in a subordinate capacity at his newly
adopted profession for the greater portion of the time. In this city
he made the acquaintance of Watt, who had developed the steam-engine
from a mere pumping-machine to something near what it is at the
present time.

Fulton's inventive genius was exercised during his residence at
Birmingham, and he devised an improvement of the machine for sawing
marble, from which he reaped both honor and profit. He produced a
machine for spinning flax, and for the manufacture of ropes, and
also one for excavating canals or river bottoms, for which purpose
many such are now in use. As an author he wrote a work on canals,
and published a treatise on the same subject in a London paper. He
had a plan for the use of inclined planes in changing the level of
the water for boats on canals, in place of locks, after the manner
of the Chinese, claiming that greater elevations could be overcome
in this manner; but it was never adopted.

In 1797 Fulton went to Paris, where he resided seven years, as the
terrors of the French Revolution were passing away. At this period
he had invented what is now called a torpedo, largely used in modern
warfare for the protection of harbors. He devised a submarine boat
to operate these destructive weapons, which was not a success. He
demonstrated what he claimed for the torpedo in the destruction of a
brig of two hundred tons; but he failed to procure the adoption of
this more modern engine of warfare by either France or England, and
he had the honor to be snubbed by Napoleon I. In 1806 he returned to
New York, where he labored for the recognition and introduction of
the torpedo. He was encouraged by Jefferson and Madison, and
Congress appropriated money for experiments; but the naval officers
reported against him, and nothing came of his efforts.

In Paris he had made the acquaintance of Chancellor Livingston, then
the American minister to France, who was interested in Fulton's
work, and who soon entered into business relations with him in
connection with it. He was a man of abundant fortune, while the
inventor was comparatively poor; occupied an elevated social
position, and was a person of great influence. He obtained a grant
of the monopoly of steam-navigation from the State of New York.
Fulton took out two patents for his invention; but unfortunately
they were not adequate to his protection, for they covered only the
application of the steam-engine to the turning of a crank in
producing the rotary motion of the paddle-wheels.

While in England Fulton had contracted with Watt for the building of
such an engine as he desired, without stating the purpose for which
it was to be used. This engine reached New York at about the same
time as the inventor. He made his plans for the construction of the
boat, which was to be of different form and proportions from
ordinary vessels, and it was completed and fitted out with its
engine during the year following his return. Not long before this
event, when he found the sum of money Mr. Livingston had provided to
complete the steamboat was nearly exhausted, Fulton attempted to
sell an interest in his exclusive grant in order to raise funds to
supply the deficiency; but so little faith existed in the success of
his enterprise that he could find no one who had the courage to
purchase it. But the vessel was finished, and a trial trip was made
in her, to which gentlemen of science and general intelligence were
invited, most of them, like the rest of the world, sceptics and
unbelievers. A few minutes served to satisfy these men that the
steamboat was a success, and that the problem of steam-navigation
had been solved in its favor. It was the hour of Fulton's triumph.

The strange craft, to which the name of Clermont had been given,
soon made a trip to Albany, accomplishing the distance in thirty-two
hours, or one-third of the average time of the sloops, and making
the return in thirty. Doubters and cavillers were silenced, and
regular trips were made till the ice closed the river for the
season. During the winter the Clermont was lengthened to one hundred
and forty feet, improved in many respects, gaudily painted, and
looked upon as a "floating palace." Another steamboat, called the
Car of Neptune, was built, and soon a contract for five more was
placed. The practical triumph had been achieved, and from that small
beginning has come forth the mighty steam-marine of the present

Fulton was married to Miss Harriet Livingston, a niece of the
Chancellor, and was the father of four children. His business
affairs were in anything but a prosperous condition. The State of
New Jersey contested his monopoly, which proved to have been
unconstitutionally granted. Fitch, or his successors, who had made
some successes in the same line, endeavored to supplant him, and his
patents were worthless. He was embarrassed by constant litigation,
and his last years were full of trials and anxiety. He died February
24, 1815, at the age of fifty.

[Signature: William S. Adams.]



[Illustration: William Wilberforce.]

William Wilberforce, whose name a heartfelt, enlightened, and
unwearied philanthropy, directing talents of the highest order, has
enrolled among those of the most illustrious benefactors of mankind,
was born August 24, 1759, in Hull, England, where his ancestors had
been long and successfully engaged in trade. By his father's death he
was left an orphan at an early age. He received the chief part of his
education at the grammar school of Pockington, in Yorkshire, and at
St. John's College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow-commoner
about 1776 or 1777. When just of age, and apparently before taking his
B.A. degree, he was returned for his native town at the general
election of 1780. In 1784 he was returned again, but being also chosen
member for Yorkshire he elected to sit for that great county, which he
continued to represent until the year 1812, during six successive
Parliaments. From 1812 to 1825, when he retired from Parliament, he
was returned by Lord Calthorpe for the borough of Bramber. His
politics were in general those of Mr. Pitt's party, and his first
prominent appearance was in 1783, in opposition to Mr. Fox's India
Bill. In 1786 he introduced and carried through the Commons a bill for
the amendment of the criminal code, which was roughly handled by the
Lord Chancellor, Thurlow, and rejected in the House of Lords without a

At the time when Mr. Wilberforce was rising into manhood, the
inquiry into the slave trade had engaged in a slight degree the
attention of the public. To the Quakers belongs the high honor of
having taken the lead in denouncing that unjust and unchristian
traffic. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, during the life
of Penn, the Quakers of Pennsylvania passed a censure upon it, and
from time to time the Society of Friends expressed their
disapprobation of the deportation of negroes, until, in 1761, they
completed their good work by a resolution to disown all such as
continued to be engaged in it. Occasionally the question was brought
before magistrates, whether a slave became entitled to his liberty
upon landing in England. In 1765 Granville Sharp came forward as the
protector of a negro, who, having been abandoned and cast upon the
world in disease and misery by his owner, was healed and assisted
through the charity of Mr. Sharp's brother. Recovering his value
with his health, he was claimed and seized by his master, and would
have been shipped to the colonies, as many Africans were, but for
the prompt and resolute interference of Mr. Sharp. In several
similar cases the same gentleman came forward successfully; but the
general question was not determined, or even argued, until 1772,
when the celebrated case of the negro Somerset was brought before
the Court of King's Bench, which adjudged, after a deliberate
hearing, that in England the right of the master over the slave
could not be maintained. The general question was afterward, in
1778, decided still more absolutely by the Scotch Courts, in the
case of Wedderburn _vs._ Knight. In 1783 an event occurred well
qualified to rouse the feelings of the nation, and call its
attention to the atrocities of which the slave trade was the cause
and pretext. An action was brought by certain underwriters against
the owners of the ship Zong, on the ground that the captain had
caused 132 weak, sickly slaves to be thrown overboard for the
purpose of claiming their value, for which the plaintiffs would not
have been liable if the cargo had died a natural death. The fact of
the drowning was admitted, and defended on the plea that want of
water had rendered it necessary, though it appeared that the crew
had not been put upon short allowance. It now seems incredible that
no criminal proceeding should have been instituted against the
perpetrators of this wholesale murder.

In 1785 the Vice-chancellor of Cambridge proposed as the subject for
the Bachelor's Prize Essay, the question, Is it allowable to enslave
men without their consent? Thomas Clarkson, who had gained the prize
in the preceding year, again became a candidate. Conceiving that the
thesis, though couched in general terms, had an especial reference
to the African slave trade, he went to London to make inquiries on
the subject. Investigation brought under his view a mass of
cruelties and abominations which engrossed his thoughts and shocked
his imagination. By night and day they haunted him; and he has
described in lively colors the intense pain which this composition,
undertaken solely in the spirit of honorable rivalry, inflicted on
him. He gained the prize, but found it impossible to discard the
subject from his thoughts. In the succeeding autumn, after great
struggles of mind, he resolved to give up his plan for entering the
Church, and devoted time, health, and substance (to use his own
words) to "seeing these calamities to an end." In sketching the
progress of this great measure, the name of Wilberforce alone will
be presented to view; and it is our duty, therefore, in the first
place, to make honorable mention of him who first roused Wilberforce
in the cause, and whose athletic vigor and indomitable perseverance
surmounted danger, difficulties, fatigues, and discouragements which
few men could have endured, in the first great object of collecting
evidence of the cruelties habitually perpetrated in the slave trade.

In the first stage of his proceedings, Mr. Clarkson, in the course
of his application to members of Parliament, called on Mr.
Wilberforce, who stated that "the subject had often employed his
thoughts and was near his heart." He inquired into the authorities
for the statements laid before him, and became not only convinced
of, but impressed with, the paramount duty of abolishing so hateful
a traffic. Occasional meetings of those who were alike interested
were held at his house; and in May, 1787, a committee was formed, of
which Wilberforce became the Parliamentary leader. Early in 1788 he
gave notice of his intention to bring the subject before the House;
but, owing to his severe indisposition, that task was ultimately
undertaken by Mr. Pitt, who moved and carried a resolution, pledging
the House in the ensuing session to enter on the consideration of
the subject. Accordingly, May 12, 1789, Mr. Wilberforce moved a
series of resolutions, founded on a report of the Privy Council,
exposing the iniquity and cruelty of the traffic in slaves, the
mortality which it occasioned among white as well as black men, and
the neglect of health and morals by which the natural increase of
the race in the West India islands was checked; and concluding with
a declaration that if the causes by which that increase was checked
were removed, no considerable inconvenience would result from
discontinuing the importation of African slaves. Burke, Pitt, and
Fox supported the resolutions. Mr. Wilberforce's speech was
distinguished by eloquence and earnestness, and by its unanswerable
appeals to the first principles of justice and religion. The
consideration of the subject was ultimately adjourned to the
following session. In that, and in two subsequent sessions, the
motions were renewed; and the effect of pressing such a subject upon
the attention of the country was to open the eyes of many who would
willingly have kept them closed, yet could not deny the existence of
the evils so forced on their view. In 1792 Mr. Wilberforce's motion
for the abolition of the slave trade was met by a proposal to insert
in it the word "gradually;" and, in pursuance of the same policy,
Mr. Dundas introduced a bill to provide for its discontinuance in
1800. The date was altered to 1796, and in that state the bill
passed the Commons, but was stopped in the Upper House by a proposal
to hear evidence upon it. Mr. Wilberforce annually renewed his
efforts, and brought every new argument to bear upon the question
which new discoveries, or the events of the times, produced. In 1799
the friends of the measure resolved on letting it repose for awhile,
and for five years Mr. Wilberforce contented himself with moving for
certain papers; but he took an opportunity of assuring the House
that he had not grown cool in the cause, and that he would renew the
discussion in a future session. On May 30, 1804, he once more moved
for leave to bring in his bill for the abolition of the slave trade,
in a speech of great eloquence and effect. He took the opportunity
of making a powerful appeal to the Irish members, before whom, in
consequence of the Union, this question was now for the first time
brought, and the greater part of whom supported it. The decision
showed a majority of 124 to 49 in his favor; and the bill was
carried through the Commons, but was again postponed in the House of
Lords. In 1805 he renewed his motion; but on this occasion it was
lost in the Commons by over-security among the friends of the
measure. But when Mr. Fox and Lord Granville took office in 1806,
the abolition was brought forward by the ministers, most of whom
supported it, though it was not made a government question in
consequence of several members of the cabinet opposing it. The
attorney-general (Sir A. Pigott) brought in a bill, which was passed
into a law, prohibiting the slave trade in the conquered colonies,
and excluding British subjects from engaging in the foreign slave
trade; and Mr. Fox at Mr. Wilberforce's special request, introduced
a resolution pledging the House to take the earliest measures for
effectually abolishing the whole slave trade. This resolution was
carried by a majority of 114 to 15; and January 2, 1807, Lord
Granville brought forward, in the House of Lords, a bill for the
abolition of the slave trade, which passed safely through both
Houses of Parliament. As, however, the king was believed to be
unfriendly to the measure, some alarm was felt by its friends, lest
its fate might still be affected by the dismissal of the ministers,
which had been determined upon. Those fears were groundless; for
though they received orders to deliver up the seals of their offices
on March 25th, the royal assent was given by commission by the Lord
Chancellor Erskine on the same day; and thus the last act of the
administration was to conclude a contest, maintained by prejudice
and interest during twenty years, for the support of what Mr. Pitt
denominated "the greatest practical evil that ever afflicted the
human race."

Among other testimonies to Mr. Wilberforce's merits, we are not
inclined to omit that of Sir James Mackintosh, who in his journal,
May 23, 1808, speaks thus of Wilberforce on the "Abolition." This
refers to a pamphlet on the slave trade which Mr. Wilberforce had
published in 1806: "Almost as much enchanted by Mr. Wilberforce's
book as by his conduct. He is the very model of a reformer. Ardent
without turbulence, mild without timidity or coolness; neither
yielding to difficulties nor disturbed or exasperated by them;
patient and meek yet intrepid; persisting for twenty years through
good report and evil report; just and charitable even to his most
malignant enemies; unwearied in every experiment to disarm the
prejudices of his more rational and disinterested opponents, and
supporting the zeal, without dangerously exciting the passions of
his adherents."

The rest of Mr. Wilberforce's parliamentary conduct was consistent
with his behavior on this question. In debates chiefly political he
rarely took a forward part; but where religion and morals were
directly concerned, points on which few cared to interfere, and
where a leader was wanted, he never shrunk from the advocacy of his
opinions. He was a supporter of Catholic emancipation and
parliamentary reform; he condemned the encouragement of gambling, in
the shape of lotteries established by government; he insisted on the
cruelty of employing boys of tender age as chimney-sweepers; he
attempted to procure a legislative enactment against duelling, after
the hostile meeting between Pitt and Tierney; and on the renewal of
the East India Company's charter in 1816, he gave his zealous
support to the propagation of Christianity in Hindostan, in
opposition to those who, as has been more recently done in the West
Indies, represented the employment of missionaries to be
inconsistent with the preservation of the British empire. It is
encouraging to observe that, with the exception of the one levelled
against duelling, all these measures, however violently opposed and
unfairly censured, have been carried in a more or less perfect form.

As an author, Mr. Wilberforce's claim to notice is chiefly derived
from his treatise entitled "A Practical View of the Prevailing
Religious System of Professing Christians in the Higher and Middle
Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity." The
object of it was to show that the standard of life generally adopted
by those classes not only fell short of, but was inconsistent with,
the doctrines of the gospel. It has justly been applauded as a work
of no common courage, not from the asperity of its censures, for it
breathes throughout a spirit of gentleness and love, but on the
joint consideration of the unpopularity of the subject and the
writer's position. The Bishop of Calcutta, in his introductory
essay, justly observes that "the author, in attempting it, risked
everything dear to a public man and a politician as such,
consideration, weight, ambition, reputation." And Scott, the divine,
one of the most fearless and ardent of men, viewed the matter in the
same light; for he wrote: "Taken in all its probable effects, I do
sincerely think such a stand for vital Christianity has not been
made in my memory. He has come out beyond my expectations." Of a
work so generally known we shall not describe the tendency more at
large. It is said to have gone through about twenty editions in
Britain, since the publication in 1797, and more in America; and to
have been translated into most European languages.

In the discharge of his parliamentary duties, Mr. Wilberforce was
punctual and active beyond his apparent strength; and those who
further recollect his diligent attendance on a vast variety of
public meetings and committees connected with religious and
charitable purposes, will wonder how a frame naturally weak should
so long have endured the wear of such exertion. In 1788, when his
illness was a matter of deep concern to the Abolitionists, Dr.
Warren said that he had not stamina to last a fortnight. No doubt
his bodily powers were greatly aided by the placid and happy frame
of mind which he habitually enjoyed; but it is important to relate
his own opinion, as delivered by an ear-witness, on the physical
benefits which he derived from a strict abstinence from temporal
affairs on Sundays: "I have often heard him assert that he never
could have sustained the labor and stretch of mind required in his
early political life, if it had not been for the rest of his
Sabbath; and that he could name several of his contemporaries in the
vortex of political cares, whose minds had actually given way under
the stress of intellectual labor so as to bring on a premature death
or the still more dreadful catastrophe of insanity and suicide, who,
humanly speaking, might have been preserved in health, if they would
but conscientiously have observed the Sabbath."

In 1797 Mr. Wilberforce married Miss Spooner, daughter of an eminent
banker at Birmingham. Four sons survived him. He died, after a
gradual decline, July 29, 1833, in Cadogan Place. He directed that
his funeral should be conducted without the smallest pomp; but his
orders were disregarded, in compliance with a memorial addressed to
his relatives by many of the most distinguished men of all parties,
and couched in the following terms: "We, the undersigned Members of
both Houses of Parliament, being anxious, upon public grounds, to
show our respect for the memory of the late William Wilberforce, and
being also satisfied that public honors can never be more fitly
bestowed than upon such benefactors of mankind, earnestly request
that he may be buried in Westminster Abbey, and that we and others
who may agree with us in these sentiments may have permission to
attend his funeral." The attendance of both Houses was numerous. Mr.
Wilberforce was interred within a few yards of his great
contemporaries, Pitt, Fox, and Canning.




[Illustration: Sir Humphry Davy.]

The boyhood of Davy has been sketched in some of the most
fascinating pieces of biography ever written: the annals of science
do not furnish us with any record that equals the school-days and
self-education of the boy, Humphry, in popular interest; and, unlike
many bright mornings, this commencement in a few years led to a
brilliant meridian, and, by a succession of discoveries,
accomplished more in relation to change of theory and extension of
science, than in the most ardent and ambitious moments of youth he
could either hope to effect or imagine possible.

Humphry Davy was born at Penzance, in 1778; was a healthy, strong,
and active child, and could speak fluently before he was two years
old; copied engravings before he learned to write, and could recite
part of the "Pilgrim's Progress" before he could well read it. At
the age of five years, he could gain a good account of the contents
of a book while turning over the leaves; and he retained this
remarkable faculty through life. He excelled in telling stories to
his playmates; loved fishing, and collecting, and painting birds and
fishes; he had his own little garden; and recorded his impressions
of romantic scenery in verse of no ordinary merit. To his
self-education, however, he owed almost everything. He studied with
intensity mathematics, metaphysics, and physiology; before he was
nineteen he began to study chemistry, and in four months proposed a
new hypothesis on heat and light, to which he won over the
experienced Dr. Beddoes. With his associate, Gregory Watt (son of
the celebrated James Watt) he collected specimens of rocks and
minerals. He made considerable progress in medicine; he experimented
zealously, especially on the effects of the gases in respiration; at
the age of twenty-one he had breathed nitrous oxide, and nearly lost
his life from breathing carburetted hydrogen. Next year he commenced
the galvanic experiments which led to some of his greatest
discoveries. In 1802 he began his brilliant scientific career at the
Royal Institution, where he remained till 1812; here he constructed
his great voltaic battery of 2,000 double plates of copper and zinc,
and commenced the mineralogical collection now in the Museum. His
lectures were often attended by one thousand persons: his youth, his
simplicity, his natural eloquence, his chemical knowledge, his happy
illustrations and well-conducted experiments, and the auspicious
state of science, insured Davy great and instant success.

The enthusiastic admiration with which he was hailed can hardly be
imagined now. Not only men of the highest rank--men of science, men of
letters, and men of trade--but women of fashion and blue-stockings,
old and young, pressed into the theatre of the Institution to cover
him with applause. His greatest labors were his discovery of the
decomposition of the fixed alkalies, and the re-establishment of the
simple nature of chlorine; his other researches were the investigation
of astringent vegetables in connection with the art of tanning; the
analysis of rocks and minerals in connection with geology; the
comprehensive subject of agricultural chemistry; and galvanism and
electro-chemical science. He was also an early, but unsuccessful,
experimenter in the photographic art.

Of the lazy conservative spirit and ludicrous indolence in science,
which at this time attempted to hoodwink the public, a quaint
instance is recorded of a worthy professor of chemistry at Aberdeen.
He had allowed some years to pass since Davy's brilliant discovery
of potassium and its congeneric metals, without a word about them in
his lectures. At length the learned doctor was concussed by his
colleagues on the subject, and he condescended to notice it. "Both
potash and soda are now said to be metallic oxides," said he; "the
oxides, in fact, of two metals, called potassium and sodium by the
discoverer of them, one Davy, in London, a verra troublesome person
in chemistry."

Turn we, however, to the brightest event in our chemical
philosopher's career. By his unrivalled series of practical
discoveries, Davy acquired such a reputation for success among his
countrymen, that his aid was invoked on every great occasion. The
properties of fire-damp, or carburetted hydrogen, in coal-mines had
already been ascertained by Dr. Henry. When this gas is mingled in
certain proportions with atmospheric air, it forms a mixture which
kindles upon the contact of a lighted candle, and often explodes
with tremendous violence, killing the men and horses, and projecting
much of the contents of the mine through the shafts or apertures
like an enormous piece of artillery. At this time, a detonation of
fire-damp occurred within a coal-mine in the north of England, so
dreadful that it destroyed more than a hundred miners. A committee
of the proprietors besought our chemist to provide a method of
preparing for such tremendous visitations; and he did it. He tells
us that he first turned his attention particularly to the subject in
1815; but he must have been prepared for it by the researches of his
early years. Still, there appeared little hope of finding an
efficacious remedy. The resources of modern mechanical science had
been fully applied in ventilation. The comparative lightness of
fire-damp was well understood; every precaution was taken to
preserve the communications open; and the currents of air were
promoted or occasioned, not only by furnaces, but likewise by
air-pumps and steam apparatus. We may here mention that, for giving
light to the coal-miner or pitman, where the fire-damp was
apprehended, the primitive contrivance was a steel-mill, the light
of which was produced by contact of a flint with the edge of a wheel
kept in rapid motion. A "safety-lamp" had already, in 1813, been
constructed by Dr. Clanny, the principle of which was forcing in air
through water by bellows; but the machine was ponderous and
complicated, and required a boy to work it. M. Humboldt had
previously, in 1796, constructed a lamp for mines upon the same
principle as that of Dr. Clanny.

Davy, having conceived that flame and explosion may be regulated and
arrested, began a minute chemical examination of fire-damp. He found
that carburetted-hydrogen gas, even when mixed with fourteen times
its bulk of atmospheric air, was still explosive. He ascertained
that explosions of inflammable gases were incapable of being passed
through long, narrow metallic tubes; and that this principle of
security was still obtained by diminishing their length and diameter
at the same time, and likewise diminishing their length and
increasing their number, so that a great number of small apertures
would not pass explosion when their depth was equal to their
diameter. This fact led to trials upon sieves of wire-gauze; he
found that if a piece of wire-gauze was held over the flame of a
lamp, or coal-gas, it prevented the flame from passing; and he
ascertained that a flame confined in a cylinder of very fine
wire-gauze did not explode even in a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen,
but that the gases burned in it with great vivacity. These
experiments served as the basis of the safety-lamp.

Sir Humphry Davy presented his first communication respecting his
discovery of the safety-lamp to the Royal Society in 1815. This was
followed by a series of papers, crowned by that read on January 11,
1816, when the principle of the safety-lamp was announced, and Sir
Humphry presented to the society a model made by his own hands,
which is to this day preserved in the collection of the Royal
Society at Burlington House.

There have been several modifications of the safety-lamp, and the
merit of the discovery has been claimed by others, among whom was
Mr. George Stephenson; but the question was set at rest in 1817 by
an examination, attested by Sir Joseph Banks, P.R.S., Mr. Brande,
Mr. Hatchett, and Dr. Wollaston, and awarding the independent merit
to Davy.

It should be explained that Stephenson's lamp was formed on the
principle of admitting the fire-damp by narrow tubes, and "in such
small detached portions that it would be consumed by combustion."
The two lamps were doubtless distinct inventions; though Davy, in
all justice, appears to be entitled to precedence, not only in point
of date, but as regards the long chain of inductive reasoning
concerning the nature of flame by which his result was arrived at.

Meanwhile, the Report by the Parliamentary Committee "cannot admit
that the experiments (made with the lamp) have any tendency to
detract from the character of Sir Humphry Davy, or to disparage the
fair value placed by himself upon his invention. The improvements
are probably those which longer life and additional facts would have
induced him to contemplate as desirable, and of which, had he not
been the inventor, he might have become the patron."

"I value it," Davy used to say, with the kindliest exultation, "more
than anything I ever did; it was the result of a great deal of
investigation and labor; but if my directions be attended to, it
will save the lives of thousands of poor men."

The principle of the invention may be thus summed up: In the
safety-lamp, the mixture of the fire-damp and atmospheric air within
the cage of wire-gauze explodes upon coming in contact with the
flame; but the combustion cannot pass through the wire-gauze; and
being there imprisoned, cannot impart to the explosive atmosphere of
the mine any of its force. This effect has been attributed to the
cooling influence of the metal; but, since the wires may be brought
to a degree of heat but little below redness without igniting the
fire-damp, this does not appear to be the cause.

Professor Playfair has elegantly characterized the safety-lamp of
Davy as a present from philosophy to the arts, a discovery in no
degree the effect of accident or chance, but the result of patient
and enlightened research, and strongly exemplifying the great use of
an immediate and constant appeal to experiment. After characterizing
the invention as the _shutting-up in a net of the most slender
texture_ of a most violent and irresistible force, and a power that
in its tremendous effects seems to emulate the lightning and the
earthquake, Professor Playfair thus concludes: "When to this we add
the beneficial consequences, and the saving of the lives of men, and
consider that the effects are to remain as long as coal continues to
be dug from the bowels of the earth, it may be fairly said that
there is hardly in the whole compass of art or science a single
invention of which one would rather wish to be the author.... This,"
says Professor Playfair, "is exactly such a case as we should choose
to place before Bacon, were he to revisit the earth; in order to
give him, in a small compass, an idea of the advancement which
philosophy has made since the time when he had pointed out to her
the route which she ought to pursue."

Honors were showered upon Davy. He received from the Royal Society
the Copley, Royal, and Rumford Medals, and several times delivered
the Bakerian Lecture. He also received Napoleon's prize for the
advancement of galvanic researches from the French Institute. The
invention of the safety-lamp brought him the public gratitude of the
united colliers of Whitehaven, of the coal proprietors of the north
of England, of the grand jury of Durham, of the Chamber of Commerce
at Mons, of the coal-miners of Flanders, and, above all, of the
coal-owners of the Wear and the Tyne, who presented him (it was his
own choice) with a dinner-service of silver worth £2,500. On the
same occasion, Alexander, the Emperor of all the Russias, sent him a
vase, with a letter of commendation. In 1817, he was elected to the
dignity of an associate of the Institute of France; next year, at
the age of forty, he was created a baronet.

Davy's discoveries form a remarkable epoch in the history of the
Royal Society during the early part of this century; and from 1821
to 1829 almost every volume of the _Transactions_ contains a
communication by him. He was president of the Royal Society from
1820 to 1827.

Fond of travel, geology, and sport, Davy visited, for the purpose of
mineralogy and angling, almost every county of England and Wales. He
was provided with a portable laboratory, that he might experiment
when he chose, as well as fish and shoot. In 1827, upon resigning
the presidency of the Royal Society, he retired to the continent; in
1829, at Geneva, his palsy-stricken body returned to the dust. They
buried him at Geneva, where a simple monument stands at the head of
the hospitable grave. There is a tablet to his memory in Westminster
Abbey; there is a monument at Penzance; and his widow founded a
memorial chemical prize in the University of Geneva. His public
services of plate, his imperial vases, his foreign prizes, his royal
medals, shall be handed down with triumph to his collateral
posterity as trophies won from the depths of nescience; but his
work, designed by his own genius, executed by his own hand, tracery
and all, and every single stone signalized by his own private mark,
indelible, characteristic, and inimitable--his work is the only
record of his name. How deeply are its foundations rooted in space,
and how lasting its materials for time!


         [Footnote 9: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



    "Seras lo que debes ser,
  Y sino, no seras nada."
            SAN MARTIN.

San Martin, the ideal liberator of South America from the long and
tyrannical rule of Spanish viceroys, was one of the most remarkable
men of his own or of any age. From a moral point of view he stands
in the first rank of the world's heroes. "He was not a man," said a
student of South American history, "he was a mission." Cincinnatus,
after serving the state, returned to the plough, and Washington to
the retirement of Mt. Vernon; but San Martin for the peace of his
country went into voluntary exile. His country crowned him dead and
made for his dead body a tomb of Peace, surrounded by the marble
angels of the arts of human progress, more beautiful in its meaning
than any tomb on the Appian Way, and one of the most wonderful
memorials on earth.

The Battle of Maipú, of which San Martin was the victor, completed
the emancipation of South America, and made the achievements of
Bolivar easy in the Northern Andes. Said the hero of Maipú--and what
words of man under the circumstances ever equalled the declaration
in moral sublimity!--

"The presence of a fortunate general, however disinterested he may
be, is dangerous to a newly founded state. I have achieved the
independence of Peru: I have ceased to be a public man!" He died at
Boulogne, France, in poverty, after nearly thirty years of exiled
and fameless life. His career seems like that of some hero of
fiction, such as the imagination of a Plato, a Bacon, or a Sir
Thomas More might create for an Utopia. He is the one perfectly
unselfish man in history, and his fame has grown steadily in Spanish
America, since Argentina built a tomb-palace for his remains, and
decreed for him one of the most splendid funerals ever known to the
Western World.

General Don Joachim de la Pezuela, the last Spanish ruler of Peru,
was the forty-fourth viceroy from Pizarro. "The Indians," he said,
"love the memory of the Incas--the country is ready to rise." The
banner of Argentina was putting to flight the condors of the Andes,
and the last viceroy saw in its advance the end of Spain in the New

The Argentine hero who had created the army of the Andes for
universal liberty was San Martin. He was born on February 25, 1778,
at Yapeyu, in Misiones. His father was a South American officer
under the last rule of the viceroys. The family removed to Spain in
his boyhood, and he became for two years a pupil in the Seminary of
Nobles, at Madrid. At the age of twelve he became a cadet, wearing a
uniform of blue and white, which he made in manhood the colors of
South American emancipation.

He fought in the war against the Moors, and in the campaign against
France, in 1793. In 1800 he took part in the so-called "War of the
Oranges against Portugal."

In the early part of the nineteenth century there began to be formed
in Spain secret societies for the purpose of advancing the cause of
liberty and human progress. One of these associations, called
_Caballeros Racionales_, became very influential, and corresponded
with the society of the Grand Reunion of America (_Gran Reunion
Americana_) of London. This society was pledged "to recognize no
government in America as legitimate unless it was elected by the
free will of the people." San Martin joined this society. The London
society was established by Miranda, the Spanish patriot, a friend of
Bolivar, by whose inspirations San Martin became a disciple of
liberty, and whose dreams he fulfilled long after the patriot was

San Martin won honors and a medal in the Spanish resistance to the
victorious eagles of Napoleon. In that campaign he fought under a
banner of the Sun, having this motto in Latin: "We bear this aloft
dispersing the clouds." He made this banner the flag of the army of
the Andes.

In 1812, San Martin, as a disciple of the principles of the Spanish
apostle of liberty, Miranda, returned to South America, and in March
went to Buenos Ayres, and offered his sword to the Argentine
patriots for the cause of independence. The country was in
revolution against the Spanish rule. San Martin was not only an
American, but a Creole; he was unselfish, truthful, the soul of
honor, and of all men in the world the one that would seem best
fitted to lead the cause of the South American patriots. He was
destined to become "the greatest of the Creoles of the New World."

Soon after the arrival of San Martin in Buenos Ayres he married Doña
Remedios Esculada, and Mercedes, a daughter of this marriage, shared
with him his voluntary exile after the conquest of Peru.

Appointed at once to a high military position under the Argentine
Government, he conceived the plan of creating an army of the Andes,
of crossing the Cordillera, and of driving the Spaniards from Chile.

Mendoza, with which Buenos Ayres is now connected by railroad, lies
on an elevation under the snowy Cordilleras. San Martin made his
military camp here. On January 17, 1817, he began his march up the
Andes, one of the most perilous achievements of modern warfare. The
summit of the Uspallata Pass, over which the army was to climb, is
12,500 feet above the level of the sea, or 4,000 feet higher than
the Pass of St. Bernard.

The 17th, on which the army set forth, was a high holiday in
Mendoza. The plaza was gay with banners, and the streets with
patriotic decorations. The ladies of the city presented an
embroidered flag to San Martin. The general, above whose head
gleamed the snowy heights of the Andes, ascended a platform in the
plaza, and waved this flag over his head, and shouted:

"Soldiers, behold the first flag of independence!"

There arose a great shout of "Viva la Patria!"

"Soldiers, swear to sustain it."

"We swear," answered the army, as one man.

Salvos of musketry and artillery followed. Mitre, in his "Life of
San Martin," as presented to us in the condensed translation of
Pilling, eloquently says that this flag rose "for the redemption of
one-half of South America, passed the Cordilleras, waved in triumph
along the Pacific coast, floated over the foundations of two new
republics, aided in the liberation of another, and after sixty-four
years served as a funeral pall to the body of the hero, who thus
delivered it to the care of the immortal Army of the Andes."

The mountains rose above the departing army, piercing the sky in the
fading day. Up they climbed, putting to flight the condors. The men
suffered greatly from the rarefaction of the air. Even many of the
animals of the expedition perished. Out of 9,261 mules, only 4,300
ever reached Chile.

"What spoils my sleep," said San Martin, on surveying the Andes at
the outset of the expedition, "is not the strength of the enemy, but
how to pass those immense mountains." He might well say that, for
before him gleamed peaks 21,000 feet high.

The army, with all its sufferings, triumphantly crossed the lower
passes of the Cordilleras, and entered Chile. This march decided the
fate of South America.

The army encamped upon the Sierra of Chacubuco, from the summit of
which the whole of the magnificent country could be seen. Here rose
the flag of liberation. The flower of the Spanish army, inferior in
numbers, was near. On February 12th a battle was fought, and the
royalists were defeated with a loss of 500 men killed, 600 taken
prisoners, and all of their artillery.

The way was now open to Santiago, the capital. The army entered the
city amid the acclamations of the people. The Chilian assembly met
and offered San Martin the office of governor, with dictatorial
power. But San Martin was not fighting for power, or honor, but for
the liberties of his countrymen, and he nobly declined the office.

The guns of Buenos Ayres roared, and the city was turned into a
festival when the news of the triumph of the army of the Andes
reached the coast. The Argentine Government offered to bestow on San
Martin its highest honors, but the latter declined them, lest his
work should be retarded and his motives of life should be
misconstrued. It awarded to his daughter a life pension, which he
devoted to her education.

Santiago offered to him 10,000 ounces of gold. He refused the
splendid purse which he had so well won, but recommended that the
money be used for the cause of popular education in the form of a
public library.

Chile and Argentina now formed an alliance in defence of their

But the royal army was gathering force and unity. On March 31st, it
numbered 5,500 men, and was prepared to make a final stand against
the army of liberation.

There is a river in Chile which divides the country, named the
Maipó, or Maipú. On its banks the royal army encamped on the first
days of April, 1818. The patriot army was close at hand, and each
army felt that the battle to follow would decide the fate of the
movement for the independence of the South American empire.

It is April 5, 1818. The royal army is ready for action, and the
patriots occupy the heights of Loma Blanca, overlooking the plains
of the Maipú.

"Do not await a charge to-day," ordered San Martin; "_but charge_
always within fifty paces!"

At the beginning of the action he said,

"I take the sun to witness that the day is ours."

Just then the sun, which had been clouded, shone from the heavens.

The royal army was defeated. That night of May 5th covered their
flight, and the War of Independence was won.

San Martin began now to plan the liberation of Peru, and to create a
navy for the purpose of commanding the ports of the golden mountains
and rich plateaus of the incarial realms.

In August, 1820, he had gathered a patriot force of 4,500 men at
Valparaiso, and was ready to embark for the conquest by sea. The
army was composed of Argentines and Chilians. A former expedition
had made the way of victory clear to the patriots. The fleet left
Valparaiso August 21, 1820. The army landed in Peru and began
operations near Lima.

San Martin began his Chilian campaign by the liberation of the
slaves, whom he afterward found trusty soldiers. He began the
Peruvian war by issuing a most noble manifesto to his countrymen, in
which he said: "Ever since I came back to my native land, the
independence of Peru has been present in my mind."

And again he grandly announced his future policy in nearly these
words: "From the time that a government is established by the people
of Peru, the army of the Andes will obey its orders."

The army of liberation was as successful in Peru as in Chile. The
empire of the viceroys crumbled and fell. Amid the roar of cannon,
the shouts of the people, and strewing of flowers, the independence
of Peru was proclaimed on July 20, 1821, in the great square of
Lima. San Martin, as in Chile, was offered the supreme authority
under the title of the Protector of Peru. He made use of the office
merely for the pacification of the country. He convened the first
Congress in Peru, and to the new government he addressed the words,
or words like those, that we have quoted at the beginning of this
article. He saw that Bolivar was the man to complete the liberation
and bring about the unity of South America. The cause was all to
him: he was nothing.

To Bolivar he wrote: "My decision is irrevocable. I have convened
the first Congress of Peru. The day of its installation I shall
leave for Chile, convinced that my presence is the only obstacle
that prevents you from coming to Peru."

He sent to Bolivar a parting gift, saying, "Receive this memento
from the first of your admirers, and with my desire that you have
the glory of finishing the war for the independence of South

The history of chivalry has no match for the character of San
Martin. Bolivar united patriotism and vanity; San Martin's glory was
self-abnegation. At a banquet where the two were present, Bolivar
once offered the following toast: "To the two greatest men in South
America--San Martin and _myself_."

San Martin followed with his toast. "To the speedy end of the war;
to the establishment of the republics, and to the health of the
Liberator of Colombia!"

The two toasts were photographs. Time is lifting the character of
San Martin into its true place among glorious men. He was a man who
fought for peace. His life fulfilled his own motto: "Thou shalt be
what thou oughtest to be, or else thou shalt be nothing."

On critical occasions, his magnanimous soul rose to the sublimity of
this motto, and to the end of his life of glory and poverty he was
always able to say, "I have been what I ought!"

[Signature: Hezekiah Butterworth.]


         [Footnote 10: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By Professor C. M. WOODWARD


[Illustration: Steam engine.]

Far in the north of England, near the Scottish border, by the shore
of the German Ocean, is the county of brown and barren hills called
Northumberland, and its principal city, Newcastle, famous for its
coal. There is another Newcastle near the centre of England, so this
one is often distinguished by the name "Newcastle-on-Tyne"--Tyne
being the blackest and dirtiest of all rivers.

A few miles from Newcastle, up the Tyne, is the little mining
village of Wylam, where, a hundred years ago, lived Robert
Stephenson and his wife Mabel. There was no style about Wylam, and
few evidences of wealth or culture. The houses straggled about near
the outlets of the coal-mines, and everything was as uninviting as
it well could be. Stephenson's house, or rather "shanty," had but
one room, and that had an earthen floor. Robert and Mabel were about
as ill-furnished as their house; for neither could read, they had
not a book nor a print, and neither knew much more of the world than
could be seen, as they stood on the bank of the Tyne and looked
about on the neighboring hills and down toward Newcastle. In 1892 I
rode down the valley of the Tyne, past Wylam, through Newcastle, and
over the high bridge that our fireman's grandson, Robert, built in
later days. Few valleys are less attractive, and few seem less
likely to be the birthplace of epoch-making men.

Robert Stephenson, the father of our hero, was a fireman, earning
two shillings a day. He was sober and industrious, but as would be
expected, he never "got on." He was a good story-teller, and
transmitted to his children healthy bodies and clear heads. George
was the second of six children, and he was born June 9, 1781, during
our war for independence. His boyhood was uneventful enough. When
the weather was cold he was cooped up in their narrow home; he was
out of doors whenever the weather would permit. He played in the
street, ran errands, carried his father's dinner, and herded cows,
as soon as he was big enough, for four cents per day. At fourteen he
was assistant-fireman, earning twenty-five cents a day, and at
seventeen he was "plugman." He was thus in contact with much that
had been achieved in the way of building engines and transporting
materials on cars. But I must describe the engines then in use, and
explain what it was to be a "plugman."

The coal-mines were so deep that, in spite of the valleys, they
could be drained only by pumps, and it was often more difficult to
keep the water out than it was to lift the coal out. The
steam-engine was then in a very incomplete condition, and both
pumping-and lifting-engines were crude and clumsy affairs. To be
sure Watt, the mathematical instrument-maker, had invented the
double-acting steam-engine, but few had been manufactured, and those
in common use were "atmospheric" engines, known as "Newcomen's"
engines. A pumping-engine had a long, vertical cylinder, with
arrangements for admitting steam at the top. The weight of the
piston, piston-rod, and pump-rod, which ran down a shaft to the
lowest point in the mine, being balanced by a counter-weight on a
sort of well-sweep, the steam, admitted by hand, forced the piston
to the bottom of the cylinder. The steam was then shut off, and a
spray of water was turned on within the cylinder. This water
condensed the steam and reduced the pressure within to almost
nothing, so that the air pressure on the exterior face of the piston
(which amounted to over a ton for every square foot of surface)
drove the piston to the top of the cylinder, and lifted the full
length of the stroke a large quantity of water.

It is evident that the office of engineer was not an easy one. It
was all he could do to take care of the steam end of the pump;
another man was needed to look after the lower end, where the
pump-valve worked in another vertical cylinder. The water entered
this cylinder through holes in the sides, some higher, some lower,
according to the stage of water in the mine. The pumps did not run
continuously, but they lowered the water to the bottom as often as
it was necessary. As the level of the water in the mine fell, it was
necessary to plug the upper holes in the pump cylinder; the man who
watched the lower end and plugged those holes was known as the
"plugman." It is difficult to conceive of a less inspiring
occupation than that to which George Stephenson was promoted at the
age of seventeen. Alone in the dark, chilled by the damp air, and
wet by the black water, he was forced, by lack of other occupation,
to note every mechanical detail of the machinery, and to study
methods of improving it.

At the age of eighteen he heard of some wonderful engines made by
Watt & Boulton, at their new factory, and was told that the engines
were fully described and illustrated in books. So he determined to
learn to read. He was encouraged in this resolve by stories that a
French soldier, by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte, was sweeping
everything before him on the continent of Europe, and that he was
planning the subjugation of Great Britain. Information about
Napoleon could be gained from printed newspapers if one could only

But where should he learn? There was no public school in Wylam; none
of our hero's companions went to school; none of the people he
associated with could read or write. However, he found a teacher in
a young man by the name of Robert Cowens, of whom he took three
lessons per week in the evening. He earned money for books and
instruction by mending shoes and repairing clocks. He was handy with
tools, and quick at seeing the relations of things. As soon as he
could read and write he learned to cipher, taking a slateful of
"sums," set by his teacher, to his work in the morning, to be "done"
during odd moments while watching his pump or engine, for he was
soon advanced to the care of the steam end of the machine.

While young Stephenson, now grown a man, is thus busy with his
primer, his copy-book, and "four rules," let us reflect upon the
uncanny circumstances of his early life. He had no luxuries, few
real comforts. The people around him lived half the time underground
in mines that were dark, damp, and dangerous--in constant war with
water and a poisonous, explosive, natural gas, known as "fire-damp."
Above ground there was little that was attractive or educative. The
young men had their games, at which George was fairly successful,
for he was strong and active. The ale-house stood near by, and it
absorbed most of the spare time and scant earnings of the miners;
but it is said that young Stephenson avoided the saloon, and was
never known to leave his work for a drink of liquor. On off days he
took his engine to pieces, examined its parts and the functions of
each, and remedied small defects and devised improvements. Naturally
clear-headed and ingenious, every circumstance tended to develop his
executive powers. He soon was known in the Tyne valley as a good

An incident, when he was about twenty years of age, did much to
shape his career. He heard that a neighboring mine had been flooded
on account of the inability of the engine to pump fast enough. No
engineer could make the engine efficient. One Sunday he went down
and looked at it. After a thorough examination he said he could make
it work in a week's time if he could have authority to make changes
as he saw fit. Authority was given him. In four days the engine was
repaired and set to work. In spite of jeers from old engine-men, who
were jealous of a mere boy, the pump worked well and the mine was
soon dry. George's reputation was made, and he soon received
appointment as engineer at a large mine at Killingworth, an
important place near by.

Meanwhile Stephenson added exact instrumental drawing to his three
R's. He found, as every artisan finds, that exact drawing is
necessary not only to the study of existing mechanical devices, but
particularly to the successful design of new parts. The successful
inventor generally invents at his drawing-board.

When twenty-one years of age Stephenson married Fanny Henderson, a
respectable country girl living at Ballast Hill. He brought the
bride home behind him on a pillion, a wedding journey of fifteen
miles. Robert Stephenson, who became his father's partner, and one
of the first of England's civil engineers, was born in 1803. In
1812, when Stephenson was thirty-one years old, he was made
engine-wright of a large colliery at Killingworth, at a salary of
$500. The position was one of profit and fine opportunity. All the
engines and machinery were in his hands, and all the repair-and
construction-shops were available for such new designs as he saw fit
to make. He at once set about making his first locomotive.

Locomotives and railroads of certain sorts and fashions were already
in existence, but they were rough and clumsy affairs.

The rails were at first angle-irons, then flat bars of wrought iron,
then cast-iron bars. In 1800 Benjamin Outram used stones for
sleepers, and improved rails--hence "tramways." Over these tramways
cars were drawn by horses, or by ropes from stationary engines.
Murduck made a locomotive in 1784, and by 1812 several types of
engines were used for hauling coal-cars. Stephenson saw one of
Blenkinsop's engines. Gear-wheels connected the crank-shaft with the
axles, and the driving-wheels were geared with the track, while of
course, the coal-cars ran on different rails.

This Blenkinsop's engine was a fearful machine. All the teeth
rattled, and as there were no springs and the road was very uneven,
the shocks were heavy and frequent, even though its speed was only
four miles an hour.

Stephenson's first engine, "My Lord," in honor of his patron, Lord
Ravensworth, was finished in 1814. Some experiments on the friction
of smooth wheels on iron rails led him to omit the teeth on the
drivers, though everyone laughed at him, declaring that the engine
would not run an "up grade," much less draw a load. His faith,
however, resisted all arguments; it was based on experiments and
careful calculations. Stephenson _knew_ that his engine would run up
hill and draw a load, and it did so triumphantly.

But the engine lacked steam. The boiler was small, and the fire was
applied only on the exterior of the shell, and the draft was very
poor, for the chimney was of necessity short. Only very low
steam-pressure was possible, and little or no expansion was
practicable. Consequently the exhaust was noisy and forcible.
Stephenson turned it into the chimney and found that it increased
the draft considerably; he at once thought that a steady jet of
steam could be so directed as to make a strong draft even when the
engine was not in motion. Thus the "blast" was invented, which about
doubled the capacity of the machine.

Stephenson's second locomotive, built in 1815, had no noisy gears,
but instead, chain-belts to the driving-axles. It had, however, no
springs, and the shocks were so great that only a low speed was
possible. In 1816 he built locomotives with springs, some of which
were in use for hauling coals for forty years.

Meanwhile Robert was growing into a manly, useful lad. Knowing
something of the value of education, both of the head and of the
hand, his father determined that Robert should have the best of
both. He was sent to Edinburgh for scientific culture, and when at
home his father taught him drawing, mechanical processes, and the
theory of machines as far as he was able--and his ability was
considerable, for George Stephenson was more of a student than many
whose early advantages were far better than his. The broad dual
training given Robert appears to have been fully successful. Even
before he became a man he was of great value to his father. Together
they worked out plans for modifying and improving the locomotive and
the road it was to run upon. He could soon draw and calculate better
than his father, but he never excelled him in the solution of
practical problems which depended upon a knowledge of materials and
the simple laws of physics and mechanics.

Thus far all railroads had been short, leading from mines to piers
for shipping by water. The success of Stephenson's locomotive, the
best working locomotive ever built at that time, led the
proprietors of the Hetton Colliery, a few miles south of the Tyne
valley, to propose a road, some eight miles long, over high hills
and on steep grades. Stephenson planned and superintended the
construction of the road as their engineer. There were several steep
inclines where loaded cars going down drew empty cars up. There were
two heavy stationary engines drawing cars by a rope, and five of
Stephenson's locomotives for the easy grades. Each locomotive drew
seventeen wagons, weighing about sixty-four tons, at the rate of
four miles per hour. This was the best done as yet, and was
considered a great success. It thoroughly established the reputation
of George Stephenson as an engineer. This road was opened in 1822.

Before the Hetton Railway was opened Stephenson was busy on a larger
work. Parliament had given a franchise for a railway in Durham
County, some twenty miles long, through Darlington to Stockton. The
function of the road was to carry coal to a shipping pier, and it
was not at all settled that horses would not be used to draw the
cars. While not much was known about railways, and very little about
locomotives, there was a growing conviction that there was great
economy in the use of tramways and the steam-engine, and the
prospect brightened for building the road.

The charming biographer, Smiles, tells how George Stephenson called
on Mr. Edward Pease, the president of the proposed railway, and
offered his services in building and equipping the road. Mr. Pease
was at once pleased with the man. "There was," said he later, "such
an honest, sensible look about him, and he seemed so modest and
unpretending. He spoke in the strong Northumbrian dialect, and
described himself as 'only the engine-wright at Killingworth.'"

Stephenson urged at once that the road be built for locomotives. Mr.
Pease had never seen a locomotive at work, and had taken it for
granted that horses would be used; but he went up to Killingworth
and rode on the "Blucher" with Stephenson, while it hauled a train
of loaded cars. Seeing was believing, and Mr. Pease was in favor of
both Stephenson and his locomotive.

So Stephenson was made chief engineer. He and his son Robert
surveyed the line, changed the location, avoiding certain territory
where people were hostile to a road of any sort, and built new and
improved locomotives for the line. What we now call good tools were
not to be had, and skilled workmen were not easy to find, but
Stephenson made a great advance in the quality of the workmanship.

The amended Act of Parliament gave the Stockton and Darlington line
the right to carry passengers in cars drawn by locomotives. This was
the first instance of such a grant. Stephenson met Mr. Pease in
1821; the road was opened to the public in 1825. People came in
crowds to see the locomotives and to ride on the _first public
railway_. There had been bitter opposition to the road and a vast
amount of incredulity as to the ability of the locomotives to do
practical work.

Imagine the excitement of the first ride. The train consisted of 6
cars loaded with coal and other freight; then a short passenger
coach filled with directors and friends; then 21 open cars or
wagons fitted for excursionists; lastly came 6 more cars loaded with
coal--making 38 cars in all!

Mr. Stephenson was proud to be on the locomotive and to run it
himself. It seemed to spectators incredible that the locomotive
could start such a load, but it did start it, and it drew it 8-3/4
miles in 65 minutes, the speed at times reaching 12 miles per hour!
More cars were added at Darlington, and then the train drew on to
Stockton, all cars being crowded with passengers.

The success was complete, and all doubts seemed to vanish. From that
day the traffic over the road continued without interruption. To the
surprise of all, the passenger business became a very important
item, and better cars were quickly in demand.

The road is in use to-day, and I had the pleasure last year of
riding over a part of it. Of course it now looks in all respects
like a modern English road, but I was deeply moved by the thought
that it was there that George Stephenson built his first public
railway and achieved his first public triumph.

Stephenson was not unmindful of the importance of that step. He
said, on that occasion, to some young men, "Now, lads, I will tell
you that I think you will live to see the day (though I may not live
so long), when railways will come to supersede almost all other
methods of conveyance--when mail coaches will go by railway. The
time is coming when it will be cheaper for a working-man to ride
than to go on foot." He lived to see all that himself, and far more.

It is difficult for us to appreciate the popular surprise and
delight at that first railway excursion. We are so accustomed to
splendid engines, luxurious cars, and high speed, that we think
nothing of them; but when all were new--when coaches and carts on
highways were the sole reliance for passengers and freight--it was
astonishing indeed to see a "travelling engine," in charge of two
men, draw a train of forty cars and six hundred people!

Many men would have been satisfied with the result, but Stephenson
was not. He said there was no limit to the speed but the strength of
the machinery and the supply of steam. He saw there was no limit to
the load but the strength and weight of the locomotive, and no limit
to the weight but the strength of the rails and the character of the
road-bed; thus he early saw how progress was to be made.

But Stephenson's greatest triumph was yet to come. The Darlington
road was chiefly for coals, between small towns in a rough northern
county. The vast majority of English people heard nothing, and knew
nothing about it. Consequently when it was proposed to connect the
great commercial city of Liverpool with the great manufacturing city
of Manchester, forty miles away, by a railway, it was taken for
granted that the cars were to be drawn by horses. Nevertheless a
tram-road was opposed, first, by the Duke of Bridgewater, who had a
canal between the two cities; and, secondly, by those who owned the
coaches and the inns. Though proposed in 1821, the opposition was so
great that it was laid over for several years. In 1824 a committee
of interested parties went to Darlington and Killingworth to see
Stephenson's road and locomotives. The Darlington line was not yet
in operation, but the old locomotives were at work at Killingworth.
The committee decided that they must have a double track for cars,
whatever might be the motive power.

Accordingly Stephenson was invited to make surveys and estimates, as
he was said to be a man of great energy and the only man in England
with the necessary experience.

The surveys were made in 1825 with the greatest difficulty, on
account of the opposition of landowners. The surveyors were ordered
off the grounds, threatened with arrest and violence. Stephenson
testified before a Parliamentary Committee that the duke's manager
threatened to have him thrown into the mill-pond if he trespassed.
Stephenson kept on as good terms as he could with the hostiles, and
surveyed their grounds by stealth.

The chief points of difficulty were a tunnel at Liverpool, and a
vast and treacherous morass known as "Chat Moss."

Early in 1825, before the Darlington road was opened, Parliament was
considering the railway bill and Stephenson was called before the
committee as a most important witness. All the opposition was out in
force and every means was used to ridicule the undertaking and
defeat the bill.

The spectacle presented by plain, blunt, unlettered George
Stephenson before the lawyers and members of the House of Commons
was strange and interesting, and no wonder it has become historical.

In the cross-examination, every effort was made to confuse and
discredit the witness, but he bore himself remarkably well. He had
built or superintended half a dozen short railways, and had
constructed sixteen locomotives, and he could speak on the details
of his plans with certainty and confidence. Two things embarrassed
him; the consciousness of awkwardness of manner and speech among men
some of whom were inclined to sneer at his northern dialect and lack
of polish; secondly, the necessity of restraining himself in stating
what his locomotives could do. He fully believed they could draw
long trains at the speed of twenty miles, but he was told by the
friends of the bill that if he made that claim before the committee,
he would be called a madman, and the bill would be killed;
accordingly he promised to hold himself down to ten miles per hour.

The evidence brought in against the bill was remarkable, and to-day
it sounds strange enough. It was urged that the rails would bend
under the locomotive at high speed; that the engine would run off
the track on curves; that if the engine got round the curves the
cars would go off; that the driving-wheels would "spin," if they
went fast, without drawing the train; that the noise and sight of
the train would frighten horses and cattle; that hens would not lay
and cows would cease to give milk along by the road; that the smoke
would poison the air and blast the fields and parks; that the coach
lines would be ruined, horses would no longer be of value, and
coach-makers, harness-makers, inn-keepers and others along the great
roads would have nothing to do, etc., etc. In the face of ignorance,
ridicule, contempt, and self-interest, Stephenson firmly maintained
the safety of a good road, the stability of his engines and cars,
the harmlessness of smoke and noise, and the facility with which
animals became indifferent to trains. He said that at Killingworth
cattle would not stop feeding as the trains went by. As to the
effect of speed, he boldly asserted that at twelve miles per hour
the load on a rail would be no more than at six, and in support of
his position he appealed to skaters who go swiftly over thin ice. As
to the "spinning" of the wheels, he was positive that no such thing
ever had happened or could happen. The enemies of the bill caught at
his suggestion of twelve miles per hour, and so pressed and led him
on that he declared his honest conviction that his trains could run
on such a road as he could make twelve miles per hour. This rashness
alarmed his friends, and they tried in vain to smooth it over by
declaring such speed to be purely "hypothetical."

In spite of all that could be said in its favor, in spite of the
pressing need of better transportation for coal, cotton,
merchandise, and passengers, the bill failed. Such was the
blindness, and ignorance, and prejudice of the House of Commons!
Think of calling George Stephenson "an ignoramus, a fool, a maniac,"
in Parliament, yet such was done.

The friends of the bill were not discouraged; they determined to
apply again the next year; but poor Stephenson was discredited, Mr.
George Rennie, the great bridge engineer, was employed to make a new
survey, and Mr. Stephenson was not called before the committee.
Meanwhile, the Darlington line was opened, and reports of its
success had reached London. It seemed to be admitted that the _road_
was a good thing, but there was great scepticism in regard to the
locomotive. However, the bill passed in the spring of 1826, and the
directors were not long in deciding that the only competent man to
build the road was George Stephenson, and he was elected principal
engineer at a salary of $5,000.

The building of the road seemed to be, and was at the time, a
tremendous undertaking. Bridges, viaducts, tunnels, and above all,
Chat Moss, a yielding bog four miles across and of unknown depth,
all taxed the engineer and the company to the utmost. The road was
finished in 1830. With the exception of bridges and rails it was
very much as it exists to-day.

For a long time the directors were undecided as to the method of
propelling the cars. Nearly every engineer except Stephenson was
opposed to the locomotive, or travelling engine.

It seems incredible that Telford and the two Rennies, road-makers
and bridge-builders, lacked faith in the locomotive, and preferred
stationary engines and long cables. Their main objection to the
locomotive appears to have been based on the fact that the steam
capacity was small, and that it was impracticable to build a
locomotive large enough to furnish all the steam that was needed.
Stephenson insisted that already his locomotives were better than
stationary engines, and yet they could be greatly improved. He said,
"Offer a generous prize for the best locomotive, and inventors and
builders will greatly improve their machines, and we will have a far
better locomotive than now." He said he felt sure he could make a
much better one himself. By that time Stephenson was part owner in
new locomotive works at Newcastle, and Robert was in general charge

The puzzled directors decided to adopt Stephenson's suggestion, and
offered $2,500 as a prize for the best locomotive. The specifications

1. The engine (without tender) must not weigh more than six tons.

2. The ordinary steam pressure must not exceed 50 pounds above that
of the atmosphere.

3. It must be well supplied with safety-valves and pressure-gauges.

4. It must not exceed fifteen feet in height.

5. It must rest on springs.

6. It must be able (if weighing six tons) to draw twenty tons
continuously ten miles per hour.

7. It must not cost more than $2,750.

8. The boiler must stand a pressure, when tested, of 150 pounds per
square inch.

9. It must be ready for trial October 1, 1829.

The publication of these conditions and the offer of the prize
excited great interest, and caused no small amount of comment.[11]
The Stephensons at once began the construction of "The Rocket,"
without doubt the most famous locomotive ever built. The improved
feature it was to have was increased heating surface, so that
without increased weight it could generate more steam. This was
effected by putting fire-tubes through the water in the boiler.
Boiler-tubes had already been used by different people, and some of
Stephenson's locomotives which he had sent to France had been fitted
with tubes. At the suggestion of Mr. James Booth, Stephenson decided
to use a large number of tubes. Modern boilers have smaller tubes
and more of them, but "The Rocket" was the first to typify the
modern multitubular boiler. In other respects "The Rocket" was like
Stephenson's other locomotives built ten or twelve years earlier.

         [Footnote 11: It is said that a prominent man of Liverpool
         declared that "only a parcel of charlatans would ever have
         issued such a set of conditions; that it had been _proved_ to
         be impossible to make a locomotive go ten miles per hour." He
         added that, "if it ever was done, he would eat a stewed
         engine-wheel for breakfast."]

A brief description of "The Rocket" will not be out of place: The
boiler was 6 feet long, 3 feet 4 inches in diameter, and was
furnished with 25 copper tubes 3 inches in diameter. The fire-box
was at the rear end of the boiler, 2 feet wide and 3 feet high,
surrounded by water. The cylinders were high on the sides, pointing
down to the forward wheels, which were the only drivers. Stephenson
had used coupling rods between two sets of "drivers," but "The
Rocket" was made for speed chiefly. Its weight when furnished with
water was only _four and a half tons_! On trial at Killingworth "The
Rocket" worked finely and its capacity for steam was marvellous. It
was sent by wagon to Carlisle and by boat to Liverpool.

On the day set for the trial there were four engines on hand: 1. The
"Novelty," built by young Ericsson, who afterward in New York built
the famous "Monitor." 2. The "Sanspareil," by Timothy Hackworth. 3.
The "Perseverance," by a Mr. Burstall. 4. "The Rocket," by
Stephenson and Booth.

The programme of test fixed by the judges was to run over a level
piece of the road at Rainhill, two miles long, forty times during a
day, at a rate not less than ten miles per hour. The train was to
weigh three and one-third times as much as the locomotive. Each
engine was to have a day for trial.

The "Perseverance" proved slow; its best speed was not more than six
miles per hour; so it was quickly withdrawn.

The "Sanspareil" was made by one of Stephenson's own foremen, and
differed little from the Killingworth style of locomotive. It was
rather over weight, but it ran at times as fast as fourteen miles
per hour. Its machinery was defective, however, and it was ruled out
by the judges.

The "Novelty" ran at times in good style, but its bellows, for
making a fire-blast, were defective and repeatedly gave out, causing
delay. It failed to make the required speed with a full load; by
itself it is said to have run at the rate of twenty-eight miles per
hour. Ericsson claimed that he had not had time to properly
construct his locomotive, and the claim was probably just. As it
was, the time was extended six days.

The day assigned for "The Rocket" was the third day, but when on the
second day all other engines failed, it was brought out to entertain
the spectators. Attaching it to a coach full of passengers,
Stephenson ran over the line at a rate reaching _thirty miles per
hour_, to the amazement of all.

The next morning "The Rocket" was subjected to the regular test. Its
assigned load was thirteen and a half tons which it drew back and
forth over the two-mile track the full stent of forty times, making
a spurt at times as high as twenty-nine miles, about three times
what had been declared possible by the judges! Finally, to show how
fast the engine could go and still keep the track, Mr. Stephenson
ran it alone at the astonishing rate of thirty-five miles per hour.

Thus did "The Rocket" surpass all records and all expectations. The
enthusiasm of every one was unbounded. All doubts were removed and
Stephenson's opponents in the company became his ardent friends. His
judgment seemed infallible, and his word was law.

This victory at Rainhill completed the triumph of the Liverpool and
Manchester Railway. The road was opened the following year, 1830,
with most imposing ceremonies. Members of Parliament, lords and
ladies, and even the great Duke of Wellington, honored the occasion
by their presence, and rode on the excursion trains.

The story of George Stephenson's great work is told. His railroad
and his locomotive had come together, and to stay. All opposition
was crushed, and no sooner was one road in successful operation than
another, sometimes several, were on foot. George and Robert
Stephenson were in demand everywhere and their locomotive works were
full of orders. In twenty years England had nearly ten thousand
miles of railways.

The spectacle of these two men, father and son, working together as
equals was one often admired. Both became wealthy and full of
honor. Titled men were proud to pay their respects to George
Stephenson, and when he died, in 1848, at the age of sixty-seven,
the whole nation rose up to do him honor.

Though probably Stephenson had never heard of Emerson, Emerson had
heard of Stephenson, and he called upon him on his visit to England.
Afterward Emerson said that "it was worth crossing the Atlantic to
have seen Stephenson alone; he had such native force of character
and vigor of intellect."

What a contrast that meeting offers! There face to face stood two
men, two great philosophers, both of whom have broadly and deeply
influenced mankind--one by deeds, the other by words. One wielded
the pen, giving us noble, beautiful and inspiring thoughts,
profoundly analyzing life and character; the other wielded those
cunning tools with which man subdues nature and harnesses its forces
to do his will. He wrote not for the pages of a book, but on lines
of steel with a stylus that conquered time and space, bringing
distant cities into companionship. I look up to each with an equal
reverence. Each achieved the conquest of mind over matter, and each
exhibited the exceeding manliness of a noble life and character.

There is no space with which to speak of Stephenson's safety-lamp,
nor of the influence his life and character have had on the brain
and brawn of working England. If my reader is interested to know him
more and better, let him consult the nearest library.

One word about "The Rocket" and this brief sketch is done. For some
years "The Rocket" did service on the Liverpool and Manchester road,
but it soon proved too light for the heavy traffic, and was sold to
a coal company in the North, where for years it faithfully hauled
coal-cars from the mines. But even there it was superseded, and in
contempt consigned to the back-yard. It was still fleet, but not
strong. In that dreary back-yard among useless lumber, the once
peerless "Rocket" spent a season or two in rain and snow and sunny
weather, when George Stephenson bought it back and put it in his
cabinet at the Newcastle works. After Stephenson's death the
precious relic was placed in the British Museum in London.

"The Rocket" itself was exhibited a few years ago at the Railway
Exposition in Chicago, and an exact copy of it was shown at the
recent World's Fair.

[Signature: C. M. Woodward.]



[Illustration: Samuel F. B. Morse.]

Samuel Finley Breese Morse, artist and inventor, was born at the
foot of Breed's Hill, Charlestown, Mass., on April 27, 1791. His
father was the Rev. Jedediah Morse, D.D., the author of Morse's
"Geography." At the age of fourteen Samuel Morse entered Yale
College; under the instruction of Professors Day and Silliman he
received the first impulse toward those electrical studies with
which his name is mainly identified.

In 1811 Morse, whose tastes during his early years led him more
strongly toward art than toward science, became the pupil of
Washington Allston, then the greatest of American artists, and
accompanied his master to England, where he remained four years. His
success at this period was considerable; but on his return to
America, in 1815, he failed to obtain commissions for historical
paintings, and after working on portraits for two years at
Charleston, S.C., he removed first to Washington and afterward to
Albany, finally settling in New York. In 1825 he laid the
foundations of the National Academy of Design, and was elected its
first president, an office which he filled until 1845. The year 1827
marks the revival of Morse's interest in electricity. It was at this
time that he learned from Professor J. F. Dana, of Columbia College,
the elementary facts of electro-magnetism. As yet, however, he was
devoted to his art, and in 1829 he again went to Europe to study the
old masters.

The year of his return, 1832, may be said to close the period of his
artistic, and to open that of his scientific, life. On board the
packet-ship Sully, which sailed from Havre, October 1, 1832, while
discussing one day with his fellow-passengers the properties of the
electro-magnet, he was led to remark: "If the presence of
electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no
reason why intelligence may not be transmitted by electricity."

It was not a novel proposition, but the process of formulating it
started in his mind a train of new and momentous ideas. The current
of electricity, he knew, would pass instantaneously any distance
along a wire; and if it were interrupted a spark would appear. It
now occurred to him that the spark might represent a part of speech,
either a letter or a number; the absence of the spark, another part;
and the duration of its absence, or of the spark itself, a third; so
that an alphabet might be easily formed, and words indicated. In a
few days he had completed rough drafts of the necessary apparatus,
which he displayed to his fellow-passengers. Five years later, the
captain of the ship identified under oath Morse's completed
instrument with that which Morse had explained on board the Sully,
in 1832.

During the twelve years that followed Morse was engaged in a painful
struggle to perfect his invention and secure for it a proper
presentation to the public. The refusal of the Government to
commission him to paint one of the great historical pictures in the
rotunda of the Capitol, seemed to destroy all his old artistic
ambition. In poverty he pursued his new enterprise, making his own
models, moulds, and castings, denying himself the common necessaries
of life, and encountering embarrassments and delays of the most
disheartening kind. It was not until 1836 that he completed any
apparatus that would work, his original idea having been
supplemented by his discovery, in 1835, of the "relay," by means of
which the electric current might be reinforced or renewed where it
became weak through distance from its source. Finally, on September
2, 1837, the instrument was exhibited to a few friends at his room
in the University building, New York, where a circuit of 1,700 feet
of copper wire had been set up, with such satisfactory results as to
awaken the practical interest of the Messrs. Vail, iron and brass
workers in New Jersey, who thenceforth became associated with Morse
in his undertaking.

Morse's petition for a patent was dated September 28, 1837, and was
soon followed by a petition to Congress for an appropriation to
defray the expense of subjecting the telegraph to actual experiment
over a length sufficient to establish its feasibility and
demonstrate its value. The Committee on Commerce, to whom the
petition was referred, reported favorably. Congress, however,
adjourned without making the appropriation, and meanwhile Morse
sailed for Europe to take out patents there. The trip was not a
success. In England his application was refused, on the alleged
ground that his invention had been already published; and while he
obtained a patent in France, it was subsequently appropriated by the
French Government without compensation to himself. His negotiations
also with Russia proved futile, and after a year's absence he
returned to New York.

On February 23, 1843, Congress passed the long-delayed appropriation
of $30,000; and steps were at once taken to construct a telegraph
from Baltimore to Washington. On May 24, 1844, it was used for the
first time, Mr. Morse himself sending over the wires the first and
ever-to-be-remembered message, "What hath God wrought."

[Illustration: Samuel F. B. Morse, Inventor of the Telegraph.]

Morse's parents were already secured to him and his associates, and
companies were soon formed for the erection of telegraph lines all
over the United States. In the year 1847 he was compelled to defend
his invention in the courts, and successfully vindicated his claims
to be called the original inventor of the electro-magnetic recording
telegraph. Thenceforward Morse's life was spent in witnessing the
growth of his enterprise, and in gathering the honors which an
appreciative public bestowed upon him. As years went by he received
from the various foreign governments their highest distinctions,
while in 1858 the representatives of Austria, Belgium, France, the
Netherlands, Piedmont, Russia, the Holy See, Sweden, Tuscany, and
Turkey appropriated the sum of 400,000 francs in recognition of the
use of his instruments in those countries.

The telegraph is not the only great success with which the name of
Samuel Morse is honorably connected. Having made the acquaintance of
Daguerre in Paris, he studied with him the infancy of photography,
and was the first to take sun pictures, or daguerreotypes, in
America. Also it was he who made the first submarine electric cable.
This was laid in New York Harbor; and from it he was the first to
conceive that stupendous idea of the transoceanic telegraph. In the
preparations for laying the first Atlantic cable he took an active
part, though the attempt of 1857, in which he personally engaged,
was not successful. He died April 2, 1872, at New York, where his
statue in bronze now stands in the Central Park.


         [Footnote 12: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Peter Cooper.]

It may be said, without exaggeration, that few men in our time and
country, not occupying official position, have been so widely and
sincerely mourned as the late Peter Cooper. Other men have been as
genuinely good as he, and have founded charitable institutions as
worthy and as useful, in their way, as the one which is to be the
lasting monument to his memory. But Peter Cooper held a place in the
hearts of his fellow-citizens which belonged to him alone. A man, to
outward seeming, in manners and conversation as plain and homespun
as his name, he held unshaken from youth to old age--and to few men
is it allotted to live in uninterrupted health and action to the age
of ninety-two--the confidence, the respect and the affection of all
sorts of people: the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the
learned and the unlearned, people of all parties and of all
religions. Character is the accumulation of little actions, and
makes its deepest impression, of course, when these actions have
been observed by great numbers of people during a long period of
time. The whole of his ninety-two years, with the exception of a
short time passed in his youth in its vicinity, were spent by Mr.
Cooper in the city of New York. It was little more than a country
town when he was born; it was already one of the great cities of the
world when he died; and in all that time he had been associated with
the business enterprises that had helped its growth, as one of the
chief actors.

The fortune that he built up was both earned and expended here; the
manner of its earning was known of all men, but the way in which it
was expended was rather felt than known, for, like all great and
generous benefactors, Mr. Cooper was without ostentation; but as he
gave while he was alive and all the time that he was alive; and as
he gave to the people among whom he lived, and not to outsiders, it
naturally followed that his name, his person, his traits of
character, became, as it were, a common possession to the people of
New York; but few men upon whom such a glare of publicity had fallen
for so many years would have been able to bear the scrutiny so well
as Peter Cooper.

He was born on February 12, 1791, presumably in Little Dock Street,
now Water Street, Coenties Slip, where his father, John Cooper,
carried on the trade of a hatter. His shop was near the store of
John Jacob Astor, from whom he bought the beaver-skins which he made
up into hats. John Cooper had served in the war of the Revolution,
and when it ended, he retired with the rank of lieutenant. He
married Margaret, the daughter of John Campbell, who also had served
in the Continental army, as quartermaster, and who now carried on
the trade of potter and tile-maker on the spot where St. Paul's
Chapel now stands.

To John and Margaret Cooper nine children were born, two daughters
and seven sons, of whom Peter was the fifth, and was named after the
apostle in the belief, as his father expressed it, that he would
come to something. Following the fashion of the time, he was set to
work at his father's trade as soon as he was old enough to work, as
all his brothers had been before him: and in later years he
described himself as a little boy, with his head just reaching the
top of the table where he was set to pulling out the hairs from
rabbit skins to use in making fur hats; and he was kept at the
business until he was fifteen, when, as he used to tell, he had
learned to make every part of a hat. So independent is business
success of what is commonly called education, that it may be of
interest to record that Peter Cooper never went to school for more
than one year, and only in the half of each day of school: his
parents were poor, and could not spare what his labor earned, and
besides his health was delicate, and the confinement of school was
thought more injurious to him than the work in the shop. In
consequence of this restriction Peter Cooper grew to manhood with
very little learning beyond reading, writing, and the rudiments of
arithmetic, and while this was a source of regret to him all his
life, it was in reality the spur that drove him to found an
institution that should take away all excuses for ignorance from the
coming generations of poor boys in his native city.

The elder Cooper would seem to have been a man of small practical
capacity or staying power, for he moved about from place to place,
changing his business in the hope of bettering his condition; now
going to Peekskill to set up a brewery; thence to Catskill, where
he added brick-making to making beer; then to Brooklyn to try
hatting again; and finally to Newburgh, where he returned to
brewing. In all these shiftings of home and business Peter remained
with his father and gave him what help he could; he used in later
life to recall his carrying about the beer-kegs to his father's
customers; but at the age of seventeen, with his parents' consent,
he came back to New York, and looked about for work on his own
account. He had saved up from his small earnings, while with his
father, the sum of ten dollars, and with this, he tells us, he
bought a lottery ticket, which drew a blank. This seeming misfortune
he turned to good account, for he then determined never to trust to
luck again, but to be content to earn his bread in the appointed
way: it was his first and last speculation. On reaching New York he
had the usual difficulty in finding employment, but at length was
accepted as an apprentice by a firm of carriage-makers, to whom,
with his father's consent, he bound himself until he should come of
age; his masters agreeing to pay him $25 a year and his board. His
grandmother had a house on Broadway, in which she gave him the use
of an upper room, and here in his spare hours he employed himself in
wood-carving, in which he acquired some proficiency. In his business
he worked so industriously, and made himself so valuable to his
employers, that when his time expired they offered to lend him the
money to go into business for himself; but he did not accept this
generous offer, as he was determined never to be in debt. While with
Messrs. Burtis and Woodward he had invented a machine for mortising
wheel-hubs, thus giving the first evidence of an inventive faculty
which, though never accomplishing great things, was often of
considerable service both to himself and the community. On leaving
the business of carriage-making Peter Cooper went to Hempstead, L.
I., where he found work in a woollen factory. Here he invented and
patented an improvement on the machine in use for shearing the nap
of cloth; and as during the war of 1812 all commerce with England
ceased, cloth-making in America flourished, and from the sale of his
machines, which he could hardly make fast enough to supply the
demand, young Cooper reaped a considerable profit. One of his first
customers was the late Matthew Vassar, of Poughkeepsie, to whom he
not only sold some of his machines, but also the right to dispose of
them in Dutchess County. When he found that his earnings had enabled
him to lay by the sum of $500, he thought himself justified in
asking a young woman, Miss Sarah Bedel, whom he had met when in
Hempstead, to become his wife; but before doing so, he determined to
visit his parents in Newburgh, and inform them of his intention. He
found them in great trouble, his father in debt and needing help;
and without hesitation he placed his small savings at his disposal,
paid the most pressing of the debts, and made arrangements for
paying off the rest. His father was thus saved from bankruptcy by
his son's devotion; but the action was characteristic of Peter
Cooper, both in its unselfishness, and as indicative of his business
integrity. He would never be in debt himself, and he was equally
resolved to keep those belonging to him as free as himself. He took
pride in the fact that neither he nor his father had ever failed in
business; and this is the more remarkable, since in the course of
his business life the country passed through no less than ten
serious commercial panics.

Peter Cooper and Miss Bedel were married on December 22, 1813, when
he was twenty-two and the lady twenty-one. Their married life, as it
was exceptionally long, so it was exceptionally happy. It lasted
fifty-six years; Mrs. Cooper died in 1869, and Mr. Cooper survived
her fourteen years, dying in 1883. Their golden wedding was
celebrated in 1863. They had six children, but only two lived to
grow up; the Hon. Edward Cooper, once mayor of the city, and Sarah
Amelia Cooper, the wife of the Hon. Abram S. Hewitt. Mr. James
Parton says: "There never was a happier marriage than this. To old
age Mr. Cooper never sat near his wife without holding her hand in
his. He never spoke to her, nor of her, without some tender epithet.
He attributed the great happiness of his life and most of his
success to her admirable qualities. She seconded every good impulse
of his benevolence, and made the fulfilment of his great scheme
possible by her wise and resolute economy."

Mr. Cooper seems to have inherited something of his father's
business restlessness, for in addition to the many pursuits in which
we have seen him engage, he now bought a grocery stand, and in about
a year gave that up and purchased a glue factory, selling his
grocery business and buying a lease of the glue factory for
twenty-one years, for $2,000, his whole savings. He differed from
his father in this, that everything prospered with which he had to
do. The grocery had done well, but the glue factory did better. "At
that time nearly all the glue used in this country was imported from
Ireland, and sold at a high price. Mr. Cooper studied the subject
and experimented, until he was able to make better glue than the
Irish and sell it at a lower price, and he soon had nearly the
entire glue business of the country in his hands." But chance had
nothing to do with Mr. Cooper's success: the secret of that success
was unremitting industry and generous economy. He worked that he
might earn, and he saved that he might use and give. For twenty
years while he held the glue factory, he was his own bookkeeper,
clerk, and salesman; going to the factory at daybreak to light the
fires, and spending the evenings at home, posting his books,
writing, and reading to his family.

In 1828, moved by the interest in business circles in the completion
of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Mr. Cooper, with two partners,
bought a tract of three thousand acres within the city limits of
Baltimore. By the failure of his associates to meet the payment of
their shares, Mr. Cooper was obliged to shoulder the whole cost,
amounting to $105,000. The road, too, owing to unexpected
difficulties in construction, was dreading bankruptcy, from which it
was saved by Mr. Cooper's ingenuity in devising a locomotive that
enabled the company to overcome certain difficulties that had been
thought insurmountable. Failing in the end to sell his land as he
had hoped, Mr. Cooper decided to utilize the timber growing on it in
the manufacture of charcoal iron. When he had, after many
difficulties, established his works, he sold out to some Boston
capitalists, who formed the Canton Iron Company. Mr. Cooper took a
large part of the purchase in stock at $45 a share, which he finally
sold out at $230 a share.

This was the beginning of his interest in the iron business, where
the greater part of his fortune was made. The remainder came from
his glue works and the industries connected with them. In 1873, the
year of the great panic, in a letter to President Grant suggesting
remedial legislation, Mr. Cooper said that not less than a thousand
persons depended for their bread on the business carried on in the
circle of his family. He had at that time two rolling-mills running,
and two mills for the manufacture of wire and springs; and his glue,
oil, and isinglass works gave employment to two hundred persons.

The story of Mr. Cooper's connection with the laying of the Atlantic
cable has been so often told, that we do not repeat it here. It adds
further testimony to his indomitable energy, his largeness of view,
his financial ability, and the confidence that was felt in him by
his fellow-men. The story of the difficulties, failures and final
success of this grandest achievement of modern science and
enterprise, is as romantic as any episode in social history.

But, in Peter Cooper's view, the most important event in his
life--the one to which all his energies, his thoughts, his economics
had been steadily directed since his youth--was the founding of the
institution that bears his name, and that has made him a powerful
factor in the development of New York. It was the outcome, in the
first place, of its founder's regret for the deficiencies of his own
early training, which were owing partly to his parents' poverty and
partly to the lack of public or free schools in his native city when
he was a boy. But this regret, which could only have been felt by a
man of superior intelligence, was made to flower in this great
result by Mr. Cooper's genuine, deep, and unfailing love for his
fellow-men, and his belief in the duty of every man to help the race
forward in its progress to a better social condition. He has himself
stated the principles on which his life was founded. His aim was "to
render some equivalent to society, in some useful form of labor, for
each day of his existence;" and "while he had always recognized that
the object of business is to make money in an honorable manner, he
had endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good."

In 1876 Mr. Cooper was nominated for the presidency by the National
Independent or "Greenback" party. It was with no selfish ambition
that he allowed his name to go before the voters of the country, and
his only regret at the result was that a policy was defeated which
he believed to be for the public good.

Mr. Cooper died April 4, 1883, at the age of ninety-two, after a
short illness, the result of a cold. At his funeral, the late Dr.
Crosby said: "What an example has been set by this life to our young
men! How it shows them what the true aim of life should be! What an
example to our wealthy men to show that money obtained by honest
industry, and spent in benefiting mankind, will never produce war
between labor and capital, but will assuage all angry elements, and
give universal peace! Oh! if all our wealthy men were like Peter
Cooper, all classes would be satisfied, all commotions cease, and
the community would be as near perfection--as near perfection in the
pecuniary view--as it possibly could be on earth."

[Signature: Clarence Cook.]



[Illustration: Louis Kossuth.]

Louis Kossuth was born at Monok, in Zemplin, one of the northern
counties of Hungary, April 21, 1802. His family was ancient, but
impoverished; his father served in the Austrian army during the wars
against Napoleon; his mother is represented to have been a woman of
extraordinary force of mind and character. Kossuth thus adds another
to the long list of great men who seem to have inherited their
genius from their mothers. As a boy he was remarkable for the
winning gentleness of his disposition, and for an earnest
enthusiasm, which gave promise of future eminence, could he but
break the bonds imposed by low birth and iron fortune. A young
clergyman was attracted by the character of the boy, and voluntarily
took upon himself the office of his tutor, and thus first opened
before his mind visions of a broader world than that of the
miserable village of his residence. But these serene days of power
expanding under genial guidance soon passed away. His father died,
his tutor was translated to another post, and the walls of his
prison-house seemed again to close upon the boy. But by the aid of
members of his family, themselves in humble circumstances, he was
enabled to attend such schools as the district furnished. Little
worth knowing was taught there; but among that little was the Latin
language; and through that door the young dreamer was introduced
into the broad domains of history, where, abandoning the mean
present, he could range at will through the immortal past.

In times of peace the law offers to an aspiring youth the readiest
means of ascent from a low degree to lofty stations. Kossuth,
therefore, when just entering upon manhood, made his way to Pesth,
the capital, to study the legal profession. Here he entered the
office of a notary, and began gradually to make himself known by his
liberal opinions and the fervid eloquence with which he set forth
and maintained them; and men began to see in him the promise of a
powerful public writer, orator, and debater.

The man and the hour were alike preparing. In 1825, the year before
Kossuth arrived at Pesth, the critical state of her Italian
possessions compelled Austria to provide extraordinary revenues. The
Hungarian Diet was then assembled, after an interval of thirteen
years. This Diet at once demanded certain measures of reform before
they would make the desired pecuniary grants. The court was obliged
to concede these demands. Kossuth, having completed his legal
studies, and finding no favorable opening in the capital, returned,
in 1830, to his native district, and commenced the practice of the
law, with marked success. He also began to make his way toward
public life by his assiduous attendance and intelligent action in
the local assemblies. A new Diet was assembled in 1832, and he
received a commission as the representative in the Diet of a magnate
who was absent. As proxy for an absentee he was only charged, by the
Hungarian Constitution, with a very subordinate part, his functions
being more those of a counsel than of a delegate. This, however, was
a post much sought for by young and aspiring lawyers, as giving them
an opportunity of mastering legal forms, displaying their abilities,
and forming advantageous connections.

This Diet renewed the Liberal struggle with increased vigor. By far
the best talent of Hungary was ranged upon the Liberal side. Kossuth
early made himself known as a debater, and gradually won his way
upward, and became associated with the leading men of the Liberal
party, many of whom were among the proudest and richest of the
Hungarian magnates. He soon undertook to publish a report of the
debates and proceedings of the Diet. This attempt was opposed by the
Palatine, and a law hunted up which forbade the "printing and
publishing" of these reports. He, for a while, evaded the law by
having his sheet lithographed. It increased in its development of
democratic tendencies, and in popularity, until finally the
lithographic press was seized by Government. Kossuth, determined not
to be baffled, still issued his journal, every copy being written
out by scribes, of whom he employed a large number. To avoid seizure
at the post-office, they were circulated through the local
authorities, who were almost invariably on the Liberal side. His
periodical penetrated into every part of the kingdom, and men saw
with wonder a young and almost unknown public writer boldly pitting
himself against Metternich and the whole Austrian cabinet. Kossuth
might well, at this period, declare that he "felt within himself
something nameless."

In the succeeding Diets the Opposition grew still more determined.
Kossuth, though twice admonished by Government, still continued his
journal; and no longer confined himself to simple reports of the
proceedings of the Diet, but added political remarks of the keenest
satire and most bitter denunciation. He was aware that his course
was a perilous one. He was once found by a friend walking in deep
reverie in the fortress of Buda, and in reply to a question as to
the subject of his meditations, he said, "I was looking at the
casemates, for I fear that I shall soon be quartered there."
Government finally determined to use arguments more cogent than
discussion could furnish. Baron Wesselenyi, the leader of the
Liberal party, was arrested, together with a number of his
adherents, among whom Kossuth was of too much note to be overlooked.

Kossuth became at once sanctified in the popular mind as a martyr.
Liberal subscriptions were raised through the country for the
benefit of his mother and sisters, whom he had supported by his
exertions, and who were now left without protection. Wesselenyi
became blind in prison; Lovassi, an intimate friend of Kossuth, lost
his reason; and Kossuth himself, as was certified by his physicians,
was in imminent risk of falling a victim to a serious disease. The
rigor of his confinement was mitigated; he was allowed books,
newspapers, and writing materials, and suffered to walk daily upon
the bastions of the fortress, in charge of an officer. Among those
who were inspired with admiration for his political efforts, and
with sympathy for his fate, was Teresa Mezlenyi, the young daughter
of a nobleman. She sent him books, and corresponded with him during
his imprisonment; and they were married in 1841, soon after his

In the second year of Kossuth's imprisonment Austria again needed
Hungarian assistance. The threatening aspect of affairs in the East,
growing out of the relations between Turkey and Egypt, determined
all the great powers to increase their armaments. A demand was made
upon the Hungarian Diet for an additional levy of 18,000 troops. A
large body of delegates was chosen pledged to oppose this grant
except upon condition of certain concessions, among which was a
general amnesty, with a special reference to the cases of Wesselenyi
and Kossuth. The more sagacious of the Conservative party advised
Government to liberate all the prisoners, with the exception of
Kossuth; and to do this before the meeting of the Diet, in order
that their liberation might not be made a condition of granting the
levy, which must be the occasion of great excitement. The cabinet
temporized and did nothing. The Diet was opened, and the contest was
waged during six months. The Opposition had a majority of two in the
Chamber of Deputies, but were in a meagre minority in the Chamber of
Magnates. But Metternich and the cabinet grew alarmed at the
struggle, and were eager to obtain the grant of men, and to close
the refractory Diet. In 1840 a royal rescript suddenly made its
appearance, granting the amnesty, accompanied also with conciliatory
remarks, and the demands of the Government for men and money were at
once complied with.

Kossuth issued from prison, in 1840, bearing in his debilitated
frame, his pallid face, and glassy eyes, traces of severe
sufferings, both of mind and body. He repaired for a time to a
watering-place among the mountains to recruit his shattered health.
His imprisonment had done more for his influence than he could have
effected if at liberty. The visitors at the watering-place treated
with silent respect the man who moved about among them in
dressing-gown and slippers, and whose slow steps, and languid
features, disfigured with yellow spots, proclaimed him an invalid.
Abundant subscriptions had been made for his benefit and that of his
family, and he now stood on an equality with the proudest magnates.
These had so often used the name of the "Martyr of the Liberty of
the Press," in pointing their speeches, that they now had no choice
but to accept the popular verdict as their own.

Soon after his liberation, Kossuth came forward as the principal
editor of the _Pesth Gazette_ (_Pesthi Hirlap_), which a bookseller
who enjoyed the protection of the Government had received permission
to establish. The name of the editor was now sufficient to electrify
the country; and Kossuth at once stood forth as the advocate of the
rights of the lower and middle classes against the inordinate
privileges and immunities enjoyed by the magnates. But when he went
to the extent of demanding that the house-tax should be paid by all
classes in the community, not even excepting the highest nobility, a
party was raised up against him among the nobles, who established a
paper to combat so disorganizing a doctrine. This party, backed by
the influence of the Government, succeeded in defeating the election
of Kossuth as member from Pesth for the Diet of 1843. He was,
however, very active in the local assembly of the capital.

Kossuth was not altogether without support among the higher nobles.
The blind old Wesselenyi traversed the country, advocating rural
freedom and the abolition of the urbarial burdens. Among his
supporters at this period, also, was Count Louis Batthyanyi, one of
the most considerable of the Magyar magnates, subsequently President
of the Hungarian Ministry, and the most illustrious martyr of the
Hungarian cause. Aided by his powerful support, Kossuth was again
brought forward, in 1847, as one of the two candidates from Pesth.
The Government party, aware that they were in a decided minority,
limited their efforts to an attempt to defeat the election of
Kossuth. This they endeavored to effect by stratagem, but failed

Kossuth no sooner took his seat in the Diet than the foremost place
was at once conceded to him. At the opening of the session he moved
an address to the king, concluding with the petition that "liberal
institutions, similar to those of the Hungarian Constitution, might
be accorded to all the hereditary states, that thus might be created
a united Austrian monarchy, based upon broad and constitutional
principles." During the early months of the session Kossuth showed
himself a most accomplished parliamentary orator and debater; and
carried on a series of attacks upon the policy of the Austrian
cabinet, which for skill and power have few parallels in the annals
of parliamentary warfare. Those form a very inadequate conception of
its scope and power, whose ideas of the eloquence of Kossuth are
derived solely from the impassioned and exclamatory harangues which
he flung out during the war. These were addressed to men wrought up
to the utmost tension, and can be judged fairly only by men in a
state of high excitement. He adapted his matter and manner to the
occasion and the audience. Some of his speeches are marked by a
stringency of logic worthy of Webster or Calhoun; but it was what
all eloquence of a high order must ever be--"logic red-hot."

Now came the French Revolution of February, 1848. The news of it
reached Vienna on March 1st, and was received at Presburg on the 2d.
On the following day Kossuth delivered his famous speech on the
finances and the state of the monarchy generally, concluding with a
proposed "Address to the Throne," urging a series of reformatory
measures. Among the foremost of these was the emancipation of the
country from feudal burdens--the proprietors of the soil to be
indemnified by the state; equalizing taxation; a faithful
administration of the revenue to be satisfactorily guaranteed; the
further development of the representative system; and the
establishment of a government representing the voice of, and
responsible to, the nation. The speech produced an effect almost
without parallel in the annals of debate. Not a word was uttered in
reply, and the motion was unanimously carried. On March 13th took
place the revolution in Vienna which overthrew the Metternich cabinet.
On the 15th the constitution granted by the emperor to all the nations
within the empire was solemnly proclaimed amid the wildest transports
of joy. Henceforth there were to be no more Germans or Sclavonians,
Magyars or Italians; strangers embraced and kissed each other in the
streets, for all the heterogeneous races of the empire were now
brothers: as likewise were all the nations of the earth at Anacharsis
Klootz's "Feast of Pikes" in Paris on that 14th day of July in the
year of grace 1790--and yet, notwithstanding, came the "Reign of

Among the demands made by the Hungarian Diet was that of a separate
and responsible ministry for Hungary. The Palatine, Archduke
Stephen, to whom the conduct of affairs in Hungary had been
intrusted, persuaded the emperor to accede to this demand, and on
the following day Batthyanyi, who, with Kossuth and a deputation of
delegates of the Diet was in Vienna, was named President of the
Hungarian ministry. It was, however, understood that Kossuth was the
life and soul of the new ministry.

Kossuth assumed the Department of Finance, then, as long before and
now, the post of difficulty under Austrian administration. The Diet,
meanwhile, went on to consummate the series of reforms which Kossuth
had so long and steadfastly advocated.

Up to this time there had been, indeed, a vigorous and decided
opposition, but no insurrection. The true cause of the Hungarian war
was the hostility of the Austrian Government to the whole series of
reformatory measures which had been effected through the
instrumentality of Kossuth; but its immediate occasion was the
jealousy which sprung up among the Servian and Croatian dependencies
of Hungary against the Hungarian ministry. This soon broke out into
an open revolt, headed by Baron Jellachich, who had just been
appointed Ban, or Lord, of Croatia. How far the Serbs and Croats had
occasion for jealousy is of little consequence to our present
purpose to inquire; though we may say, in passing, that the
proceedings of the Magyars toward the other Hungarian races was
marked by a far more just and generous feeling and conduct than
could have been possibly expected. But however the case may have
been, as between the Magyars and Croats, as between the Hungarians
and Austria, the hostile course of the latter is without excuse or
palliation. The emperor had solemnly sanctioned the action of the
Diet, and did as solemnly denounce the proceedings of Jellachich. On
May 29th the Ban was summoned to present himself at Innsprück to
answer for his conduct, and as he did not make his appearance, an
imperial manifesto was issued on June 10th depriving him of all his
dignities, and commanding the authorities at once to break off all
intercourse with him. He, however, still continued his operations,
and levied an army for the invasion of Hungary, and a fierce and
bloody war of races broke out, marked on both sides by the most
fearful atrocities.

The Hungarian Diet was opened on July 5th, when the Palatine,
Archduke Stephen, in the name of the king, solemnly denounced the
conduct of the insurgent Croats. A few days after, Kossuth, in a
speech in the Diet, set forth the perilous state of affairs, and
concluded by asking for authority to raise an army of 200,000 men,
and a large amount of money. These proposals were adopted by
acclamation, the enthusiasm in the Diet rendering any debate
impossible and superfluous.

The Imperial forces having been victorious in Italy, and one
pressing danger being thus averted from the empire, the Austrian
cabinet began openly to display its hostility to the Hungarian
movement. Jellachich repaired to Innsprück, and was openly
acknowledged by the court, and the decree of deposition was revoked.
Early in September Hungary and Austria stood in an attitude of
undisguised hostility. On the 5th of that month Kossuth, though
enfeebled by illness, was carried to the hall of the Diet, where he
delivered a speech, declaring that so formidable were the dangers
that surrounded the nation, that the ministers might soon be forced
to call upon the Diet to name a dictator, clothed with unlimited
powers, to save the country; but before taking this final step they
would recommend a last appeal to the Imperial Government. A large
deputation was thereupon despatched to the emperor, to lay before
him the demands of the Hungarian nation. No satisfactory answer was
returned, and the deputation left the imperial presence in silence.
On their return they plucked from their caps the plumes of the
united colors of Austria and Hungary, and replaced them with red
feathers, and hoisted a flag of the same color on the steamer which
conveyed them to Pesth. Their report produced the most intense
agitation in the Diet and at the capital, but it was finally
resolved to make one more attempt for a pacific settlement of the
question. In order that no obstacle might be interposed by their
presence, Kossuth and his colleagues resigned, and a new ministry
was appointed. A deputation was sent to the National Assembly at
Vienna, which refused to receive it. Jellachich had in the meantime
entered Hungary with a large army, not as yet, however, openly
sanctioned by imperial authority. The Diet, seeing the imminent
peril of the country, conferred dictatorial powers upon Kossuth. The
Palatine resigned his post and left the kingdom. The emperor
appointed Count Lemberg to take the entire command of the Hungarian
army. The Diet declared the appointment illegal, and the count,
arriving at Pesth without escort, was slain in the streets of the
capital by the populace, in a sudden outbreak. The emperor forthwith
placed the kingdom under martial law, giving the supreme civil and
military power to Jellachich. The Diet at once revolted, declared
itself permanent, and appointed Kossuth Governor, and President of
the Committee of Safety.

There was now but one course left for the Hungarians: to maintain by
force of arms the position they had assumed. We cannot detail the
events of the war which followed, but merely touch upon the most
salient points. Jellachich was speedily driven out of Hungary toward
Vienna. In October the Austrian forces were concentrated, under
command of Windischgrätz, to the number of 120,000 veterans, and
were put on the march for Hungary. To oppose them the only forces
under the command of the new government of Hungary were 20,000
regular infantry, 7,000 cavalry, and 14,000 recruits, who received
the name of Honveds, or "protectors of home." Of all the movements
that followed, Kossuth was the soul and chief. His burning and
passionate appeals stirred up the souls of the peasants, and sent
them by thousands to the camp. He kindled enthusiasm, he organized
that enthusiasm, and transformed those raw recruits into soldiers
more than a match for the veteran troops of Austria. Though himself
not a soldier, he discovered and drew about him soldiers and
generals of a high order. The result was that Windischgrätz was
driven back from Hungary, and of the 120,000 troops which he led
into that kingdom in October, one-half were killed, disabled, or
taken prisoners at the end of April. The state of the war on May 1st
may be gathered from the imperial manifesto of that date, which
announced that "the insurrection in Hungary had grown to such an
extent" that the Imperial Government "had been induced to appeal to
the assistance of his majesty the Czar of all the Russias, who
generously and readily granted it to a most satisfactory extent."
The issue of the contest could no longer be doubtful when the
immense weight of Russia was thrown into the scale. In modern
warfare there is a limit beyond which devotion and enthusiasm cannot
supply the place of numbers and material force. And that limit was
overpassed when Russia and Austria were pitted against Hungary.

On May 1st the Russian intervention was announced. On August 11th
Kossuth resigned his dictatorship into the hands of Görgey, who, two
days after, in effect closed the war by surrendering to the

The Hungarian war thus lasted a little more than eleven months,
during which time there was but one ruling and directing spirit, and
that was Kossuth, to whose immediate career we now return.

Nothing remained for him and his companions but flight. They gained
the Turkish frontier, and threw themselves on the hospitality of the
sultan, who promised them a safe asylum. Russia and Austria demanded
that the fugitives should be given up; but being supported by France
and England, the sultan arranged a compromise by which they were
detained in Asia Minor as prisoners. Kossuth was released in 1851,
and made a tour of the United States, agitating in favor of Hungary.
He never returned to his native land, but lived an exile for over
forty years. For a while he struggled desperately to help the
Hungarians; then, finding that the universal progress of liberal
ideas was doing more for them than he ever could, he resigned
himself to a peaceful life devoted to literature and science. He
died at Turin, March 20, 1894, reverenced by all the world, and
mourned by his countrymen with tumultuous demonstrations as their
national hero.

Kossuth occupies a position peculiarly his own, whether we regard
the circumstances of his rise, or the feelings which have followed
him in his fall. Born in the middle ranks of life, he raised himself
by sheer force of intellect to the loftiest place among the proudest
nobles on earth, without ever deserting or being deserted by the
class from which he sprung. He effected a sweeping reform without
appealing to any sordid or sanguinary motive. No soldier himself, he
transformed a country into a camp, and a nation into an army. He
transmuted his words into batteries, and his thoughts into soldiers.
Without ever having looked upon a stricken field, he organized the
most complete system of resistance to despotism that the history of
revolutions has furnished. It failed, but only failed where nothing
could have succeeded.


         [Footnote 13: Reprinted, by permission, from the Magazine of
         American History.]



[Illustration: John Ericsson.]

In a message, referring to the relations of our country with the
several nations of Europe, President Harrison said: "The restoration
of the remains of John Ericsson to Sweden afforded a gratifying
occasion to honor the memory of the great inventor, to whose genius
our country owes so much, and to bear witness to the unbroken
friendship which has existed between the land which bore him and our
own, which claimed him as a citizen."

This paragraph is a forcible reminder of the impressive ceremonial
witnessed in the streets and harbor of New York City, on Saturday,
August 23, 1890. It had been intimated to this Government, as is
well known, that the Government of Sweden would regard it as a
graceful act if the remains of Captain John Ericsson should be
conveyed to his native country upon a United States man-of-war; and
arrangements having been completed, the Baltimore was assigned to
the service. In committing the illustrious dead to the care of the
commander of the Baltimore, Mr. George H. Robinson said: "We send
him back crowned with honor, proud of the life of fifty years he
devoted to this nation, and with gratitude for his gifts to us."

John Ericsson's birthplace in Sweden is marked by a large granite
monument erected in 1867. His father was a mining proprietor, and
his mother an energetic, intellectual, and high-spirited woman. His
brother, Nils, one year older than himself, was trained as an
engineer, became chief of the construction of the system of
government railways in Sweden, was created a baron, and retired in
1862 with a pension larger than any before bestowed upon a Swedish
subject. His sister Caroline, born in 1800, was a girl of unusual
beauty. As a boy John was the wonder of the neighborhood. The
machinery at the mines was to him an endless source of curiosity and
delight. He was constantly trying to make models, even before he had
learned to read. He had from his own plans constructed a miniature
saw-mill prior to his tenth birthday, and made numerous drawings of
a complicated character. The graphic account of his youth and early
manhood which his biographer presents is full of suggestion and
instruction. The boy was too much occupied with his contrivances to
join in the pastimes of other children. His opportunities were
unusually stimulating. The project of the Göta Canal Company, one of
the most formidable undertakings of its kind, was revived when he
was about ten years old, his father being appointed one of its
engineers, holding place next to that of the chief of the work. This
opened a new world of ideas, and the little fellow undertook all
manner of schemes. He was independent of outside assistance. Steel
tweezers, borrowed from his mother's dressing-case and ground to a
point, furnished him with a drawing pen, and his compasses were made
of birch-wood with needles inserted at the end of the legs. Later
on, he robbed his mother's sable cloak of the hairs required for two
small brushes, in order to complete his drawings in appropriate
colors. The clever lad attracted the notice of some of the greatest
mechanical draughtsmen in Sweden, who made him drawings to serve as
models, and taught him many of the principles of the art. Finally
the celebrated engineer, Count Platen, becoming interested,
appointed him a cadet in the corps of mechanical engineers; and such
was his progress in sketching profiles, maps, and drawings for the
archives of the canal company, that in 1816, at the age of thirteen,
he was made assistant leveller at the station of Riddarhagen. The
next year he was employed to set out the work for six hundred
operatives, though he was yet too small to reach the eye-piece of
his levelling instrument without the aid of a stool carried by an
attendant. Thus it will be seen that he was identified almost from
his cradle with great engineering works. His father died in 1818,
and in 1820, when seventeen, he entered the Swedish army as an
ensign and was rapidly promoted to a lieutenancy.

The skill of young Ericsson in topographical drawing was so marked
that he was soon summoned to the royal palace to draw maps to
illustrate the campaigns of the marshal of the empire. He also
passed with distinction a competitive examination for an appointment
on the survey of Northern Sweden. This new employment was exacting,
and the pay determined by the amount of work accomplished. Mr.
Church says: "The young surveyor from the Göta Canal was so
indefatigable in his industry and so rapid in execution, that he
performed double duty and was carried on the pay-roll as two persons
in order to avoid criticism and charges of favoritism. The results
of his labors were maps of fifty square miles of territory, still
preserved in the archives of Stockholm."

At the age of twenty-one John Ericsson is described as "a handsome,
dashing youth, with a cluster of thick, brown, glossy curls
encircling his white, massive forehead. His mouth was delicate but
firm, nose straight, eyes light blue, clear and bright, with a
slight expression of sadness, his complexion brilliant with the
freshness and glow of healthy youth. The broad shoulders carried
most splendidly the proud, erect head. He presented, in short, the
very picture of vigorous manhood. A portrait of him at this age,
painted upon ivory for his mother by an English artist named Way,
has been preserved."

Fifteen years later he was in New York, and is thus described by
Samuel Risley: "Captain Ericsson all his life was careful of his
personal appearance; at the time I refer to (1839) he was
exceptional in dress, not dandified, but more in keeping with the
present morning-call attire than an ordinary day habit. A
close-fitting black frock surtout coat, well open at the front, with
rolling collar, showing velvet vest and a good display of
shirt-front; a fine gold chain hung about his neck, looped at the
first button-hole of the vest and attached to a watch carried in the
fob of the vest. Usually light-colored, well-fitting trousers,
light-colored kid gloves, and a beaver hat completed the dress. To
this add a well-built military figure, about five feet ten and
one-half inches in height and well set-up, with broad shoulders and
rather large hands and feet; the head well placed and supported by a
military stock round the neck. Expressive features, blue eyes, and
brown curly hair, fair complexion. His head was of medium size, his
mouth well cut, upper lip a little drawn, the jaws large and firm
set, conveying an expression of firmness and individual character.
Up to the summer of 1842 I was in constant attendance upon the
captain, being a sort of factotum to him in preparing his models. At
that time he boarded at the Astor House, where I first met his wife.
His manner with strangers was courteous and extremely taking. He
invariably made friends of high and low alike. With those in
immediate contact in carrying out his work he was very popular."

Mr. Church, in his biography, devotes three chapters to a
delightfully condensed account of Ericsson's career in England,
whither he went in 1826 to exhibit his flame-engine. He quickly
formed a partnership with John Braithwaite, a working engineer, and
in his new field of activity produced invention after invention in
such rapid succession that the truth reads like a fairy tale. An
instrument for taking sea-soundings, a hydrostatic weighing-machine,
his improvements in the steam-engine--dispensing with huge
smoke-stacks, economizing fuel, using compressed air and the
artificial draught--and in surface condensation, were the work of
this period, during which he also invented the steam fire-engine,
which excited great interest in London. The famous battle of the
locomotives in 1829 brought the young man of twenty-six before the
English public in a manner never to be forgotten. At that date
Stephenson himself dared not say very much about the speed of the
locomotive. Had he ventured to predict that it would reach twenty
miles an hour on the railway, he would have been laughed out of
court. He cautiously expressed his faith in the possibility of
running it ten miles an hour, and multitudes regarded the experiment
with consternation. There was great prejudice then existing in
England against railroads. It was a mode of conveyance that would
bring noble and peasant to a common level, and fashion clung
tenaciously to its earlier inconveniences, which had at least the
merit of being exclusive.

But in spite of the baleful prophecies concerning the locomotive
engine, the officials of the projected railroad between Liverpool
and Manchester, where the cars were expected to be drawn by horses,
offered a premium of £500 for the best locomotive capable of drawing
a gross weight of twenty tons at the rate of ten miles an hour. The
conditions required a run of seventy miles. Five months were allowed
for building the engines. Ericsson heard of the project only seven
weeks before the appointed time of trial, and at once determined to
compete. He hastily built the "Novelty," assisted by Braithwaite,
and when the exhibition came off his was practically the only
locomotive which disputed for the supremacy with Stephenson's
"Rocket." But a portion of the railroad had yet been finished; thus
the competing locomotives were compelled to cover their distance by
making twenty trips back and forth over one and three-quarter miles
of track. The excitement was intense. The London _Times_ next
morning said: "The 'Novelty' was the lightest and most elegant
carriage on the road yesterday, and the velocity with which it moved
surprised and amazed every beholder. It shot along the line at the
amazing rate of thirty miles an hour! It seemed, indeed, to fly;
presenting one of the most sublime spectacles of human ingenuity and
human daring the world ever beheld."

Ericsson had really built a much faster locomotive than Stephenson's
"Rocket;" and although it had been constructed with such celerity
that it broke down before the final point was reached, and he
thereby lost the prize, yet the superiority of the principle
involved in it was universally recognized. John Bourn said: "To most
men the production of such an engine would have constituted an
adequate claim to celebrity. In the case of Ericsson, it is only a
single star of the brilliant galaxy with which his shield is
spangled." "We may imagine," writes Mr. Church, "the excitement
following the announcement in the _Times_ concerning the performance
of the 'Novelty,' for to this engine England's great daily devoted
chief attention." Railroad shares leaped at once to a premium, and
excited groups gathered on 'change to discuss the wonderful event.
The pessimists were silenced, and the art of modern railway travel
inaugurated. A grand banquet was given in Liverpool to the directors
and officers of the railway and to the competing locomotive
builders. Toasts and speeches followed; and if Ericsson did not
carry home with him the £500 offered as a prize, he at least made
himself known to all England as one of the rising men of his

Ericsson's long-cherished plan of a caloric engine was realized in
1833, and was hailed with astonishment by the scientific world of
London. Lectures were delivered on it by Dr. Dionysius Lardner and
Michael Faraday, and it was much praised by Dr. Alexander Ure and
Sir Richard Phillips. In 1836 Ericsson invented and patented the
screw propeller, which revolutionized navigation, and in 1837 built
a steam vessel having twin screw propellers, which on trial towed
the American packet-ship Toronto at the rate of five miles an hour
on the river Thames. In 1838 he constructed the iron screw steamer
Robert F. Stockton, which crossed the Atlantic under canvas in 1839,
and was afterward employed as a tug-boat on the Delaware River for a
quarter of a century. Within ten years Ericsson patented thirty
inventions considered by him of sufficient importance to claim a
place in the list that in 1863 numbered one hundred.

A notable feature of the admirable work of Mr. Church is the
elucidation of the truth, so often overlooked, that events never
spring into being disjoined from antecedents leading to them. He
explains how the varied achievements of John Ericsson were
developed, showing with great force and in imperishable colors the
steps to his successes, and the help the famous engineer derived in
later life from the studies and experiments of his earlier career.
Mr. Church, as the literary executor of Ericsson, has had unrivalled
opportunities for examining the accumulation of data which throw
light all along the way, and while dealing with the masterly
engineering exploits of his subject, does not forget that he had a
human side, and presents him with all his hopes and fears and
failures, his aims, his obstacles, his courage, and his habits and
eccentricities. Ericsson certainly cherished a very high ideal, and
was free to an unusual extent from mercenary motives. His inventions
did not always pay; he found this a weary world for those who see
beyond their fellows. Some of his mechanical contrivances in common
use to-day dated so far back of the memory of any one living that
before he died he often learned that he was supposed to have copied
from others what he, in fact, originated himself or first brought
into use.

The barriers of tradition and prejudice had to be overcome with his
every new invention. The introduction of steam in any shape to the
English navy was sharply opposed. It is interesting to trace the
incidents, apparently without connection, which stand in orderly
relations one to another as essential parts of an intelligent
design. Ericsson was in America at the critical moment when all the
experiences of his previous life were to be brought into full play;
when he was to take part in an enterprise involving the existence of
a nation, the hopes of humanity. He was ready to meet the strain of
a demand to which no other living man was adequate. He was then
fifty-eight years of age, with the constitution and the vital forces
of a man of forty, and such experience in actual accomplishment as
few acquire in the longest span of a lifetime.

When he received the order of our Government for the Monitor his
plans were already drawn. He had been at work for years perfecting
his system of aquatic attack, originally designed for the protection
of Sweden against foreign aggression, and had in 1854 submitted his
drawings to the Emperor of France. The story of his proceedings in
Washington is familiar to our readers, but in these notable volumes
of Mr. Church it is told with a fulness of detail never before
attempted. The Monitor in all its parts was designed by Ericsson,
and, fortunately for the country, he was allowed to superintend its
construction. His former plans, however, had to be carefully revised
to meet the novel conditions of life in a submerged structure. It
was estimated that this iron-clad vessel contained at least forty
patentable contrivances. The entire resources of modern engineering
knowledge were brought to bear upon the solution of the problem of
an impregnable battery, armed with guns of the heaviest calibre then
known, hull shot-proof from stern to stern, rudder and propeller
protected against the enemy's fire, and above all, having the
advantage of light draught. Ericsson was made responsible for the
successful working of his vessel in every respect. The anxiety of
the Government was such that every stage in the progress of the work
toward completion was watched with restless interest. Ericsson's
nerves and sinews seemed to be made of steel. He scarcely took time
to eat or sleep, and he was deluged with a continuous tempest of
criticism, warning, and advice, from those who knew nothing about
the intricacies of science involved in the undertaking. The least
halting, even trifling delay, confusion of mind, or weakness of
body, and the story of Hampton Roads might not have been written.

The Monitor was finished and left the harbor of New York for
Washington on the afternoon of March 6, 1862, in tow of a tug, and
accompanied by two naval steamers. Chief Engineer Alban S. Stimers,
U. S. N., who was on the vessel as a passenger, described in a
letter, dated March 9, 1862, to Ericsson, the dramatic incidents
attending its arrival at Hampton Roads. "After a stormy passage we
fought the Merrimac for more than three hours this forenoon, and
sent her back to Norfolk in a sinking condition. Iron-clad against
iron-clad, we manoeuvred about the bay here, and went at each other
with mutual fairness. I consider that both ships were well fought.
We were struck twenty-two times--pilot-house twice, turret nine
times, deck three times, sides eight times. The only vulnerable
point was the pilot-house. One of your great logs (nine by twelve
inches thick) is broken in two. The shot struck just outside of
where the captain had his eye, and disabled him by destroying his
left eye and temporarily blinding the other. She tried to run us
down and sink us as she did the Cumberland yesterday, but she got
the worst of it. Her horn passed over our deck, and our sharp,
upper-edged rail cut through the light iron shoe upon her stern and
well into her oak. She will not try that again. She gave us a
tremendous thump, but did not injure us in the least; we were just
able to find the point of contact. The turret is a splendid
structure. You were very correct in your estimate of the effect of
shot upon the man on the inside of the turret, when it struck near
him. Three men were knocked down, of whom I was one. The other two
had to be carried below, but I was not disabled at all, and the
others recovered before the battle was over. Captain Worden
(afterward admiral) stationed himself at the pilot-house. Greene
fired the guns, and I turned the turret until the captain was
disabled and was relieved by Greene, when I managed the turret
myself, Master Stoddard having been one of the two stunned men.

"Captain Ericsson, I congratulate you upon your great success;
thousands here this day bless you. I have heard whole crews cheer
you; every man feels that you have saved the nation by furnishing us
with the means to whip an iron-clad frigate that was, until our
arrival, having it all her own way with our most powerful vessels."

If space permitted, it would be interesting to trace the career of
Ericsson in detail after the success of the Monitor. There was an
imperative demand for armor-clads, and ere long several were built
by the inventor and his associates. Ericsson was never idle. In
connection with his labors upon war vessels he expended no small
amount of ingenuity on the improvement of heavy guns, his efforts in
this field being directed by a most exhaustive study into the
strength of materials, the operation of explosive forces, and the
laws governing the flight of projectiles. In 1869 he constructed for
the Spanish Government a fleet of thirty steam gunboats, intended to
guard Cuba against filibustering parties. In 1881 he devised his
latest war vessel, the Destroyer, the object of which he said was
"simply to demonstrate the practicability of submarine artillery,
unquestionably the most effective, as well as the cheapest, device
for protecting the sea-ports of the Union against iron-clad ships. I
do not," he continued, "seek emoluments, as I am financially
independent; but I am anxious to benefit the great and liberal
country which has enabled me to carry out important works which I
should not have carried out on a monarchical soil." His
investigations included computations of the influences which retard
the earth's rotary motion; he erected a "sun motor" in 1883, to
develop the power obtained from the supply of mechanical energy in
the sun, and he contributed numerous valuable papers to various
journals in America and Europe on scientific, naval, and mechanical

The year in which John Ericsson reached the culmination of his fame,
1862, was the same in which his brother Nils retired from active
life in Sweden. The latter had retained his position on the Göta
Canal when his brother left it in 1820, and gradually won his way to
fame and fortune. "He was a man of industry and energy, of sterling
integrity and public spirit, and an excellent organizer; while his
conservative and cautious temperament and his skill in bending
others to his purposes enabled him to make the most of his
opportunities." After he received his title he altered the spelling
of his name and became Baron Ericson. This change gave great offence
to John, who wrote to Nils: "I can never forget the unpleasantness
caused me by this annulling of relationship. Possibly your wife has
had her share in it. If so, she will find some day that the
blotted-out letter will cost her children half a million."

Some of the most interesting chapters in the work of Mr. Church
relate to the personal characteristics of John Ericsson. He was
generous to his friends, and his benefactions to Sweden were
considerable. The financial side of his affairs from year to year
appears, as well as the record of his failures and successes. It is
difficult to grasp the whole man and present him to the reader in
all his many-sided aspects, or to touch upon the variety of his
studies, endeavors, schemes, and achievements, without danger of
bewilderment. His biographer has done all this, however, in the most
skilful and acceptable manner.

A list of the honors conferred upon Ericsson would fill one of our
pages, and some of the medals received were very beautiful. He was
decorated as Knight of the Order of Vasa, which was founded by
Gustavus III. to reward important service to the nation; he was made
Knight Commander of the Order of the North Star, for promoting the
public good and useful institutions; a Commander of the Order of St.
Olaf, to reward distinction in the arts and sciences; received the
Grand Cross of the Order of Naval Merit, with the white badge and
star, from King Alfonso of Spain, which confers personal nobility
and bestowed upon Ericsson the title of "Excellency;" a special gold
medal from the Emperor of Austria, in behalf of science; a gold
medal from the Society of Iron-Masters in Sweden; thanks under the
royal seal and signature from Sweden; joint resolutions of thanks
from the United States Congress; thanks from the Legislatures of New
York and of other States; from the Chamber of Commerce; from boards
of trade in many cities; and he was elected to honorary membership
in scientific, historical, literary, religious, and agricultural
institutions innumerable. Among them all he took the most pride in
his simple title of captain, and in the diploma of LL. D. received
from the Wesleyan University in 1862.


         [Footnote 14: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



William Lloyd Garrison, whose name is indissolubly connected with the
abolition of American slavery, was born in the seaport town of
Newburyport, Mass., on December 10, 1805. His father, Abijah Garrison,
was a sea-captain who came from New Brunswick to settle in
Newburyport. Deserting his wife and children while the subject of this
sketch was in infancy, his subsequent career is shrouded in mystery.
Fanny Lloyd, the mother of William Lloyd Garrison, was a woman of
remarkable character and personal attraction, with an intense
religious nature. Dependent upon her own efforts for the support of
the family, she cheerfully took up the calling of monthly nurse, and
endeavored to rear her children with care and forethought, and with
especial attention to their religious training. Upon her removal to
Lynn, in 1812, Lloyd was left to the care of Deacon Ezekiel Bartlett
and was sent to the Grammar School until, at the age of nine, he
joined his mother in Lynn and was taught shoemaking in the shop of
Gamaliel W. Oliver, a kind and excellent member of the Society of
Friends, where his elder brother James was already an apprentice. In
1815, Mr. Paul Newhall, a shoe manufacturer of the same town, deciding
to establish business in Baltimore, invited Mrs. Garrison and her two
boys to accompany him. There Lloyd was employed as an errand-boy and
James was again apprenticed at shoemaking. Mr. Newhall's venture
proving unsuccessful, Mrs. Garrison was constrained to resume nursing
and Lloyd was sent back to Newburyport, his brother betaking himself
to the sea. From Newburyport he was sent to Haverhill to learn
cabinet-making; but, in spite of kind treatment, he disliked the
occupation and ran away from his master, returning to Newburyport to
live again with his mother's old friend, Deacon Bartlett. In 1818,
Ephraim W. Allen, proprietor of the Newburyport _Herald_, accepted
Lloyd, then thirteen years of age, as an apprentice and taught him the
printer's trade. Here at once he found a vocation suited to his tastes
and became a rapid and accurate compositor. The printing-office proved
an excellent school for the young man, developing his literary taste
and ambition. He was fond of reading, and delighted in poetry and
fiction. Politics especially attracted him, and at the age of sixteen
he wrote anonymous articles for the columns of the _Herald_. His first
contribution was over the signature of "An Old Bachelor." He was an
ardent Federalist and his political articles attracted attention by
their forcible reasoning and direct style. Caleb Cushing, then editor
of the _Herald_, discovering the lad's abilities, encouraged and
befriended him. In 1826, Mr. Garrison, closing his apprenticeship with
the _Herald_, became editor and publisher of the _Free Press_
(Newburyport), within a few months of his majority.

[Illustration: William Lloyd Garrison.]

It was to this paper that Whittier made his first poetical
contributions anonymously, and, upon the discovery of his true name,
Mr. Garrison sought him out and encouraged him in his youthful

After a brief existence of six months, the _Free Press_ was sold and
Mr. Garrison again became a journeyman printer, soon seeking
employment in Boston, where, after various vicissitudes, he was
employed by Rev. William Collier, a Baptist city missionary, upon
_The National Philanthropist_, devoted to the "suppression of
intemperance and kindred vices," becoming its editor in 1828. The
paper had the distinction of being the first temperance journal ever
printed, and among the earliest evidences of Mr. Garrison's interest
in the slavery question was an editorial article by him commenting
severely on the bill passed by the House of Assembly of South
Carolina to forbid the teaching of reading and writing to the
colored people.

To Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker, and at that time editor of the _Genius
of Universal Emancipation_, in Baltimore--a paper devoted to the
gradual abolition of slavery--belongs the honor of first attempting
to awaken public sentiment on the subject. Upon his visit to Boston,
August 7, 1828, he made the acquaintance of Garrison, whose eyes he
opened to the iniquity of the slave system. During the same year Mr.
Garrison accepted the invitation of a committee of prominent
citizens of Bennington, Vt., to edit the _Journal of the Times_, a
weekly newspaper devoted to the re-election of John Quincy Adams
against Andrew Jackson. While started for campaign purposes, the
_Journal of the Times_ declared for independence of party and
advocated the suppression of intemperance, the gradual emancipation
of the slave, the doctrines of peace, and the so-called American
system of protection for fostering native industry.

Attracted by the anti-slavery utterances of Mr. Garrison, Lundy
resolved to invite him to share in the editorship of his paper,
walking from Baltimore to Bennington for the purpose. His
earnestness had the desired effect upon Mr. Garrison, who accepted
his proffer and relinquished the _Journal of the Times_. Before
going to Baltimore Mr. Garrison was invited to address the
Congregational societies of Boston on July 4th, at the Park Street
Church, and took for his theme "Dangers to the Nation." The poet
John Pierpont was present and wrote a hymn for the occasion. The
address was a stirring denunciation of slavery and a rebuke to the
nation for its pretentious devotion to liberty. The speaker was
accused by a Boston paper of slandering his country and blaspheming
the Declaration of Independence.

Upon his arrival at Baltimore, Garrison, having convinced himself of
the necessity of immediate and unconditional emancipation, it was
agreed, inasmuch as Lundy adhered to the methods of gradual
emancipation, that each should sign his own editorials.

Mr. Todd, a Newburyport merchant, having allowed his ship to be used
in the inter-state slave trade between Baltimore and New Orleans,
Mr. Garrison faithfully denounced in unmeasured terms his
fellow-townsman, and asserted the equal wickedness of the domestic
slave trade with that of the foreign traffic, which, at that time,
was in the law considered piracy. Arrested, tried, and convicted of
libel, although the facts were proven, Garrison was incarcerated in
the Baltimore jail, April 17, 1830, in default of a fine of $50 with
$50 costs. Undaunted in his captivity, he continued to write his
protest against slavery and to record in verse his feelings. His
famous sonnet, "The Immortal Mind," was written with pencil upon the
walls of his cell. Liberated at the expiration of forty-nine days,
through the generosity of Arthur Tappan, of New York, who paid his
fine, Garrison visited Boston and Newburyport, endeavoring to speak
in both places, but the doors of halls and churches were closed
against him. At last the hall used by a society of avowed infidels,
in Boston, to whom Abner Kneeland preached, was opened to Mr.
Garrison for three anti-slavery lectures, and among the audience at
his first lecture were Samuel J. May, Samuel E. Sewall, and A.
Bronson Alcott, who then gave in their adhesion to the cause. Dr.
Lyman Beecher was also present but made no sign.

On January 1, 1831, appeared the first number of _The Liberator_, in
Boston, bearing for its motto, "Our Country is the World--Our
Countrymen are Mankind." Mr. Garrison, as editor, was assisted by
Isaac Knapp, a fellow-printer from Newburyport, as publisher. The
paper was issued at No. 6 Merchants' Hall, at the corner of Congress
and Water Streets, in the third story, the partners making their
home in the printing-office. It was this office that Harrison Gray
Otis, the mayor, at the request of ex-Senator Hayne, ferreted out
through his police, describing it as "an obscure hole," containing
the editor and a negro boy, "his only visible auxiliary," while his
supporters were "a very few insignificant persons of all colors."
Lowell has thus described it in a different spirit:

  "In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
      Toiled o'er his types, one poor, unlearned young man;
   The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean,
      Yet there the freedom of a race began."

In the initial editorial appeared the famous declaration of Mr.
Garrison, "I am in earnest--I will not equivocate--I will not
excuse--I will not retreat a single inch--and I will be heard."
Although its circulation was meagre, the publication of _The
Liberator_ made a tremendous sensation throughout the South,
bringing upon its editor abusive and threatening language, and, at
the North, unpopularity and persecution. The Legislature of Georgia
offered a reward of $5,000 for his arrest and conviction.

In 1832, the New England Anti-Slavery Society was organized in
Boston, and the campaign for "immediate and unconditional
emancipation" begun. The Colonization Society, which Mr. Garrison
formerly supported but later denounced, became the object of special
attack as an ally of the slave power, and, to counteract its
designs, he sailed for England, May 2, 1833, to expose its
proslavery purposes to the English abolitionists. He was cordially
received by Wilberforce, Buxton, Zachary, Macaulay, Daniel
O'Connell, and their associates in the struggle for West India
emancipation, and before he left the kingdom he witnessed the
passage of the Emancipation Act, and was present at the funeral of
Wilberforce, in Westminster Abbey. Returning from his successful
mission abroad he narrowly escaped the hands of a New York mob on
landing upon his native soil.

In December, 1833, the American Anti-Slavery Society was formed, in
Philadelphia, and Mr. Garrison drew up its famous Declaration of
Sentiments, which numbered among its signers many of the men and
women destined to be distinguished in the anti-slavery cause, among
whom was the poet Whittier.

On September 4, 1834, Mr. Garrison was married to Miss Helen Eliza
Benson, of Brooklyn, Conn.; a fortunate and happy union.

In 1835, the eminent English orator, George Thompson, came by
invitation to the United States to assist in the emancipation of the
American, as he had of the West Indian, slave. The announcement
that he would speak at a meeting of the Ladies' Anti-Slavery
Society, held in Boston, October 21st, of the same year, was the
occasion of a mob composed of wealthy and respectable citizens of
Boston who aimed to suppress free speech and tar and feather Mr.
Thompson. He was, however, prevented from attending by his friends,
but the fury of the mob fell upon Mr. Garrison, who was seized and
led through the streets with a rope around his body, from which
position he was rescued through the efforts of Mayor Lyman and
imprisoned for safety in the Leverett Street jail. This outrage
created new friends and gave fresh impetus to the abolition

In 1840 Mr. Garrison again visited England as a delegate of the
World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London, in which body, however,
he declined to sit, because the women who were his fellow-delegates
from America were excluded.

Occupied continuously with the care of _The Liberator_ and in
lecturing, Mr. Garrison led an intensely active life, not confining
himself alone to the anti-slavery reform but embracing among other
reforms those of temperance, non-resistance, women's rights, and
religious freedom. For, while educated by his mother in the strict
tenets of the Baptist faith, he early experienced a change of
theological views and cast off sectarian bonds. _The Liberator_ was
used for the expression of his individual beliefs and was not the
organ of any society.

In 1846, the Free Church of Scotland having sent emissaries to the
United States to collect funds from the slaveholders, Mr. Garrison
again went to England to urge the Church to return the money thus
contributed, and, in company with George Thompson, Frederick
Douglass, Henry C. Wright and others, agitated the question
throughout Scotland.

Convinced that the constitutional compact of the North with the
South to guard and protect slavery was immoral and unjust, in 1843
Mr. Garrison raised the banner of No Union with Slave-Holders, and
advocated the dissolution of the Union for the sake of freedom, a
step which added fresh fuel to the flames of persecution and
incurred the loss of many lukewarm adherents.

In 1850, the apostasy of Daniel Webster and the passage of the
Fugitive Slave Law increased the national ferment. The same year
witnessed the famous Rynder's mob, in New York, and the anti-slavery
meeting at the Tabernacle, at which Mr. Garrison spoke, was
violently broken up.

The abolition movement had now assumed formidable proportions,
dominating the national parties and dictating issues. The Whig party
fell to pieces in consequence, and to it succeeded the Republican
party, with Sumner, Seward, Wilson, Giddings, and other earnest men
as leaders. Meanwhile Harriet Beecher Stowe, by her famous novel,
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," had given a vivid picture of the wrongs of
American slavery to the world. The "irrepressible conflict" was now
rapidly tending to its crisis, and, on the election of Abraham
Lincoln to the Presidency by the Republican party, in 1860, the
signal for civil war was given, and, in 1861, the struggle of arms
inaugurated by the attack on Fort Sumter replaced the peaceful
crusade of the abolitionists.

The moral agitation of thirty years had produced its legitimate
results, and when, in 1863, the President promulgated the
emancipation proclamation the anti-slavery chapter was closed. The
Union, which heretofore had been paramount to liberty, was now
subordinated to it, and Mr. Garrison's antagonism necessarily ceased
with the new amendment to the Constitution. He had been accustomed
to denounce that instrument as a "covenant with death and an
agreement with hell," but, as he expressed it, he had "never
expected to see Death and Hell secede." Foreseeing the inevitable
consequence of the war, he gave heartily his moral support to the
Government in the struggle between it and the slave power. His
non-resistance principles and abhorrence of war in no way diminished
his interest in the great conflict, and his sympathies of necessity
were with the soldiers of freedom. His eldest son, George Thompson
Garrison, not sharing his father's scruples, enlisted in the
Fifty-fifth Colored Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, attaining
the rank of captain.

The renomination of Lincoln for a second term, in 1864, developed a
breach in the ranks of the old abolitionists, Mr. Garrison and his
adherents supporting Lincoln, and others, under the lead of Wendell
Phillips, advocating the choice of General Frémont. The latter
candidate, however, withdrew from the field before the election.

In April, 1865, Mr. Garrison, with his English friend George
Thompson, was invited by the Government to be present as its guest
at the ceremony of raising the Stars and Stripes above the
surrendered Fort Sumter, and was received at Charleston with great
enthusiasm by the emancipated slaves. The news of President
Lincoln's assassination hastened the return of the party to the

The practical extermination of the slave system by the adoption of
the 13th Amendment convinced Mr. Garrison that the purpose of the
Anti-Slavery Society and of _The Liberator_ had been accomplished.
He therefore withdrew from one and discontinued the other. After
thirty-five years of a stormy and precarious existence the last
number of _The Liberator_ was issued December 29, 1865. "Nothing
could have been more in keeping with the uniform wisdom of your
anti-slavery leadership than the time you chose for resigning it,"
wrote Lowell to Mr. Garrison a year later.

The recognition of the pioneer's unselfish service thereupon took
shape in a national testimonial reaching a sum exceeding thirty
thousand dollars, thenceforth lifting his life above the pecuniary
cares which had so long weighed upon it. A domestic grief in the
shape of a paralytic shock to his faithful wife occurred in
December, 1863, compelling a change of home from the city to an
attractive suburban house in Roxbury, known as Rockledge.

Although his great life-work was finished, Mr. Garrison abated no
activity in the various reforms in which he had enlisted. Both with
voice and pen he reached a wider and more attentive public, pleading
for justice to the freedman, for the legal emancipation of women,
the right of the Chinese to free immigration and Christian
treatment, freedom of trade (for he early eschewed his youthful
belief in the protective system), and for kindred causes.

Visiting England for the fourth time in 1867, a public breakfast was
given in Mr. Garrison's honor at St. James's Hall, June 29th. John
Bright presided, and among the addresses of welcome were those of
Earl Russell, the Duke of Argyll, John Stuart Mill, George Thompson,
and W. Vernon Harcourt. Later the freedom of the city of Edinburgh
was conferred upon the American abolitionist, and in August he
attended the International Anti-Slavery Conference at Paris,
representing the American Freedman's Union Commission, and meeting
Laboulaye, Cochin, and other eminent Frenchmen.

The troubled period of reconstruction, involving the defence of the
freedmen's rights, found no more interested observer and participant
than Mr. Garrison. The former hostile treatment which had been meted
out to him by press and party was of the past, and, like Lincoln,

  "He heard the hisses change to cheers,
   The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise,
   And took both in the same unwavering mood."

Unique among reformers, he received in life the reverence that
usually reveals itself in post-mortem honors which indicate the late
awakening of public consciousness and suggest the pathos of their

The felicities of domestic life were his in more than ordinary
measure, and "honor, love, obedience, troops of friends," made his
closing years as serene as his opening career had been stormy.
Occasional ailments reminded him of advancing age, but his
temperamental cheerfulness and faith in human progress never forsook

The death of his dear wife, in 1876, was a visible blow to him, and
in the next year, for physical and mental recuperation, he visited
England again for the last time, with his son Francis, enjoying a
delightful reunion with old friends and making new ones, as was his

In May, 1879, during a visit to his daughter in New York, he
breathed his last on the 24th of the month, with all his children
about him. He left four sons, named respectively, George Thompson,
William Lloyd, Wendell Phillips, and Francis Jackson, and an only
daughter, Helen Francis, the wife of Henry Villard. Two others, a
daughter and a son, died at an early age.

In 1885, Mr. Garrison's biography, written by his sons Wendell
Phillips and Francis Jackson, was published by the Century Company,
in four volumes, octavo. They contain not only the personal details
of a famous career, but a careful history of the abolition struggle.
To them the future historian must look for the most faithful picture
of the anti-slavery times and their leader.

A bronze statue of heroic size, executed by Olin L. Warner, of New
York, representing Mr. Garrison in a sitting posture, was presented
to the city of Boston by several eminent citizens, in 1886, and is
placed on Commonwealth Avenue, opposite the Hotel Vendome.

Mr. Garrison's calm estimate of himself has been preserved and may
fitly conclude this sketch:

"The truth is, he who commences any reform which at last becomes one
of transcendent importance and is crowned with victory, is always
ill-judged and unfairly estimated. At the outset he is looked upon
with contempt, and treated in the most opprobrious manner, as a wild
fanatic or a dangerous disorganizer. In due time the cause grows and
advances to its sure triumph; and in proportion as it nears the
goal, the popular estimate of his character changes, till finally
excessive panegyric is substituted for outrageous abuse. The praise,
on the one hand, and the defamation on the other, are equally
unmerited. In the clear light of reason, it will be seen that he
simply stood up to discharge a duty which he owed to his God, to his
fellow-men, to the land of his nativity."

[Signature: William Lloyd Garrison.]


         [Footnote 15: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By General A. W. GREELY


[Illustration: Elisha Kent Kane.]

Elisha Kent Kane, son of Judge John K. Kane, was born in
Philadelphia, February 3, 1820. In his youth he displayed those
qualifications of ceaseless activity, daring adventure, and strong
personal courage which characterized his mature manhood. Inclined to
all efforts involving physical hardships and contact with nature,
his early education was devoted to civil engineering and such
natural sciences as chemistry, geography, geology, and mineralogy.
Unfortunately, in his sixteenth year, chronic and functional heart
disease developed, which intermittently affected him through life
and deterred him from the profession of an engineer. Applying
himself to medicine, he graduated therein in 1842 at the University
of Pennsylvania, in the meantime having served as a resident
physician of the Pennsylvania Hospital. His inaugural medical
thesis, based on personal experiments and observations, gave him a
reputation which augured professional prominence. In 1843 he was
appointed physician to the United States embassy to China, under
Caleb Cushing, who was charged with the negotiation of a treaty with
that country. At the way ports and during the tedious intervals of
the treaty negotiations, Kane lost no opportunity of travel and
adventure. With Baron Löe he visited the Philippine Islands and the
volcano of Tael. Not content with the usual point of view, and
despite the protestations of the native guides, he was lowered two
hundred feet in the crater, whence he scrambled downward to the
smoking sulphur lake and dipped his specimen bottles into its
steaming waters. In his ascent the loose, heated ashes charred his
boots and gave way under his feet, the sulphur vapors nearly
asphyxiated him, he fell repeatedly, and was barely able to tie the
bamboo rope around him. Drawn up in an exhausted condition, and
carried to a neighboring hermitage, he barely escaped violence at
the hands of the offended natives, who considered his rash feat a

Resigning his appointment with the legation, Kane established
himself as a physician at Whampoa, on the Canton River, where
illness shortly broke up his professional practice. Fortunately for
his future fame he was unsuccessful in his application to the
Spanish Government for permission to practise medicine at Manilla,
and Kane returned to the United States by the way of Singapore,
India, Egypt, and Europe, his journey marked by adventure and
danger. In these, as in all other sea voyages, he suffered
excessively from sea-sickness, which required all of his indomitable
will to endure with equanimity.

In 1846 he was commissioned assistant surgeon in the United States
Navy; his first sea duty took him to the west coast of Africa, where
coast fever invalided him within ten months. His desire for active
service was so great that before his health was re-established he
obtained orders from the Secretary of the Navy to proceed to
head-quarters of the army, then in the City of Mexico, for duty in
connection with the collection of data relative to field hospitals
and surgical statistics. Here his activity and daring resulted in
his being wounded in a guerilla skirmish.

Assigned temporarily to a surveying vessel, circumstances soon
determined Kane's career and gave full scope to his enthusiastic
energies, and insured his future fame. The appeals of Lady Franklin,
the recommendations of President Taylor, and the generosity of Henry
Grinnell, had culminated in the organization of a search expedition
for Franklin in the Arctic regions. It was provided that the vessels
should be manned by volunteers from the Navy, and among those
offering their services for this mission of humanity none was more
importunate than Kane. Persistent efforts brought him orders for
this fateful voyage while bathing in the tepid waters of the Gulf of
Mexico, and ten days later he sailed from New York for the icy
wastes of the North as surgeon of De Haven's flag-ship, the Advance.
This search, known in Arctic history as the First Grinnell
Expedition, was made under a joint resolution of the Congress of the
United States, dated May 2, 1850, "to accept and attach to the Navy
two vessels offered by Henry Grinnell, Esq., to be sent to the
Arctic seas in search of Sir John Franklin and his companions." Two
very small sailing brigs constituted the fleet, the flag-ship
Advance, commanded by De Haven, an officer of Antarctic experience
under Wilkes, and the Rescue, under Master Griffin; the entire party
numbered thirty-three officers and men.

Their objective point was Lancaster Sound and its westward
extension, Barrow Strait, whence either or both Wellington Channel
and Cape Walker were to be visited. The squadron passed safely
through Davis Strait, and skirting the dreaded land-ice of Melville
Bay, reached Cape York after three weeks of constant and dangerous
struggle with the heavy ice, which nearly destroyed the Rescue,
borne almost on her beam-ends by the enormous pressure from a moving
ice-pack. De Haven fell in with the English squadrons on the same
errand, August 19, 1850, and, entering Lancaster Sound with his
British consorts, devoted his energies to the search in hand.
Griffin, of the Rescue, shared with Captain Ommaney, R. N., the
honors of the discovery, at Beechy island, of the wintering-place of
Franklin's squadron in 1845-46. Later three graves of members of
Franklin's party were found, and numerous evidences of the good
condition and activity of the expedition during that winter. About
three weeks later, on September 10, 1850, De Haven concluded that
the position attained was not sufficiently advantageous to justify
his wintering, and so decided to return to the United States.
Unfortunately, strong gales and very cold weather prevented
immediate action, and in a few days both brigs were frozen immovably
in an enormous ice-pack, where they were destined to drift
helplessly to and fro at the mercy of the winds and currents for
many months.

Beset in Wellington Channel, to the north of Beechy Island, the
American squadron first found itself drifting slowly, but with
alarming steadiness, to the north, into waters and along coasts that
had, as far as they then knew, never been visited. The drift carried
the Advance to latitude 75° 25' north, longitude 91° 31' west, and
on September 22d they discovered new land, to which De Haven gave
the merited name of Grinnell. It proved to be an integral part of
North Devon, of which it was the northwestern extension. Every few
days there was a partial breaking up of the pack and consequent
danger of destruction. On one occasion, says Kane: "We are lifted
bodily eighteen inches out of water. The hummocks are reared up
around the ship, so as to rise a couple of feet above our bulwarks,
five feet above our deck. They are very often ten and twelve feet
high, and threaten to overwhelm us. Add to this, darkness, snow,
cold, and the absolute destitution of surrounding shores." The
temperature fell below zero and the ships seemed destined to winter
in Wellington Channel, but fortunately a strong northwest gale, in
conjunction with heavy tides, disintegrated the main pack and set
ships, ice and all, southward into Barrow Strait. Here they fell
under the action of a southeasterly current and, drifting all
winter, passed slowly through Lancaster Sound into Baffin Bay, where
the opening polar summer found them yet fast in the ice, from which
the two brigs were freed off Cape Walsingham, June 5, 1851, after
drifting in eight and a half months a distance of ten hundred and
fifty miles. It is impossible to adequately describe their physical
discomforts and dangers, the mental depression of the sunless
midwinter of eight weeks, and the even harder experiences of the
Arctic spring-tide, when excessive cold and increasing lassitude
made steady inroads on their impaired constitutions. Kane tells us
they were continually harassed by uncertainties as to their ultimate
fate. Yesterday the unbroken floe, stretching as far as the eye
could reach, seemed so firm and stable as to insure months of quiet,
uninterrupted life. Today, the groaning, uneasy pack, yielding to an
unseen power, split and cracked in all directions, throwing up huge
masses of solid ice, that threatened to destroy instantly the ship,
and occasionally opened in wide cracks through which rushed the open
sea. Indeed, the conditions were so critical and the ice-movements
so rapid, that the entire party, within the brief space of
twenty-four hours, had four times made ready to abandon their

In March the cold became intense, and for a week it averaged
fifty-three degrees below the freezing-point. Scurvy assailed all
but five of the crew, and De Haven was so ill that all his duties
devolved on Griffin, who heroically bore up under disease and the
mental and moral responsibilities that the situation forced on him.
In all his efforts Griffin had no more effective coadjutor than the
fleet-surgeon, Kane. Whether acting as a medical officer, treating
skilfully the diseased crew; as a hunter, supplementing their scanty
stock of anti-scorbutic food with the fresh meat of the seal; or as
a man, devising means of amusement and stimulating them to mental
and physical exertions, Kane incessantly displayed such qualities of
cheerfulness, activity, and ingenuity as tended to dispel the pall
of despair that sometimes enveloped the whole expedition.

When release from the ice permitted the voyage to be renewed, De
Haven decided to refit in the Greenland ports and again return to
Lancaster Sound; fortunately, as the squadron was not fitted for a
second year's work, the ice in Melville Bay was such as to prevent
immediate passage, and so they turned southward, reaching the United
States on September 30, 1851.

Such desperate experiences as those involved in the midwinter drift
of the Advance, would have deterred most men for a time from a
second voyage, but with Kane the stimulus to future work apparently
increased with every league that he sailed southward. The ship was
hardly in port before he initiated a plan for another expedition in
the spring of 1852. This failing he wrote Lady Franklin in May,
offering to go with Captain Penny, or any good sailing-master, to
give his services without pay, and pledging himself to go to work
and raise funds.

Finding it impossible to go with any British expedition, he turned
his entire efforts to organizing another from America. His chivalric
enthusiasm enlisted the sympathies and active support of Henry
Grinnell and George Peabody, the first loaning the ship and the
latter contributing $10,000 for general expenses. The United States
again aided, not only putting Kane on sea-pay, but also attached ten
men of the Navy, under government pay. Instruments, provisions,
etc., were likewise supplied by the Secretary of the Navy, and aid
in other directions was afforded by the Smithsonian Institution, the
Naval Observatory, and other scientific associations. At this
juncture the discoveries of Captain Inglefield, R. N., in Smith
Sound, afforded to Kane a new route for his activities. The scheme,
as far as the search for Franklin was concerned, was well-meaning,
but none the less fallacious and illogical. Kane was personally
cognizant of the fact that Franklin had gone into Lancaster Sound,
and had wintered in 1845-46 at Beechy Island, plainly following the
direct and positive orders of the Admiralty, that he should push
southward from Cape Walker to the neighborhood of Behring Strait.
Moreover, the last mail ever received from the Franklin expedition
contained a letter from Captain Fitz-James, in which he stated that
Franklin had shown him the orders, expressed his disbelief in an
open sea to the north, and had given "a pleasant account of his
expectations of being able to get through the ice on the north coast
of America."

A search for Franklin by the way of Smith Sound, seventeen degrees
of longitude and four degrees of latitude to the north and east of
his last known position, was to assume not only that Franklin had
disobeyed the strict letter of his instructions, but had also
abandoned his voyage after having accomplished one-third of the
distance from Greenland to Behring Strait.

As the initiator and inspirer of the expedition, Kane was the
natural head of it, but there were difficulties in the way.

The assignment of a surgeon to the command of a naval expedition was
unprecedented; but somehow Kane succeeded in overcoming even the
time-honored observances of the Navy, and was placed in command by a
formal order of the Secretary of the Navy in November, 1852.

Kane repeatedly set forth his belief in an open Polar sea, and
announced his expectation of reaching it. The expedition was not
alone a proposed search for Franklin, but especially contemplated
the continuation to the northward of the discoveries made in 1851 by
Captain Inglefield, on the west coast of Greenland. Kane declared
his intention of reaching "its most northern attainable point, and
thence pressing on toward the Pole as far as boats or sleds could
carry us, examine the coast lines for vestiges of the lost party,"
and "seeking the _open sea_ ... launch our little boats, and embark
upon its waters."

On May 30, 1853, the expedition left New York in the sailing brig
Advance, there being seventeen members all told. The vessel was
stanch, well-fitted, and suitable, the scientific instruments
satisfactory, but the provisions were illy chosen for Arctic
service, and the equipment in many respects inadequate or deficient.
The Greenland ports supplied skin-clothing, dogs, and Eskimo
dog-drivers; the latter being destined to play an important part in
establishing harmonious relations with the Etah natives. On reaching
Melville Bay, Kane decided to take the middle passage, direct
through the dreaded pack--a most venturesome route for a
sailing-vessel. Favored by an off-shore gale, the Advance escaped
with the loss of a whaleboat, and emerged into the open sea near
Cape York, known as the North Water. Stopped by the ice, Kane wisely
decided to cache his metallic life-boat, filled with boat-stores, on
Littleton Island, so as to secure his retreat, since, as he says:
"My mind was made up from the first that we are to force our way to
the north as far as the elements will let us." The ice opening with
the tide, Kane rounded Cape Hatherton and was now in Kane Sea; but
the Advance was immediately driven into a cove for shelter. At the
first opportunity sail was again made and a short distance gained to
the east-northeast, when a violent gale nearly wrecked her. Repeated
efforts to work the vessel to the eastward, along a lee coast,
destroyed fittings and boat, and were so fruitful in danger that on
August 26th seven out of his eight officers addressed Kane in
writing, to the effect "that a further progress to the North was
impossible, and [they] were in favor of returning southward to
winter." Unfortunately, Kane was not "able conscientiously to take
the same view," as such retreat would have left him in a less
favorable situation to pursue his explorations. Two weeks longer the
brig was warped to the east during high water, whenever she was not
jammed by huge floes against the rugged coast; but at low water the
brig grounded and was daily in danger of total destruction. Finally,
on September 9th, she was put in winter-quarters in 78° 37' N., 71°
14' W., in Rensselaer Harbor, which, says Kane, "we were fated never
to leave together--a long resting-place to her, for the same ice is
round her still." Winter now advanced with startling rapidity and
excessive severity; freezing temperatures now permanently obtained,
the water-fowl were gone, and the scanty vegetation blighted. All
were busy, some constructing a building for magnetic and
meteorological observations, others making journeys along the
eastern coast. Kane visited the high land adjoining Mary Minturn
River, some fifty miles away, whence he could see Washington Land in
the vicinity of Cape Constitution. Hayes and Wilson journeyed on the
inland ice, while McGary with six others made three caches on the
coast, the farthest being under the face of the largest of all
Arctic glaciers, now known by the name of Humboldt. The winter
proved to be unusually cold, the temperature, from December to March
inclusive, averaging fifty-four degrees below the freezing-point of
water. Most fortunately the men remained in health, but Kane grieved
over the loss of his dogs, only a dozen surviving out of the
original eighty.

In this contingency Kane decided to put his men in the field, and
after two weeks of excessive cold, the temperature averaging
seventy-seven degrees below freezing, a party was sent out while the
mercury was yet frozen. Their orders were to reach Washington Land,
about one hundred miles distant across the sea-ice. It soon became
evident to Brooks, the commander of the party, that the journey was
impossible of execution, and after eight marches, in which less than
forty miles were traversed, he turned back on March 29, 1854. The
cold that day was intense, about ninety degrees below freezing, and
the next morning four men were frozen so badly that they could not
walk. Only four men were left for work. The distance to the brig was
thirty miles, while the intervening ice was so rough that they could
not drag their disabled comrades. Hickey volunteered to remain,
while Sontag, Ohlsen, and Petersen should go to the brig for help.
The three men finally reached the Advance, but they were so
physically exhausted and in such mental condition that they could
not even indicate in what direction they had left their comrades.

Kane appreciated the gravity of the situation and the necessity of
prompt measures. A relief party was at once started, which Kane led
himself, despite his impaired health, physical weakness, and general
unfitness for such a desperate journey; as always, he spared not
himself when danger threatened. Ohlsen, being the clearest-headed of
the sledgemen, was put in a sleeping-bag and dragged on a sledge as
a guide.

Eighteen hours' travel were without tangible result; Kane fainted
twice on the snow; his stoutest men were seized with trembling fits,
and as yet no signs of the missing party. Fortunately Kane had taken
the Eskimo, Hans Hendrik, whose keen eye discovered the track that
led to the tent of the frozen men. They were alive, but crippled
beyond the possibility of marching. The weather remained fine or all
would have perished, and as it was, Hayes, the surgeon, in his
report of their condition on reaching the brig, said: "I was
startled by their ghastly appearance. When I hailed them they met me
only with a vacant, wild stare. They were to a man delirious." Of
the eight men only one returned sound; two shortly died, two others
suffered amputations, and three escaped with temporary disabilities.

Three weeks later, on April 26th, Kane set out on what, to use his
own words, "was to be the crowning expedition of the campaign, to
attain the Ultima Thule of the Greenland shore." Impressed with the
impracticability of a direct journey across the main ice-pack, he
decided to follow the shore-line, five men dragging a sledge, while
Kane and Godfrey travelled by dog-team. He had been led by his
resolute spirit to overestimate the physical strength of his men and
himself, and the party broke down before it had even approached the
Humboldt Glacier. Their enthusiastic leader was stricken with
fainting spells and rigidity of limbs, but Kane would not admit his
illness to be more than temporary, and bidding the men strap him on
the sledge, proceeded onward. His diminished physical powers now
became evident through the freezing of his rigid and swollen limbs.
Delirious and fainting at the end of the march, he was carried in an
almost insensible condition to his tent, when his men wisely took
the matter in their own hands and started back for the brig. Nine
days later, through forced marches and heroic efforts of his
sledge-mates, themselves partially disabled, Kane was carried on
board the Advance fluctuating between life and death. Hardly
conscious, his mind clouded, and his swollen features barely
recognizable, his general condition was such that the surgeon
regarded his ultimate recovery as nearly hopeless.

While Kane's recuperative powers were simply marvellous, yet he did
not recover sufficiently to make another journey that spring. In
this extremity he turned to his surgeon, Israel I. Hayes, who
volunteered to explore the unknown shores of Grinnell Land, which
lay in sight to the west of Smith Sound. With the seaman Godfrey as
a companion and a dog-team as the means of transportation, Hayes
struggled through the almost impassable floes and bergs of the main
strait and finally attained Cape Hayes, on the western coast, in
about 79° 45' N. latitude. The return journey to the Advance was
possible only by abandoning everything that in the slightest degree
impeded the progress of the exhausted men and famishing dogs.

This success caused Kane to make one more effort to reach the
hitherto inaccessible Washington Land, and for this purpose he
placed all his means at the disposal of one of his seamen, William
Morton. A supporting party accompanied Morton to Humboldt Glacier,
whence he proceeded with Eskimo Hans Hendrik and a dog-team on the
advance journey. Their track lay over the sea-ice, about five miles
from, and parallel with, the face of the glacier. Five days took
them to the new land to the north, and three days later, June 24,
1854, Morton reached alone an impassable headland, Cape
Constitution. From the highest attainable elevation Morton found his
view completely cut off to the northeast, but between the west and
north he could see the southeastern half of Kennedy's Channel as far
north as Mount Ross, 80° 58' N. He says "Not a speck of ice was to
be seen as far as I could observe; the sea was open, the swell came
from the northward ... and the surf broke in on the rocks below in
regular breakers." Morton described accurately the general
landscape, but he was an incompetent astronomical observer, and his
estimates of distances were excessive. The farthest point was
charted nearly a hundred miles north of its true position, while
Cape Constitution was placed 31 miles too far north by Morton and 52
geographic miles by Kane, who "corrected" Morton's observations by a
series of erroneous bearings. Morton's general account of his
explorations has been confirmed by Hans Hendrik in his Memoir
written some years since in Eskimo.

In the meantime the Etah Eskimo, natives of Prudhoe land, had
discovered the brig, and through the interpreter, Hans Hendrik,
promptly established friendly relations with Kane. It may be said
that the expedition owed its final safety to these natives; their
supplies of fresh meat checked scurvy, and later their dog teams
rendered retreat possible. Slight misunderstandings, not always the
fault of the natives, naturally occurred, but the Eskimo were
honest, humane, and willing, and never committed a hostile act.

The summer of 1854 justified the expressed fears of Kane's officers,
for it passed with the ice yet unbroken in Rensselaer Harbor. It was
evident in July that the brig would never be freed from the ice, and
in this critical situation, Kane, taking five men in a whaleboat,
attempted to reach Beechy Island, several hundred miles to the
southwest, whence he expected to obtain succor from the English
searching squadron. The unfavorable condition of the ice in Smith
Sound caused the failure of this attempt, and, yet worse, encouraged
the idea of dividing the party; an idea that culminated in the
well-known "Arctic Boat Journey," as Dr. Hayes termed it. Despite
Kane's futile experiences in July, the majority of the party
maintained that a boat journey to Upernavik was both practicable and
advisable. Confronted by this attitude of the expeditionary force,
Kane assembled them, set forth the dangers of such an attempt, and
vehemently urged them to abandon the project, which the lateness of
the season and the unfavorable ice conditions rendered most
improbable of success. Finally he granted the privilege of
unfettered action to such as believed the journey practicable,
stipulating only that those leaving the vessel should renounce, in
writing, all claims upon the expedition and should elect a leader.
Nine elected to go, eight to remain. Kane displayed a magnanimous
spirit, equipping them most liberally, and assuring them, in
writing, that the brig should be ever open should disaster overtake
them. The boat journey was a failure, and Kane bade them welcome
when, early in December, he learned that the party, some two hundred
miles distant and in imminent danger of perishing by starvation, was
desirous of returning to the Advance. Kane promptly sent supplies to
the suffering men, and, on December 12th, the entire crew was once
again upon the brig.

The winter of 1854-5 passed wretchedly; the physical condition of
the party steadily deteriorated; failing fuel necessitated the
burning of the upper woodwork of the brig; their food was reduced to
ordinary marine stores, and game failed equally to the hunters of
the Advance and the persistent efforts of the Etah natives on the
ice-clad land and in the frozen sea. In addition scurvy attacked the
crew; Hayes lost a portion of his frozen foot, and hardly a man of
the crew remained fit for duty. The necessity of abandoning the brig
and retreating by boat to Upernavik, Danish Greenland, was now
forced upon Kane's mind. The co-operation of the natives greatly
facilitated, if it did not alone render possible, the transportation
of their provisions, boats, and stores to Cape Alexander. Kane says
the Eskimo "brought daily supplies of birds, assisted in carrying
boat stores, and invariably exhibited the kindest feelings and
strictest honesty."

Bidding farewell to the natives at Cape Alexander on June 15, 1855,
Cape York was passed, the land ice of Melville Bay followed, and the
northern coast of Danish Greenland reached in forty-seven days. In
the meantime a relief squadron under command of Lieutenant
Hartstene, United States Navy, had visited Smith Sound, where the
natives informed him of Kane's journey southward. Taken on board the
returning flag-ship at Disco, Kane and his men reached New York,
October 11, 1855.

Kane had hardly reached home when it became evident that his
undermined constitution could not longer withstand the inroads of a
disease which for twenty years had afflicted him. Change of climate
was tried without avail, and he died at Havana, Cuba, February 16,
1857, at the early age of thirty-seven.

Between his first and second voyages Kane had become deeply
interested in Margaretta Fox, one of the well-known spiritualists,
who later published their correspondence under the title of "The
Love Life of Dr. Kane." Their relations, it is believed, resulted in
a secret marriage shortly before Kane's death.

The rare literary skill shown in the account of Kane's expedition
has charmed millions of readers with its graphic account of the
labors, hardships, and privations of Kane and his men. It should
not, however, be considered that this expedition merits attention
alone from its tales of suffering and bravery, for none other of
that generation contributed so materially to a correct knowledge of
the Arctic regions. In ethnology it gave the first full account of
the Etah Eskimo, the northernmost inhabitants of the world; in
natural history its data as to the flora and fauna of the isolated
and ice-surrounded extremity of western Greenland were original,
and have been to this day but scantily supplemented; in physical
sciences, the magnetic, tidal, and climatic observations remained
for twenty years the most important series pertaining to the Arctic
regions. Kane's voyage not only extended geographically Inglefield's
discoveries a hundred miles to the northward, but it also opened up
a practical and safe route for Arctic exploration, which has been
more fruitful of successful results than any other.

Kane was a man of generous impulses, enthusiastic ideals, and kindly
heart. His chivalric nature, indomitable will, and great courage
often impelled him to hazardous enterprises; but he stands out in
this modern age as an unselfish character, willing to brave
hardships and risk his own life on a vague possibility of rescuing
Franklin and his companions.

[Signature: A. W. Greely.]


         [Footnote 16: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Ferdinand de Lesseps.]

If, as Dante sings: "There is no greater grief than in a time of
misery to remember happier days," there are few persons in our time
who can testify more feelingly to the truth of the poet's words than
Ferdinand de Lesseps. For many years he was a bright-shining,
sympathetic figure among those who lead in the van of our material
progress; and the accomplishment, by his initiative and energy, of
the long dream of the Suez Canal, made him the hero, not of his own
nation alone, but of all the civilized world; honors were heaped
upon him, and acclamations greeted him on every side. His name
became a household word.

A few years later, and all is changed. At the advanced age of
eighty-eight, Ferdinand de Lesseps is in deep disgrace. Charged with
the chief responsibility for the ruin brought about by the failure
of another of his great enterprises--the Panama Canal--he has been
condemned by the tribunal to pay a huge fine, and has only been
saved from the shame of actual imprisonment by the knowledge of his
judges that, in his feeble state of health, imprisonment would
speedily be fatal. As at the ceremonies on the occasion of the
opening of the Suez Canal, De Lesseps was compared to Columbus, the
opener of a way to the new world, so we may see the close of the
great discoverer's career reflected in the tragic ending of the
splendid fortunes of De Lesseps.

Ferdinand de Lesseps was the son of a French gentleman who, fifty
years since, was in the Consular service of France in Egypt. He was
born at Versailles in 1805, and after receiving the usual education
given to youth of his class, he was early inducted into the
mysteries of diplomatic life, where his father's services and
influence naturally opened a way for him. In 1833, when
twenty-eight, he was made consul at Cairo, and remained at that post
for over ten years, during which time he laid the foundations for
that knowledge of all matters connected with Egyptian affairs which
was to prove so valuable to him and to the world a few years later.

In 1842, De Lesseps was transferred from Cairo to Spain, and was
made consul at Barcelona. Spain was at this time much disturbed by
factional quarrels and jealousies, partly due to disputed claims to
the succession to the throne, and partly to the angry rivalries of
political leaders, each eager to save the country by his particular
nostrum. In the dynastic struggle, Queen Christina, made regent
after the death of her husband, Ferdinand VII., had been exiled to
France, and General Espartero, who at first had stood for her cause,
now ruled as regent in her place. In 1843, the year after the
arrival of De Lesseps, the city of Barcelona, which in common with
many other places had refused to support Espartero, openly revolted,
and was besieged and bombarded by his forces; and in the course of
the siege, which brought great misery upon the inhabitants, De
Lesseps did so many humane and generous acts at great personal risk,
that he was rewarded by honors from the governments of several
nations whose subjects had been protected by him in his official

It was natural that after this proof of his abilities, De Lesseps
should be advanced to a still higher position, and in the spring of
1848 he was made minister to Madrid. This place he held, however,
only until February, 1849, for in May of that year he was sent to
Rome to patch up a peace between the popular party and the French
army of occupation. This proved an unfortunate venture. De Lesseps
was recalled to France in disgrace, in June of the same year, for
having shown too great a sympathy for the party of Mazzini, which
aimed to establish a Roman Republic.

It may be conjectured that the disappointment of De Lesseps at this
abrupt ending of his diplomatic career was not very great. He had
not been drawn to the profession by natural inclination, but had
inherited it, so to speak, from his father, as another man might
inherit the profession of law or medicine, or as the son of a
mechanic might inherit his father's trade. His ambition and tastes
both led him in a different direction; he would play a more active,
a more striking part in the affairs of his time.

During the period of his residence in Egypt, as consul for France,
he must often have heard the project of a canal across the Isthmus
of Suez discussed, since the course of events was every year making
the necessity of the undertaking more evident. As is well known, the
idea of such a canal was not a new one: Herodotus speaks of a canal
designed and partly excavated by Pharaoh Necho in the seventh
century before Christ, to connect the city of Bubastis, in the Delta
of the Nile, with the Red Sea. As planned, the canal was to be ten
feet deep with a width sufficient for two triremes to pass abreast,
and it was expected that the voyage would be accomplished in four
days. After the lives of 126,000 Egyptian workmen had been
sacrificed to the hardships of the undertaking, Herodotus says that
Necho, alarmed at the difficulties and expense, consulted the Oracle
as to what was best for him to do, and received the answer: "Thou
art working for barbarians." The Egyptians, like the Greeks,
considered all foreigners as barbarians, and the answer simply
reflected the sentiment of the people, or of their leaders, that
this vast expenditure of labor, time, and money would prove to be,
after all, as much for the benefit of foreigners as for themselves.
The Oracle gave a voice to national and political prejudices, such
as even in our own time are continually evoked to block the wheels
of great enterprises. Necho, we are told, heeded the warning of the
Oracle and abandoned the enterprise, but about one hundred years
later, in the time of Darius Hystaspes, work on the canal was
resumed and the undertaking was completed. From time to time we find
mention made of the canal by later authors, but about the end of the
eighth century of our era it was finally abandoned and left to be
blocked up by the sand.

The project was revived by Napoleon I. at the time of his Egyptian
expedition; but, on the report of his engineer, M. Lepère, now known
to be mistaken, that the Red Sea level was thirty feet higher than
that of the Mediterranean, nothing further was done; nor was it
until so late as 1847 that it was again taken up and an attempt made
to interest the maritime powers of Europe in the scheme; but nothing
serious was accomplished.

In truth, the idea of a canal uniting the two seas, had up to this
time been largely sentimental, if we may so express it; rather
connected with vast schemes of conquest than founded on the vital
needs of commercial development and the material good of the people.
The commerce of the Mediterranean countries with India and the
remoter East had not in those earlier times reached a point where
such a costly undertaking as the Suez Canal could prove
remunerative; what trade there was could be sufficiently and more
cheaply accommodated by the Overland machinery of caravans, while
France, Spain, and England still found the route by the Cape to
answer all their purposes. In fact it was more than doubtful whether
sailing-vessels, by means of which trade was then chiefly carried
on, or even steamers of the build then employed, could use the canal
to profit. It was believed that the advantages promised by a shorter
route would be counterbalanced by the delays and dangers reckoned
inseparable from the navigation of so narrow a water-way.

These objections, really of a serious nature, made it difficult to
win over the business world to a practical interest in the scheme.
De Lesseps had been from the start the chief mover in the
enterprise, to which he had given many years of his time, and he was
not a man to be discouraged by repeated failures to bring others to
his own way of thinking. His long experience, besides, in the ways
of diplomacy had prepared him for delays and obstructions; but the
time came, at last, when his enthusiasm, his confidence in himself,
and his skill in dealing with men were to bring about the
realization of his hopes.

Five years, from 1849 to 1854, had been occupied by De Lesseps in
negotiations with governments and bankers, but it was not until 1854
that the event occurred which insured the success of his great
undertaking. In that year, Mahomet Saïd Pasha became Viceroy of
Egypt, and no sooner was he seated than he sent for De Lesseps to
consult with him as to the possibility of carrying out the project
of the canal. In November of the same year, a commission was signed
at Cairo by the Viceroy charging De Lesseps with the formation of a
company to be named the United Suez Canal Company, with a capital of
two hundred million francs, afterward raised to three hundred
million. From this time the affairs of the canal went on with
comparative smoothness, and by 1858 the money necessary for the work
had been pledged; one-half the loan was placed on the continent,
chiefly in Paris, the other half was taken by the Viceroy.

Actual work on the canal was begun in 1858 and such rapid progress was
made that it was completed in the autumn of 1869, and opened to the
commerce of the world with magnificent ceremonies, lasting for several
days. Religious ceremonies, in which priests of the Catholic Church,
the Greek Church, and the Moslem faith united, were followed by a
naval parade representing the European powers and the United States,
and the whole concluded with a brilliant series of fêtes and
entertainments at Cairo. As the originator of the canal, De Lesseps,
was a Frenchman, and as France had been the chief promoter of the
enterprise, the place of honor at these ceremonies was naturally given
to the Empress Eugénie, who went to Cairo as the representative of the
French nation; while to De Lesseps, as naturally, was given the next
place, a position which he filled with equal dignity and modesty,
winning "golden opinions from all sorts of people."

The Suez Canal, though a vast and important undertaking, presented
almost no engineering difficulties to be overcome. At Port Saïd, the
Mediterranean entrance to the canal, two great piers, to serve as
breakwaters, were built of artificial stone, projecting into the
sea; the western, a distance of 6,940 feet, the eastern 6,020 feet,
and enclosing an area of 450 acres; thus providing a safe and
commodious harbor. At Suez, the Red Sea terminus of the canal, a
less formidable defense was needed; but the necessary docks and
buildings called for a considerable outlay.

From Port Saïd to Suez the land is almost a dead level; the few
sand-dunes that break the monotonous uniformity of the isthmus
nowhere reach a greater height than fifty or sixty feet. Along the
middle line of the isthmus there was a series of depressions; some
shallow, and others, the bottoms of which were lower than the level
of the sea. Although these depressions were at all times dry, yet
they were called "lakes," and as such figure on the maps, where we
read the names "Lake Timsah," "The Bitter Lakes" and others. They
were found to be thickly incrusted with salt on the bottom and
sides, indicating that at one time they had been filled with
sea-water; it is indeed must probable that the whole isthmus was at
a very remote period entirely submerged. In the construction of the
canal these depressions were made to play a very important part. The
line of the canal was carried directly through them; the shallower
were brought to a sufficient depth by dredging; the deeper were
simply filled with water and required nothing more for safe
navigation than an indication of the channel by buoys. Thus, in the
whole length of the canal, reckoned at 88 geographical miles, there
are 66 miles of actual digging; 14 miles of dredging through the
lakes; and 8 miles, where neither digging nor dredging was required.

Water began to flow from the Mediterranean into the canal in
February, 1869, and from the Red Sea in July of the same year; and
by October, the lakes, and the canal in its whole length, were
filled with water navigable by vessels of the highest class. The
water-way thus obtained has a width at the surface varying from 197
feet at deep cuttings, to 225 feet at lower ground. The sides slope
to a width at the bottom of 72 feet, and an average depth of 26 feet
is secured along the whole course. As the water is at one level from
sea to sea, the canal is without obstruction of any kind. No locks,
dams, or water-gates are required, and vessels enter the canal from
either end and pursue their journey without interruption or

So great, however, was the eagerness of trade to take advantage of
the new route, that the volume of traffic increased within a very
short time after the opening of the canal to such an extent as to
cause serious delays in the transit, and a number of schemes were
brought forward for building other canals by which the two seas
might be united. In the end, all these plans were abandoned, and it
was decided to widen the canal sufficiently to enable it to meet the
increased demand upon its carrying capacity. It may not be without
interest to note the growth of traffic in the canal by a few
figures. From 486 ships which passed through in 1870, the number
rose to 3,100 in 1886; while the receipts increased from $1,031,875
in 1870, to $11,541,090 in 1886. The canal, when completed, was
found to have cost twenty million pounds sterling, a sum far in
advance of the original estimate, but made necessary by the addition
of several important items of expenditure that were not foreseen.
One of these was the substitution of paid labor for the forced labor
promised by the Pasha, but which was made impossible by public
clamor. The Egyptian ruler discovered that he was not living in the
times of the pyramid-building Pharaohs, when men were made
beasts-of-burden. Another item not provided for was the necessity of
supplying the 30,000 workmen employed on the canal with fresh water.
For this purpose, a branch canal had to be dug, by which water could
be brought from the Nile.

[Illustration: Cutting the Canal at Panama.]

The enterprise thus brought to a happy ending, has already proved of
great service to the world. It must be looked upon not merely as a
benefit to commerce, but as one of the many powerful agents now
at work binding the nations closer together. It is indissolubly
connected with the name of De Lesseps, and had he been contented
with the fortune and the reputation gained by his work in forwarding
the canal, few names would have shone brighter in the list of those
who have helped on man's material well-being. But in an evil hour he
was persuaded to lend his support to the Panama Canal scheme, and
along with the ruined fortunes and ruined reputations sunk in that
abyss, the name and fortune of De Lesseps and his family have
suffered irretrievable blight.

The Panama Canal was not first proposed in our day; the scheme is as
old as the discovery of the isthmus. "The early navigators," says J.
C. Rodrigues, "could not help noticing how near to each other were
the two oceans, and how comparatively easy would be (they thought)
the cutting of a canal through that narrow strip of land between
them. The celebrated Portuguese navigator Antonio Galväo, as early
as 1550, wrote an essay on the subject wherein he suggested four
different lines, one of which was through the Lake of Nicaragua, and
another by the Isthmus of Panama." England, in 1779, was the first
to make an attempt to control the river and lake communications, but
her forces sent under Nelson to begin the work were driven away by
the terrible fever that has thus far been the best defence of the
isthmus from attack. Various schemes were entertained by other
nations, but, although the United States kept a jealous eye upon its
own interests in the enterprise, it was not until the discovery of
gold in California that it saw a vital reason for insisting upon its
paramount claims, and the outbreak of the Civil War, with its
threats of European intervention, made an easier communication with
the rising States of the Pacific Coast seem an absolute necessity.
But we moved slowly and with vacillating steps. We were divided in
opinion as to the best route to take, as to the sort of canal that
was desirable, as to the advisability of building any canal. When
the war was over, the rapid increase of railroad communication with
the Pacific Coast made public opinion still more indifferent to the
enterprise. Meanwhile the French had started with great energy a
scheme for a canal at Panama, and De Lesseps had been induced to
lend his name to the scheme, and to take an active part in carrying
it out. For this purpose he visited the United States and used his
best diplomatic arts to induce our Government to unite with him in
his plans. But he could do nothing on this side the water and
returned to France to fight the battle alone. There the interest in
the scheme, artificially excited by speculators and still further
aided by the efforts of De Lesseps and his friends, increased to
such an extent as to swamp all considerations of prudence. The name
of De Lesseps, consecrated by the brilliant success of Suez, proved
to be a powerful charm. Thousands and tens of thousands of people in
the cities and in the country put the hard-earned savings of years
into the venture; senators, deputies, men of high social rank in
public life, shamelessly sold their votes and their voices to secure
the moral aid and the money of the state to aid their gambling
enterprise, and the newspaper press of Paris, at all times venal,
betrayed for bribes the trust that was reposed in it.

Such a state of things could not last forever. The end, long
prophesied, came at last; the exposure was complete, and the whole
stupendous scheme of fraud was unmasked. Something might have been
saved from the wreck had the canal itself been a real thing so far
as it had gone, a practical enterprise, sure in time to pay its
investors and serve the public. But it was found that everything
connected with the construction of the canal had been grossly
misrepresented; the estimates of expense; the reports of the
engineering difficulties to be overcome; the dangers from the
climate; the bills of mortality; everything, in short, was enveloped
in a cloud of lies. So great was the shock to public confidence that
followed this exposure, that for a time the Republic itself seemed
in danger of overthrow. The eyes of the world were fixed upon De
Lesseps and his son Charles as the chief authors of the mischief,
and when the crisis was passed, and the smoke of the upheaval had
passed away, the Panama Canal was seen to be a ruined enterprise,
and buried deep underneath it was the once-honored name of Ferdinand
De Lesseps.

[Signature: Clarence Cook.]


         [Footnote 17: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



In these days of rapid transit between New York and San Francisco,
of luxurious travel across desert and mountain, the story of John
Charles Frémont, the Pathfinder of the great West, is of peculiar
interest, a striking illustration that the history of the world is
in the biography of its leaders, in the pathfinders of the

The stormy tide of the French Revolution sent the father of John
Charles Frémont to the New World about the time, presumably, when
Napoleon Bonaparte was in the height of power. This M. Frémont came
of a good family living near Lyons, France. A British man-of-war
made prize of the ship in which he sailed for San Domingo, and he
was carried prisoner to one of the British West India islands, his
captivity lasting several years. Upon gaining his liberty he stopped
at Norfolk, Va., to refill an empty purse as a teacher of French,
and there met Anne Beverly Whiting, a leading belle of an old
Virginia family, who became his wife. One of the illustrious
connections of the Whitings was that with the family of George
Washington. M. Frémont's marked fondness for travel and adventure
was shared by his wife. They took long journeys through the wild
southern country, stopping at Indian villages, often sleeping by
camp-fires. On one of these expeditions, when making a halt at
Savannah, Ga., John Charles, their first child, was born, January
21, 1813. M. Frémont died a few years after.

The boyhood of John Charles was spent in Charleston. It is well to
remember, in a study of his life, his French blood and early
southern environment. His first choice of a profession was the law.
At the age of fourteen he became a student in the office of John W.
Mitchell, who placed him under a private tutor, Dr. Roberton, who
understood the lad thoroughly and developed his character in the
right direction. Dr. Roberton seems to have first discovered what
was made plain in Frémont's after-life--the makings of a poet, and
the foresight of a prophet. Translating the story of the battle of
Marathon in the Greek class, young Frémont catches the spirit with
which it was told by Herodotus, and writes verses in protest of
tyranny which are published in one of the Charleston papers. "In one
year," wrote his tutor, "he had read four books of Cæsar; Cornelius
Nepos; Sallust; six books of Virgil; nearly all of Horace, and two
books of Livy. In Greek--all of Græca Minora, about half of the
first volume of Græca Majora, and four books of the Iliad." At
fifteen he enters the junior class of Charleston College. At sixteen
he is confirmed in the Episcopal Church, entertaining at that time
thoughts of entering the ministry. His steady progress is
interrupted by his first love affair; his absorbing passion so gets
the better of his common sense, that he neglects his books and
classes and is expelled from college. We next find him teaching
higher mathematics, acting as private tutor, and devoting his
evenings to the charge of the _Apprentice's Library_, a school in
Charleston. At twenty years of age he received the appointment of
teacher of mathematics, and his long connection with the United
States Army had its beginning; his post the sloop of war Natchez. He
was to go on a cruise of two years and more along the coast of South
America. Here was a chance for him to unfit himself for further
advancement, but he improved his time upon the cruise to the utmost,
and his diligent scholarship won for him the double degree of
bachelor and master of arts from the college from which he had been
expelled. His application for a mathematical professorship in the
Navy resulted in his passing the severe examination, and in an
appointment to the frigate Independence. He declined the office,
however, having decided to become an engineer, to join Captain
Williams's survey of the mountain passes between South Carolina and
Tennessee. There was talk of a railroad between Charleston and
Cincinnati in those days.

That was Frémont's first experience in exploring expeditions. The
corps lived chiefly in camp. The survey was in wild mountainous
regions of the unexplored South, among Indians sullen against the
Government. Frémont liked this kind of a life. He enlisted under
Captain Williams the second time in 1837, as assistant engineer,
going with him upon a military reconnoissance of the Cherokee
country in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. A war cloud was
rising; the peril of the expedition was its charm to Frémont. "St.
Louis was then on the border of an immense and almost unexplored
Indian country. The caravans of merchandise going through it to
Santa Fé, ran all the risks you can read of among Bedouins in the
desert; the hunters and trappers, as well as the merchants, started
off into the unknown with only one certainty, that danger was there;
and when they came back--if they ever did--it was as from

         [Footnote 18: Souvenirs of my Time. Jessie Benton Frémont.]

About this time a distinguished French geographer, M. Nicollet, was
sent to this country by France to explore the sources of the
Mississippi, "in the interests of geography." The United States were
also interested in the geography of the almost unknown Northwest. M.
Nicollet was appointed to make explorations for the United States,
and Frémont was honored with the position of principal assistant. It
was high time that something should be done in the interests of a
geography made up largely from travellers' tales. That there was a
great river, the Buena Ventura, running from the base of the Rocky
Mountains to the Bay of San Francisco, nobody doubted, for there it
was upon the map. The exploration of M. Nicollet, assisted by
Frémont, awakened great interest. They were absent two years; their
field, the territory between the Missouri and the upper rivers, as
far north as the British line. Their report was awaited with
impatience. Frémont came home to find that he had been appointed
second lieutenant of the United States Topographical Engineers. As a
scientific explorer his fame was established. The year following his
return he spent in Washington with M. Nicollet, preparing his report
for publication. Among those most deeply interested was Senator
Benton, of Missouri, "Tom Benton," as he was popularly called, and
"Old Bullion." Benton's hobby was the opening of a road for
immigrants to the Pacific coast, as a necessary step to the
acquisition of the territory held by Mexico--the California of
to-day. Senator Benton's interest in the report of the young
engineer, then about twenty-seven years of age, was surpassed by the
young engineer's interest in the senator's daughter, Jessie, then
only fifteen, an interest which ended in a betrothal contrary to the
wishes of older heads, owing to Miss Benton's youth and young
Frémont's connection with the army. The young engineer received an
unexpected and unwelcome order, sending him to the wild frontier of
Iowa at once, where the Sacs and Foxes, it was thought by Senator
Benton (who had a hand in his exile), might be made to help postpone
the marriage, at least. But banishment and red-skins were of no
avail in breaking the engagement.

Frémont performed his duty to the letter, returned to Washington,
and married Miss Benton, October 19, 1841--a "runaway match" which
happily brought life-long happiness to both parties--Mrs. Frémont
becoming the connecting link, to use her own words, between her
father's "fixed idea of the importance of the speedy acquisition of
the Pacific coast, and its actualization through the man best fitted
to be the pioneer of the undertaking."

Less than a year after his marriage, in the summer of 1842, Frémont
was sent by the War Department on the _first_ of the _five_
expeditions which gave him the name of Pathfinder.

The Mexican War was ripening fast. England had at that time
financial claims upon Mexico, and Mexico was bankrupt.

How to get California was a serious question, reminding United
States diplomatists of the old Quaker's advice to his son--"Get
money, Joseph, get money. Get it honestly if you can--_but get it_."
Acquisition of California by settlement was vigorously encouraged.
The best routes across the mountains must be discovered and
surveyed. Partial explorations of routes to Oregon and California
had been made. Emigrants had crossed the Rockies and were settled in
the Sacramento Valley. But the geography of the Great Basin was
inaccessible to science; the best and safest routes were only
guessed at. Emigration was checked by rumors of perils, alas! too
true. Frémont's order to go to the frontier beyond the Mississippi,
was changed at his request for something more definite--the
exploration of _the South Pass_ of the Rocky Mountains.

August 8, 1842, he reached the South Pass, and then the unexplored
was before him--untrodden ground. Kit Carson was his guide;
twenty-eight men made up his party--Canadian voyageurs, picked men,
well mounted and armed--only eight of the expedition driving wagons.
Randolph Benton, a lad of twelve, Frémont's brother-in-law, was one
of the number. The great event of this expedition, so full of
thrilling adventure, was the first ascent of that highest peak of
the Wind River Mountains, now called Frémont's Peak, 13,570 feet in
height. "We mounted the barometer in the snow of the summit,"
Frémont wrote, "and fixing a ramrod in the crevice, unfurled the
national flag where never flag waved before.... While we were
sitting on the rock a solitary bumble-bee came winging its flight
from the eastern valley, and lit on the knee of one of the men."
They run a cañon in the Platte, singing a Canadian boat-song for all
the peril.... Their boat is whirled over, food, ammunition, and
valuable records lost. Climbing up and out of the cañon, they admire
the scenery in spite of their forlornity ... cacti and bare feet,
hunger and thirst ... but astronomical and barometrical observations
and drawings are made, botanical specimens collected, and a mass of
information, making the report of this expedition[19] what has been
called the most enduring monument of Frémont's fame. The report was
hailed in England as well as the United States, and was followed by
an increase of the wagon-trains across the mountains via the South

         [Footnote 19: Frémont's Oregon and California. (1849.)]

The first expedition was absent some six months. Frémont's Peak
marks the western point of that journey.

The next order from the Government sent Frémont, in the spring of
1843, to begin exploring where he had left off in 1842; to connect
his survey with that of Commodore Wilkes on the Pacific coast. Kit
Carson was again his guide; many of the previous expedition
enlisted, 32 men in all. Across the forks of the Kansas the route
lay west of Fort Laramie, through the Medicine Butte Pass and the
South Pass to the northern end of Great Salt Lake. Frémont's report
of this region led the Mormons to settle at Salt Lake afterward,
believing they would be in Mexican territory. The record of this
expedition, like the preceding one, is a story of fearful suffering
and heroic endurance. It is given in detail in Frémont's "Memoirs,"
and Benton's "Thirty Years in the Senate." Deep snows on the
mountains, no sign of the Buena Ventura River, Indians refusing to
guide such a foolhardy venture; "skeleton men leading skeleton
horses;" the descent into the Sacramento Valley at last, and the
arrival at Fort Vancouver, November 1843, gives but a glimpse of the
heroism of this second expedition. The suffering endured in reaching
the coast was as nothing to that of the return through the great
valley between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada, looking for the
river they were the first to prove did not exist at all. From San
Francisco back to Salt Lake, three thousand five hundred miles in
eight months, not once out of the sight of snow. Geography had
gained an important fact--the Colorado was the only river flowing
from the Rocky Mountains on that part of the continent. For eight
months not a word had been heard from the party, at the East, and
then Frémont came home "thin as a shadow," and Mrs. Frémont could
tell him that she might have prevented his going at all had she
chosen, for an order from Washington, countermanding the expedition,
had been received by her addressed to her husband, soon after his
departure from St. Louis. The expedition was not too far away when
the despatch came for her to get it to him, but she decided to
withhold it. Because he had taken a mountain howitzer in his outfit
he was ordered to stay at home. What a scientific expedition could
want of a howitzer was not plain to the authorities, who seemed to
think that hostile Indians knew at sight the difference between a
military and a scientific party and would respect it. Mrs. Frémont
tells the story in _The Century_ for March, 1891, how she not only
did not send on the despatch, but a messenger instead, bidding
Frémont "Go on at once without asking why," so fearful was she a
duplicate order might defeat his going at all.

General Scott was Commander in Chief of our Army in 1845. At his
instance Lieutenant Frémont was made captain in the United States
Army, and in the fall of that year was sent by the Government on
another expedition ... this time to find the best road to the
Pacific coast. Trouble with Mexico was growing fast. Our
southwestern territory needed looking after; the northwestern of
Mexico as well. Frémont was to follow the Arkansas River to its
source in the Rocky Mountains, explore the Great Basin, the
Cascades, and the Sierra Nevada, and define a route in a southern
latitude for emigrants. Kit Carson was among the sixty men of this
party, and several veterans of the two former expeditions. They
struck out for the Sierra by the way of the Humboldt River. The war
with Mexico broke out soon after their departure.

It was another story of fearful hardship--the Sacramento Valley was
reached at last, and Frémont hastened to Monterey to get permission
from the Mexican authorities to make a scientific exploration of the
region. His request was granted, and permission given to replenish
his exhausted supplies. Why the Government revoked this permission
almost as soon as granted, ordering him and his men to quit the
country at once or they would be sent as prisoners to Mexico, is a
source of much controversy between historians of that day and this.
Frémont could not retreat into the desert with his scanty outfit. A
rude fort was built at once on Hawk's Peak, some thirty miles from
Monterey, and the Stars and Stripes flung out, Frémont and his men
ready to take the consequences of such defiance. When they withdrew,
as they did in a few days, overtures from the Mexicans followed
them, even a proposition from the Spanish officer that Frémont
should join with him and declare the country independent of Mexico.
Frémont moved northward. He had reached Tlamath Lake when overtaken
by a special messenger from Washington, the bearer of a despatch
which had been memorized by the messenger to prevent its falling
into the hands of the Mexicans, and which Frémont interpreted to
mean that it was the wish of the Cabinet that he should aid in
taking and holding California, in the event of any occurrence which
he thought justification for so doing. The English must not
strengthen their foothold on the coast. Someone must look after the
interest of the United States; he was on the ground. If a crisis
came he must act without written authority, promptly and
discreetly--"Get it honestly if you can--_but get it_." He returned
at once to California, and found it in a revolutionary state. The
American settlers had hoisted what was called the Bear Flag, and
were eager to fight for the overthrow of the Mexican authority in

It is a long story, that of the conquest of California. Frémont's
right to be called the Conqueror or the Emancipator is bitterly
disputed by some, who claim that he attacked the Californians by
irregular warfare, and so thwarted the conciliatory designs of the
Government. Be that as it may, by July 5, 1846, the Bear Flag
insurgents under Frémont had declared their independence of Mexico,
and Frémont had been appointed Governor of California, and had
hauled down the Bear Flag and raised the Stars and Stripes. A
constitution had been drawn up and the territory declared to be in
the possession of the United States. January, 1847, "the enemy"
capitulated to Frémont. "The celerity and boldness of his movements
in the conduct of the affair were only surpassed," says a
contemporary, "by the moderation and clemency of his policy." "The
decisive point," wrote George Bancroft, "in the establishment of the
Union on a firm basis had been gained."

The seizure of California in 1846 has been called, from another
outlook, "one of the least creditable affairs in the highly
discreditable Mexican War," and Frémont nothing more than a
filibuster seeking private ends. California had been made ours,
nevertheless, and Frémont had secured the prize.

In the meantime the Mexican War had begun, and Commodore Stockton,
of the U. S. Navy, was hastening to California _by sea_ under orders
to subjugate the country. General Kearney was marching westward _by
land_ under like orders. Of course there was a dispute about
precedence when both were upon the ground, each asserting his right
to command the other, both issuing orders and insisting upon the
right to precedence. The difficulty of serving under two masters was
experienced by Frémont. General Vallejo testified that he received
in one day, letters from Commodore Stockton, General Kearney, and
Colonel Frémont, each signing himself "Commander-in-Chief." Frémont
believed he had sufficient reason for choosing to serve under
Stockton, which he did. Upon Stockton's return to his squadron and
Kearney's assignment to full command, Kearney brought charges
against Frémont for mutiny and fraud, defeating his re-appointment
as governor of the State besides. Frémont was ordered home, and it
was said "that, like Columbus, he returned from the discovery and
conquest of a new world, a prisoner and in disgrace." He went back
to Washington under arrest. Great honors awaited him, nevertheless,
his troubles only adding to his laurels. The citizens of Charleston
gave him a sword, the ladies the gold-mounted belt of the same. He
demanded immediate trial, which was granted, the court-martial
lasting three months, his defence filling three sessions. He was
pronounced guilty of mutiny, disobedience of the lawful command of a
superior officer, and conduct to the prejudice of good order and
military discipline--a conviction based, some said, upon technical
grounds. President Polk remitted the penalty--dismissal from the
army--but Frémont resigned at once, the President reluctantly
accepting his resignation.

Frémont was then thirty-four years old. As the leader of three great
exploring expeditions he had become not only famous, but a popular
hero. He had done much for science. He had made the most accurate
map of the region between the one hundred and fourth meridian and
the Pacific. He had added a large collection of botanical,
geological, and other specimens to the national museums. He was
eager to resume explorations of routes to the Pacific, having
decided to settle his family in California--upon the Mariposa
estate, in the Sacramento Valley, which he had bought in 1847,
before the discovery of gold, seventy square miles, for $3,000, "the
only Mexican grant that covered any part of the gold regions."

Frémont's claims against the Government for expenses incurred in the
conquest and defence of California, amounted to some $700,000, which
was paid to him. Among those advocating the payment were Senators
Benton, and Dix of New York. Twenty thousand copies of Frémont's map
of Oregon and California were ordered by the Senate.

It was by no means in the rôle of a defeated man that he started out
upon his fourth expedition, in the fall of 1848--when the gold fever
was at its height--a venture of his own and Colonel Benton's; its
object, a route to the Pacific by way of the Rio Grande. Thirty-two
men were enlisted, picked men as before. It was a superb and costly
outfit, no less than one hundred and twenty mules. Lacking Kit
Carson for a guide, they were lost in crossing the Rocky Mountains,
every mule and horse and one-third of the men perishing from cold or
starvation. At last, as he wrote home, "the mules, huddled together
in the deep snow, froze stiff as they stood and fell over like
blocks." The freezing men recrossed the summit in retreat, some of
them driven to cannibalism. Wading through the snow to the waist,
the remnant reached the home of Kit Carson at Taos, N. M., where
Frémont reorganized the expedition, reaching the Sacramento in the
spring of 1849.

Litigation concerning his title to the Mariposa estate did not
prevent Frémont from developing its mineral and agricultural
resources. He engaged some twenty-eight Spaniards to work its gold
mines upon shares. His prospects of boundless wealth were most
flattering. The Pathfinder was now a millionaire, and in 1855 his
title to Mariposa was established by the Supreme Court. Following
his appointment in 1849 to run the boundary line between the United
States and Mexico, the political party of the Territory seeking its
admission as a free State, elected him to the United States Senate.
Many honors were bestowed upon him at this time--the medal of the
Royal Geographical Society of London, the Founders medal from the
King of Prussia, an honorary membership of the Geographical Society
of Berlin, etc.

In the California State election of 1851, Frémont stood with the
Anti-Slavery party, opposed to the extension of slavery in free
territories. He was defeated, and went to Europe with his family in
1852, where he was fêted by royalty generally. Mrs. Frémont, in her
"Souvenirs of My Time," has given charming glimpses of this part of
their life. Hearing that Congress had made appropriation for further
surveys of great Western routes, Frémont hastened home in 1853, to
explore by a fifth expedition, what he believed to be the most
central and practicable route. This was his second private venture.
He would follow the path he had lost when the guide led him astray
on his fourth expedition. He would cross the Rockies at Cochetopa
Pass, and that in winter.

He made the passage, but it was at the cost of frightful suffering;
fifty days on frozen horse-flesh, days without even that;
forty-eight hours without a morsel of food; the entire party
barefooted in the snow; Frémont, in the hour of extreme peril on the
storm-swept mountain-side, making his men take oath that, come what
might, nothing should tempt them to cannibalism. Benton tells us how
Frémont went straight to the spot where the guide had gone astray in
1848, and found safe and easy passes all the way to California, upon
the straight line of 38° and 39°. Great railroads of to-day follow
the line it took those starving and half-frozen men fifty days to
pass in that winter of 1854. For three months nothing was heard from
the party. Frémont's arrival in San Francisco was an ovation.
"Europe lies between Asia and America," we read in his report;
"build the road, and America lies between Europe and Asia.... The
iron track to San Francisco will be the thoroughfare of the world."

The issues at stake in the presidential campaign of 1856 make that
campaign the most important of any in the history of our country.
"The question now to be decided," said Seward, "is whether a
slave-holding class shall govern America or not." The nomination of
John Charles Frémont as the candidate of the Republican party was
hailed with enthusiasm at the North. The Civil War was impending.
The lines between the defenders of slavery and its opponents were
sharply defined. Frémont was the first nominee of the Republican
party. The romance and adventure of his career, his upright life,
the hero-worship of the Pacific coast, the antagonism of the South,
gave the canvass a vitalizing force that his defeat by James
Buchanan did not lessen, but simply changed into a new phase of
strength. Frémont's popular vote was 1,341,000 against 1,838,000 for
Buchanan and 874,000 for Fillmore (Know-Nothing). Frémont received
114 electoral votes, and Buchanan 174.

When the Civil War broke out, in 1861, Frémont was in Europe. He
offered his services to the Government at once, and was appointed
one of the four major-generals of the regular army, and given his
choice of a command at the East or the West. He chose the West. "Who
holds the Mississippi will hold the country by the heart," he said.
His head-quarters were at St. Louis, where secession was rampant.
"You must use your own judgment," wrote President Lincoln, "and do
the best you can. I doubt if the States will ever come back."
Frémont's policy differed from Lincoln's essentially; it lacked that
patient, conciliatory spirit with the South which made it hard for
many at the North to approve of the compromising policy of the Chief
Executive, seeking to hold the neutral States from seceding.
Frémont's hatred of the rebellion led him to deal with it just as he
would have done with a mutiny on a perilous expedition. He
proclaimed martial law. Rebels were to pay some penalty for
rebellion--rebel newspapers were silenced--and what was the notable
feature of Frémont's administration--the slaves of those in arms
against the Government were declared emancipated; his emancipation
proclamation antedating Lincoln's of September 22, 1862, by a little
more than a year. But Frémont's policy was censured rather than
approved by the country at large. Petty intrigues of officers in
close relation with the Cabinet did much to defeat his plans. His
fleet of gunboats was called a useless extravagance--his staff "the
California Gang." His emancipation proclamation was pronounced
premature and unwise by Lincoln, and revoked. Frémont again was the
cause of an intense public partisanship, "Frémont's career at the
West was brief," says "Patton's Concise History of the United
States," "only one hundred days; but, being a man of military
instincts and training, he showed in that time a sagacity which was
not allowed fair practical development. In that brief time he was
the first to suggest and inaugurate the following practices, then
widely decried, but without which the war would not have been
successfully concluded: the free use of cavalry (strongly opposed by
General Scott and others); exchange of prisoners with the enemy;
fortification of large cities, to allow armies to take the field;
building of river gunboats for the interior operations at the West;
and the emancipation of the slaves. In short, he contributed more
than is generally credited to him." "To get rid of Frémont," says
Major-General Sigel, "the good prospects and honor of the army were
sacrificed to the jealousy of successful rivals." Frémont was
relieved of his command in 1861, and shortly after appointed
commander of the Mountain District of Virginia, Kentucky, and
Tennessee, where he did most honorable service, Stonewall Jackson
retreating before him after eight days' sharp skirmishing, ending in
the battle of Cross Keys.

Upon the appointment of General Pope as Commander of the Army of
Virginia, making him Frémont's superior officer, Frémont asked to be
relieved; his request was granted.

A minority of the Republican party, the radical wing, opposed to the
renomination of Lincoln in 1864, nominated Frémont as their
candidate. He accepted, but finally withdrew. "Not to aid in the
triumph of Lincoln," he said, "but to do my part toward preventing
the election of the Democratic candidate." One of the Republican
candidates would have to retire to save the party. Here is a subject
for debating clubs: Was the interest of the country best served by
Frémont's withdrawal from the canvass of 1864?

After 1864 Frémont took little part in public life. He became
absorbed in his great trans-continental railroad scheme of a line
from Norfolk to San Diego and San Francisco, in which he ultimately
lost his large fortune. French agents, in disposing of his bonds in
France, made false representations. He was prosecuted by the French
Government in 1873, and sentenced by default to fine and
imprisonment, although no judgment was given on the merits of the

The sale of his Mariposa grant brought him several millions, which
he invested in railroads soon after the war, buying the properties
that now constitute a large part of the Texas Pacific and other
roads belonging to the Atchison and Santa Fé. In the great
consolidation entailed by the foreign litigation, his confidence was
abused, and he met with heavy and irreparable loss.

From 1878 to 1881 he was Governor of Arizona. His "Memoirs" appeared
in 1886. The closing years of his life were spent in comparative

Not long before his sudden death in New York City July 14, 1890, at
the age of seventy-seven years, he had been placed on the retired
list of the United States Army with the rank of Major-General. When
he passed away the Pathfinder of Africa was filling the public
ear--the wedding of Stanley in Westminster Abbey was the theme of
the hour.

He was buried in Kensico Cemetery, Piermont-on-the-Hudson, about
thirty miles from New York City, near the country home of his
prosperous days. His widow, Jessie Benton Frémont, is at this
writing (1893), a resident of Los Angeles, Cal. Three children
survive their father, an unmarried daughter, Elizabeth McDowell
Benton, Lieutenant Frank Preston Frémont, U. S. A.; and Lieutenant
John Charles Frémont, U. S. N. After his death Mrs. Frémont demanded
compensation for, or restitution of the property appropriated by the
United States Government for military purposes in San Francisco
harbor, in 1863, and for which she has never received a dollar
(1893). The settlement of this claim in her favor is anticipated by
the bench generally, long as justice to her has been delayed. At
present she has a pension from the Government.

Some profess to find it hard reading the character of John Charles
Frémont, calling it enigmatical and baffling. Not so with those who
knew him best. "His unwritten history," writes one of these, "gives
the clew to his life."

That he was a man of indomitable courage none can deny; a man of
lofty principle and unblemished character. An atmosphere of romance
makes him the American Chevalier.

He did more than any other man to open the pathways to the Pacific
coast. The bitter feeling engendered by the California conquest, and
his policy in the Civil War, is not yet extinct. Partisanship has
biassed the most of his biographers. The intense feeling underlying
the presidential campaign of 1856 did not conduce to a fair estimate
of the man, who has suffered hardly less from the intense admiration
of his friends than from jealousies of rivals and foes. "I tried to
do my duty," he would say in his old age, when asked to explain
knotty points about the conquest.

"All that he ever did for the Government," says one who knew him
well, "was uniformly repaid with injury." That is the verdict of one
side of the controversy. The sifting and weighing of a mass of
conflicting evidence, preceding the final verdict of permanent
history, is not yet ended in Frémont's case. That the outcome will
be illumination of his fame rather than obscuration, his unswerving
defenders do not doubt.

"Though the Pathfinders die, the paths remain open."

[Signature: Jane Marsh Parker.]


By Professor W. G. BLAIKIE, LL.D.


[Illustration: David Livingstone.]

David Livingstone, missionary and traveller, was born at Blantyre,
in Lanarkshire, March 19, 1813. His parents, who were in humble
life, were of devout and exemplary character; his father in
particular being a great reader, especially of travels and
missionary intelligence, and much interested in the enterprise of
the nineteenth century. At the age of ten David became a worker in a
cotton-factory at Blantyre, and continued in that laborious
occupation for fourteen years. His thirst for knowledge led him to
read all that he could lay his hands on; he used also to attend a
night-class, after the long hours of the factory, for the study of
Latin. The reading of Dick's "Philosophy of a Future State" was not
only the means of a profound impression on his mind, but kindled the
desire to devote his life as a missionary to the service of Christ.

Deeply impressed with the advantages of medical training to a
missionary, he resolved to qualify himself in medicine, as well as
the other attainments looked for in a missionary. The London
Missionary Society having accepted the offer of his services, he
went to London to complete his studies. His first desire was to
labor in China, but, war having broken out between that country and
Great Britain, this wish could not be fulfilled. The Rev. Robert
Moffat's visit at this time to England turned many hearts to
Africa--Livingstone's among the rest; ultimately he was appointed to
that field, and, having been ordained on November 20, 1840, he set
sail for Africa, reaching Lattakoo or Kuruman, Moffat's settlement,
on July 31, 1841.

For several years Livingstone labored as a missionary in the
Bechuana country, at Mabotse, Chonuana, and Kolobeng, places that
were chosen by him just because they were in the heart of
heathenism. The conversion of Sechélé, chief of the Bakwains, and
several of his tribe, was a great encouragement. Repulsed by the
Boers in an effort to plant native missionaries in the Transvaal, he
directed his steps northward, discovered Lake 'Ngami and found the
country there traversed by fine rivers and inhabited by a dense
population. His anxiety to benefit this region led finally to his
undertaking to explore the whole country westward to the Atlantic at
St. Paul de Loanda, and eastward to the Indian Ocean at Quilimane.

Livingstone had married at Mabotse, Mary, eldest daughter of the
Rev. R. Moffat, and now he found it necessary to send her, with
their children, to England, that he might be free for this vast and
perilous undertaking. To accomplish it occupied from June 8, 1852,
when he left Cape Town, to May 26, 1856, when he arrived at
Quilimane. This journey was accomplished with a mere handful of
followers, and a mere pittance of stores, amid sicknesses and other
bodily troubles, perils, and difficulties without number. But a vast
amount of valuable information was gathered respecting the country
and its products, its geography and natural history, the native
tribes, the regions that were favorable to health, and some great
natural wonders, such as the Zambesi Falls.

Livingstone, however, found that the London Missionary Society were
not willing that he should be to so large an extent an explorer, and
some time after returning to Britain he resigned his office as one
of their missionaries.

At home Livingstone was welcomed with extraordinary enthusiasm,
receiving the acknowledgments and honors of scientific societies,
universities, town councils, and other public bodies in every
quarter of the country. In addition to these tokens of honor, the
fifteen months spent at home were signalized by three things: the
writing of his book, "Missionary Travels" (1857), which was received
with the liveliest interest; his visit to Cambridge, awakening the
enthusiasm of many of the students, and leading to the formation
afterward of the "Universities Mission;" and his appointment by Her
Majesty's Government as chief of an expedition for exploring the
Zambesi and its tributaries, and the regions adjacent.

On this expedition Livingstone set out on March 10, 1858. While
successful in many ways, it led to not a little disappointment.
Livingstone explored the Zambesi, the Shiré, and the Rovuma;
discovered Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa, and came to a decided conclusion
that Lake Nyassa and its neighborhood was the best field for both
commercial and missionary operations. His disappointments arose from
the grievous defects of a steamer sent out to him by Government,
from the death of comrades and helpers, including his wife and
Bishop Mackenzie; from the abandonment of the Universities Mission;
from the opposition of the Portuguese authorities; but mainly from
the distressing discovery that, encouraged by Portuguese traders,
the slave-trade was extending in the district, and the slave-traders
using his very discoveries to facilitate their infamous traffic. At
length a despatch recalling the expedition was received, July 2,
1863. Livingstone, at his own cost, had brought out a new steamer,
but she could not be put on the lake. Depressed though he was, he
explored the northern banks of Lake Nyassa on foot; then in his own
vessel, and under his own seamanship, crossed the Indian Ocean to
Bombay; and after a brief stay there, returned to Britain, reaching
London on July 23, 1864.

At home Livingstone had two objects--to expose the atrocious deeds
of the Portuguese slave-traders, and to find means of establishing a
settlement for missions and commerce somewhere near the head of the
Rovuma, or wherever a suitable locality could be found. His second
book, "The Zambesi and its Tributaries" (1865), was designed to
further these objects. He was again received with every
demonstration of honor and regard. A proposal was made to him, on
the part of the Royal Geographical Society, to return to Africa and
settle a disputed question regarding the water-shed of Central
Africa and the sources of the Nile. He said he would go only as a
missionary, but was willing to help to solve the geographical

He set out in August, 1865, _via_ Bombay and Zanzibar. On March 19,
1866, he started from the latter place, first of all trying to find
a suitable settlement, then striking westward in order to solve the
geographical problem. Through the ill-behavior of some of his
attendants a report of his death was circulated, but an expedition,
headed by Mr. E. D. Young, R. N., ascertained that the report was
false. Livingstone pressed westward amid innumerable hardships, and
in 1869 discovered Lakes Meoro and Bangweolo. All the while he was
doing what he could for the religious enlightenment of the natives.
Obliged to return for rest to Ujiji, where he found his goods
squandered, he struck westward again as far as the river Lualaba,
thinking it might possibly be the Nile, but far from certain that it
was not, what it proved afterward to be, the Congo. Returning after
severe illness once more to Ujiji, Livingstone found there, Mr. H.
M. Stanley, who had been sent to look for him by the proprietor of
the _New York Herald_. But no consideration would induce him to
return home till he had made one more effort to solve the
geographical problem.

He returned to Lake Bangweolo, but fell into wretched health. His
sufferings always increasing, when he reached Chitambo's village in
Ilala, he was obliged to give in. On the morning of May 1, 1873, he
was found by his attendants on his knees, dead. His faithful people
embalmed his body as best they could, carried it amid the greatest
perils to the shore, where it was put on board a British cruiser,
and on April 18, 1874, it was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Among the remains brought home were his "Last Journals," brought
down to within a few days of his death; these were published in
1874. Stanley suggested the name of Livingstone for the main stream
of the Congo (hence the Baptist Mission on the Lower Congo was
called the "Livingstone Inland Mission"), and Mr. H. H. Johnston
proposed that part of the East African territory acquired by Britain
in 1890--the lower drainage area of the Zambesi--should be called
Livingstone Land.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter, written by him to his children in 1853, during
his first exploring tour, gives the character of the man, and shows
his deep religious feeling:

"_Sekelétu's Town, Linyanti, 2d October._--My dear Robert, Agnes,
and Thomas and Oswell.--Here is another little letter for you all. I
should like to see you much more than write to you, and speak with
my tongue rather than with my pen, but we are far from each
other--very, very far. Here are Scipone, and Meriye, and others who
saw you as the first white children they ever looked at. Meriye came
the other day and brought a round basket for Nannie. She made it of
the leaves of the palmyra. Others put me in mind of you all by
calling me Rananee, Rarobert, and there is a little Thomas in the
town, and when I think of you I remember, though I am far off,
Jesus, our good and gracious Jesus, is ever near both you and me,
and then I pray to Him to bless you and make you good.

"He is ever near. Remember this if you feel angry or naughty. Jesus
is near you, and sees you, and He is so good and kind. When He was
among men, those who heard him speak said, 'Never man spake like
this man,' and we now say, 'Never did man love like Him.' You see
little Zouga is carried on mamma's bosom. You are taken care of by
Jesus with as much care as mamma takes care of Zouga. He is always
watching you and keeping you in safety. It is very bad to sin, to do
any naughty things, or speak angry or naughty words before Him.

"My dear children, take Him as your Guide, your Helper, your Friend,
and Saviour through life. Whatever you are troubled about, ask Him
to keep you. Our God is good. We thank Him that we have such a
Saviour and Friend as He is. Now you are little, but you will not
always be so, hence you must learn to read, and write, and work. All
clever men can both read and write, and Jesus needs clever men to do
His work. Would you not like to work for Him among men? Jesus is
wishing to send His gospel to all nations, and He needs clever men
to do this. Would you like to serve Him? Well, you must learn now,
and not get tired learning. After some time you will like learning
better than playing, but you must play too in order to make your
bodies strong and be able to serve Jesus.

"I am glad to hear that you go to the academy. I hope you are
learning fast. Don't speak Scotch. It is not so pretty as English.
Is the Tau learning to read with mamma? I hope you are all kind to
mamma. I saw a poor woman in a chain with many others, up at the
Barotse. She had a little child, and both she and her child were
very thin. See how kind Jesus was to you. No one can put you in
chains unless you become bad. If, however, you learn bad ways,
beginning only by saying bad words or doing little bad things, Satan
will have you in chains for sin, and you will be hurried on in his
bad ways till you are put into the dreadful place which God hath
prepared for him and all who are like him. Pray to Jesus to deliver
you from sin, give you new hearts, and make you His children. Kiss
Zouga, mamma, and each other for me.

                              "Your ever affectionate father."


         [Footnote 20: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Cyrus W. Field.]

We, the people of the United States, have been celebrating with
memorable pomp the discovery of our hemisphere by Christopher
Columbus, and the elder nations and far-off islands have joined us
in an immense festivity, honoring beyond all example of approbation
an adventure that was a marvel, and an achievement that is immortal.

All the world remembers the voyage of Columbus, that, persevered in
through trials and perils, ended in triumph--how he studied the
stars and the charts, and out of the dreams of ages wove the fabric
of fancy that grew to theory, and prophecy, and history, that there
was land beyond the Atlantic; and there is no moment in human life
supreme above, or of more fascinating interest than, that when, from
the deck of his caravel he saw the light on the shore of the new

An incident worthy to be associated for ever with this, is that of
Cyrus West Field, in his library, turning over a globe, after a
conversation relative to extending a line of telegraph to
Newfoundland, to reduce the time of the transmission of news between
Europe and America; when the idea flashed into his mind that the
telegraph might span the Atlantic. The next day Mr. Field wrote to
Lieutenant Maury, of the National Observatory at Washington, and to
Professor Morse, who invented the telegraph.

The Atlantic telegraph was as truly the conception and the
accomplishment of Mr. Field, as the discovery of America was the
ambition and the act of Columbus; and Chief Justice Chase was not
extravagant when he said the telegraph across the ocean was "the
most wonderful achievement of civilization," and entitled "its
author to a distinguished rank among benefactors;" or when he added:
"High upon that illustrious roll will his name be placed, and there
will it remain while oceans divide and telegraphs unite mankind."
John Bright said: "My friend Field, the Columbus of modern times, by
his cable has moored the New World alongside the Old."

Equally lofty testimony to the splendor of his fame is that of the
London _Times_ of August 6, 1858, saying: "Since the discovery of
Columbus, nothing has been done in any degree comparable to the vast
enlargement which has thus been given to the sphere of human

From the first vital spark that at last glows into the bloom of
life, each human being is endowed with certain qualities and
capacities, aptitudes, inspirations, possibilities, limitations; and
if one trace the stream of blood to its remotest sources, there is
no inconsistency in ancestry, and the science of humanity may be as
strict within its boundaries as that of geology, or the story of
fruitful trees, or the magnetic constellations.

The four famous brothers have given the Field family an almost
unique celebrity in this country. They were the sons of the Rev.
David Dudley Field, of Western Massachusetts, the room-mate at Yale
College of Jeremiah Evarts, father of William M. Evarts. Field and
Evarts entered college together in 1798, and graduated in 1802. The
American Fields are the descendants of John Field, the astronomer of
Ardsley, in Yorkshire, who gained a great reputation by publishing
astronomical tables, and died in 1587. Ardsley, it has not passed
from the general recollection, was the name of the estate on the
Hudson where for so many years Mr. Cyrus W. Field made his summer

The family name was in the fifteenth century changed from Feld,
Feild, Felde, and Fielde, into its present form; and John Field, the
astronomer, was the first to introduce the Copernican system in
England, and he received a patent in 1558, authorizing him to bear
as a crest over his family arms, an arm issuing from clouds and
supporting a globe. Dr. Richard Field, chaplain of Queen Elizabeth,
was of the same family, and author of the "Book of the Church,"
republished in four volumes at Oxford in 1843.

It was the last day of autumn, November 30, 1819, at the Morgan Place,
on a hill that sloped to the river, near Stockbridge, Mass., that
Cyrus West Field was born. There were three older brothers--David
Dudley, Timothy Beale, and Matthew Dickinson. The Cyrus came from a
man of note in the town, named Cyrus Williams, and the West from Dr.
Stephen West, the predecessor of Dr. David Dudley Field in the pulpit
at Stockbridge. It is said of the child that he was of very delicate
organization, so weak and frail that his body "had to be supported by
a frame in which he could roll around the room till his limbs could
get strength to bear him." There was, however (as his younger brother,
Dr. Henry M. Field, the historian of the family, says in his vigorous
English), "a nervous energy and elasticity derived from his mother,"
that brought him up, and "once set upon his little feet, he developed
by incessant motion," and he was noted for "restless activity," a
characteristic of his whole life. His frame, always slight, "became
tough and wiry, capable of great effort and great endurance." Cyrus
was the one of the Field boys who did not go to college. When fifteen
years of age, his brother, David Dudley, who was nearly fifteen years
his senior, and lived until his ninetieth year, secured a place for
him in the store of A. T. Stewart. Cyrus was a thorough country boy,
and his mother's boy, and did not take kindly to the city at first.
Dr. Field says: "I well remember hearing my brother Matthew tell
mother how Cyrus had come down to the boat on which he left the city,
and wept bitterly; and mother telling him, the next time he went to
New York, if his little brother felt so still, to bring him home." Mr.
Field soon grew tired of being a clerk, and launched out in the
manufacture and sale of paper. His capital was his brains--and in
twelve years, when he was but thirty-three years old, he was in
possession of a handsome fortune, and thought of retiring. This,
however, was only a phase of restlessness, and he had before him
nearly forty years of extraordinary activity. His great works and
trials, his counting his gains and losses by millions, his glory and
his sorrows, were all before him. The first of his many long journeys
was to South America, with the artist Church, who painted for him the
"Heart of the Andes." He ascended the Magdalena River, climbed the
Andes to Bogota, crossed to Quito, and by way of Guayaquil, in
Ecuador, reached the western coast, and returned home October, 1853,
in time for the golden wedding of his parents. Then he set about the
task of retirement from business, and was in a feverish state of
energy upon that subject, and drifted into the twelve years harassing
struggle, from the time when, in his house in Gramercy Park, he sat
alone and turned over the globe, and thought of a telegraphic cable
through the Atlantic, until the tremendous task was gloriously
finished. After writing to Maury and Morse, Mr. Field called in his
next-door neighbor, Peter Cooper; and next called Moses Taylor, who
listened for an hour without saying a word; and brought in his most
intimate friend, Marshall O. Roberts; and then Mr. Chandler White (who
died the next year and was succeeded by Wilson G. Hunt). They
organized "The New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company,"
Field, Cooper, Taylor, and Roberts putting in $20,000 each, and White
a smaller sum. Field and White, with David Dudley Field as legal
adviser, set forth for Newfoundland to get a charter, and called it a
fishing excursion. They got a land donation, and an exclusive right to
land cable for fifty years. There was first to build a line of
telegraph four hundred miles through the wilderness, across the huge
island. The land-line work lasted three years, and each of the
parties who started by putting in $20,000, put in ten times that
amount, and Field much more. The first cable across the Gulf of St.
Lawrence was a failure. The second one held; and at last there rolled
two thousand miles of tempestuous ocean, with a bottom that was a
mystery, between the verge of the American soil and the Irish coast.

Mr. Cyrus W. Field visited England as an Atlantic cable missionary,
and addressed the Chambers of Commerce in the principal cities, and
the members of the Government. His intense convictions and incessant
enthusiasm made way. The scientific men of England were cautious but
hopeful. There had been, as it happened, the year before a survey of
the North Atlantic, disclosing conditions of the bottom of the sea,
and they were reassuring. The Government was so far interested as to
engage to furnish ships to lay the cable, and to guarantee £14,000 a
year for messages sent if it proved a success--four per cent. of the
expected cost; but the capital had to be raised by private
enterprise, and Mr. Field visited Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester,
and Liverpool, and subscribed one-fourth of the whole sum. His
persistence was continued until the money was raised; but his
friends in America were not eager for the stock, and he had to pay
into the treasury of the company £88,000 in gold. The complete
responsibility of Mr. Field appears at every point. He was the
inspiration and the moving force from first to last. The work was
strange, and there were delays and details of difficulty arising at
every step, that a thousand times would have been insurmountable, if
it had not been for the indomitable Field, whose tenacity even
exceeded his impetuosity. There were two governments to be
negotiated with to furnish ships. The cable was at last ready and on
board--and three hundred and sixty-five years after Columbus sailed
from the shores of Spain, Field sailed from Ireland, the
Lord-Lieutenant, the Earl of Carlisle, making the speech of the
occasion. The first effort was to lay the cable straight from
Ireland to Newfoundland, and the start was made Wednesday, August 5,
1857. Three hundred and fifty miles out the cable broke. That was
failure; and Field's private fortune had suffered severely from his
absence. But the next year he was again in England and another start
was made--the ships going half-way and joining the cable and running
both ways. The cable parted again and again, and the ships returned
to England. All were in despair but Field, and he rallied once more,
and another trial was made--and succeeded. The cable lasted for a
few weeks and gave out. The people were wild with delight at the
success, and utterly cast down and disgusted by the failure. But the
proof was out; the thing could be done. Cables had been laid in the
Mediterranean, and final success was in sight. A new cable was made
and coiled on the Great Eastern--and when starting from Ireland and
one thousand two hundred and fifty miles were out, there was a break
where the ocean was two miles deep, and a year was lost. Then
another cable on the Great Eastern, and in 1866 it held out all the
way over. This was the year of the war between Prussia and Austria,
just after the battle of Sadowa. The next thing was to find and
splice the lost cable of the year before, and that was done, one of
the most wonderful things that ever happened. Mr. Field told the
story before the Chamber of Commerce of New York in November, 1866,
saying, after the lost cable was found and spliced: "A few minutes
of suspense and a flash told of the lightning current again set
free--some turned their heads away and wept, others broke into
cheers. Soon the wind arose and we were for thirty-six hours exposed
to all the dangers of a storm on the Atlantic; yet in the fury of
the gale, as I sat in the electrician's room, a flash of light came
up from the deep, which, having passed to Ireland, came back to me
in mid-ocean, telling that those so dear to me, whom I had left on
the banks of the Hudson, were well, and following us with their
prayers. This was like a whisper of God from the sea, bidding me
keep heart and hope."

The Great Eastern safely landed the second cable, and the two worlds
were safely forever joined. Mr. Field said he had often, in the long
struggle--nearly thirteen years in the forests of Newfoundland, on
ships in stormy seas--almost accused himself of madness, sacrificing
everything for what might prove, after all, but a dream. He received
the thanks of Congress, with a gold medal--the grand medal of the
French Exposition of 1867. Honors were heaped upon him. If he had
been a British subject, he would have been made a baronet. He had
given twelve years without accepting remuneration for time or toil,
and his hopeful, at last haggard dream, was a marvellous golden

He was forty-seven years of age. He visited Egypt at the opening of
the Suez Canal in 1864. He attended the millennial celebration of
the settlement of Iceland in August, 1874. He made with his wife a
trip around the world in 1880. He was known in all civilized lands
as one of the foremost men of his time. All the people of the
highest distinction in England knew and admired him as the most
typical and celebrated of Americans. Mr. Gladstone, Mr. John Bright,
the Duke of Argyle, Dean Stanley were his intimate friends. His
house at Gramercy Park was the scene of a splendid hospitality.
There gathered in his ample parlors, stored with souvenirs from
every land, and in his dining-room, men and women of the highest
consideration at home and abroad.

The keenness of his intelligence had increased with his
unprecedented experience. His triumphs had given him confidence in
his executive ability, and there was nothing too daring for him to
contemplate. His bitter lessons in going to the verge of ruin, when
he gave the fortune of his youth to the enterprise that he carried
to success, were amply pondered, and he resolved never again to
allow those near and dear to him to take the chances of cruel
fortune and the anxieties of impending want.

When his years were numbered in the thirties, he was meditating
retirement from business; and when he was in the sixties, his
irrepressible activities carried him into the development of the
elevated railway system on Manhattan Island, with the same ardor and
fixed purpose with which, thirty years before, he had invaded the
wilderness of Newfoundland to find a basis of operations for the
conquest of the Atlantic. His faith was undaunted and without limit.
His touch revealed new fortunes. He saw that the elevated lines that
developed Harlem, would also improve lower New York; and the
Washington Building, No. 1 Broadway, was the materialization of the
thought. The intensity that was remarked in his childhood, and that
commanded the confidence of the capitalists of England, knew no
abatement. He had been very cautious in advising Englishmen about
investments, but had imparted to some of them the assurance that
United States Bonds were as sound as the English investment of
national debt, and they profited by accepting his judgment. He
insisted upon popularizing the elevated roads by a uniform fare of
five cents, and had it done against strong opposition, and was more
confident than ever in the stock, of which he had an enormous
holding. But it took years longer than he had calculated to make
good his plans, and in the interval came a financial storm that
compelled him to submit to a heavy loss. He bore his misfortune with
fortitude, and still had a competency ample for him, when there came
a torrent of ill-fortune--the loss of his beloved wife, and the
failure of his sons, under circumstances that bore the distressing
stamp of insanity in one of them, a taint of madness that was in the
blood which had been so prolific of genius. He suffered where he was
strongest and weakest--in his love and his pride.

His spirit would have been invincible if his heart had not been
broken. No husband and father was ever more solicitous for the
welfare of wife and children. The death of his wife, followed by the
disasters that overtook his sons, wounded him as mortally as if a
flight of arrows had pierced him. The very contingencies of fortune
against which he thought he had provided with infinite painstaking,
fell upon him as if from clouds in a sky he thought clear. His
deepest resolution was that, after the long strain of facing the
total loss of fortune during the dark years of the cable enterprise,
he never again would consent to take the chances of the catastrophe
that had haunted him, and from which he had escaped at such hazard
that the fortunate interposition seemed miraculous; and he did not
consciously do the wrong to himself and dear ones he had with such
anxiety sought to avoid. His misfortunes were as incalculable as

The family affection of the Fields is one of their distinctions, and
the love the four brothers, known to all the world, bore each other,
was as gentle and full of all happiness as that of children. The
"little acts of kindness, little deeds of love," that, as the old
hymn says, would make the world an Eden, were never wanting. The
festivals in which they delighted were those of the family--the
eightieth birthday of the oldest brother--the golden wedding. In his
long travels, Mr. Field was ever thoughtful of home, and it was like
him, giving a dinner to a company of Americans in Edinburgh, to
telegraph to their families so that each guest found the news of
that day, from his own fireside, in a cablegram on his plate.

Mr. Field was no doubt attracted to Iceland, in 1874, by his studies
of the northern waters; the way the world tapers off in the high
latitudes, and the fact that Iceland must have been often in his
mind as he studied Newfoundland and Ireland, and knew that Iceland
was so near Greenland as to belong to the American continent, and to
have been a stepping-stone from Norway to Labrador. He was regarded
by the Icelanders as almost as great a man as the King of Denmark,
who visited his remote possession at the same time; and they thought
Field even a greater discoverer than Columbus, for they said the
Genoese navigator got his knowledge of the land in the west from
their ancestors, and sailed on a certainty.

On the day President Garfield was shot down, he was on his way to
Williams College, and was to dine that night with Mr. Cyrus Field at
Ardsley, and go to the old place he called "the sweetest in the
world" next day. A yacht was waiting to convey the President from
Jersey City, when the news of the assassination became known. The
President suffered mentally because he had not made adequate
provision for his family, and Mr. Field headed a subscription list
with a liberal sum, and in a few days had a quarter of a million
dollars safely invested for Mrs. Garfield and her children. The
motive of this timely and apt generosity was, first, to afford
consolation to the dying chief magistrate.

It was within the scope of the ambition of Mr. Field to span the
Pacific as well as the Atlantic Ocean with a cable; but having
triumphantly overcome one ocean, he failed to put a girdle round the
earth, as De Lesseps, having succeeded with the Suez Canal--the only
work of the age to be named with the Atlantic telegraph--failed at

If the prosperity of Mr. Field had continued, and the light had not
gone out in his home, he would not have been content until he had
ransacked the globe for ways and means to have followed the sun to
Asia with the telegraph. His footsteps point the way, and the road
to India is westward.

The golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus W. Field was attended by
hundreds of those who knew and loved them, and the great double
house of the Fields, fronting on Gramercy Park, was full of bright
faces and glittering with lights. The historic home was soon
darkened and made desolate. The master, the renowned victor--no name
more certain of an honorable immortality than his--was one whom
"unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster." His wife
passed away at Ardsley before the deeper gloom of the storm, and he
died there July 12, 1892. In his delirium on the morning of his
death, he was again on the stormy coast with the cable fleet; and he
said: "Hold those ships--do not let them sail yet." Through the
centuries there had descended to him from the old astronomer, his
ancestor, the far-flashing conception of enterprise and
understanding of the splendor of destiny that was his star, and
mingled with its light were the gentle influences of the religion of
his fathers, always to him real and radiant. He sleeps well, amid
the scenes where he passed his boyhood, and for which his heart
yearned always--beside his beloved wife; and carved in the marble of
their tomb as the last testimony to the loving heart of his
companion, are the words: "Love is eternal." The recollection of his
sorrows will not, as the centuries come and go, dim the beautiful
light of his illustrious name.

[Signature: Murat Halstead.]



(Born 1819-1901)

[Illustration: Queen Victoria.]

Well do I remember the effect produced on the audience of students,
of which I was then one, when Lord Macaulay delivered his Rectorial
address in the University of Glasgow, and when, after giving such
pictures as he alone could paint, of the character of the four
centuries that had closed since the university had been
founded--each epoch presenting a scene of bloodshed and
misgovernment--he sketched the possible future of the college, and
anticipated the time when coming generations would tell how certain
contemplated changes had been accomplished during the reign of "the
Good Queen Victoria." The phrase was accentuated by an oratorical
swing; and when it was given, the tremendous burst of enthusiasm
showed that they who listened felt the great historian had chosen
the right epithet, and that he intended it in the sense that, as
some monarchs are called "Great" and some "Little," so for all time
Victoria would be named "the Good Queen." This was said more than
forty years ago, before Tennyson had fixed the "Household name,"
"Albert the Good," for

                          "That star
  Which shone so close beside Thee, that ye made
  One light together."

The epoch in our history which is embraced between the years 1837
and 1887, is unparalleled. At no time in the history of the nation,
or of the world, has there been such rapid and beneficent progress.
We, who are citizens of "the old country," scarcely realize the
extent of our dominion. The Roman Empire was one-fourth its size;
all the Russias contain an eighth less; it is sixteen times as large
as France, and three times as large as the United States. The United
Kingdom, with its colonies and dependencies, includes about
one-fifth of the entire globe. The rapidity with which population
has grown in some parts of our dominion may be measured by
Australasia, which in 1837 had 134,059, and in 1885, 3,278,934, or
twenty-three times as many more. When we turn from these figures to
consider other fields of progress, we are still more amazed. It goes
without saying that these last fifty years have seen the growth of
railways and steamships from their infancy to their present
world-embracing influence. The mileage of railways open in the
United Kingdom in 1837 was about 294 miles, but a great proportion
was worked by horses. In 1885 the mileage was 19,169, the gross
receipts, £69,555,774; they carried about 1,275,000,000 passengers,
and employed 367,793 men. Not a steamer had crossed the Atlantic by
steam alone when the queen came to the throne, and her accession was
in the year previous to that during which Wheatstone in this
country, and Morse in America, introduced electric telegraphy. We,
who enjoy express trains, six-penny telegrams, half-penny
post-cards, and the parcel post, can scarcely realize that we are so
near the time when mail-coaches and sailing-packets were almost the
only means of conveyance, and when postage was a serious burden. The
greatness of the changes in social life may be realized when we
remember that, so recently as 1844, duelling was banished from the
code of honor; that crime has diminished seventy-one per cent. since
1837; and that while fifty years ago Government did nothing for
education, there are now 30,000 public schools under the Privy
Council. These facts are suggestive of the extent of the advance. Or
if, without touching on the marvellous victories of science, we try
to form an estimate of religious progress, and take the tables for
Protestant missions as giving a fair indication of the zeal and
self-sacrifice of the churches, we find that while British
contributions in 1837 amounted to £316,610, in 1885 they reached

It may be said with truth that the progress thus indicated must have
gone on, no matter who sat on the throne; but it would be unjust not
to recognize the close influence which the Crown has directly and
indirectly exercised on its advance. There has been no movement
tending to the development of the arts and the industries of the
country which has not enlisted the active sympathy of the royal
family. From the first the Prince Consort recognized the important
part which the sovereign could fulfil in reference to the peaceful
victories of science and art. Beginning with agriculture--the
improvement of stock and the better housing of agricultural
laborers, we trace the effect of his constant toil in the series of
industrial triumphs, of which the great exhibition of 1851 was the
magnificent precursor; and, in recent years, the same kind of
objects have always enlisted the best energies of the queen and her

[Illustration: Victoria greeted as Queen.]

The contrast is great and touching between the scene in Westminster
Abbey, when, amid the pomp of a gorgeous ceremonial and the
acclamation of her subjects, the fair girl-queen received the crown
of Britain, and that other scene, when, after fifty years of a
government that has been unblemished, she once more kneels in the
same spot--a widow surrounded by her children and her children's
children, bearing the burden of many sad as well as blessed
memories, and encompassed with the thanksgivings of the three
hundred millions of her subjects. We can imagine how oppressive, for
one so loving, must then be the vision of the past, as she recalls,
one after another, the once familiar and dear faces which greeted
her coronation, those relatives, great ministers of state, and
warriors of whom so few survive; and when all her happy married
years and the years of parting and desolation appear in vivid
retrospect. But if ever monarch had cause to bless God for His
tender mercies, it must be she who can combine with the memory of
her own life's hopes and trials the consciousness that, in the great
work given her as a sovereign, she has been enabled to fulfil the
beautiful desire of her innocent childhood, when, on her first being
informed of her royal destiny, she indulged in no vain dream of
power, but uttered the simple longing "to be good." That goodness
has been her real greatness.

The life of her majesty is marked by three great stages--her youth,
her married life, and her widowhood. Each is bound to each by the
tie of a consistent growth, passing through those experiences which
are typical of God's education of His children, whether high or low,
rich or poor.

Her childhood, with its wise education, is very much the key to her
after-life. Possessed naturally of a quick intellectual capacity,
and an unusually accurate memory, a taste for music and the arts,
and a deeply affectionate heart, she was admirably brought up by her
mother, the Duchess of Kent, on whom the training of the future
queen devolved from her infancy. If the education was as high as it
was possible to afford a young and intelligent spirit, the moral
influences were equally beneficial. The young princess, instead of
being isolated within the formalities of a court, was allowed to
become acquainted with the wants and sufferings of the poor, and to
indulge her sympathies by giving them personal help. The contrast
was a great one between the court of George IV., or even that of
William, and the truly English home where the Duchess of Kent
nurtured this sweet life in all that was simple, loving, and pure.
There could scarcely have been a better school for an affectionate
nature. All that we learn of her majesty at that time gives a
consistent picture of great vivacity, thorough directness in her
search after truth, warmth of heart, and considerateness for others,
with a genuine love for all that is morally good. These were the
characteristics which impressed those who saw her on the trying
occasion when she was suddenly ushered into the foremost place in
the greatest empire in the world. It was these characteristics which
touched the hearts of the good archbishop and of the Chancellor of
England when they announced her great destiny to the girl suddenly
summoned from slumber. That first request, "My Lord Archbishop, pray
for me!" revealed the depth of her character. It was the same when
she had next day to pass through the ordeal of meeting the great
councillors of state for the first time. Lord Melbourne, the Duke of
Wellington, Peel, and the keen-eyed Secretary Greville, all felt the
beautiful combination of dignity with unaffected simplicity, and of
quick intelligence with royal courtesy. But they did not see the
episode which followed the fatigue and excitement of the long
formalities of the council, when the young queen rushed first of all
to her mother's arms, there to indulge her feelings in a burst of
tears, and then, with girlish naïveté, claiming the exercise of her
royal prerogative to procure for herself two hours of absolute

The earlier years of her reign were happily blessed with the wise
and beneficent influence of Lord Melbourne. His relationship to the
youthful sovereign was more that of a father and able political
instructor than of a formal first minister of the crown. He was too
experienced not heartily to appreciate the beautiful character of
his young mistress, and the interest he took in her political
education, and in everything likely to further her prosperity and
happiness, was evidently kindled by warm affection. She was equally
favored in having as adviser so sagacious a relative as her uncle
Leopold, the late King of the Belgians. The Duke of Wellington
regarded her almost as a daughter; and there was also, ever at hand,
another, whose trained intellect and loyal heart exercised no little
influence on her career--Baron Stockmar--to whose lofty ideal of the
functions of royalty, calmly balanced treatment of all questions of
state policy, and high-toned moral sympathies, both the queen and
the prince consort have amply expressed their indebtedness.

Without touching further on the earlier period of her reign, which
was not without many incidents of interest, we turn to the married
years of the queen as to a bright and sunny memory.

The position of an unmarried or widowed queen necessarily entails a
peculiar loneliness. She is surrounded by the rigorous demands of
state necessity. If she has to form a judgment upon documents
submitted to her, there is no one so close to her and so independent
of all other influences as to be truly an _alter ego_. Faithful
servants of the crown may do their best to be of use, but no one of
them can be so near as to receive such unguarded confidences as can
be given to the husband who shares every joy and sorrow. The queen's
married life was ideally perfect. She married the man she loved, and
each year deepened her early affection into an admiration, a
reverence, and a pride which elevated her love into consecration.

There was no home in England made more beautiful by all that was
tender, cultured, and noble than that in which "the blameless
prince" fulfilled his heroic career of duty, and shed the bright
light of his joyous, affectionate, and keenly intellectual life.
There were few homes in which a greater amount of trying and anxious
work was more systematically accomplished, or in which there was a
more exquisite blending of hard thinking with the enjoyment of the
fine arts and the fulness of loving family happiness. We have
picture after picture given us in the life of the Prince Consort
which puts us in touch with these brilliant years, when the queen
and he were never parted but for one or two brief intervals. Early
hours of close labor were followed by a genial and hearty
relaxation, and at every turn the wife and sovereign felt the
blessedness of that presence which ministered to her in sickness
with the gentleness of a woman, and which she leaned upon in hours
of difficulty with complete trust in the strength and trueness of
his wise intellect. There was no decrease on either side in those
feelings and utterances of feeling which are so beautiful when they
carry into after years the warmth of the first attachment, only
hallowed and deepened by experience.

[Illustration: Windsor Castle.]

There were many fresh features in the kind of life which was
introduced by the queen and the consort into the habits of the
court. Among these none were more marked than the breaking up of
that monotony which the restrictions that hitherto prevailed as to
the residence of the royal family in one or two state palaces
entailed. We can well understand how the Empress Eugénie should have
found the Tuileries, in spite of its grandeur, no better than "_une
belle prison_," and her delight at the comparative freedom she
enjoyed at Windsor. The queen and Prince Consort inaugurated a new
era in the customs of the court by taking advantage of the
facilities afforded by modern methods of conveyance. Scarcely any
part of the country celebrated for scenery, or any town famous for
its industries, remained unvisited by them.

The beneficial effects of these journeys were great. Loyalty is to a
large extent a personal matter, and is necessarily deepened when the
representative of the state not only possesses moral dignity of
character but comes frequently into contact with the people. It is
also of use to the crown that its wearer should know, from actual
observation, the conditions of life in the country. It is in the
light of this mutual action of acquaintance between prince and
people that we estimate the value of that knowledge which the Prince
of Wales, his brothers, and his sons have gained of so many parts of
the empire. The Prince Consort felt keenly the use of these
influences. "How important and beneficent," he once said, "is the
part given to the royal family of England to act in the development
of those distant and rising countries, who recognize in the British
crown and their allegiance to it, their supreme bond of union with
the mother country and to each other!"

During each year of their married life the queen and Prince Consort
went on some interesting tour. In England, Oxford and Cambridge,
Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, received royal visits,
while such historical houses as Chatsworth, Hatfield, Stowe, and
Strathfieldsay were honored by their presence. Ireland was thrice
visited. Wales more than once. The first visit to Scotland was made
in 1842, another in 1844, and from 1847 only one year passed without
a long residence in the north--first at Ardverachie, on Loch Laggan,
and then at what was to be their Highland home on Deeside. Repeated
visits were also made to the Continent, sometimes in state and
sometimes in as much privacy as could be commanded.

It is when we come to this bright time, so full of fresh interest
and of a delightful freedom, that we have the advantage of the
queen's own "Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands."
Her visit to Edinburgh in 1842, and the drive by Birnam and
Aberfeldy to Taymouth, and the splendor of the reception, when, amid
the cheers of a thousand Highlanders and the wild notes of the
bagpipes, she was welcomed by Lord Breadalbane, evidently stirred
every feeling of romance. "It seemed," she wrote, "as if a great
chieftain of olden feudal times was receiving his sovereign." It
appeared like a new world, when, throwing off for a time the
restrictions of state, she found herself at Blair two years
afterward, climbing the great hills of Atholl, and from the top of
Tulloch looking forth on the panorama of mountain and glen. "It was
quite romantic; here we were with only this Highlander behind us
holding the ponies, not a house, not a creature near us but the
pretty Highland sheep, with their horns and black faces. It was the
most delightful, most romantic, ride and walk I ever had." These
early visits to Scotland inspired her with her love for the
Highlands and the Highlanders. She found there quite a world of
poetry. The majestic scenery, the fresh, bracing air, the
picturesqueness of the kilted gillies, the piping and the dancing,
and the long days among the heather, recalled scenes which Sir
Walter Scott has glorified for all time, and which are especially
identified with the fortunes of the unhappy Stuarts, of whom she is
now the nearest representative.

It was in 1848 that the court proceeded for the first time to
Balmoral, then a picturesque but small castle. The air of Deeside
had been recommended by Sir James Clark, the queen's physician, and
his anticipation of the benefits to be derived from residence there
was so completely realized that although four years passed before
the property was actually purchased, yet preparations were made for
establishing there a royal home. Plans for the future castle and for
laying out the grounds were gone into by the prince with keen
delight. "All has become my dear Albert's own creation, own work,
own building, own laying out, as at Osborne; and his great taste and
the impress of his dear hand have been stamped everywhere."

It was here that the queen and the Prince Consort enjoyed for more
than twelve years a delightful freedom, mingling with their people,
devising the wisest methods for insuring their well-being, going
with them to worship in their plain (very plain!) parish church, and
being to each and all unaffectedly sincere friends. Every spot
around soon became consecrated by some sweet association. Every
great family event had its commemoration amid the scenery around the
castle; though many a cairn, once raised in joy, is now, alas! a
monument of sorrow. The life at Balmoral was in every sense
beneficial. There never has been there the kind of relaxation that
comes from idleness. Systematic work has been always maintained at
Balmoral as at Windsor. Early hours in the fresh morning and a
regular arrangement of time during the day have given room for the
constant business of the crown; but every now and then there were
glorious "outings," whether for sport or for some far-reaching
expedition, which gave fresh zest to happy and united toil.

There is more than one characteristic of the queen which may recall
to Scotchmen the history of their own Stuarts, and among these is
her enjoyment of expeditions _incognita_. The Prince Consort, with
his simple German heart, entered fully into the "fun" of such
journeys, as, starting off on long rides across mountain-passes and
through swollen burns and streams, lunching on heights from which
they could gaze far and wide over mountain and strath, they would
reach some little roadside inn, and there, assuming a feigned name,
had the delight of feeling themselves "private people," while the
simple fare and the ridiculous _contretemps_ which frequently
occurred were enjoyed the more keenly because of their contrast to
accustomed state. And during all these years their domestic life was
unbroken by any great family sorrow. It was not till a year before
her great bereavement that the queen lost her mother, the Duchess of
Kent. Few can read the account of that sorrowful parting without
being drawn nearer to the sovereign by the tie of a common humanity,
so deep and tender is the affection that is revealed.

But till 1861 the queen was surrounded by all those who were dearest
to her, and she and the prince shared the sweet task of
superintending their children's education. Few parents more
anxiously considered the best methods for securing a sound moral and
religious training. "The greatest maxim of all," writes the queen,
"is that the children shall be brought up as simply and in as
domestic a way as possible, that (without interfering with their
lessons) they should be as much as possible with their parents, and
learn to place their greatest confidence in them in all things." As
to religious training, the queen's conviction was that it is best
when given to a child "day by day at his mother's knee." It was only
the great pressure of public duty which rendered it impossible for
her to fulfil her part so completely as she desired. "It is a hard
case for me," her majesty writes, in reference to the princess
royal, "that my occupations prevent me being with her when she says
her prayers."

The religious convictions of the queen and the Prince Consort were
deep. They both cared little for those mere accidents and
conventionalities of religion which so many magnify into essentials.
The prince, eminently devout, insisted on the realities of religion.
"We want not what is safe, but true," was his commentary on the
exaggerated outcry against "Essays and Reviews." "The Gospel, and
the unfettered right to its use," was his claim for Protestantism.
For his own spirit, like that of the queen, was truly religious. The
quiet evenings spent together before communion, and the directness
and reverence with which both served God were combined with an utter
abhorrence of all intolerance. Such qualities are generally
misunderstood by the narrow-minded, who have only their own
"shibboleths" to test all faith, and the one Church--whatever it may
be--that they regard as "true." The queen and the prince rose above
such distinctions; they shared the Catholicism of St. Paul, "Grace
be with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."

But these bright and happy years were doomed to a sudden ending. It
is only when we have realized all that her husband was to her that
we can measure how fearful was the blow to her loving heart when he
who was her pride and her constant companion was laid low. We may
well feel what a shattering it brought to all that hitherto had
enriched her life, and how very desolate her position became when
she was left in loneliness on the throne, a widow separated by her
queendom from many of those supports which others find near them,
but from which she was deprived by her position. "Fourteen happy and
blessed years have passed," she wrote, in 1854, "and I confidently
trust many more will pass, and find us in old age as we now are,
happily and devotedly united. Trials we must have, but what are they
if we are together?" In God's wisdom that hope was not to be
realized, and in 1861 the stroke fell, and it fell with crushing

It is not for us to lift the curtain of sorrow that fell like a
funeral pall over the first years of her widowhood. For many a day
it seemed as if the grief was more than she could bear, and although
she was sustained through it all by God's grace, and supported by
the sympathy of the nation, yet it was naturally a long-continued
and absorbing sorrow. Other blows have fallen since then. The tender
and wise Princess Alice, and the thoughtful and cultured Duke of
Albany, have also been gathered to their rest; and the queen has had
to mourn over one after another of her most faithful servants taken
from her. But the hallowing hand of time, the soothing remembrance
of unspeakable mercies, and the call to noble duty, have done much
to restore the strength, if not the joy, of former days. Her people
rejoice, and the influence of the Crown is enormously strengthened,
when in these later years the queen has been able once more to
mingle with the nation.

When we touch on the third period of her life--which may well be
termed that of sorrow, although brightened by many happy events in
the domestic life of her children--we reach times that are familiar
to every reader. These have been years in which the cares of state
have often been exceedingly burdensome. The days of anxiety during
the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny have more than once had their
counterpart. Afghanistan, Zululand with its Isandula, and the
Transvaal War with its Majuba Hill, Egypt, and the Soudan, brought
hours of sore anxiety to the sovereign; but they were probably not
more harassing to intellect and heart than the months of difficult
diplomacy which the threatening aspect of European politics
frequently laid upon Government.

I may say in passing that no portrait of her appears to me to be
quite satisfactory. They usually have only one expression, that of
sadness and thoughtfulness, and so far they give a true
representation; for when there is nothing to rouse her interest and
when she is silent, that look of sadness is doubtless what chiefly
impresses one. Her face then bears the traces of weary thought and
of trying sorrow; but when she is engaged in conversation, and
especially if her keen sense of humor has been touched, her
countenance becomes lit with an exceedingly engaging brightness, or
beams with heartiest laughter.

Her life at Balmoral since her great sorrow maintains, as far as may
be, the traditions of the happy past. She still makes expeditions,
_cognita_ or _incognita_, sometimes to the scenes of former
enjoyment or to new places of interest. She has in this way visited
Blair, Dunkeld, Invermark, Glenfiddich, Invertrossachs, Dunrobin,
Inverlochy, Inverary, Loch Marll, and Broxmouth.

The queen, among her people at Balmoral, gives a splendid example to
every landlord. "The first lady in the land" is the most gracious
mistress possible. Her interest is no condescending "make-believe,"
as we sometimes find it in the case of others, who seek a certain
popularity among their dependents by showing spasmodic attentions
which it is difficult to harmonize with a prevailing indifference.
With the queen it is the unaffected care of one who really loves her
people, and who is keenly touched by all that touches them. She
knows them all by name, and in the times of their sorrow they
experience from her a personal sympathy peculiarly soothing. There
is indeed no part of the volumes she has given us more surprising
than the minute knowledge she there shows of all the people who have
been in any way connected with her. The gillies, guides, and
gamekeepers, the maids who have served her, the attendants,
coachmen, and footmen, are seldom mentioned without some notice of
their lives being recorded as faithfully as is the case with peers
and peeresses. How few mistresses are there who, burdened as she is
with duty, would thus hold in kindest remembrance each faithful
servant, become acquainted with their circumstances, and provide for
them in age or in trial with generous solicitude. It is this rich
humanity of feeling that is her noblest characteristic. The public
are accustomed to see messages of sympathy sent by the queen in
cases of disaster and of accident, but they cannot know how truly
those calamities fall upon her own heart. As far as her life in the
Highlands is concerned, she is now perhaps the best specimen we have
of what the old Highland chieftain used to be, only that in her case
we find the benefits of paternal government without its harsh
severities. There is the same frank and hearty attachment to her
dependents, the same intimate knowledge of each one of them, the
same recognition of services. It is a queenly quality to recognize
what is worthy, no matter what the rank may be. It was from this she
placed so much confidence in her faithful attendant, John Brown. Her
great kindness to him was her own generous interpretation of the
long and loyal services of one who, for more than thirty years, had
been personal attendant on the Prince Consort and herself, leading
her pony during many a long day upon the hills, watching over her
safety in London as well as on Deeside, and who, on more than one
occasion, protected her from peril. "His attention, care and
faithfulness cannot be exceeded," she writes in the first volume of
the "Leaves," "and the state of my health, which of late years has
been sorely tried and weakened, renders such qualifications most



(Born 1820)

A very distinguished lady nurse, who has been in half the hospitals
in Europe, once said to me: "To Florence Nightingale, who was my own
first teacher and inspirer, we owe the wonderful change that has
taken place in the public mind with regard to nursing. When I first
began my hospital training, hospital nursing was thought to be a
profession which no decent woman of any rank could follow. If a
servant turned nurse, it was supposed she did so because she had
lost her character. We have changed all that now. Modern nursing
owes its first impulse to Florence Nightingale."

[Illustration: Florence Nightingale.]

I don't suppose that any of my young readers have ever seen a
hospital nurse of the now nearly extinct Gamp type; but I have. I
have seen her, coarse-faced, thick of limb, heavy of foot, brutal in
speech, crawling up and down the stairs or about the wards, in
dresses and aprons that made me feel (although quite well and with a
good healthy appetite) as if I would not have my good dinner just
then. These were the old-fashioned "Sairey Gamps." But Florence
Nightingale has been too strong for even the immortal "Sairey." Go
now through the corridors and wards of a modern hospital; every
nurse you meet will be neat and trim, with spotless dress and cap
and apron, moving quickly but quietly to and fro, doing her work
with kindness and intelligence.

It was in 1820, the year George the Third's long life quite faded
out, that the younger of the two daughters of William Shore
Nightingale was born at Florence, and named after that lovely city.

Mr. Nightingale, of Embley Park, Hampshire, and the Lea Hurst,
Derbyshire, was a wealthy land-owner. He was of the Shores of
Derbyshire, but inherited the fortune with the name of Nightingale
through his mother. Lea Hurst, where Miss Nightingale passed the
summer months of each year, is situated in the Matlock district,
among bold masses of limestone rock, gray walls, full of fossils,
covered with moss and lichen, with the changeful river Derwent now
dashing over its stony bed, now quietly winding between little dales
with clefts and dingles. Those who have travelled by the Derby and
Buxton Railway will remember the narrow valleys, the mountain
streams, the wide spans of high moorland, the distant ranges of
hills beyond the hills of the district. Lea Hurst, a gable-ended
house, standing among its own woods and commanding wonderful views
of the Peak country, is about two miles from Cromford station.

At Lea Hurst much of Florence Nightingale's childhood was passed.
There she early developed that intense love for every living
suffering thing, that grew with her growth, until it became the
master-passion of her life.

Florence Nightingale always retained her belief in animals. Many
years after her name was known all over the world, she wrote: "A
small pet animal is often an excellent companion for the sick, for
long chronic cases especially." An invalid, in giving an account of
his nursing by a nurse and a dog, infinitely preferred that of the
dog. "Above all," he said, "it did not talk." Even Florence
Nightingale's maimed dolls were tenderly nursed and bandaged.

Mr. Nightingale was a man singularly in advance of his time as
regards the training of girls. The "higher education of women" was
unknown to the general public in those days, but not to Mr.
Nightingale. His daughter was taught mathematics, and studied the
classics, history, and modern languages under her father's
guidance. These last were afterward of the greatest use to her in
the Crimea. But she was no "learned lady;" only a well-educated
Englishwoman all round. She was an excellent musician, and skilful
in work with the needle; and the delicate trained touch thus
acquired stood her in good stead, for the soldiers used to say that
a wound which Miss Nightingale dressed "was sure to get well."

She felt a strong craving for work, more even than the schools and
cottages, the care of the young, the sick, and the aged (in which
she followed her mother's example) could afford her at her father's
home. Mrs. Browning tells us to

                 "Get leave to work
  In this world; 'tis the best you get at all."

Florence Nightingale not only got leave to work, but did so, very
quietly but very persistently. And so she became a pioneer for less
courageous souls, and won for them also "leave to work." Taught by
her father, she soon learned to distinguish between what was really
good work and which mere make-believe. She had many opportunities,
even as a child, of seeing really fine, artistic work both in
science and art. She set up a high standard, and was never satisfied
with anything short of the best, either in herself or others. It is
a grand thing to know good work when you see it.

The love of work, however, with Florence Nightingale, always went
hand in hand with that love for every living thing in God's world
which was born with her and which was never crowded out by all this
education. As she grew up she more and more felt that helpfulness
was the first law of her being; but her reason and intellect having
been so carefully trained, she was thoroughly persuaded that, in
order to help effectually, one must know thoroughly both the cause
of suffering and its radical cure.

The study of nursing had an irresistible attraction for her. Few
people in England at that time valued nursing. Florence Nightingale
was convinced that indifference arose from the all but absolute
ignorance of what nursing should be, and she set herself to acquire
the necessary knowledge to enable her to carry it out in the very
best and most scientific way. She never lost an opportunity of
visiting a hospital, either at home or abroad. She gave up the life
of so-called "pleasure," which it was then considered a young woman
of her position ought to lead, and after having very carefully
examined innumerable nursing institutions at home and abroad, at
length went to the well-known Pastor Fliedner's Deaconesses, at
Kaiserswerth, where she remained for several months.

After leaving Kaiserswerth, Miss Nightingale was for a while with
the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, in Paris, so anxious was she to
see how nursing was carried on under many different systems. It was
during 1851, the year of the first Great Exhibition, that she was
thus fitting herself practically for the great task that lay before
her in the not very distant future.

On her return to England, Miss Nightingale found a patient that
required all her time and help of every kind. This patient was none
other than the Sanatorium in Harley Street for gentlewomen of
limited means. Into the saving of this valuable institution Miss
Nightingale threw all her energy, and for two or three years, hidden
away from the outside world, she was working day and night for her
poor suffering ladies, until at length she was able to feel that the
Sanatorium was not only in good health, but on the high road to
permanent success.

Florence Nightingale's own health, however, gave way under the
long-continued strain of anxiety and fatigue; she was obliged to
leave the invalids for whom she had done so much, and go home for
the rest and change she so sorely needed.

Now, while Miss Nightingale had been quietly getting "Harley Street"
into working order, the gravest and most terrible changes had taken
place in the affairs of the nation, and not only in those of
England, but in those of the whole of Europe. In 1851, when the
first Great Exhibition was opened, all was peace--the long peace of
forty years was still unbroken--people said it never was to be
broken again, and that wars and rumors of wars had come to an end.
So much for human foreknowledge. By the autumn of 1854, the horrors
of the Crimean war had reached their climax. The _Times_ was full,
day by day, of the most thrilling and appalling descriptions of the
hideous sufferings of our brave men--sufferings caused quite as much
by the utter breakdown of the sanitary administration as by even the
deadly battles and trenchwork; while every post was bringing
agonizing private letters appealing for help.

Men were wounded in the Crimea, the hospitals were far off at
Scutari, the wide and stormy Black Sea had to be crossed to reach
them; the stores of food, clothing, and medicine that might have
saved many a life were at Varna, or lost in the Black Prince; the
state of the great Barrack Hospital at Scutari was indescribably
horrible; everybody was frantic to rush to the relief; no one knew
what best to do; public feeling was at fever-heat. How could it be
otherwise when William Howard Russell, the _Times_ correspondent,
was constantly writing such true but heartrending letters as this:

"The commonest accessories of a hospital are wanting; there is not
the least attention paid to decency or cleanliness; the stench is
appalling; the fetid air can barely struggle out to taint the
atmosphere, save through the chinks in the walls and roofs; and for
all I can observe, these men die without the least effort being made
to save them. Here they lie, just as they were let gently down on
the ground by the poor fellows, their comrades, who brought them on
their backs from the camp with the greatest tenderness, but who are
not allowed to remain with them. The sick appear to be tended by the
sick, and the dying by the dying."

Miss Nightingale, who was then recovering from her Harley Street
nursing, deeply felt the intensity of the crisis that was moving the
whole nation; but, whereas the panic had driven most of the kind
people who were so eager to help the army, nearly "off their heads,"
it only made hers the cooler and clearer. She wrote, offering her
services to Mr. Sidney Herbert, afterward Lord Herbert, the minister
for war, who, together with his wife, had long known her, and had
recognized her wonderful organizing faculties, and her great
practical experience.

It was on October 15th that she wrote to Mr. Herbert. On the very
same day the minister had written to her. Their letters crossed. Mr.
Herbert, who had himself given much attention to military hospitals,
laid before Miss Nightingale, in his now historical letter, a plan
for nursing the sick and wounded at Scutari.

"There is, as far as I know," he wrote, "only one person in England
capable of organizing and directing such a plan, and I have been
several times on the point of asking you if you would be disposed to
make the attempt. That it will be difficult to form a corps of
nurses, no one knows better than yourself."

After specifying the difficulty in finding not only good nurses, but
good nurses who would be willing to submit to authority, he goes on:
"I have this simple question to put to you. Could you go out
yourself and take charge of everything? It is, of course, understood
that you will have absolute authority over all the nurses, unlimited
power to draw on the Government for all you judge necessary to the
success of your mission; and I think I may assure you of the
co-operation of the medical staff. Your personal qualities, your
knowledge, and your authority in administrative affairs, all fit you
for this position."

Miss Nightingale at once concurred in Mr. Herbert's proposal. The
materials for a staff of good nurses did not exist, and she had to
put up with the best that could be gathered on such short notice.

On the 21st, a letter by Mr. Herbert, from the War Office, told the
world that "Miss Nightingale, accompanied by thirty-four nurses,
will leave this evening. Miss Nightingale, who has, I believe,
greater practical experience of hospital administration and
treatment than any other lady in this country, has, with a
self-devotion for which I have no words to express my gratitude,
undertaken this noble but arduous work."

A couple of days later there was a paragraph in the _Times_ from
Miss Nightingale herself, referring to the gifts for the soldiers
that had been offered so lavishly: "Miss Nightingale neither invites
nor refuses the generous offers. Her banking account is open at
Messrs. Coutts's." On October 30th, the _Times_ republished from the
_Examiner_ a letter, headed, "Who is Miss Nightingale?" and signed
"One who has known her." Then was made known to the British public
for the first time who the woman that had gone to the aid of the
sick and wounded really was; then it was shown that she was no
hospital matron, but a young and singularly graceful and
accomplished gentlewoman of wealth and position, who had, not in a
moment of national enthusiasm, but as the set purpose of her life
from girlhood up, devoted herself to the studying of God's great and
good laws of health, and to trying to apply them to the help of her
suffering fellow-creatures.

From October 30, 1854, the heroine of the Crimean war was Florence
Nightingale, and the heroine of that war will she be while the
English tongue exists and English history is read. The national
enthusiasm for her was at once intense, and it grew deeper and more
intense as week by week revealed her powers. "Less talent and energy
of character, less singleness of purpose and devotion, could never
have combined the heterogeneous elements which she gathered together
in one common work and labor of love."

I met the other day a lady who saw something of Miss Nightingale
just before she went out to the East. This lady tells me that Miss
Nightingale was then most graceful in appearance, tall and slight,
very quiet and still. At first sight her earnest face struck one as
cold; but when she began to speak she grew very animated, and her
dark eyes shone out with a peculiarly star-like brightness.

This was the woman whose starting for the East was at once felt to
be the beginning of better things; but so prejudiced were many good
English people against women-nurses for soldiers, that Mrs. Jameson,
writing at the time, calls the scheme "an undertaking wholly new to
our English customs, much at variance with the usual education given
to women in this country." She, sensible woman, one in advance of
her day, hoped it would succeed, but hoped rather faintly. "If it
succeeds," she goes on, "it will be the true, the lasting glory of
Florence Nightingale and her band of devoted assistants, that they
have broken down a 'Chinese wall of prejudices,' religious, social,
professional, and have established a precedent which will, indeed,
multiply the good to all time."

The little band of nurses crossed the Channel to Boulogne, where
they found the fisherwomen eager for the honor of carrying their
luggage to the railway. This display, however, seemed to Miss
Nightingale to be so out of keeping with the deep gravity of her
mission, that, at her wish, it was not repeated at any of the
stopping-places during the route. The Vectis took the nurses across
the Mediterranean, and a terribly rough passage they had. On
November 5th, the very day on which the battle of Inkermann was
fought, the ship arrived at Scutari.

Miss Nightingale and her nurses landed during the afternoon, and it
was remarked at the time that their neat black dresses formed a
strong contrast to those of the usual hospital attendants.

The great Barrack Hospital at Scutari, which had been lent to the
British by the Turkish Government, was an enormous quadrangular
building, a quarter of a mile each way, with square towers at each
angle. It stood on the Asiatic shore a hundred feet above the
Bosphorus. Another large hospital stood near; the whole, at times,
containing as many as four thousand men. The whole were placed under
Miss Nightingale's care. The nurses were lodged in the southeast

The extent of corridors in the great hospital, story above story, in
which the sick and wounded were at first laid on wretched
palliasses, as close together as they could be placed, made her
inspection and care most difficult. There were two rows of
mattresses in the corridors, where two persons could hardly pass
abreast between foot and foot. The mortality, when the _Times_ first
took up the cause of the sick and wounded, was enormous. In the
Crimea itself there was not half the mortality in the tents,
horrible as were the sufferings and privations of the men there.

"The whole of yesterday," writes one of the nurses a few days after
they had arrived, "one could only forget one's own existence, for it
was spent, first in sewing the men's mattresses together, and then
in washing them, and assisting the surgeons, when we could, in
dressing their ghastly wounds after their five days' confinement on
board ship, during which space their wounds had not been dressed.
Hundreds of men with fever, dysentery, and cholera (the wounded were
the smaller portion) filled the wards in succession, from the
overcrowded transports."

Miss Nightingale's position was a most difficult one. Everything was
in disorder, and every official was extremely jealous of
interference. Miss Nightingale, however, at once impressed upon her
staff the duty of obeying the doctors' orders, as she did herself.
An invalids' kitchen was established immediately by her to
supplement the rations. A laundry was added; the nursing itself,
was, however, the most difficult and important part of the work.

But it would take far too much space to give all the details of that
kind but strict administration which brought comparative comfort and
a low death-rate into the Scutari hospitals. During a year and a
half the labor of getting the hospitals into working order was
enormous, but before the peace arrived they were models of what such
institutions may be.

Speaking of Miss Nightingale in the hospital at Scutari, the _Times_
correspondent wrote: "Wherever there is disease in its most
dangerous form, and the hand of the spoiler distressingly nigh,
there is that incomparable woman sure to be seen; her benignant
presence is an influence of good comfort even amid the struggles of
expiring nature. She is a ministering angel, without any
exaggeration, in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides
quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with
gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have
retired for the night, and silence and darkness have settled down
upon these miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed, alone, with
a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds. With the
heart of a true woman and the manner of a lady, accomplished and
refined beyond most of her sex, she combines a surprising calmness
of judgment and promptitude and decision of character. The popular
instinct was not mistaken, which, when she set out from England on
her mission of mercy, hailed her as a heroine; I trust that she may
not earn her title to a higher, though sadder, appellation. No one
who has observed her fragile figure and delicate health can avoid
misgivings lest these should fail."

Public feeling bubbled up into poetry. Even doggerel ballads sung
about the streets praised

  "The Nightingale of the East,
   For her heart it means good."

Among many others, Longfellow wrote the charming poem, "The Lady
with the Lamp," so beautifully illustrated by the statuette of
Florence Nightingale at St Thomas's Hospital, suggested by the
well-known incident recorded in a soldier's letter: "She would speak
to one and another, and nod and smile to many more; but she could
not do it to all, you know, for we lay there by hundreds; but we
could kiss her shadow as it fell, and lay our heads on our pillows
again, content."

  "Lo! in that house of misery
  A lady with a lamp I see
      Pass through the glimmering gloom.
      And flit from room to room.

  "And slow, as in a dream of bliss,
  The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
      Her shadow as it falls
      Upon the darkening walls.

  "On England's annals, through the long
  Hereafter of her speech and song.
      A light its rays shall cast
      From portals of the past.

  "A lady with a lamp shall stand
  In the great history of the land.
      A noble type of good
      Heroic womanhood."

In the following spring Miss Nightingale crossed the Black Sea and
visited Balaclava, where the state of the hospitals in huts was
extremely distressing, as help of all kinds was even more difficult
to obtain there than at Scutari. Here Miss Nightingale spent some
weeks, until she was prostrated by a severe attack of the Crimean
fever, of which she very nearly died.

But at length the Crimean war came to an end. The nation was
prepared to welcome its heroine with the most passionate enthusiasm.
But Florence Nightingale quietly slipped back unnoticed to her
Derbyshire home, without its being known that she had passed through

Worn out with ill-health and fatigue, and naturally shrinking from
publicity, the public at large has scarcely ever seen her; she has
been a great invalid ever since the war, and for many years hardly
ever left her house.

But her energy has been untiring. She was one of the founders of the
Red Cross Society for the relief of the sick and wounded in war.
When the civil war broke out in America she was consulted as to all
the details of the military nursing there. "Her name is almost more
known among us than even in Europe," wrote an American. During the
Franco-German war she gave advice for the chief hospitals under the
Crown Princess, the Princess Alice, and others. The Children's
Hospital, at Lisbon, was erected from her plans. The hospitals in
Australia, India, and other places have received her care. A large
proportion of the plans for the building and organization of the
hospitals erected during the last twenty-five years in England, have
passed through her hands.

The Queen, who had followed her work with constant interest,
presented her with a beautiful and costly decoration. The nation
gave £50,000 to found the Nightingale Home. In this home Miss
Nightingale takes the deepest interest, constantly having the nurses
and sisters to visit her, and learning from them the most minute
details of its working. Great is evidently her rejoicing when one of
her "Nightingales" proves to be a really fine nurse, such a one, for
instance, as Agnes Jones, the reformer of workhouse nursing.

This was the high position Florence Nightingale conquered for her
fellow-women. Hundreds have occupied, and are still occupying, the
ground she won for them. "And I give a quarter of a century's
European experience," she goes on, "when I say that the happiest
people, the fondest of their occupation, the most thankful for their
lives, are, in my opinion, those engaged in sick nursing."

Officials in high places, ever since the Crimean war, have sent Miss
Nightingale piles, mountains one might say, of reports and blue
books for her advice. She seems to be able to condense any number of
them into half a dozen telling sentences; for instance, the
mortality in Indian regiments, during times of peace, became
exceedingly alarming. Reports on the subject were poured in upon
her. "The men are simply treated like Strasbourg geese," she said in
effect. "They eat, sleep, frizzle in the sun, and eat and sleep
again. Treat them reasonably, and they will be well." She has
written much valuable advice on "How to live and not die in India."

Children's hospitals have also engaged much of her attention. You
cannot open one of her books at hazard without being struck with
some shrewd remark, that tells how far-reaching is her observation;
as in this, on the playgrounds of children's hospitals: "A large
garden-ground, laid out in sward and grass hillocks, and such ways
as children like (not too pretty, or the children will be scolded
for spoiling it), must be provided."

Here, I am sorry to find, my space comes to an end, but not, I hope,
before I have been able to sketch in some slight way what great
results will assuredly follow, when Faith and Science are united in
one person. In the days, which we may hope are now dawning, when
these gifts will be united, not in an individual here and there, but
in a large portion of our race, there will doubtless be many a
devoted woman whose knowledge may equal her practical skill, and her
love for God and her fellow-creatures, who will understand, even
more thoroughly than most of us now can (most of us being still so
ignorant), how deep a debt of gratitude is due to her who first
opened for women so many paths of duty, and raised nursing from a
menial employment to the dignity of an "Art of Charity"--to
England's first great nurse, the wise, beloved, and far-seeing
heroine of the Crimean war, the Lady of the Lamp, Florence


         [Footnote 21: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: Dr. Louis Pasteur.]

Louis Pasteur, the Columbus of "the world of the infinitely
little"--to quote the phrase of Professor Dumas--was born in the
town of Dôle, France, on December 27, 1822. His father was an old
soldier, decorated on the field of battle, who, after leaving the
array, earned his bread as a tanner. In 1825 M. Pasteur moved from
Dôle to the town of Arbois, on the borders of the Cuisance, where
his son began his education in the communal college. The boy was
exceedingly fond of fishing and of sketching, and it was not until
he reached the age of fourteen that he began study in earnest. There
being no professor of philosophy at Arbois, Louis Pasteur moved to
Besançon, where he received the degree of _bachelier ès lettres_ and
was at once appointed as one of the tutors. Here he studied the
course in mathematics necessary for admission into the École
Normale, in Paris, which he entered in October, 1843. Already his
passion for chemistry had shown itself, and he took the lectures in
that science delivered by M. Dumas at the Sorbonne, and by M. Balard
at the École Normale. It was but a short time before he became a
marked man in his class, especially for his intense devotion to
experiment. Thanks to M. Delafosse, one of the lecturers of the
École Normale, his attention was turned to crystallography, and a
note from the German chemist, Mitscherlich, communicated to the
Academy of Sciences, set him on fire with curiosity. Mitscherlich
declared: "The paratartrate and the tartrate of soda and ammonia
have the same chemical composition, the same crystalline form, the
same angles, the same specific weight, the same double refraction,
and the same inclination of the optic axes. Dissolved in water,
their refraction is the same. But while the dissolved tartrate
causes the plane of polarized light to rotate, the paratartrate
exacts no such action."

Pasteur at once instituted experiments resulting in the discovery of
minute facets in the tartrate which gave it the power noted. He
found in the paratartrate these facets existed, but that there was
an equal admixture of right-and left-handed crystals, and the one
neutralized the effect of the other. He also discovered the
left-handed tartrate. These discoveries at the opening of Pasteur's
career brought him at once to the front among the scientific men. He
followed them with a profound investigation into the symmetry and
dissymmetry of atoms, and reached the conclusion that in these lay
the basic difference between inorganic and organic matter, between
the absence of life and life.

Nominated at the age of thirty-two as Dean of the Faculté des
Sciences, at Lille, Pasteur determined to devote a portion of his
lectures to fermentation. At that time ferments were believed to be,
to quote Liebig, "Nitrogenous substances--albumin, fibrin, casein;
or the liquids which embrace them--milk, blood, urine--in a state of
alteration which they undergo in contact with air." Pasteur examined
the lactic ferment and found little rods, 1/25000 inch in length,
which nipped themselves in the centre, divided into two, grew to
full length and divided again, and these living things he declared
to be the active principles of the ferment. He made a mixture of
yeast, chalk, sugar, and water, added some of the rods, and got
fermentation. He then made a mixture of sugar, water, phosphate of
potash, and magnesia, and introducing fresh cells, fermentation
followed. Liebig's theory of the nitrogenous character of the
ferment disappeared when fermentation was caused in a mixture having
no nitrogenous elements.

Pasteur had discovered that fermentation was a phenomenon of
nutrition; it followed the increase and growth of the little rods.
The next step was the discovery of the ferment of butyric acid, a
species of vibrio consisting of little rods united in chains of two
or three and possessed of movement. He found these vibrios lived
without air. Further experiments showed there were ferments to which
air was necessary, called by Pasteur the _ærobics_, and others to
whom oxygen was fatal, the _anærobics_. He proved, also, by an
exhaustive series of experiments, that what is called putrefaction
of animal matter is the result of the combined work of the _ærobics_
and the _anærobics_, which reduce that part not taken up by oxygen
to dead organic matter, ready in its turn to form food for living

His attention having been turned to the needs of the vinegar makers
of Orleans, Pasteur began the examination of the ferment which
produces vinegar from wine. He found this in the mycoderm aceto, a
mould-like plant which has the power of developing acetic acid from
alcohol. As the result of his investigation, the manufacturers of
vinegar in France were able to do away with the cumbrous process
they had long followed, and to make vinegar, not only more cheaply,
but of very much better quality. But during these experiments
Pasteur found the temperature of 65° C. was sufficient to kill the
mycoderm. When, then, the wine makers of France appealed to him to
investigate the "diseases" of wine, he was ready for the work.

Before this, however, he had examined the claims of Pouchet and
others to their alleged discovery of spontaneous generation; in
other words, the production of life. Ranging himself against them,
Pasteur showed their experiments not to have been conclusive, simply
because they had not succeeded in excluding the dust which contained
germs of life in the shape of spores of microscopic plants.

The "diseases" of wine produce sour wine, wine that "spirits,"
"greasy" wine, and bitter wine. Pasteur found each to be due to a
different microscopic ferment, all of which could be killed by heat.
He placed bottles of wine in a bath heated to 60° C., and invited
the most experienced wine tasters of Paris to try them afterward.
The result of the test was the unanimous verdict that the wines had
not been injured in the least, and to-day these "diseases" of wine
are a thing of the past.

There are departments in France where the culture of the silk-worm
is the principal industry of the inhabitants. In 1849 a strange
disease, called pebrine, broke out among the worms; they were unable
to moult and died before the cocoons were spun. It spread in the
most alarming manner until, from a crop with an average of one
hundred and thirty million francs a year, the production of silk
went to less than fifty millions. The silk cultivators sent for
eggs--seed is the technical name--to Italy and Greece, and for one
season all went well. The next, the plague was as bad as ever. More
than that, it spread to Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey, until
Japan was the only silk-producing country where the worm was
healthy. Societies and governments, as well as individuals, were
aghast, for the silk industry of the world was on the verge of
annihilation, and every remedy the mind of man could conceive was
tried, only to be rejected. In France alone the loss in 1865 was
over one hundred million francs.

At the suggestion of Professor Dumas, the Government induced Pasteur
to examine into the "disease." He had seen in a report on the
epidemic made by M. de Quatrefages, that there were found in the
diseased worms certain minute corpuscles only to be seen under the
microscope. When in June, 1865, Pasteur arrived in the town of
Alais, he found these corpuscles without difficulty. He traced them
from the worm to the chrysalid, in the cocoon, and thence to the
moth; he found worms hatched from the eggs laid by these moths
invariably developed the corpuscles. He crushed a corpuscular moth
in water, painted a mulberry leaf with it, fed it to a healthy worm,
and the corpuscles developed. He hatched eggs from moths free from
corpuscles and secured healthy worms. While working on the
"disease," Pasteur discovered in 1867 that the mortality among the
worms was in part due to another disease, the _flacherie_, and this
he found was the result of imperfect digestion.

[Illustration: Pasteur in his Laboratory.]

_Flacherie_ was contagious, and was caused by the fermentation of the
food eaten in the body of the worm. The causes of this fermentation,
the condition of the leaves, the temperature, and others were pointed
out. As the result of five years' work, Pasteur had restored the silk
industry to its former position, and had shown that the microscopic
examination of the moth laying the eggs to be hatched was a perfect
safeguard against _pebrine_ and _flacherie_.

At the request of the emperor, Pasteur went to the Villa Vicentia,
in Austria, belonging to the prince imperial. For ten years the silk
harvest there had not paid the cost of the eggs.

Although he was just recovering from an attack of paralysis brought
on by overwork, Pasteur travelled to Austria, introduced his methods
and the sale of the cocoons gave the villa a net profit of
26,000,000 francs. No wonder it was said of him that his discoveries
alone exceeded in money value to the French people the war indemnity
paid by them to the Germans.

Splenic fever, called _charbon_ in France, had for years decimated
the flocks in France, Italy, Russia, Egypt, Hungary, and Brazil. It
attacked the horse and cow as well as the sheep, and human beings
died of it when they developed malignant pustule. Many scientific
men had studied it, but Dr. Davaine, in 1850, was the first to find
in the blood of a sheep that had died of the disease, "little
thread-like bodies about twice the length of a blood-corpuscle.
These little bodies exhibit no spontaneous motion."

Pasteur began the examination of splenic fever by securing some of
the blood from an animal dying from it. In the work before him he
associated with himself M. Joubert, one of his former pupils. A drop
of the blood sown in the water of yeast--the medium used for
cultures by Pasteur at that time--produced myriads of the rods, the
bacilli or microbes. A drop of this taken at the end of twenty-four
hours, and placed in a fresh flask of the medium, again produced
thousands of the bacilli. Pasteur found that guinea-pigs inoculated
from the first flask developed the fever, and the same result
followed when the inoculation was from the twentieth. He had proved,
then, that splenic fever was produced by the bacilli, by living
organisms only to be seen with a powerful microscope.

While working on the bacilli of splenic fever, Pasteur had isolated
the bacillus of chicken cholera, had cultivated it and had
inoculated chickens with it, developing the disease. He found that
so long as the cultures were made from flask to flask within
twenty-four hours, the virus of the disease, that is, the power of
the bacilli to produce cholera in the fowls inoculated, remained the
same and the fowl died. But he discovered that if a flask containing
the bacilli were left exposed to the air for two weeks, and the
fowls were then inoculated with bacilli from this flask, they became
sick, but did not die. Following this up, he inoculated a hen that
had recovered from a sickness so produced, with the bacilli in their
strongest and most virulent form, and the hen showed no effect
whatever. Then he took two hens, one fresh from the coop and the
other well again after the sickness produced by the inoculation with
the exposed bacilli, and inoculated both with the blood of a hen
that was dying of chicken cholera. The first died, the second was
affected. In other words, Pasteur had made the greatest discovery in
physiology of this century. He had found it is possible to attenuate
the virus of a virulent disease, and to use that virus so attenuated
as a vaccine matter which will guard the animal vaccinated against
the disease. He had taken Jenner's discovery, and proved it applied
to other diseases besides small-pox.

Pasteur's theory of the reason why any vaccine matter will have its
prophylactic effect, is this: He believes there is in the blood of
any animal subject to a disease caused by bacilli some substance
which is necessary to the sustenance of those bacilli; and when the
bacilli, having an attenuated virus, are introduced, they slowly
consume all of this substance.

The substance being one which nature creates very slowly, no
subsequent introduction of the bacilli, however virulent, can
produce the disease until such time shall have elapsed that a new
supply of the substance shall have been secreted. In this way he
accounts for the fact that vaccination will protect from small-pox
for a more or less defined period of time.

Pasteur hastened to apply his discovery of the attenuation of the
virus of chicken cholera to the virus of splenic fever. Here,
however, he was met with a serious difficulty. The microbes of
splenic fever, if left in the flask for forty-eight hours, developed
bright spots, and gradually into these spots the bacilli themselves
seemed to be absorbed. Pasteur found these spots were the spores or
seeds of the microbes, and he also found that, while the bacilli
could be killed easily in various ways, the spores possessed a much
greater resistance. They could be dried, for example, and preserved
in that state indefinitely. It was apparent that the oxygenation
which attenuated the venom of the bacilli of chicken cholera was
impossible with those of splenic fever if the bacilli of the latter
disappeared within a week, leaving the spores behind. But Pasteur
had discovered before this that, unless the temperature of a fowl
were lowered artificially, inoculation with the microbes of splenic
fever would not produce the disease. From this he argued that, as
the heat of the fowl's body was sufficient to resist the contagion,
the bacilli themselves must be extremely sensitive to variations in
temperature. He tried the experiment and found, by lowering the
temperature of the flasks containing the cultures, he could prevent
the formation of the spores. He then attenuated the venom of the
splenic bacilli as he had that of the fowl cholera, tried it on
guinea-pigs, found they became sick and recovered; inoculated them
with the bacilli of full strength, but with no result. Pursuing his
experiments, he discovered that he could by using vaccine-attenuated
bacilli, of unequal strength, cause any degree of sickness he

In the early part of 1881 Pasteur agreed to hold a public exhibition
of his vaccine for splenic fever, the animals to be supplied by the
Society of Agriculture in Melun. The experiment was begun on May
5th. Pasteur inoculated twenty-four sheep, one goat, and six cows
with six drops each of attenuated virus, and twelve days afterward
he reinoculated them with a stronger virus. On May 31st he
reinoculated the thirty-one animals with the strongest virus of
splenic fever, and at the same time inoculated twenty-five sheep and
four cows which had not been vaccinated as were the others. On June
2d over two hundred people assembled at the farm to see the result.
The twenty-five sheep that had not been vaccinated all died before
that evening. The non-vaccinated cows had intense fever and great
swellings, and could scarcely stand up. On the other hand, the
vaccinated sheep and cows were in full health and were feeding
quietly. Pasteur had conquered splenic fever.

Having attenuated the virus of these bacilli, Pasteur began a series
of experiments to determine whether the attenuated virus could be
intensified until its former venom was obtained. This he succeeded
in, and thus discovered what is probably the key to the solution of
the problem of the periodicity of epidemics of contagious diseases,
such as cholera. In 1882 Pasteur's attention was called to a new
disease, swine fever (_rouget_), which was ravaging the herds of
swine in France. He found the microbes, attenuated them, vaccinated
the pigs, and secured the most favorable results. He also discovered
that by passing the microbe of a disease through an animal not
subject to that disease, he attenuated it so far as its effects on
another were concerned.

It was in 1880 that Pasteur first began his experiments in
hydrophobia. Securing the saliva of a child suffering from the
disease, he inoculated rabbits with it and they died in thirty-six
hours. He examined the saliva and the blood of the rabbits, and
found in both a new microbe (a minute disk having two points). He
established by repeated experiments that hydrophobia is a disease of
the nerves, that a portion of the medulla oblongata, or of the
spinal cord, is very much more certain to produce the disease, when
introduced into the blood or placed on the brain, than is the
saliva. He succeeded at last in isolating the microbe, in making
cultures of it, and then attenuating it, and in May, 1884, he
produced before a commission appointed by the Minister of Public
Instruction the following results:

Of six dogs unprotected by vaccination, three died as the results of
bites of a dog violently mad. Of eight unvaccinated dogs, six died
after extra-venous inoculation of rabic matter. Of five unvaccinated
dogs, all died after inoculation, by trepanning, of the brain with
rabic matter. Of twenty-three vaccinated dogs, not one was attacked
with the disease after inoculation, in any fashion, with the most
virulent rabic matter procurable.

During his long and busy life Louis Pasteur has been honored after
every fashion known to men. He has opened the gates of knowledge
wider than they were ever opened before, and in his discovery of the
germs of disease, and in his still more wonderful discovery of the
possibility of attenuating those germs and converting them into
vaccines, he has revolutionized all ideas of physiology. He is one
of the greatest pioneers in science that has ever lived, and his
work will make his name illustrious so long as men shall continue on
this earth. The lesson of his life is the supreme value of
experiment; for, as was once said of him by Professor Dumas,
"Pasteur is never mistaken, because he never asserts anything he
cannot show another man how to prove."

[Signature: Cyrus Edson.]


By Colonel R. H. VEITCH, R.E.


[Illustration: General Charles George Gordon.]

Charles George Gordon, known as Chinese Gordon, major-general, C.B.,
royal engineers, fourth son of Lieutenant-general Henry William
Gordon, royal artillery, and Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Enderby,
of Croom's Hill, Blackheath, was born at Woolwich on January 28,
1833. He was sent to school at Taunton in 1843, and entered the
Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1848. He obtained a commission
in the royal engineers on June 23, 1852, and, after the usual course
of study at Chatham was quartered for a short time at Pembroke Dock.
In December, 1854, he received his orders for the Crimea, and
reached Balaklava on January 1, 1855. As a young engineer subaltern
serving in the trenches, his daring was conspicuous, while his
special aptitude for obtaining a personal knowledge of the movements
of the enemy was a matter of common observation among his brother
officers. He was wounded on June 6, 1855, and was present at the
attack on the Redan on June 18th. On the surrender of Sebastopol
Gordon accompanied the expedition to Kinburn, and on his return was
employed on the demolition of the Sebastopol docks. For his services
in the Crimea Gordon received the British war medal and clasp, the
Turkish war medal, and the French Legion of Honor.

In May, 1856, in company with lieutenant (now major-general) E. R.
James, R.E., he joined Colonel (now General Sir) E. Stanton, R.E.,
in Bessarabia, as assistant commissioner for the delimitation of the
new frontier line. This duty was completed in April, 1857, and he
was then sent with Lieutenant James in a similar capacity to
Erzeroum, where Colonel (now General Sir) Lintorn Simmons was the
English commissioner for the Asiatic frontier boundary. The work was
accomplished by the following October, when Gordon returned to
England. In the spring of 1858 he and Lieutenant James were sent as
commissioners to the Armenian frontier to superintend the erection
of the boundary posts of the line they had previously surveyed. This
was finished in November, and Gordon returned home, having acquired
an intimate knowledge of the people of the districts visited.

On April 1, 1859, Gordon was promoted captain, and about the same
time appointed second adjutant of the corps at Chatham, a post he
held for little more than a year, for, in the summer of 1860, he
joined the forces of Sir James Hope Grant, operating with the French
against China. He overtook the allied army at Tientsin, and was
present in October at the capture of Pekin and the pillage and
destruction of the emperor's summer palace. For his services in this
campaign he received the British war medal with clasp for Pekin and
a brevet majority in December, 1862. Gordon commanded the royal
engineers at Tientsin, when the British forces remained there under
Sir Charles Staveley, and while thus employed made several
expeditions into the interior, in one of which he explored a
considerable section of the great wall of China. In April, 1862, he
was summoned to Shanghai to assist in the operations consequent upon
the determination of Sir Charles Staveley to keep a radius of thirty
miles round the city clear of the rebel Taipings. Gordon took part
as commanding royal engineer, in the storming of Sing-poo and
several other fortified towns and in clearing the rebels out of
Kah-ding. He was afterward employed in surveying the country round

The Taiping rebellion was of so barbarous a nature that its suppression
had become necessary in the interest of civilization. A force raised at
the expense of the Shanghai merchants, and supported by the Chinese
Government, had been for some years struggling against its prowess. This
force, known as the "Ever Victorious Army," was defeated at Taitsan,
February 22, 1863. Li Hung Chang, governor-general of the Kiang
provinces, then applied to the British commander-in-chief for the
services of an English officer, and Gordon was authorized to accept the
command. He arrived at Sung Kiong and entered on his new duties as a
mandarin and lieutenant-colonel in the Chinese service on March 24,
1863. His force was composed of some three to four thousand Chinese,
officered by 150 Europeans of almost every nationality and often of
doubtful character. By the indomitable will of its commander this
heterogeneous body was moulded into a little army, whose high-sounding
title of "Ever Victorious" became a reality, and in less than two years,
after thirty-three engagements, the power of the Taipings was completely
broken and the rebellion stamped out. The maintenance of discipline was
a perpetual struggle, and at one time there was a mutiny which was only
quelled by shooting the ringleader on the spot. Before the summer of
1863 was over, Gordon captured Kahpoo, Wokong, and Patachiaow, on the
south of Soo-chow, the great rebel stronghold, and, sweeping round to
the north, secured Leeku, Wanti, and Fusaiqwan, so that by October
Soo-chow was completely invested. On November 29th the outworks were
captured by assault and the city surrendered on December 6th. Gordon was
always in front in all these storming parties, carrying no other weapon
than a little cane. His men called it his "magic wand," regarding it as
a charm that protected his life and led them on to victory.

When Soo-chow fell, Gordon had stipulated with the governor-general,
Li, for the lives of the Wangs (rebel leaders). They were
treacherously murdered by Li's orders. Indignant at this perfidy,
Gordon refused to serve any longer with Governor Li, and when on
January 1, 1864, money and rewards were heaped upon him by the
emperor, declined them all, saying that he received the approbation
of the emperor with every gratification, but regretted most
sincerely that, "owing to the circumstances which occurred since the
capture of Soo-chow, he was unable to receive any mark of his
majesty the emperor's recognition."

After some months of inaction it became evident that if Gordon did
not again take the field the Taipings would regain the rescued
country. On the urgent representations of the British envoy at
Pekin, Governor Li was compelled to issue a proclamation exonerating
Gordon from all complicity in the murder of the Wangs. Gordon then
reluctantly consented to continue his services, on the distinct
understanding that in any future capitulation he should not be
interfered with. In December, 1863, a fresh campaign was commenced,
and during the following months no fewer than seven towns were
captured or surrendered. In February, 1864, Yesing and Liyang were
taken, but at Kintang Gordon met with a reverse and was himself
wounded for the first time. He nevertheless continued to give his
orders until he had to be carried to his boat. After some other
mishaps he carried Chan-chu-fu by assault on April 27th. The
garrison consisted of 20,000 men, of whom 1,500 were killed. This
victory not only ended the campaign but completely destroyed the
rebellion, and the Chinese regular forces were enabled to occupy
Nankin in the July following. The large money present offered to
Gordon by the emperor was again declined, although he had spent his
pay promoting the efficiency of his force, so that he wrote home, "I
shall leave China as poor as when I entered it." The emperor,
however, bestowed upon him the yellow jacket, and peacock's feather
of a mandarin of the first class, with the title of Ti-Tu, the
highest military rank in China, and a gold medal of distinction of
the first class. The merchants of Shanghai presented him with an
address expressing their admiration of his conduct of the war.

On his return home, in the beginning of 1865, he was made a C.B.,
having previously received his brevet as lieutenant-colonel in
February, 1864. In September, 1865, he was appointed commanding
royal engineer at Gravesend, and for the next six years carried out
the ordinary duties of the corps, superintending the construction of
the forts for the defence of the Thames. During this quiet and
uneventful period of routine work he devoted his spare time to the
poor and sick of the neighborhood, stinting himself that he might
have larger means wherewith to relieve others. He took special
interest in the infirmary and the ragged schools. He took many of
the boys from the schools into his own house, starting them in life
by sending them to sea, and he continued to watch the future
progress of his kings, as he called them, with never-failing

In October, 1871, Gordon was appointed British member of the
international commission at Galatz for the improvement of the
navigation of the Sulina mouth of the Danube, in accordance with
the Treaty of Paris. During his tenure of this office he accompanied
General Sir John Adye to the Crimea to report on the British
cemeteries there. On his way back to Galatz, in November, 1872, he
met Nubar Pasha at Constantinople, who sounded him as to his
succeeding Sir Samuel Baker in the Soudan. The following year Gordon
visited Cairo on his way home, and on the resignation of Sir Samuel
Baker was appointed governor of the equatorial provinces of Central
Africa, with a salary of £10,000 a year. He declined to receive more
than £2,000.

Gordon went to Egypt in the beginning of 1874, and left Cairo in
February for Gondokoro, the seat of his government, travelling by
the Suez-Swakin-Berber route. He reached Khartoum on March 13th,
stopped only a few days to issue a proclamation and make
arrangements for men and supplies, then, continuing his journey,
arrived at Gondokoro on April 16th. The garrison of Gondokoro at
this time did not dare to move out of the place except in armed
bands; but in the course of a year the confidence of the natives had
been gained, the country made safe, eight stations formed and
garrisoned, the government monopoly of ivory enforced, and
sufficient money sent to Cairo to pay all the expenses of the
expedition. At the close of the year, having already lost by
sickness eight members of his small European staff, Gordon
transferred the seat of government from the unhealthy station,
Gondokoro, to Laido. By the end of 1875 Gondokoro and Duffh had been
joined by a chain of fortified posts, a day's journey apart, the
slave-dealers had been dispersed, and a letter post organized to
travel regularly between Cairo and the verge of the Albert Nyanza,
over two thousand miles as the crow flies.

Gordon had also visited Magungo, Murchison Falls, and Chibero, with
a view to a further line of fortified posts, and he established for
the first time, by personal observation, the course of the Victoria
Nile into Lake Albert. Although he had accomplished a great work
since his arrival, his efforts to put down the slave trade were
thwarted by Ismail Pasha Yacoub, governor-general of the Soudan, and
were likely to prove abortive so long as the Soudan remained a
distinct government from that of the equatorial provinces. He,
therefore, at the end of 1876, resigned his appointment and returned
to England. Strong pressure was put upon him by the khédive to
return, and on January 31, 1877, he left for Cairo, where he
received the combined appointment of governor-general of the Soudan,
Darfour, the equatorial provinces, and the Red Sea littoral, on the
understanding that his efforts were to be directed to the
improvement of the means of communication and the absolute
suppression of the slave trade. Gordon first visited Abyssinia,
where Walad el Michael was giving a great deal of trouble on the
Egyptian frontier. He settled the difficulty for a time and
travelled across country to Khartoum, where he was installed as
governor-general, May 5th. After a short stay there he hastened to
Darfour, which was in revolt; with a small force and rapid movements
he quelled the rising, and, by the humane consideration he showed
for the suffering people, won their confidence and pacified the
province. Before this work was completely accomplished his attention
was called away by the slave-dealers, who, headed by Suleiman, son
of the notorious Zebehr, with 6,000 armed men, had moved on Dara
from their stronghold, Shaka. Gordon left Fischer on August 31,
1877, with a small escort, which he soon outstripped, and in a day
and a half, having covered eighty-five miles on a camel, entered
Dara alone, to the surprise of its small garrison. The following
morning, attended by a small escort, he rode into the rebel camp,
upbraided Suleiman with his disloyalty, and announced his intention
to disarm the band and break them up. Gordon's fearless bearing and
strong will secured his object, and Suleiman returned with his men
to Shaka.

They rose again; and Gordon's Italian aide, Gessi, after a year's
marching and fighting, succeeded in capturing Suleiman, and some of
the chief slave-dealers with him. They were tried as rebels and
shot. The suppression of the slave trade had thus been practically
accomplished when on July 1st news arrived of the deposition of
Ismail and the succession of Tewfik, which determined Gordon to
resign his appointment. On arriving at Cairo, the khédive induced
him first to undertake a mission to Abyssinia to prevent, if
possible, an impending war with that country. Gordon went, saw King
John, at Debra Tabor, but could arrive at no satisfactory
understanding with him, and was abruptly dismissed. On his way to
Kassala he was made prisoner to King John's men and carried to
Garramudhiri, where he was left to find his way with his little
party over the snowy mountains to the Red Sea. He reached Massowah
on December 8, 1879, and on his return to Cairo, the khédive
accepted his resignation. He arrived in England early in January,
1880. During his service under the khédive, Gordon received both the
second-and first-class of the order of the Medjidieh.

His constitution was so much impaired by his sojournings in so
deadly a climate that his medical advisers sent him to Switzerland
to recruit. He returned to England, in April, 1880, and in the
following month accompanied the Marquis of Ripon, the new Viceroy of
India, to that country as his private secretary. He resigned almost
immediately, and was invited to China to advise the Chinese
Government in connection with their then strained relations with
Russia. Gordon accepted at once, and although difficulties were
raised by the home authorities, he reached Hongkong on July 2d, and
went on by Shanghai and Chefoo to Tientsin to meet his old friend,
Li Hung Chang, who, with Prince Kung, headed the peace party. From
Tientsin, Gordon went to Pekin, and his wise and disinterested
counsels in favor of peace at length carried the day.

In 1881 he went to Mauritius as commanding royal engineer, and while
there was promoted major-general. In 1882, he was at the Cape
Colony, endeavoring to arrange a peace with the natives of
Basutoland; but he failed, largely through the treachery of the Cape

[Illustration: Gordon attacked by El Mahdi's Arabs.]

The success of the Mahdi in the Soudan and the catastrophe to Hicks
Pasha, in November, 1883, had induced the British Government, not
only to decline any military assistance to enable the Egyptian
Government to hold the Soudan, but to insist upon its abandonment by
the khédive. To do this it was necessary to bring away the garrisons
scattered all over the country, and such of the Egyptian
population as might object to remain. To Gordon was intrusted the
withdrawal of the garrisons and the evacuation of the Soudan. At
Cairo his functions were considerably extended. He was appointed,
with the consent of the British Government, governor-general of the
Soudan, and was instructed, not only to effect the evacuation of the
country, but to take steps to leave behind an organized independent

By the month of March, having succeeded in sending some two thousand
five hundred people down the Nile into safety, Gordon found himself
getting hemmed in by the Mahdi and no assistance coming from
without. On April 16, 1884, his last telegram before the wires were
cut complained bitterly of the neglect of the Government. The attack
of Khartoum began on March 12th, and from that time to its fall
Gordon carried on the defence with consummate skill. His resources
were small, his troops few, and his European assistants could be
counted on the fingers of one hand; yet he managed to convert his
river steamers into iron-clads, to build new ones, to make and lay
down land mines, to place wire entanglements, and to execute
frequent sorties, while he kept up the spirits and courage of his
followers by striking medals in honor of their bravery, and baffled
a fanatic and determined foe for over ten months, during the latter
part of which the people who trusted him were perishing from disease
and famine, and the grip of the enemy was tightening.

In April the necessity of a relief expedition was pressed upon the
Government at home, but without avail. In May popular feeling found
vent, not only in public meetings but in the House of Commons, when
a vote of censure on the Government was lost by only twenty-eight
votes. Eventually, proposals were made to send a relief expedition
from Cairo in the autumn, and on August 5th a vote of credit for
£300,000 was taken for "operations for the relief of General Gordon,
should it become necessary, and to make certain preparations in
respect thereof." Even when it was decided that Lord Wolseley should
take command of a relief expedition up the Nile, hesitation
continued to mark the proceedings of the Government, and time, so
valuable on account of the rising of the Nile, was lost. It was
September 1st before Lord Wolseley was able to leave England. Then
everything was done, but the delay had been fatal.

In September, 1884, having driven the rebels out of Berber, Gordon
authorized his companions, Colonel Stewart and Frank Power (_Times_
correspondent), to go down the river in the steamer Abbas to open
communication with Dongola. The steamer struck on a rock, and they
were both treacherously murdered. Gordon was now the only Englishman
in Khartoum. On December 20th, Lord Wolseley launched Sir Herbert
Stewart's expedition from Korti across the desert to Metemmeh,
where, after two severe engagements, it arrived on January 20, 1885,
under command of Sir Charles Wilson, Stewart having been mortally
wounded. In order to succor the advancing force, Gordon had deprived
himself for three months of five out of his seven steamers. These
five steamers, fully armed, equipped, and provisioned, were in
waiting, and in them were his diaries and letters up to December
14th. On that date he wrote to Major Watson, R.E., at Cairo, that
he thought the game was up, and a catastrophe might be expected in
ten days' time, and sent his adieux to all. On the same day he wrote
to his sister: "I am quite happy, thank God, and like Lawrence, I
have tried to do my duty." His diary ended on the same day with: "I
have done the best for the honor of my country. Good-by." It was
necessary for the safety of his troops that Wilson should first make
a reconnoissance down the river toward Berber before going to
Khartoum, and when he started up the river, on January 24th, the
difficulties of navigation were so great that it was midday on the
28th before the goal was reached, and then only to find it in the
hands of the Mahdi, Khartoum having fallen early on the 26th, after
a siege of 317 days.

From the most accurate information since obtained, it appears that
the garrison, early in January, had been reduced to great straits
for want of food, and great numbers of the inhabitants had availed
themselves of Gordon's permission to join the Mahdi. Omdurman,
opposite to Khartoum, on the west bank of the river, fell about
January 13th, and about the 18th a sortie was made, in which some
serious fighting took place. The state of the garrison then grew
desperate. Gordon continually visited the posts by night as well as
day, and encouraged the famished garrison. The news of Sir Herbert
Stewart's expedition, and the successful engagements it had fought
on the way to Metemmeh, determined the Mahdi to storm Khartoum
before reinforcements could arrive for its relief. The attack was
made on the south front at 3.30 a.m., on Monday, January 26, 1885.
The defence was half-hearted, treachery was at work, and Gordon
received no tidings of the assault. The rebels made good their
entrance, and then a general massacre ensued. The accounts of
Gordon's death are confused and conflicting, but they all agree in
stating that he was killed near the gate of the palace, and his head
carried to the Mahdi's camp.

Intelligence of the catastrophe reached England on Thursday,
February 5th. The outburst of popular grief, not only in this
country and her colonies, but also among foreign nations, has hardly
been paralleled. It was universally acknowledged that the world had
lost a hero. Friday, March 13th, was then observed as a day of
national mourning, and special services were held in the cathedrals
and in many churches of the land, those at Westminster Abbey and St.
Paul's being attended by the royal family, members of both houses of
parliament, and representatives of the naval and military services.
Parliament voted a national monument to be placed in Trafalgar
Square, and a sum of £20,000 to his relatives. More general
expression was given to the people's admiration of Gordon's
character by the institution of the "Gordon Boys' Home" for homeless
and destitute boys. Gordon's sister presented to the town of
Southampton her brother's library, in March, 1889.

Gordon's character was unique. Simple-minded, modest, and almost
morbidly retiring, he was fearless and outspoken when occasion
required. Strong in will and prompt in action, with a naturally hot
temper, he was yet forgiving to a fault. Somewhat brusque in manner,
his disposition was singularly sympathetic and attractive, winning
all hearts. Weakness and suffering at once enlisted his interest.
Caring nothing for what was said of him, he was indifferent to
praise or reward, and had a supreme contempt for money. His whole
being was dominated by a Christian faith, at once so real and so
earnest that, although his religious views were tinged with
mysticism, the object of his life was the entire surrender of
himself to work out whatever he believed to be the will of God.


         [Footnote 22: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]



[Illustration: General George A. Custer.]

Daring is always popular. The dashing fighter outranks the tactician
and takes precedence over the engineer when the people's plaudits
for valor fill the air. To be the _beau sabreur_ of the army, as was
Murat, in Napoleon's day, and as Custer was in Grant's, is as
glorious as it is dramatic, as inspiring as it is picturesque. There
were, in fact, many points of resemblance between these two dashing
cavalry leaders--Murat, the Frenchman, and Custer, the American.
Both smelled powder as the aides-de-camp of their chiefs; both rose
rapidly from grade to grade, and from rank to rank, until they stood
at the top; both labored at the end under the burden of criticism
and detraction; and both met their death through a mistake, and fell
like brave and gallant soldiers.

George Armstrong Custer was born at New Rumley, in the State of
Ohio, on December 5, 1839. His father was a blacksmith and farmer,
of German stock, a descendant of a Hessian officer named Küstu--one
among many who came to conquer and remained to live and die as
citizens of the land they had failed to subjugate.

Young Custer was educated in the district school of New Rumley, and
in the academy at Monroe, in Michigan, where he went in 1849 to live
with his sister Lydia. Returning to Ohio he taught school for a year
or more in Hopedale, near New Rumley, and in 1857 was able to see
his boyish dream come true, and, as a lad of seventeen, enter the
United States Military Academy at West Point.

Cadet Custer graduated from West Point in 1861, and hurried to the
front at once, eager for service, for the war between the States had
begun. He was made bearer of despatches by General Scott; he fought
at Bull Run as lieutenant in the Second United States Cavalry, to
which he had been assigned; he conducted successfully balloon
reconnoissance along the Confederate lines, and so inspired General
McClellan by his energy, courage, and persistence that he was
appointed aide-de-camp to the general, with the rank of captain.

For his dash and daring in the Rappahannock battles he was advanced
by speedy promotions to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers,
his commission dating from June, 1863, just one year after his
appointment as aide-de-camp to McClellan. He won his brevet as major
in the regular army for his brilliant leadership of cavalry at
Gettysburg; he had a horse shot under him while heading the charge
at Culpepper, and gained his brevet as lieutenant-colonel of
regulars for his gallantry in Sheridan's lights about Richmond, in
the spring of 1864. He won renown and glory in Sheridan's famous
raid on Richmond, by saving his brigade-colors at the battle of
Trevillion Station, and, in September, 1864, his dashing valor at
Winchester procured him his brevet as colonel of regulars and the
volunteer rank of major-general. He won the battle of Woodstock by a
wonderful cavalry engagement, routing the enemy, whom he drove for
twenty-six miles, and capturing all their guns save one. In the
bloody battle of Cedar Creek he fought at the head of the Third
Division of Cavalry from start to finish, helping to turn a rout
into a victory and recapturing all the guns and colors the Union
troops had lost early in the action, besides taking all the
Confederate flags and cannon. At Waynesboro, in the spring of 1865,
still leading the Third Division, he won the day unaided; he
captured 1,600 prisoners, with all the enemy's camp equipage, guns,
and colors, and then turning for another onset, Custer drove the
Confederate General Early from the field, destroying his command,
scattering his army, and ending the campaign, so far as Early's army
was concerned. For this brilliant engagement, and for his bravery at
the battles of Five Forks and Dinwiddie Court-House, on April 1,
1865, Custer was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army;
and, as he had won the first colors taken by the Army of the Potomac
in 1862, so, in 1865, he received the first flag of truce from Lee's
army when the end at last came, and was present at the historic
surrender at Appomattox. Then he secured his last promotion. He was
brevetted major-general in the regular army and appointed
major-general of volunteers.

It was a brilliant and exceptional record. He had fought in all the
battles of the Army of the Potomac save one. He was Sheridan's most
trusted and favorite cavalry officer. In less than four years he had
advanced from captain of volunteers to major-general, and from
lieutenant to major-general in the regular army. He was but
twenty-six when the war closed, and all his promotions had been won
by his bravery, his dash, his daring, and his good leadership.
During the last six months of the war the Third Division of Cavalry,
led by Custer, captured in open fight over one hundred pieces of
artillery, sixty-five battle flags, and ten thousand prisoners. It
was a record of which any soldier might be proud, and it made Custer
at once the idol of his hard-riding troopers, and one of the popular
heroes of the day. At the great review in Washington he rode near
the head of the parade, leading what was popularly called "the most
gallant cavalry division of the age," greeted with cheers and
flowers along the line of march.

Custer's active service did not close with the war. He was sent to
Texas as commander of a cavalry division, and in November, 1865, was
made chief of cavalry. In February, 1866, he was mustered out of
service as major-general of volunteers and became again captain in
the regular army, "on leave." President Johnson denied him the leave
of absence he asked for to fight under Juarez in Mexico against
Maximilian, the usurper, and in July, 1866, he received his
commission as lieutenant-colonel of the newly formed Seventh
Cavalry, United States Army--the regiment that he made into Indian
fighters and served with until the end. In November, 1866, he joined
his regiment at Fort Riley, and was soon fighting Indians on the
plains. He utterly defeated the hostile Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and
Kiowas at the battle of the Washita, in the Indian Territory, in
November, 1871; he was on post duty in Kentucky until 1873, and then
again on the plains, where, on August 4, 1873, he whipped the
hostile Sioux at the battle of Tongue River, in the Yellowstone
country, and again, on the 11th of the same month, at the battle of
the Big Horn. In the summer of 1874 he led an expedition of
exploration and discovery into the Black Hills, in the Dakota
country, and in May, 1876, led his regiment in what proved to be his
last campaign, a march against the hostile Sioux in the unexplored
region of the Little Big Horn. Here, with less than three hundred
men, he faced the confederated Sioux, numbering thousands of
warriors, and in a desperate and characteristic engagement closed
the record of a life of brilliant effort and daring by standing at
bay, against the tremendous odds of ten to one, until he and his
entire command fell to a man, fighting desperately to the end.

Custer was gallant, but sometimes indiscreet; he was daring, but
often careless of consequences; and when in positions of command he
was apt to be impatient of cowardice and of greed. So he raised up
enemies for himself, and twice these enemies sought and nearly
accomplished his downfall. His last campaign was fought under the
burden of an apparent official censure, galling to a man of Custer's
impetuous nature, all the more so as he knew it to be unmerited and
unjust. There is little doubt that this weight of wrong engendered a
spirit of recklessness, foreign even to his daring nature, and led
him to take risks he would not otherwise have accepted, simply
because he felt the necessity for action and believed that through
valor would come his speediest vindication. Had he been supported by
those he relied upon he might, even in the face of the overpowering
odds marshalled against him, have come off victorious, instead of
dying, an unnecessary sacrifice, like another Roland, and, if we
accept the legends, at just Roland's age. It is because that tragic
ending of a valiant life was, viewed from the picturesque
stand-point, its logical and dramatic conclusion, that American
tradition and popular applause will, in the years to come, remember
Custer, not so much for the dash at Winchester, the daring at
Waynesboro, or the valor at Five Forks, as for his immortal last
stand on the banks of the Little Big Horn, when he and his brave
troopers went down in death together.

General Custer was the born soldier in face and figure. Lithe,
broad-shouldered, and sinewy in frame, nearly six feet in height,
blue-eyed and golden-haired, he was the beau ideal cavalry
leader--alert, active, ready, and responsive, with an eye to all
details, a love for the picturesque in bearing and equipment, of
great endurance, abstemious, healthy, and strong, and as much at
home in the saddle and with the sabre as in his own little house in
Monroe or by his blazing camp-fire. He married, in February, 1864,
Elizabeth Bacon, a daughter of Judge Daniel S. Bacon, of Monroe. For
ten years his wife was his constant companion in camp and in
frontier service, and she has written many sketches of his active
life in the saddle and his characteristics as soldier and as man.

General Custer, at the time of his death, was engaged on a series of
"War Memoirs," and his articles on frontier life and army experiences
found ready acceptance and wide favor. He was, undoubtedly, America's
best cavalry leader, and won a place as "a perfect general of horse"
beside the world's dashing war-riders--from Hannibal's "Thunderbolt,"
Mago the Carthaginian, to Maurice of Nassau and the "Golden Eagle,"
Murat the Frenchman.

Fourteen of the thirty-seven years he lived were spent in actual
service in the camp or on the battle-field. He was a brigadier-general
at twenty-three and a major-general at twenty-five. In the height of
his popularity and his phenomenal success as a cavalry leader, he was
a picturesque and familiar figure to friend and foe alike, as in his
broad cavalier's hat, his gold-bedizened jacket, and high cavalry
boots, with his long hair streaming in the wind, he would ride like a
tornado, to the accompaniment of "Garry Owen," his favorite
battle-air, carrying all before him--a subject worthy the pencil of a
Vandyke, the very type of the dashing trooper of romance. But that
there was a method in his dash and a practical element in his daring,
even the generals he outranked and the civilians who tried to direct
him would admit, and to be the choice of McClellan and the favorite of
Sheridan gave the assurance of worth to his leadership and of value to
his valor.

In 1877 Custer's remains were removed to the graveyard at West Point
from the battle-field of the Little Big Horn, where he had first
been buried amid the fallen heroes of his own brave band. In 1879
the Government made the battle-ground where Custer met his death a
national cemetery, and raised a monument, upon which appeared the
names and rank of all those who fell in that needless and fatal, but
heroic, fight.

[Signature: Elbridge S. Brooks.]

[Illustration: Custer's Last Fight.]


         [Footnote 23: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess]


(Born 1841)

[Illustration: Henry M. Stanley.]

Two white men, one from America and the other from England, met in
the heart of Equatorial Africa, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika,
November 10, 1871. This was their first meeting. The Englishman had
been lost to the outside world for more than two years, and the
American had been looking for him since the early part of 1871.
Finally, after many great difficulties and perils, the American
found the lost explorer, surrounded by his black guards, friends,
and companions. They had dimly heard of each other through the vague
rumors of the natives for months past, and now meeting face to face,
the American lifting his cap, said, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."
The Englishman nodded an affirmative reply, and the other said, "I
am Henry M. Stanley."

It was in this simple yet dramatic way that two of the most famous
African travellers of modern times met in the heart of the Dark
Continent. Quite as dramatic, perhaps, was the departure of Stanley
in pursuit of Livingstone. Stanley was not widely known previous to
his expedition to Africa in search of Livingstone. He had served as
a war correspondent of one of the great New York newspapers for
several years, and was known to his craft as a faithful, accurate,
and courageous newspaper correspondent. He had dared many dangers,
and had encountered and overcome obstacles that would have dismayed
a less intrepid soul. In 1868 he served the _New York Herald_ as
correspondent during the war in Abyssinia which raged between the
British and King Theodore. It was here he got his first taste of
African adventure. It was not a long war. The British shut up King
Theodore in the fortress of Magdala, where he perished miserably by
his own hand in the flames of his burning citadel. Thence Stanley
went to Spain, where a great civil war had broken out, and he
witnessed the sacking of cities, the prosecution of sieges, and
battles large and small innumerable.

This war over, in the autumn of 1869, the civilized world was
wondering whether Dr. Livingstone, the African missionary and
explorer, were dead or alive. Dr. Livingstone, who was of Scottish
birth and was in the service of the London Missionary Society, had
been long laboring in South Africa, a country of which the outer
world then knew but very little. Along the coast here and there were
points occupied temporarily by white traders and travellers, but the
interior of the Dark Continent was known only through the tales of
the slave-catchers, who brought to the coast the black people they
had gathered like so many cattle in the interior. Dr. Livingstone
was doing what he could to spread the light of the Christian
religion through those benighted regions. His first departure into
the interior of Africa was from Cape Town, in 1840, and for more
than thirty-three years he spent his life in the arduous work to
which he had consecrated himself. In 1858 he had returned to England
and published a book, giving an account of his missionary labors and
his discoveries, and, liberally provided with means, he returned to
Africa to carry on his work. He was accompanied by his wife, who
died in the interior of Africa in 1862. In 1863 he returned to
England and published a second book, giving some further account of
his explorations.

Again, in 1865, he returned to Africa, and for more than a year no
word came from him, but there ran a rumor that he had been killed by
the savages. Early in 1869, however, letters from Dr. Livingstone,
written a year before, were received on the coast, showing that he
was alive and well. He had travelled many thousands of miles, being
the first white man that had ever penetrated those dark and
mysterious regions in the heart of Africa. But now, in the autumn of
1869, more than twenty months had passed since any word of his had
come out of the darkness, and the world was ready to believe that
the faithful missionary and explorer had dared his fate too often,
and had died in the jungles of Africa.

It was at this time that Stanley, resting after a long and arduous
campaign in Spain, received from James Gordon Bennett, who was then
in Paris, a telegram summoning him to an interview in that city.
Arriving at the French capital early in the morning, Stanley went
straight to Mr. Bennett's lodgings, before that gentleman had risen
from his bed. In answer to his knock a voice commanded him to enter.
The two men had not met in many years. Stanley was bronzed and aged
by sun and storm, and Bennett, surprised, abruptly asked, "Who are

"I am Stanley, and I have come to answer your message," was the

Bennett motioned Stanley to a seat, and after a moment's pause,

"Will you go to Africa and find Livingstone?"

Stanley was startled. For a moment he reflected; then he replied, "I
will;" and before he left the room his agreement with Bennett was
practically concluded, and some of the larger details of the
expedition were mapped out, and Stanley left the hotel clothed with
a commission to find Livingstone, and promised all needed funds for
expenses and for the relief of the great African explorer, should he
be in need, as it was expected he would be found, if at all.

Stanley first went to the east coast of Africa, where he arrived in
the early part of 1871. Months were consumed at Zanzibar in making
ready the expedition with which he was to penetrate into the
interior. Several caravans or trains were despatched, one after the
other, loaded with ammunition, arms, provisions, and the necessaries
of life, and with a large supply of goods with which to purchase a
right of way through hostile or unfriendly kingdoms and states.

Bringing up the rear of these various trains, Stanley and his armed
force left the coast of Africa, March 21, 1871. He had with him 192
persons, negroes and Arabs, and as he launched out into the
untravelled places of Africa, two words rang in his ears, "Find
Livingstone." Enduring many hardships, sometimes fighting and
sometimes coaxing the natives, Stanley pressed on his way, his
general course being in a northwesterly direction, signs, rumors,
and perhaps instincts, leading him to believe that Livingstone, if
found alive, would be discovered somewhere in the region of Lake
Tanganyika. It would be impossible to describe the vagueness and
mysteriousness of the rumors which float to and fro in an
untravelled and savage country, but as the intrepid adventurer
pressed on he heard more and more credible reports of the lost white
man. His first convincing intimation of his being near Livingstone
was when a black met him, and, speaking to him in tolerably good
English, told him that a white man was said to be in a village near
by. This man was one of Dr. Livingstone's servants, and soon the
two, one from America and the other from England, met at Ujiji, on
the shores of the lake.

Stanley remained with Livingstone until March 14th of the following
year, busied with explorations of the fascinating region into which
he had penetrated. He supplied Livingstone with all of the goods
that he could spare, and on his return to Zanzibar he sent him a
caravan with men, supplies, and such articles as he needed,
fulfilling the orders of Mr. Bennett. Stanley never again saw
Livingstone in life.

Livingstone died of malarial fever contracted in the African
marshes, and his faithful blacks embalmed his body and carried it to
the coast, hundreds of miles, bringing with them every article
belonging to the faithful missionary, even to the smallest scraps of
paper on which were penned the last notes of his journey which he
ever wrote. Livingstone was buried with grand ceremony in
Westminster Abbey, and Stanley was one of those who bore him to his

Stanley's early life was a romance. He was born in Wales, near the
little town of Denbigh, and his parents were so poor that when he
was about three years of age he was sent to the poor-house of St.
Asaph to be brought up and educated at the expense of the parish. At
the age of thirteen he was his own master, and though young, he was
ambitious, well informed, and well poised. He taught school while
yet a lad in the village of Mold, Flintshire, North Wales. Tiring
of this uncongenial occupation, he made his way to Liverpool when he
was about fourteen years of age, and shipped as cabin-boy on board a
sailing vessel bound to New Orleans. Like other British-born youths,
America was to him the promised land, and thither he turned his
steps in pursuit of fortune and fame. In New Orleans he fell in with
a kindly merchant, a Mr. Stanley, who adopted him and gave him his
name, for the youngster's real name was John Rowlands. His protector
dying without leaving a will, the boy was once more turned adrift,
but he managed to live and sustain himself, and when twenty-one
years of age, in 1861, the great Civil War having broken out,
Stanley went into the Confederate service then recruiting at New
Orleans. He was subsequently taken prisoner by the Federal forces,
and being allowed his liberty, he volunteered in the United States
Navy. He did his work well, and was in due time promoted to be
acting ensign on the iron-clad Ticonderoga. He made friends wherever
he went, for he was brave, modest, and of a frank disposition. The
war over he was discharged from the naval service, went to Asia
Minor, where he saw many strange countries, wrote letters to the
American newspapers, and in 1866 revisited his native village in
Wales. Returning to the United States, he entered the service of the
_New York Herald_, and went to Abyssinia as war correspondent, as
before stated.

Stanley returned to Europe after his discovery of Livingstone, in
July, 1872, and published his narrative, but many people in Europe
and in America refused to believe his story. Some persons who
thought themselves expert in knowledge of African travel proved to
their entire satisfaction that he never had been far from the coast,
never had seen Livingstone, and that his wonderful tale was a tissue
of romance. The Queen of England showed her belief and confidence in
him by sending him a box of gold set with jewels, and the Royal
Geographical Society of Great Britain, a very high and mighty body,
showed him great honor.

The attention of geographers and scientific men was now turned to
the great Lake Tanganyika, about which very little was known. The
outlet of the lake was as yet undiscovered. The secret sources of
the Nile were unknown, and the great river that reaches the Congo
coast from the interior was then, so far as men knew, lost in the
foam of the cataracts above. Even the already famous lake known as
the Victoria Nyanza was indistinctly sketched on the maps, and
people familiar with African exploration were uncertain whether that
great body of water was a lake or a chain of lakes.

Stanley was asked by the editor of the _London Daily Telegraph_ if
he could settle these great questions if he were commissioned to go
to Africa. He replied, "While I live there will be something done.
If I survive the time required to perform all the work, all shall be
done." James Gordon Bennett was asked by cable if he would join in
the new expedition. His sententious reply flashed under the ocean
was: "Yes. Bennett." And Stanley's second great work was already
determined upon.

Only six weeks were allowed for preparation, and when it was noised
abroad that Stanley was taking another expedition into the heart of
Africa, he was overwhelmed with offers of volunteer assistants, and
with a great variety of strange contrivances to help him on his
journey. Finally, all preparations being concluded, he left England
August 15, 1874, accompanied by only three white men, Frank and
Edward Pocock and Frederick Barker. These men, with the goods and
other needed articles for the expedition, were sent on ahead, and
twenty months after his last previous departure from Zanzibar,
Stanley was once more at that point of departure, ready to begin his
preparations for another plunge into the heart of the Dark

Some of the black men who had been with him on his previous journey,
when he searched for Livingstone, were found at Zanzibar, and they
were all eager to go with him again, and when he was ready to depart
he had in his company 224 persons, some of the black men taking
their wives with them. The company after leaving Zanzibar landed at
Bergamoyo, on the mainland, November 13, 1874, and five days later
his column boldly advanced into the heart of the Dark Continent. The
general direction of the expedition was at first nearly westerly,
then turning to the north it was aimed for Victoria Nyanza. The
march was obstructed by marshy regions, overflowing with recent
rains. Moist exhalations and poisonous vapors prevailed, and the
first month was a gloomy one. Stanley's own weight in thirty-eight
days fell from 180 pounds to 130 pounds, and the three young
Englishmen with him were greatly reduced in strength and flesh. One
of these, Edward Pocock, was prostrated, and though he was carried
back to the high, dry table land nearer the coast, he died and was
buried in that lonely region.

By January 21, 1875, 20 of the black men of the expedition had died,
many were sick and disabled, and 89, discouraged by their
misfortunes, deserted. They were now in a hostile region, and were
attacked by natives day after day in succession, but after much hard
fighting they got away and labored onward toward the Victoria
Nyanza, which they reached on January 27th, near its southern shore.
This event was celebrated with great joy and cheerfulness; they felt
that they were out of the wilderness. Six weeks were now consumed in
a voyage around Victoria Nyanza.

During the absence of the exploring party, Frederick Barker, who had
been left in the camp on the lake, died of fever, leaving Pocock and
Stanley the only white men in the party. It was here that Stanley
met King Mtesa, the King of Uganda, a benevolent and mild-mannered
Pagan, who had previously been converted to Mohammedanism, and now
accepted the Christian religion with equal cheerfulness and

On his way westward Stanley passed through the regions of King
Rumanika, an eccentric character, at whose court the white man heard
many strange stories of unknown regions in the heart of the
continent. From this point Stanley went southwardly to explore that
part of Lake Tanganyika which lies south, and this he found to be
three hundred and twenty miles long, averaging a width of
twenty-eight miles. It has no known outlet, and a sounding line of
two hundred and eighty feet found no bottom.

His next march from Tanganyika to the River Lualaba was toilsome and
perilous and beset with dangers almost incredible. At Nyangwe
Stanley touched the most distant point in Central Africa ever
reached before by white man. Here he met with Tippoo Tib, the famous
Arab trader. This man, who has always seemed to be master of the
destinies and fortunes of the wild, roving tribes in the interior,
agreed to accompany Stanley on his exploration of the Lualaba or
Great River. If it had not been for this agreement with Tippoo Tib,
it is most likely that Stanley's expedition would have ended then
and there, and we never should have known, as we now know, that the
Congo and the Lualaba are one river, the second largest in the
world. Its line extends from its month on the west coast of Africa
more than half-way across the continent, and it has its rise in the
great lakes of the interior. To this vast stream Stanley has given
the name of Livingstone.

The object of Stanley's journey now was to throw light on the
western half of the continent, which was then represented on the
maps by a blank, through which meandered a few vague and uncertain
lines representing rivers, guessed at but not known. Stanley got on
better with the natives than did any of those who had gone before
him, for he was wise, patient, and gentle, and yet so firm and
decided that he was held in great awe and respect by the black men
wherever he was known. Leaving the river and deflecting to the
westward, he struggled on through a forest matted and interlaced
with vines, swarming with creeping things, damp and reeking with
vapors, and dripping with moisture. It was a most intolerable and
horrid stage of the journey. When again he struck the great river he
resolved to go by land no further. Here he was abandoned by Tippoo
Tib, who refused to go on. Stanley resolutely set himself to work
building and buying canoes, and led by his own English-built boat,
the Lady Alice, his expedition started finally down the river, which
here flows due north. The fleet was twenty-three in number, and was
loaded with stores, goods, and supplies.

[Illustration: Stanley shooting the Rapids of the Congo.]

It was a wonderful voyage. The explorers were harassed at times by
savage tribes, some of them believed to be cannibals, who attacked
the strangers from shore, or in pure wantonness, as they drifted
down the stream. Sickness and hunger were often their lot, and they
were overtaken by tropical storms. In some places, too, they
encountered rapids and cataracts, around which their fleet had to be
dragged through paths cut in the primeval forest while the savages
hovered around them. The forests were populous with wild beasts;
chimpanzees and gorillas, monkeys, and all manner of four-footed
things infested the clambering vines that festooned the trees. They
were once attacked by an hippopotamus, and elephants and
rhinoceroses were never far away. At a point below where the great
river turns from its great northerly course and flows westward, just
above the equator, was discovered a series of cataracts, seven in
all, the first of which was named Livingstone Falls and the seventh
Stanley Falls. The natives from this point downward to the mouth of
the Congo had lost something of their natural ferocity, as they had
been tamed by trade from the west coast, and great was the rejoicing
of Stanley's Zanzibar men when they encountered native warriors with
firearms in their hands, for this showed that they had reached a
people supplied by traders from the Congo coast.

The passing of the last group of cataracts was attended by numerous
dangers. In spite of all their efforts, canoes were sometimes
carried over the falls and wrecked, and on June 3d, Frank Pocock,
the last of Stanley's white companions, was drowned in the Congo by
the upsetting of a boat. Pocock was a brave, faithful, and devoted
follower of Stanley, who has paid a touching tribute to the
manliness, affection, and courage of the young Englishman who lies
buried in the savage wilderness of the Congo.

Very soon, as they drew nearer to the west coast, in the latter part
of the summer of 1877, sickness, distress, and famine pressed hard
upon the way-worn travellers. They were destitute of nearly
everything that could sustain nature. The natives refused to sell
supplies, and starvation stared them in the face. Knowing that a
trading-post was established at Embomma, a two days' journey down
the river, Stanley wrote on an old piece of cotton cloth a letter
asking for help, which was sent to the trading-post by his swiftest
runners. This letter was written in Spanish, French, and also in
English, Stanley in his anxiety and despair leaving no means untried
to reach the unknown traders whom he heard were at Embomma. The men
into whose hands this three-fold message fell were English and
Portuguese. Their response was prompt and generous. The messengers
were sent back, followed by a small caravan laden with ample
supplies of food and the necessaries of life, greatly to the relief
of the starving people who, on the arrival of this timely aid, had
eaten nothing for thirty hours. On August 9, 1877, the nine hundred
and ninety-ninth day from the date of their departure from Zanzibar,
Stanley's company, now numbering one hundred and fourteen blacks and
one white man, met the generous traders and merchants of Embomma,
who received the way-worn voyagers that had crossed the Dark
Continent. From the mouth of the Congo the expedition was carried by
steamer to Kabinda, a seaport a short distance up the coast, whence
they were taken to the port of San Paolo de Loanda, where they
embarked on board a British man-of-war and were taken to Cape Town;
thence, touching at Port Natal, they steamed to Zanzibar, where they
arrived on November 20, 1877. Long since given up for dead, the
Zanzibar men were greeted by their kindred with signs of
thanksgiving, tears and cries of joy. They had crossed the heart of
the continent, doubled the great Cape, and were again at home.

Stanley returned to England from Zanzibar, arriving in December,
1877. The King of the Belgians had been planning an expedition to
open up the Congo country to trade, and now requested Stanley to
take command of his expedition. Stanley undertook the management of
the new organization and returned to Africa in 1879, where he
remained nearly six years, hard at work on the Congo, making roads,
establishing stations, and opening the way for commerce. The Congo
Free State, founded by King Leopold, lies chiefly south of the great
bend of the river, and contains an area of 1,508,000 square miles,
with a population of more than 42,000,000. The articles collected
from the African trade at points along the great river, are ivory,
palm-oil, gum, copal, rubber, bees-wax, cabinet woods, hippopotamus
teeth and hides, monkey skins, and divers other things. Stanley now
made brief visits to Europe and the United States. While he was in
this country, in the winter of 1886 and 1887, he was summoned back
to Europe to take once more command of an African expedition to
rescue Emin Pasha, governor of the province of Equatorial Africa.
Emin is the Egyptian name of Dr. Schnitzler. He has been generally
known throughout Africa as Emin Pasha, and was governor of the
province which is one of the outlying posts of the Egyptian
government, when the revolt in the Soudan took place. When General
Gordon was besieged in Khartoum, the province of Emin Pasha was cut
off from the rest of Egypt, and Emin was shut up in the region north
of the Albert Nyanza, whose capital is Lado, on one of the minor
branches of the White Nile.

To relieve him in his isolation and necessity, a subscription was
started in England, and once more, equipped with men, arms,
ammunition, and other supplies, Stanley sailed for Africa in
January, 1887, making his head-quarters as before at Zanzibar. The
supplies for the expedition were shipped directly to the Congo and
carried up stream by steamers. At Zanzibar, Stanley's old friend
Tippoo Tib was met, and he signed an agreement making him Governor
of Stanley Falls to defend that post against all comers, a salary
being guaranteed him. Then, accompanied by Tippoo Tib, Stanley went
to the mouth of the Congo by the way of the Cape of Good Hope,
reaching the river March 18, 1887; then, ascending the stream on
which he had met so many hardships and endured so much suffering, he
carried his force of nearly one thousand men, and his supplies,
arms, and ammunition, to the relief of Emin Pasha, an enormous
quantity altogether. The white companions of Stanley on this
expedition were Major Barttelot, who had served with distinction
under General Wolseley in Egypt, Major Sir Andrew Clarke, Lieutenant
Stairs, Captain Nelson, Dr. Park, Rose Troup, Mountjoy Jephson,
William Bonny, and Mr. Jameson. Of these, two returned to England
before the termination of the journey, and three perished during the
wanderings of the expedition through forty-five hundred miles of
trackless wilderness, pestilential marshes, and regions populous
with hostile savages. From June, 1887, to December, 1889, the party
was lost to the world and no definite news from it reached

The expedition, which had been divided into two parts, generally
pursued its way in a northeastward course. Major Barttelot was left
on the Aruwimi, at Yambuya, with 257 men and the main part of the
stores, to await the coming of the promised reinforcements from
Tippoo Tib. A long delay ensued, and troubles broke out in
consequence (it is said) of the rash and imperious demeanor of Major
Barttelot, and finally Barttelot was murdered and the entire
rear-guard was broken down by desertion and pillage. Jameson
collected the remains of the party, but he soon after died, and Mr.
Bonny succeeded to the command and collected and kept the men
together. Meanwhile, Stanley's march ahead was made with many
difficulties, and he encountered rapid streams and other obstacles
unforeseen and unexpected. Toward the end of December, 1887,
Stanley's expedition having reached the Albert Edward Nyanza, and
still being unable to open communications with Emin Pasha, it was
decided to return to the forest and build a fort, and, after resting
the forces, make a new start toward the lake. This fortification,
known as Fort Bodo, was inhabited until April, 1888, when Stanley
pressed on, and finally found Emin Pasha and his companion, Dr.
Casati. They had passed through the country of the dwarfs, nearly
perishing with hunger, and when they reached the lake, Emin's
soldiers had mutinied and he was a prisoner. Emissaries from the
Mahdist Dervishes had stirred up the camp of Emin and caused
inextricable confusion. Emin was reluctant to leave the province,
and when Stanley and his white companions determined to attempt to
reach Zanzibar by an unexplored route, Emin refused to depart. Four
months were spent in an effort to overcome the reluctance of Emin
Pasha and Captain Casati, who were unwilling to leave their people.

Emin's plea was that ten thousand of his people would have to be
extricated from the province and carried to the coast. After many
and exasperating discussions, Stanley refused to wait longer, and
Emin, who had become nearly blind, brought away with him about five
hundred persons. The expedition then, over a southeasterly route,
made its way toward the coast.

The course of march from Albert Edward Nyanza was nearly in a direct
line to the Uzinja country, on the southwest shore of the Victoria
Nyanza. The party passed south of Victoria Lake and reached the east
coast December 4, 1889. The caravan, since it left Albert Edward
Nyanza, had dwindled from fifteen hundred to one-half that number.
This latest journey of Stanley lasted one thousand and twelve days,
of which hardly twenty were without tragical and perilous incidents.
The story of the annihilation that overcame his rear-guard has been
often told. It will probably never be settled exactly where shall be
placed the blame for that frightful disaster.

On his return from the Emin relief expedition, Stanley revisited the
United States, accompanied by his bride whom he had lately married.
He gave lectures in several of the larger cities of the country on
his surprising adventures in Africa. He was now prematurely aged by
his terrible experiences, and though his eye was still bright and
his frame alert, care and privation had whitened his hair, exposure
had darkened his skin and left its wrinkled impress on his forehead.
Everywhere he was received with the greatest enthusiasm and followed
by eager thousands, who gazed upon his face and hung with rapture on
his words. In 1892 he returned to England, and availing himself of
his British nationality, stood for Parliament in the District of
Lambeth, City of London, as a Conservative candidate. Much to the
surprise and grief of his friends he was defeated and since then he
has remained in private life.

[Signature: Noah Brooks.]


         [Footnote 24: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]


(Born 1847)

[Illustration: Thomas Alva Edison.]

As someone has called Leonardo da Vinci "the great Italian Yankee,"
because of his multifarious and ingenious suggestions in the world
of material things, so our own Edison may be called "the Yankee
Leonardo," for, with a curiosity ranging over the whole world of
nature, equal to that of the Italian, and with a fecundity of
invention no less bewildering, he unites, like Leonardo, an
imaginative and poetical vein that lifts his devices into the domain
of Art.

Yet Edison is in no respect a graceful or romantic figure such as
Leonardo was. He reminds us rather, by the weird and cosmic nature
of his speculations and inventions, of some one of the beings
created by the Norse mythologists: a nineteenth century gnome,
rough, shaggy, uncouth, wholly absorbed in his search among the
secrets of nature, and, while working always for the good of
mankind, dwelling in a world apart, and with neither time nor
inclination to mix in human affairs.

Thomas Alva Edison was born at Milan, Erie County, O., February 11,
1847. He started in life hampered by poverty, by want of teaching
and training, without friends outside his own home circle to
encourage him in pushing his fortunes, and with small opportunity,
in the little village where his lot had been cast, for bettering his
condition. On his father's side he came of sturdy Dutch stock: the
old man, who was still living in 1879 at the age of seventy-four,
reckoned among his immediate ancestors one who lived to be one
hundred and two years old, and another who reached one hundred and
three. He would appear to have been, like pioneers in general,
ready, if not obliged, to turn his hand to any employment that might
yield a living, that must be scanty at the best; and we read of him
as in turn a tailor, a nurseryman, a dealer, first in grain and then
in lumber, and an agent for the sale of farm-lands. He seems to have
been unable to do much for his boy beyond teaching him to read and
write, stimulating his taste for reading by paying him small sums of
money for every book he read through; he had no need to insist that
the reading should be done thoroughly, for it was the boy's way to
do thoroughly everything he undertook. His mother, also, helped
Thomas in learning: she was of Scotch extraction; but, though her
parents were from the old country, she herself was born in
Massachusetts, where for a time she had been a school-teacher. This,
then, with the exception of two months at the village school, was
the limit of young Edison's education--to use the conventional
term. The world was now to take him in hand, and show what it could
do with material so unpromising.

Before he was twelve years old, the boy had found a place as newsboy
on the Grand Trunk Line running to Detroit. In the intervals between
his raids upon the helpless passengers with his newspapers,
periodicals, novels, and candies, he kept up the habit of reading,
and by practice acquired a remarkably clear and finished
handwriting. His next step was to secure the sole right of selling
newspapers on the train, and he soon had four boys under him to
assist him in the work. Having then bought a lot of old type from
some printing-office, he rigged up a rude frame in one of the
baggage-cars that served as a lumber-room, and then proceeded to set
up and print a newspaper which he called the _Grand Trunk Herald_,
and sold with the other newspapers. As he had no press, he was
obliged to take off the impressions by rubbing the paper on the
inked type with his hands. In some way, a copy of this newspaper
found its way to the _London Times_, and the editor spoke of it as
the only newspaper in the world printed on a moving train. During
the fighting at Pittsburgh Landing in 1862, Edison printed off
abstracts of the telegraphic news, and posted them up at the small
country stations, thus rendering a great service to the people
anxiously waiting for news from the field. The terminus of his train
was Detroit, and here, for the first time, he had access to a
library. In his enthusiasm at finding himself in virtual possession
of such a treasure, he determined, then and there, to read the whole
library through, as it stood, using his time between trains.
Beginning at one shelf he read fifteen feet in a line, going through
each book solidly from cover to cover. In this first bout, among
other books, he read Newton's "Principia," Ure's "Scientific
Dictionary," and Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy."

All this time, by hints and suggestions, Nature had been pushing the
youth toward the field he was finally to occupy almost by right of
eminent domain. As yet, telegraphy was in its infancy, and the
powers of electricity only beginning to be known. Edison had from
the first been interested in the workings of the telegraph line
along the railroad, and had made some experiments with a rude line
of his own, connecting his father's home at Port Huron--a village to
which the family had some time before removed from Milan--with the
house of a neighbor. To do this, he had to make a battery out of
odds and ends, old bottles, stove-pipe wire, and nails made out of
zinc contributed by his youthful friends, who in their zeal cut
pieces out of the zinc mats under their mothers' stoves. He had no
one to teach him telegraphy, but an accident--if accidents there
be--was unexpectedly to put him in the way of learning its secrets.
The child of the station-master was in danger from a moving train;
young Edison snatched it up and saved its life at the risk of his
own, and the grateful father rewarded him by teaching him what he
knew of telegraphy.

Armed with this rudimentary knowledge, and with what, in addition, he
had learned by practice, Edison passed the next few years of his life
in moving about over the country, seeking employment less, it would
appear, for the sake of employment than for the opportunity of
increasing his practical knowledge of the art that was to swallow up,
in his mind, all the other arts. But he seems to have succeeded almost
in spite of himself. He was so eager in his chase after knowledge that
he was continually tripping himself up. While still at his trade of
newsboy on the Grand Trunk Railroad, he had come across, at Detroit
probably, a copy of Fresenius' "Qualitative Analysis" and had become
so much interested in chemistry, that alongside his printing-press he
had fitted up a small laboratory with a chance-medley apparatus for
experiments, and one day a bottle of phosphorus was upset, and the car
taking fire was only saved by the energy of the conductor, who
promptly pitched the whole apparatus, with the printing-press to boot,
out at the door, and then gave the young Fresenius-Franklin a
thrashing. Later we hear of him, in the course of his wanderings, set
to watch a telegraph-machine in the absence of the operator, and to
prove that he was on guard he was to send the word six over the line
every half-hour. Not to be interrupted in the book he was reading, he
contrived a device that did the work automatically. In another office
he kept back messages while he was contriving a way to send them more
quickly! Disappearing from this office, he appears again in another,
this time in Memphis, Tenn. But his interest in solving the problem of
duplicate transmission proved so absorbing that he continually
neglected his duties, and on the occasion of a change of officers he
was dismissed as a useless member of the staff. At Louisville he
upsets a carboy of sulphuric acid which ruins the handsome furniture
of a broker's office on the floor below, and again finds himself
adrift in an unappreciative world. Yet he had proved himself, in spite
of all drawbacks, an adept of uncommon skill in telegraphy; and so
widespread in scientific circles was his reputation, that he was sent
for to Boston to take charge of the main New York wire. The impression
made by the records of his life at this time is, that he looked upon
all these employments merely as so many opportunities for earning his
bread while pursuing his beloved experiments, and that the
bread-earning was the least important part of the affair. No doubt, he
always meant to do his duty, but the ecstasy of invention and the
thirst for discovery carried him out of himself and made him often
oblivious of sublunary things. While in Boston he still kept up his
experiments and perfected his duplex telegraph, but it was not brought
into successful operation until 1872.

In 1871 he came to New York, and having attracted the attention of
the Stock Exchange by some ingenious suggestions put forth while
busied in repairing the machine that recorded quotations, he was
made Superintendent of the Gold and Stock Company, and brought out
his invention of the printing-telegraph, by which the fluctuations
of the stock-market in any part of the country are instantly
recorded on narrow strips of paper.

[Illustration: Thomas A. Edison--The Wizard of Menlo Park.]

The immediate success of this invention, and the great demand for
the machines, led him to establish a workshop for their manufacture
in Newark, N. J. But soon the need of still more space, and the
desire for freedom from interruption while at his work, obliged him
to give up Newark, and he found new quarters at Menlo Park, N. J.--a
bare plot of barren acres destitute of natural attraction of any
kind, unless it be--what to Edison indeed is a great charm--an
uninterrupted view of the sky; a place virtually unknown before he
planted there the rude buildings that house his wonderful
inventions; yet now a place known to scientific men all over the
world; the Mecca of many a mind seeking to wrest from Nature her
dearest secrets.

No doubt, many of the inventions that have made Edison famous must
be ascribed in their conception and ripening' to various periods of
his life, but to the popular mind they are all associated with the
wizard's present home, from whence for several years the bulletins
of inventions--playful, useful, necessary, revolutionary--often as
simple in their mechanism as they are astonishing in their results,
have been given to a delighted world. Some of Edison's inventions
have a character at present of little more than picturesque
playfulness, such as the Phonograph, perhaps the most remarkable of
these minor inventions; the Aerophone, by which sounds are amplified
without loss of distinctness; the Megaphone, an instrument which,
inserted in the ear, so magnifies sounds that faint whispers may be
heard a thousand feet; the Phonometer, for measuring the force of
the soundwaves caused by the human voice; the Microtasimeter, for
measuring small variations in temperature. This has been tested for
so small a variation as 1/24000 of a degree Fahrenheit, and in 1878
was used to detect the presence of heat in the sun's corona. The
most familiar of these lesser inventions is the Phonograph by which
sounds are made self-recording and capable of being repeated. While
this curious invention--almost childish in its simplicity--is as yet
little more than a plaything, and has proved of small utility, it
makes, nevertheless, a strong appeal to the imagination when we
reflect that by its aid the voice of any human being may be
transmitted to ages far in the future, and its living tones be heard
long after he who uttered them has returned to the dust.

But, while these inventions have the charm that invests "the
fairy-tales of science," the world-wide fame of Edison rests upon
greater gifts to the world; the various improvements he has made in
the telegraph, and the perfection to which he has brought the
electric light. The invention of the telephone, by which persons are
enabled to converse with one another at very long distances, and by
which concerts, operas, and orations or sermons in one city can be
heard by an audience assembled in another, is one of the most
remarkable of Edison's achievements, and one the usefulness of which
in various directions it is easy to foresee. The idea of the
transmission of messages in opposite directions by the same wire was
one that had early occurred to Edison, but he was long in reducing
it to practice. The secret once discovered, however, he rapidly
progressed until he had brought out the sextuple telegraph, where we
believe the ability of the instrument rests at present.

The inventor next turned his mind to the study of the electric lamp,
in which he saw great possibilities. He believed that he could
produce a light that should be cheaper than gas, and also purer,
more steady, and more to be depended on. He rejected the principle
of the Voltaic arc involved in the Brush patent then in use, by
which the electric current was passed through a strip of platinum or
other metal that requires a high temperature to melt, because in
practice it was found that in fact, owing to the difficulty of
regulating the flow of the electric current, the medium did often
melt. He therefore sought for a medium that should be practically
indestructible, and believed that it would be found in pure carbon
enclosed in a vacuum. After many trials with one and another
substance, he at length found that by employing slender strips of
card-board reduced by intense heat to carbon, connecting them with
the wires leading from the machine, and enclosing them in glass
bulbs from which the air had been extracted, the desired result
could be produced. The next step to accomplish was the division of
the light, so that any number of lamps could be supplied by the same
pair of wires--a condition absolutely necessary if the invention
were to be of practical utility as applied to the lighting of
factories, public buildings, or private households, where-ever, in
short, many lights are needed. This was finally accomplished, and in
December, 1879, an exhibition was given at Menlo Park of a complete
system of lighting. This first demonstration of the possibility of
light-division created a great interest in scientific circles all
over the world, especially as scientific experts had testified
before the British House of Commons that the feat was impossible.
The Edison incandescent burner is now in use in every city, town,
and hamlet in this country, and it would seem as if it must of
necessity before long drive the costly, unhealthy, and dangerous
coal-gas out of use for illuminating purposes, although we believe a
wide field of usefulness lies before the coal-gas as a substitute
for coal in our kitchens.

Thomas Edison has received few public honors from his countrymen;
but the nature of his work has been such as to make his name a
household word throughout his native country; and not only by the
admiration excited by his genius--for it deserves no less a
name--but by the practical, every-day benefits he has conferred, he
has earned a place in the good-will and esteem of his fellows such
as seldom falls to the lot of man.

[Signature: Clarence Cook.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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