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Title: Appletons' Popular Science Monthly, December 1898 - Volume LIV, No. 2, December 1898
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Appletons' Popular Science Monthly, December 1898 - Volume LIV, No. 2, December 1898" ***

by Biodiversity Heritage Library.)

  Established by Edward L. Youmans


              EDITED BY

              VOL. LIV

    NOVEMBER, 1898, TO APRIL, 1899

              NEW YORK

          COPYRIGHT, 1899,







       I. Wheat-growing Capacity of the United States. By E.
            ATKINSON,                                               145

      II. The Racial Geography of Europe. The Jews. By Prof.
            WILLIAM Z. RIPLEY. (Illustrated.),                      163

     III. The Playgrounds of Rural and Suburban Schools. By
            I. G. OAKLEY,                                           176

      IV. Up the Skeena River. By GEORGE A. DORSEY, Ph. D.
           (Illus.),                                                181

       V. Light and Vegetation. By Prof. D. T. MACDOUGAL,           193

      VI. The Stone Age in Egypt. By J. DE MORGAN,                  202

     VII. Superstition and Crime. By Prof. E. P. EVANS,             206

    VIII. A Geological Romance. By Prof. J. A. UDDEN.
           (Illustrated.),                                          222

      IX. The Season of the Year. By GRANT ALLEN,                   230

       X. Brain Weights and Intellectual Capacity. By JOSEPH
            SIMMS, M. D.,                                           243

      XI. Speleology, or Cave Exploration. By M. E. A. MARTEL,      255

     XII. Sketch of Charles Henry Hitchcock. (With Portrait.),      260

    XIII. Editor's Table: Evolution and Education.--David Ames
            Wells.--A Borrowed Foundation,                          269

     XIV. Scientific Literature,                                    274

      XV. Fragments of Science,                                     282

                  NEW YORK:
               72 FIFTH AVENUE.


     Entered at the Post Office at New York, and admitted for
     transmission through the mails at second-class rates.

[Illustration: CHARLES H. HITCHCOCK.]





In 1880 it happened to fall to me to make a forecast of the very
great reduction in the price of wheat in Great Britain, which could
then be predicated on the lessening cost of transportation from
Chicago to the seaboard, thence to British ports, which was then
sure to be soon followed by a large reduction in the railway charges
for bringing the wheat to Chicago from the other Western centers of
distribution. I then alleged that the time was not far off when,
even if the price of wheat in Mark Lane were reduced from the then
existing rate of fifty-two shillings per quarter to thirty-four
shillings, it would still yield as full a return to the Western
farmer as it had yielded in previous years at fifty shillings and
upward. This forecast attracted great attention, and has since been
made the subject of very much bitter controversy, especially since
the fall in prices was much more rapid than I then thought it could
be, and was carried to a much lower point than any one could have
then anticipated. It will be remarked that thirty-four shillings in
Mark Lane is at the rate of one dollar and three cents per bushel of
sixty pounds.

From time to time I have almost been forced to defend the position
then taken, notably when asked to appear before the Royal Commission
on Depression in Agriculture at one of their sessions, where I was
kept upon the stand for two full days in the effort of the excellent
English farmers and landowners to prove that the American farmer
had been ruined by the reduction in the price of wheat, which the
majority of that commission attributed to the demonetization of
silver. The whole tone of that investigation and of a large part of
the treatment of the wheat question in Great Britain has been one of
complaint and of alleged wrong to British agriculture because the
United States had succeeded in supplying the masses of the people
of the United Kingdom with cheap bread, with sufficient profit to
themselves to keep up the supply.

Now comes what may be called a cry of alarm from a scientist of
highest repute lest England may be deprived even of an adequate
supply of wheat, and lest the price should be forced to an
exorbitant point. This view of the case was stated at great length
by Sir William Crookes when assuming the presidency of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science at the recent meeting in
Bristol. This address is published in full in the Times of September
8th, the portion devoted to the wheat question filling three out of
six columns of closely printed text; the other three are devoted to
a complete review of the existing conditions of science. I venture
to give a few extracts which will convey to the reader the aspect of
the wheat question from this essentially British point of view. Sir
William Crookes begins with a sort of apology, which the writer can
fully appreciate. He says:

"Statistics are rarely attractive to a listening audience, but
they are necessary evils, and those of this evening are unusually
doleful.... I am constrained to show that our wheat-producing soil is
totally unequal to the strain put upon it. After wearying you with a
survey of the universal dearth to be expected, I hope to point a way
out of the colossal dilemma. It is the chemist who must come to the
rescue of the threatened communities. It is through the laboratory
that starvation may ultimately be turned into plenty."

One of the singular facts which becomes quickly apparent to any one
who deals with this subject in Great Britain is the inability of the
English farmer to think about agriculture except in terms of wheat.
Now we have an example of our English scientist of the highest repute
who seems to ignore all other grain and to predict future starvation
on an expected deficiency in the supply of wheat. Sir William Crookes

"The consumption of wheat per head of the population (unit
consumption) is over six bushels per annum; and, taking the
population at 40,000,000, we require no less than 240,000,000 bushels
of wheat, increasing annually by 2,000,000 bushels to supply the
increase of population. Of the total amount of wheat consumed in the
United Kingdom we grow twenty-five and import seventy-five per cent."

He then deals with the impending scarcity, saying:

"To arrest this impending danger it has been proposed that an amount
of 64,000,000 bushels of wheat should be purchased by the state and
stored in national granaries, not to be opened except to remedy
deterioration of grain, or in view of national disaster rendering
starvation imminent. This 64,000,000 bushels would add another
fourteen weeks' life to the population."

After dealing with the fact that while it might be possible for the
United Kingdom to supply itself with its own wheat at an average
of twenty-nine and a half bushels to the acre, he goes on to say
that this would require thirteen thousand square miles of British
territory, increasing at the rate of one hundred square miles per
annum; but he says it would be clearly impossible to assign so large
a proportion of the area of the United Kingdom to a single crop
without suffering in other matters, adding:

"In any case, owing to our cold, damp climate and capricious weather,
the wheat crop is hazardous, and for the present our annual deficit
of 180,000,000 bushels must be imported. A permanently higher price
for wheat is, I fear, a calamity that ere long must be faced."

I can imagine with what a relish the Royal Commission on the
Depression of Agriculture would have received this prophecy of a
permanently higher price for wheat. Sir William Crookes goes on to

"Wheat is the most sustaining food grain of the great Caucasian race,
which includes the peoples of Europe, United States, British America,
the white inhabitants of South Africa, Australasia, parts of South
America, and the white population of the European colonies."

He then points out how rapidly the consumers of wheat have increased,
yet failing to attribute this increase in part to the rapid reduction
in the cost. He says:

"In 1871 the bread-eaters of the world numbered 371,000,000; in 1881,
416,000,000; in 1891, 472,600,000; and at the present time they
number 516,500,000. The augmentation of the world's bread-eating
population in a geometrical ratio is evidenced by the fact that the
yearly aggregates grow progressively larger.... To supply 516,500,000
bread-eaters, if each bread-eating unit is to have his usual ration,
will require a total of 2,324,000,000 bushels for seed and food.
According to the best authorities, the total supplies from the
1897-'98 harvest are 1,921,000,000."

It will be observed that while the English average consumption is
said to be six bushels, the average employed in this computation is
four and a half bushels per head. He then remarks upon the large
harvests for seven years, saying:

"Bread-eaters have almost eaten up the reserves of wheat, and the
1897 harvest being under average, the conditions become serious....
It is clear we are confronted with a colossal problem that must tax
the wits of the wisest. Up to recent years the growth of wheat has
kept pace with demands. As wheat-eaters increased, the acreage under
wheat expanded. We forget that the wheat-growing area is of strictly
limited extent, and that a few million acres regularly absorbed soon
amount to a formidable number. The present position being so gloomy,
let us consider future prospects."

He then deals successively with the United States, Russia, Canada,
and other countries. In regard to the United States he remarks:

"Practically there remains no uncultivated prairie land in the
United States suitable for wheat-growing. The virgin land has been
rapidly absorbed, until at present there is no land left for wheat
without reducing the area for maize, hay, and other necessary crops.
It is almost certain that within a generation the ever-increasing
population of the United States will consume all the wheat grown
within its borders, and will be driven to import, and, like
ourselves, will scramble for a lion's share of the wheat crop of the

It is difficult for a citizen of the United States who has given any
attention to the potential of our land to conceive of such views
being held by an Englishman of highest scientific intelligence. When
I was in England last summer I had a long interview with the editor
of one of the papers of widest influence in all Great Britain. I then
remarked that there were forces in action in the United States in
three or four different directions which would profoundly change all
the conditions of British industry, and render the English-speaking
people of the United Kingdom and the United States more and more
interdependent. It is seldom that one finds more than an occasional
half a column in any great English paper devoted to the subject of
our economic relations and to the development either of the American
iron industry, of its agriculture, or of the cotton production and
manufacture. Yet, in all these branches of industry, profound changes
of world-wide importance, and yet of greater importance to the
people of Great Britain, are now in progress. I may venture to say
that this address of Sir William Crookes marks even a more profound
ignorance of the forces in action in this country than even I had
ever comprehended. Sir William Crookes next submits the following

"The rate of consumption for seed and food by the whole world of
bread-eaters was 4.15 bushels per unit per annum for the eight years
ending 1878, and at the present time is 4.5 bushels.... Should all
the wheat-growing countries add to their area to the utmost capacity,
on the most careful calculation the yield would give us only an
addition of some 100,000,000 acres, supplying at the average world
yield of 12.7 bushels to the acre, 1,270,000,000 bushels, just enough
to supply the increase of population among bread-eaters till the year
1931. At the present time there exists a deficit in the wheat area
of thirty-one thousand square miles.... When provision shall have
been made if possible to feed 230,000,000 units likely to be added to
the bread-eating populations by 1931, by the complete occupancy of
the arable areas of the temperate zone now partially occupied, where
can be grown the additional 330,000,000 bushels of wheat required
ten years later by a hungry world? If bread fails--not only us, but
all the bread-eaters of the world--what are we to do? We are born
wheat-eaters. Other races, vastly superior to us in numbers, but
differing widely in material and intellectual progress, are eaters of
Indian corn, rice, millet, and other grains; but none of these grains
have the food value, the concentrated health-sustaining power of
wheat, and it is on this account that the accumulated experience of
civilized mankind has set wheat apart as the fit and proper food for
the development of muscle and brains."

Sir William then proceeds to deal with the salvation by chemistry.
But before taking notes from that part of his address, is it not
singular to remark this tendency of the scientist as well as of the
English farmer to think only in terms of wheat, wholly ignoring other
grains? It may be interesting to point out the exact difference in
the nutrients.

Wheat flour is analyzed in the following statement:

    Water                                   11.6
    Protein                           11.1
    Fats                               1.1
    Carbohydrates                     75.6
    Mineral matters                    0.6
        Total nutrients                     88.4
    Potential energy in one pound    1,660 calories.

Corn or maize meal differs only as follows:

    Water                                   14.5
    Protein                            9.1
    Fats                               3.8
    Carbohydrates                     71.0
    Mineral matters                    1.6
        Total nutrients                     85.5
    Potential energy in one pound    1,650 calories.


    Water                                    7.7
    Protein                           15.1
    Fats                               7.1
    Carbohydrates                     68.1
    Mineral matters                    2.0
        Total nutrients                     92.3
    Potential energy in one pound    1,845 calories.

Rye flour:

    Water                                   13.1
    Protein                            6.7
    Fats                               0.8
    Carbohydrates                     78.7
    Mineral matters                    0.7
        Total nutrients                     86.9
    Potential energy in one pound    1,620 calories.

It will be remarked that the difference between maize meal and
wheat flour consists only in a slightly larger proportion of fats
and a slightly less proportion of protein, a matter very easily
balanced by giving consideration to the other kinds of food which
may be used by the bread-eater. Again, it is hardly to be supposed
that the Scotchmen who listened to Sir William Crookes admitted in
their minds that wheat flour possessed any greater potential energy
in the development either of muscle or of mind than the oatmeal to
which they have been habituated for so many generations. I doubt if
any New England Yankee who had been brought up on the diet of corn
(maize) bread and baked beans, the latter supplying the protein
element in abundance, would admit any greater development of the
muscle or brain by exclusive dependence on wheat for the bread of
life. It is not, however, my purpose to deal with the relative food
values of wheat and other grains; it is simply to take up this
extraordinary delusion of Sir William Crookes in respect to the
potential of the wheat-producing area of this country. His theory
is salvation by chemistry, and he rightfully calls attention to the
necessity for obtaining a cheap and abundant supply of nitrogen. All
the other elements for fertilizing the soil are relatively abundant
at low cost, especially in this country. Our enormous supply of the
phosphates of lime and potash gives assurance on this matter, and our
one deficiency, or rather the one element heretofore of high cost,
has been the necessary proportion of nitrogen required to maintain an
even balance in the soil.

I am surprised that Sir William Crookes should attribute so little
importance to the recent discovery of the influence of bacteria,
which living and dying in nodules attached to the stalks of the
leguminous plants dissociate the nitrogen of the atmosphere, where
the supply is unlimited, converting it to the nutrition of the
plant, and thence to the renovation of the soil. Sir William deals
only with the renovating qualities of clover, having apparently no
comprehension of the existence of the cow-pea vine, the soya bean,
the alfalfa, and many other types of legumes by which the partially
exhausted soil, especially of the South, is now being renovated with
great rapidity at a low cost. Sir William's hopes of nitrogen seem
to be based on some method being found to save the sewage of cities,
but mainly on the conversion of the water power of Niagara and other
great falls to the generation of electricity and thence to the
dissociation of the nitrogen of the atmosphere.

The point to which I wish to direct attention and inquiry is this
alleged nearly complete taking up of the land of the United States
capable of producing wheat in paying quantities. The question which
Sir William Crookes puts is this: He says there is a deficit in
the wheat area of thirty-one thousand square miles which must be
converted to wheat-growing in order to keep up with the increasing
demand of the world to prevent wheat starvation in less than one
generation. It will be observed that the present necessities of the
world are computed by Sir William Crookes at 2,324,000,000 bushels,
of which this country will supply 600,000,000 to 700,000,000 bushels
from an area of land devoted to wheat of 71,000 square miles, a
fraction over two per cent of the area of the United States, omitting

The problem may then be stated in these terms: Given a demand of the
wheat-consuming population of the world for this whole supply of
2,324,000,000 bushels, this country could supply it at the present
average per acre by devoting two hundred and fifty thousand square
miles to this crop, or less than ten per cent of the area, omitting
Alaska. We could supply the world's present demand, but of course
such computations are purely speculative.

I venture to say that if a contract could be entered into by the
bread-eaters of the world with the farmers of the United States,
giving them an assurance of a price equal to one dollar a bushel
in London, or a fraction under thirty-three shillings per quarter
of eight bushels of sixty pounds each, which would yield to the
American farmer from sixty to eighty cents per bushel on the farm,
the land now under cultivation in wheat and not required for any
other crop or for pasture would be opened in the United States
which would be devoted to this service year by year as fast as the
consumption called for it. In fact, there are now fully one hundred
thousand square miles of land, 64,000,000 acres, fully suitable to
the production of wheat at fifteen bushels to the acre, practically
unoccupied in any branch of agriculture, which would be devoted
to wheat on an assured price of one dollar a bushel in Mark Lane,
yielding 960,000,000 bushels. Or, to limit the question yet more: Sir
William Crookes states the needs of the people of the United Kingdom
at the present time to be 240,000,000 bushels, increasing at a rate
of less than two per cent per annum, of which twenty-five per cent
is derived from her own soil. If John Bull, in place of building
granaries, could offer thirty-three shillings a quarter, or one
dollar a bushel, in London as a permanent price for the next thirty
years, would not Uncle Sam accept the offer? and if Uncle Sam should
then ask for bids among the States, are there not several single
States or Territories that would take the contract each for itself?

Having put that question, I now propose to submit an inquiry in due
form in order to sustain my own belief that we can supply the whole
present and the increasing demand of Great Britain for the next
thirty years with six bushels of wheat per head at a dollar a bushel
from land situated wholly in the Indian Territory, not yet open to
private entry, but which may soon be open when the Indian titles have
all been purchased. Or, again, I undertake to say that the State of
Texas can meet this whole demand without impairing in the slightest
degree its present products of grain, cotton, wool, and meats, and
without appropriating the use of more than a small fraction of
the area of that single State which has not yet been fenced in or
subjected to the plow to the production of wheat.

Perhaps it would be better to put a more simple proposition in order
to bring out what would be perfectly feasible. Let it be assumed
that the British public should really become so alarmed as to be
willing to put up the granaries which have been suggested for storing
fourteen weeks' consumption, or 64,000,000 bushels. That would
require a very large capital which would yield no income on which
there would be a heavy loss of interest and a considerable risk of
damage to the wheat during the period of storage. In place of this a
feasible plan would be to put up the capital which would be required
for building these granaries, invest it in consols, and pledge it as
collateral security for the fulfillment of a contract running for
thirty years for the annual purchase of 10,000,000 bushels of wheat
per month, or say 128,000,000 bushels a year, or twice the quantity
proposed to be stored.

There are several large dealers in grain and provisions in the United
States who would be ready to take this contract and to put up a
sufficient sum of capital invested in United States bonds to serve as
security for prompt delivery.

An assured supply of 128,000,000 bushels in addition to the ordinary
supply might allay the fear of scarcity and high price of bread.
It may here be observed that the low average crop per acre of the
United States has been due to the inclusion of wheat grown on land
partially exhausted by cropping or not well adapted to this grain.
The all-wheat as well as the all-cotton and all-tobacco methods of
ignorant farming or cropping year after year are now very rapidly
giving place to varied crops coupled with an increase of product
per acre. No agency has been of such service in this matter as the
Agricultural Experiment Stations, now established in almost every
State under the supervision of men of the highest capacity. Under
this system wheat, which requires a few days of machine work in the
spring and autumn, occupying very little time of the farmer himself,
is rapidly becoming the surplus or money crop of farms otherwise
maintained on the alternate products. Under such cultivation an
average crop of twenty bushels to the acre would be assured, in many
sections much more. One hundred and twenty-eight million bushels
at twenty bushels per acre would require 6,400,000 acres, or ten
thousand square miles. As an alternate with other crops in a rotation
of four, this would call for only forty thousand square miles in
varied farming. In order to satisfy the anxieties of Sir William
Crookes lest land should be taken from other necessary work, this
area might be divided among several States and Territories, say five
thousand square miles among eight. Oklahoma (38,719 square miles)
was opened to settlement only seven years since, and has yet a great
deal of unoccupied land. It will this year raise 13,000,000 bushels
of wheat from 850 square miles devoted to the crop. Give Oklahoma
five thousand square miles, the unoccupied Indian Territory (30,272
square miles) would take all the rest as soon as open; but we may
only assign five thousand square miles to that area. Five thousand
more might be assigned to the limestone section of Virginia, in the
valley of the Shenandoah and its tributaries; five thousand each to
Kentucky (40,400 square miles) and Tennessee (42,050 square miles),
while the great wheat-growing States--Kansas (82,080 square miles),
Nebraska (77,510 square miles), Minnesota (83,365 square miles),
and the two Dakotas (148,445 square miles)--would compete for the
contract each to open a little patch of five thousand square miles,
not yet adjacent to railways. We should thus have exhausted the area
called for without regard to the instant competition which would come
from California (158,360 square miles), Oregon (96,030 square miles),
and Washington (69,180 square miles), and probably from Pennsylvania
(45,215 square miles) and other Eastern or Southern States. At a
dollar per bushel in London no difficulty would be found in placing
this contract even without resort to Texas (265,780 square miles),
which could take the whole on but a small portion of its area not yet
under the plow.

The only additional measure which would then be required would be
one which must come in any event--namely, the neutralization of
the ports of export and import of food in the United States and
Great Britain and in such other countries as may choose to join,
together with the neutralization of a ferry or sea way for the
transportation of the food, wherein no hostile shot should be fired
and no seizure of private property permitted on the part of any
nation, the condition of this understanding being that if any other
nation ventured to question or contest this dedication of a neutral
way for the conveyance of food to the purposes of peace, the navies
of Great Britain and of the United States would be united to force
its acceptance, and to sweep from the ocean the fleet of every state
or nation which ventured to contest this measure. That would be a
suitable measure for beginning to make a right use of navies--for
the protection of commerce and for the destruction of every fleet or
vessel which did not accept the principle that private property not
contraband of war should be exempt from seizure upon the high seas,
coupled with a declaration limiting contraband of war so that it may
never be made to include customary articles of commerce, especially
food, not now contraband.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing text was set in type and one hundred advance proof
sheets were supplied, which have been sent by the writer to the
Secretaries of Agriculture and the chiefs of the Agricultural
Experiment Stations in all the States to which we look for any
considerable product of wheat. The replies are so complete and so
numerous as to make it impossible to incorporate a full digest of the
whole case within the limits of the present article. A supplement
will be prepared for a later number of this journal, in which this
information will be tabulated. For the present purpose I may avail
myself only of a part of the data which have been sent to me.

1. The evidence suffices to prove that there is not a State named
above which could not set apart five thousand square miles for the
cultivation of wheat in a rotation of four without trenching in the
slightest degree upon any other crop. 2. In previous essays, in which
I have dealt with the potential of the agriculture of this country,
I have very guardedly computed but one half our total area of three
million square miles (omitting Alaska) as being arable land, suitable
for the plow. The returns now in my hands would render it suitable to
increase that area to two thirds, or two million square miles subject
to cultivation. 3. The area now under the plow for the production of
our principal crops for the year 1897 is given in the table below. If
miscellaneous crops be added to these principal crops, the cultivated
land of this country does not now exceed, and in fact does not reach,
twenty per cent of the arable land, while from the cultivated portion
a progressive increase in product may be expected under the impetus
of improved methods of farming on lessening areas in each farm.

              |  Acreage.  |Yield.|   Product.  |Price. |    Value.
              |            | Per  |   Bushels.  |Cents. |
              |            |acre. |             |       |
  Maize       | 80,095,051 | 23.8 |1,902,967,933|  26.3 |  $501,072,952
  Wheat       | 39,465,066 | 13.4 |  530,149,168|  80.8 |   428,547,121
  Oats        | 25,730,375 | 27.2 |  698,767,809|  21.2 |   147,974,719
  Barley      |  2,719,116 | 24.5 |   66,685,127|  37.7 |    25,142,139
  Rye         |  1,703,561 | 16.1 |   27,363,324|  44.7 |    12,239,647
  Buckwheat   |    717,836 | 20.9 |   14,997,451|  42.1 |     6,319,188
    All grain |150,431,005 |      |3,240,930,812|       |$1,121,295,766
  Hay         | 42,426,770 | 1.43 |   60,664,876|  6.62 |   401,390,728
  Cotton      | 23,273,209 |      |    8,532,705|  6.78 |   291,811,564
              |------------|      |             |       |--------------
              |216,130,984 |      |             |       |$1,814,498,058

  Maize     125,150 square miles;
  Wheat      61,660    "     "
  Oats       40,200    "     "
  Barley      4,250    "     "
  Rye         2,660    "     "
  Buckwheat   1,120    "     "
            235,040    "     "
  Hay        66,290    "     "
  Cotton     36,520    "     "
            337,850    "     "

The area under wheat in 1897 was a fraction under forty million
acres, or a little less than sixty-two thousand square miles. The
high price secured for that crop has led to an increase in land under
wheat in 1898 to a fraction under seventy-one thousand square miles
(nine thousand square miles added), on which the largest crop ever
known has doubtless been raised, variously computed at the present
time from 620,000,000 to 700,000,000 bushels. The area now under
wheat is therefore less than four per cent of our arable land.

In order to develop our potential in wheat it will be best to limit
our present consideration to three States only--namely, Minnesota,
North and South Dakota--from which we derive the greater part of
our spring wheat. The area of these three States is two hundred and
thirty-two thousand square miles, disregarding fractions. The land
which is deemed to be suitable for wheat growing is estimated by the
officials from whom I have derived reports at one hundred and sixty
thousand square miles. The crop of 1898 is computed at 190,000,000
bushels, a quantity sufficient to supply Great Britain with all that
she needs in addition to her domestic production. It has been grown
on an area of less than twenty thousand square miles, or upon one
eighth part of the land of these three States only; the rest of the
wheat land can be as surely and profitably devoted to the production
of wheat as that part already under that crop. The fact may be
recalled that the territory which now constitutes the two States of
North and South Dakota began to be computed separately from other
States only in 1880, when a little under 3,000,000 bushels were
credited to that territory. The minimum product of these two States
this year will be 100,000,000 bushels.

One of the authorities upon whom I rested for absolute information
is Mr. L. G. Powers, chief of the Bureau of Labor of the State of
Minnesota, in whose Annual Report for 1896 is the most exhaustive
study of the grain production of the Mississippi Valley that has ever
been made. I therefore do not hesitate to incorporate in this article
his comments upon the proof sheets sent to him:

"The probable product of wheat in a State like Minnesota, at a
fixed price, such as Mr. Atkinson mentions, can be estimated, even
approximately, only by taking account of a number of such factors as
the present actual and relative profit of the wheat farmer, and the
probable changes that will be made in the next few years in the cost
of cultivating wheat and of transporting it to London. A few of the
leading well-known facts relating to these subjects may with profit
be noted in this connection, and first a few words with reference to
the profits of wheat raising in Minnesota.

"Whatever may be true of wheat raising in Europe, or in the Atlantic
coast States of America, it can be positively asserted that the
average profit of the Minnesota wheat grower has been steadily though
irregularly increasing since the admission of this State to the
Union in 1858. This is evidenced by the relative number and amount
of farm-mortgage foreclosures in the State, as a whole, and in its
several sections at the present time and in the past. Properly to
use those foreclosures as a measure of the increasing prosperity of
the Minnesota wheat farmer, two facts should be kept in mind. In
1880, and prior to that time, the industry of wheat growing was most
fully developed in those counties which now constitute the First
Congressional District. The farmers of those counties at that time
depended for their income largely upon their wheat crops. Later they
have adopted a highly diversified system of agriculture in which
wheat is only an incidental cash crop. The exclusive cultivation
of wheat now finds its seat in the counties composing the Seventh
Congressional District. The lands of this district are situated
about two hundred miles on an average farther from the markets
of Europe than those of the First District. Notwithstanding this
fact and all changes in the selling price of wheat, and all allied
changes affecting the wheat industry of the State, the farm-mortgage
foreclosures in the Seventh District in the five years ending with
December, 1897, were relatively twenty per cent less than they were
in the First District in the five years 1880 to 1884, and were forty
per cent less than in the five years 1869 to 1873. To the extent
represented by these figures has the average cultivation of wheat as
an exclusive crop become more profitable in Minnesota than it was
twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. A much greater increase of farm
prosperity has taken place in those counties which have adopted a
diversified system of agriculture, and made wheat an incidental cash

"The growing farm prosperity in Minnesota above noted finds its
highest development in the past five years, during which the selling
price of wheat in London has averaged approximately one dollar per
bushel, or the amount called for by the conditions stated by Mr.
Atkinson. This increasing farm prosperity in Minnesota, which lessens
the mortgage foreclosures of the exclusive wheat growers forty per
cent in thirty years, has been the main factor in the settlement of
Minnesota and the two Dakotas. It has caused the wheat grown in the
territory of these three States to increase from 10,000,000 bushels
in 1867 to 190,000,000 bushels in 1898. With no added profit in the
business, the settlement of the vacant lands of these States and
those of Montana and of the British Northwest will move on, and
twenty-five years from now will find in the territory tributary to
Minneapolis and Duluth not less than 400,000,000 bushels of wheat
raised annually. Even then but a fraction of the possible wheat lands
of the great Northwest will be under the plow. If a material increase
should take place in the present average profits of the Northwestern
wheat grower, the imagination of man could hardly picture the
stimulus to wheat culture that would result.

"With a fixed price of one dollar per bushel in London, called for by
Mr. Atkinson's conditions, the American farmers can find increased
profit in two possible sources: decreased cost of transportation
to London, and lessening cost of wheat production in Minnesota. A
detailed analysis of the various charges that constitute the present
cost of transporting wheat from the Red River Valley of Minnesota,
the Dakotas, and of Manitoba to London gives reasonable assurance of
a reduction in the next few years of at least five and possibly seven
cents per bushel in such cost. Here is an almost certain addition,
in the next few years, of from five to seven cents a bushel to the
profit of American-grown wheat, providing only its average selling
price in London remains practically unchanged.

"A careful study of farm methods among Minnesota farmers discloses
this fact: Some wheat growers, with the best farm machinery, and
employing the best methods of agriculture, make a profit in wheat
raising of from ten to fifteen cents a bushel more than do their
less intelligent and less progressive neighbors. Now, the tendency
in the State and throughout the Northwest is to bring, by education
and a general exchange of methods, the poorer farmers up to the
level of the best. This change is rapidly taking place. It will not
require fifteen years to realize its consummation. When the methods
and facilities of the average farmer are brought up to the level of
the best of the present time, this change, with the change above
noted in transportation charges, will add to the average profit of
Minnesota farmers in growing wheat a total of not less than fifteen
and possibly of over twenty cents a bushel. Such a change would
more than double the existing net profit of the wheat grower in
the Northwest. Could it be maintained for a series of years, as is
presupposed under Mr. Atkinson's supposition of London prices, it
would furnish such an incentive to wheat growing in Minnesota and
the surrounding territory as has as yet never been experienced. A
million families of immigrants would pour into the great Northwest
within the next twenty to twenty-five years. They would take up all
the existing vacant lands of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The lands
suitable for irrigation in these States and in Montana would be set
to growing wheat. The wave of humanity anxious to raise wheat for
a dollar a bushel in London would sweep past the boundaries of the
four States mentioned, and carry the cultivation of that cereal all
over Manitoba, Assiniboia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. In these four
British provinces and in the four American States, dollar wheat in
London would in twenty years open more acres of good land to wheat
than are now subject to the plow within their borders. Even then the
beginning only would have been made to the possibilities of wheat
culture in the British Northwest. Settlements would not have extended
as far north as St. Petersburg in Russia; neither would settlers
have trenched upon the lands with a climate as severe as that of the
Russian metropolis.

"The foregoing is a brief statement of what dollar wheat in London
would do for one section of North America in stimulating wheat
cultivation. If that statement is based upon a true conception, as
the writer believes it is, of the possibilities of the American
Northwest, it demonstrates how impossible it will be to maintain
dollar wheat in London for any great length of time in the future.
It also shows that Mr. Atkinson is wrong in not asserting a sure
continuation of that decline in wheat prices which he so fully
predicted in 1880."

_Cost of Shipping Wheat per Bushel from Moorhead, an Interior Point
in Minnesota, to Liverpool._

                           | On May  | On July | On August | On September
                           |27, 1898.| 9, 1898.| 20, 1898. |  17, 1898.
                           |  Cts.   |  Cts.   |   Cts.    |    Cts.
                           | per bu. | per bu. |  per bu.  |   per bu.
  Rate, Moorhead to Duluth |   9.30  |   9.30  |   8.70    |    8.70
  Duluth elevator and      |         |         |           |
    inspection charges     |   0.80  |   0.80  |   0.80    |    0.80
  Lake freight, Duluth to  |         |         |           |
    Buffalo                |   1.40  |   1.25  |   1.25    |    1.75
  Elevator charges and     |         |         |           |
    commission at Buffalo  |   1.00  |   1.00  |   1.00    |    1.00
  Canal freight, Buffalo   |         |         |           |
    to New York            |   3.00  |   3.00  |   2.75    |    2.50
  Elevator charges, etc.,  |         |         |           |
    in New York            |   2.00  |   2.00  |   2.00    |    2.00
  Ocean freight, New York  |         |         |           |
    to Liverpool           |   8.00  |   3.50  |   4.50    |    6.00
        Totals             |  25.50  |  20.85  |  21.00    |   22.75
                General average, 22.525 cents per bushel.

It will be remarked that Mr. Powers says I am wrong in not asserting
a sure continuation of the decline in the price of wheat which I
predicted in 1880. In setting up one dollar a bushel in London as the
standard of this inquiry, I had no thought that our farmers could be
made happy for the next thirty years by any hope of securing so high
a price. In my predictions in 1880 I said that the time was not then
far off when the farmers of the Mississippi Valley would secure as
large a remuneration from their wheat at thirty-four shillings per
quarter in London as they had been gaining from a previous average
of fifty-two shillings. I might then have fixed the lessened price
at twenty-eight shillings, and at the present time I have a greater
expectation of a reduction in the price of wheat in Mark Lane to less
than twenty-eight shillings a quarter, or eighty-five cents a bushel,
than I had in 1880 that it would so soon reach thirty-four shillings.
I merely adopted a dollar a bushel as an arbitrary standard on which
an abundant supply of bread at low cost would be absolutely assured
to the people of England.

In fact, as I stated before the Royal Commission on Depression of
Agriculture, it is not probable that a reduction in the price of
wheat to forty cents a bushel on Western farms or sixty-five to
seventy cents a bushel in England would stop the growth of this
grain, although it might check an increase. When the price went down
to a very low point on the last excessive crop it is probable that
100,000,000 bushels of wheat were fed to swine and to cattle. It
proved to make better pork and beef than maize or Indian corn, and,
as the price of meat did not decline in anything like the proportion
to the price of wheat, the farmers who thus fed their excess secured
a profit which the sale of the crude grain might not have given.

In this comment Mr. Powers deals with the reduction in the number
of foreclosures in Minnesota. Attention should be called to the
fact that the United States census investigation for which a
million dollars was appropriated, for the purpose of recording
farm mortgages in 1890, disclosed the fact that in the ten great
grain-growing States of the middle West two thirds of the farms were
then free of any mortgage of any kind, and were well stocked; the
incumbrance on the remaining third being less than forty per cent of
the computed value of the mortgaged farms. Since that date several
State investigations have been made, leading to the conclusion
that not exceeding twenty per cent of the farms in these States
are now under any incumbrance of any kind. In the more prosperous
parts of Minnesota and other wheat sections since the substitution
of intelligent and varied agriculture for the single wheat crop,
foreclosures have almost ceased, such as do occur being attributed to
special causes; while such is the abundance of capital accumulated in
this section that the rates of interest on safe investments, which
but a few years since were nearly double those prevailing in the
seaboard commercial cities, are now about even. When certain causes
lately produced a short stringency in the money markets of the East,
remittances were made from these Western cities for investment in
Eastern commercial paper.

In regard to wheat production at a fixed price in London, the
Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor of North Dakota remarks: "Wheat
at one dollar per bushel in London would net the North Dakota farmer
on the average about seventy-five cents per bushel on the railroad
track. At that price as a standard, every farmer in the State would
utilize all the land he has, and buy up more of the land now lying
idle and in the hands of speculators. It would increase immigration
so that nearly all the vacant Government land would be taken up. We
also have over one million acres of school and State land, of which
at least eighty per cent is suitable for raising wheat. Such a price
would give North Dakota a boom that never had its equal."

A few words may be given to the report from Texas. The Secretary of
the Board of Agriculture states that "the area of arable land of
fair quality, including pasture that might be put under the plow in
this State, is two hundred thousand square miles; about one hundred
thousand square miles suitable for wheat and other grains lying north
of parallel 31°; about one hundred thousand square miles lying south
of that line adapted to cotton, sugar, fruits, and vegetables of all

An unexpected reply comes from Idaho, as yet insignificant in wheat
production, stating that the potential of that State under the
conditions named might reach 400,000,000 bushels.

Again, from Arkansas, to which State we have looked more for
excellent cotton than for grain, "there are fifteen million acres
of good wheat land; wheat is fast becoming a cash crop, displacing
cotton--the capacity of a considerable part of the land at the
beginning being forty bushels to the acre, which, being much better
than five-cent cotton, is leading the farmers to take advantage of
existing prices."

Time has not sufficed since my questions were sent out for replies to
reach me from Oregon, Washington, and Montana, where the potential in
wheat production is probably equal to that of Minnesota, North and
South Dakota combined.

Sir William Crookes makes reference to the future necessity of
providing fertilizers, a matter to which the closest attention is
now being given by the cultivation of renovating crops. But regard
must be given to the fact that we have the most complete and adequate
supply of phosphate of lime and phosphate of potash in the vast
deposits of bone or mineral phosphates of Tennessee, Kentucky,
and Florida, while again we may look to nitrate of soda as a very
inexpensive source of nitrogen, of which the most adequate supply can
be assured at very low cost. Known methods are also being applied to
saving the enormous waste of nitrogen from our coke ovens and iron

I almost feel it right to apologize to Sir William Crookes for the
presentation of these facts. My function is that of the practical
business man who deals with these economic problems wholly from that
point of view, and not from the high standard of a complete mastery
of the physical sciences.

As I have stated, I happen to have dealt with this question several
times at meetings of the British Association for the Advancement
of Science, and in other ways in Great Britain as well as in this
country. I deem it of the utmost importance at the present time
that the interdependence of the English-speaking people should be
brought into view in the most conspicuous manner. In their relative
production and conditions the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland and the United States are the complement of each other. Their
mutual relation or interdependence is now being recognized, and it
can not be long before many of the legal obstructions to mutual
service will be removed. The people of this country are now passing
through a stage in their economic education closely corresponding
to that through which Great Britain passed between 1840 and 1856
under the wise leadership of Sir Robert Peel, Richard Cobden, and
William E. Gladstone. We move more quickly, not only in acts but in
ideas, than we did fifty years ago. The revolution of ideas which
has followed the revolution of institutions in the Southern States
has made the people of this country into one homogeneous nation. A
revolution of ideas in regard to the conditions of international
commerce will presently bring the English-speaking people of the
world into one homogeneous body governed by the same common law,
the same common principles of action, and the same policy in the
collection of revenue. When thus united, there can be no competition
in the commerce of the world on the part of the continental states
of Europe under their present burdens--the blood tax of standing
armies and navies and the money tax of debts that can never be paid.
There have been within a few months two witnesses to the growing
influence and power of the English-speaking people when united for
the maintenance of commerce and for the conduct of the works of
peace, order, and industry: one is the warning of the Chancellor
of the Austrian Empire, calling upon the states of middle Europe
to unite their forces in order to remain capable of maintaining
government by privilege and taxation by force of arms; the other, the
recent manifesto of the enlightened ruler of Russia, calling upon the
states of continental Europe to disarm, lest they should hereafter
be incapable of competition with the English-speaking people of the
world when they become bound together by a union of mutual service
and by community of interest which without any formal alliance will
give to them the chief control in rendering service by the exchange
of product for product to all other states and nations, to the mutual
benefit of all who are thus joined in the bonds of peace.

On my visit to Russia last year, to meet the leading economists
and statisticians of Europe, it was stated to me by well-informed
men that a plan had been considered by several continental states
in the event of war to change the present international custom by
making food products contraband of war, the purpose being to cripple
England. To such desperate conditions have some of the European
states been brought under the burden of the policy of blood and
iron. My comment upon this insane proposal was that I hoped it might
become a matter of public discussion, since nothing could so surely
and quickly bring about a commercial union of the English-speaking
people, to the end that, even if no other alliance were made, their
navies might at any moment be combined for the protection of their
commerce, and for the total cessation of any interference by war
vessels or privateers with their traffic.

The prime motive of this article is to remove from the minds of our
English friends many false impressions which I have constantly met in
my intercourse even among men who hold important positions, of which
the address of Sir William Crookes is but an extreme expression, and
to bring into common view a comprehension of the resources of this
country and of the mutual dependence of the United Kingdom and the
United States in the supply and consumption not only of wheat, but of
all the other necessaries of life.



(_Lowell Institute Lectures, 1896._)




Social solidarity, the clearest expression of which to-day is
nationality, is the resultant of a multitude of factors. Foremost
among these stand unity of language, a common heritage of tradition
and belief, and the permanent occupation of a definite territory.
The first two are largely psychological in essence. The third, a
material circumstance, is necessary rather to insure the stability of
the others than for its own sake; although, as we know, attachment
to the soil may in itself become a positive factor in patriotism.
Two European peoples alone are there which, although landless,
have succeeded, notwithstanding, in a maintenance of their social
consciousness, almost at the level of nationality. Both Gypsies and
Jews are men without a country. Of these, the latter offer perhaps
the most remarkable example, for the Gypsies have never disbanded
tribally. They still wander about eastern Europe and Asia Minor
in organized bands, after the fashion of the nomad peoples of the
East. The Jews, on the other hand, have maintained their solidarity
in all parts of the earth, even in individual isolation one from
another. They wander not gregariously in tribes, often not even in
families. Their seed is scattered like the plant spores of which
the botanists tell us; which, driven by wind or sea, independently
travel thousands of miles before striking root or becoming fecund.
True, the Jews bunch wherever possible. This is often a necessity
imposed for self-preservation; but in their enforced migrations their
associations must change kaleidoscopically from place to place.
Not all has been said even yet of the unique achievement of this
landless people. That the Jews have preserved their individuality
despite all mutations of environment goes without saying. They have
done more. They have accomplished this without absolute unity of
language. Forced of necessity to adopt the speech of their immediate
neighbors, they have only where congregated in sufficient numbers
been able either to preserve or to evolve a distinctive speech. In
Spain and the Balkan states they make use of Spanish; in Russia and
Poland they speak a corrupt German; and in the interior of Morocco,
Arabic. Nevertheless, despite these discouragements of every kind,
they still constitute a distinctive social unit wherever they chance
to be.

This social individuality of the Jews is of a peculiar sort. Bereft
of linguistic and geographical support, it could not be political.
The nineteenth century, says Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, is the age of
nationality; meaning obviously territorial nationality, the product
of contiguity, not birth. To this, he says, the Jew is indifferent,
typifying still the Oriental tribal idea. As a result he is out of
harmony with his environment. An element of dislike of a political
nature on the part of the Christian is added to the irreconcilability
of religious belief. It has ever been the Aryan versus the Semite in
religion throughout all history, as Renan has observed; and to-day it
has also become the people _versus_ the nation, as well as the Jew
_versus_ the Christian. Granted that this political dissonance is
largely the fault of the Gentile, its existence must be acknowledged,


How has this remarkable result been achieved? How, bereft of two out
of three of the essentials of nationality, has the Jew been enabled
to perpetuate his social consciousness? Is the superior force of
religion, perhaps abnormally developed, alone able to account for it
all? Is it a case of compensatory development, analogous in the body
to a loss of eyesight remedied through greater delicacy of finger
touch? Or is there some hidden, some unsuspected factor, which has
contributed to this result? We have elsewhere shown that a fourth
element of social solidarity is sometimes, though rarely, found, in a
community of physical descent. That, in other words, to the cementing
bonds of speech, tradition, belief, and contiguity, is added the
element of physical brotherhood--that is to say, of race. Can it be
that herein is a partial explanation of the social individuality of
the Jewish people? It is a question for the scientist alone. Race,
as we constantly maintain, despite the abuses of the word, really
is to be measured only by physical characteristics. The task before
us is to apply the criteria of anthropological science, therefore,
to the problems of Jewish derivation and descent. Only incidentally
and as matters of contributory interest shall we consider the views
of the linguists, the archæologists, and the students of religious
traditions. Our testimony is derived from facts of shape of head,
color of hair and eye, of stature, and the like. These alone are
the data indicative of racial descent. To these the geographer may
add the probabilities derived from present distribution in Europe.
No more do we need to settle the primary racial facts. Further
speculations concerning matters rather than men belong to the
historian and the philologist.

The number and geographical distribution of the chosen people of
Israel is of great significance in its bearing upon the question
of their origin.[2] While, owing to their fluid ubiquitousness, it
is exceedingly difficult to enumerate them exactly, probability
indicates that there are to-day, the world over, between eight and
nine million Jews. Of these, six or seven million are inhabitants of
Europe, the remainder being sparsely scattered over the whole earth,
from one end to the other.

Their distribution in Europe, as our map opposite shows, is
exceedingly uneven. Fully one half of these descendants of Jacob
reside in Russia, there being four or five million Jews in that
country alone. Austria-Hungary stands next in order, with two
million odd souls. After these two there is a wide gap. No other
European country is comparable with them except it be Germany and
Roumania with their six or seven hundred thousand each. The British
Isles contain relatively few, possibly one hundred thousand, these
being principally in London. They are very rare in Scotland and
Ireland--only a thousand or fifteen hundred apiece. Holland contains
also about a hundred thousand, half of them in the celebrated Ghetto
at Amsterdam. Then follow France with eighty thousand more or less,
and Italy with perhaps two thirds as many. From Scandinavia they
have always been rigidly excluded, from Sweden till the beginning
and from Norway until nearly the middle of this century. Spain,
although we hear much of the Spanish Jew, contains practically no
indigenous Israelites. It is estimated that there were once about a
million there settled, but the persecutions of the fifteenth century
drove them forth all over Europe, largely to the Balkan states and
Africa. There are a good many along these Mediterranean shores of
Africa, principally in Morocco and Tripoli. The number decreases
as we approach Egypt and Palestine, the ancient center of Jewish
dispersion. As to America, it is estimated, although we know nothing
certainly, that there are about a half million Jews scattered through
our cities in the United States. New York city, according to the
last census, contained about eighty thousand Poles and Russians,
most of whom, it may be assumed, were Jews. But they have come since
in ever-increasing numbers, with the great exodus from Russia, at
the rate of scores of thousands annually. A recent writer places
their present number in New York city at a quarter of a million. The
British provinces, on the other hand, do not seem to offer great
attractions; as late as 1870, for example, the census in Nova Scotia
could not discover a solitary Jew.

A more suggestive index of the problems of Jewish distribution,
however, is offered in the ratio of the number of Jews to the entire
population. This is directly illustrated by our map. To be sure,
this represents the situation twenty years ago, but no great change
in relativity is to be suspected since that time. Even the wholesale
exodus from Russia of recent years has not yet drawn off any large
proportion of its vast body of population. Inspection of our map
shows that the relative frequency of Jews increases in proportion
to the progressive darkening of the tints. This brings out with
startling clearness the reason for the recent anti-Semitic uprisings
in both Russia, Austria, and the German Empire. A specific "center
of gravity" of the Jewish people, as Leroy-Beaulieu puts it, is at
once indicated in western Russia. The highest proportion, fifteen
per cent, more or less, appears, moreover, to be entirely restricted
to the Polish provinces, with the sole exception of the government
of Grodno. About this core lies a second zone, including the other
west Russian governments, as well as the province of Galicia in the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. Germany, as it appears, is sharply divided
from its eastern neighbors, all along the political frontier. Not
even its former Polish territory, Posen, is to-day relatively thickly
settled with Jews. Hostile legislation it is, beyond a doubt, which
so rigidly holds back the Jew from immigration along this line.
_Anti-Semitismus_ is not, therefore, to-day to any great extent an
uprising against an existing evil; rather does it appear to be a
protest against a future possibility. Germany shudders at the dark
and threatening cloud of population of the most ignorant and wretched
description which overhangs her eastern frontier. Berlin must
not, they say, be allowed to become a new Jerusalem for the horde
of Russian exiles. That also is our American problem. This great
Polish swamp of miserable human beings, terrific in its proportions,
threatens to drain itself off into our country as well, unless we
restrict its ingress. As along the German frontier, so also toward
the east, it is curious to note how rapidly the percentage of Jews
decreases as we pass over into Great Russia. The governments of St.
Petersburg, Novgorod, and Moscow have no greater Jewish contingent
of population than has France or Italy; their Jewish problem is far
less difficult than that of our own country is bound to be in the
future. This clearly defined eastern boundary of _Judenthum_ is also
the product of prohibitive legislation. The Jews are by law confined
within certain provinces. A rigid law of settlement, intended to
circumscribe their area of density closely, yields only to the
persuasion of bribery. Not Russia, then, but southwestern Russia
alone, is deeply concerned over the actual presence of this alien
population. And it is the Jewish element in this small section of
the country which constitutes such an industrial and social menace
to the neighboring empires of Germany and Austria. In the latter
country the Jews seem to be increasing in numbers almost four times
as rapidly as the native population. The more elastic boundaries of
Jewish density on the southeast, on the other hand, are indicative of
the legislative tolerance which the Israelites there enjoy. Wherever
the bars are lowered, there does this migratory human element at once

The peculiar problems of Jewish distribution are only half realized
until it is understood that, always and everywhere, the Israelites
constitute pre-eminently the town populations.[3] They are not
widely disseminated among the agricultural districts, but congregate
in the commercial centers. It is an unalterable characteristic of
this peculiar people. The Jew betrays an inherent dislike for hard
manual or outdoor labor, as for physical exercise or exertion in
any form. He prefers to live by brain, not brawn. Leroy-Beaulieu
seems to consider this as an acquired characteristic due to mediæval
prohibition of land ownership or to confinement within the Ghetto. To
us it appears to be too constant a trait the world over to justify
such a hypothesis. Fully to appreciate, therefore, what the Jewish
question is in Polish Russia, we must always bear this fact in
mind. The result is that in many parts of Poland the Jews form an
actual majority of the population in the towns. This is the danger
for Germany also. Thus it is Berlin, not Prussia at large, which is
threatened with an overload of Jews from the country on the east.
This aggregation in urban centers becomes the more marked as the
relative frequency for the whole country lessens. Thus in Saxony,
which, being industrial, is not a favorite Jewish center, four
fifths of all the Jewish residents are found in Dresden and Leipsic
alone.[4] This is probably also the reason for the lessened frequency
of Jews all through the Alpine highlands, especially in the Tyrol.
These districts are so essentially agricultural that few footholds
for the Jew are to be found.

A small secondary center of Jewish aggregation appears upon our map
to be manifested about Frankfort. It has a peculiar significance.
The Hebrew settlers in the Rhenish cities date from the third
century at least, having come there over the early trade routes from
the Mediterranean. Germany being divided politically, and Russia
interdicting them from 1110, a specific center was established,
especially in Franconia, Frankfort being the focus of attraction.
Then came the fearful persecutions all over Europe, attendant upon
the religious fervor of the Crusades. The Polish kings, desiring to
encourage the growth of their city populations, offered the rights
of citizenship to all who would come, and an exodus in mass took
place. They seem to have been welcomed, till the proportions of the
movement became so great as to excite alarm. Its results appear
upon our map. Thus we know that many of the Jews of Poland came to
Russia as a troublesome legacy on the division of that kingdom. At
the end of the sixteenth century but three German cities remained
open to them--namely, Frankfort, Worms, and Furth.[5] Yet it was
obviously impossible to uproot them entirely. To their persistence
in this part of Germany is probably due the small secondary center
of Jewish distribution, which we have mentioned, indicated by the
darker tint about Frankfort, and including Alsace-Lorraine. Here is a
relative frequency, not even exceeded by Posen, although we generally
conceive of this former Polish province as especially saturated with
Jews. It is the only vestige remaining to indicate what was at one
time the main focus of Jewish population in Europe. It affords us a
striking example of what legislation may accomplish ethnically, when
supplemented, or rather aggravated, by religious and economic motives.

Does it accord with geographical probability to derive our large dark
area of present Jewish aggregation entirely from the small secondary
one about Frankfort, which, as we have just said, is the relic of a
mediæval center of gravity? The question is a crucial one for the
alleged purity of the Russian Jew; for the longer his migrations over
the face of the map, the greater his chance of ethnic intermixture. A
moot point among Jewish scholars is, as to the extent of this exodus
from Germany into Poland. Bershadski has done much to show its real
proportions in history. Talko-Hryncewicz[6] and Weissenberg,[7]
among anthropologists, seem to be inclined to derive this great body
of Polish Jews from Palestine by way of the Rhone-Rhine-Frankfort
route. They are, no doubt, partially in the right; but the mere
geographer would rather be inclined to side with Jacques.[8]
He doubts whether entirely artificial causes, even mediæval
persecutions, would be quite competent for so large a contract. There
is certainly some truth in Harkavy's theory, so ably championed
by Ikof (1884), that a goodly proportion of these Jews came into
Poland by a direct route from the East. Most Jewish scholars had
placed their first appearance in southern and eastern Russia, coming
around the Black Sea, as early as the eighth century. Ikof, however,
finds them in the Caucasus and Armenia one or two centuries before
Christ. Then he follows them around, reaching Ruthenia in the tenth
and eleventh centuries, arriving in Poland from the twelfth to the
fourteenth. The only difficulty with this theory is, of course, that
it leaves the language of the Polish Jews out of consideration. This
is, in both Poland and Galicia, a corrupted form of German, which in
itself would seem to indicate a western origin. On the other hand,
the probabilities, judging from our graphic representation, would
certainly emphasize the theory of a more general eastern immigration
directly from Palestine north of the Black and Caspian Seas. The
only remaining mode of accounting for the large center of gravity in
Russia is to trace it to widespread conversions, as the historic one
of the Khozars. Whichever one of these theories be correct--and there
is probability of an equal division of truth among them all--enough
has been said to lead us geographically to suspect the alleged purity
of descent of the Ashkenazim Jew. Let us apply the tests of physical

STATURE.--A noted writer, speaking of the sons of Judah, observes:
"It is the Ghetto which has produced the Jew and the Jewish race;
the Jew is a creation of the European middle ages; he is the
artificial product of hostile legislation." This statement is fully
authenticated by a peculiarity of the Israelites which is everywhere
noticeable. The European Jews are all undersized; not only this,
they are more often absolutely stunted. In London they are about
three inches shorter than the average for the city. Whether they
were always so, as in the days when the Book of Numbers (xiii, 33)
described them "as grasshoppers in their own sight," as compared
with the Amorites, sons of Anak, we leave an open question. We
are certain, however, as to the modern Jew. He betrays a marked
constancy in Europe at the bodily height of about five feet four
inches (1.63 metre) for adult men. This, according to the data
afforded by measurements of our recruits during the civil war, is
about the average of American youth between the ages of fifteen and
sixteen, who have still three, almost four, inches more to grow. In
Bosnia, for example, where the natives range at about the American
level--that is to say, among the very tallest in the world (1.72
metre)--the Jews are nearly three inches and a half shorter on the
average.[9] If we turn to northern Italy, where Lombroso has recently
investigated the matter, we apparently find the Jew somewhat better
favored by comparison. He is in Turin less than an inch inferior
to his Italian neighbors. But why? Not because taller than in the
case of Bosnia, for his stature in both places is the same. The
difference decreases, not because the Jew in Piedmont is taller, but
solely because the north Italians are only of moderate height. So
it goes all over Austria and Russia: the diminutiveness is plainly
apparent.[10] There is in all Europe only a single exception to the
rule we have cited. Anutchin finds them in Odessa and Riga slightly
to exceed the Christians. In order to emphasize this point it will
repay us to consider the adopted fatherland of the Jews a bit more in

[Illustration: STATURE POLAND.]

Our map herewith shows a general average of stature for Poland by
districts. This unhappy country appears to be populated by the
shortest human beings north of the Alps; it is almost the most
stunted in all Europe. The great majority of the districts, as our
map shows, are characterized by a population whose adult men scarcely
average five feet four inches (1.62 metre) in height. This is more
than half a head shorter than the type of the British Isles or
northern Germany. What is the meaning of this? Is it entirely the
fault of the native Poles? We know that the northern Slavs are all
merely mediocre in stature. But this depression is too serious to
be accounted for in this way; and further analysis shows that the
defect is largely due to the presence of the vast horde of Jews,
whose physical peculiarity drags down the average for the entire
population.[11] This has been proved directly. Perhaps the deepest
pit in this great "misery spot," as we have termed such areas of
dwarfed population elsewhere, is in the capital city of Warsaw,
where Elkind found the average stature of two hundred male Jews to
be less than five feet three inches and a half (1.61 metre).[12]
The women were only four feet eleven inches tall on the average.
Compare the little series of maps given on pages 172 and 173 if
further proof of this national peculiarity be needed. Two of these,
it will be observed, give the average height of Jews and Poles
respectively, dividing the city into districts. The social status
of these districts is shown upon our third map. Comparison of these
three brings out a very interesting sociological fact, to which we
have already called attention in our earlier papers.[13] The stature
of men depends in a goodly measure upon their environment. In the
wards of the city where prosperity resides, the material well-being
tends to produce a stature distinctly above that of the slums. In
both cases, Poles and Jews are shortest in the poorer sections of
the city, dark tinted on the maps. The correspondence is not exact,
for the number of observations is relatively small; but it indicates
beyond a doubt a tendency commonly noticeable in great cities. But
to return to our direct comparison of Poles and Jews; the deficiency
of the latter, as a people, is perfectly apparent. The most highly
favored Jewish population socially, in the whole city of Warsaw in
fact, can not produce an average stature equal to that of the very
poorest Poles; and this, too, in the most miserable section of the
capital city of one of the most stunted countries in Europe.



We may assume it as proved, therefore, that the Jew is to-day a very
defective type in stature. He seems to be susceptible to favorable
influences, however; for in London, the West End prosperous Jews
almost equal the English in height, while they at the same time
surpass their East End brethren by more than three inches.[14]
In Russia also they become taller as a class wherever the life
conditions become less rigorously oppressive. They are taller in the
fertile Ukraine than in sterile Lithuania; they sometimes boast of
a few relatively tall men.[15] These facts all go to show that the
Jew is short, not by heredity, but by force of circumstances; and
that where he is given an even chance, he speedily recovers a part
at least of the ground lost during many ages of social persecution.
Jacobs mentions an interesting fact in this connection about his
upper-class English Jews. Close analysis of the data seems to show
that, for the present at least, their physical development has been
stretched nearly to the upper limit; for even in individual cases the
West End Jews of London manifest an inability to surpass the height
of five feet nine inches. So many have been blessed by prosperity
that the average has nearly reached that of the English; but it is
a mean stature of which the very tall form no component part. Thus
perhaps does the influence of heredity obstruct the temporary action
of environment.

Whether this short stature of the Jew is a case of an acquired
characteristic which has become hereditary, we are content to leave
an open question. All we can say is, that the modern Semites in
Arabia and Africa are all of goodly size, far above the Jewish
average.[16] This would tend to make us think that the harsh
experiences of the past have subtracted several cubits from the
stature of the people of Israel. In self-defense it must be said that
the Christian is not entirely to blame for the physical disability.
It is largely to be ascribed to the custom of early marriages among
them. This has probably been an efficient cause of their present
degeneracy in Russia, where Tschubinsky describes its alarming
prevalence. Leroy-Beaulieu says that it is not at all uncommon to
find the combined age of husband and wife, or even of father and
mother, to be under thirty years. The Shadchan, or marriage broker,
has undoubtedly been an enemy to the Jewish people within their own
lines. In the United States, where they are, on the other hand,
on the up grade socially, there are indications that this age of
marriage is being postponed, perhaps even unduly.[17]


A second indication in the case of the Jew of uncommonly hard
usage in the past remains to be mentioned. These people are,
anthropologically as well as proverbially, narrow-chested and
deficient in lung capacity. Normally the chest girth of a
well-developed man ought to equal or exceed one half his stature,
yet in the case of the Jews as a class this is almost never the
case. Majer and Kopernicki[18] first established this in the case
of the Galician Jews. Stieda[19] gives additional testimony to the
same effect. Jacobs[20] shows the English Jews distinctly inferior
to Christians in lung capacity, which is generally an indication of
vitality. In Bosnia, Glück[21] again refers to it as characteristic.
Granted, with Weissenberg,[22] that it is an acquired characteristic,
the effect of long-continued subjection to unfavorable sanitary and
social environment, it has none the less become a hereditary trait;
for not even the perhaps relatively recent prosperity of Jacobs's
West End Jews has sufficed to bring them up to the level of their
English brethren in capacity of the lungs.

At this point a surprising fact confronts us. Despite the appearances
of physical degeneracy which we have noted, the Jew betrays an
absolutely unprecedented tenacity of life. It far exceeds, especially
in the United States, that of any other known people.[23] This we
may illustrate by the following example: Suppose two groups of one
hundred infants each, one Jewish, one of average American parentage
(Massachusetts), to be born on the same day. In spite of all the
disparity of social conditions in favor of the latter, the chances,
determined by statistical means, are that one half of the Americans
will die within forty-seven years; while the first half of the Jews
will not succumb to disease or accident before the expiration of
seventy-one years. The death rate is really but little over half that
of the average American population. This holds good in infancy as
in middle age. Lombroso has put it in another way. Of one thousand
Jews born, two hundred and seventeen die before the age of seven
years; while four hundred and fifty-three Christians--more than twice
as many--are likely to die within the same period. This remarkable
tenacity of life is well illustrated by the following table from a
most suggestive article by Hoffmann.[24] We can not forbear from
reproducing it in this place.

_Death Rates per 1,000 Population in the Seventh, Tenth, and
Thirteenth Wards of New York City, 1890, by Place of Birth._

                  |        |United States|        |        | Russia and
     AGES.        | Total. |  (includes  |Ireland.|Germany.|   Poland
                  |        |  colored).  |        |        |(mostly Jews).
  Total           |  26.25 |   45.18     |  36.04 | 22.14  |   16.71
  Under 15 years  |  41.28 |   62.25     |  40.71 | 30.38  |   32.31
  15 to 25 years  |   7.55 |    9.43     |  15.15 |  7.14  |    2.53
  25 to 65 years  |  21.64 |   25.92     |  39.51 | 21.20  |    7.99
  65 and under    | 104.72 |  105.96     | 120.92 | 88.51  |   84.51

From this table it appears, despite the extreme poverty of the
Russian and Polish Jews in the most densely crowded portions of New
York; despite the unsanitary tenements, the overcrowding, the long
hours in sweat shops; that nevertheless, a viability is manifested
which is simply unprecedented. Tailoring is one of the most deadly
occupations known; the Jews of New York are principally engaged in
this employment; and yet they contrive to live nearly twice as long
on the average as their neighbors, even those engaged in the outdoor

Is this tenacity of life despite every possible antagonistic
influence, an ethnic trait; or is it a result of peculiar customs and
habits of life? There is much which points to the latter conclusion
as the correct one. For example, analysis of the causes of mortality
shows an abnormally small proportion of deaths from consumption and
pneumonia, the dread diseases which, as we know, are responsible
for the largest proportion of deaths in our American population.
This immunity can best be ascribed to the excellent system of meat
inspection prescribed by the Mosaic laws. It is certainly not a
result of physical development, as we have just seen. Hoffmann cites
authority showing that in London often as much as a third of the
meats offered for sale are rejected as unfit for consumption by Jews.
Is not this a cogent argument in favor of a more rigid enforcement of
our laws providing for the food inspection of the poor?

A second cause conducive to longevity is the sobriety of the Jew, and
his disinclination toward excessive indulgence in alcoholic liquors.
Drunkenness among Jews is very rare. Temperate habits, a frugal
diet, with a very moderate use of spirits, render the proportion
of Bright's disease and affections of the liver comparatively very
small. In the infectious diseases, on the other hand, diphtheria and
the fevers, no such immunity is betrayed. The long-current opinion
that the Jews were immune from cholera and the other pestilences of
the middle ages is not to-day accepted. A third notable reason for
this low death rate is also, as Hoffmann observes, the nature of
the employment customary among Jews, which renders the proportion
of deaths from accidental causes exceedingly small. In conclusion,
it may be said that these people are prone to nervous and mental
disorders; insanity, in fact, is fearfully prevalent among them.
Lombroso asserts it to be four times as frequent among Italian
Jews as among Christians. This may possibly be a result of close
inbreeding in a country like Italy, where the Jewish communities are
small. It does not, however, seem to lead to suicide, for this is
extraordinarily rare among Jews, either from cowardice, as Lombroso
suggests; or more probably for the reason cited by Morselli--namely,
the greater force of religion and other steadying moral factors.

[_To be continued._]


[1] In the preparation of this article I have to acknowledge the
courtesy of Mr. Joseph Jacobs, of London, whose works in this line
are accepted as an authority. In its illustration I have derived
invaluable assistance from Dr. S. Weissenberg, of Elizabethgrad,
Russia, and Dr. L. Bertholon, of Tunis. Both these gentlemen have
loaned me a large number of original photographs of types from
their respective countries. Dr. Bertholon has also taken several
especially for use in this way. The more general works upon which
we have relied are: R. Andree, Zur Volkskunde der Juden, Bielefeld,
1881; A. Leroy-Beaulieu, Les Juifs et l'antisémitisme, Paris, 3e
éd. 1893; and C. Lombroso, Gli Antisemitismo, Torino, 1894. For all
other authorities to whom reference is made by name and year, consult
our comprehensive Bibliography of the Anthropology and Ethnology
of Europe, in a forthcoming Special Bulletin of the Boston Public
Library. In its index under "Jews" and "Semites" will be found an
exhaustive list of authorities given chronologically.

[2] Andree, 1881, pp. 194 _et seq._, with tables appended; Jacobs,
1886 a, p. 24; and quite recently A. Leroy-Beaulieu, 1893, chapter
i, are best on this. Tschubinsky, 1877, gives much detail at first
hand on western Russia. In the Seventeenth Annual Report of the
Anglo-Jewish Association, London, 1888, is a convenient census,
together with a map of distribution for Europe. On America, no
official data of any kind exist. The censuses have never attempted an
enumeration of the Jews. Schimmer's results from the census of 1880
in Austria-Hungary are given in Statistische Monatsschrift, vii, p.
489 _et seq._

[3] This is clearly shown by Schimmer in Statistische Monatsschrift,
vii, pp. 489 _et seq._

[4] See also map in Kettler, 1880.

[5] J. C. Majer (1862) ascribes the shortness of stature in Furth to
this Jewish influence.

[6] 1892.

[7] 1895, p. 577.

[8] 1891.

[9] Glück, 1896; and Weisbach, 1877 and 1895 a.

[10] Majer and Kopernicki, 1877, p. 36, for Ruthenia; Stieda, 1883,
p. 70; Anutchin, 1889, p. 114, etc.

[11] Zakrezewski, 1891, p. 38. In the October Monthly our stature map
of all Russia brings out the contrast very strongly.

[12] Centralblatt für Anthropologie, iii, p. 66. Uke, cited by
Andree, 1881, p. 32, agrees.

[13] Popular Science Monthly, vol. li, p. 20 _et seq._ (May, 1897),
and vol. lii, p. 602 (March, 1898).

[14] Jacobs, 1889, p. 81.

[15] Talko-Hryncewicz, 1892, pp. 7 and 58.

[16] Collignon, 1887 a, pp. 211 and 326; and Bertholon, 1892, p. 41.

[17] Jacobs, 1891, p. 50, shows it to be less common in other parts
of Europe. In the United States, Dr. Billings finds the marriage rate
to be only 7.4 per 1,000--about one third that of the Northeastern

[18] 1877, p. 59.

[19] 1883, p. 71.

[20] 1889, p. 84.

[21] 1896, p. 591.

[22] 1895, p. 374.

[23] On Jewish demography, consult the special appendix in Lombroso,
1874; Andree, 1881, p. 70; Jacobs, 1891, p. 49. Dr. Billings, in
Eleventh United States Census, 1890, Bulletin No. 19, gives data for
our country. On pathology, see Buschan, 1895.

[24] The Jew as a Life Risk. The Spectator (an actuarial journal)
1895, pp. 222-224, and 233, 234. Lagneau, 1861, p. 411, speaks of a
viability in Algeria even lower than that of the natives.



While the officers and friends of education in large cities are
exerting themselves to provide open-air playgrounds for the schools,
the villages and smaller towns all over the East are reversing the
case. Except in the small district schools, the children's playground
has almost ceased to exist.

This is an evil which has crept in with the tendency to centralize
the schools. When in any place the schools begin to overflow, a
movement to put up a larger building takes place, accompanied by an
effort to create a high-school department; not so much the need of
the community as the ambitious dream of some principal who would be
superintendent, or some sort of central sun to a group of satellites.
This dream is too easily realized, because it flatters the people.
Then there rises a preposterous structure of stone and brick; a house
of many gables, out of keeping with everything, either public or
private, in the place; a temple of vanity. Now is rung the knell of
the school playground, for the new "high school," although it will
house all the children from five to fifteen, must needs be surrounded
by a fine lawn, studded with shrubbery, and threaded by bluestone
roads. The janitor has to employ an assistant to keep the grounds
in order. A shut-in, penitentiarylike place has been evolved by the
architect and school committee, gratifying to their pride and a
deep wrong to the children. There are many wrongs about it; the one
insisted upon here is the abolishing of the recess, that time-honored
joy of the American schoolboy and schoolgirl.

The cheerful sounds of play no more re-echo; the little ones march in
"lock step" from the doors to the very curb of this immaculate ornate
inclosure. If, on this beautiful lawn, any impulsive youngster is
caught running, or performing an instinctive hopscotch or leapfrog,
he is sure to be seen by a watching and powerful janitor and
reported. Leapfrog and profanity, in the true Draconian spirit, are
alike visited with the extreme penalty of a visit to the principal's
office. However, in default of a playground, the new schoolhouse
provides a gymnasium for physical culture. I speak now of a
particular school, the pride of a simple village, and a type of many.
This gymnasium is a costly room filled with elaborate apparatus,
most of which is suited only to the high-school pupils, and never
touched by the majority, who leave school at twelve or thirteen;
their physical exercises have been chiefly provided for by a box of
dumb-bells and wands. In many schools the "gymnasium" is a cavernous
and ugly basement, a place full of shadows cast by the gloomy arches
on which the building rests, with walls of brick and floors of
asphalt. Little troops of silent, pale children arrive and depart
all day for their _physical culture_, a dreary repetition of silent
dumb-bell exercises. There is no speech nor language among them, no
sound is heard but the jingle of the piano and the sharp tones of
the monitor's counting. I have never heard the children count aloud
or accompany the calisthenics by singing except in a private school.
What an alternative for a free recess! No penitentiary drill could
be more perfunctory, spiritless, dead. It must be said of the public
schools that the thing they most seem to dread is the sound of a
child's voice. The rude, untrained intonations, the slovenly speech,
the slouching attitude remain rude, slovenly, and slouching, for all
the school attempts to do for their improvement is infinitely little.
Even the blessed relief of shaking the arm and hand to attract the
teacher's attention has been reduced in some schools to lifting two

The pupils generally hate their calisthenics, or, in the new phrase,
physical culture exercises. And they would hate just as sincerely
regulated games superintended by some impossible master of sports.
What they want is spontaneity in play. Public money is wasted in
providing these abhorrent alternatives. Poor little Carthusians as
young as six and seven years are kept in their rooms, and principally
in their seats, above two hours at each session, and often after
that to atone for some delinquency, most likely for speaking. In
many schools they do not leave the room for any kind of exercise. If
they were capable of demanding their rights they would call for both
the abolition of the school lawn and calisthenic basement, and the
restoration of their playground and recess.

From the cruelty of this repression nature finds a little way out;
the children require of the neighbors what they have been deprived
of by the school committee. All around the precincts of the temple
of learning the trodden borders of the sidewalk, churned to mire in
winter and trampled to rock in summer, speak of the victory of the
boys. There are towns, perhaps, where they all go straight home, but
in our town, they gather four times a day in knots of twenties and
fifties for some kind of fun. The patient neighbors go on removing
coats and dinner pails from the pickets, clearing away papers and
missiles from their inclosures, yet I discover that even they would
vote to keep the school lawn; it improves the town. Very true. But
ingenuity could well contrive some way of uniting the playground
and the school park. Spaces of grass to rest the eye and decorate
the square could be interspersed with inclosures of asphalt,
furnished with a few parallel bars and swings, without sacrifice
of appearances. Often the school property is so large that it could
include half a dozen such special playgrounds. We have but to begin
it to find some feasible plan.

If the palatial school and its park is reaction against the "ragged
beggar" of Whittier's lovely poem, sunning in the midst of the
blackberry vines of Hardscrabble Hill, it is a reaction that has gone
too far to suit a generation which loves to read Hosea Bigelow:

    "So the old school'us is a place I choose
    Afore all others, ef I want to muse;
    I set down where I used to set, an' git
    My boyhood back, an' better things with it--
    Faith, Hope, an' sunthin', ef it isn't Cherrity,
    It's want o' guile, an' thet's ez gret a rarity."

If it may be replied, that is not the generation for whom
schoolhouses are now built, it is one which may interpret the wants
of its children by just such recollections.

Another evil has grown out of the centralization of the schools.
The smaller schoolhouses formerly stood within convenient reach,
and by abandoning them we have forced many little children to walk
farther than they are able to walk. In the absence of street cars and
sidewalks this becomes a great hardship in extreme weather. In one
village in New York, out of an enrollment of fourteen hundred, there
was one month last year an average attendance of four hundred. The
new school building, which had cost seventy-five thousand dollars,
was more than two miles from some part of the district, and there
were no sidewalks; neither were there paved streets or street lamps.
In such circumstances a number of children are unable to get home
to the noon meal, usually dinner, and most important. Where do they
eat their luncheon? In their seats, watched by teachers, who are
compelled unwillingly to take turns at this duty, and who have also
to eat a cold, unpalatable lunch in bad air for a week at a time.
After lunch there is an hour to be disposed of by the children, but
there is no place to play in except the basement or the streets
of the neighborhood. The teachers frequently read them a story,
that they may stretch their minds a little if not their bodies.
It is a painful sight--few more painful to me--to see a crowd of
young children having their recreation in one of these basements.
Running and loud talking are forbidden; a police of teachers armed
with symbols of authority and punishment keep the restless little
prisoners within bounds.

Another objection to the central school is the rainy-day
half-session. Though the daily instruction may be managed so that the
pupils do not miss anything, it is still a fact that the majority of
parents expect the school to take charge of their children, and are
often much dissatisfied to have them thrown back upon their own hands
on rainy days.

How has it come about that the playground and school recess
have been so generally given up? Is it altogether on account of
appearances? Teachers plead that the children ought to be preserved
from association with objectionable playmates. This may do for the
touch-me-not, only child, but in American society it is never a
strong plea. That small fraction which seeks to educate its children
as a class can do so in a few schools limited to church, plutocracy,
Quakerism, or some such narrow basis. But the schools of a free
State are, above everything, founded on the essential equality of
individuals in the State, and the possibility of every one to rise to
a successful and honorable manhood. If there is one conviction above
another strengthened by experience, it is that, in their choice of
companions and susceptibility to influence, children are governed by
their innate qualities, and these qualities are fixed by heredity and
home influences long before the school age. In so large a community
as a public school there is companionship for all, for it certainly
represents the town itself. Let no one be afraid of the democratic
instincts of childhood.

I believe the playground is abolished because it interferes with
that deadly order and craze for supervision which is sought for as
the prime condition both inside and outside the schools. Order of
a wholesome sort is not inconsistent with the free recess of a big
school. I watched in Los Angeles a great school as it was marshaled
out to play and back again at the sound of a drum. After a quarter
of an hour of unrestrained sport, several hundreds were gathered in
lines at the tap of the drum, facing the cheerful schoolhouse in the
mild bright sun, their faces radiating contentment and good will
while they straightened up at the mere hint of the teachers on duty.
In San Francisco I once found a certain primary school keeping doll's
day, when every girl brought her doll to school and exhibited her at
recess. The school yard was a barren inclosure within a high board
fence, but a joyful place to that young company. To what purpose are
teachers urged to study psychology? The children in their seats are
emptied of everything that pertains to their souls. Not to study,
because the teacher will explain everything, and to behave just well
enough to get safe out of school, is the simple code which covers the
conduct of average children. To extend this code to ideas of social
duty--the highest--is not possible while they do not form a society.
Cultivation of friendship is just as much out of the case; awakening
of ideals, an impossibility. But thrown together half an hour or
more each day, the dead machinery that pulls the bells and adds the
marks within the school walls gives way to life; and here a man who
sympathizes with childhood has all the opportunity he needs, and
probably much more than he can use, in providing for that life where
a code of reciprocity and honor must be established. It is not as the
magistrate he will successfully rule, but as the sympathetic general
in the field, whose very name is a talisman and an inspiration to
every man. In the school yard, the bully, who comes to the front in
about every tenth child, needs to be repressed; the foul mouth must
be cleansed; against these prevailing evils the playground has a
protection the street can not possess. The boy's world is a peculiar
world, certainly, making laws for itself as rigorous and about as
barbarous as those of a gang of pirates; but it is through his
_esprit du corps_ he can be uplifted and educated; the individual may
be a selfish animal; as one of a body he is capable of heroism and
devotion to a noble idea. He can be a friend; the playground is the
field for the natural growth of friendships, and youth the generous
time of their birth.

I recall another scene in a schoolroom in a Western city long ago.
A gentle girl, magnetic, deep-hearted, large-eyed, sat after school
at her table in tears. On a seat in front of her platform were piles
of slates which she had been correcting, for she instructed all day
a succession of arithmetic classes coming to her from the different
grades. At the same time she was in charge, for all particular
purposes of their order and conduct, of about forty boys in their
early teens. Her tears were in consequence of a quarrel at recess
between two of her boys. They had settled their quarrel by a fight;
not unlikely it was a wholesome fight, for they were not boys of
the mean sort, and were friends. It is an affair of long ago, but
of a time when, in a large city, a teacher shed her influence upon
the school playground, and took account of its moral standards, its
friendships and breaches of friendship.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Although white men, if they take due precautions, may live and
     do certain kinds of work in tropical Africa, it will never be
     possible, Mr. J. Scott Keltie concludes from the results of past
     experience and study, to colonize that part of the world with
     people from the temperate zone. Even in such favorable situations
     as Blantyre, a lofty region south of Lake Nyassa, children can not
     be reared beyond a certain age, but must be sent home to England;
     otherwise they will degenerate physically and morally. A plan has
     been proposed of bringing Europeans down into the tropical regions
     by degrees, and acclimatizing them by successive generations to
     more and more torrid conditions till they are finally settled in
     the heart of the continent. But the experiment would be a very
     long one, if tried; and the ultimate result would probably be a
     race deprived of all those characteristics which have made Europe
     what it is.




In a recent number of the Monthly I described some of the incidents
of a visit to the Haida and Tlingit villages about Dixon's Entrance;
now I am to speak of the Tsimshian villages on the Skeena River.
The Tsimshian Indians are one of the five great stocks which make
up the aboriginal population of the coast of British Columbia and
southern Alaska. They are shut in by the Tlingits on the north and
by the Kwakiutls on the south, while on the head waters of the Nass
and Skeena Rivers they come in contact with the great Tinneh or
Athabascan stock. The Tsimshians are probably the most progressive of
all the coast Indians, and are one of a few stocks on the American
continent which are holding their own in point of numbers.

Desiring to visit those villages which are least contaminated by
modern influence, we ascended the Skeena River to the village of
Kitanmaksh or Hazelton. The Skeena is the historic river of British
Columbia; its name signifies the "Water of Terrors." Nearly every
rock, every bend, every cañon is the scene of some mythical tale.
The scene of the birth of the Tsimshian nation lies in its valley;
the rock is still revered upon which rested the Tsimshian ark
after the flood, and the "Dum-lak-an," "the new home and place of
dispersal," is still a Mecca to which pilgrimages are made. In the
modern development of the Omenica and Cariboo gold fields the Skeena
has been the highway to the sea. For hundreds of years canoes have
been paddled up and down its waters; it has been the highway for
intertribal trade from time immemorial, and when the Hudson Bay
Company's post was established at Hazelton, and merchandise began
to pour into the upper country in a steady stream, the Tsimshians
with their canoes enjoyed for a long time a monopoly of the carrying
trade. Gradually, as they learned the ways and methods of the white
man, the price per ton of freight from the coast to Hazelton began
steadily to rise, until in 1891 the tariff of sixty dollars a ton was
declared ruinous by the company, and they decided to build their own
steamer with which to carry their freight up the river.

Port Essington is the chief port of the mouth of the Skeena, and in
Essington we found ourselves on the twenty-third day of July. The
Caledonia was up the river on her third trip, but was expected back
any hour, but so delightfully uncertain is the river voyage that, as
we were informed, "there was no telling when she would be down--in
fact, she might be caught above the cañon and wouldn't be down for


The town of Essington dates back to 1835, when the Hudson Bay Company
established a post there. Its only rival for preeminence on the
coast is Port Simpson. The town in summer is completely given over
to fishing, the salmon cannery of Cunningham & Son being one of
the largest on the coast, and the river for twenty miles is dotted
with canneries. In one day, while we were in Essington, the catch
of salmon on the river was ninety-two thousand fish. In addition to
the cannery the town boasts of a good hotel and a Salvation Army. An
Indian Salvation Army is worth going miles to see, for the Indian is
a natural-born salvationist; the army permits him to make all the
noise he chooses, sing as loudly as he pleases, and, best of all, he
is entitled to make a speech every time it comes his turn.

In the afternoon, about four o'clock, on the day after our arrival,
a long, shrill blast of the whistle aroused the entire town, for
the Caledonia was in sight. Down we went to the wharf, and the
entire town followed. What a motley crowd you will find on one of
these British Columbia wharves! What coloring, what a Babel of
tongues--Tlingits from Alaska, Haidas from the Queen Charlotte
Islands, Tsimshians from the Skeena, Kwakiutls from Vancouver,
Chinamen, Japanese, Greeks, Scandinavians, Englishmen, and Yankees;
men, women, children, dogs, and from two to six woolly bear cubs. The
Caledonia is the exclusive property of the Hudson Bay Company; she
is not a common carrier, and does not encourage either passengers
or freight, as the tariff rates prove. There is a feverish haste
and hustle about the movements of the steamer which are fairly
contagious. She makes her first trip early in the spring, as soon
as the ice has left the rivers, on the Stickene; then it is a wild,
eager ambition of the company to have her make four trips up the
Skeena before the river closes up in the fall.

We had as passengers two prospectors from Spokane, a mining expert
from Victoria, a native evangelist from Essington, and about fifty
Indians, mostly women and children, each one with a varied assortment
of boxes, bales, bundles, and dogs; the crew numbered twenty, and we
had about one hundred tons of freight on board.

From Essington to Hazelton is one hundred and fifty-two miles, a
panorama of unending and unbroken beauty; never monotonous, always
interesting, it presents a river voyage which is probably not
equaled, certainly not excelled, by any other river voyage of the
same length on the American continent or in the world. We began
the voyage on Sunday morning, we tied up in front of Hazelton on
Saturday night. To recount in detail the haps and mishaps of each
day's progress would take more time than I can command. In one day
we made forty-eight miles, on another day we made one hundred yards,
on another day we didn't make a foot. With plenty of water under her
keel the Caledonia could run twenty miles an hour; she could cut her
way through a sand bar at the rate of a yard or so an hour; and at
either rate of progress she burned each hour from one and a half to
two cords of wood.

For the first ten miles the scenery does not differ materially from
that which we are accustomed to in the inland sea from Victoria
to Alaska. Then we enter fresh water and for the next forty miles
steam through one long mountain gorge, for here the river has cut
completely through the Cascade Range. The mountains begin at the
water's edge and rise almost perpendicularly to heights of from three
to four thousand feet. Their lower limits are covered with dense
green forests, which seem to grow out of the solid rock. The summits
are smooth and glistening, and often covered with snow and ice. Here
and there we can trace some tiny rivulet issuing from an ice bed high
up among the clouds, and every portion of its course can be traced
down the steep mountain wall until it gives one final and headlong
plunge into the river. At times these streams, taking their rise in
some extensive glacier, are of considerable magnitude, and fairly
roar as they leap and hurl themselves downward from their dizzy
height. And here we learned a curious fact about the river: in summer
it falls when it rains, and rises when the sun shines, so rapidly
do the pent-up snows of winter disappear and rush down the mountain
sides under the heat of the spring sun.

Until noon of the second day we had been making good time, but now
the fun began, for we had left deep water and had arrived at the
first flight of the eight-hundred-foot stairway which the Caledonia
had to climb ere Hazelton could be reached. The river had been
gradually widening as one island after another had been passed, until
now it was nearly half a mile wide and flowed through four channels.
The captain attempted one channel, but we couldn't gain an inch,
and in drifting back again down the rapids the current carried the
boat against the rocks and, with a crash and a lurch, but minus some
woodwork, she was in the stream again. Then two other channels were
tried, but without avail, although the wheel was throwing water and
gravel over the pilot house. The fourth channel was next tried, but
the current was too strong. Then we "lined her out," and this novel
method of getting a huge steamboat up a stream soon became only too
commonplace. The method of procedure is this: The boat is forced
against a sand bar and allowed to rest while men go forward in a
skiff with a long four-inch cable, which is made fast to a tree on
the bank or to a "dead man," a long spar buried deep in the earth
of a sand bar and heaped over with bowlders. When all is ready, the
boat is attached to the capstan and the wheel begins to revolve. It
is tedious work and often provoking, as when the cable parts, or the
"dead man" gives up his hold, and the whole work must be done over
again. The boat quivers from stem to stern, and the wheel, with all
possible steam on, is simply one revolving ball of water. We fairly
hold our breath as we listen to the dull vibration of the boat, the
rumbling of the capstan, and the grating sound of the keel of the
steamer as she is being dragged through the rapids over the bar;
but above all can be heard the voice of Captain Bonser as he shouts
to his Indian pilot, "Go 'head capstan," "Stop steamboat," "Stop
capstan," "Go 'head steamboat," "Go 'head capstan!" In four hours we
have made about fifty yards, but we are in open water again and the
boat settles down to its regular chug, chug, chug.

Eighty miles from Essington the Skeena in its flight to the sea
makes its first plunge into the Cascade Mountains, and its entrance
is indescribably grand. No pen or brush can do justice to the
beauties of the Kitselas Cañon. At its mouth we are in a broad, deep
basin, as if the river had felt depressed as it passed through the
quarter-mile narrow gorge and had here spread itself out to breathe
and rest before it started anew its downward journey to the sea. It
was late in the afternoon, and the western sun threw long shadows
of the lofty sky-crowned perpendicular walls of the left-hand side
of the cañon over against the rocky islets and ragged, rock-bound
eastern shore. Once we have entered, there is no faltering; "lining
it out" is impossible here, and on and on the boat labors and climbs,
twisting and turning through the narrow, tortuous channel. A quick
eye and a steady nerve must command the wheel now, for a turn too
much or too little would be fatal. One instinctively feels that the
"Water of Terrors" is the proper name for this river, and with that
feeling comes the other--that it was never intended for navigation.


After four days' grinding over sand bars and pounding against rocks
we tie up for repairs. One of the boilers had sprung a leak which
could be neglected no longer. The delay of thirty-six hours was not
without compensation, for the country about was open, and proved a
relief after the long ride through the high-walled river from the sea
to the cañon. The banks were low or moderately high and of gravel
or sand bluffs, and we could look off over a landscape broken here
and there by solitary peaks or clustered mountains, their summits
always covered with ice and snow. To the far east were the pure white
peaks of the Five Virgins, their summits glistening under the bright
sun. Even the character of the vegetation had changed, and the dense
forests of somber firs, spruces, and cedars of the lower river had
given way to great cottonwoods and underbrush of hazel and alder.

In the afternoon we climbed a bluff near the river, from which
we could look off over a country that was wild and extremely
picturesque. To one side of us could be seen a great mountain, its
summit covered by a mighty glacier whose blue-white ice gleamed and
glistened in the sun. And there was no mistaking the power of the sun
that day; its warm rays being especially welcome after some weeks of
the cold, depressing gloom and fog of the coast.

We were now really in the country of the Tsimshians, and every few
hours we drew up in front of some quiet, peaceful village, its
almost deserted cottages guarded by the totem poles of former days.
In succession we pass Meamskinesht, Kitwangah, and Kitzegukla, with
now and then a small salmon-fishing station. The villages proved
disappointing both in their smallness and modernness, and none of
them seemed worthy of any extended visit. From time to time we passed
great black patches in the forest, the result of extensive fires,
sure signs that the rainy coast was far away.

On Friday night we tied up to the bank within five miles of our
destination, but we had yet to pass Macintosh's Bar. That was
accomplished on the following day, after eleven hours' hard work, and
by five o'clock we had reached "The Forks," or the junction of the
Skeena and Bulkley Rivers. Our course was to the left, up the Skeena
for half a mile, and in a few moments more we tied up in front of the
stockaded post of the Hudson Bay Company; we had reached Hazelton.
The region about us was "Dum-lak-an," "what will be a good place,"
the home of the Tsimshians.

Before 1870 the town was farther down the river, on the flat at the
junction of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers. It has had additions to
its population from Kis-pi-yeoux, and from villages down the river.
There are also to be numbered among the inhabitants the Indian agent,
Mr. Loring, the Hudson Bay representative, Mr. Sargent, and his
assistants, and Mr. Fields, the missionary. The Indian population
numbers about two hundred and seventy-five. The town occupies a low,
uneven plain, which, beginning at the water's edge, extends back for
a quarter of a mile, where it is hemmed in by a high bluff on the
face of the second river terrace. There are but few of the old houses
left and still fewer totem poles, and they are without particular
interest. Most prominent in the village is the warlike stockade of
the company's post, with its two bastions at opposite corners, and
the blockhouse in the center of the inclosure, but now hidden by the
store which stands in front of it. The stockade was put up in 1891,
when an Indian uprising was feared throughout the length of the river.

Wherever you find a trading post and a missionary you can not hope
to find people who retain much of their native life or who are of
great value to anthropology. But still Hazelton was sufficiently
primitive to be of interest in many respects. In matters of dress
the Indians are almost on a footing with the whites, but they still
make a curious garment for winter's use which is worn by nearly all
of the interior tribes. This is a blanket made out of long, narrow
strips of rabbit hide, and is warm, heavy, and extremely durable. We
were fortunate enough to find a woman who was engaged in making one
of these curious garments on a most rude and primitive loom. Other
garments are still occasionally made of Indian hemp, which grows wild
and in abundance. This is beaten and pounded and then spun into fine
thread, and woven into the desired form.


In former days the Indians used large quantities of the wool of
the mountain sheep in making the beautiful _chilcat_ blankets that
formed an important part of the chief's costume, but now the Indians
buy most of their wool. Its chief uses are for sashes and belts,
which are still worn and made after the fashion of former days. Of
other garments of daily use, except moccasins, there is nothing
remaining. There are a few remnants of ceremonial costumes still in
existence, and by a bit of good fortune we were enabled to secure
the complete paraphernalia of a shaman, or Indian doctor, who had
only recently renounced his native practices and joined Mr. Fields's
band of Christians. In the outfit thus acquired were rattles, charms,
blankets, masks, and headdresses of various kinds. From another
individual we secured the complete costume of a member of the
fraternity, or secret society, of Dog Eaters. The Tsimshians have
four such societies, and the Dog Eaters stand third in rank, being
surpassed only by the Man Eaters or Cannibal Society. The chief
object of this outfit, apart from the white and red cedar bark rings,
was a long club, one side of which was ornamented by a fringe of red
cedar tassels. Of interest also was the curious cap made of plaited
bands of red cedar bark, and so ornamented as to represent the head
of the owl. Another object secured from a shaman was a peculiar bow
and arrow. These were purely ceremonials, and were only used in the
dances of the secret societies. By an ingenious device the point
of the arrow could be opened out, and in this position represented
the open jaws of a serpent. On the bow were two fins, that could be
lowered or raised at will by means of cords, which represented the
fin-back whale. The bow itself is of light soft wood, and is bent by
means of a string passing around the operator's body, the two ends of
the bow being fastened to the body of the bow by leather hinges.

In all the ceremonies, both religious and civil, an important part
of the costume is the mask. These are generally of wood, and portray
all manner of real and fanciful personages. Some of them are wonders
of ingenuity, being so constructed that the eyes, mouth, and often
the ears can be moved at the will of the wearer. Some of them are
even double, and so arranged that by drawing open the outer mask, an
inner one of an entirely different character can be revealed. One of
the rarest masks which was ever brought out of the Tsimshian country
is one in the possession of the museum, which was acquired some time
ago. It is of bone and finely carved, while the teeth and tusks are
those of animals.

Hazelton is of much interest to the observer of the human
countenance, for, while the residents of the town are Tsimshians,
there is a village near by on the Bulkley River, the people of which
belong to the great Tinneh or Athabascan stock, which extends from
the Arctic Circle on the north to the Territories of Arizona and
New Mexico on the south, where it is represented by the Apaches. In
some respects the differences between the Tsimshians and Tinnehs,
or Howgelgaits, as this branch is called, are quite marked, and
these differences stand out in greater relief because more or less
of the population of Howgelgait spend a part of their time in
Hazelton, and so one sees representatives of the two stocks in close
contact. The Tsimshians, like the Haidas, are great canoe people,
and are rather short-legged, with great development of the chest
and shoulders. Like the Haidas, also, they have strong, long arms,
which bespeak familiarity with the paddle. The Howgelgaits, on the
other hand, are a pure mountaineer people, and are tall, robust, and
finely proportioned. Their hair is black, coarse, and abundant. The
eyebrows are thick and remarkably wide at the outer side. This same
peculiarity may be observed in the masks of this tribe. The beard is
sparse, but it must be remembered that the hair is generally pulled
out as it appears, particularly on the cheeks, while the mustache and
the chin tuft are allowed to grow. Among the Tsimshians the face is
wide and the cheek bones are prominent. The nose is narrow, with a
depressed root. Neither the Tsimshians nor Tinneh practice artificial
deformation of the head. With the Tinneh, or more exactly the
Howgelgaits, the forehead is broad and less receding than is usual
with the American aborigines. The face is full and broad and the
cheek bones prominent, but the nose, unlike that of the Tsimshians,
is well formed and generally aquiline, although occasionally it is
thick and flattish. Their lips are also thick and the chin is more
prominent than is usual among the Tsimshians. The eyes are large and
of a deep black color; the jaws are generally very heavy and massive.

Of traces of the ancient prevalent fashion in deformity we saw very
little. One old woman still retained the labret, but it was only
a shadow of the former labrets in size. Although the long, finely
polished bone ornament which the men formerly wore in a hole through
the septum of the nose has entirely disappeared, we saw a few old
men in whom the pierced septum was still plainly visible. With the
Howgelgaits it was formerly the custom to load down the ears with
highly polished bits of abalone shells, which were suspended by means
of brass rings inserted into holes one above the other on the outer
margin of the ear, extending from the lobe around the entire helix.


Hazelton's "City of the Dead" stands on a high bluff overlooking the
town and valley, and commands a view off over the broken forest-clad
country which is as beautiful as well could be. A trail winds along
the face of the bluff until the crest of the plateau is reached,
where it divides into a right and left path leading through the
main street of the silent city. The sight is strangely odd and
picturesque. Over each grave has been erected a neat little frame
house, often of considerable dimensions. All are painted with bright
colors, and the effect is decidedly "mixed." In one of the houses,
which was substantially built and neatly carpeted, I saw through a
glass window two chairs, a washstand with full assortment of toilet
articles, and an umbrella, while at the rear of the house stood a
table on which was spread a neat cloth, and on the table was a lamp.
On the floor was a new pair of shoes. Over the table hung a large
crayon portrait of the departed occupant of the grave beneath.

In another house I saw chests of clothing, and suspended from a cord
were garments of various kinds, including a complete costume of the
fraternity of the Dog Eaters. These five-feet-deep graves covered by
little houses are not the usual manner of burial with the Tsimshians,
for until within a very few years the dead were cremated Even to-day
in the neighboring village of Kispiyeoux the dead are buried in
shallow graves just in front of the house.

Of the many charming spots about Hazelton which are well worthy of a
visit, we had time for only one--a horseback ride to the Howgelgait
Cañon. The ride was most enjoyable in every respect. The road leads
from the town up over the plateau through the burying ground, and
then on through a partly cleared forest of cottonwoods and maples.
Then we plunge into a two-mile-long lane, the trail scarcely wide
enough to admit of the passing of a horse, through a dense grove of
hazel bushes, laden to their tips with unripe nuts still protected
by their green fuzzy envelopes; and now we knew whence came the name
"Hazelton." Suddenly the grove terminates, and after dismounting and
walking forward a few steps we came to the face of the cañon. What
a sight! On the opposite cliff, but on a higher level, stands the
old deserted village of Howgelgait, with its great empty houses and
skeleton totem poles. At our feet, down a sheer precipice almost a
thousand feet below, the Bulkley River, set on edge, rushes and roars
and foams through the rocky gorge to join the Skeena a mile away.
Just by the mouth of the cañon, at the edge of the great whirlpool,
and on a gravelly beach, stands the present town of Howgelgait.
Hearing shouts, we looked closer, and far down we saw men moving
about, their forms dwarfed to almost spiderlike dimensions. They were
building a swinging bridge over the river, and the timbers already in
place looked like the meshes of a spider's web.

Looking up the cañon, we could see from the opposite wall near the
water's edge, and far below us, a rude scaffolding suspended by bark
ropes over the river, and from this Indians were lowering their
nets and drawing up salmon. One man after another would leave for
his home, his back bending under the weight of many fish, his place
to be taken by another, who begins casting his nets. And so these
rude scaffoldings here and all along the rivers are occupied by busy
fishermen throughout the summer, for salmon is chief of the winter's
food supply of these people. In one house we saw over a thousand
salmon hung up to dry for use during the winter months.

We left the cañon for the ride back to Hazelton with keen regret, for
no more fascinating spot did we find on our entire journey than right
here. On the way we encountered a woman of the Carrier tribe of the
Tinnehs from Frazer's Lake, who was returning from Hazelton laden
with provisions and cheap calicoes.

We had scarcely entered Hazelton when the tinkling of the bell of the
"lead horse" announced the arrival of the pack train. Second only in
importance to the arrival of the Caledonia to the people of Hazelton
is the arrival of the pack train, for it brings the news of the far
interior. But of much greater importance and value is the cargo of
furs which are brought out on every trip in exchange for supplies
which are taken in. On that day there were fifty-seven mules, each
laden with two bales of furs weighing two hundred and fifty pounds,
and including beaver, mink, otter, sable, and bear, all destined for
the Hudson Bay Company's house in London, there to be auctioned off
in lots to the highest bidder, and then to be distributed to all
parts of the civilized world.


Within less than an hour's time the precious furs were aboard, and we
bade farewell to Hazelton. The Caledonia drops back, is slowly turned
around by the current, and with its steady chug, chug, we began our
journey down the river, the power of the boat aided by the swiftly
flowing water carrying us along at a rapid rate. If the slow, labored
up journey was a revelation with its worries and anxieties, what can
be said of the down journey with its kaleidoscopic panorama of sand
bars, Indian villages, far-away snowy mountains, dense forests of
mighty cottonwoods, lofty heights which tower above us clad to their
very summits with eternal green, mountain streams, and innumerable
waterfalls and cascades! And what shall one say of that memorable
ride through the cañon, the wheel reversed and throwing water over
the pilot house, the boat rocking and swaying to and fro! Before we
were fairly aware of the fact we were out into that great, deep,
silent basin again and off on the home stretch. Apart from taking on
wood and stopping at one or two Indian villages, a delay of a few
hours was made to permit some mining engineers to examine a mine.
They had just come up from the coast and brought with them news of
the gold excitement in the Yukon Valley, and now for the first time
we heard that magic word "Klondike," which was soon to "electrify
the world and put the gold fields of California, South Africa, and
Australia to shame."

At nine o'clock we were in Essington once more. "Klondike, Klondike!"
on every side. The whole country seemed to have gone daft. One
steamer after another went racing by the mouth of the Skeena on the
way to Dyea and the Skagway Trail. But our fortunes lay in the other
direction, and that night we were aboard the Islander, bound for
Victoria and the south.


[25] From a lecture delivered at the Field Columbian Museum, November
13, 1897.




Light is the most important of all the external agencies which
influence the vegetal organism, and the sun's rays have been the most
potent force in shaping the development of existent plant forms.

The sunbeam stands in a manifold relation to the plant. First and
foremost, light is the universal source of energy, by the aid of
which the chlorophyll apparatus in green leaves builds up complex
food substances from simple compounds obtained from the soil and air,
a process necessary for the nutrition of the entire living world.
Some obscure organisms, such as the "nitrosomonas," soil bacteria,
are able to accomplish the construction of complex substances, by
means of energy derived from other chemical compounds, which were,
however, formed originally by green plants. These food-building
processes are designated as photosynthesis, chemosynthesis,
electrosynthesis, thermosynthesis, etc., according to the source of
energy used.

By photosynthesis, carbon dioxide from the air and water from the
cell are combined in the green cells of leaves, forming sugar and
possibly other substances. During this process an amount of oxygen
approximately equal to that of the carbon dioxide taken up is
exhaled. It will be of interest to note the relation of the living
world to the atmosphere. Eight hundred to nine hundred grammes of
carbon dioxide are produced in the respiration of a single person
for a day, and the entire product of the human race for this period
is twelve hundred million kilogrammes. In addition, large quantities
of the gas result from the combustion of the four hundred and sixty
millions of kilogrammes of coal and wood burned yearly. The lower
animals, fungi, and green plants themselves contribute an amount
which must bring the total to twice the immense sum named above.
The atmosphere contains three or four hundredths of one per cent of
carbon dioxide, or an amount of about two to three thousand billions
of kilogrammes. No especial variation in this proportion has been
detected since observations upon this point were first made. The
fact that no increase takes place is partly due to the absorption
of the gas by plants, and its replacement by oxygen, and also to
certain geological processes in constant operation. Absorption
takes place at the rate of about two and a half grammes for every
square metre of leaf surface per hour, or about twenty-five to
thirty grammes daily, since the process goes on only in daylight.
It is to be seen that a single human being exhales as much carbon
dioxide as may be removed from the air by thirty or forty square
metres of leaf surface. According to Ebermayer, a hectare (2.47
acres) of forest would use eleven thousand kilogrammes of carbon
dioxide yearly, and the amount used by plants is generally much in
excess of that furnished by the activity of the inhabitants of any
given area. Plants thrive and show increasing vigor as the amount of
carbon dioxide in the air rises until two hundred times the present
proportion is reached. An increase of the gas in the atmosphere would
therefore be partly corrected by the absorption and by the stronger
vegetation induced. Nothing short of a comprehensive cataclysm could
work such disturbance to the composition of the air as to endanger
the well-being of the animal inhabitants of the earth.

The activity of a square metre of leaf surface results in the
formation of one and a half to two grammes of solid substance
per hour in sunlight. A vigorous sunflower with one hundred and
forty-five leaves constructed thirty-six grammes of solid matter in
a day, and a squash with one hundred and sixteen leaves one hundred
and sixteen grammes in the same length of time. The amounts formed by
such trees as the beech, maple, oak, poplar, elm, and horse-chestnut,
with leaf surfaces aggregating three hundred to one thousand square
metres, must be correspondingly large.

A comparison of plants grown in strong sunlight, diffuse light,
and darkness will reveal many differences in stature and internal
structure. These differences are for the most part due to the
_formative_ and _tonic_ effect of light. Otherwise expressed,
the influence of variations of light upon plants causes adaptive
reactions, and disturbances of the nutritive processes and growth.

In consequence of these facts the reaction of any given organ to
changes in the intensity of the illumination will depend upon its
specific functions and relation to the remainder of the organism.

The stems formed by seedlings and awakening underground organs are
usually surrounded by plants or other objects which cut off more or
less sunlight. The developing shoot can not spread its leaves to the
light advantageously until it has outstripped or grown beyond the
objects intervening between it and the light. This necessity is one
of the most important conditions in the struggle for existence. To
meet it, a very great majority of seed-forming plants have acquired
the power of accelerated elongation of the stems when deprived of
their normal amount of light.

Very striking examples of this reaction are offered by the awakening
corms of the Jack-in-the-pulpit (_Arisæma triphyllum_). The corms
usually lie at a distance of five or six centimetres below the
surface of the soil, and when the growth of the large bud begins
in the spring the heavy sheathing scales elongate and pierce the
soil, opening when the surface is reached at the distance of a few
centimetres. If the corm should have been buried deeper in the
substratum by floods or drifts of leaves, the growth of the bud
scales will continue until the light is reached, though it may be a
distance of twenty centimetres. Such growth may be seen if the corms
are grown in a deep layer of sphagnum moss, or in a dark room.

After the stems emerge from the "drawn" buds they show a similar
attenuation, attaining a length of twice the normal. The excessive
elongation of stems is accompanied by variations in the structure and
contents of the tissues. The cells are generally longer, while the
walls are thinner. In consequence, organs grown in darkness are very
weak and easily bent or broken. Growth in darkness is attended by the
non-formation of chlorophyll. This is replaced by etiolin, giving the
plant a pale, waxy, yellow appearance.

The adaptive elongation is not shown by all species, however. It
has been found that stems of beet, hop, dioscorea, and a few others
show no adaptations to diminished light. The adaptive modification
of stems elongating in darkness is developed from the retarding
influence exercised by light upon growth. Thus it is a well-known
fact that the action of certain portions of the sun's rays actually
impedes or checks the increase in volume known as growth, though it
does not influence actual division of the cells to any great extent.
When this retarding action is eliminated excessive elongation ensues.

The behavior of leaves in illuminations below the normal depends upon
the relation of these organs to the storage structures of the plant
as well as upon other factors, and many types are dependent upon
their own activity for plastic material necessary for growth.

It is to be said in general that leaves of dicotyledonous plants are
incapable of full development in darkness, though to this rule there
are many exceptions. Thus the leaves of the beet develop normally, or
nearly so, in darkness.

On the other hand, leaves of monocotyledonous plants attain normal
size in darkness, especially those with straight or curved parallel
venation. Some, as the iris, swamp marigold, and onion, attain a
greater length in darkness than in light. Here, as in stems, cell
division is not modified, but the growth of the individual cell is

The growth of leaves in darkness may be easily observed if the
underground perennial stems of common mandrake are placed in a dark
chamber before the growth of the leaf buds has begun. The leaves
are peltate, and in the bud are folded about the end of the petiole
after the manner of an umbrella. Usually this umbrella expands as
soon as it has pushed upward and become free from the soil, attaining
a diameter of twenty-five to forty centimetres when outspread. In
darkness, however, it refuses to unfold, the laminæ are pale yellow
and retain the crumpled form of the bud, and as the petiole shows
an exaggerated elongation the organ takes on the appearance of a
very small parasol on a very long handle. The imperfect development
of leaves and the rapid decay of aërial organs deprived of sunlight
leads to the conclusion that the action of light is necessary to the
health and normal activity of these organs, and the light therefore
exercises a _tonic_ influence upon vegetation.

Many species of plants are so plastic and capable of such ready
response to variations in external conditions that they undergo
distinct morphological changes in response to variations in the
intensity of the light. The common potato is an example of this
fact. The edible tubers are simply thickened stems, and the plant
has the habit of storing starch in any stems not acted upon by
the light. The branches arising from the base of the main stem
are generally underneath the surface of the soil, and afford the
proper conditions for tuber formation. Sugar is constructed in the
leaves, carried down the length of the stem, and deposited in the
underground branches as starch. Space is made for the accumulating
store by the multiplication of the thin-walled cells of the pith. If
any of the upper branches should become shaded, they become at once
the focus of converging streams of sugar, and similar enlargement
ensues, resulting in the formation of tubers. Such structures are
occasionally observed in plants grown thickly together.

Vöchting, by a number of most ingenious experiments, has succeeded in
producing tubers on any branch of a potato plant by simply inclosing
the branch in a small dark chamber. As the result of one experiment
the entire main stem springing from a sprouting tuber was converted
into a new tuber nearly as large as the first. The entire plant at
the close of the experiment had the form of a dumb-bell, with the old
tuber as one ball and the new tuber as the other.

The same writer has described important results obtained from a study
of the action of light upon the stems of cactus, consisting of a
number of flattened internodes. When the growing tips of such plants
were allowed to develop in a dark chamber the new internodes grown
were cylindrical in form. Such behavior suggests that these plants
were originally furnished with cylindrical stems and foliar leaves.
The leaves at some time in the history of the plant were found
unsuitable, and gradually atrophied, while the stems were flattened
and extended to take up their functions.

Some very striking adaptations of form of organs to the intensity
of the light have been analyzed by Goebel. The common harebell
(_Campanula rotundifolia_) has an upright stem twenty to sixty
centimetres in height. The upper part of the stem bears sessile
lanceolate leaves, decreasing in size from the base to the summit.
The first leaves formed by the stem on its emergence from the soil
are entirely different in construction, showing a heart-shaped lamina
with a distinct petiole. These leaves are formed at the actual
surface of the soil, are generally more or less shaded or covered by
fallen leaves, and in fact are not known or seen by many collectors
or observers of the plant. Goebel found that similar leaves might be
formed on any part of the plant if it were shaded from the full glare
of the sun's rays. The cordate leaves at the base of the stem were
always produced, however, no matter to what intensity of illumination
that part of the plant was subjected. It is therefore safe to
conclude that the cordate leaves are inherited forms, and that the
lanceolate organs are adaptations to light which may be shown by any
individual of the species.

In general it is to be said that the leaves of sun-loving species
have a thick epidermis, entirely free from chlorophyll, with stomata
on the lower side only, a firm consistence due to the formation of
woody tissues, and are often provided with a coating of hairs. The
leaves of shade-loving plants, on the other hand, have a thin-walled
epidermis often containing chlorophyll, stomata on both sides, and
are not so plentifully provided with hairs as those in exposed

The variations in external form described above are due to the
intensity of the illumination. At the same time the structure and
arrangement of the cells depend on the direction from which the
light rays come. Thus, an organ receiving light from one side only
will exhibit a structure different from an organ of the same kind
receiving direct rays from two or more sides. Light, then, is a
cause of dorsiventrality--that is, of the fact that the upper and
lower sides of organs are not alike in structure. The leaf affords a
splendid example of dorsiventrality as a result of the exposure of
one side only to direct light. The upper side of a horizontal leaf,
such as the oak, beech, or maple, contains one or two layers of
cylindrical cells with their long axes perpendicular to the surface.
In vertical leaves, such as the iris, these _palisade_ cells, as
they are termed, are not so well defined, and in all leaves grown in
darkness this tissue is very much reduced. If a young leaf not yet
unfolded from the bud is fastened in such a position that the under
side is uppermost, palisade cells will be formed on the side exposed
to the direct rays of the sun.

The influence of light upon the sporophylls, or reproductive organs
of the seed-forming plants, is quite as well defined as upon the
vegetative organs.

In general it is to be said that stamens and pistils may reach
functional maturity in darkness or diffuse light, and if pollination
is provided for, seed and fruit formation may ensue.

The diminution of light has the effect of transforming inflorescences
into leafy shoots in some instances, however. The more common
reaction consists of alterations in the size, form, and color
of the perianth, and greater changes are induced in the petals
than in the sepals. The corolla shows greater decrease in size in
_Melandryum_ and _Silene_, in diffuse light, though the relative
form is maintained. The writer has obtained most striking results
from growing flowers of _Salvia_ (sage) in a dark chamber, inclosing
the inflorescence only. In the normal flower the irregular scarlet
corolla attains three times the length of the calyx, and two stamens
extrude from under the upper lip. When grown in darkness, the corolla
with the adherent stamens measure about three millimetres in length,
or one twelfth the normal, and are scarcely more than half the size
of the calyx, which is but two thirds the size of similar organs
grown in the light. The color is entirely lacking from the corolla,
and is found only along the veins of the calyx.

In other instances in which the corolla is composed of separate
members, an unequal reaction is exhibited. The corolla of nasturtium
(_Tropæolum majus_) consists of five approximately equal petals.
Flowers of this species grown in darkness show one of nearly normal
stature, two of reduced size, while the remaining two take the form
of club-shaped bracts.

The diminished size of the perianth of cleistogamous flowers of such
types as the violet is due directly to the action of diminished light
upon the hidden or inclosed flower.

The influence of light upon the structure, reproductive processes,
and distribution of the lower forms brings about the most widely
divergent reactions, which can not be described here.

The distribution and color of marine algæ depend upon the depth of
the water and the consequent intensity of the light. This gives
rise to distinct zones of aquatic vegetation. Thus in one series of
surveys the _littoral_ zone, the beach area covered at high water
and exposed at low water, was found to furnish proper conditions
for green, brown, and red algæ. The _sublittoral_ zone, extending
to a depth of forty metres, is furnished with red algæ, increasing
in number with the depth, and the brown algæ disappear; while
the _elittoral_ zone, from forty to one hundred and ten metres,
is inhabited by red algæ alone. The number of species of vegetal
organisms below this depth is extremely small. An alga (_Halosphæria
viridis_) has been brought up from depths of one thousand to two
thousand metres.

A very great number of bacteria are unfavorably affected by light,
and find proper conditions at some depth in the soil or water. It
is on account of this fact that the water of frozen streams becomes
more thickly inhabited by certain organisms than in the summer
time, and exposure to sunlight is adopted as a hygienic measure in
freeing clothing and household effects from infection. Bacteria occur
abundantly in sea water at depths of two hundred to four hundred
metres, and quite a number of species are to be found at eight
hundred to eleven hundred metres.

The distribution of fungi follows the general habit of bacteria in
that they thrive best in darkness.

It is to be noticed in this connection that light is also a
determining factor in the distribution of the higher land plants.
Thus the amount of light received in polar latitudes is quite
insufficient for the needs of many species, entirely irrespective of

The retarding influence of light upon growth is even more marked in
the lower forms than in the higher. Such action is the result of
the disintegrating effect of the blue-violet rays upon ferments and
nitrogenous plastic substances.

The greater massiveness of the bodies of the higher plants enables
them to carry on the chemical activities in which these substances
are concerned in the interior, where the intense rays may not
penetrate. The attenuated and undifferentiated fungi must seek the
shade, to escape the dangers of strong light, against which they have
no shield.

The reproductive processes are particularly sensitive to
illumination. The formation of zoöspores by green felt (_Vaucheria_)
may occur only in darkness, at night, or in diffuse light, and these
examples might be multiplied indefinitely. Many features of the
germination of spores and the growth of _protonemæ_ or _prothallia_
among the mosses, liverworts, and ferns are determined by light.

Perhaps the most striking reactions of plants to light are to be seen
in locomotor and orientation movements.

Locomotor movements are chiefly confined to lower forms, and are most
noticeable in the "swarm spores," or zoöspores of the algæ, though
exhibited by spermatozoöids as well. Zoöspores may be seen collected
against the side of the vessel receiving direct sunlight, while the
opposite side of the vessel will be free from them. The chlorophyll
bodies of green cells arrange themselves similarly. The latter bodies
may move away from the exposed side of the cell if the light exceeds
a certain intensity.

The typical plant may not move its body toward or away from the
source of light, but it may secure the same end by dispositions of
its surfaces to vary the angle at which the rays are received. This
form of irritability is one of the most highly developed properties
of the plant. Wiesner has found that a seedling of the vetch is
sensitive to an amount of light represented by one ten-millionth of
a unit represented by a Roscoe-Bunsen flame. The "sensitiveness"
to light may take one of three forms: The organ may place its axis
parallel and pointing toward the source of the rays, as in stems,
when it is said to be _proheliotropic_; the axis of the organ may
assume a position perpendicular to the rays, which is designated as
_diaheliotropism_; or it may place its axis parallel to the rays and
pointing away from the light, when it is said to be _apheliotropic_.
Upright stems are proheliotropic, horizontal leaves and creeping
stems are diaheliotropic, and roots and such stems as those of ivy
are apheliotropic.

Sunlight varies from zero to the full blaze of the noonday sun,
and assumes its greatest intensity in the equatorial regions. The
intensity in latitudes 40° to 45° north would be represented by
1.5 units, and at the equator by 1.6 units. Near the equator the
intensity is so great that an ordinary leaf may not receive the full
force of the noonday sun without damage. The injury would not result
from the luminous rays, but from the temperatures, 40° to 50° C.,
arising from the conversion of light into heat. As an adaptation to
this condition nearly all leaves have either a pendent or a vertical
position, or the power of assuming this position by motor or
impassive wilting movements.

Among the plants of the temperate zone the so-called compass plants
are examples of similar adaptations. The compass plants include,
among others, the wild lettuce (_Lactuca scariola_) and rosin weed
(_Silphium laciniatum_). These plants place the leaves in a vertical
position with the tips pointing north and south in such manner that
the direct rays of the morning and evening sun only may strike the
surfaces at right angles, while the edges are presented to the
fierce rays at noonday. That this arrangement is an adaptation
against the intense light is evident when it is seen that specimens
growing in shaded locations or in diffuse light place the leaves in
the typical horizontal position. To meet the functional conditions,
both sides of the compass leaves are almost equally provided with
palisade cells for food formation and stomata for transpiration.
The estimation of the light striking a compass leaf shows that it
receives approximately the same amount of light as a horizontal leaf
during the course of a day, but the two maxima of intensity, morning
and evening, are much below that of the noon of horizontal leaves.

The influence of light upon plants may be briefly summed as follows:

Light is necessary for the formation of food substances by green
plants, and it is an important factor in distribution in land and
marine forms.

Growth and reproduction are generally retarded by the action of the
blue-violet rays.

Light is fatal to certain bacteria and other low forms of vegetable

Many plants have the power of accelerated growth of stems in
diminished light as an adaptation for lifting the leaves above
"shading" objects.

The growth of many leaves and of the perianth of flowers is hindered
in diminished light.

The outward form of many organs, particularly leaves, is dependent
upon the intensity of the light received.

The internal structure of bilateral or dorsiventral organs is largely
determined by the direction of the rays.

Plants have the power of movement to adjust their surfaces to a
proper angle with impinging light rays, as a protective adaptation.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Matches which do not contain any phosphorus and which take fire by
     friction on any surface--a match that has been long sought--have
     been prepared by Mr. S. A. Rosenthal and Dr. S. J. von Kornocki.
     It is represented that they can be manufactured as cheaply as
     ordinary matches.



The investigation of the origin of man in Egypt is a very complex
problem, belonging as much to geology as to archæology. The earliest
evidences we have of human industry, in fact, go back to so remote
a period that they should be regarded rather as fossils than as
archæological documents. They are very coarsely worked flints, which
are found near the surface of the ground among the pebbles of the
Quaternary or Pleistocene epoch, and similar to those which occur
abundantly in Europe, America, and Asia; but the study and collection
of them have been pursued with less method than in those countries.
The more recent monuments, so much more conspicuous and more easily
accessible, have attracted most attention, while these have been left
in the background.

No region in the world presents a clearer and more distinct
individual character than Egypt. Each village is a special world,
each valley a universe that has developed its own life; and man has
felt the special local impressions; and even in modern times, while
all the Egyptian villages present a similar aspect, and although the
fellah appears to be the same sort of a man everywhere, each locality
has its special individual characteristics. One who knows how to
observe men and things critically will find considerable differences.
These dissimilarities are as old as Egypt itself. They have always
existed, and are as much more intense as the communications between
district and district were formerly more difficult. They are due to
physical conditions special to each village, to the prevailing winds,
the form and character of the mountains, the extent of cultivable
lands, and the supply of water. A study of the detail of the country
is a very important preliminary to the examination of Egyptian
history. Every village and every nome had formerly its special
divinity and its particular usages. Are we sure that the gods and
customs were not imposed by local conditions? At Ombos two hostile
gods were adored in the same temple. May we not see in this fact a
recollection of the hostility which has always prevailed between the
inhabitants of the two banks of the river, and still continues?

Previous, however, to investigating these details which have been
so influential on Egyptian civilization, we ought to dispel the
darkness which hides from us the earliest traces of man in the valley
of the Nile, and examine how man lived in his beginning, to study
the geology of the country and its condition when it issued from the
seas. As one of the results of this study we find that palæolithic
man, known to us only through the rough-cut flints we find in the
alluvions, made his first appearance. After this period of excavation
came that of filling up with silt, which still continues. New
evidences of man appear in his burial places and the ruins of his
villages, the kitchen middens which he has left in his habitations
of unburned brick and in his camps. This time he is more civilized;
he chips his flints with a skill that is not surpassed in European
neolithic implements; he makes vessels of stone and clay, covers them
with rude paintings, sculptures animal forms of schist, and wears
necklaces of the shells and the stones of the country. Then comes a
foreign people to take possession of Egypt, bringing knowledge of
metals, writing, hieroglyphics, painting, sculpture, new industries
and arts that have nothing in common with the arts of the people it
has overcome. The ancient Pharaonic empire begins, or perhaps the
reign of the divine dynasties. The men with stone implements are
the aborigines; the others are the conquering civilized Egyptians.
Nothing can be more interesting than a comparison of the arts of
the aborigines and those of the Egyptians of the earlier dynasties.
Nearly all their characteristics are different, and it is impossible
to regard them as of common origin. Yet some of the native forms
persisted till the last days of the empire of the Pharaohs. These
aborigines belonged to a race that is now extinct, they having been
absorbed into the mass of the Egyptians and Nubians among whom they
lived, and from this mixture the fellah of ancient times is derived.
The origin of the conquering race--of the Egyptians as we know
them--has not been precisely determined. The weight of evidence, so
far as it has been obtained, and the balance of opinion, are in favor
of an Asiatic origin and of primary relationship with the Shemites of

In Egypt more than in any other country it is necessary to proceed
with the most scrupulous circumspection in the examination of remote
antiquities. The relics of thousands of years of human life have been
piled one upon another and often intermixed. The questions they raise
can not be answered in the cabinet or by the study of texts; but
the inquiry must be prosecuted on the ground, by comparison of the
deposits where they are found and in the deposits from which they are

From my first arrival in Egypt, in 1892, my attention has been
greatly occupied with the question of the origin of the relics of the
stone age that have been found from time to time in that country. I
have gathered up the scattered documents, explored a large number of
sites, and have bought such flint implements as I have found on sale.
I have gradually been led to believe that while some of these cut
stones may possibly belong to the historical epoch, we shall have
to attribute a much more remote antiquity to the most of them, and
that evidences of a neolithic age in the valley of the Nile are more
abundant than has generally been supposed.

In many minds the historical antiquity of Egypt, the almost fabulous
ages to which its civilization ascends, seem to challenge the
history of other countries, and the land of the Pharaohs, rejecting
all chronological comparison, to have appeared in the midst of the
world as a single example of a land which savage life had never
trodden. Yet what are the centuries since Menes ruled over the
reclaimed valleys, the few thousand years of which we can calculate
the duration, by the side of the incalculable lapse of time since
man, struggling with the glaciers and the prehistoric beasts,
began his conquest of the earth? The antiquity of Egypt, the eight
thousand years (if it be as many) since the first Pharaoh, are only
as an atom in the presence of these ages. We can assert some vague
knowledge of these pre-Pharaonic inhabitants, for two hatchets of
the Chellean pattern were found some time ago in the desert, one
at Esnet, the other near the pyramids of Gizeh; and we can now
affirm in the most positive manner that Quaternary man lived in the
country which is now Egypt, and was then only preparing to be. Four
palæolithic stations have been more recently discovered--at Thebes,
Tukh, Abydos, and Daschur. Join these sites to the other two where
isolated pieces were found, and we have the geography of what we
know at present of Chellean man in the valley of the Nile. Doubtless
continuous researches would result in similar discoveries at other
points, for I have met these relics wherever I have been able to make
a short sojourn. The Chellean implements are found in the gravels
of the diluvium on the pebbly surface. They have been disturbed and
probably scattered, but some places yield them more numerously than
others--points possibly corresponding to the ancient workshops. I
have found a considerable number of specimens at Deir-el-Medinet;
M. Daressy, of the Bureau of Antiquities, found a perfectly
characteristic Chellean hammer stone in the Yalley of the Queens at
Gurneh, as perfectly worked as the best specimens found at Chelles,
St. Acheul, and Moulin-Quignon.

The finds are not very numerous at Tukh, but one may in a few hours
make a collection there of hatchets (or hammer stones), scrapers,
points, simple blades, and a large number of stones bearing
indisputable marks of having been worked, but not presenting precise
forms. The deposit at Abydos is in the bottom of a circle behind
the ruins surrounding the Pharaonic necropolis. The specimens seem
sufficient to prove the existence of Quaternary man in Egypt, while
the search for them has hardly yet begun. In view of them it is
extremely improbable that man did not also exist there during the
long period that intervened between this primitive age and that of
the earliest Egyptians who had metals. He did exist there then, and
the evidences of it are found in neolithic remains between Cairo
and Thebes, a distance of about eight hundred kilometres along the
valley of the Nile, in the Fayum, and in Upper Egypt. Among these
are the remarkable tombs at Abydos which have been explored by M. E.
Amélineau, and of which he has published descriptions. They belong
to a category which I have characterized as tombs of transition and
as signalizing the passage from the use of polished stone to that of
metals. Their archaic character can not be disputed, and their royal
origin is probably certain. They may belong to aboriginal kings or
to the earliest dynasties. They reveal a knowledge of brass and of
the use of gold for ornament. At the necropolis of El-'Amrah, a few
miles south of Abydos, are some archaic tombs, all of the same model,
composed of an oval trench from five to six and a half feet deep.
The body is laid on the left side, and the legs are doubled up till
the knees are even with the sternum; the forearms are drawn out in
front and the hands placed one upon the other before the face, while
the head is slightly bent forward. Around the skeleton are vases,
and large, rudely made urns, often filled with ashes or the bones of
animals, and nearer to them are painted or red vessels with black
or brown edges, vessels roughly shaped out of stone, and figurines
in schist representing fishes or quadrupeds, cut flints, alabaster
clubs, and necklaces and bracelets of shells. Bronze is rare, and
found always in shape of small implements. Both purely neolithic
tombs and burials of the transition period to metals occur at
El-'Amrah. The most remarkable feature of the burials is the position
of the corpse, totally unlike anything that is found of the Pharaonic

The Egyptian finds of stone implements present the peculiarity as
compared with those of Europe, that types are found associated
together belonging to what would be regarded in other countries
as very different epochs. The time may come when subdivisions can
be made of the Egyptian stone age, but the study has not yet been
pursued far enough to make this practicable at present. Among these
articles are hatchets showing the transitions, examples of which
are wanting in Europe, from the rudest stone hammer to the polished
neolithic implement; knives of various shape and some of handsome
workmanship; scrapers, lance heads, arrowheads, saws, pins, bodkins,
maces, beads, bracelets, and combs. The large number of instruments
with toothed blades found at some of the stations may be regarded
as pointing to a very extensive cultivation of cereals at the time
they were in use. The deposits of Tukh, Zarraïdah, Khattarah,
Abydos, etc., situated in regions suitable for growing grain, yield
thousands of them, while they are very rare at the fishing station of
Dimeh. That the use of sickles tipped with flint very probably lasted
long after the introduction of metals seems to be proved by the
hieroglyphics; but very few evidences of the existence of such tools
are found after the middle empire.

No traces of articles related to the religion of the Pharaohs are
found in the burial places of the aborigines. In place of the
statuettes and funerary divinities of later times are found rude
figurines of animals cut in green schists. They represent fishes,
tortoises with eyes adorned with hard stone or nacre, and numerous
signs the origin of which is unknown, and were apparently regarded
as fetiches or divinities. Articles of pottery are very numerous,
very crude, and of a great variety of forms. It is not necessary to
suppose that the people who have left these relics were savages or
barbarians. History and even the present age afford instances of
many peoples who have obtained considerable degrees of civilization
while backward in some of the arts. It is hardly possible to
achieve delicacy of design and finish without the use of metals. I
believe I have shown that an age of stone once existed in Egypt,
and that it furthermore played an important part, even in Pharaonic
civilization.--_Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the
Author's Recherches sur les Origines de l'Egypte._



In January, 1898, an elderly woman came in great anxiety to a priest
of the Church of St. Ursula, in Munich, Bavaria, and complained that
the devil haunted her house at night and frightened her by making
a great noise. In explanation of this unseasonable and undesirable
visit from the lower world she stated that a joint-stock company
had been formed in Berlin, with a branch in Munich, for the purpose
of discovering hidden treasures, and that in order to attain this
object a human sacrifice must be made to the devil, and that she
had been selected as the victim. A woman, whose husband was a
stockholder in the aforesaid company, had kindly communicated to her
this information, so that she might be prepared and have time to set
her house in order. Satan, however, grew impatient of the promised
sacrifice, and began to look after her. The priest sent one of his
younger assistants at the altar to read appropriate prayers in the
haunted house, and thus exorcise the evil spirit. We can hardly
suppose that his reverence believed in the reality of the reported
apparition, and yet he could not assert its impossibility by calling
in question the existence of the devil or the actuality of diabolical
agencies in human affairs without undermining the foundations of the
ecclesiastical system, of which he was an acknowledged supporter.
Such a declaration would "take away our hope," as the Scotchman said
of the denial of a literal hell-fire and the doctrine of eternal
punishment. It was for the same reason that the great body of the
Catholic clergy, from Pope Leo XIII and the highest dignitaries
of the church down to the humblest country vicar, so easily fell
into the snares laid by Leo Taxil and accepted the signature of the
devil Bitru as genuine, and his revelations concerning the pact of
the freemasons with Satan as authentic. It is certainly somewhat
startling to meet with such a case of gross superstition as the
above-mentioned in one of the seats of modern science and centers of
European civilization. In rural districts, remote from the influences
of intellectual culture, however, instances of this kind are of quite
frequent occurrence, and often result in the commission of crime.
Human sacrifices to Satan are still by no means uncommon in many
parts of Russia, and are supposed to be effective in warding off
famine and in staying the ravages of pestilence. Even in Germany and
other countries of western Europe the belief in their prophylactic
virtue is remarkably prevalent, and would be often put into practice
were it not for the stricter administration of justice and the
greater terror of the law.

In October, 1889, the criminal court in the governmental province
of Archangelsk, in northern Russia, sentenced a Samoyede, Jefrern
Pyrerka, to fifteen years' imprisonment with hard labor for the
murder of a maiden named Ssavaney. His sole defense was that an
unusually severe winter with a heavy fall of snow had produced a
famine followed by scurvy, of which all his children had died. He
therefore made an image of the devil out of wood, smeared its lips
with fat, and set it up on a hillock. He then attempted to lasso
one of his companions, Andrey Tabarey, and had already thrown the
noose round his neck, when the energetic wife of the intended victim
intervened and rescued her husband. Shortly afterward he succeeded
in strangling the girl and offering her as a sacrifice to his idol.
In the province of Novgorod, known as "the darkest Russia," it is a
general custom among the country people to sacrifice some animal,
usually a black cat, a black cock, or a black dog, by burying it
alive, in order to check the spread of cholera. In the village of
Kamenka, a peasant, whose son had died of this disease, interred
with the body eight live tomcats. The immolation of dumb animals,
however, is deemed less efficacious than that of human beings. On
one occasion, when the cholera was raging severely, a deputation of
peasants waited upon their parson, stating that they had determined
to bury him alive in order to appease the demon of the plague. He
escaped this horrible death only by apparently acceding to their
wishes and craving a few days' respite in order to prepare for such a
solemn ceremony; meanwhile he took the measures necessary to secure
his safety and thwarted the purpose of his loving parishioners. In
Okopovitchi, a village of the same province, the peasants succeeded
in enticing an aged woman, Lucia Manjkov, into the cemetery, where
they thrust her alive into the grave containing the bodies of those
who had died of the epidemic, and quickly covered her up. When
brought to trial they proved that they had acted on the advice of
a military surgeon, Kosakovitch, who was therefore regarded as the
chief culprit, and sentenced to be knouted by the hangman, and then
to undergo twelve years' penal servitude in Siberia. We are indebted
for these instances of barbarous superstition to the researches of
Augustus Löwenstimm, associate jurisconsult in the department of
justice at St. Petersburg, who has derived them from thoroughly
authentic and mostly official sources. He reports several occurrences
of a similar kind during the epidemics of cholera in 1831, 1855, and
1872. Indeed, it is very difficult to abolish such pagan practices
so long as the clergy foster the notion that animal sacrifices are
expiatory and propitiatory in their effects. In some parts of the
province of Vologda it is still customary on the day dedicated to
the prophet Elias (July 20th in the Greek calendar) to offer up
bullocks, he-goats, or other quadrupeds within the precincts of the
church. The animal is driven into the courtyard surrounding the
sacred edifice and there slaughtered; the flesh is boiled in a large
kettle, one half of it being kept by the peasants who provide the
sacrifice, while the other half is distributed among the priests and

The belief that the walls of dams, bridges, aqueducts, and buildings
are rendered preternaturally strong by immuring a living human being
within them still prevails in many countries of Christendom, and
there is hardly an old castle in Europe that has not a legend of this
sort connected with it. Usually a child is supposed to be selected
for this purpose, and the roving bands of gypsies are popularly
accused of furnishing the infant victims. The custom of depositing
gold coins or other precious objects in the foundation stones of
important public edifices is doubtless a survival of the ancient

Löwenstimm mentions a curious superstition of pagan origin still
practiced in portions of Russia, and known as "_korovya smertj_"
(cow-death) and "_opachivaniye_" (plowing roundabout). If pestilence
or murrain prevails in a village, an old woman of repute as a seeress
or fortune-teller enters the confines of the village at midnight and
beats a pan. Thereupon all the women of the place assemble in haste,
armed with divers domestic utensils--frying-pans, pokers, tongs,
shovels, scythes, and cudgels. After shutting the cattle in their
stalls, and warning the men not to leave their houses, a procession
is formed. The seeress takes off her dress and pronounces a curse
upon Death. She is then hitched to a plow, together with a bevy of
virgins and a misshapen woman, if such a one can be found, and a
continuous and closed furrow is drawn round the village three times.
When the procession starts, the image of some saint suitable to the
occasion, that of St. Blasius, for example, in the case of murrain,
is borne in front of it; this is followed by the seeress, clad only
in a shift, with disheveled hair and riding on a broomstick; after
her come women and maidens drawing the plow, and behind them the rest
of the crowd, shrieking and making a fearful din. They kill every
animal they meet, and if a man is so unfortunate as to fall in with
them he is mercilessly beaten, and usually put to death. In the eyes
of these raging women he is not a human being, but Death himself
in the form of a were-wolf, who seeks to cross their path and thus
break the charm and destroy the healing virtue of the furrow. The
ceremony varies in different places, and generally ends by burying
alive a cat, cock, or dog. In some districts the whole population of
the village, both men and women, take part in the procession, and
are often attended by the clergy with sacred images and consecrated
banners. During the prevalence of the pest in the province of
Podolia, in 1738, the inhabitants of the village of Gummenez, while
marching in procession through the fields, met Michael Matkovskij,
a nobleman of a neighboring village, who was looking for his stray
horses. The strange man, wandering about with an eager look and a
bridle in his hand, was regarded as the incarnate pestilence, and
was therefore seized and most brutally beaten and left lying half
naked and half dead on the ground. At length he recovered his senses
and succeeded with great difficulty in reaching his home. No sooner
was it known that he was still alive than the peasants rushed into
his house, dragged him to their village, subjected him to terrible
tortures, and finally burned him. A curious feature of these remedial
rites is the mixture of paganism and Christianity which characterizes
them; and it is an unquestionable though almost incredible fact that
their atoning efficacy is often quite as firmly believed in by the
village priests of the Russian Church as by the most ignorant members
of their flock. In the autumn of 1894 some Russian peasants in the
district of Kazan slew one of their own number as a sacrifice to the
gods of the Votiaks, a Finnish race dwelling on the Volga, Viatka,
and Kama Rivers. Even orthodox Christians of the Greek Church,
although regarding these gods as devils, fear and seek to propitiate
them, especially in times of public distress.

Still more widely diffused is the practice of infanticide as the
sequence of superstition. The belief that dwarfs or gnomes, dwelling
in the inner parts of the earth, carry off beautiful newborn babes
and leave their own deformed offspring in their stead is not confined
to any one people, but is current alike in Germanic, Celtic, Romanic,
and Slavic countries, and causes a misshapen child to be looked upon
with suspicion and subjected to cruel tortures and even killed. The
supposed changeling is often severely beaten with juniper rods and
the scourging attended with incantations, so as to compel the wicked
fairies to reclaim their deformed bantling and restore the stolen
child. If the castigation proves ineffective, more summary measures
are frequently taken, and the supposititious suckling is thrown out
of the window on a dunghill or immersed in boiling water. In 1877, in
the city of New York, an Irish immigrant and his wife burned their
child to death under the delusion that they were ridding themselves
of a changeling. Cases of this kind are quite common in Ireland,
where the victims are sometimes adults.[28] Not long since Magoney,
an Irish peasant, had a sickly child, which the most careful nurture
failed to restore to health and strength. The parents, therefore,
became convinced that a changeling had been imposed upon them, and
when the boy was four years old they resolved to have recourse to
boiling water, in which he was kept, notwithstanding his shrieks and
protestations that he was not an elf, but their own Johnny Magoney,
until death released him from his torments.

Wilhelm Mannhardt, the celebrated writer on folklore, states that
when, in 1850, he was in Löblau, a village of West Prussia, he saw a
man brutally maltreating a boy on the street. On inquiry he found
that the lad had done nothing worthy of blame, but that his only
fault was an exceptionally large head. This cranial peculiarity,
offensively conspicuous in what seems to have been a narrow-headed
family, was reason enough for the parents to disown their offspring,
and to treat him as the counterfeit of a child foisted in by the
fairies. At Hadersleben, a considerable market town of North Silesia,
the wife of a farmer, in 1883, gave birth to a puny infant, which the
parents at once assumed to be a changeling. In order to defeat the
evil designs of the elves and to compel the restoration of their own
child, they held the newborn over a bed of live coals on the hearth
until it was covered with blisters and died in intense agony. In East
Prussia, the Mazurs, a Polish race, whose only notable contribution
to modern civilization and the gayety of nations is the mazurka,
take precautionary measures by placing a book (usually the Bible,
although any book will do) under the head of the newborn babe, so as
to prevent the devil from spiriting it away and substituting for it
one of his own hellish brood, thus unwittingly furnishing a marvelous
illustration of the beneficent influence of the printing press and
the magic power of literature. The Estonian inhabitants of the island
of Oesel in Livonia refrain from kindling a fire in the house while
the rite of baptism is being celebrated, lest the light of the flames
should render it easier for Satan surreptitiously to exchange an imp
for the infant. After the sacred ceremony has been performed there is
supposed to be no danger of such a substitution.

One of the most incredible instances of this extremely silly and
surprisingly persistent superstition occurred in 1871 at Biskunizy,
a village of Prussian Posen, where a laborer, named Bekker, had by
industry and frugality gradually acquired a competence and been able
to buy a house of his own, in which he led a happy domestic life
with his wife and five children, of whom he was very fond. After
fourteen years of unbroken felicity the wife's elder sister, Marianne
Chernyak, came from Poland to pay them a visit. This woman was a
crackbrained devotee, who spent half her time in going to mass and
the other half in backbiting her neighbors. She also claimed that
she could detect at once whether a person is in league with Satan,
and could cast out devils. The villagers came to look upon her as
a witch, and avoided all association with her, especially as her
aberrations manifested themselves in exceedingly malevolent and
mischievous forms. Unfortunately, she acquired complete ascendency
over her younger sister, who accepted her absurd pretensions as real.
On November 19, 1871, Marianne, after returning from confession, went
to bed, but at midnight Mrs. Bekker, who slept with her youngest
child, a boy about a year old, was awakened by a fearful shriek and
lit the lamp. Thereupon the sister rushed into the room, crying:
"The demons have stolen your child and put a changeling in your bed:
beat him, beat him, if you wish to have your child again!" Under the
influence of this suggestion, which seemed to be almost hypnotic in
its character, the bewildered mother began to beat the boy. The aunt
now seized him and swung him to and fro, as if she would fling him
out of the window, at the same time calling out to Satan: "There!
you have him; take your brat!" She then gave him back to his mother
with the words: "Throw him to the ground, drub him, beat him to
death; otherwise you will never recover your child." This advice was
followed, and the boy severely strapped with a heavy girdle as he
lay on the floor. Meanwhile Bekker, hearing the noise, got up and
at first tried to intervene for the protection of his son, but was
easily convinced by his wife that she was doing the right thing,
and persuaded to aid her in discomfiting the devil by beating the
boy with a juniper stick. The process of exorcism, thus renewed
with increased vigor, soon proved fatal. At this juncture, as the
son of the aunt, a lad of five years, threw himself down with loud
lamentations beside the dead body of his little cousin, his mother
cried out: "Beat him; he is not my child! Why should we spare him?
We shall get other children!" Thereupon he, too, was maltreated in
the same manner until he expired. The aunt then declared that the
devil had crept into the stovepipe, and went to work to demolish
the stove, but, when she was prevented from doing so, fled into the
garden, where she was found the next morning by the school-teacher.
By this time Bekker and his wife seem to have come to their senses,
and were sitting by the corpses of the murdered children, weeping
and praying, as the neighbors entered the house. The trial, which
took place at Ostrov in January, 1872, led to the introduction of
conflicting expert testimony concerning the mental soundness of the
accused, and the matter was finally referred to a commission of
psychiaters in Berlin, who decided that Bekker and his wife were not
suffering from mental disease, and therefore not irresponsible, but
that the aunt was subject to periodical insanity to such a degree as
not to be accountable for her actions. Curiously enough, the jurors
remained uninfluenced by this testimony, and pronounced her guilty
of the crime laid to her charge, and in accordance with this verdict
the court sentenced her to three years' imprisonment with hard labor.
The jurors even went so far as to declare that she herself did not
believe in the existence of elf children or satanic changelings, but
made use of this popular superstition for her own selfish purposes,
and that she guilefully denounced her own boy as an imp in order to
get rid of him. In this verdict, or rather in the considerations
urged in support of it, it is easy to perceive the effects of strong
local prejudice against the accused, who had the reputation of being
a lazy, malicious, and crafty person, and was therefore denied the
extenuation of honest self-deception. Indeed, in such cases it is
always more or less difficult to determine where sincere delusion
ceases and conscious swindling begins. Just at this point the annals
of superstition present many puzzling problems, the solution of which
is of special interest as well as of great practical importance
not only to the psychologist and psychiater, but also to the
legislator and jurisprudent, who have to do with the enactment and
administration of criminal laws.

In the penal codes of the most civilized nations the agency of
superstition as a factor in the promotion of crime is almost wholly
ignored, and, as this was not the case in former times, the omission
would seem to assume that the general diffusion of knowledge in
our enlightened age had rendered all such specifications obsolete
and superfluous. Only in the Russian penal code, especially in the
sections _Ulosheniye_ and _Ustav_ on felonies and frauds, as cited
by Löwenstimm, do we find a distinct recognition and designation
of various forms of superstition as incentives to crime. Thus,
in paragraph 1469 of the first of these sections, the murder of
"monstrous births or misshapen sucklings" as changelings is expressly
mentioned, and the penalty prescribed; and in other clauses of the
code punishments are imposed for the desecration of graves and
mutilation of corpses, in order to procure talismans or to prevent
the dead from revisiting the earth as vampires, and for various
offenses emanating from the belief in sorcery and diabolical
possession. The practice of opening graves and mutilating dead
bodies is quite common, and arises in general from the notion that
persons who die impenitent and without extreme unction, including
suicides and victims to delirium tremens, apoplexy, and other forms
of sudden death, as well as schismatics, sorcerers, and witches,
come forth from their graves and wander about as vampires, sucking
the blood of individuals during sleep and inflicting misery upon
entire communities by producing drought, famine, and pestilence. The
means employed to prevent this dangerous metamorphosis, or at least
to compel the vampire to remain in the grave, differ in different
countries. In Russia the deceased is buried with his face downward,
and an ashen stake driven through his back, while in Poland and East
Prussia the corpse is wrapped up in a fish net and covered with
poppies, owing, doubtless, to the soporific qualities of this plant.
Preventive measures of this kind are often taken with the consent and
co-operation of the clergy and local authorities. Thus, in 1849, at
Mariensee, near Dantzig, in West Prussia, a peasant's wife came to
the Catholic priest of the parish and complained that an old woman
named Welm, recently deceased, appeared in her house and beat and
otherwise tormented her child. The priest seems to have accepted
the truth of her statement, since he ordered the corpse to be
disinterred, decapitated, reburied at a cross-road, and covered with
poppies. In 1851, during the prevalence of cholera in Ukraine, in the
governmental province of Kiev, the peasants of Possady attributed
the epidemic to a deceased sacristan and his wife, who were supposed
to roam about at night as vampires and kill people by sucking their
blood. In order to stay the ravages of the scourge the corpses of
this couple were exhumed, their heads cut off and burned, and ashen
stakes driven through their backs into the ground. In 1892 a peasant
woman in the Russian province of Kovno hanged herself in a wood near
the village of Somenishki. The priest refused her Christian burial
because she had committed suicide, and was therefore given over to
the devil. In order that she might rest quietly in her grave and
not be changed into a vampire, her sons severed her head from her
body and laid it at her feet. In thus refusing to perform religious
funeral rites the priest obeyed the canons of the church and also
the laws of the Russian Empire. Until quite recently a corner of
unconsecrated ground next to the wall of the Russian cemetery was
reserved as a sort of carrion pit for the corpses of self-murderers,
and it is expressly prescribed in the _Svod Sakonov_[29] that they
"shall be dragged to such place of infamy by the knacker, and
there covered with earth." This treatment of a _felo-de-se_ by
the ecclesiastical and civil authorities directly fosters popular
superstition by tending to confirm the notion that there is something
uncanny, eldritch, demoniacal, and preternaturally malignant inherent
in his mortal remains, a notion still further strengthened by a most
unjust paragraph (1472) in the Russian code, which declares the last
will and testament of a suicide to have no legal validity. Drought,
too, as well as pestilence, is ascribed to the evil agency of
vampires, which "milk the clouds," and hinder the falling of the dew.
In 1887 the South Russian province of Cherson began to suffer from
drought soon after a peasant had hanged himself in the village of
Ivanovka, the inhabitants of which, assuming a causative connection
between the aridity and the self-homicide, poured water on the grave
while uttering the following words: "I sprinkle, I pour; may God send
a shower, bring on a little rainfall, and relieve us from misery!" As
this invocation failed to produce the desired effect, the body was
taken up and inhumed again in a gorge outside of the village. In some
districts the corpse is disinterred, beaten on the head, and drenched
with water poured through a sieve; in others it is burned.

The records of the criminal courts in West Prussia during the last
half century contain numerous instances of the violation of graves
from superstitious motives. Thus in March, 1896, a peasant died in
the village of Penkuhl; soon afterward his son was taken ill of a
lingering disease, which the remedies prescribed by the country
doctor failed to relieve. It did not take long for the "wise women"
of the village to convince him that his father was a "nine-killer,"
and would soon draw after him into the grave nine of his next of
kin. The sole means of depriving him of this fatal power would be to
disinter him and sever his head from his body. In accordance with
this advice the young man dug up the corpse by night and decapitated
it with a spade. In this case the accused, if tried in court, might
honestly declare that he acted in self-defense; indeed, he might
plead in justification of his conduct that he thereby preserved
not only his own life, but also the lives of eight of his nearest
and dearest relations, and that he should be commended rather than
condemned for what he had done. It is the possibility and sincerity
of this plea that render it so difficult to deal with such offenses
judicially and justly. Here is needed what Tennyson calls

    "The intuitive decision of a bright
    And thorough-edged intellect, to part
    Error from crime."

Quite different, however, from a moral point of view, is the opening
of graves in quest of medicaments, and especially of talismans, which
are supposed to bring good luck to the possessor or to enable him
to practice sorcery and to commit crime with impunity. In ancient
times, and even in the middle ages, physicians sometimes prescribed
parts of the human body as medicine, and in Franconia, North Bavaria,
a peasant now occasionally enters an apothecary's shop and asks for
"_Armensünderfett_," poor sinner's fat, obtained from the bodies of
executed malefactors and prized as a powerful specific. The culprit
was tried first for murder and then for lard, and thus made doubly
conducive to the safety and sanitation of the community. Formerly
many persons went diligently to public executions for the purpose
of procuring a piece of the criminal as a healing salve, but since
the hangman or headsman has generally ceased to perform his fearful
functions in the presence of a promiscuous crowd, such loathsome
remedies for disease are sought in churchyards.

In May, 1865, a Polish peasant in Wyssokopiz, near Warsaw, discovered
that the grave of his recently deceased wife had been opened and
the corpse mutilated. Information was given to the police, and a
shepherd's pipe, found in the churchyard, led to the detection of
the culprit in the person of the communal shepherd, a man twenty-six
years old, who on examination confessed that he, with the aid of two
accomplices, had committed the disgustful deed. His object, he said,
was to procure a tooth and the liver of a dead person. He intended
to pulverize the tooth and after mixing it with snuff to give it to
his brother-in-law in order to poison him. On perceiving, however,
that the body was that of a woman, he did not take the tooth, because
it would have no power to kill a man; but he cut out the liver for
the purpose of burying it in a field where the sheep were pastured,
and thus causing the death of the entire flock in case he should be
superseded by another shepherd, which he feared might happen. All
three were condemned to hard labor in Siberia.

It is a quite prevalent notion that if any part of a corpse is
concealed in a house, the inmates will have the corresponding bodily
organs affected by disease and gradually paralyzed. A drastic
example of this superstition occurred in May, 1875, at Schwetz,
a provincial town of West Prussia, where a woman named Albertine
Mayevski became the mother of a male child, which died soon after
its birth. The father, to whom she was betrothed, refused to marry
her, and to punish him for this breach of promise she disinterred
the body of her babe, cut off its right hand at the wrist and the
genitals, and hid them in the chimney of the house of her faithless
lover, hoping thereby to cause the hand, with which he had pledged
his vow, to wither away, and to render him impotent. All this she
freely confessed when brought to trial, and was sentenced to two
months' imprisonment. But such relics of the tomb are used, on the
principle of _similia similibus_, not only for inflicting injury, but
also for bringing luck. Thus members of the "light-fingered craft"
carry with them the finger of a corpse in order to enhance their
skill, success, and safety in thievery; if the finger belonged to an
adroit thief or a condemned criminal its talismanic virtue is all the
greater. It is also believed that a purse in which a finger joint is
kept will contain an inexhaustible supply of money. The finger of a
murdered man is greatly prized by burglars because it is supposed
to possess a magic power in opening locks. The records of criminal
courts prove that these absurd notions are generally entertained by
common malefactors in East Prussia, Thuringia, Silesia, Bohemia,
and Poland. A candle made of fat obtained from the human body is
very frequently used by thieves on account of its supposed soporific
power, since with such a taper, known in Germany as _Diebslicht_
or _Schlummerlicht_ (sloom-light in provincial English), they are
confident of being able to throw all the inmates of the house
into a deep sleep, and thus rummage the rooms at will and with
perfect impunity. The danger of detection is also forestalled by
laying a dead man's hand on a window sill; and in order to make
assurance doubly sure, both preservatives are usually employed.
Hence the proverbial saying, "He sleeps as though a dead hand had
been carried round him." The desire to procure material for such
candles often leads to the commission of crime. An Austrian jurist,
Dr. Gross, in his manual for inquisitorial judges (_Handbuch für
Untersuchungsrichter_), and the folklorists Mannhardt and Jakushkin,
give numerous instances of this kind, and there is no doubt that
the many mysterious murders and ghastly mutilations, especially of
women and children, so horrifying to the public and puzzling to the
police, are due to the same cause. In most cases the prosecuting
attorneys and judges are unable to discover the real motives of such
bloody and brutal deeds because they are ignorant of the popular
superstitions in which they have their origin, and, for lack of any
better explanation, attribute them to mere brutishness, wantonness,
homicidal mania, and other vague and unintelligible impulses, whereas
in reality they spring from a supremely selfish but exceedingly
definite purpose, are perpetrated deliberately, and with the normal
exercise of the mental faculties, and can not be mitigated even by
the extenuating plea of sudden passion. Crimes of this sort are
of common occurrence not only in the semi-barbarous provinces of
Russia, but also in Austria and Germany, justly reckoned among the
most civilized countries of Christendom. On January 1, 1865, the
house of a man named Peck, near Elbing in West Prussia, was entered
during the absence of the family by a burglar, Gottfried Dallian,
who killed the maid-servant, Catharina Zernickel, and ransacked
the premises in search of money and other objects of value. Before
carrying off his spoils he cut a large piece of flesh out of the body
of the murdered girl in order to make candles for his protection on
future occasions of this sort. The talismanic light, which he kept
in a tin tube, did not prevent him from being caught in the act of
committing another burglary about six weeks later. During the trial,
which resulted in his condemnation to death, he confessed that he
had eaten some of the maid-servant's flesh in order to appease his
conscience. This disgusting method of alleviating the "compunctious
visitings of Nature" would seem to confirm the suggestion of a
writer in the _Russkiya Wjedomosti_ (Russian News, 1888, No. 359)
that the thieves' candle is a survival of primitive cannibalism,
distinct traces of which he also discovers in a Russian folk song
which runs as follows: "I bake a cake out of the hands and feet, out
of the silly head I form a goblet, out of the eyes I cast drinking
glasses, out of the blood I brew an intoxicating beer, and out of
the fat I mold a candle." It is certainly very queer to find such
stuff constituting the theme of popular song within the confines
of Christian civilization at the present day, a grewsome stuff more
suitable as the staple of Othello's tales

    "--of the cannibals that each other eat,
    The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
    Do grow beneath their shoulders."

In the burglary just mentioned the murder and mutilation of the
maid were incidental to the robbery, and probably an afterthought,
but there are on record numerous instances of persons being waylaid
and killed for the sole purpose of making candles out of their
adipose tissue. No longer ago than November 15, 1896, two peasants
were convicted of this crime in Korotoyak, a city on the Don in
South Russia. Their victim was a boy twelve years of age, whom they
strangled and eviscerated in order to make candles from the fat of
the caul and entrails. It would be superfluous and tedious to cite
additional examples of this outrageous offense against humanity and
common sense, for, like the devils that entered into the Gadarene
swine, their name is Legion.

A still more disgusting and dangerous superstition is the notion that
supernatural powers are acquired by eating the heart of an unborn
babe of the male sex, just as a savage imagines that by eating the
heart of a brave foe he can become indued with his valor. The modern
European cannibal believes that by eating nine hearts, or parts of
them, he can make himself invisible and even fly through the air.
He can thus commit crime without detection, and defy all efforts to
arrest or imprison him, releasing himself with ease from fetters, and
passing through stone walls. This horrible practice has been known
for ages, and is still by no means uncommon. In the first half of the
fifteenth century the notorious marshal of France, Gilles de Laval,
Baron of Rayz, is said to have murdered in his castle near Nantes one
hundred and fifty women in order to get possession of unborn babes.
He was then supposed to have committed these atrocities from lewd
motives, and was also accused of worshiping Satan. A mixed commission
of civilians and ecclesiastics, appointed to examine into the matter,
found him guilty and condemned him to be strangled and burned on
October 25, 1440. In 1429, when he was thirty-three years of age, he
had fought the English at Orleans by the side of Joan of Arc, and it
was probably the desire to acquire supernatural powers in emulation
of the maid that led him to perpetrate a succession of inhuman
butcheries extending over a period of fourteen years, the real object
of which seems to have been imperfectly understood by the tribunal
which sentenced him to death.[30] Löwenstimm cites several instances
of this crime. Thus, in 1577 a man was put to the rack in Bamberg,
North Bavaria, for murdering and disemboweling three pregnant women.
In the seventeenth century a band of robbers, whose chief was known
as "King Daniel," created intense consternation among the inhabitants
of Ermeland in East Prussia. For a long time these freebooters roved
and spoiled with impunity, but were finally arrested and executed.
They confessed that they had killed fourteen women, but, as the
unborn infants proved to be female, their hearts were devoid of
talismanic virtue. Indeed, they attributed their capture to this
unfortunate and unforseeable circumstance, and posed as persons
worthy of commiseration on account of their ill luck. One of the
strangest features of this cruel and incredible superstition is its
persistency in an age of superior enlightenment. Dr. Gross records
two cases of comparatively recent occurrence in the very centers of
modern civilization: one in 1879, near Hamburg, where a woman, great
with child, was killed and cut open by a Swede named Andersen, and
another of like character ten years later in Simmering, near Vienna.

An ordeal very commonly practiced in the middle ages to determine
the guilt or innocence of any one accused of theft was to give him
a piece of consecrated cheese, which, if he were guilty, it would
be impossible for him to swallow. Hence arose the popular phrase,
"It sticks in his throat." Thus Macbeth says, after he had "done the

    "But wherefore could not I pronounce amen?
    I had most need of blessing, and amen
    Stuck in my throat."

Wuttke states that this custom still prevails in the Prussian
province of Brandenburg, where a person suspected of larceny is
made to swallow a piece of Dutch cheese on which certain magical
letters and signs are scratched. His failure to do so is regarded
as conclusive evidence of his guilt. Various other means of making
inquest for the detection of crime are in vogue, some of them merely
silly, and others mercilessly savage. Thus a mirror is laid for
three successive nights in the grave of a dead man. It is placed
there in the name of God, and taken out in the name of Satan. It
is believed that by looking into such a mirror the person of the
thief can be clearly seen. A bull belonging to a peasant not far
from Perm, on the Kama, died suddenly. The owner declared that the
death of the animal was due to witchcraft, and demanded that all
the women of the village should be made to creep through a horse
collar in order to discover the hag who had wrought the mischief.
This plan was approved by his neighbors, and, although their wives
protested against being subjected to the degrading and for corpulent
women extremely difficult and even dangerous test, they finally
submitted to it rather than remain under the suspicion of practicing
the black art. This performance, which is unquestionably a relic of
Uralian-Finnish paganism, took place on March 16, 1896. The following
instance may serve as an example of the ruthless barbarity to which
such delusions often lead: In December, 1874, a South Russian peasant
in the vicinity of Cherson missed one hundred rubles and went to a
weird woman in order to learn what had become of them. She consulted
her cards and declared that the money had been stolen by a certain
Marfa Artynov. The man was greatly astonished at this response,
because the accused was a highly respected teacher of young children,
and had the reputation of being thoroughly honest. Nevertheless, his
credulity got the better of his common sense, and with the aid of his
neighbors he seized Marfa and carried her to the churchyard, where
he bound her to a cross and began to torture her, beating her with a
knout, suspending her by her hands, and twisting and tearing her neck
and tongue with a pincers. To her cries and entreaties her tormentors
coolly replied, "If you are really innocent, what we are doing can
cause you no pain!" Many of the persons who offer their services
as clairvoyants and seers to a credulous and confiding public, and
whose utterances are accepted as oracles, are professional swindlers.
Thus a young lady moving in the higher circles of society in Vienna
had a valuable set of diamonds stolen. By the advice of a trusted
lackey she consulted a woman, who was reputed to have the power of
divination, and who informed her, contrary to the strong suspicions
of the police, that the theft had been committed, not by any member
of the household, but by a stranger. The young lady was so firmly
persuaded of the truth of this statement that, although urged by the
court to prosecute the lackey, she refused to do so. The evidence
against him, however, was so strong that he was finally tried and
condemned. The pythoness, who had endeavored to exculpate him, proved
to be his aunt and accomplice.

A queer phase of superstition, which in many parts of Europe
seriously interferes with the administration of justice, manifests
itself in the various means of avoiding the evil consequences of
perjury, at least so far as to soothe the pangs of conscience and to
avert the divine anger. This immunity is secured in some provinces
of Austria by carrying on one's person a bit of consecrated wafer, a
piece of bone from the skeleton of a child, or the eyes of a hoopoe,
holding a ducat or seven small pebbles in the mouth, pressing the
left hand firmly against the side, crooking the second finger, or
pulling off a button from the trousers while in the act of swearing,
or spitting immediately after taking an oath. The Russian province
of Viatka is settled by a people of Finnish origin, the majority
of whom have been baptized and call themselves orthodox Christians,
while the remainder are still nominally as well as really heathen.
When they take an oath it is administered by a pope or priest, and a
Russian jurist, J. W. Mjeshtshaninov, describes the method employed
by them to forswear themselves with safety. When called upon to
take an oath, the witness raises the right hand with the index
finger extended; he then lays the left hand in the palm of the right
hand with the index finger pointing downward, and by a crisscross
combination of the other fingers, which probably works as a charm,
the whole body is converted into a conductor, so that the oath
entering through the index finger of the right hand passes through
the index finger of the left hand into the earth like an electric
current. The witness thus feels himself discharged of the binding
influence of the oath, and may give false testimony without laying
perjury upon his soul.

The superstitions which encourage ignorant people to commit crime are
handed down from generation to generation, and have in most cases
a purely local character. In other words, the charms and sorceries
and other magical arts employed to produce the same results differ
in different places, and unless the judges are familiar with these
various forms of superstition they will be unable to understand the
exact nature of the offenses with which they have to deal, and their
efforts to detect and punish violations of the law will be greatly
hampered and sometimes completely thwarted.

The subject here discussed has not only a speculative interest
for ethnographers and students of folklore, but also, as already
indicated, a practical importance for criminal lawyers and courts
of justice in the Old World and even in the United States. The tide
of immigration that has recently set in from the east and south
of Europe has brought to our shores an immense number of persons
strongly infected with the delusions which we have attempted to
describe. Acts which would seem at first sight to have their
origin in impulses of cruelty and brutality are found on closer
investigation to be due to crass ignorance and credulity, and,
although the ultimate motives are usually utterly selfish, there are
rare instances in which the perpetrators of such deeds are thoroughly
disinterested and altruistic, and do the most revolting things, not
from greed of gain, but solely for the public good. In cases of this
kind the most effective preventive of wrongdoing is not judicial
punishment but intellectual enlightenment.


[26] Löwenstimm's studies, printed originally in the Journal of the
Ministry of Justice in St. Petersburg, have been made accessible to a
larger class of readers by being collected and translated into German
in a volume entitled Aberglaube und Strafrecht (Berlin: Räde, 1897),
with an introduction by Prof. Joseph Kohler, of the University of

[27] As the Siberian Railway approached the northern boundaries of
the Chinese Empire and surveys were made for its extension through
Manchuria to the sea, great excitement was produced in Pekin by the
rumor that the Russian minister had applied to the Empress of China
for two thousand children to be buried in the roadbed under the rails
in order to strengthen it. Some years ago, in rebuilding a large
bridge, which had been swept away several times by inundations in the
Yarkand, eight children, purchased from poor people at a high price,
were immured alive in the foundations. As the new bridge was firmly
constructed out of excellent materials, it has hitherto withstood the
force of the strongest floods, a result which the Chinese attribute,
not to the solid masonry, but to the propitiation of the river god by
an offering of infants.

[28] See the case of Bridget Cleary, reported in Appletons' Popular
Science Monthly for November, 1895, p. 86. We may add that her
husband, Michael Cleary, was tried for murder and sentenced to twenty
years' penal servitude.

[29] General Code, vol. xiii, edition of 1892, cited by Löwenstimm.

[30] A full account of the trial is given in a Latin manuscript
preserved in the city archives of Nantes.



A western naturalist once said that the geology of Kansas was
monotonous. In one sense this remark is certainly justifiable,
and the same may be said about the geology of some of the other
States on the Western plains. The American continent is built on
a comprehensive plan, and many of its formations can be followed
for hundreds of miles without presenting much variation in general
appearance. Occasionally, however, some feature of special interest
crops out from the serene uniformity, and the very nature of its
surroundings then makes it appear all the more striking. Minor
accidents in the development of our extensive terranes sometimes
stand out in bold relief, as it were, from the monotonous background.
In their isolation from other details such features occasionally
display past events with unusual clearness.

Such is the case with a deposit of volcanic ash which has been
discovered in the superficial strata on the plains.[31] It lies
scattered in great quantities in a number of localities in Nebraska,
Kansas, South Dakota, and Colorado, having been found in no less than
twenty counties in the first-mentioned State. It measures from two
to fourteen feet in thickness in different localities, and is mostly
found imbedded in yellow marl and clay, and has a somewhat striking
appearance in the field, due to its snowy whiteness and to the
sharpness of the plane which separates it from the underlying darker
materials. Many years before its real nature was known it had been
noticed and described by Western geologists. Prof. O. T. St. John saw
it many years ago in Kansas, where it appeared as "an exceedingly
fine, pure white siliceous material," forming a separate layer of
several feet, and set off by a sharp line from the buff clay-marl
below. His words describe its usual appearance in other places (see
Fig. 1).


(From the University Geological Survey of Kansas, vol. ii.)]

This ash occurs in several outcrops in McPherson County in the
central part of Kansas, where the writer had an opportunity to study
it somewhat in detail a few years ago. Some of the features of the
dust at this place reveal the conditions under which it was formed
with considerable distinctness, and the volcanic episode which
produced it appears strikingly different from the dull monotony of
the ordinary geological work recorded in the terranes of the plains.
It may be said to consist of angular flakes of pumice, averaging one
sixteenth of a millimetre in diameter, and having a thickness of
about one three-hundredth of a millimetre. The most common shape of
the flakes is that of a triangle, or rather of a spherical triangle,
since the flakes are apt to be concave on one side and convex on the
other. In the microscope they sometimes appear like splinters of tiny
bubbles of glass, and this is really what they are (Fig. 2).

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--FLAKES OF VOLCANIC ASH. Magnified about 100
diameters. A, flake with a branching rib; B, fragment of a broken
hollow sphere of glass; C, fragment with drawn-out tubular vesicles;
D and E, plain fragments of broken pumice bubbles. (From American
Geologist, April, 1893.)]

The explosive eruptions which give rise to showers of this kind of
ash, or dust, are due to fusion and superheating of subterranean
masses of rocks charged with more or less moisture. A part of this
moisture escapes in the form of steam at the time of an eruption.
But the viscidity of the ejected material prevents much of the steam
from passing off, and such of the lava as cools most rapidly retains
a certain quantity in solution, as it were. Obsidian is a rock which
has been made in this way. It often contains much of the original
water, which will cause it to swell up into a stony froth when fused.

This volcanic dust has the same property. If one small particle of
it be heated on a piece of platinum foil it is seen to swell up
into a compound bubble of glass (Fig. 3). It is evident that this
is due to the expansive force of the heated included moisture, to
which the viscid half-molten glass readily yields. At the time of
the eruption which produced this dust, subterranean heat was applied
to the moisture-bearing rock until this was superheated to such an
extent that the weight of the overlying material was insufficient to
hold the water from expanding into steam. Then there was a tremendous
explosion, and the molten magma was thrown up with such a force that
it was shattered into minute droplets, in the same way as water does
when it is thrown forcibly into the air. Being thus released from
pressure, the steam inside of each little particle of the heated
glass caused it to swell out into a tiny bubble. As this kept on
expanding it was cooled, the thin glass wall of the bubble congealed,
and finally burst from the pressure of the steam within. This is the
reason why the little dust particles are thin, mostly triangular, and
often slightly concave flakes with sharp angles. Sometimes the angles
appear rounded, as if the fragments had been viscid enough to creep a
little after the bubble burst. The study of one single little grain
of dust, barely visible to the naked eye, thus makes clear the nature
of a catastrophe which must have shaken a whole mountain, and which
left its traces over a quarter of a continent.

FUSION. Magnified 100 diameters.]

That the dust was produced in this way is quite evident from other
circumstances. If a handful from the dust of this place be thrown
into water and gently stirred, it nearly all will settle after
a while. But some rather large particles remain floating on the
surface. If these are removed and examined under the microscope, they
are seen to be hollow spheres (Fig. 2, _b_). These are some of the
original bubbles that never burst, either because they contained too
little steam or else because the steam was cooled before it had time
to break the walls open. It is evident that not every droplet of the
molten magma would form a single sphere, but that many also would
swell up into a compound frothlike mass of pumice. A few such pieces
may sometimes be observed in the deposit at this place, and that many
more were made and broken is evident from the great number of glass
fragments which have riblike edges on their flat sides (Fig. 3, _a_).

The nature of the force which caused the eruption may thus be
understood from the study of one little grain of the dust, but much
more extended observations are needed in order to make out the place
where the great convulsion took place. It will, perhaps, never be
known what particular volcanic vent was the source of this ash.
Different deposits may have come from different places. But it seems
possible that it all came from the same eruption. There can be no
doubt that the volcanic disturbances occurred to the west of the
Great Plains. No recent extinct volcanoes are found in any other
direction. This conclusion is corroborated by the fact that the
dust is finer in eastern localities and coarser nearer the Rocky
Mountains. In a bed near Golden, in Colorado, seventy-three per cent,
by weight, of the dust consists of particles measuring from one
fourth to one thirty-second of a millimetre, while some from Orleans,
in Nebraska, contains seventy-four per cent of particles measuring
from one sixteenth to one sixty-fourth of a millimetre in diameter.
Still finer material comes from the bluffs of the Missouri River near
Omaha. Evidently the coarser particles would settle first, and if
the dust is finer toward the east, it must be because the wind which
brought it blew from the west. Most likely the eruption occurred
somewhere in Colorado or in New Mexico.

It may be asked how it can be known that the dust was carried this
long distance by the wind. May it not as well have been transported
by water? The answer must be, in the first place, that showers of
the same kind of material have been observed in connection with
volcanic outbursts in other parts of the world. One such shower is
known to have strewn the same kind of dust on the snow in Norway
after a volcanic eruption in Iceland, and after the great explosion
on Krakatoa, in 1883, such dust was carried by the wind several
hundred miles, and scattered over the ocean. If this ash had been
transported by water, it would not be found in such a pure state, but
it would be mixed with other sediments. There would, no doubt, also
be found coarser fragments of the volcanic products. On the contrary,
it appears uniformly fine. No particles have been found which
measure more than one millimetre in diameter, and less than one per
cent of its weight consists of particles exceeding one eighth of a
millimetre in diameter. In seven samples taken from different places
the proportions of the different sizes of the grains were about as

  A = Diameter of grains in millimetres
  B = Percentage of weight of each size
   A |1/2-1/4|1/4-1/8|1/8-1/16|1/16-1/32|1/32-1/64|1/64-1/128|1/128-1/256
   B |  0.1  |  0.1  |   19   |    37   |   32    |    9     |     1

Flaky particles of this size are easily carried along by a moderate
wind. In some places it appears as if the dust were resting on an
old land surface where no water could have been standing when it
fell. There is really no room for doubt that it was carried several
hundred miles by the wind. It must have darkened the sky at the time,
and it must have settled slowly and quietly over the wide plains,
covering extensive tracts with a white, snowlike mantle several feet
in thickness. What a desolate landscape after such a shower! What a
calamity for the brute inhabitants of the land!

Right here in McPherson County there was either a river or a lake at
the time of the catastrophe. This is plainly indicated in several
ways. In one place the dust rests on sand and clay, with imbedded
shells of fresh-water clams. It is assorted in coarse and fine layers
like a water sediment. Lowermost is a seam of very coarse grains.
These must have settled promptly through the water, while the finer
material was delayed. In another place it lies on higher ground,
and here marks of sedges and other vegetation are seen extending up
about a foot into the base of the deposit, from an underlying mucky
clay. Bog manganese impregnates a thin layer just above the clay,
indicating a marshy condition. Here also the material is somewhat
sorted, but in a different way. It is ripple-bedded. The water was
evidently shallow, if there was any water at all. A burrow like that
of a crawfish extended down into the old clay bottom. On a slab of
the volcanic ash itself some tracks appeared (Fig. 4). These were
probably made by an individual of the same race in an effort to
escape from the awful fate of being buried alive like the inhabitants
of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

A CRAWFISH. Reduced to 2/8 diameter.]

The shower must have lasted for a time of two or three days. I infer
this from the nature of the wind changes, which are indicated by the
ripples in the dust. These still lie in perfect preservation (Fig.
5), and may be studied by removing, inch by inch, the successive
layers from above downward, for it is evident that as the direction
of the wind changed, the ripples were also turned. The deciphering of
this record must be made backward. The bottom layers were deposited
first, and the excavation must begin on top. Otherwise the record is
as perfect as if it had been taken down by an instrument when the
shower occurred. It may be only local in its significance, for it
shows the direction of the wind at this particular place alone. The
wind may have been somewhat deflected from the general direction by
local topographic peculiarities, though these appear to have been of
small importance. In any case, the old legend is quite interesting to
read, being, I believe, the only geological record ever found of the
passing of a cyclone over the United States.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--RIPPLE MARKS IN THE VOLCANIC DUST. Reduced to
1/4 diameter.]

THE SOUTHWEST TO THE NORTHEAST. Reduced to 1/2 diameter.]

In the lowermost foot of the deposit no ripple marks can be seen. But
there appear some marks of sedges and other vegetation, and these are
inclined to the west, as if the plants had been bent by an east wind.
Just above the height to which the imprints of the vegetation extend,
ripple marks begin to appear, running on a northeast-southwest
course. They were made by a southeast wind, for their northwest
slopes are the steeper. A little above this height some peculiar
small elevations appear on one of the bedding planes, and slightly
raised ridges run for a short distance to the northeast from each
elevation, vanishing in the same direction (Fig. 6). A southwesterly
current was unmistakably obstructed by the little elevations, and
left the small trails of dust in their lee. Six inches higher up the
wind comes more from the south, and for the next foot the ripples
continue to gradually turn still more in the same direction so as to
at last record a due south wind. At this point it suddenly changed
and set in squarely from the west, for the ripples are turned north
and south, with the steeper slopes to the east. This direction seems
to have prevailed as long as the dust kept on falling. It appears
to me that these successive changes are best explained as attendant
upon the passage of a cyclone, or of what our daily weather maps call
a "low area." Going by from west to east, on the north, it would at
first cause an east wind. This would then gradually be turned to the
south and then to the west. One such rotation of the wind generally
lasts a day or two. The shower must then have kept on at least for
the same length of time, if not longer (Fig. 7).


There is reason to believe that this catastrophe occurred in summer.
No crayfish would be out making tracks during the cold months, and
the fossil vegetation could hardly have left such plain marks if it
had been buried by the dust during the winter. The most conspicuous
of these marks are some triangular and Y-shaped molds of the stems
and leaves of sedges. Siliceous skeletons of _chara_ and filamentous
algæ were also found upon a close examination in some of these molds.

It is really difficult to appreciate the change such a shower must
have produced in the appearance of the landscape, and the effect it
must have had on animal and plant life. So far away from the volcanic
source, the wind can not have laid down a layer of this dust several
feet in thickness without scattering it far and wide all around. It
must have covered tens of thousands of square miles. Just imagine,
if you can, a whole State, clad in the verdure of summer, suddenly,
in two or three days, covered over by a blanket of white volcanic
ash! Many species of plants must have found it impossible to grow
in such a soil. And what disaster it must have caused in the animal
world! Grazing herds had their sustenance buried from their sight,
and could save their lives only by traveling long distances in this
loose dust. Many a creature must have had its lungs or its gills
clogged with the glassy flakes floating in the water and in the air.
The sudden disappearance of several mammal species near the beginning
of the Quaternary age has been noted by paleontologists. Does it seem
unlikely that an event like this, especially if repeated, may have
hastened the extermination of some species of land animals? That many
individuals must have perished there can be no doubt. Not very far
away from that outcrop of the dust which I have described, one of the
early settlers in this part of the State once made a deep well that
penetrated the ash. Above the deposit, and some sixty feet below the
surface of the prairie, he found what he described as "an old bone
yard." In digging other wells in this vicinity mammal bones have been
taken up by the settlers from about the same horizon. It is to be
regretted that, with one exception, none of these fossils have been
preserved for study, for it is likely that they were the remains of
animals which were killed in the dust shower.

In the absence of fossils definitely known to be connected with the
ash, its exact age seems yet uncertain. In McPherson County it is
underlaid by clay, gravel, and sand, which contain remains of the
horse, of a megalonyx, and of bivalve mollusks of modern aspect. In
the bluffs of the Missouri River near Omaha pockets of a similar
ash rest on glacial clay under the loess. At the latter place it
must belong to the Pleistocene age, and at the former it can not be
older than the late Pleiocene. These two deposits may not belong
to the same shower, but it appears, at any rate, that the volcanic
disturbances which produced them occurred near the beginning of the
Pleistocene age.

In comparison with the slow and even tenor of the routine of
geological history, the event here sketched appears so unique and
so striking that it may well be called a geological romance. Modern
science has taught us that the geological forces are slow and largely
uniform in their work, and that most of the earth's features must be
explained without taking recourse to theories involving any violent
revolutions or general terrestrial cataclysms. While the making of
this dust is not any real exception to the law of uniformity, we are
here reminded that Nature is quite independent in her ways, and that
even in her sameness there is room for considerable diversity.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Mr. William Ogilvie, of the Topographical Survey of Canada,
     estimates that there are more than 3,200 miles of fair navigation
     in the system of the Yukon River, of which Canada owns nearly
     forty-two per cent. A remarkable feature of the river, with its
     Lewes branch, is that it drains the Peninsula of Alaska and nearly
     cuts it in two, starting as it does less than fourteen miles, "as
     the crow flies," from the waters of the Pacific Ocean, at the
     extreme head of the Lewes branch, whence it flows 2,100 miles into
     the same ocean, or Bering Sea, which is a part of it. The drainage
     basin of the river occupies about 388,000 square miles, of which
     Canada owns 149,000 square miles, or nearly half, but that half
     is claimed to be the most important. As for the origin of the
     name Yukon, the Indians along the middle stretches of the river
     all speak the same language, and call the river the Yukonah; in
     English, "the great river" or "the river." The Canadian Indians
     in the vicinity of Forty Mile call it "Thetuh," a name of which
     Mr. Ogilvie could not learn the meaning. The correct Indian name
     of the Klondike is _Troandik_, meaning Hammer Creek, and refers
     to the barriers the Indians used to erect across the mouth of the
     stream to catch salmon, by hammering sticks into the ground.


[31] Dr. Samuel Aughey, Physical Geography of Nebraska, 1880. Prof.
J. E. Todd, Science, April 23, 1886, and January 8, 1897. E. H.
Barbour, Publication No. V, Nebraska Academy of Sciences. J. A.
Udden, The American Geologist, June, 1891, and April, 1893. R. D.
Salisbury, Science, December 4, 1896. G. P. Merril, Proceedings of
the United States National Museum, 1885.



A year is, roughly speaking, the period which it takes the earth
to perform one complete revolution round the sun. I say "roughly
speaking" with due humility, having the fear of the expert ever
before my eyes, because I know that if I do not sing small, that
inconvenient person, the astronomical critic, will come down upon
me at once like a wolf on the fold, with minute distinctions about
the mean, the tropical, and the sidereal year; matters of immense
importance at Greenwich Observatory, no doubt, but elsewhere of very
little interest indeed, seeing that they differ from one another
by so many minutes only. Let us leave the astronomers their own
problems. The year with which I am going to deal humbly here is a
much more commonplace, ordinary, and comprehensible year--the visible
year of vegetation, of plant and animal life, of the four seasons;
the year as roughly known to children and savages, and to the weeds,
the flowers, the bees, and the squirrels.

It has often struck me as curious that people took this complex
concept of the year so much for granted--inquired so little into its
origin and discovery. Yet it is by no means everywhere obvious. How
did men first come to notice, in the tropics especially, that there
was such a thing as the year at all? How did they first observe, save
in our frozen north, any fixed sequence or order in the succession of
Nature? How did they learn, even here, that spring would infallibly
follow winter, and summer be succeeded in due course by autumn?
And, to go a step farther back, how did the plants and animals, in
all parts of the world alike, come originally to discover and adapt
themselves to all these things? How did the bee know that she must
"gather honey all the day from every opening flower," the summer
through, in order to use it up as bodily fuel in winter? How did the
plants learn when to blossom and produce seed? In one word, how did
the seasons come to be automatically recognized?

That they _are_ automatically recognized, even by plants, quite
apart from the stimulus of heat or cold, drought or rain, a single
fact (out of many like it) will sufficiently prove. Trees brought
from Australia to England, where the seasons are reversed, try for
two or three years to put forth leaves and flowers in October or
November--the southern spring. It takes them several autumns before
they learn that the year has been turned upside down--that June is
now summer and December winter. This shows that life moves in regular
cycles, adapted to the seasons, but not directly dependent upon
them. The rhythm of the world has set up an organic rhythm which now
spontaneously and automatically follows it.

At first sight, to the dweller in the temperate zone at the present
day, the questions I have put above may seem needless, not to say
childish. But that is perhaps because we have all too much the
habit of taking it for granted that what is true here and now has
also been true everywhere and always. A first visit to the tropics
often enough rudely disturbs this uninquiring attitude of mind. For
in the tropics, and especially in the equatorial region, there is
no winter and no summer, no spring and no autumn. The world wags
wearily through an unending display of monotonous greenery. As far as
temperature goes, the year is pretty much alike in all its months.
Yet not only do equatorial men recognize the existence of the year as
a natural epoch quite as much as other men--not only do equatorial
savages celebrate annual feasts, count ages by years, and perform
certain rites in certain months only--but also animal and vegetable
nature recognizes the year; trees have their month for blossoming and
fruiting, birds their month for assuming the plumage of courtship,
for nesting and hatching, almost as markedly as elsewhere. The
recognition of the year both by man and by Nature is not therefore
entirely dependent upon the difference of summer and winter, as such.
We must go deeper, and I think, when we come to consider geological
time, much deeper, if we wish to understand the true character of
yearliness--a word which I venture here to coin to express this

Have you ever quite realized what the tropical year is like? Suppose
you are living on or near the equator, then in December the sun is
south of you and at its greatest distance away; you have, so to
speak, a relative winter. But in March the sun is overhead; it is
now full midsummer. By the end of June the sun has gone north, and
is once more on a tropic; you have a second winter; not much of
a winter, I admit, but still, a relative winter. By September he
has returned overhead again, and you are enduring a second summer.
In December he has once more retreated to the southern tropic
(Capricorn), and it is comparative winter. Thus the equatorial year
consists of four distinct seasons, in two of which the sun stands
directly overhead, while in two he is at his northern or southern
limit. I may add that the effect is always curious when, as you face
the sun, you see that he is moving in his diurnal path, not from
left to right ("the way of the sun," as we say), but from right to
left (or "widdershins"). You are never till then aware how natural
and inevitable has seemed the opposite direction: when you find it
reversed the effect is surprising.

Now, the distance to which the sun travels north or south of you, if
you live on the equator--I use ordinary terms instead of astronomical
ones for simplicity's sake--is so comparatively small that within the
tropics themselves you never notice much difference as to the amount
of heat between one period of the year and another. In equatorial
countries the day and night temperature is much the same all the year
round: if the country be plain, it is always hot; if mountainous,
like the district about Bogotá, it is "a perpetual spring"; one day
is always much the same as the one that went before and the one that
comes after it. Even on the actual tropics, again, the difference
is too slight to make any marked change in the temperature; people
living on the northern tropic (Cancer), for example, have the sun
vertical to them on June 21st, and some forty-three degrees south of
them on December 21st. Nevertheless, the sun is still as near them
and as powerful as he is at Milan or Venice in the height of summer;
and the consequence is that, as a matter of fact, the thermometer
within the tropics and at sea level seldom descends below 75° or
80°, even at midnight in the relative winters. For the heating power
of the sun depends, of course, upon the directness of his rays, and
lessens with their obliquity; in Venice and Milan they are strong
enough to make the ground very hot in July and August, though it has
been cooled before by a northern winter; much more than in Jamaica or
Madagascar, which have never been cooled, does the accumulated heat
keep everything warm even when the sun is most oblique--and he never
reaches the same obliquity as in an English summer. The ground is
hot, the houses are hot, wood and stone are hot, and they have all
been hot from time immemorial.

Yet tropical and equatorial trees and plants have their definite
seasons to flower and fruit, just the same as elsewhere. This seems
surprising at first when one visits the tropics. You can not see
why everything should not flower and fruit the whole year round.
And yet, at one time pineapples are "in," at another mangoes. And
these seasons differ in the northern and southern hemispheres; what
is mango winter in the one being mango summer in the other. I do
not say the seasons anywhere in the tropics differ markedly; still,
they do differ; the tropical year is divided into times and months
for agriculture just as much as any other. Thus there are regular
dates in each hemisphere for planting, tending, and cutting the sugar
cane. Now, what is the reason of these changes in vegetation, when
temperature remains so constant? Why do not trees and shrubs of each
kind flower up and down throughout the year irregularly--now one
individual and now another? Why are there seasons for things at all
in the tropics?

The answer is, because the same causes which produce summer and
winter in temperate climate produce other changes of other sorts in
the tropical region. The temperature, it is true, remains the same,
or approximately the same; but the meteorological conditions vary.
Even with ourselves, summer is not only hotter but also drier than
winter; winter is marked by rain and snow as well as by lowered
temperature. In the tropics, on the other hand, it is rather the
summer or summers that are wet, for there is a certain moving zone
of equatorial calms in which it practically keeps on raining always.
But this zone is not fixed; it flits with the sun. When the sun goes
northward for the northern summer the rainy zone goes with him; when
he turns southward again the zone shifts after him. Thus places on
or near the two tropics have one rainy season a year, while places
on the equator have usually two. The intervening dry seasons are
often very dry and parched, indeed; and where this is markedly the
case, the rainy season acts just as spring does in the north, or as
the inundation does in Egypt; it is the beginning of vegetation.
The plants that were dry and dormant during the arid months wake up
into fresh life; the branches put forth new leaves; the brown seeds
germinate; the flowers appear; and in due time the fruit ripens.
Everything in these cases depends upon the recurrence of the rainy
season, just as everything in India depends upon the bursting of the
monsoons, and everything in Egypt on the rising of the Nile. I have
seen a dry plain in Jamaica bare and brown one day, and covered six
or eight inches high with fresh green waving guinea-grass the day
but one after. The rains had come meanwhile, and Nature had awaked
with more than springlike awakening. In those hot climates everything
grows by magic as soon as it gets the needed water.

Indeed, we may say that in half the world the seasons, organically
speaking--I mean, the seasons of plant and animal life--depend upon
heat and cold, summer and winter, snow or sunshine; but in the other
half they depend almost entirely upon drought and rainfall. Even as
near home and as far north as Algeria, the summer is far too dry
and dusty for agriculture; the autumn rains set in about October
or November; they are immediately followed by the plowing; and the
winter becomes for most purposes the practical summer. Fruits and
vegetables are at their best in January and February; the fields
are full of flowers up to March or April; in June, July, and August
the country is an arid and weary desert. But the seasons for dates
are almost reversed; they ripen in autumn. In Egypt again, where
everything depends upon the inundation, the seasons are still more
complicated; the inundation begins to subside in October; in Upper
Egypt the winter season which follows is far the most important
for agriculture, and crops sown as the water subsides are reaped
from four to seven months after. But in the Delta, rice, cotton,
and indigo are sown in the spring (March or April) and harvested in
October, November, and December. Here, irrigation and temperature
come in as disturbing elements, for the Delta feels something of the
cold of winter.

I could give many other instances, but these will suffice. As a
general rule, we may say that in the temperate and frigid zones the
seasons for plants and animals are ruled by heat and cold, but that
in tropical and even in subtropical climates, rainfall and drought,
themselves largely due to the same circumstances, are the ruling

Again, everybody knows that winter and summer, and the other
phenomena which simulate or accompany them, such as wet and
dry seasons, depend upon the fact that the earth's axis is not
perpendicular to the plane in which the earth moves round the sun,
but slightly inclined to it. Now, a year in itself, viewed as a
measure of time, is merely the period which it takes the earth to
perform one such complete revolution. During one half of each such
revolution the north pole is turned at a considerable angle toward
the sun, and during the other half, the south pole. When the north
pole is so turned we call it summer in the northern hemisphere;
when the south pole is being favored, and the north is receiving
less light and heat, we call it winter. Let us suppose for a moment
that the earth had not got this twist or kink in its axis; that
the equator was always presented exactly toward the sun; what then
would happen? Obviously, there would be no change of seasons. The
day and night would have fixed lengths which never varied; climate
would in each place be uniform and, barring accidents of elevation
or distribution of land and water, the climate of each place would
also depend entirely the whole year round on its distance from the
equator. Roughly speaking, the temperature of a district would be
the temperature it now possesses in March and September, only not
quite so cold as March nor so warm as September, owing to the absence
of accumulated heat from summer or of reserves of ice and snow from
winter. In one word, under such conditions there would have been
climates--marked belts of climate; but there would not have been

Seasons, however, depend in great part, as Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace
has ingeniously shown, on a great many things besides this mere
inclination of one end or the other of the earth toward the sun in
June and January. Much must be laid to the count of accumulated
stores of heat or cold; and though accumulated cold is physically a
misnomer, still for all practical purposes we may apply the words
fairly enough to the ice caps of the pole and the glaciers of
mountain systems. And here we come face to face with the very core
of our problem: for the odd part of it is that seasons (at least as
we know them) seem to be quite a recent and exceptional phenomenon
in the history of our planet. So far as we can judge, geologically
speaking, the earth during all its earlier life enjoyed, over all
its surface, what we should now consider tropical or subtropical
conditions. England--or rather the land that occupied the part of
the earth's crust where England now stands--had a vegetation of huge
tree ferns and palms and cycads during the Primary period; as late
even as the middle Tertiaries it had a vegetation like that of South
Carolina or Upper India. Greenland itself, in quite recent times,
flourished like a green bay tree, and did not belie its odd modern
name. The world as a whole enjoyed perpetual summer. In one word,
except in something like the equatorial sense, there were practically
no seasons. The sun went north and south, no doubt, as now, but the
temperature, even in the relative winter, seems to have remained
perennially mild and genial.

It is true, occasional slight traces of glacial epochs, earlier than
the great and well-known Glacial epoch, break here and there the
almost continuous geological record of palmy and balmy world-wide
summers; yet, taking the geological monuments as a whole, they show
us few or no signs of anything worth calling a serious winter till
quite recent periods. Large-leaved evergreens are still, in the
day-before-yesterday of geology, the order of the day; magnolias
and liquidambars, cinnamons and holly oaks, vines and rotang palms
formed the forests even of Miocene Britain. The animals during
all the Tertiary period were of what we now regard as tropical or
subtropical types--lions, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, monkeys, or
more antique races, equally southern in aspect. There could have
been little change of winter and summer during this long warm spell;
the variations can have been scarcely more than those of dry and
rainy seasons. The trees never lost their leaves; the fruits and
flowers never ceased to follow one another; no interruption of the
food supply drove insects to hibernate in their silken cocoons, or
squirrels and bears to lay by stores of food or fat for the cold and
hungry winter.

Nevertheless, taking the world round as it stands, we must believe
that the distinction of seasons grew up, both for plants and animals,
and for man or his ancestors, during this age of relatively unmarked
summers and winters. For the tropics more than anywhere else preserve
for us to-day the general features and aspect of this earlier time;
they have never had the continuity of their stream of life rudely
interrupted by the enormous changes of the Glacial epoch. Yet, even
in the tropics, things, as we saw, have seasons. There are annuals
and perennials there, as elsewhere. Each kind has its month for
sprouting, for flowering, for fruiting, for shedding its seed; and
men in the tropics, some of them long isolated in oceanic islands,
or in great insulated regions like Australia or New Guinea, from the
rest of their kind in the temperate regions, nevertheless know and
observe the year, and perform all their functions, agricultural or
religious, by yearly cycles. For example, there is among them all
an annual feast for the dead, and widows mourn their husbands for
one year from their burial. Observation of the year, therefore, both
automatically by organisms at large and consciously by man, antedates
and is independent of observation of the existence of summer or

I do not think, however, that man would have noted the merely
astronomical year--the year of the sun's position--at least till a
relatively late stage in culture, if he had not first noticed the
organic year--the regular recurrence of plant and animal seasons. So
many yams--that is to say, so many yam harvests--in other words, so
many years, is a common savage way of reckoning times and ages. But
they call it "yams," not summers or winters. And when I say yams, I
give that merely as a single instance, for elsewhere the "seedtime
and harvest" are reckoned indifferently in maize or millet, rice
or barley, according to the agriculture of the particular people.
Even hunting races know that at certain times of year certain foods
abound; and this is true of equatorial savages and equatorial plants
or animals, as well as of others.

Moons are more obvious measures of time than suns, in the tropics at
least--probably everywhere; for the waxing and waning of the moon
mean much to people who live largely out of doors; and the month is,
perhaps, the earliest fixed mode of reckoning time beyond a day or
two. Most savages count time mainly by so many moons. But they must
also have noticed early that after a certain number of moons (usually
about thirteen), certain fruits or seeds were ripe again; especially
must they have noticed it when this recurrence coincided with the
return of the rainy season, or of some other annual meteorological
phenomenon, like the bursting of the monsoon or the Nile inundation.
Thus, even in the tropics, and before the coming on of the Glacial
epoch, men or the ancestors of men (one can not draw precise lines
here) must probably have observed a certain rough relation between
the months and the vegetative cycles; after so many moons, about say
thirteen, the yam, or the mangoes, or the grains are ripe again.
These organic years, I take it, must have been noticed before the
astronomical ones. For it is now beginning to be more and more
believed that man is of preglacial origin; and even if something
worth calling a man were not, then at least man's pre-human
ancestors go back far into the Tertiary period. Only later would men
begin to note that some thirteen moons, and the recurrence of a food
stuff, concurred with a particular solar season.

Indeed, if one comes to think of it, how much even now do any of us,
save the most scientific, mean by the year, beyond the visible change
of summer and winter? What we are thinking of is the leafless trees,
the ice and snow, the green grass in spring, the flowers and warm
days in summer, not the abstract astronomical fact of the earth's
revolution round the sun, or the due succession of the signs of the
zodiac. It is that visible organic year that must have counted most
with man from the first; though no doubt its meaning and reality are
much more vividly present since the coming on of the Glacial epoch,
and the more so in proportion as we live nearer to the north or
south pole; while at the equator the year is to the last a much more
inconspicuous period--a largely artificial mode of reckoning.

Still, from the very first, there was one element of diversity in
the year which must have struck all men, in the temperate and frigid
zones at least, perhaps even in a certain way in the tropics. I mean,
the varying length of the day, always perceptible in the frigid and
temperate zones; for as soon as men in these regions began to think
and to observe at all, they must have noticed that the days increased
in their summer and lessened in their winter; and they must have
learned to correlate this waxing and waning of the day with the
appearance or abundance of certain fruits, seeds, birds, fishes,
game, roots and other food stuffs. It is at least certain that all
the world over men do now celebrate the solstices and the equinoxes
as special feasts; and the close similarity in most such celebrations
leads one to suspect that the custom has been handed down from the
very remote time when the human family was still a single continuous

In the tropics, it is true, the days vary so little that this
difference in itself is not likely to have struck primæval man. But
there, another point would come in--the annual movement of the sun
overhead from south to north and _vice versa_; and though this would
be less directly important to human life than in temperate regions,
it would still be indirectly important. It would bring the rain with
it. In Europe, of course, and in temperate America, we can see at
once that the return of the sun northward must always have meant
spring, the increase of food stuffs, the promise of corn or maize,
the suggestion of harvest; and we can therefore understand why the
midwinter feast, when the sun after his long journey south begins
to move visibly north again, should have been both in pagan and
Christian times the great festival of rejoicing for the men of the
north temperate region. Day by day they saw the sun recede and the
cold deepen; at last, one evening, he sets a little nearer, and they
know that he has not deserted them forever. Similarly, the promise
made at Yule begins to be realized at that other great feast of
the spring equinox, which we still call in England by its ancient
heathen title of Easter; the day by that time has got the better of
the night, and "the sun dances on Easter Sunday" in commemoration
of his completed victory over the combined powers of winter and
darkness. In the tropics, on the other hand, the connection is less
clear; but even here the shifting of the sun's apparent place is
closely correlated with the shifting of the rain zone; and therefore
it would not be long (after man was man) before tropical savages
began to perceive a constant relation between the movements of the
sun to north or south, and the occurrence of the fertilizing rainy
season. We must remember that savages, with their improvident habits,
are much more dependent upon rain than we are, and that magical
ceremonies for breaking up a drought are among their commonest and
most universally diffused superstitions.

On the whole, then, before the coming on of the Glacial epoch, we may
be pretty sure that plants and animals on the one hand had learned
organically and automatically to recognize the existence of the year
and to adapt themselves to it; and that men or the progenitors of
men on the other hand had also learned to correlate the recurrent
seasons of food supply with the movements of the sun, though nothing
equivalent to winter and summer as we know them to-day existed as
yet on any part of our planet. I say advisedly "on any part of our
planet," because even near the pole itself remains of a subtropical
vegetation in Tertiary times have been amply indicated. Nevertheless,
in all parts of the world then, as in the tropics now, we may gather
that plants and animals ran through annual cycles--that the year, as
I have put it, was organically recognized. Trees had their time to
sprout, to bud, to flower, to fruit, to seed, to shed their leaves
(in the evergreen way); birds had their time to nest and hatch out
their young; insects had their fixed periods for laying, for larval
life, for assuming the chrysalis form, for becoming winged beetles or
bees or butterflies. In one word, the year is a terrestrial reality,
not merely an astronomical fact, in the tropics now; it was a
terrestrial reality over the whole planet in the Tertiary period. But
it was hardly more marked, apparently, into distinct seasons than it
is marked to-day in the equatorial region. Rainfall and drought must
have had more to do in determining the annual cycles than winter and

From all this it must result that the conception of the year as an
epoch at all (save for advanced astronomy) is almost or entirely
due to that tilt of the earth's axis which causes the seasons--dry
or wet, cold or hot. Without the seasons, in one form or other, we
might have been ages longer in discovering the fact that the earth
moved round the sun, and that some three hundred and sixty-five days
(I omit those important fractions) were needed for its revolution.
Certainly, without the seasons, at least to the extent that they
occur in the tropics, plant and animal life could hardly have assumed
its fixed annual cycles, nor could early men have caught at the idea
of the year at all as a period of time, a unit of measurement.

Before the Glacial epoch, in particular, the discovery of the year,
organically or consciously, must have been much more difficult than
it is now in high latitudes. It must have been almost as difficult
in what are now the temperate zones as it is to-day in the tropics.
Far north or south, of course, the length of the day would tell;
and within the Arctic and Antarctic Circles the long night would
form an unmistakable feature. But if the plane of the equator had
always found itself vertical to the sun, there could have been no
recognition of the year at all, either organic or conscious. In
other words, from the point of view of organic life, the year does
not mean the revolution of the earth round the sun: it means the
apparent northward and southward movement of the sun on either side
of the equator; it means the seasons, whether recognized as winter
and summer, or as dry and wet periods. That is really the year as man
knows it, as plants and animals have always known it.

With the coming on of the great cold spell, however, the importance
of the seasons in the temperate and frigid zones, perhaps also
even in the tropics, became much more marked. I will not go here
into the suggested reasons for that vast revolution, perhaps the
greatest our planet has ever suffered. Most physicists now accept
more or less the theory put forward with great ingenuity by Mr.
Croll, which sets it down to a period of extreme eccentricity in the
earth's orbit; but some weight must also be allowed, as Mr. Alfred
Russel Wallace has clearly shown, to the local arrangement of land
and water on the globe at the time of its origin, as well as to the
occurrence of mountain ranges just then at the poles, and to other
purely terrestrial causes. Never before, in all probability, had the
poles been occupied by great glacier-clad mountains. It seems most
likely, indeed, that we are now practically at the end of the Glacial
epoch, and that if only we could once get rid of the polar ice caps,
which keep a stock of chilliness always laid on (I speak the quite
comprehensible language of everyday life), we might recur forthwith
to the warm and almost imperceptible winters of the preglacial
period. But, as things stand, the stock of ice at the poles never
gets melted away in the existing northern or southern summer; fresh
ice accumulates on top of the old mass with each winter; prevailing
winds, blowing over this ice, chill regions lying much farther
toward the tropics; icebergs detach themselves and float off, thus
lowering the temperature of the sea in the middle zones; arctic or
antarctic currents spread round the coasts and absorb the solar
heat in enormous quantities. We have only to remember the trenchant
difference in England between a parching cold east wind and a mild
sou'wester to realize what an immense part these polar ice caps and
frozen highlands play in the production of our existing winter. Alps,
Pyrenees, Himalayas, Rocky Mountains, further assist in the same

On the other hand, currents in the sea may cut either way; the Gulf
Stream makes England warm, while the arctic current makes Labrador,
much farther south, practically uninhabitable.

Ever since the Glacial epoch, therefore, it has been quite easy
for man in the temperate and frigid zones to recognize the year as
a natural reality. The annual cycles of heat and cold are far too
marked to be overlooked by anybody. Organically, they made themselves
felt at once by extraordinary changes induced in the fauna and flora.
Before the steady advance of the annual cold wave, vegetation had
perforce to alter its ways. The large-leaved evergreens went out
altogether in frigid and high temperate regions; deciduous trees,
or needle-leaved types like the pines and firs, took the place of
the luxuriant Miocene foliage in Europe and North America. Every
autumn the larger number of trees and shrubs learned to shed their
leaves all together; every spring they came out anew in fresh green
and in masses of blossom. Similarly with animals. Birds learned to
migrate, or to accommodate themselves to the winter; insects learned
to hibernate in the egg or the cocoon; pigs fattened themselves on
mast against the frozen time; moles slept over winter; squirrels
hoarded nuts for a store to bridge over heavy frosts; frogs retired
to the warmer mud in the depths of ponds; adders coiled themselves in
holes and dozed away the cold season. Innumerable adaptations sprang
up at once, those species or individuals which failed to meet the
new conditions perishing in the struggle. In proportion as we recede
from the tropics, the more marked do the annual cycles of life thus
induced become, many species practically ceasing to exist as such for
several months of the year, and being only potentially represented by
eggs, germs, or seeds, and sometimes by dormant pregnant females.

At the same time, while the cause of the seasons as a whole is the
obliquity of the earth's axis, with the resulting inclination of
either pole toward the sun alternately, we must not forget that the
seasons and the climate in each particular country depend in part
upon many minor contributory causes. It is not merely nearness to
or distance from the equator that counts; we have to consider also
relative distribution of land and water, elevation, prevalent winds,
exposure, condensation, and many other elements of a complex problem.
In Ecuador, for example, whose very name means the equator, the plain
is always in scorching summer, the mountains are always in perpetual
spring. The monsoons, again, produce in other countries some curious
results: they depend themselves on the change of relative temperature
in sea and land at different seasons; and they break upon the
Himalayas with this odd and unexpected effect, that the snow line on
the southern side of that vast range goes very far down, owing to
the immense rainfall (or rather snowfall) and the consequent spread
of snow fields and glaciers; while on the northern side it descends
but a very little way, owing to the extreme desert drought and the
great summer heat of the central Asiatic table-land. We have thus the
apparent paradox that millions of Tibetans occupy towns and cultivate
farms to the north at a height from three to four thousand feet above
the snow line on the southern slope of the same mountains.

Looking at the matter broadly, then, and taking for granted the
now generally accepted modern view that the great oceans and great
continents have been relatively fixed (though liable to minor
fluctuations and variations of outline) throughout all geological
time, and that the earth's crust has not shifted from pole to
equator or vice versa, we arrive at last at the following probable
conclusions: There have always been seasons more or less marked, and
these have been more or less organically answered by corresponding
changes or cycles of change in plants and animals. Rain and drought
have in many cases more to do with such changes than variations of
temperature. The seasons, again, are less marked in the tropics
than in temperate and circumpolar climates. Nevertheless, even near
the equator, they exert and have always exerted certain organic
influences-have resulted in annual cycles in the life of species.
Even before the coming on of the Glacial epoch, the seasons were
probably somewhat more marked in the temperate and polar regions than
in the tropics, the longer day in summer and the greater directness
of impact of the rays making the summer months always warmer. But
for various reasons, among which we may presumably rank the absence
in early ages of high land at the poles and of an accumulated polar
ice cap, together with the existence of warm sea currents from the
tropics to the poles, the winters of preglacial ages seem to have
been relatively mild, perhaps (if we may judge by the types of plant
life) milder than those of South Carolina and Georgia in our own
period. No cold winds of importance seem then to have blown with
blighting effect from glaciated or snow-clad districts. (Mars in our
own time appears to enjoy winters somewhat of this character, though
a little colder, with a temporary snow cap.) The seasons as we know
them in temperate and arctic climates, however, seem to be largely
the result of the glacial epoch, and its persistent legacy the arctic
and antarctic ice caps. If we could once manage to get rid of those,
it is possible that our planet might again enjoy in all its zones the
mild and genial preglacial winters.

These are rough notes, I know; mere adumbrations of a probable
truth: but adequately to develop the subject would require a very
big volume. My object here is simply to suggest that in many
inquiries, both into human and animal or vegetable life, we must
never take the existence of seasons as we know them for granted,
except in very recent times. The year, for organic beings, means
essentially the seasons; and the seasons may mean and have meant
many separate things, as time and place vary--heat and cold, food
and scarcity, foliage and leaflessness, drought and wet; longer or
shorter days, the midnight sun and the winter darkness; hibernation
and wakefulness; the egg, the cocoon, the seed, the plant, the
flower, the fruit; dormancy or vitality. According as human life
started at the poles or the equator, for instance, it would view in
the beginning many things differently. All I wish to point out now
is merely this, that we must bear such possibilities ever in mind;
and that we must never take it for granted in any problem, human or
biological, that the seasons were always just what we know them,
or that the year to any organic being meant anything more than the
seasonal cycle then and there prevalent.--_Longman's Magazine._

       *       *       *       *       *

     In the excavations of the ancient cemetery of Antinoe, near Lyons,
     France, a "party dress" of the time of the Emperor Adrian, very
     fine silks, jewels, etc., have been discovered. One sarcophagus
     held the remains of a woman musician with a rose chemise, a
     cythara, pearls, castanets, etc.; in another was a child's costume
     with its little laced shoes, its vest ornamented with flowers
     _appliqués_, and its robe of gauffered crape. It appears that the
     women of sixteen hundred years ago dyed their hair with henna, and
     twisted ribbons round their heads. Nothing changes.

     M. A. Thieullen, publishing the results of fifteen years'
     studies among the flint implements of the French beds, draws the
     conclusions that the elaborate palæolithic flint axe and hammer
     and the typical neolithic implements were luxuries used by the
     more distinguished members or for the more important purposes of
     the flint-implement-using community, while the ruder implements
     which are found in enormous numbers were the objects of general
     and daily use throughout all the flint-using ages, whether
     palæolithic or neolithic.



Having been for thirty years a lecturer on man and his character
as evinced by his form, features, head, and gestures, and having
made observations on the subject in all parts of North America, in
continental Europe and Great Britain, and parts of Asia, Africa, and
Australia, I should not be deemed presumptuous when I present a few
facts regarding the relations of mind and the size and forms of heads
and weights of brains. It has been observed by many persons versed
in the branches relating to the subject that men with the largest
brains are not those of most talent, power, or intellect; but many
such have been only ordinary or inferior men, or even idiots; while
some men of most powerful and comprehensive minds have had unusually
small brains. Esquirol's assertion that no size or form of head or
brain is incident to idiocy or to superior talent is borne out by my

After long and careful research in the great libraries and museums
of the world, I have collected a table of brain weights of eminent
men, along with which are entered, in my original document, the
occupation of the subject, age at the time of determination, and the
source whence the item is derived. These can not be given within the
limits of this article, and only the briefest and most generalized
summary of the main features can be indicated. The largest weight of
brain in the whole list is that of the Russian novelist Turgenieff,
whose brain weighed, at the time of his death, at sixty-five years
of age, 71 ounces.[32] It is a considerable step from him to the
next in order, the English mechanician and author, Knight, whose
brain weight at the age of fifty-eight was 64 ounces. Then follow the
Scottish physician Abercrombie, 63 ounces; General B. F. Butler, 62
ounces; and the Scottish general Abercromby, 62 ounces. Another group
of nine, including weights from 58.6 ounces to 54 ounces, includes
Jeffrey, Scottish judge and author, Thackeray, Cuvier, George Combe,
United States Senator Atherton, Spurzheim, and the Scottish physician
Simpson. The next group, 53.6 to 50, is larger, including twenty-one
names, among which are Daniel Webster, Agassiz, Napoleon I, the
Scottish divine Chalmers, the mathematicians De Morgan and Gauss, the
anthropologist Broca, and the generals Skoboleff and Lamarque. The
last group, 49.9 to 40 ounces, contains twenty-five names, including
those of the philosopher Huber, Grote, Babbage, the anthropologist
Bertillon, Whewell,[33] Liebig, Gall, Gambetta, and Bishop, the mind
reader. Only one remove from the foot of the list is Gambetta, a man
of indisputably high genius and ability, with a brain weighing only
40.9 ounces.[34]

The table goes to illustrate a general rule which I discovered and
published several years ago, that larger brains appertain to natives
of colder climates. Dr. John Abercrombie, for instance, was born
at Aberdeen, Scotland, on the German Sea, and farther north than
any part of the United States. Sir Ralph Abercromby was born in
the county of Clackmannan, Scotland, where it is far colder than
any part of southern Europe. Lord Francis Jeffrey first saw light
in Edinburgh. General Butler was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire.
Ivan Turgenieff, with the heaviest brain of all, was a native of
cold, inhospitable Russia. Dr. Franz Joseph Gall (brain weight 42.2
ounces)[35] was born in Würtemberg, in southern Germany, passed
most of his life in Vienna and Paris, and, being a student, spent
much of his time indoors. Gambetta was born at Cahors, France, of
Italian parents. This climatological view of the size of brains
is confirmed by a paper, "Crania," of the Philadelphia Academy of
Sciences, which gives as the average size, in cubic inches, of the
cranial cavities of various nationalities, taking the results of many
measurements: Lapps, 102; Swedes, 100; Anglo-Saxons, 96; Finns, 95;
Anglo-Americans, 94; Germans, 92; Celts, 88; Malays, 86; Chinese, 85;
Tombs of Gizeh, 84; embalmed Semitic, 82; Egyptians, 80; Fellah, 79;
Bengalese, 78.

A table of average brain weights of various nationalities,
compiled from Topinard's and Manouvrier's works and other standard
anthropological publications, illustrates the same tendency toward
greater brain weights in colder countries. One of its results is to
show that the colder air of the United States produces larger brains
in the negroes than the warm air of Africa. The table further shows,
in the comparisons of Hindus and African negroes, that the brains are
smallest in the warmest countries, irrespective of race or nation;
and that the largest average attained is in Scotland, where it is
never extremely warm.

The measurement of the cranial cavity is a very uncertain gauge of
the size of the brain, for the cerebro-spinal fluid may occupy a
large share of the space. Weighing the brain is without doubt the
only scientifically certain method of determining its size and mass.

Perhaps the most remarkable case in the table of great men's
brains is that of Gambetta, who was behind none of his compeers in
ability, and yet had the smallest brain of all. The first table of
the "Average Weight of the Human Body and Mind," compiled from Dr.
Boyd's researches among the sane, which was based on more than two
thousand post-mortem examinations, gives 45.9 ounces as the average
brain weight of boys from seven to fourteen years of age, and 40.2
ounces as that of boys and 40.1 ounces of girls from four to seven
years of age. And this little brain of 40.9 ounces appertained to
a man, "a lofty, commanding, mental figure, standing out in bold
relief from the crowd of mediocrities which he dwarfs and shadows,"
the embodiment of the French Republic, who steered it through one
of its most perilous crises, "the foremost Frenchman of his time,"
who "established his claim to be placed in the very front rank of
European statesmen," and whose untimely death was spoken of as
"nothing less than the sudden extinction of a powerful individual
force, one of the most powerful, indeed, of such forces hitherto
operating in Europe."

In illustration of the association of large brains with small minds,
we have compiled from various sources of recognized authority a list
of one hundred and twenty-five persons of ordinary or weak minds,
idiots, imbeciles, and criminals, whose brains were generally larger
than those of the distinguished men subjects of the preceding notes.
Of these, Rustan, an ignorant and unknown workman, appears with a
brain weighing 78.3 ounces;[36] the dwarfed Indian squaw who follows
him, of 73.5 ounces;[37] an illiterate and weak-minded man had a
brain of 71.3 ounces;[38] and a congenitally imbecile person cited
by Dr. Ireland, with one of 70.5 ounces.[39] Another imbecile cited
by Dr. Ireland had a brain of 63.2 ounces, and the brain of an idiot
with a large head, eighteen years old, who had an idiotic sister,
weighed 62.8 ounces. The brain of the idiot, No. 56 of the men in
the table, 59.5 ounces, is exceeded in size by those of only five
on the list of famous men, while eleven persons recorded as idiots,
imbeciles, and children had brains heavier than his. An idiot boy
of fourteen years, very malicious, who never spoke, and who nearly
killed his sister with a pick, had a brain weight of 57.5 ounces.
Thirty men out of three hundred and seventy-five examined in the West
Riding Asylum gave brain weights of 55 ounces and upward, showing
that such weights are not so rare as some have supposed. In another
asylum in England one out of every dozen brains examined showed a
weight of 55 ounces or more.

In _Nachrichten_, of Göttingen, 1860, pp. 70-71, Dr. Rudolph Wagner
gave a table of thirty-two persons whose brains he examined, among
whom were five distinguished men; but the largest brain weight
recorded in it, 55.9 ounces, has opposite to it the legend, "Idiotic
grown man."

To this list we might have added a large number of persons whose
brains weighed less than 53 ounces. Yet the brains of Daniel Webster,
Agassiz, Napoleon I, Lord Byron, Baron Dupuytren, General Skoboleff,
and other famous men concerning whose large brains much has been
said, weighed less than this; and we might have appended hundreds of
brain weights of idiots, imbeciles, and other insignificant persons,
from 53 ounces down to 49 ounces--probably about the average weight
in central Europe. In support of our contention is, further, an
observation by Dr. Rudolph Wagner in _Nachrichten_, February 29,
1860, pp. 71, 72, that "very intelligent men certainly do not differ
strikingly in brain weight from less gifted men."

Dr. Clendenning presents in the Croonian Lectures the following
entries of brain weights of male subjects of different ages, the
tendency of which is to show that the male encephalon loses, after it
is grown, more than an ounce every ten years:

  15 to  30 years      50.75 ounces.
  30 to  50   "        49.66    "
  50 to  70   "        47.1     "
  70 to 100   "        41.5     "

A number of other eminent anatomists have given similar evidence of
decrease in brain weight as intellectual power increases.

The "Professor at the Breakfast Table," the late Dr. O. W. Holmes,
a learned man and experienced physician and professor of anatomy in
Harvard University for thirty-five years, says: "The walls of the
head are double, with a great chamber of air between them, over the
smallest and most crowded organs. Can you tell me how much money
there is in a safe, which also has thick walls, by kneading the
knobs with your fingers? So, when a man fumbles about my forehead,
and talks about the organs of individuality, size, etc., I trust him
as much as I should if he felt over the outside of my strong box,
and told me that there was a five-dollar or a ten-dollar bill under
this or that rivet. Perhaps there is, only he doesn't know anything
about it. We will add that, even if he knows the inward dimensions
of the strong box, he could not thence determine the amount of cash
deposited in it."

The internal size of Spurzheim's skull was in cubic inches exactly
the same as that of the skull of Joachim, an imbecile six feet
nine inches in height, with a brain weight of 61.2 ounces, whereas
Spurzheim's brain weighed only 55 ounces.

Whoever has examined heads in the dissecting room of a medical
college knows that, except in rare cases of disease, the brain
does not fit the skull, but is surrounded by three membranes and a
watery fluid; and this liquid, it has been ascertained, is generally
sufficient to admit of its performing certain movements.

There can be no doubt that the brain moves in the skull, changing
its position, according to the laws of gravitation, in much the
same way as the lungs, heart, and liver do in the body. It has been
observed many times to move, as well as to pulsate, when exposed to
view during the life of the individual. It is subject to two regular
and constant motions--one produced by the arteries, the other by
respiration. It has also a third motion, discovered and described
by Dr. M. Luys, who stated, in a paper read before the Academy of
Medicine of Paris, that "the brain is subject to certain changes
of position, dependent on the attitude of the body. Thus, if a man
lies on his back or side, or stands on his head, the brain undergoes
certain changes of position in obedience to the laws of gravity; the
movements take place slowly, and the brain is five or six minutes in
returning to its previous position." From these anatomical data M.
Luys deduced some interesting and practical conclusions, by which
he explained, for example, the symptoms of vertigo which feeble
persons experience when suddenly rising from a horizontal position.
He suggested whether the pains of meningitis may not be due to an
interference with these normal movements, and urges the value of
giving the brain the change produced by a horizontal position at

The average cranial capacity is admitted to be 96 cubic inches in
England and 94 in New York; and it is to the unusual quantity of
fluid of some cases, and to the extraordinary thickness of the skull
in others, that we are to attribute the frequent discrepancy between
the external dimensions and the size of the encephalon. Daniel
Webster's cranial capacity was 122 cubic inches, yet his brain of
53.5 ounces was just what George Combe has laid down as the average
weight for an adult man. Water and lymph, we are told, filled the
skull. Professor De Morgan's head, almost free from hair, measured
24.87 inches in circumference, and the dimensions were all those of a
very large head, sufficient to contain from 65 to 70 ounces of brain,
yet his brain weighed only 52.75 ounces, or little, if at all, above
the average in the cold parts of the temperate zones. De Morgan was
sixty-five years of age when he died. He was much emaciated, and "the
brain was distinctly shrunken," not filling the interior cavity,
where its place was supplied, as is usual in such cases, by serum or
water. There is no known method whereby any man can determine whether
brain or water fills the greater part of any living skull. A small
orange may have a thin rind, and contain a good amount of eatable
substance, while a large one may have so thick a skin that the fruit
proves utterly disappointing.

Another proof that the skull is formed without regard to the brain
is the following: "The bony cabinet and its contents are developed,
to a certain extent at least, independently. This is very clearly
demonstrated by a fact which was observed by Gratiolet, and is too
frequently forgotten. The subject is an infant in whom the cranium
presented the normal conformation. The brain was, nevertheless,
almost entirely wanting."[40]

Dr. Gall was a poor arithmetician, and his biographer says that every
kind of numerical calculation fatigued him. He could not go through
a process of multiplication or division that was at all complicated,
and knew nothing of geometry or of the problems of mathematics.[41]
George Combe said of himself: "Arithmetic has always been to me
a profound mystery, and to master the multiplication table an
insurmountable task.... This faculty in me is, in fact, idiotic."
Again he said: "When a boy, I never could learn arithmetic. At the
end of five years' teaching I could not subtract, divide, or multiply
any considerable number of figures with accuracy and facility, and
can not now do so.... At the present day I can not sum a column of
figures correctly."[42]

With these facts in view, our wonder at finding the theories of
these men at variance with all exact calculation is considerably
diminished. We propose to test some of their theories by arithmetical
processes. We found that the sixty famous men entered in the table of
authenticated brain weights show an average of 51.3 ounces. We now
take all the idiots and imbeciles in the table of "Large Brains and
Small Minds," and find the average 59.4 ounces; so that the matter
is left to stand thus: Ten idiots and five imbeciles average 59.2
ounces; sixty famous men average 51.39 ounces: in favor of idiocy and
imbecility, 7.9 ounces.

The heaviest brain in the table of small minds is that of Rustan,
an ignorant and entirely unknown laborer. He was a healthy man, and
his brain, when it was weighed, was in a healthy condition. Its
weight was recorded by Dr. Carl A. Rudolphi, a Swedish naturalist
and physiologist of Stockholm, who became professor of anatomy and
physiology at Berlin in 1810. It reached the unexampled figure of
78.3 ounces; while the brain of Turgenieff, the heaviest among famous
men, was 71 ounces--showing a difference of 7.3 ounces in behalf of
the inferior mind.

Since writing the above, the following appeared in Tit-Bits, a weekly
paper published in London, England, March 19, 1898:

"It must not be assumed, however, that intellect is in direct
ratio to the weight of the brain; for while the brains of certain
intellectual men, such as ... Dr. Abercromby, weighed more than 60
ounces, a certain Strand newspaper-boy, who was in intelligence
almost an idiot, had a brain which weighed no less than 80 ounces."

Dr. Austin Flint, of New York, in his Physiology, gives the average
weight of the brains of men as 50.2 ounces. Dr. Peacock, of Great
Britain, makes it 50 ounces 3 drachms between twenty-five and fifty
years of age. Dr. Thurman gives 49 ounces as the average throughout
Europe, while Dr. F. Tiedemann, a famous naturalist of Germany,
reckons it at 53.2 ounces.[43] Dr. Krause, a learned German, places
it still higher, at 55.4 ounces.[44] Now, if we strike a balance
between the highest and the lowest of these estimates, the mean will
be 52.2. Then, recalling the average of our sixty famous men, which
we found to be 51.3 ounces, it is shown to be nine tenths of an ounce
below the average of ordinary men.

Our tables of national average brain weights do not quite agree,
because some of the subjects had been wasted by disease for many
months before death, whereby the brain was diminished along with
other parts of the body. Those who, like Dr. Boyd's subjects, died
in hospital, showed too light an average for healthy Englishmen. Dr.
Krause's subjects may have been healthy men killed in battle, and
those of Tiedemann persons who died suddenly. Executed criminals
show a fairly high average of brain weight, because there has been
in their case no diminution through long-continued illness.[45] We
should recollect that Whewell, the famous English philosopher and
head master of Trinity College, Cambridge, England, was in good
health when killed by a fall from his horse; so was Gambetta, when
his life was ended by a pistol shot. The brain, however, suffers
less from the power of disease than the general bodily form. One
month under the most wasting sickness would probably not diminish
the brain more than an ounce or two, but a year or more would make a
considerable difference.

Taking, now, the sixty heaviest brains of persons not noted for
intellectual greatness, we find the averages to be 63.2 ounces.
Comparing this with the average of sixty famous men, 51.3 ounces,
we find a difference in favor of imbeciles, idiots, criminals, and
men of ordinary mind of 11.9 ounces. George Combe estimated that
about 53.5 ounces was the average weight of the adult brain. Thus
the average brain weight of all the eminent men whom we have brought
into the comparison, 51.3 ounces, is below Combe's estimate of that
of mankind in general. Again, the ten heaviest brains of our list of
famous men give an average weight of 61.1 ounces, while the average
given by the ten heaviest of the opposite class is 70.4 ounces, or
9.3 ounces greater. While our list of eminent men shows only five
whose brains exceeded 58.6 ounces in weight, those of seventy-six of
the common throng--seven of them idiots or imbeciles--rise above that
figure. These figures augur badly for the doctrine that would attach
importance to heavy brains for giving force and depth of individual

Phrenologists assert that each organ of a mental faculty occupies
a certain position perceptible on the outside of the brain, with a
definite area which they have mapped out. They also hold that each of
these organs extends to the center of the base of the brain, tapering
to it somewhat like a cone, having its base turned toward the outer
world. They make no account of the fissures, the intervening sulci
and anfractuosities that must cut many of these supposed cones, some
at right and some at oblique angles. Then the large, long cavities or
ventricles intercept and would hinder many of them from reaching the
central, basilar part of the brain. The anatomical structure of the
brain thus appears fatal to this theory of the organs.

Large and complicated convolutions of the brain with deep sulci have
been regarded by some persons as inseparable from superior powers of
mind. The supposition is erroneous and groundless. The rodents, such
as beavers, squirrels, rats, mice, etc., have but little brain and no
convolutions whatsoever;[46] yet the beaver exhibits great foresight,
economy, industry, and mechanical skill in building his dam, erecting
his house, and storing up bark as food for the winter. Moreover,
these animals live in societies and labor in union by ingenious
methods for a common purpose, with nice judgment. "So great a variety
of labors," says Dr. Leuret, "is needed for the constructions carried
on by the beaver; they include so many instances of well-made
choice, so many accidental difficulties are surmounted by these
animals, that it is impossible not to recognize in their actions
the characteristics of a rather high intelligence."[47] The sheep
has a much larger brain than the beaver, with numerous and complete
convolutions, yet it is one of the most stupid of domestic animals.
Again, though birds have convolutions in the cerebellum, they have
none in the cerebrum, and yet they are more capable of education than
any living beings except the human race. The eagle is complete master
of the lamb; the magpie, the hawk, the raven, and the parrot with his
talking powers, are not excelled in sagacity by the dog, the horse,
or the elephant, notwithstanding the latter animals have brains of
superior size and elaborate convolutions.

Squirrels manifest foresight and economy in storing nuts for the
winter's use; yet they have no brain convolutions. The cetacea,
especially whales, have much larger brains than men, with more
numerous and more complex convolutions and deeper sulci; yet their
intelligence bears no comparison with that of the human race.

Three eminent men are known to have had very small convolutions of
the brain--viz., Louis Asseline, Dr. Tiedemann, and Baron von Liebig.
We have to add to this remarkable list two, not named, but described
by Dr. Wagner as having been very intelligent, who yet possessed very
few convolutions in their very small brains.[48] As Wagner's book was
printed before Liebig died, he could not have been one of the two to
whom the author referred.

Idiots often possess as large brains as men distinguished for
intellectual power, and their brains have as deep sulci, and
convolutions as fine, as large, and as complex. Our table of the
common and weak-minded contains a mention of an idiot whose brain
weighed 53 ounces, or exactly as much as Napoleon's, and had fine
convolutions and a large frontal lobe, but who could never learn to

The elephant carries a far larger brain than man, finely formed,
broad and high in front, with much more numerous and complex
convolutions and deeper anfractuosities, and yet no intelligent
person would for a moment claim that its mind excels or even equals
that of man.

It may be well here to allow some eminent physiologists to give their
views on this subject. "The researches of anatomists have disposed of
every point advanced by Gall. Curiously enough, M. Camille Dareste
has placed beyond dispute the fact that the number and depth of
the convolutions bear no direct proportion to the development of
intelligence, whereas they do bear a direct proportion to the size
of the animal.... It is notorious that the instinct of propagation,
the instinct of destructiveness, the instinct of constructiveness,
and other qualities are manifested by animals having no brains,
nothing but simple ganglia."[49]

Dr. Bastian demonstrates the convolutional theory thus: "In animals
of the same group or order, the number and complexity of the
convolutions increase with the size of the animal.... There can not,
therefore, be among animals of the same order any simple or definite
relation between the degree of intelligence of the creature and the
number or disposition of its cerebral convolutions."[50]

We have the following testimony in our favor from Dr. Rudolph Wagner,
of Göttingen: "Examples of highly complicated convolutions I have
never seen, even among eminent men whose brains I have examined....
Many convolutions and great brain weight often go together. Higher
intelligence appears in both kinds of brains, where there are many
or where there are few convolutions. It is not proved that special
mental gifts go with many convolutions."[51]

Another theory of mind is based on the gray matter of the brain,
the amount of which has been supposed to be proportionate to mental
capacity. As this gray matter, however, averages only about one fifth
of an inch in thickness, it seems rather a thin foundation for the
human intellect if the condition is good that "size is a measure of

The late Dr. W. B. Carpenter stated the matter thus: "The cortical
substance or gray matter of the hemispheres essentially consists
of that vesicular nerve substance which, in the spinal cord as in
the ganglionic masses generally, is found to occupy the interior.
The usual thickness is about one fifth of an inch; but considerable
variations present themselves in this respect, as also in the depth
of the convolutions."[52]

Daniel Webster's brain had gray substance to the depth only of
one sixteenth of an inch.[53] It thus appears that his brain had
a thinner layer of gray matter than the average of common-minded
men--one among the many proofs that facts are against all theories
that connect brain conditions with intellectual power.

Dr. Ireland thus describes an idiot boy who, though thirteen or
fourteen years of age, was only three feet eight inches in height:
"In expression he was dull and inanimate, with an old face and a
short, squat figure.... The convolutions were broad and simple, but
not shallow. The gray matter was as broad as usual."[54]

The writer has examined many brains of persons morally or
intellectually below the average--such as murderers, negroes, and
others sunk in ignorance. He has invariably found the layer of
vesicular or gray matter to be thicker than that of Daniel Webster's
brain. Elephants, porpoises, whales, dolphins, and the grampus all
have this layer thicker than the most intellectual men. Another great
objection to locating mind in the gray matter of the brain is that
this substance is found in the interior part of the spinal cord, and
in all the nerve centers throughout the body; so that, if mind is
situated in it, it is not confined to the brain, but dwells in the
spine also, and is distributed all through the human frame. Still
another objection lies in the fact that wherever the gray matter
exists near the surface of the brain, it consists of three distinct
layers, separated by a white substance, and the outermost layer is
white, not gray.[55]

The _septum lucidum_ consists of gray matter. The _corpus striatum_,
situated at the base of the lateral ventricles, nearly in the center
of the brain, was from three eighths to half an inch in diameter in
an ox which was dissected in Edinburgh. This is about the same amount
as is found in the _corpus striatum_ of the human brain. There would
be lively times if it were possible for a mental faculty to occupy at
once all the localities where gray matter is found!

None of the suppositions about certain qualities of mind inhering
in particular portions of the brain have been proved, nor have they
stood the tests of science.

The theories which have assumed that the cultivation of the intellect
gives shape and size to the brain within and consequently to the
skull without, advocates of which have not been wanting, have been
disproved by the collected facts. "There is no proof," says Dr. J. C.
Nott, in his Types of Mankind, "of the theory that the cultivation of
the mind or of one set of faculties can give expansion or increased
size of brain. The Teutonic races, in their barbarous state, two
thousand years ago, possessed brains as large as now, and so with
other races."

The St. Louis Globe Democrat of November 13, 1885, gives an account
of some excavations on the Mount Ararat farm, east of Carrollton,
Illinois, where the bones of thirty-two Indians or mound builders
were unearthed. "They were not a diminutive race, as some people have
supposed, some of the thigh bones being sixteen inches long, and some
of the skulls twenty-four inches in circumference." A skull having
a circumference of twenty-four inches means a head that measured
from twenty-five to twenty-six and a half in life, when the cranium
was covered with skin and muscles. The average head of white men
in New York to-day is only twenty-two and a half inches round. So
the culture of the white race for centuries has not developed their
heads to near the size of those of the uncultured mound builders
who inhabited America many centuries ago. Our own opinion is that
cultivation by means of a thorough classical education, where the
appetite is restrained, as usually occurs, tends rather to diminish
the size of the head, by reducing the temporal muscles and the
adipose tissue under the scalp.

The Engis skull is one of the most ancient known to exist, and
belonged to the stone age, or about the same time as the Neanderthal
skull. Professor Huxley describes it as being well formed, and
considerably larger than the average of European skulls to-day in the
width and height of the forehead and in the cubic capacity of the

Quatrefages, in The Human Species, p. 312, says: "This skull (the
Engis or Cro-Magnon), so remarkable for its fine proportion, is also
remarkable for its capacity. According to M. Broca, who could only
work under precautions calculated to diminish the amount, it is equal
to at least 1,590 cubic centimetres (96.99 cubic inches). I have
already remarked that this number is far higher than the mean taken
from modern Parisians; it is equally so in comparison with other
European nations."

These facts all conspire to prove that the cultivation of thousands
of years has not increased the size of human skulls. In 1886, we
measured many of the skulls unearthed at Pompeii, the remains of
Romans who lived nearly two thousand years ago, and we found them on
the average larger in every way, but especially in the forehead, than
the skulls of Romans of this century.

In the museums of Switzerland we measured in 1887 several skulls of
the ancient lake dwellers of that country, and found them larger
in all respects, but particularly in the forehead, than those of
the Swiss people of the last fifty years. The average circumference
of the skulls we measured in the catacombs of Paris was twenty-one
inches and a half, which is about an inch more than that of Parisians
who have died within the past fifty years.

"The average internal capacity of the Peruvian skull is only
seventy-three cubic inches; that of Toltec skulls, seventy-seven
inches, and that of barbarous tribes, eighty-two inches; so that the
extraordinary anomaly is presented of a larger brain being possessed
by the barbarous tribes than by the nations who achieved no mean
degree of civilization in Central America and Peru. The average
European skull is ninety-three inches in bulk."[56] The author was
informed by Mr. Lucien Carr, of the Ethnological Museum of Harvard
University, that the capacity of the Peruvian skulls was about one
hundred centimetres smaller than that of the skulls of any other
people living in America at the same time. Yet that small-headed
people was the most highly civilized of all.


[32] Medical Times and Gazette, London, England, November 17, 1883.

[33] Whewell also had "the scalp and skull thick." Brain weighed 49
ounces. The Lancet, London, England, March 17, 1866, p. 280.

[34] Medical Times and Gazette, London, England, May 12, 1883, p. 525.

[35] London Medical Gazette, London, England, September 13, 1828, p.

[36] Brain Weight of Man. By Dr. Bischoff. Bonn, Germany, 1880, p.

[37] Authority for this weight is the Medical Army Museum,
Washington, D. C.

[38] This brain is kept in and its weight is recorded on the glass
jar in the Pathological Museum at Munich, Germany.

[39] Idiocy and Imbecility. By Dr. Ireland. London, 1877, p. 75.

[40] The Human Species. By A. De Quatrefages. D. Appleton and
Company, New York, 1884, p. 380.

[41] Dr. Gall's works, Boston, Massachusetts, vol. i, p. 36.

[42] Life of George Combe, London, 1878, vol. ii, p. 381.

[43] Medical News and Gazette, London, June 16, 1888, p. 521.

[44] Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, February 23, 1884.

[45] Eleven Chinamen, found by Dr. C. Clapham to afford an average of
50.4 ounces, had been killed in a typhoon, and were therefore in no
wise wasted by disease. (Journal of the Anthropological Institute,
London, England, vol. vii, p. 90.)

[46] The Nervous System, London, 1834, p. 447.

[47] Anatomie comparative du système nerveux, tome i, 1839, p. 506.

[48] Ueber die typischen Verschiedenheiten der Windungen der
Hemisphären und über die Lehre vom Hirngewicht, Göttingen, 1860. Also
see Pathology and Therapeutics of Mental Diseases, London, 1870, p.

[49] History of Philosophy, London, 1867, vol. ii, p. 433.

[50] The Brain as an Organ of Mind, London, 1880, pp. 276, 277.

[51] Nachrichten, Göttingen, February 29, 1860, p. 75.

[52] Carpenter's Principles of Human Physiology, London, 1881, p. 659.

[53] Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, 1853, vol. lxxix, p. 360.

[54] Idiocy and Imbecility, London, 1877, pp. 216-219.

[55] See The Brain as an Organ of Mind, London, 1880, p. 465; also,
The Human Brain, London, 1847, pp. 288, 289.

[56] Eclectic Magazine, December 14, 1863, p. 428.



The not very graceful word _speleology_ was composed a few years ago
by M. Émile Rivière out of Greek elements, as a translation of the
German _Höhlenkunde_, to signify the study of caves. The study claims
a place among the sciences, and is, I believe, able to justify its
claim. Caves have been subjects of interest and curiosity in all
times and countries. In the primitive ages, when palæolithic man was
obliged to defend himself against the large Quaternary wild beasts,
and did not yet know how to construct cabins, he lived in the most
inaccessible caves, or those easiest to close, which he could find.
Afterward, when man had advanced in civilization to the neolithic
stage, and had somewhat improved tools and arms, having learned to
build huts and villages, caves became simply burial places. In the
historical periods of antiquity they were transformed into pagan
sanctuaries or temporary hiding places in times of revolt, civil
war, or invasion. Down to the middle ages and the renascence, they
shared this function with abandoned quarries. Through these changes
they gradually became objects of popular fear and absurd legend. I
have nearly everywhere in France found legendary and profound belief
in some monstrous basilisk or dragon in the depths of dark caverns,
guarding immense treasures; and woe to the rash adventurer who tried
to steal these riches!

In short, caves have suffered their vicissitudes; their use as
habitations seems to be inversely proportioned to the degree of
civilization. The miserable aborigines of Australia have not yet
quite abandoned them; and in France the present occupation of the
grottoes of Ezy, in the Eure, by some outcast families, who lead a
sordid existence in them, indifferent to all social conventions,
has recently been cited as an extremely curious anthropological

Science, too, has laid its hold on caves only within a little more
than a century; for it was not till 1774 that Esper recognized that
the large bones taken from the caverns near Baireuth, in Bavaria,
were not those of human giants, but of extinct animals, and he
called them, they being petrified by limestone, _zoöliths_, or
animal-stones; and it was his remarks upon them that drew Cuvier's
attention to paleontology.

Three sciences have of late years been advanced by the explorations
of caves: paleontology; prehistory, or research among the remains
of primitive men and their industries; and zoölogy, or the study
of living beings. The animals of caverns--crustaceans, insects,
batrachians, and fishes--constitute a special fauna, which has been
for fifty years a subject of study to naturalists of various nations,
and to the anatomy of which M. Armand Viré, of the Natural History
Museum of Paris, has been giving special attention for five years

There are other sciences the study of which in connection with
caves, while capable of yielding valuable fruits, has been too long
neglected: geology, for their origin and formation; mineralogy, for
their relations to metallic veins; meteorology, for thermometrical
and barometrical variations and the formation of carbonic acid;
terrestrial physics, for the experiments on gravity that might be
carried on in deep vertical pits, supplementing the observations
of Foucault in the Pantheon at Paris, and Airy in the English
mines; hydrology, which has hardly yet perceived that caves are
predominantly great laboratories of springs; agriculture, which might
transform them into reservoirs for times of drought or storage basins
in case of flood; and public hygiene, which is just beginning to
discover that they may harbor in their fissures hitherto unsuspected
causes of contamination of the water of the springs that issue from
them. The number and importance of these new problems that have
arisen from the recent extension of underground investigations seem
fully to justify the specialization of the science of caves--another
creation of the Speleological Society, now four years old. This
special interest in the science of caves began about fifteen years
ago, when, in 1883, three members of the Austro-German Alpine
Club--Herren Harske, Marinitsch, and Müller--resumed in the limestone
plateaus of Istria and Carniola called the Karst, explorations which
had been actively and profitably carried on in the middle of the
century, from 1850 to 1857, by Dr. Adolf Schmidt, whose discoveries
in the caves of Adelsberg, Planina, and St. Canzion won him a
membership in the Vienna Academy of Sciences. Their efforts and those
of Herr F. Kraus, who died last year, had the result of interesting
the Austrian Government in the subject; and since 1886 various
engineers have been commissioned by the Minister of Agriculture to
make official explorations and construct economical works in the
caves and underground rivers of Istria, Carniola, and Herzegovina.
Credits are granted every year for enterprises which prove to be more
useful than would at first be thought.

It was at the same time, between 1883 and 1885, that I made my first
investigation in the Causses of Lozère, Aveyron, and the adjoining
departments of France, the results of which were to reveal for the
first time to the public, and even to geographers, the picturesque
beauties, then unknown, and now becoming the fashion, of the gorges
of the Tarn, Jenta, and Dourbie, the rocks of Montpelier le Vieux,
etc. In my excursions over the plateaus of the Causses I frequently
met, at the level of the surface, open, dark holes, and mouths of
vertical wells--_avens_--the depths of which no one had ever looked
into, unsoundable, they said, which the peasants naturally took to be
real mouths of hell. Recollecting what I had admired at Adelsberg and
in various caves of the Pyrenees, I guessed these avens might also
be doorways to subterranean splendors and scientific treasures. So I
began in 1888 the methodical exploration of the unexamined natural
cavities of my own land first, and then of other countries of Europe;
and since then I have devoted several weeks every year to this work.

These pits are simply horizontal holes opening upon the surface of
the ground, of very different forms and dimensions. Herdsmen are very
careful not to let their cattle go too near them, for they sometimes
fall in.

The diameter of these pits varies from a few inches to several
hundred yards, and they are sometimes more than six hundred feet
deep. It is not easy to go down into them, especially when they are
on high levels away from habitations and roads. In such cases a
considerable apparatus of ropes, rope ladders, telephone, portable
boat, tent, etc., has to be taken along. The first measurement with
the sounding line gives the depth only of the first pit--and there
are often several succeeding one another. A rope ladder long enough
to reach the bottom is then let down, and the man who descends has
a rope tied about him for additional security, which is held by the
people above. A great many pits are narrower at the top than lower
down, forming something like a reversed speaking trumpet, so that
the explorer finds it very difficult to make himself heard at the
top; hence I have adopted the practice of taking a telephone along.
The interior shapes of the pits are very diverse. The narrower ones
are easiest to go down, because they permit one partly to support
himself against their walls. The wider ones leave him hanging loose,
in a position which he feels to be very precarious. When there is a
second or third pit, and we have not ladders enough, we have to trust
ourselves to a simple rope with a board fastened at the end of it
for a seat. The _gouffre_ of Vigne Close, in Ardèche, which is about
six hundred feet deep, has five successive pits, and its complete
exploration required three days. The bottom of the pit may be a
simple cleft in the rock, or an immense cathedral-like chamber; as at
Rabanel, near Ganges, and Hérault, the deepest abyss in France, the
vault of which expands into a gigantic nave, five hundred feet high,
which is lighted by the beam of light that falls through the opening,
presenting a grand and indescribable spectacle. Some pits of less
depth, as the Tin doul de la Vayssière, in Aveyron, and the Padirac
well, in Lot, both leading to underground rivers, enjoy a still more
complete illumination. Considerable talus banks close the ends of
these broad pits, and are generally produced by the caving in of the
roofs of caves.

Lively controversies and gross errors have prevailed concerning the
geological formation of abysses. The abyss of Jean Nouveau, Vaucluse,
among others, furnishes evidence against the false hypothesis that
such pits are as a rule the results of cave-ins, whereas pits of that
origin are rare and exceptional. These pits are for the most part
fissures, the principal feature of which is their narrowness. At Jean
Nouveau the greatest breadth is not more than about sixteen feet. It
is the deepest vertical pit of a single shaft without intermediate
terraces that we know of, and is about five hundred and thirty feet
from the surface of the ground to its floor. The mass of stone
rubbish at the bottom prevented our descending into a second pit.

Pits composed, like Vigne Close, of several successive wells, destroy
another hypothesis--that of the formation of _gouffres_ by the
emissions from thermal springs.

The greatest danger in descending these pits arises from the showers
of stones that sometimes come down upon the head of the explorer.
These are often started by his friends the hunters, or by their dogs
gamboling around at will.

While some of the caverns I have explored were stopped up by
obstacles of one kind or another that prevented further progress, in
others we found considerable rivers running a nearly free course. We
rarely found pits formed by the collapse of the roofs of the cave in
cases where the distance from the subterranean river which by its
work of erosion provoked the catastrophe to the surface was more
than one hundred metres. The pit of the Mas Raynal, Aveyron, is one
hundred and six metres deep, and abuts upon a large subterranean
river, which supplies the Sorgues of Saint-Affrique, one of the
finest springs of France. When we explored it, in 1889, we could not
pass the low chambers which occur in it because the water was too
high, and we have not visited it since. Its exploration in a dry
season might reveal many very interesting chambers.

In the cave of Rabanel, the first well, which ends in a talus of
fallen stones, furnishes an instance of a vertical fissure grafted,
if we may use the word, upon an interior grotto that already existed.
A stream runs through this grotto which falls into a second well
twenty-six metres, and is then lost in smaller passages so nearly
stopped up with earth that we were not able to follow it through its
course of about a mile till it comes out at the Brissac spring.

The cave of Trebiciano, in Istria, near Trieste, the deepest known,
has a total depth of more than a thousand feet. It is not, however,
entirely natural, but is composed of numerous vertical fissures which
lead, at about eight hundred and fifty feet below the surface, to a
large cavern, at the bottom of which flows the subterranean river
Recca. The fissures do not naturally communicate directly with one
another, but the engineer Lindner was commissioned in 1840-'41 by the
city of Trieste to construct for the municipality a supply of potable
water from the underground streams, and after eleven months of labor
made artificial connections between the different parts of the chasm.

These vertical pits are formed by the wearing down, from the top,
by the waters which become ingulfed in them. This mode of their
formation was demonstrated to me in 1895, when I was in Great Britain
under a commission from the French Minister of Instruction. I then
explored several caves in which the rivers were still running, and
satisfied myself that the pits were simply absorbing wells. Such
wells are not effective now in southern France and Austria, but
in northern Europe, where rain is more abundant, they are still
operative. I found the plainest evidence of this fact in Yorkshire,
at the Gaping Ghyll, Ingleborough, where a river precipitates itself
at one leap one hundred metres under the earth. English investigators
and travelers had tried without success to descend into it in
1845, 1870, and 1894, having conquered only about one hundred and
ninety-five feet of its total depth of two hundred and twenty-nine
feet. It took me twenty-five minutes to go down upon a rope ladder
which was suspended in the midst of the cascade. Fortunately, the
pit had the daylight to the very bottom--a wonderful spectacle,
compensating me for all my trouble and the long douche bath which
greeted me at the end of the descent, where stretched an immense
Roman nave nearly five hundred feet long, eighty feet wide, and
ninety feet high, without any sustaining pillar. From the middle of
the roof of this colossal cavern fell the cascade in a great nimbus
of vapor and light--a wonderful fantastic scene, such as Gustave
Doré or Jules Verne could never have imagined. The most pleasant
feature of the whole of it, however, to me was the thought that I had
succeeded where the English had failed, and on their own ground. The
people were nevertheless very pleasant to me, and at my instance have
continued the exploration and made some new discoveries.--_Translated
for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique._


[57] From an address before the Société des Amis des Sciences.


The name of Prof. Charles H. Hitchcock is closely associated with the
progress of New England geology, especially with the discovery of the
great terminal glacial moraine, and, in connection with the name of
his father, Dr. Edward Hitchcock, with the study of the fossil bird
tracks of the Connecticut River Valley.

CHARLES HENRY HITCHCOCK was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, August
23, 1836, the son of Prof. Edward Hitchcock, the eminent geologist,
who was afterward president of Amherst College. The family is of
English origin, and was planted in America by two brothers who came
over at nearly the same time and made homes for themselves in New
Haven, removing later to towns near by. Luke Hitchcock, the ancestor
of the subject of this sketch, came in 1695, and finally settled at
Wethersfield, Connecticut. His descendants in the direct line lived
at Springfield, Granville, Deerfield, and Amherst, Massachusetts.
Professor Hitchcock is in the seventh generation from Luke, and is
equally removed from Elder John White, his maternal ancestor, who
came to Canton, Massachusetts, toward the end of the seventeenth
century, and removed thence to the Connecticut Valley. Both lines of
ancestry were purely English, and all the progenitors were men of
integrity, regarded in their times as worthy to fill offices of trust
in church and town. Two of them served in the Revolutionary army.

The father of Professor Hitchcock was one of the most distinguished
geologists and educators of his time, and his services, especially
as State Geologist of Massachusetts, have already been described
in the Popular Science Monthly.[58] His mother was the daughter
of Jacob White, a well-to-do farmer of Amherst, who, believing in
the education of women, had given her the best opportunities for
study available at the time. She could read the Greek Testament and
calculate eclipses, and was a gifted artist with pencil and brush.
She prepared with her own hands many of the numerous illustrations in
her husband's reports, and also diagrams for the lecture room. She
took indefatigable pains with the education of her children, placing
their moral and religious welfare first. Of the eight children of
the family, six of whom reached maturity, the surviving brother
is professor of physical culture, and, for the time being, acting
president at Amherst College, and one of the two surviving sisters,
the widow of the Rev. C. M. Terry, has been for several years matron
of the Hubbard Cottage, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Beginning with 1835, the year before Professor Hitchcock was born,
his father, Professor Edward Hitchcock, was largely occupied with
the study of the "fossil bird tracks" in the New Red Sandstone
of the Connecticut Valley, and with the discussions to which the
investigation gave rise, the story of which has been told by Prof.
C. H. Hitchcock himself in the Popular Science Monthly (vol.
iii, August, 1873). Besides the search for the fossils and their
collection and comparison, and the examination of the literature
that might throw light on the subject, there were studies into the
proper interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis, the debate
with Prof. Moses Stewart, of Andover, and the gradual approach of the
American clergy to general acquiescence in the belief that geology is
not at variance with Scripture. Professor Hitchcock's childhood was
largely spent under the influence of these studies and discussions.
The boy seemed to be full of promise, and because of his observing
ways and proneness to speculation was called "the young philosopher."
He used to bring his mother the very small flowers of _Spergula
rubra_, which are so obscure that older eyes often fail to notice
them. He seemed to be fonder of his father than the other children,
and was never so happy as with him. Through this constant intercourse
Charles became absorbed in his father's pursuits, and grew up into
a knowledge of geology from Nature and from verbal explanations--a
more satisfactory method than that of learning from books; and he
was associated with his father in all his geological work from the
time when he was first old enough to be of service. Thus, before
1856 he was acquainted, from inspection, with the terraces and
reputed beaches and drift phenomena of all western Massachusetts; he
had handled every specimen of a foot mark in the Appleton Cabinet,
and by 1861 was the principal assistant on the Vermont Survey,
having prepared for the press the greater part of the matter of the
report. He had enjoyed the best educational advantages of his day,
having completed the classical and preparatory courses of Williston
Seminary, and been graduated thence in 1852, then graduated from
Amherst College in 1856, a short time before his twentieth birthday.
Among his early classmates and college friends were Dr. Cyrus
Northrup, president of Minnesota University; Dr. Richard Mather,
professor of Greek at Amherst College; the Rev. Dr. Goodwin, of
Chicago; and Dr. William Hayes Ward, editor of The Independent. After
graduation he spent a year in special study of Hebrew and chemistry
at Yale College, two years at Andover Theological Seminary, and one
year in Europe, studying in the Royal School of Mines under Professor
Huxley, and in the British Museum investigating the crustacea and
trilobites. Here he enjoyed the friendship of Professor Richard Owen,
and had the guidance of Dr. H. Woodward.

In 1857 Mr. Hitchcock was appointed assistant geologist to the
Geological Survey of Vermont. He served the full term of the survey,
and had charge of the preparation of the report relating to the
stratigraphical geology, the measurement and delineation of the
sections, and the compilation of the geological map.

In 1861 he received the appointment of State Geologist of Maine,
in which service he spent two summers in field work, preparing two
reports of progress, which were published in connection with the
report of the secretary of the Board of Agriculture. Besides the
general reconnoissance, he discovered the existence of large areas of
Upper Silurian and Devonian terranes. He has embodied his views of
the distribution of the formations in his general map of the United

Having chosen the ministry for his profession, Mr. Hitchcock studied
theology under Dr. E. A. Park, of Andover, and the Rev. Dr. Taylor,
of New Haven. Questions of the relations of theology and science
were attracting much attention, and he treated of them in two papers
in the _Bibliotheca Sacra_, one of which was afterward used for the
guidance of theological students in several seminaries. As more
opportunities were offered for scientific work, the ministry was
given up. This was the time when the doctrine of natural selection
came to the front for investigation, and the early history of mankind
was receiving increased attention. Mr. Hitchcock came home from
Europe in 1867 convinced of the truth of some form of evolution, of
a considerable antiquity of man, and of the probability of a plural
origin of the human race. Finding that some of his views on these
subjects were not acceptable to his associates, he ceased to make
them prominent in his class instructions, and devoted his attention
to the more technical details of geology. Since then general opinion
has advanced so far on these subjects that the views he held at that
time seem now really conservative.

In 1868 he was appointed State Geologist for New Hampshire, and
spent ten years in the survey of that State. The results of his
work there were published in three large quarto volumes, with a
folio atlas of maps, profiles, and sections. The rocks described
consist principally of crystalline schists and marine igneous
ejections. The geology of New Hampshire is of peculiar importance,
because the situation of the State is such that a correct knowledge
of its rocks promotes the understanding of many obscure terranes in
the adjacent regions of Maine, Quebec, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Professor Hitchcock's report of the survey may justly be styled his
chief work. The part best studied relates to the White Mountains
and the Ammonoosuc mining district. Connected with the survey was
the maintenance of a meteorological station throughout the year on
the summit of Mount Washington. Daily statements of the weather
conditions of this station during the winter of 1870-'71 were sent
by telegraph to the principal newspapers, and called out much
interest--before the United States Signal Service began its weather

The catalogue of Professor Hitchcock's publications comprises more
than one hundred and fifty titles of papers, reports, and books.
Perhaps the earliest thorough study represented among them was that
of the fossil footmarks. The first of the published papers on this
subject related to the tracks of animals in alluvial clay, and was
published in the American Journal of Science in 1855. For several
years after this he assisted his father in arranging the museum and
compiling tables for the Ichnology. He made a complete catalogue
descriptive of the more than twenty thousand individual impressions
preserved in the Appleton Cabinet, which was printed, with
descriptions of a few new species of footmarks, in the Supplement
to the Ichnology of Massachusetts, edited by him after the death of
his father in 1865. Although circumstances have prevented him from
paying much attention to ichnology in later years, he has prepared
several papers on the subject, the most important of which was one on
the Recent Progress of Ichnology, which was read before the Boston
Society of Natural History about twelve years ago. In it the ichnites
were carefully catalogued anew and classified in the light of our
knowledge of the numerous dinosaurs of the West; and the results
of some studies of the slabs exhumed at Wethersfield, Connecticut,
are well known. The list of the Connecticut footmarks was increased
from one hundred and nineteen in the Ichnology to one hundred and
seventy; and facts were cited to show that the _Grallator_, the
three-toed animal most allied to birds, possessed a caudal appendage
of a reptilian nature. The Trias of New Jersey had been found to
illustrate new features in the _Otozoum_, whose tracks are often
ornithic in aspect. A comparison of the features of the Triassic
skeletons described by Marsh from Connecticut (_Anchisaurus_) shows
that the creatures were rather allied to the _Plesiornis_ than to
the _Anomoepus_ of the Ichnology, because of the great size of
the fore feet. Notes upon footmarks have been gathered also from
illustrations in Pennsylvania, Nova Scotia, Kansas, Nevada, and

Professor Hitchcock has studied the Quaternary or glacial deposits
with great success. His first publication upon the terraces and
allied phenomena of Vermont appeared while the old views of a
submergence, with icebergs, prevailed, to account for the phenomena.
A study of the glaciers of Switzerland in 1866 satisfied him of the
truth of Agassiz's theory; and whenever the opportunity came for
re-examination of the surface geology of northern New England, the
facts were found to require a different theoretical explanation. He
caused a thorough examination to be made of the Connecticut River
terranes by Warren Upham in the New Hampshire Survey, and proved
that all the high mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine
had been glaciated by a southeasterly movement. The ice came from
the Laurentian highlands, pushed in a southern direction down the
Champlain-Hudson Valley, with a southeasterly flow over New England
and southwesterly over the Adirondacks; the last two courses having
been subordinate to the first. At present the Laurentian hills are
lower than the New England and New York mountains overridden by the
ice, and probably the same was the case in the Glacial period. The
best explanation of these paths is afforded by the suggestion that a
gigantic ice cap accumulated north of the St. Lawrence, towering into
the clouds so much that its overflow naturally descended over the
White and Adirondack Mountains.

That glaciers should accumulate terminal moraines is axiomatic, but
no geologist before 1868 had ventured to suggest where moraines
might be located in the United States. In that year Professor
Hitchcock delivered a lecture before the Lyceum of Natural History
in New York and the Long Island Historical Society in Brooklyn, in
which he affirmed that the drift deposits from Prospect Park along
the backbone of Long Island for its entire length constituted the
terminal moraine of the great continental ice sheet. This declaration
inaugurated a new era in the study of the age of ice. The geologists
in their several States found the terminal moraines, and the various
phenomena began to be classified according to new laws. The search
for moraines has resulted in a restatement of the incident of the
age of ice; more than a dozen successive terminal moraines have
been mapped between New York and Montana, which suggest to us the
existence of several glacial periods. In compiling a catalogue of
observations of the course of glacial striæ by the United States
Geological Survey, it was found that Professor Hitchcock had recorded
for New England as many as all other geologists had observed for the
whole country.

_Eskers_ are another interesting class of phenomena, and were first
described as _horsebacks_ in Maine, about seventy of them having been
described in the report of 1861 and 1862. It was not till after the
description of the Swedish Ösar that the nature of these lines or
ridges was understood; and now they were found in every prominent
valley in New England, as attendant upon the recession of the ice
sheet. Professor Hitchcock gave the correct name of these ridges in
his Elementary Geology, 1860; while for many years subsequently they
were erroneously called _kames_, even in the geology of New Hampshire.

Professor Hitchcock gave the name of Champlain to the fossiliferous
clays associated with the till of the Atlantic coast. The term has
come into general use as connected with the melting of the ice in the
latter part of the period. Because of the presence of boreal species,
and of analogies with similar deposits in Europe, Professor Hitchcock
has asked the question whether there may not have been a Champlain
glacial epoch posterior to those named farther in the interior of the
country, the Kansan, Iowan, and Illinoisian epochs.

Those who explore the geology of northern New England have to deal
with crystalline rocks of various ages, and the opinions of our best
geologists have not been in agreement respecting them. Professor
Hitchcock was the first to make a geological map of New Hampshire,
and he also demonstrated the anticlinal nature of the Green Mountains
of Vermont. His teachers had inculcated the view that these eminences
belonged to a synclinal disposition, coupling this with theoretical
assertions as to their age and metamorphism. Finding their main
principle to be erroneous, he naturally disparaged their theories,
though more recent studies are eliminating many of the schists from
the Archæan. All the later explorers in the field--Canadians and
members of the Geological Survey--accept a pre-Cambrian anticlinal in
the heart of the Green Mountains.

The distribution of the New Hampshire formations was made out for
the most part before any assistance was derived from the labors
of Dr. G. W. Hawes and other petrographers. Twenty years ago, at
the date of the final publication of the New Hampshire maps, the
doctrine of an igneous origin of the crystalline schist had hardly
been hinted at. What seems elemental to the modern petrographer who
has acquired his technical education since 1890 was unknown then,
and the classification given in the report may not agree with that
now taught. In the midst of the diverse views entertained, Professor
Hitchcock classified the rocks of northern New England according
to this principle: rocks that are identical in petrographical
composition are assumed to have had the same origin, and to be
synchronous. Professor Hitchcock was almost the first of American
geologists to employ the petrographer as a help to the understanding
of the crystallines--as was evident by the very valuable
contributions to knowledge in Part IV of the New Hampshire Report as
prepared by Dr. Hawes.

A vexing question concerning what are now called Cambrian terranes
divided geologists for a quarter of a century after 1857, and had to
be considered in preparing the geology of Vermont in 1861. This was
the Taconic controversy. Trilobites had been discovered in Vermont,
which were misunderstood by most of the American geologists following
Hall, Logan, Dana, and others. In giving the species the technical
name first of _Barrandesi_ and then _Olenellus_, Prof. James Hall
asserted its derivation from the Hudson River group--relying upon
the stratigraphical determinations of Sir W. E. Logan. As soon
as Barrandes's attention was called to these trilobites and the
attendant publication, he wrote his famous letter to Logan in 1860,
declaring that there must be a mistake somewhere. That error was
discovered in time to be eliminated from the Vermont report of the
following year. Professor Hitchcock had charge of the field work
in this Cambrian district, and his views of the arrangement of the
formations are in agreement with those of the latest workers in
the field. He applied the term of _Georgia_ to one division of the
terrane in 1860; and the designation has been generally adopted
since that time. Jules Marcou claimed priority in the suggestion of
the application of the term, but upon the publication of Professor
Hitchcock's statement on the subject the credit of priority was
awarded to him by Director Walcott, of the United States Geological

Between 1860 and 1870 Professor Hitchcock was occupied largely as a
mining geologist in the estimation of mineral deposits for mining
companies, with his office in New York. In the prosecution of this
business he traveled in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Maine,
New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Alabama. Subsequently, the study of the
phosphate beds led him to the island of Redonda in the West Indies.
He further visited the phosphate beds of South Carolina and Florida,
the gold fields of eastern Oregon, the Chalcedony Park of Arizona,
the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, and the Yosemite and Yellowstone
Parks. Studies made in the Hawaiian Islands and their volcanoes in
1883 and 1886 resulted in the contribution of important observations
respecting those regions. At the present writing Professor Hitchcock
is spending a year of further observations in those islands.

Mr. Hitchcock was appointed, in 1858, lecturer in zoölogy and curator
of the cabinet in Amherst College; an office which he filled for
seven years, retiring after the death of his father. In 1866 he
was elected professor of geology in Lafayette College, where he
gave short courses of instruction to five successive classes. In
1868 he was called to the chair of geology in Dartmouth College,
a position which he still occupies, receiving a year's leave of
absence for 1898-'99 in consideration of thirty years of service. He
taught geology and zoölogy as a provisional professor at Williams
College in 1881, and in the following year in the Virginia College of
Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, Blacksbury. He received the degree
of M. A. in course at Amherst in 1859, the honorary degree of Ph.
D. from Lafayette College in 1870, and that of LL. D. from Amherst
College in 1896.

Professor Hitchcock has been connected with the American Association
for the Advancement of Science since 1856, and a nearly constant
attendant upon its meetings and participant in the proceedings.
He is a member of local scientific societies in Portland, Me.,
Boston, Mass., New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, and also of
the Imperial Geological Institute of Vienna. He was one of the most
prominent movers in the inception and early history of the Geological
Society of America, and had much to do with the organization of the
International Congress of Geologists, and with the preparation of
special reports for the several meetings between 1876 and 1890. The
handsome geological map of small scale compiled for the United States
was prepared by him and published in the Transactions of the American
Institute of Mining Engineers (1887), to illustrate the nomenclature
and color scheme of the International Congress.

Professor Hitchcock is best known to many by his geological maps. The
first efforts at mapping the geology of the United States were made
independently by Edward Hitchcock and Jules Marcou in 1883--the work
of Mr. Marcou extending only to the plains. Prof. H. D. Rogers, five
or six years later, prepared a map for Johnston's Physical Atlas.
In 1872 Prof. C. H. Hitchcock and Prof. W. P. Blake compiled a map
for the ninth census of the United States, and for R. W. Raymond's
report upon the mineral resources of the country. The success of his
small scale map led Professor Hitchcock to undertake the preparation
of a map on a scale of twenty-five miles to the inch for the whole
country. For this he consulted every work that had been printed
upon the geology of the United States, and obtained the privilege
of using many unpublished data collected by geologists of States
and Territories in which the work had never been carried to actual
completion. The map prepared by the General Land Office was used
as the basis for the geological coloration, and the work appeared
in 1881, of a size adapted to use in the classroom. Its compiler
has never seen any criticism of its accuracy. The edition prepared
for the Mining Institute embodies all the information acquired for
the large map, with such additional facts as had been learned since
that map was published. Prof. Hitchcock's services were called into
requisition in the compilation of a similar map for the United
States Geological Survey, which was published in its annual report
for 1886, under the editorship of W. J. McGee; in fact, the two maps
were printed from the same plates, but Dr. Hitchcock's contained
certain features not found in the other one--the result of different
interpretations--and was more complete. In the Government edition
a system of coloration devised by Major J. W. Powell, which was
afterward abandoned, was employed.

Professor Hitchcock contributed extensively to the collection of
State geological maps in the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, when
large scale sheets of New England, and a large copy of the Hitchcock
and Blake map of 1872, were exhibited. A medal was awarded for a
sheet of thirteen sections illustrating the stratigraphy of Vermont
and New Hampshire. The beginning of the measurement of sections was
made for the Vermont Geological Report under the direction of Dr.
Edward Hitchcock in 1861. Twelve lines of exploration across the
entire State were determined upon, and specimens were collected to
illustrate all the varieties of rock seen upon each. The specimens
were arranged in the State Museum at Montpelier in geographical
order. A similar plan of collection and arrangement was projected
for the New Hampshire survey, but it was made to extend across the
two States, from Maine to New York. Besides the two State reports,
later publications were issued, descriptive of explorations and
collections for the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural
History in New York, and the New Hampshire Agricultural Report for
1883. The work did not cease with these publications, for after
the transfer of the collection of sections from the New Hampshire
College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts to Dartmouth College in
1894, additional explorations were made; the number of sections was
increased to eighteen; improved drawings of the profiles, colored
geologically, were prepared for the cases in the new Butterfield
Museum; and the explanation of the details was further facilitated by
the construction of a large relief map on the scale of one mile to
the inch horizontally, twice as much vertically, and having colors
corresponding to those on the profiles between the shelves. About
five thousand specimens have been gathered to illustrate the profiles.

The Dartmouth College Museum is filled with specimens accumulated
by the energy of Professor Hitchcock. They concern geology,
paleontology, petrography, economic botany, and conchology.


[58] Vol. xlvii, September, 1895.

Editor's Table.


Our attention has been drawn to a lively discussion that has lately
taken place in the St. Paul papers over the utterances, on the
subject of the doctrine of evolution in its relation to education, of
a certain Mr. Smith, who was appointed not long since superintendent
of the public schools of that city. What seems clear is that Mr.
Smith is a very ignorant man, whose views in regard to education are
of an altogether retrograde character. How he came to be appointed to
his present position is a question which is being gravely pondered by
many of the citizens; but probably the explanation is not very far
to seek. The dispensers of patronage in State and municipal affairs
are not always competent to make the best nominations to offices
calling for high qualifications; and sometimes they do not even act
up to their own indifferent lights. The man that has the pull is very
apt to be the man that gets the office, and it is not often that the
strongest pull goes with the highest professional fitness.

However this may be, there Mr. Smith is, and what kind of a man he
is may be judged from his utterances. It is thus that he refers to
Mr. Spencer: "There is an old man in England who for years has spent
all his time and devoted all his energies to the attempt to create
a system which shall entirely ignore the name of the Deity. He will
shortly die, and it shall not be remembered that he ever performed
an act or said a word that blessed or comforted or relieved his
suffering fellows." To further darken the picture, he contrasts
Spencer with the late Cardinal Newman, who wrote the hymn "Lead,
kindly light," and who, we are told, if he had done nothing more,
would have been "followed by the blessings and the prayers of those
whom he had comforted and saved." Again, dealing with the modern
scientific view that, in the development of the human individual
all antecedent stages of human development are, in a manner, passed
through, he says: "Let us discard the primitive-man theory. You do
not believe it. Rather shall we not hold with Emerson that every
child born into the world is a new Messiah given into the arms of
fallen humanity to lead them back to paradise?"

It is no part of our purpose to defend Mr. Spencer against the
attacks of so negligible an assailant as Mr. Smith, of Minnesota.
The words that Mr. Spencer has spoken for truth, for justice,
for humanity, for peace, are his sufficient commendation and
vindication--were vindication needed--in the eyes of all who have any
competent knowledge of contemporary thought. If these words do not
help to make the world better we should feel little inclined to put
our trust in the most skillfully constructed sacred lyric. Men do not
always know their benefactors; and it is altogether possible, nay
probable, that thousands who perhaps never heard Mr. Spencer's name
have benefited through the greater consideration with which they have
been treated by others, owing to his teaching. It is quite possible
for men, yes, and women too, to sing "Lead, kindly light" with great
unction, and yet to be the ardent abettors of warlike sentiments and
warlike acts--to revel in a ruthless and immoral jingoism. Dryden
was not referring to the adherents of any evolutionist philosophy
when he wrote:

    "In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell,
    And injuries with injuries repel;
    Prompt to revenge, not daring to forgive,
    Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe."

"Not daring to forgive" is good, and nearly as true in the nineteenth
century as it was in the seventeenth. The one English statesman
who dared to forgive a defeat inflicted on English arms and to
acknowledge an error, incurred by that single act a deeper hatred and
contempt than he earned by anything else, or all else, in his long
and storm-tossed career. We refer to the action taken by Gladstone
after the battle of Majuba Hill. And we are much mistaken if the
majority of those who execrated him most deeply for not crushing the
Boers under England's overwhelming force were not immense admirers of
the cardinal's hymn. What is certain is that they were not immense
admirers of Spencer, and that Spencer did not immensely admire them.

Superintendent Smith has quoted Emerson, but he does not occupy the
standpoint that enables him to see Emerson in true perspective,
or to feel what his philosophy lacks when confronted with the
newer knowledge of the century. Mr. J. J. Chapman, in his recent
memorable book of essays, gives us a better view. "A critic in the
modern sense," Mr. Chapman says, "he (Emerson) was not. He lived
too early and at too great a distance from the forum of European
thought to absorb the ideas of evolution, and give place to them
in his philosophy.... We miss in Emerson the underlying conception
of growth, of development, so characteristic of the thought of our
own day, and which, for instance, is found everywhere latent in
Browning's poetry.... He is probably the last great writer to look at
life from a stationary standpoint."

That the doctrine of evolution constitutes to-day a most important
guiding principle in education no competent educationist could be
found to deny. It teaches us to deal with the young as in a very true
sense the heirs of all the ages, to make due allowance in childhood
for instincts and habits which partake of the earlier stages of human
development, and to look forward with confidence to later and higher
manifestations. We have less faith than our ancestors had in the
rod, and more in the gradual unfolding of the powers and capacities
of the mind, and therewith the enlargement and improvement of the
moral nature. We do not believe as our forefathers did in breaking
children's wills; nor do we view their peccadilloes in the lurid
light of a gloomy theological creed. We recognize that veracity, in
the sense of strict accuracy of speech, purged of all imaginative
elements, is a virtue which not all adults are able to practice, and
which is not a natural product of the child mind. We can not accept
Emerson's doctrine of infant Messiahs, and yet we can recognize very
fully the mission of the child in the home, the demand it makes for
tenderness, for patience, for thoughtfulness on the part of parents,
the hopes and fears and heart-searchings that it calls into play,
the aspirations that it promotes toward the realization, if for
its sake only, of a higher life. Froebel grasped a large measure
of truth in regard to children, but too much of sentiment, in our
opinion, entered into his treatment of them. In the full light of the
doctrine of evolution we take them as they are, and help them to work
out under favorable conditions that development of which they are
capable. We are not imposed upon by childish imitations of mature
virtues, and are rather disposed to repress recognized tendencies to
precocity; but we believe that the germs of good are sown in every
normal human being, and that, unless killed by most unwise treatment,
they will fructify in due time.

What we may well consider seriously is whether our modern modes of
life enable us to do that justice to children which evolutionary
teaching requires. Can true health of body and mind be conciliated
with social ambition or with commercial ambition? Are we not hampered
at every turn by false schemes of education, the object of which
is to turn out certain conventional products? How many of us can
rise up in effective rebellion against the very fashions that in
our hearts we most condemn? Before there can be anything like a
perfect education for the young there must be a much more fully
developed sense of duty than we see as yet in the older generation.
The doctrine of evolution is putting the key to a true system into
our hands; but to use that key aright requires courage and high
purpose--qualities that are not of everyday occurrence. Still, it is
matter of congratulation that the truth is not far from us. It is
well established in our theories, and one of these days we may hope
it will gain a wide and secure footing in our practice.


In the death of David A. Wells, which occurred at his home in
Norwich, Connecticut, on the 5th of November, 1898, America has
lost one of her ablest and most productive men of letters and
science a distinguished representative. Out of a life of seventy
years it may fairly be said that Mr. Wells gave fifty of them to
intellectual pursuits, which were mainly devoted to the advance of
science and its application to practical affairs. After passing the
period of early study, and particularly since he became interested
in economic questions, much of his work was in the line of original
investigation, the results of which have from time to time been given
to the public either through his books or in the magazines. Another
and more conspicuous feature of his career, the one perhaps that
made him best known at home and first gave him reputation abroad,
was the valuable service that he rendered the country at large in
straightening out the financial tangle the Government had got itself
into during and after the civil war. In this undertaking his great
store of learning, rare practical sagacity, and unwavering confidence
in the final result, carried him through to a brilliant success,
earning for him in high quarters the most flattering testimonials of
admiration and respect.

Looked at in the light of what he actually achieved, Mr. Wells's
preparation for his life work seems to have been almost an ideal one.
Gifted with a strong love of Nature and having a decidedly practical
turn of mind, he early showed a fondness for the study of science.
This led him, soon after graduating from Williams College in 1847,
to enter the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University. Here
he completed the course with the first class that was graduated by
that institution in 1852. While studying in the scientific school
young Wells became the special pupil of Agassiz, and, as the sequel
shows, caught the enthusiasm with which that great master was wont to
inspire the young men who were fortunate enough to come within the
range of his influence. During this period Mr. Wells, in association
with Mr. George Bliss, began the compilation and publication of the
Annual of Scientific Discovery, which he continued for some sixteen
years. That he was a clever student with quite exceptional endowments
is seen in the circumstance that immediately after graduation he was
appointed assistant professor in the scientific school and lecturer
on physics and chemistry in Groton Academy, Massachusetts. He also,
between 1857 and 1863, prepared a series of scientific school books
embracing the subjects of physics, chemistry, and geology, and a
volume on the Science of Common Things, all of which attained a wide

Thus for a period of nearly fifteen years Mr. Wells had devoted
himself assiduously to the cultivation of the physical sciences.
Beginning with the practical operations of the laboratory, where the
value of experiment and observation is made apparent, his work was
continued in the strengthening and developing experiences of the
teacher, and thence led up to that wider knowledge and that clearness
of exposition which a bright mind would acquire in the preparation
of a number of successful scientific class books. It may be presumed
that by this time he was thoroughly acquainted with scientific method
in its applications to the investigation and explanation of physical
phenomena. With the results this had yielded in building up the great
body of verified knowledge composing the several sciences he must
also have been familiar. Mentally alert and with sharpened powers
of observation, he was able to seize and classify the facts bearing
upon the problem in hand, and subject them to systematic processes of
scientific reasoning.

Such, in brief, was the training and such the equipment brought by
Mr. Wells to the study of economic questions when he first began to
write upon them in 1864. A better preparation for the work to which
he was to give the next thirty years of his life can scarcely be
imagined. While it is quite true that in entering this new field he
was to encounter a class of facts and variety of phenomena that were
of a very different order from those with which he had previously
been dealing, their apparently haphazard character did not deceive
him. Well versed in the practice of tracing effects to causes,
gifted with remarkable powers of insight, and thoroughly believing
that the methods of science would prove as available in the study of
economics as in other fields, he began his investigations without
misgiving, patiently accumulated and studied the facts, and when
conclusions were arrived at, no matter how contrary they might be
to current teaching, fearlessly announced and defended them. Though
half his life a firm believer in the doctrine of protection, when
Mr. Wells went to Europe for the Government in 1867 to investigate
the subject of tariff taxation, high and low tariff countries alike
were visited, with the determination to leave nothing undone that
would aid to a better understanding of the question. All the varied
aspects of the problem were carefully studied in connection with
the principal industries of the respective countries, and, finding
reason in the facts thus obtained to revise his opinions, he came
home a convert to free trade. For an account of what he had observed
during the course of his investigations, and of the conclusions
based thereon, the reader is referred to the fourth volume of his
reports as commissioner of internal revenue, published in 1869. His
book on Recent Economic Changes, and the papers on The Principles of
Taxation, that have appeared in this magazine during the last two
years, are records of equally painstaking research. Moreover, they
are both excellent examples of what a strict adherence to scientific
method has done and may yet be expected to do toward clearing up the
knotty problems in economics that are now engaging public attention.

United with his great learning, and a rare power of generalization,
Mr. Wells possessed in full measure that intellectual honesty which
is the indispensable characteristic of the true man of science. This
enabled him to follow without doubt or hesitation wherever the facts
might lead; and with his clear perception of their real import,
joined to his habit of independent thought, traits that are displayed
throughout all his more formal writings, they are what in our opinion
constitute his title to distinction. They give to his teachings,
which have already done more than any other agency that we know
toward placing the subject of political economy on a sound scientific
basis, a high and enduring character.


"The central idea of Professor Giddings's Principles of Sociology,
a work that has the honor of being the first independent attempt in
English to treat of sociology as such, is that we must postulate
on the part of human beings what he calls a _consciousness of
kind_. Critics of his volume have naturally told him that this is
essentially a philosophical idea, found in Hegel and in British
ethical writers of the eighteenth century."

We quote the above from an article by Professor Caldwell, entitled
Philosophy and the Newer Sociology, in the October Contemporary. We
are not prepared to dispute Professor Caldwell's statement that the
idea of the "consciousness of kind" may be found in the writers to
whom he refers; but it would have been very much to the point if he
had mentioned that it is to be found most clearly enunciated in Mr.
Herbert Spencer's Principles of Sociology. In an article contributed
to this magazine in December, 1896, Mr. Spencer took occasion to
point out that what Professor Giddings seemed to regard as an
_aperçu_ peculiar to himself had been distinctly formulated years
before in his own writings. In proof of this he quoted the following

"Sociality having thus commenced, and survival of the fittest tending
ever to maintain and increase it, it will be further strengthened by
the inherited effects of habit. _The perception of kindred beings,
perpetually seen, heard, and smelt, will come to form a predominant
part of consciousness-_-so predominant that absence of it will
inevitably cause discomfort." "Among creatures led step by step into
gregariousness, there will little by little be established a pleasure
in being together--a pleasure in the consciousness of one another's
presence--a pleasure simpler than, and quite distinct from, those
higher ones which it makes possible."

The fact is that there is much more in Spencer than most recent
writers have ever explored; and the newer sociologists would do well,
before putting forward claims to originality, to make sure that they
have not been anticipated by the veteran philosopher.

Scientific Literature.


In _The Play of Animals_[59] we are offered a book upon an
essentially new topic; for, although much has been written concerning
the habits and intelligence of animals, no special consideration has
been given to their play or its psychic significance. The survey of
this virgin territory seems to the critical reader to have disclosed
such limitless area to Professor Groos that he fails to indicate its
legitimate boundaries. He confesses himself overcome by a sense of
its vastness, stating that the "versatility needed for a thorough
investigation is so comprehensive that it is unattainable by an
ordinary mortal."

Play, he finds, is not "an aimless activity carried on for its own
sake"; neither is it the product of surplus physical energy, as Mr.
Spencer defines it, for in youth there is playfulness without this
condition. Instincts useful in preserving the species appear before
they are seriously needed, and are utilized in play, which serves as
preparation for the tasks of life. "Animals do not play because they
are young, but have a period of youth in order to play."

The special ends accomplished by play are control of the body,
command of the means of locomotion, agility in pursuit of prey and
in escaping danger, and prowess in fighting. The games pursued
in attaining these ends are classified in nine groups, beginning
with those of experimentation and ending with those referred to
curiosity. They include plays of movement, hunting, fighting, love,
construction, nursing, and imitation. For all of these Professor
Groos finds but one instinct of play responsible, supplemented by
the instinct of imitation. He enters into an elaborate discussion
of instinct, giving an outline of Weismann's theory of heredity and
the views of various writers. He adopts Herbert Spencer's definition
of instinct as a complex reflex act, referring its origin to the
operation of natural selection, acknowledging the process to be
beyond our grasp. In seeking to explain bird song and the love play
of animals, the theory of sexual selection is not accepted by him
without qualification; a modification of the Darwinian principle
is suggested in which the female exerts an unconscious choice.
The psychic characteristics of play are the pleasure following
satisfaction of instinct, energetic action and joy in the acquirement
of power. The animal at first masters its own bodily movements, then
seeks the conquest of other animals and inanimate objects. When a
certain facility in play has been gained a higher intellectual stage
is entered upon, that of make-believe, or playing a part. This state
of conscious self-illusion is reached by many of the higher animals.
Psychically, it indicates a divided consciousness, and occupies a
place between the ordinary state and the abnormal ones of hypnosis
and hysteria. To this condition Professor Groos ascribes the genesis
of artistic production, an hypothesis that he has elaborated more
fully in _Einleitung in die Aesthetik_.

The experimental plays of animals, divided into those of courtship,
imitation, and construction, correspond to the principles of self
exhibition, imitation, and decoration, which are claimed to be the
motives of human art. The acquirement of power through play develops
a feeling of freedom, and this the artist likewise seeks to realize
in the world of ideals.

Artists will not probably acknowledge that "life is earnest, art is
playful," nor moralists agree that "man is only human when he plays,
for there is no real freedom in the sphere of experience," yet both
may find food for thought in Professor Groos's analysis of play.


[59] The Play of Animals. By Karl Groos. Translated by Elizabeth L.
Baldwin. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 341. Price, $1.75.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the spasm of unreasoning hostility to Spain which has come over
the people of the United States, succeeding a period of effusive
admiration, the public are apt to forget that that nation has done
anything creditable for the promotion of civilization. Yet, leaving
out other fields of culture for the present, it has produced two
painters who rank among the great masters, besides numerous secondary
artists, rivals of any of that grade in the world, and a voluminous
literature which George Ticknor thought it worth while to make the
study of his life, and which inspired the pens of Irving, Longfellow
and Lockhart. One of the works of this literature ranks among the
world's greatest classics, and has been, perhaps, after the Bible
and Shakespeare more universally read than any other book; and
numerous other works--chiefly romances--have furnished patterns or
themes for the poets, novelists, and dramatists of other nations.
Mr. _Fitz Maurice Kelly's_ excellent and convenient _History of
Spanish Literature_[60] therefore comes in good time to refresh
our memories concerning these facts. One does not have to go very
far in the history to find that of the great Latin writers of the
age of the Cæsars, the two Senecas, Lucan the poet of Pharsalia,
Martial the epigrammatist, and Quintilian the rhetorician--still
an authority--and many minor writers, "were Spaniards as well as
Romans." It also appears that of what Gibbon declared to have been
the happiest epoch of man's history--from the death of Domitian to
the accession of Commodus, seventy of the eighty years, if we take
the liberty, as Mr. Kelly does, of counting Marcus Aurelius as a
Cordovan, were passed beneath the scepter of the Spanish Cæsars.
Prudentius, a distinguished Latin Christian writer of a succeeding
age, was also a Spaniard. Although there were "archaic" works of
_trovadors_ before that time, traditionally preserved by _juglars_,
Spanish literature proper began in the twelfth century. It owed
much to French and Italian, and in course of time gave much back to
them. Among its earliest signs was the development of the romance
(ballad), while Arab writers (whose work Mr. Kelly considers of
doubtful value) and Jews, who are better spoken of, were early
contributors to it. The earliest works of importance were the
Mystery of the Magian Kings, one of the first plays in any modern
language, and the great heroic poem of the Cid, both anonymous.
The first Castilian poet whose name has reached us was Gonzalo de
Berceo, 1198 to 1264, who wrote much, and was, "if not an inventor,
the chief of a school." Permanent form was given to Spanish prose
by King Alfonso the Learned, 1226 to 1284, who, "like Bacon, took
all knowledge for his province, and in every department shone
pre-eminent." He had numerous collaborators, and "his example in so
many fields was followed"--among others (in some of them) by his
son and successor, Sancho IV. The Infanta, Juan Manuel, nephew of
Alfonso, in one of the stories of his Conde Lucanor--"one of the
books of the world"--created the germ of the Taming of the Shrew.
Passing a numerous list of writers of respectable merit, for whose
names even we have not room, we come to the age of the Catholic
kings and Charles V, when for a hundred and fifty years literature
most flourished in Spain. Among the features of this period are the
Amadis de Gaul--"the best in that kind"--which inspired Cervantes;
Columbus, who, though of Italian birth, "was probably the truest
Spaniard in all the Spains," the poet Garcilaso de la Vega, and
Bernal Diaz and other historians whose names dot Prescott's books.
Passing a large number of writers of mark whose works appeared in
this age, and stopping only to mention Alonzo de Ercilla y Zuñiga's
Araucana as the first literary work of real merit composed in either
American continent, we come to the age of Cervantes, whose story of
Don Quixote--"the friendless people's friend," as Browning styles
him--is not more distinguished for its satirical wit and humor than
for its kindly humanity; and Lope de Vega, that most prolific of
all dramatic authors, who "left no achievement unattempted," and
died lamented by a hundred and fifty-three Spanish and fifty Italian
authors, who sang his praises. Among other of the most distinguished
writers of this and succeeding periods are Mariana, "the greatest
of all Spanish historians"; Góngora, a famous poet in his day;
Quevedo; Tirse de Molina, the creator of Don Juan; Calderon, second
as a dramatist among Spaniards, if second, only to Lope de Vega, and
Alarcón his compeer; and Velasquez, great in art and not small in
letters. An interregnum came in during the reign of Carlos II, and
French influence made itself felt. The age of the Bourbons produced
among others the Benedictine Sarmiento, who as a botanist "won the
admiration and friendship of Linné." The present century has been
marked by the names of many authors of merit, novelists known to us
in translations, by an active movement of historical composition
developing brilliant monographs, and by a marked advance of
scholarship and tolerance, led by Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo; with a
tendency to produce "a breed of writers of the German type."


[60] A History of Spanish Literature. By James Fitz Maurice-Kelly.
New York: D. Appleton and Company. (Literature of the World Series.
Edited by Edmund Gosse.) Pp. 433. Price, $1.50.


The great importance of the problems of forestry and all that
pertains to them can not fail to be appreciated by any one who has
seen the devastation wrought in many sections of this country by
the "wood chopper." Forestry is one of the subjects where natural
science can step in and guide the way to economic success, and
where, in default of scientific methods, economically fatal results
inevitably ensue. The preservation of forests has been an important
problem in Europe for many years, but until quite recently it has
received little attention in the United States. One of the pioneers
in the field of forestry in this country was Franklin B. Hough,
whose Elements of Forestry is still a used and useful manual.
Among his many schemes for attracting attention and study to this
important subject was one of making actual sections of the wood
of American trees, and arranging them in a compact and attractive
manner for general distribution. This idea he never carried out,
and it has remained for his son, Mr. R. B. Hough, to finally carry
out the scheme, by publishing a complete series of such sections,
carefully prepared and compactly bound.[61] In Part I of the series
there are cuttings representing twenty-five species of American
trees. The sections are sufficiently thin to allow of their study
by transmitted light. There are three cuttings from each species,
transverse, radial, and tangential to the grain. An accompanying text
gives a condensed description of each tree, including its physical
properties, uses, and habitat. These descriptions are preceded by a
useful introduction to the study of general botany, describing the
methods of distinguishing and naming the various parts of plants
and trees, and giving an account of their structure and methods of
growth. The actual wood sections, quite apart from their scientific
value, are worthy of attention because of their great beauty. They
are substantially mounted on black cardboard, each card containing
the three sections of a species, and its common name in English,
French, German, and Spanish. The thinness of the cuttings makes it
possible to use them as transparencies, thus bringing out the texture
of the wood in a very effective way.

Prof. _Charles Reid Barnes_ is impressed with the fact that while
laboratory work has become nearly universal in botany, and laboratory
manuals are numerous, there is still a lack of books giving an
elementary account of the form and functions of plants of all groups.
To supply this want he offers _Plant Life_[62] as an attempt to
exhibit the variety and progressive complexity of the vegetative
body; to discuss the more important functions; to explain the unity
of plan in both the structure and action of the reproductive organs;
and to give an outline of the more striking ways in which plants
adapt themselves to the world about them. He has made the effort to
treat these subjects so that, however much the student may still have
to learn, he will have little to unlearn. The book is not intended
to be memorized and recited, but to be intelligible to pupils
from thirteen to eighteen years of age who are engaged in genuine
laboratory study under the direction "of a live teacher who has
studied far more botany than he is trying to teach." It is adapted
to use supplementarily to any laboratory guide or to the directions
prepared by the teacher. The directions are made fullest in relation
to cryptogams and physiology, because these fields are at present
most unfamiliar to teachers.

Attaching great importance to _Electro-Dynamics_, which he thinks
will in the near future assume the same relation to the electric
motor that the science of thermo-dynamics already bears to the
steam engine, Mr. _Charles Ashley Carus-Wilson_ aims in the book
of that name[63] to apply the principles of that science to the
direct-current motor. Writing for electrical engineers particularly,
he takes for granted a certain acquaintance with the use and design
of motors, but avoids unexplained technicalities as far as possible.
He has not deemed it necessary to deal with self-induction, except
in connection with the question of sparking. The numerical accuracy
attempted has been limited to that attainable with an ordinary
ten-inch slide rule, on which all the examples have been worked out.
Importance is attached to the graphic method of solution.

Of Dr. _Frank Overton's_ three books on _Applied Physiology_,[64]
the first or primary grade follows a natural order of treatment,
presenting in each subject elementary anatomical facts in a manner
that impresses function rather than form, and from the form described
derives the function. The facts and principles are then applied to
everyday life. The intermediate grade, besides being an introduction
to the study of anatomy and physiology, is intended to be a complete
elementary book in itself, giving a clear picture of how each organ
of the body performs its work. The advanced grade book was suggested
by a series of popular lectures in which the author presented the
essential principles of physiology about which a physician is
consulted daily. His explanations of many common facts were novel
to his auditors, and it was found that the school books were silent
upon many of these points, especially with regard to the cells.
Throughout the series the fact that the cells are the units in which
life exists and acts is emphasized. The author has endeavored to
include all the useful points of the older text-books, and to add
such new matter as the recent progress of physiological and hygienic
science demands. Avoiding technical terms, he has sought to express
the truths in simple language, "such as he would use in instructing a
mother as to the nature of the sickness of her child." The subjects
of alcohol and other narcotics are made prominent in all the books,
and are discussed fully in the third of the series. The relation
of respiration and oxidation to the disappearance of food, to the
production of waste matters, and to the development of heat and
force, is dwelt upon. Simple and easy demonstrations, many of them
new, are provided at the ends of chapters. A chapter on Repairs of
Injuries, or the restoration of the natural functions, when impaired,
by the body, is new in a school textbook.

In _Yetta Ségal_,[65] a slender thread of a story is used by Mr.
_Rollin_ as the vehicle for a theory of "type fusion" or convergence
which he thinks has not received sufficient attention from social
or scientific students. There are a pair of lovers, one of whom is
discovered at a critical period in the courtship to have negro blood
in his veins, and a philosopher who comes forward to satisfy the
parties (who hardly need it) that this is no serious matter, but is
all according to human evolution and the destiny of the race. "You
must be impressed," he says, "by the fact that there are a great
many people here and there, of mixed blood, and that the number is
increasing; ... it is well that not a few are indeed truly admirable
specimens of the human race. Such phenomena must be interpreted in
a way consistent with man's nature: if he is developmental; if he
shall attain a higher status through struggle, or through means that
are seemingly, or for the time, degrading; if he is moving from the
simple to the complex, as to organization; if universal movement
tends to unific existence--then race interchange, with elimination
of peculiar characteristics, has probably made its appearance as a
phase of infinite order, and for the benefit of future man.... It is
presumptuous for the wisest to assert that the man of lower type has
no element of strength peculiar to his race which the most advanced
does not need in his present organization. It may be needed either
for present protection in the way of re-enforcement, or as an element
of strength for further advancement." Mr. Rollin does not advocate
type fusion or wish to accelerate the movement, but presents it as
a fact and factor in human evolution deserving more extensive and
thorough study than it has received.

The increasing attention which of late years has been given to the
study of comparative anatomy has finally resulted in what promises
to be a complete and detailed account of the structure of a subhuman
mammal.[66] The author, Dr. _Jayne_, believes that a course in
mammalian anatomy offers a valuable preliminary to the study of
medicine, and this is the purpose for which the book has been made.
This is to a certain extent true, especially where, as in the case
of the cat, there is so close a similarity to the structure of the
human body. But the chief scientific interest and value of such a
work must lie in its broader philosophic aspects; in the aid which
it can not but give in clearing up some of the many mooted points of
evolutional biology, and in the stimulus which it will impart to the
study of relationships among the lower animals. The present volume,
the first of the series, deals only with the skeleton of the cat,
each bone being first studied individually, then in its relations to
other bones and to the muscular system and the skeleton as a whole,
and finally in comparison with the corresponding portion of the
human skeleton. There are 611 extremely good illustrations, and the
printing of the volume is unusually clean and attractive.

Among the articles of special value in recent numbers of the
(bimonthly) _Bulletin of the Department of Labor_, under the
editorial control of Commissioner _Carroll D. Wright_ and Chief
Clerk _O. D. Weaver_, are those on Boarding Houses and Clubs for
Working Women, by Mary S. Ferguson, in the March number; The Alaskan
Gold Fields and the Opportunities they afford for Capital and Labor,
by S. C. Durham, in the May number; Economic Aspects of the Liquor
Problem; Brotherhood Relief and Insurance of Railway Employees, by E.
R. Johnson, Ph. D.; and The Nations of Antwerp, by J. H. Gore, Ph.
D., in the July number. Summaries of reports of labor statistics, of
legislation and decisions of courts affecting labor, and of recent
Government contracts constitute regular departments of the bulletin.

For delicate humor and refined art of expression few writers can
excel Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, but the sources of his rich
flow of humor are so deeply hidden and his expression is so very
subtle that the generality of those who attempt to read his works
fail to appreciate him or even to understand him, and give him up.
The pleasure of appreciating him is, however, worth the pains of
learning to do so. Those who are willing to undertake this, and who
read German, may find help in the _Selections from the Works of
Jean Paul Friedrich Richter_, prepared by _George Stuart Collins_,
and published by the American Book Company. The book is intended
for students of German who have attained a certain mastery of the
language. Pains have been taken to avoid such passages as might
from their mere difficulty discourage the reader, and to choose
such as would be complete in themselves. The selections are made
from the shorter writings of the author, and each is intended to be
representative of some feature of his manifold genius and style.

A notice of the _Stenotypy_, or system of shorthand for the
typewriter, of _D. A. Quinn_, was published in the Popular Science
Monthly in March, 1896. It is really a system of phonography to be
used with the typewriter whenever it is practicable to employ that
instrument. A second edition of Mr. Quinn's manual and exercises
for the practice of the system is published by the American Book
Exchange, Providence, R. I.

A paper on _Polished-Stone Articles used by the New York Aborigines
before and during European Occupation_, published as a Bulletin of
the New York State Museum, is complementary to a previous bulletin
on articles of chipped stone. Both papers are by the Rev. Dr. _W. M.
Beauchamp_, and are illustrated by figures from his large collection
of original drawings, made in nearly all parts of New York, but
mostly from the central portion. While the chipped implements are
more numerous and widespread than those treated of in the present
bulletin, the latter show great patience and skill in their higher
forms and taste in selecting materials, and they give hints of
superstitions and ceremonies not yet thoroughly understood.

_Henry Goldman_ has invented, in the arithmachine, what he claims is
a rapid and reliable computing machine of small dimensions and large
capacity, with other advantages. He now offers, as a companion to it,
_The Arithmachinist_, a book intended to serve as a self-instructor
in mechanical arithmetic. It gives historical and technical
chapters on the calculating machines of the past, describes the
principles controlling the construction and operations, and furnishes
explanations concerning the author's own device. (Published by the
Office Men's Record Company, Chicago, for one dollar.)

The _Bulletin from the Laboratories of Natural History of the
State University of Iowa_, Vol. IV, No. 3, contains two technical
articles: On the Actinaria, collected by the Bahama Expedition of the
University, in 1891, by J. P. McMurrich, and the Brachyura of the
Biological Expedition to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas in 1893, by
Mary J. Rathbun; and a list of the coleoptera of Southern Arizona,
by H. F. Wickham. Mr. Wickham observes that the insects of northern
Arizona are widely different from those of the southern part, a fact
which he ascribes to difference of altitude, and, consequently, in
vegetation. The Bulletin is sold for fifty cents a copy.

Two books in English--_Elementary English_ and _Elements of Grammar
and Composition_--prepared by _E. Oram Lyte_, and published by the
American Book Company, are intended to include and cover a complete
graded course in language lessons, grammar, and composition for
study in the primary and grammar grades of schools. The endeavor
has been made to present the subject in such a way that the pupil
shall become interested in the study from the first. The first
book, Elementary English, is designed to furnish material for
primary language work, and to show how this material can be used
to advantage, embodying and representing the natural methods of
language teaching. The child is given something to do--easy and
practical--at every point, and is not troubled by formal definitions
and rules to be committed to memory. The second book is also based
on the principle that the best way to gain a working knowledge of
the English language is by the working or laboratory method. It is
therefore largely made up of exercises, and aims to teach through
practice. The subject is unfolded from a psychological rather than
a logical point of view. What is to be memorized is reduced to a
minimum, and not presented till the pupil is ready for it. The
lessons in literature and composition are designed to help the pupil
to appreciate worth and beauty of literature, and lead him to fluent
and accurate expression.

_The Bulletin of the Geological Institution of the University
of Upsala_ presents a series of special papers of much interest
to students of that science, on studies in geology, largely of
Scandinavia, but of other countries as well. Part 2 of Vol. III, now
before us, has such papers on Silurian Coral Reefs in Gothland, by
Carl Wiman; the Quaternary Mammalia of Sweden, by Rutger Sernander;
Some Ore Deposits of the Atacama Desert, by Otto Nordenskiold;
the Structure of some Gothlandish Graphites, by Carl Wiman; the
Interglacial Submergence of Great Britain, by H. Munthe; Mechanical
Disturbances and Chemical Changes in the Ribbon Clays of Sweden, by
P. J. Holmquist; Some Mineral Changes, by A. G. Högborn; and the
Proceedings of the Geological Section of the Students' Association of
Natural Science, Upsala. The articles are in German, English, and (in
previous numbers) French.

Two Spanish-American works of very different character have
come to us from Valparaiso, Chili. One is entitled _Literatura
Arcaica--Estudios Criticos_, or critical studies of old Spanish
literature, by _Eduardo de la Barra_, of the Royal Spanish Academy,
which were communicated to the Latin-American Scientific Congress
at Buenos Ayres. The author was invited to present to the congress
the fruits of his extensive studies on the Poem of the Cid, but
afterward modified his plan and gave these, the results of his more
general investigations of the romances of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, which Spanish critics regard as the most ancient they
have, and other romances attributed to the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, with an article on the Cid. This work is published by K.
Newman, Valparaiso.

The other book is a volume of _Rrimas_, or rhymes, by _Gustabo Adolfo
Béker_, published by Carlos Cabezon, at Valparaiso. The ordinary
student might think that the Spanish language is one of those least
in need of spelling reform, but not so the author and publisher of
these poems, which are presented in the most radically "reformed"
spelling, and with them comes a pamphlet setting forth the character
and principles of "Ortografia Rrazional."

The report of a study of seventy-three Irish and Irish-American
criminals made at the Kings County Penitentiary, Brooklyn, N. Y., by
Dr. _H. L. Winter_, and published as _Notes on Criminal Anthropology
and Bio-Sociology_, contains numerous observations bearing upon the
effect of hereditary influences in criminality, but hardly sufficient
to justify the drawing of any general conclusions.

The late Mr. Lewis M. Rutherfurd, in developing the art of
astronomical photography, naturally gave much attention to the star
61 Cygni--which was the first to yield its parallax, and through
which the possibility of measuring stellar distances was shown--and
its neighbors. A number of the plates of this series were partially
studied by Miss Ida C. Martin more than twenty years ago, and the
study has now been carried out by _Herman S. Davis_, as part of the
work of Columbia University Observatory. The results of Mr. Davis's
labors are published by the observatory in three papers: _Catalogue
of Sixty-five Stars near 61 Cygni_; _The Parallaxes of 61^1 and 61^2
Cygni_; and _Catalogue of Thirty-four Stars near "Bradley 3077"_;
under a single cover.

In a small work entitled _A Theory of Life deduced from the Evolution
Philosophy_ a few thoughts are recorded by _Sylvan Drey_ relative
to the manner in which, from central doctrines identical with
the teachings of Herbert Spencer, a system of religion, an ideal
society, a theory of ethics, and a political creed--the doctrine of
social individualism--may be built up. The religion is to recognize
an inexplicable and inconceivable energy revealing itself in the
universe, of which the highest theistic conception possible to human
beings, free from the supposition that it represents a likeness, is
the only one that can be accepted. "Absolute truth is beyond the
grasp of human beings; but for all practical purposes the teachings
of the evolution philosophy, relative truths though they may be, may
be regarded as final and conclusive." Mr. Drey's paper of thirty-four
pages is published by Williams & Norgate, London.


[61] The American Woods. Exhibited by Actual Specimens. Part I,
representing Twenty-five Species. By Romeyn B. Hough: Lowville, N. Y.
The Author.

[62] Plant Life considered with Special Reference to Form and
Function. By Charles Reid Barnes. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 428.
Price, $1.12.

[63] Electro-Dynamics. The Direct-Current Motor. By Charles Ashley
Carus-Wilson. New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 298.

[64] Applied Physiology. Including the Effects of Alcohol and
Narcotics. By Frank Overton, M. D. Primary Grade. Pp. 128.
Intermediate Grade. Pp. 188. Advanced Grade. Pp. 432. American Book

[65] Yetta Ségal. By Horace J. Rollin. New York: G. W. Dillingham &
Co. Pp. 174.

[66] The Mammalian Anatomy of the Cat. By Horace Jayne, M. D.
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company. Illustrated. Pp. 816. Price,


Adams, Alexander. Mechanical Flight on Beating Wings. The Solution of
the Problem. Pp. 5.

Agricultural Experiment Stations. Bulletins and Reports. New York:
No. 143. A Destructive Beetle and a Remedy. By P. H. Hall and V.
H. Lowe; No. 144. Combating Cabbage Pests. By F. H. Hall and F.
A. Sirrine. Pp. 8.--Ohio: Newspaper, No. 186. Peach Yellows and
Prevention of Smut in Wheat. Pp. 2; No. 24. The Maintenance of
Fertility. Pp. 42.--United States Department of Agriculture: No.
9. Cuckoos and Shrikes in their Relation to Agriculture. By F. E.
L. Beal and Sylvester D. Judd. Pp. 25; No. 10. Life Zones and Crop
Zones of the United States. By C. Hart Merriam. Pp. 79; No. 11.
The Geographic Distribution of Cereals in North America. By C. S.
Plumb. Pp. 24; Division of Statistics: Crop Circular for October,
1898.--University of Illinois: No. 51. Variations in Milk and Milk
Production. Summary. Pp. 40; No. 52. Orchard Cultivation. Pp. 24; No.
53. Abstract. The Chemistry of the Corn Kernel. Pp. 4.

Allen, Alfred H. Commercial Organic Analysis. Second edition, revised
and enlarged. Proteids and Albuminous Principles. Philadelphia: P.
Blakiston's Son & Co. Pp. 584. $4.50.

Atkinson, George Francis. Elementary Botany. New York: Henry Holt &
Co. Pp. 444. $1.25.

Bulletins, Proceedings, and Reports. American Chemical Society:
Directory. Pp. 551.--Field Columbian Museum, Chicago. Publication 28:
Ruins of X Kichmook, Yucatan. By Edward H. Thompson. Pp. 16, with 18
plates.--Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration: Report
of the Fourth Annual Meeting, 1898. Pp. 116.--Maryland Geological
Survey: Report on the Survey of the Boundary Line between Alleghany
and Garrett Counties. By L. A. Bauer. Pp. 48, with 6 plates.--New
York Academy of Sciences: Annals. Vol. X. Pp. 292, with 5 plates;
Vol. XI, Part II. Pp. 168, with 20 plates.--Pennsylvania Society
for the Prevention of Tuberculosis: Report for the Year ending
April 13, 1898. Pp. 16.--The Philadelphia Museums: The Philadelphia
Commercial Museum. Pp. 16.--United States Commissioner of Labor:
Twelfth Annual Report, 1897. Economical Aspects of the Liquor
Problem. Pp. 275.--University of Wisconsin: Bulletin No. 25. The
Action of Solutions on the Sense of Taste. By Louis Kahlenberg.
Pp. 82.--University of Chicago: Anthropology. III. The Mapa de
Cuauhtlantzinco or Codice Campos. By Frederick Starr. Pp. 38, with
plates.--University of Illinois: The New Requirements for Admission.
By Stephen A. Forbes. Pp. 22.

Bailey, L. H. Sketch of the Evolution of our Native Fruits. New York:
The Macmillan Company. Pp. 472. $2.

Beddard, Frank E. Elementary Zoölogy. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.
Pp. 208.

Brush, George J., and Penfield, Samuel L. Manual of Determinative
Mineralogy, with an Introduction on Blowpipe Analysis. New York: John
Wiley & Sons. Fifteenth edition. Pp. 312.

Bryant, William M. Life, Death, and Immortality, with Kindred Essays.
New York: The Baker & Taylor Company. Pp. 450. $1.75.

Carborundum manufactured under the Acheson Patents. Illustrated
Catalogue. Niagara Falls, N. Y.: The Carborundum Company. Pp. 61.

Carnegie, The, Steel Company, Limited, Pittsburg. Ballistic Tests of
Armor Plate. By W. R. Balsinger. Plates and letterpress descriptions.

Dana, Edward Salisbury. A Text-Book of Mineralogy, with an Extended
Treatise on Crystallography and Physical Mineralogy. New York: John
Wiley & Sons. Pp. 593. $4.

Darwin, George Howard. The Tides and Kindred Phenomena in the Solar
System. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 378. $2.

Giddings, Franklin Henry. The Elements of Sociology. New York: The
Macmillan Company. Pp. 353. $1.10.

Guerber. H. A. The Story of the English. American Book Company. Pp.

Hough, Romeyn B. The American Woods. Exhibited by Actual Specimens
and with Copious Explanatory Text. Part I. Representing twenty-five
species. Second edition. Lowville, N. Y.: The author. Pp. 78, text.

James, William. Human Immortality. Two Supposed Objections to the
Doctrine. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 70. $1.

Kunz, George F. The Fresh-Water Pearls and Pearl fisheries of the
United States. United States Fish Commission. Pp. 52, with 22 plates.

Le Bon, Gustave. The Psychology of Peoples. New York: The Macmillan
Company. Pp. 236. $1.50.

Miller, Adam. The Sun an Electric Light, Chicago. Pp. 32.

Needham, James G. Outdoor Studies. A Reading Book of Nature Study.
American Book Company. Pp. 90.

Newth, G. S. A Manual of Chemical Analysis, Qualitative and
Quantitative. New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 462. $1.75.

Nipher, Francis E. An Introduction to Graphical Algebra. New York: H.
Holt & Co. Pp. 61. 60 cents.

Reprints. Gifford, John. Forestry on the Peninsula of Eastern
Virginia. Pp. 3; Forestry in Relation to Physical Geography and
Engineering. Pp. 19.--Hester, C. A. An Experimental Study of the
Toxic Properties of Indol. Pp. 26, with tables.--Hoffmann, Fred.
Fragmentary Notes from the Reports of Two Early Naturalists on
North America. Pp. 18.--Johnson, J. B. A Higher Industrial and
Commercial Education as an Essential Condition of our Future Material
Prosperity. (An address.) Pp. 33.--Kain, Samuel W., and Others.
Seismic and Oceanic Noises. Pp. 6.--Mayer, Hermann. Bows and Arrows
in Central Brazil. Pp. 36, with plates.--Packard, Alpheus S. A
Half Century of Evolution, with Special Reference to the Effect of
Geological Changes on Animal Life. (Presidential address to American
Association.) Pp. 48.--Rhees, William J. William Bower Taylor. Pp.
12.--Searcy, J. T., M. D. How Education fails. Pp. 81.--Shufeldt,
R. W., M. D. On the Alternation of Sex in a Brood of Young Sparrow
Hawks. Pp. 4.--Starr, Frederick. Notched Bones from Mexico. A Shell
Inscription from Tula, Mexico. Pp. 10.--Woolman, Lewis. Report on
Artesian Wells in New Jersey, etc. Pp. 84.

Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. The Fishes
of North and Middle America. By D. S. Jordan and B. W. Evermann.
Part II. Pp. 942.--The Birds of the Kurile Islands. By Leonhard
Stejneger. Pp. 28.--On the Coleopterous Insects of the Galapagos
Islands. By Martin L. Linell. Pp. 20.--On Some New Parasitic Insects
of the Subfamily Encystinæ. By L. O. Howard. Pp. 18.--Descriptions
of the Species of Cycadeoidea, or Fossil Cycadean Trunks, thus far
determined from the Lower Cretaceous Rim of the Black Hills. By
Lester F. Ward. Pp. 36.

Socialist, The, Almanac and Treasury of Facts. New York: Socialistic
Co-operative Publishing Association. Prepared by Lucien Sanal. Pp.
232. (The People's Library. Quarterly. 60 cents a year.)

Thompson, Ernest Seton. Wild Animals I have known, and Two Hundred
Drawings. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 359. $2.

Todd, Mabel Loomis. Corona and Coronet. Being a Narrative of the
Amherst Eclipse Expedition to Japan, 1896, etc. Boston and New York:
Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp 383. $2.50.

Trowbridge, John. Philip's Experiments, or Physical Science at Home.
New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 228. $1.

United States Geological Survey. Bulletin No. 88. The Cretaceous
Foraminifera of New Jersey. By R. M. Bagg, Jr. Pp. 89, with 6
plates.--No. 89. Some Lava Flows from the Western Slope of the Sierra
Nevada, California. Pp. 74.--No. 149. Bibliography and Index of North
American Geology, Palæontology, Petrology, and Mineralogy for 1898.
By F. B. Weeks. Pp. 152.--Monograph. Vol. XXX. Fossil Medusæ. By
Charles Doolittle Walcott. Pp. 201, with 47 plates.

Universalist Register, The, for 1898. Edited by Richard Eddy, D. D.
Boston: Universalist Publishing House. Pp. 120. 20 cents.

Warman, Cy. The Story of the Railroad. New York: D. Appleton and
Company. (Story of the West Series.) Pp. 280.

Waterloo, Stanley. Armageddon. A Tale of Love, War, and Invention.
Pp. 259.

Whiting Paper Company, Holyoke, Mass. The Evolution of Paper. Pp. 20.
Chicago and New York: Rand, McNally & Co.

Wilson, J. Self-Control, or Life without a Master. New York: Lemcke &

Worcester, Dean C. The Philippine Islands and their People. New York:
The Macmillan Company. Pp. 529. $4.

Wyckoff, Walter A. The Workers. An Experiment in Reality. The West.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 378. $1.50.

Fragments of Science.

=Tree Planting in the Arid Regions.=--In planting the arid and
subarid regions of the country, where no trees are growing naturally,
Mr. B. E. Fernow says, in a review of the work of the Department of
Forestry, different methods of cultivation from those given in the
humid parts are necessary, and the plant material has to be selected
with a view to a rigorous climate characterized by extreme ranges
of temperature varying from -40° to +120° F. The requirements of
the plants for moisture must be of the slightest, and they must
be capable of responding to the demands of evaporation. At first,
whatever trees will grow successfully from the start under such
untoward conditions would have to be chosen, no matter what their
qualities otherwise might be. The first settlers have ascertained by
trials some of the species that will succeed under such conditions,
but unfortunately most of them are of but small economic value, and
some of them are only short-lived under the conditions in which they
have to grow. A few years ago Mr. Fernow came to the conclusion that
the conifers, especially the pines, would furnish more useful and
otherwise serviceable material for the arid regions. Besides their
superior economical value, they require less moisture than most of
the deciduous trees that have been planted, and they would, if once
established, persist more readily through seasons of drought and be
longer lived. A small trial plantation on the sand hills of Nebraska
lent countenance to this theory. It being vastly more difficult
to establish the young plants in the first place than in the case
of deciduous trees, much attention was given to the provision for
protection of the seedlings from sun and winds; and they were planted
in mixture with "nurse trees" that would furnish not too much and yet
enough shade. "It can not be said that the success in using these
species has so far been very encouraging; nevertheless, the failure
may be charged rather to our lack of knowledge and to causes that can
be overcome than to any inherent incapacity in the species." The
experiments should therefore be continued.

="The Venerable Bede's" Chair.=--In an article in a recent issue of
Architecture and Building, on Ancient and Modern Furniture, by F.
T. Hodgson, the following interesting account of the chair of "the
Venerable Bede" occurs: "Perhaps the best-known relic, so far as
furniture is concerned of this early period, is the chair of 'the
Venerable Bede,' which is still preserved in the vestry of Jassova
Church, Northumberland, England. This chair is distinctively an
ecclesiastical one--a throne, in fact, of some dignity. It is made
of oak and is four feet ten inches high. There are many engravings
of it, but I reproduce from one of the best. The chair is now well
on to twelve hundred years old, and if cared for as it ought to be
is good for several hundred years more. There is a popular tradition
concerning this chair that is worthy of notice. It is said that to
this ancient relic all the brides repair as soon as the marriage
service is over, in order that they may seat themselves in it. This,
according to the popular belief, will make them joyful mothers of
children; and to omit this custom the expectant mothers would not
consider the marriage ceremony complete, and in default thereof of
being enthroned in 'the Venerable Bede's chair' barrenness and misery
would surely follow. Like all other relics of the sort, it is subject
to attacks of the sacrilegious penknives, together with the wanton
depredations of relic hunters, and has been so shorn of its fair
proportions that very soon there will be little of it left but its
attenuated form if stricter watch is not kept over it."

=The Physics of Smell.=--The principal subject of Prof. W. E.
Ayrton's vice-presidential address on physics at the British
Association was the physics of smell, which was presented as a
subject that had been but little studied. In testing the generally
accepted idea that metals have smell, based on the fact that a smell
is perceived with most of the commercial metals when handled, the
author had observed that when these metals were cleaned or made
outwardly pure the smell disappeared. Yet it is shown that these
metals acquire smells when they are handled or abraded by friction,
which are characteristic and serve to distinguish them. This may
be ascribed to chemical action, but not all chemical action in
which metals may take part produces smell; for when they are rubbed
with soda or with sugar no smell but that of soda or of sugar is
perceived; nor is the metallic smell observed when dilute nitric
acid is rubbed on certain metals, though the chemical action is very
marked with some. But mere breathing on certain metals, even when
they have been rendered practically odorless by cleaning, produces
a very distinct smell, as also does touching them with the tongue.
These smells have hitherto been attributed to the metals themselves,
but Professor Ayrton looks for their source in the evolution of
hydrogen, which carries with it impurities, hydrocarbons, especially
paraffin, and "it is probable that no metallic particles, even in the
form of vapor, reach the nose or even leave the metal. While smells
usually appear to be diffused with great velocity, experiments prove
that when the space through which they have to pass is free from
draughts their progress is very slow, and it would therefore appear
that the passage of a smell is far more due to the actual motion
of the air containing it than to the diffusion of the odoriferous
substance through the air." The power of a smell to cling to a
substance does not appear to depend on its intensity or on the
ease with which it travels through a closed space. Experiments to
determine whether smells could pass through glass by transpiration
either revealed flaws in the glass or ended in the breaking of the
very thin bulbs and gave no answer.

=The Cordillera Region of Canada.=--A length of nearly thirteen
hundred miles of the great mountainous or Cordillera region of the
Pacific coast is included in the western part of Canada. Most of
this, Mr. George M. Dawson says, in a paper on the Physical Geography
and Geology of Canada, is embraced in the province of British
Columbia, where it is about four hundred miles wide between the
Great Plains and the Pacific Ocean. To the north it is included in
the Yukon district of the Northwest Territory till it reaches, in a
less elevated and more widely spread form, the shores of the Arctic
Ocean on one side and on the other passes across the one hundred and
forty-first meridian of west longitude into Alaska. The orographic
features of this region are very complicated in detail. No existing
map yet properly represents even the principal physical outlines,
and the impression gained by the traveler or explorer may well be
one of confusion. There are, however, the two dominant mountain
systems of the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Range. As a whole, the
area of the Cordillera in Canada may be described as forest-clad,
but the growth of trees is more luxuriant on the western slopes of
each of the dominant mountain ranges, in correspondence with the
greater precipitation occurring on these slopes. This is particularly
the case in the coast region and on the seaward side of the Coast
Range, where magnificent and dense forests of coniferous trees
occupy almost the whole available surface. The interior plateau,
however, constitutes the southern part of a notably dry belt, and
includes wide stretches of open grass-covered hills and valleys,
forming excellent cattle ranges. Farther north, along the same belt,
similar open country appears intermittently, but the forest invades
the greater part of the region. It is only toward the arctic coast,
in relatively very high latitude, that the barren arctic tundra
country begins, which, sweeping in wider development to the westward,
occupies most of the interior of Alaska. With certain exceptions
the farming land of British Columbia is confined to the valleys and
tracts below three thousand feet, by reason of the summer frosts
occurring at greater heights. There is, however, a considerable
area of such land in the aggregate, with a soil generally of great
fertility. In the southern valleys of the interior irrigation is
necessary for the growth of crops.

=The "Rabies" Bacillus.=--Ever since the discovery of Pasteur that
an attenuated virus made from the medulla or spinal cord of a dog
affected by rabies was, when administered in graduated doses, a
specific against the disease, bacteriologists have been eagerly
seeking to isolate the rabies bacillus. A number of observers, among
them Toll, Rivolta, and San Felice, have succeeded in staining
a bacillus which they claimed to be that of rabies. Memno, of
Rome, confirmed the observations of the preceding, and proved the
virulent character of the micro-organism, which he described as a
blastomycete. He has quite recently succeeded in cultivating the
bacillus in artificial media and producing typical rabies in dogs,
rodents, and birds by inoculations. He found that the bacillus
grew better in fluid than in solid media, the best being bouillon
with glucose slightly acidulated with tartaric acid. The growth
did not become manifest under a week, and was easily arrested by
"air infection." It would thus seem that we have at last certainly
established the bacterial origin of rabies.

=The St. Kildans.=--St. Kilda, the farthest out to sea of all
the British Isles, is a rounded mountain with "stack rocks" and
islets round it, rises twelve hundred and twenty feet in height,
and contains a settlement of about seventy-five men, women, and
children--almost the only representatives left on the British
Islands of man in the hunting age. On one of the subsidiary islands,
Boreray, is gathered the main body of the sea birds for which the
island is famous; and on a third, Soa, are the diminutive descendants
of Viking sheep, left by old sea rovers. Mr. R. Kearton, who has
recently visited the islands for recreation among the sea birds,
represents that in the little community of its people the ordinary
and extraordinary operations of life seem inverted. Sport is a
serious work; sheep herding and shearing are an exciting sport. A
St. Kildan qualifies for marriage by proving his courage and skill
as a fowler, by standing on a dizzy precipice called Lover's Stone,
and goes out bird snaring with a serious face. When he wants a sheep
for the butcher, he asks his friends to a sheep hunt in the island
of Soa, in which dogs and men pursue the animals from rock to rock.
An offer made by a factor to supply the people with nets, so that
they might catch the sheep with more humanity and less waste of life,
was rejected by them. They preferred the old methods, which supplied
plenty of danger and excitement. While the sheep are hunted, the cows
are thoroughly spoiled. Every day the women are seen hard at work
picking dock leaves and storing them in baskets for the cows at
milking time, for they will not be milked unless they are fed. The
sheep on Soa Island are plucked instead of being sheared, at the time
when the wool would naturally be shed, and what wool will not come
off in this way is cut off with a pocket knife. When the steamer with
Mr. Kearton reached the island, no one came down to meet it till the
whistle had been blown two or three times. "It was not etiquette to
rush down like a parcel of savages," but the people "retire to tidy
themselves, and then row out and call in proper form."

=The Island of Sakhalin.=--Mr. Benjamin Howard, an English visitor at
the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, presented before Section E of that body an interesting
account of the great but little-known island of Sakhalin, more
generally spelled Saghalien in our geographies. Mr. Howard, however,
strongly urged the former spelling, as most correctly representing
the name, which is always pronounced by the Russians in three
syllables, with the accent on the first. It is now used as a penal
colony by the Russian Government, and a more hopelessly remote and
inaccessible spot for such a purpose can hardly be found. To it are
sent the hardest cases among the Siberian prisoners; and Mr. Howard
spoke of becoming accustomed, during his stay there, to meeting
scarcely any human beings but murderers, except, of course, the
guards and officials. The island is extremely inaccessible; there
is no commerce, and neither inducement nor opportunity for vessels
to touch there, while much of the coast is ice-bound for a large
part of the year. Mr. Howard, who was engaged in some scientific
work on the island in the service of the Government, is one of
the very few foreigners who have traveled or resided there at
all. He predicts for Sakhalin, however, a future of considerable
importance ultimately, though only after a long period of preliminary
development and exploitation as a penal colony, which stage has but
lately been begun. It has forest and mining resources--among the
latter, coal; the deposits are near the surface, but thus far have
been very little examined. He was unable to give any data as to
their geological age or actual extent; but the Government will no
doubt soon make investigations. The most remarkable possibilities,
however, are in the line of fisheries, the coasts swarming with fish
to an extent that is scarcely credible by one who has not seen them.
Mr. Howard said jocosely that he would hardly dare to relate what he
had personally witnessed, in view of the usual reputation of "fish
stories." The climate is of course rigorous, under the influence of
cold northern currents, and markedly in contrast with that of the
same latitude on the American side of the Pacific, where the Japan
current carries its modifying influence as the Gulf Stream does to
northern Europe. Some agriculture, however, is possible during the
short summer, and the penal colonists have made fair beginnings
of self-support. He referred further to a remnant of native Aino
population as very interesting from the fact that they have preserved
their peculiarities of life and manners, and their purity of stock,
much more completely through their isolation than the Ainos of the
Japanese Islands, who have been modified more or less by association
with the latter people.

=Technical and Popular Names.=--In a paper criticising the
multiplication of local names in geology, Prof. C. E. Keyes
distinguishes between names devised with a conscientious desire to
better the condition of a science by clothing the new ideas with
simple words and those which are the product of a name-making mania.
"The first can not be too highly commended, nor the second too deeply
deplored." Every progressive science must discard the names that have
served their purpose, and must be prepared to receive all of the
new ones demanded. The sciences have each two phases, for each of
which a terminology is demanded, in one of which the names must be
technical and special, established primarily for the investigator,
and in the other general, popular, simple, and free from technical
appearance; but the distinction is rarely made. Those who object to
the prevalence of technical names in other sciences seldom reflect
that they have them in their own art. Yet if a man of science should
desire to familiarize himself with the artisan's work, "he would be,
after five minutes' talk with a machinist or electrician, confronted
by so many unfamiliar terms--technical terms of everyday use--that
he would at once cry out for greater simplicity of language." In the
geological sciences the technicalities play the same part they do in
the arts and in business. Every new name in geology, however, must be
properly defined before it can be noticed, and its subsequent career
will depend on its utility. It may be said that no greater boon to
the working geologist has been devised than the plan of designating
geographically geological units irrespective of exact position or
age. Since its adoption a vast mass of valuable information has been
obtained that was previously unthought of, and is in a shape to be
always used; the other departments of geology have been much aided,
and stratigraphical geology has been greatly helped.

=The Origin of a Curious Habit.=--The following paragraphs are taken
from a recent Nature. It is well known that the kea, or mountain
parrot of New Zealand, has acquired the habit of attacking sheep, and
making holes by means of its sharp and powerful beak in the backs of
these animals for the purpose of abstracting the kidney fat, which
appears to be esteemed as a luxurious diet. It is supposed that this
peculiar habit or instinct was developed by the bird getting the fat
from the skins of sheep that had been slaughtered, but this solution
is not very satisfactory, as there appears nothing to connect the fat
on the skins of sheep with the live animals. In a note published in
the Zoölogist (May 16th), Mr. F. R. Godfrey, writing from Melbourne,
offers the following solution of the mystery, which seemed to him
to be simple and satisfactory, and more rational than the sheepskin
theory: In the hilly districts of the middle island of New Zealand
there is a great abundance of a white moss, or lichen, which exactly
resembles a lump of white wool, at the roots of which are found
small white fatty substances, supposed by some to be the seeds of
the plant, and by others to be a grub or maggot which infests it,
which is the favorite food of the kea. Probably the bird, misled by
this resemblance, commenced an exploration in sheep, and this proving
satisfactory, originated the new habit. In a note to this suggestion
the editor points out that Mr. Godfrey is in agreement with another
observer--Mr. F. R. Chapman--who in describing the hills of this
island says: "A very interesting _raoulia_, or vegetable sheep, was
very plentiful on steep, rocky places.... It is said that the keas
tear them up with their powerful beaks, and that these birds learned
to eat mutton through mistaking dead sheep for masses of _raoulia_."

=Changes in Plant Characters.=--From experiments upon the cultural
evolution of _Cyclamen latifolium_, W. T. Thiselton Dyer finds
that, when once specific stability has been broken down in a plant,
morphological changes of great variety and magnitude can be brought
about in a comparatively short space of time. It appears that though
sudden variations do occur, they are, as far as we know, slight
as long as self-fertilization is adhered to. The striking results
obtained by cultivators have been due to the patient accumulation
by selection of gradual but continuous variation in any desired
direction. The size which any variable organ can reach does not
appear to be governed by any principle of correlation. Large flowers
are not necessarily accompanied by large leaves. The general tendency
of a plant varying freely under artificial conditions seems to be
atavistic--or to shed adaptive modifications which have ceased to be
useful, and to revert to a more generalized type, or to reproduce
characters which are already present in other members of the same
group. But this statement must be accepted with caution. The most
remarkable phenomenon in the cultivation of the _Cyclamen_ is the
development of a plume or crest on the inner surface of each corolla
segment. This shows that the plant still possesses the power to
strike out a new line and to develop characters which would even be
regarded as having specific value.

=Hanging an Elephant.=--One of the elephants in Barnum and Bailey's
show, having repeatedly shown signs of insubordination and bad
temper, it was finally decided to kill him. From a note in Nature
we get the following account of his execution: After considerable
discussion it was decided to strangle him. A new Manila rope was
loosely wound three times around his neck, and his legs, fully
stridden, were securely chained each to a post firmly driven into
the ground alongside each limb. The animal was intentionally not
isolated from his fellows, as it was feared that if placed by itself
it would become restive and ill-tempered. The rope surrounding the
beast's neck had one end secured to three strong pillars in the
ground, some distance away and slightly in advance of the fore feet;
and the other, which terminated in a loop, was hooked to a double
series of pulleys, to the tackle of which ninety men were attached.
When all was ready, the slack was gently, quietly, and without any
apparent annoyance to the elephant--which kept on eating hay--taken
in till the coils round its neck were just taut. The word was then
given, "Walk away with the rope." Amid perfect silence the ninety men
walked away, without apparently any effort. So noiselessly and easily
did everything work that, unless with foreknowledge of what was going
to take place, one might have been present without realizing what the
march of these men meant. The elephant gave no sign of discomfort
either by trunk or tail. Its fellows standing close by looked on in
pachydermatous unconcern, and at the end of exactly thirty seconds
it slowly collapsed and lay down as if of its own accord. There was
absolutely no struggle and no motion, violent or otherwise, in any
part of the body, nor the slightest indication of pain. In a few
seconds more there was no response obtained by touching the eyeball.
At the end of thirteen minutes after the order to "walk away" the eye
had become rigid and dim. That no more humane, painless, and rapid
method of taking the life of a large animal could be devised was the
opinion of all the experts who witnessed the execution.


Count Gleichen relates, in his story of the mission to Menelek, that
besides the Maria Theresa 1780 dollars, the people of Abyssinia, for
small change, use a bar of hard crystallized salt, about ten inches
long and two inches and a half broad and thick, slightly tapered
toward the end, five of which go to the dollar at the capital. People
are very particular about the standard of fineness of the currency.
"If it does not ring like metal when flicked with the finger nail,
or if it is cracked or chipped, they won't take it. It is a token of
affection also, when friends meet, to give each other a lick of their
respective _amolis_, and in this way the material value of the bar
is also decreased. For still smaller change cartridges are used, of
which three go to one salt. It does not matter what sort they are.
Some sharpers use their cartridges in the ordinary way, and then
put in some dust and a dummy bullet to make up the difference, or
else they take out the powder and put the bullet in again, so that
possibly in the next action the unhappy seller will find that he has
only miss-fires in his belt; but this is such a common fraud that no
one takes any notice of it, and a bad cartridge seems to serve as
readily as a good one."

A study of problems in the Psychology of Reading, by J. O. Quantz,
bore upon the questions of the factors which make a rapid reader, the
relations of rapidity to mental capacity and alertness, quickness
of visual perception, and amount of practice; and whether those who
gain their knowledge principally through the eye or through the ear
obtain and retain most from reading. The author finds that colors
are more easily perceived than geometrical forms, isolated words
than colors, and words in construction than disconnected words; that
persons of visual type are slightly more rapid readers than those of
the auditory type; that rapid readers, besides doing their work in
less time, do superior work, retaining more of the substance of what
is read and heard than do slow readers. Lip movement is a serious
hindrance to speed, and consequently to intelligence, of reading.
The disadvantage extends to reading aloud. Apart from external
conditions, such as time of day, physical fatigue, etc., some of
the influences contributing to rapidity of reading are largely
physiological, as visual perception; others are of mental endowment,
as alertness of mind; still others are matters of intellectual
equipment rather than intellectual ability, as extent of reading and
scholarly attainment.

Mr. Merton L. Miller, of the University of Chicago, says, in his
preliminary study of the Pueblo of Taos, New Mexico, that he was
hampered in his researches there by a circumstance that illustrates
very well certain characteristics of the Indian. About fifteen
years ago representatives of the Government were at Sia making
investigations, and had to ask many questions. Some time after they
went away there was much sickness in the pueblo, and many people
died. It occurred to the Sia people that the presence of those white
men, asking so many questions, was the cause of all their trouble; so
they sent men to the other pueblos to warn them against white men who
came to find out about their customs and beliefs. These messengers
also came to Taos, and the people remembered their warning well. If
a Taos Indian is caught now teaching the language or telling any of
the traditions to a white man, he is liable to a whipping and a fine.
This, Mr. Miller believes, accounts for the fact that he could rarely
learn anything from his friend when they were at the pueblo, although
when away in the mountains he became much more open and communicative.


The cigarette has found friends. The Truth about Cigarettes embodies
the substance of papers read and discussed at the Medico-legal
Society of New York. The gist of the papers is to the effect that
the stories of harm done by cigarettes are fictions or gross
exaggerations; that they contain no opium, arsenic, or other poisons,
but are the best pure tobacco (1.0926 grammes each) wrapped in pure
paper (0.038 gramme); that they never caused a case of insanity; and
that they are simply injurious in the same way and to a corresponding
extent as other forms of tobacco. These statements are supported
by certificates of physicians and by reviews of special cases of
insanity charged to cigarettes, showing that the insanity had matured
independently of them.

The average annual temperature at Manila is given by Mr. W. F. R.
Phillips, in a paper on the subject, as 80° F. April, May, and
June are the hottest months, May being the hottest of the three,
and December and January are the coolest. The highest thermometer
reading recorded is 100° F. in May, and the lowest 74° in January.
The average annual rainfall is 75.43 inches, more than 80 per cent
of which descends in the months from June to October, inclusive.
Departures from the average rainfall are sometimes excessive. For
example, as much as 120.98 inches have fallen in one year, and as
little as 35.65 inches in another. Still more remarkable were the
fall of 61.43 inches in one September, and that of only two inches in
another September.

At the observatory of Yale University, as we learn from the annual
report, a planned series of twelve measures each has been completed
for eighty-four stars of large, proper motion, with a view to
determinations of parallax, and it is expected shortly to bring the
number up to one hundred. A series of measures on highly colored
red stars has been begun, and is in progress for the purpose of
testing the possibility of a systematic error due to the lesser
refrangibility of their light. The photographic instrument has been
put into use at every suitable period of meteorological displays of
consequence. Preparations are already making for a more complete
observation of the Leonid meteoric shower expected in 1899.

The New York State College of Forestry, in connection with Cornell
University, was presented by Professor Fernow, at the Boston meeting
of the American Association, as a logical sequence to the policy to
which the State of New York was committed in 1885 by the purchase of
more than a million acres of forest land in the Adirondack Mountains,
to be gradually increased to three million acres. A demonstration
area of thirty thousand acres in the Adirondacks has since been
provided for it. The courses leading to the degree of Bachelor in
Forestry occupy four years, of which the first two are devoted to
the studies in which mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology,
botany, entomology, political economy, etc., figure as fundamental
and supplementary sciences, in addition to the professional courses;
besides which two courses of a more or less popular character are

The discovery is announced in a preliminary communication by Dr.
Issutschenko, of Russia, of a microbe pathogenic to rats. An epidemic
having broken out among the rats kept for experimental purposes in
the Government Agricultural Laboratory, a bacillus was isolated from
the liver and spleen of affected animals that proved excessively
fatal to rats and mice. Experiments in making the organism useful as
a living rat poison have not yet, however, had an encouraging success.

New Zealand has just definitely adopted a scheme of old-age pensions.
In future the New Zealand workingman of sixty-five years of age, who
has lived a life of honest toil, will be assured an income of one
pound a week.

The Wilde prize of the French Academy of Sciences has been awarded
by that body to Charles A. Schott, chief of the Computation Division
of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, for his work on
Terrestrial Magnetism.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious typographical errors were repaired. Archaic spellings

Illustrations were relocated to correspond to their references in the

Latin-1 file: P.211, "Marianne Chernyak"; original placed a macron
over the "a" in Chernyak.

Latin-1 file: Under General Notices, "The Parallaxes of 61^1 and 61^2
Cygni"; "^" indicates a superscript of the number following.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Appletons' Popular Science Monthly, December 1898 - Volume LIV, No. 2, December 1898" ***

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