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Title: Studies in The South and West, With Comments on Canada
Author: Warner, Charles Dudley
Language: English
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STUDIES IN THE SOUTH AND WEST WITH COMMENTS ON CANADA

By Charles Dudley Warner

New York: Harper & Brothers

1889



CONTENTS

PREFATORY NOTE.

STUDIES IN THE SOUTH AND WEST

I.—IMPRESSIONS OF THE SOUTH IN 1885.

II.—SOCIETY IN THE NEW SOUTH.

III.—NEW ORLEANS.

IV.—A VOUDOO DANCE.

V.—THE ACADIAN LAND.

VI.—THE SOUTH REVISITED, IN 1887.

VII.—A FAR AND FAIR COUNTRY.

VIII.—ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TOPICS. MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN.

IX.—CHICAGO. [First Paper.]

X.—CHICAGO [Second Paper.]

XI.—THREE CAPITALS—SPRINGFIELD, INDIANAPOLIS, COLUMBUS.

XII.—CINCINNATI AND LOUISVILLE.

XIII.—MEMPHIS AND LITTLE ROCK.

XIV.—ST. LOUIS AND KANSAS CITY.

XV.—KENTUCKY.


COMMENTS ON CANADA.

I.

II.

III.



PREFATORY NOTE. To Henry M. Alden, Esq., Editor of Harper’s Monthly:

My dear Mr. Alden,—It was at your suggestion that these Studies were
undertaken; all of them passed under your eye, except “Society in the
New South,” which appeared in the New Princeton Review. The object
was not to present a comprehensive account of the country South and
West—which would have been impossible in the time and space given—but to
note certain representative developments, tendencies, and dispositions,
the communication of which would lead to a better understanding between
different sections. The subjects chosen embrace by no means all that
is important and interesting, but it is believed that they are fairly
representative. The strongest impression produced upon the writer in
making these Studies was that the prosperous life of the Union depends
upon the life and dignity of the individual States. C. D. W,



STUDIES IN THE SOUTH AND WEST



I.—IMPRESSIONS OF THE SOUTH IN 1885.

It is borne in upon me, as the Friends would say, that I ought to bear
my testimony of certain impressions made by a recent visit to the Gulf
States. In doing this I am aware that I shall be under the suspicion of
having received kindness and hospitality, and of forming opinions upon a
brief sojourn. Both these facts must be confessed, and allowed their due
weight in discrediting what I have to say. A month of my short visit
was given to New Orleans in the spring, during the Exposition, and these
impressions are mainly of Louisiana.

The first general impression made was that the war is over in spirit as
well as in deed. The thoughts of the people are not upon the war, not
much upon the past at all, except as their losses remind them of it, but
upon the future, upon business, a revival of trade, upon education, and
adjustment to the new state of things. The thoughts are not much upon
politics either, or upon offices; certainly they are not turned more
in this direction than the thoughts of people at the North are. When
we read a despatch which declares that there is immense dissatisfaction
throughout Arkansas because offices are not dealt out more liberally
to it, we may know that the case is exactly what it is in, say,
Wisconsin—that a few political managers are grumbling, and that the
great body of the people are indifferent, perhaps too indifferent, to
the distribution of offices.

Undoubtedly immense satisfaction was felt at the election of Mr.
Cleveland, and elation of triumph in the belief that now the party which
had been largely a non-participant in Federal affairs would have a large
share and weight in the administration. With this went, however, a new
feeling of responsibility, of a stake in the country, that manifested
itself at once in attachment to the Union as the common possession of
all sections. I feel sure that Louisiana, for instance, was never in its
whole history, from the day of the Jefferson purchase, so consciously
loyal to the United States as it is to-day. I have believed that for the
past ten years there has been growing in this country a stronger feeling
of nationality—a distinct American historic consciousness—and nowhere
else has it developed so rapidly of late as at the South. I am convinced
that this is a genuine development of attachment to the Union and of
pride in the nation, and not in any respect a political movement for
unworthy purposes. I am sorry that it is necessary, for the sake of
any lingering prejudice at the North, to say this. But it is time
that sober, thoughtful, patriotic people at the North should quit
representing the desire for office at the South as a desire to get into
the Government saddle and ride again with a “rebel” impulse. It would
be, indeed, a discouraging fact if any considerable portion of the South
held aloof in sullenness from Federal affairs. Nor is it any just cause
either of reproach or of uneasiness that men who were prominent in the
war of the rebellion should be prominent now in official positions, for
with a few exceptions the worth and weight of the South went into the
war. It would be idle to discuss the question whether the masses of
the South were not dragooned into the war by the politicians; it is
sufficient to recognize the fact that it became practically, by one
means or another, a unanimous revolt.

One of the strongest impressions made upon a Northerner who visits the
extreme South now, having been familiar with it only by report, is the
extent to which it suffered in the war. Of course there was extravagance
and there were impending bankruptcies before the war, debt, and methods
of business inherently vicious, and no doubt the war is charged with
many losses which would have come without it, just as in every crisis
half the failures wrongfully accuse the crisis. Yet, with all allowance
for these things, the fact remains that the war practically wiped out
personal property and the means of livelihood. The completeness of
this loss and disaster never came home to me before. In some cases the
picture of the ante bellum civilization is more roseate in the minds of
those who lost everything than cool observation of it would justify.
But conceding this, the actual disaster needs no embellishment of the
imagination. It seems to me, in the reverse, that the Southern people do
not appreciate the sacrifices the North made for the Union. They do
not, I think, realize the fact that the North put into the war its
best blood, that every battle brought mourning into our households, and
filled our churches day by day and year by year with the black garments
of bereavement; nor did they ever understand the tearful enthusiasm for
the Union and the flag, and the unselfish devotion that underlay all the
self-sacrifice. Some time the Southern people will know that it was love
for the Union, and not hatred of the South, that made heroes of the men
and angels of renunciation of the women.

Yes, say our Southern friends, we can believe that you lost dear ones
and were in mourning; but, after all, the North was prosperous; you grew
rich; and when the war ended, life went on in the fulness of material
prosperity. We lost not only our friends and relatives, fathers, sons,
brothers, till there was scarcely a household that was not broken up, we
lost not only the cause on which we had set our hearts, and for which we
had suffered privation and hardship, were fugitives and wanderers, and
endured the bitterness of defeat at the end, but our property was gone,
we were stripped, with scarcely a home, and the whole of life had to
be begun over again, under all the disadvantage of a sudden social
revolution.

It is not necessary to dwell upon this or to heighten it, but it must
be borne in mind when we observe the temper of the South, and especially
when we are looking for remaining bitterness, and the wonder to me is
that after so short a space of time there is remaining so little of
resentment or of bitter feeling over loss and discomfiture. I believe
there is not in history any parallel to it. Every American must
take pride in the fact that Americans have so risen superior to
circumstances, and come out of trials that thoroughly threshed and
winnowed soul and body in a temper so gentle and a spirit so noble. It
is good stuff that can endure a test of this kind.

A lady, whose family sustained all the losses that were possible in
the war, said to me—and she said only what several others said in
substance—“We are going to get more out of this war than you at the
North, because we suffered more. We were drawn out of ourselves in
sacrifices, and were drawn together in a tenderer feeling of humanity; I
do believe we were chastened into a higher and purer spirit.”

Let me not be misunderstood. The people who thus recognize the moral
training of adversity and its effects upon character, and who are glad
that slavery is gone, and believe that a new and better era for the
South is at hand, would not for a moment put themselves in an attitude
of apology for the part they took in the war, nor confess that they
were wrong, nor join in any denunciation of the leaders they followed
to their sorrow. They simply put the past behind them, so far as the
conduct of the present life is concerned. They do not propose to stamp
upon memories that are tender and sacred, and they cherish certain
sentiments whieh are to them loyalty to their past and to the great
passionate experiences of their lives. When a woman, who enlisted by
the consent of Jeff Davis, whose name appeared for four years upon the
rolls, and who endured all the perils and hardships of the conflict as a
field-nurse, speaks of “President” Davis, what does it mean? It is
only a sentiment. This heroine of the war on the wrong side had in the
Exposition a tent, where the veterans of the Confederacy recorded their
names. On one side, at the back of the tent, was a table piled with
touching relics of the war, and above it a portrait of Robert E. Lee,
wreathed in immortelles. It was surely a harmless shrine.

On the other side was also a table, piled with fruit and cereals—not
relics, but signs of prosperity and peace—and above it a portrait of
Ulysses S. Grant. Here was the sentiment, cherished with an aching heart
maybe, and here was the fact of the Union and the future.

Another strong impression made upon the visitor is, as I said, that the
South has entirely put the past behind it, and is devoting itself to the
work of rebuilding on new foundations. There is no reluctance to talk
about the war, or to discuss its conduct and what might have been. But
all this is historic. It engenders no heat. The mind of the South to-day
is on the development of its resources, upon the rehabilitation of its
affairs. I think it is rather more concerned about national prosperity
than it is about the great problem of the negro—but I will refer to this
further on. There goes with this interest in material development the
same interest in the general prosperity of the country that exists at
the North—the anxiety that the country should prosper, acquit itself
well, and stand well with the other nations. There is, of course, a
sectional feeling—as to tariff, as to internal improvements—but I do
not think the Southern States are any more anxious to get things for
themselves out of the Federal Government than the Northern States are.
That the most extreme of Southern politicians have any sinister purpose
(any more than any of the Northern “rings” on either side have) in
wanting to “rule” the country, is, in my humble opinion, only a chimera
evoked to make political capital.

As to the absolute subsidence of hostile intention (this phrase I know
will sound queer in the South), and the laying aside of bitterness
for the past, are not necessary in the presence of a strong general
impression, but they might be given in great number. I note one that was
significant from its origin, remembering, what is well known, that women
and clergymen are always the last to experience subsidence of hostile
feeling after a civil war. On the Confederate Decoration Day in New
Orleans I was standing near the Confederate monument in one of the
cemeteries when the veterans marched in to decorate it. First came the
veterans of the Army of Virginia, last those of the Army of Tennessee,
and between them the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, Union
soldiers now living in Louisiana. I stood beside a lady whose name, if
I mentioned it, would be recognized as representative of a family which
was as conspicuous, and did as much and lost as much, as any other in
the war—a family that would be popularly supposed to cherish unrelenting
feelings. As the veterans, some of them on crutches, many of them with
empty sleeves, grouped themselves about the monument, we remarked upon
the sight as a touching one, and I said: “I see you have no address on
Decoration Day. At the North we still keep up the custom.”

“No,” she replied; “we have given it up. So many imprudent things were
said that we thought best to discontinue the address.” And then, after a
pause, she added, thoughtfully: “Each side did the best it could; it is
all over and done with, and let’s have an end of it.” In the mouth
of the lady who uttered it, the remark was very significant, but it
expresses, I am firmly convinced, the feeling of the South.

Of course the South will build monuments to its heroes, and weep over
their graves, and live upon the memory of their devotion and genius. In
Heaven’s name, why shouldn’t it? Is human nature itself to be changed in
twenty years?

A long chapter might be written upon the dis-likeness of North and
South, the difference in education, in training, in mental inheritances,
the misapprehensions, radical and very singular to us, of the
civilization of the North. We must recognize certain historic facts,
not only the effect of the institution of slavery, but other facts in
Southern development. Suppose we say that an unreasonable prejudice
exists, or did exist, about the people of the North. That prejudice is a
historic fact, of which the statesman must take account. It enters
into the question of the time needed to effect the revolution now in
progress. There are prejudices in the North about the South as well. We
admit their existence. But what impresses me is the rapidity with which
they are disappearing in the South. Knowing what human nature is, it
seems incredible that they could have subsided so rapidly. Enough remain
for national variety, and enough will remain for purposes of social
badinage, but common interests in the country and in making money are
melting them away very fast. So far as loyalty to the Government is
concerned, I am not authorized to say that it is as deeply rooted in the
South as in the North, but it is expressed as vividly, and felt with a
good deal of fresh enthusiasm. The “American” sentiment, pride in this
as the most glorious of all lands, is genuine, and amounts to enthusiasm
with many who would in an argument glory in their rebellion. “We had
more loyalty to our States than you had,” said one lady, “and we have
transferred it to the whole country.”

But the negro? Granting that the South is loyal enough, wishes never
another rebellion, and is satisfied to be rid of slavery, do not the
people intend to keep the negroes practically a servile class, slaves in
all but the name, and to defeat by chicanery or by force the legitimate
results of the war and of enfranchisement?

This is a very large question, and cannot be discussed in my limits. If
I were to say what my impression is, it would be about this: the South
is quite as much perplexed by the negro problem as the North is, and is
very much disposed to await developments, and to let time solve it. One
thing, however, must be admitted in all this discussion. The Southerners
will not permit such Legislatures as those assembled once in Louisiana
and South Carolina to rule them again. “Will you disfranchise the blacks
by management or by force?”

“Well, what would you do in Ohio or in Connecticut? Would you be ruled
by a lot of ignorant field-hands allied with a gang of plunderers?”

In looking at this question from a Northern point of view we have to
keep in mind two things: first, the Federal Government imposed colored
suffrage without any educational qualification—a hazardous experiment;
in the second place, it has handed over the control of the colored
people in each State to the State, under the Constitution, as completely
in Louisiana as in New York. The responsibility is on Louisiana. The
North cannot relieve her of it, and it cannot interfere, except by ways
provided in the Constitution. In the South, where fear of a legislative
domination has gone, the feeling between the two races is that of amity
and mutual help. This is, I think, especially true in Louisiana. The
Southerners never have forgotten the loyalty of the slaves during the
war, the security with which the white families dwelt in the midst of a
black population while all the white men were absent in the field; they
often refer to this. It touches with tenderness the new relation of the
races. I think there is generally in the South a feeling of good-will
towards the negroes, a desire that they should develop into true manhood
and womanhood. Undeniably there are indifference and neglect and
some remaining suspicion about the schools that Northern charity has
organized for the negroes. As to this neglect of the negro, two things
are to be said: the whole subject of education (as we have understood
it in the North) is comparatively new in the South; and the necessity of
earning a living since the war has distracted attention from it. But
the general development of education is quite as advanced as could be
expected. The thoughtful and the leaders of opinion are fully awake to
the fact that the mass of the people must be educated, and that the
only settlement of the negro problem is in the education of the negro,
intellectually and morally. They go further than this. They say that for
the South to hold its own—since the negro is there and will stay there,
and is the majority of the laboring class—it is necessary that the great
agricultural mass of unskilled labor should be transformed, to a great
extent, into a class of skilled labor, skilled on the farm, in shops, in
factories, and that the South must have a highly diversified industry.
To this end they want industrial as well as ordinary schools for the
colored people.

It is believed that, with this education and with diversified industry,
the social question will settle itself, as it does the world over.
Society cannot be made or unmade by legislation. In New Orleans the
street-ears are free to all colors; at the Exposition white and colored
people mingled freely, talking and looking at what was of common
interest.

We who live in States where hotel-keepers exclude Hebrews cannot say
much about the exclusion of negroes from Southern hotels. There are
prejudices remaining. There are cases of hardship on the railways, where
for the same charge perfectly respectable and nearly white women are
shut out of cars while there is no discrimination against dirty and
disagreeable white people. In time all this will doubtless rest upon
the basis it rests on at the North, and social life will take care of
itself. It is my impression that the negroes are no more desirous to
mingle socially with the whites than the whites are with the negroes.
Among the negroes there are social grades as distinctly marked as in
white society. What will be the final outcome of the juxtaposition
nobody can tell; meantime it must be recorded that good-will exists
between the races.

I had one day at the Exposition an interesting talk with the colored
woman in charge of the Alabama section of the exhibit of the colored
people. This exhibit, made by States, was suggested and promoted by
Major Burke in order to show the whites what the colored people could
do, and as a stimulus to the latter. There was not much time—only two or
three months—in which to prepare the exhibit, and it was hardly a fair
showing of the capacity of the colored people. The work was mainly
women’s work—embroidery, sewing, household stuffs, with a little of the
handiwork of artisans, and an exhibit of the progress in education; but
small as it was, it was wonderful as the result of only a few years of
freedom. The Alabama exhibit was largely from Mobile, and was due to the
energy, executive ability, and taste of the commissioner in charge. She
was a quadroon, a widow, a woman of character and uncommon mental
and moral quality. She talked exceedingly well, and with a practical
good-sense which would be notable in anybody. In the course of our
conversation the whole social and political question was gone over.
Herself a person of light color, and with a confirmed social prejudice
against black people, she thoroughly identified herself with the
colored race, and it was evident that her sympathies were with them. She
confirmed what I had heard of the social grades among colored people,
but her whole soul was in the elevation of her race as a race, inclining
always to their side, but with no trace of hostility to the whites. Many
of her best friends were whites, and perhaps the most valuable part of
her education was acquired in families of social distinction. “I can
illustrate,” she said, “the state of feeling between the two races in
Mobile by an incident last summer. There was an election coming off in
the City Government, and I knew that the reformers wanted and needed the
colored vote. I went, therefore, to some of the chief men, who knew me
and had confidence in me, for I had had business relations with many of
them [she had kept a fashionable boarding-house], and told them that I
wanted the Opera-house for the colored people to give an entertainment
and exhibition in. The request was extraordinary. Nobody but white
people had ever been admitted to the Opera-house. But, after some
hesitation and consultation, the request was granted. We gave the
exhibition, and the white people all attended. It was really a beautiful
affair, lovely tableaux, with gorgeous dresses, recitations, etc., and
everybody was astonished that the colored people had so much taste
and talent, and had got on so far in education. They said they were
delighted and surprised, and they liked it so well that they wanted the
entertainment repeated—it was given for one of our charities—but I was
too wise for that. I didn’t want to run the chance of destroying the
impression by repeating, and I said we would wait a while, and then
show them something better. Well, the election came off in August, and
everything went all right, and now the colored people in Mobile can have
anything they want. There is the best feeling between the races. I tell
you we should get on beautifully if the politicians would let us alone.
It is politics that has made all the trouble in Alabama and in Mobile.”
And I learned that in Mobile, as in many other places, the negroes were
put in minor official positions, the duties of which they were capable
of discharging, and had places in the police.

On “Louisiana Day” in the Exposition the colored citizens took their
full share of the parade and the honors. Their societies marched with
the others, and the races mingled on the grounds in unconscious equality
of privileges. Speeches were made, glorifying the State and its history,
by able speakers, the Governor among them; but it was the testimony of
Democrats of undoubted Southern orthodoxy that the honors of the day
were carried off by a colored clergyman, an educated man, who united
eloquence with excellent good-sense, and who spoke as a citizen of
Louisiana, proud of his native State, dwelling with richness of allusion
upon its history. It was a perfectly manly speech in the assertion of
the rights and the position of his race, and it breathed throughout the
same spirit of good-will and amity in a common hope of progress that
characterized the talk of the colored woman commissioner of Mobile. It
was warmly applauded, and accepted, so far as I heard, as a matter of
course.

No one, however, can see the mass of colored people in the cities and
on the plantations, the ignorant mass, slowly coming to moral
consciousness, without a recognition of the magnitude of the negro
problem. I am glad that my State has not the practical settlement of it,
and I cannot do less than express profound sympathy with the people who
have. They inherit the most difficult task now anywhere visible in human
progress. They will make mistakes, and they will do injustice now and
then; but one feels like turning away from these, and thanking God for
what they do well.

There are many encouraging things in the condition of the negro.
Good-will, generally, among the people where he lives is one thing;
their tolerance of his weaknesses and failings is another. He is
himself, here and there, making heroic sacrifices to obtain an
education. There are negro mothers earning money at the wash-tub to keep
their boys at school and in college. In the South-west there is such a
call for colored teachers that the Straight University in New Orleans,
which has about five hundred pupils, cannot begin to supply the demand,
although the teachers, male and female, are paid from thirty-five to
fifty dollars a month. A colored graduate of this school a year ago is
now superintendent of the colored schools in Memphis, at a salary of
$1200 a year.

Are these exceptional cases? Well, I suppose it is also exceptional to
see a colored clergyman in his surplice seated in the chancel of the
most important white Episcopal church in New Orleans, assisting in the
service; but it is significant. There are many good auguries to be drawn
from the improved condition of the negroes on the plantations, the more
rational and less emotional character of their religious services,
and the hold of the temperance movement on all classes in the country
places.



II.—SOCIETY IN THE NEW SOUTH.

The American Revolution made less social change in the South than in the
North. Under conservative influences the South developed her social life
with little alteration in form and spirit—allowing for the decay that
always attends conservatism—down to the Civil War. The social revolution
which was in fact accomplished contemporaneously with the political
severance from Great Britain, in the North, was not effected in the
South until Lee offered his sword to Grant, and Grant told him to
keep it and beat it into a ploughshare. The change had indeed been
inevitable, and ripening for four years, but it was at that moment
universally recognized. Impossible, of course, except by the removal of
slavery, it is not wholly accounted for by the removal of slavery; it
results also from an economical and political revolution, and from a
total alteration of the relations of the South to the rest of the world.
The story of this social change will be one of the most marvellous the
historian has to deal with.

Provincial is a comparative term. All England is provincial to the
Londoner, all America to the Englishman. Perhaps New York looks upon
Philadelphia as provincial; and if Chicago is forced to admit that
Boston resembles ancient Athens, then Athens, by the Chicago standard,
must have been a very provincial city. The root of provincialism is
localism, or a condition of being on one side and apart from the general
movement of contemporary life. In this sense, and compared with the
North in its absolute openness to every wind from all parts of the
globe, the South was provincial. Provincialism may have its decided
advantages, and it may nurture many superior virtues and produce a
social state that is as charming as it is interesting, but along with it
goes a certain self-appreciation, which ultracosmopolitan critics would
call Concord-like, that seems exaggerated to outsiders.

The South, and notably Virginia and South Carolina, cherished English
traditions long after the political relation was severed. But it kept
the traditions of the time of the separation, and did not share the
literary and political evolution of England. Slavery divided it from the
North in sympathy, and slavery, by excluding European emigration, shut
out the South from the influence of the new ideas germinating in
Europe. It was not exactly true to say that the library of the Southern
gentleman stopped with the publications current in the reign of George
the Third, but, well stocked as it was with the classics and with the
English literature become classic, it was not likely to contain much
of later date than the Reform Bill in England and the beginning of the
abolition movement in the North. The pages of De Bow’s Review attest the
ambition and direction of Southern scholarship—a scholarship not much
troubled by the new problems that were at the time rending England and
the North. The young men who still went abroad to be educated brought
back with them the traditions and flavor of the old England and not the
spirit of the new, the traditions of the universities and not the new
life of research and doubt in them. The conservatism of the Southern
life was so strong that the students at Northern colleges returned
unchanged by contact with a different civilization. The South met the
North in business and in politics, and in a limited social intercourse,
but from one cause and another for three-quarters of a century it was
practically isolated, and consequently developed a peculiar social life.

One result of this isolation was that the South was more homogeneous
than the North, and perhaps more distinctly American in its
characteristics. This was to be expected, since it had one common and
overmastering interest in slavery, had little foreign admixture, and
was removed from the currents of commerce and the disturbing ideas of
Reform. The South, so far as society was concerned, was an agricultural
aristocracy, based upon a perfectly defined lowest class in the slaves,
and holding all trade, commerce, and industrial and mechanical pursuits
in true mediæval contempt. Its literature was monarchical, tempered by
some Jeffersonian, doctrinaire notions of the rights of man, which were
satisfied, however, by an insistence upon the sovereignty of the States,
and by equal privileges to a certain social order in each State. Looked
at, then, from the outside, the South appeared to be homogeneous, but
from its own point of view, socially, it was not at all so. Social life
in these jealously independent States developed almost as freely and
variously as it did in the Middle Ages in the free cities of Italy.
Virginia was not at all like South Carolina (except in one common
interest), and Louisiana—especially in its centre, New Orleans—more
cosmopolitan than any other part of the South by reason of its foreign
elements, more closely always in sympathy with Paris than with New York
or Boston, was widely, in its social life, separated from its sisters.
Indeed, in early days, before the slavery agitation, there was, owing
to the heritage of English traditions, more in common between Boston and
Charleston than between New Orleans and Charleston. And later, there was
a marked social difference between towns and cities near together—as,
for instance, between agricultural Lexington and commercial Louisville,
in Kentucky.

The historian who writes the social life of the Southern States will be
embarrassed with romantic and picturesque material. Nowhere else in
this levelling age will he find a community developing so much of the
dramatic, so much splendor and such pathetic contrasts in the highest
social cultivation, as in the plantation and city life of South
Carolina. Already, in regarding it, it assumes an air of unreality,
and vanishes in its strong lights and heavy shades like a dream of
the chivalric age. An allusion to its character is sufficient for the
purposes of this paper. Persons are still alive who saw the prodigal
style of living and the reckless hospitality of the planters in
those days, when in the Charleston and Sea Island mansions the guests
constantly entertained were only outnumbered by the swarms of servants;
when it was not incongruous and scarcely ostentatious that the courtly
company, which had the fine and free manner of another age, should dine
off gold and silver plate; and when all that wealth and luxury could
suggest was lavished in a princely magnificence that was almost barbaric
in its profusion. The young men were educated in England; the young
women were reared like helpless princesses, with a servant for every
want and whim; it was a day of elegant accomplishments and deferential
manners, but the men gamed like Fox and drank like Sheridan, and the
duel was the ordinary arbiter of any difference of opinion or of any
point of honor. Not even slavery itself could support existence on such
a scale, and even before the war it began to give way to the conditions
of our modern life. And now that old peculiar civilization of South.
Carolina belongs to romance. It can never be repeated, even by the aid
of such gigantic fortunes as are now accumulating in the North.

The agricultural life of Virginia appeals with scarcely less attraction
to the imagination of the novelist. Mr. Thackeray caught the flavor of
it in his “Virginians” from an actual study of it in the old houses,
when it was becoming a faded memory. The vast estates—principalities in
size—with troops of slaves attached to each plantation; the hospitality,
less costly, but as free as that of South Carolina; the land in the
hands of a few people; politics and society controlled by a small number
of historic families, intermarried until all Virginians of a certain
grade were related—all this forms a picture as feudal-like and foreign
to this age as can be imagined. The writer recently read the will of
a country gentleman of the last century in Virginia, which raises a
distinct image of the landed aristocracy of the time. It devised
his plantation of six thousand acres with its slaves attached, his
plantation of eighteen hundred acres and slaves, his plantation of
twelve hundred acres and slaves, with other farms and outlying property;
it mentioned all the cattle, sheep, and hogs, the riding-horses in
stables, the racing-steeds, the several coaches with the six horses that
drew them (an acknowledgment of the wretched state of the roads), and
so on in all the details of a vast domain. All the slaves are called
by name, all the farming implements were enumerated, and all the homely
articles of furniture down to the beds and kitchen utensils. This whole
structure of a unique civilization is practically swept away now, and
with it the peculiar social life it produced. Let us pause a moment
upon a few details of it, as it had its highest development in Eastern
Virginia.

The family was the fetich. In this high social caste the estates were
entailed to the limit of the law, for one generation, and this entail
was commonly religiously renewed by the heir. It was not expected that
a widow would remarry; as a rule she did not, and it was almost a matter
of course that the will of the husband should make the enjoyment of even
the entailed estate dependent upon the non-marriage of the widow. These
prohibitions upon her freedom of choice were not considered singular or
cruel in a society whose chief gospel was the preservation of the family
name.

The planters lived more simply than the great seaboard planters of South
Carolina and Georgia, with not less pride, but with less ostentation
and show. The houses were of the accepted colonial pattern, square, with
four rooms on a floor, but with wide galleries (wherein they differed
from the colonial houses in New England), and sometimes with additions
in the way of offices and lodging-rooms. The furniture was very simple
and plain—a few hundred dollars would cover the cost of it in most
mansions. There were not in all Virginia more than two or three
magnificent houses. It was the taste of gentlemen to adorn the ground
in front of the house with evergreens, with the locust and acanthus, and
perhaps the maple-trees not native to the spot; while the oak, which is
nowhere more stately and noble than in Virginia, was never seen on the
lawn or the drive-way, but might be found about the “quarters,” or in
an adjacent forest park. As the interior of the houses was plain, so the
taste of the people was simple in the matter of ornament—jewellery was
very little worn; in fact, it is almost literally true that there were
in Virginia no family jewels.

So thoroughly did this society believe in itself and keep to its
traditions that the young gentleman of the house, educated in England,
brought on his return nothing foreign home with him—no foreign tastes,
no bric-à-brac for his home, and never a foreign wife. He came back
unchanged, and married the cousin he met at the first country dance he
went to.

The pride of the people, which was intense, did not manifest itself in
ways that are common elsewhere—it was sufficient to itself in its own
homespun independence. What would make one distinguished elsewhere
was powerless here. Literary talent, and even acquired wealth, gave no
distinction; aside from family and membership of the caste, nothing
gave it to any native or visitor. There was no lion-hunting, no desire
whatever to attract the attention of, or to pay any deference to, men of
letters. If a member of society happened to be distinguished in letters
or in scholarship, it made not the slightest difference in his social
appreciation. There was absolutely no encouragement for men of letters,
and consequently there was no literary class and little literature.
There was only one thing that gave a man any distinction in this
society, except a long pedigree, and that was the talent of oratory—that
was prized, for that was connected with prestige in the State and the
politics of the dominant class. The planters took few newspapers, and
read those few very little. They were a fox-hunting, convivial race,
generally Whig in politics, always orthodox in religion. The man of
cultivation was rare, and, if he was cultivated, it was usually only on
a single subject. But the planter might be an astute politician, and
a man of wide knowledge and influence in public affairs. There was one
thing, however, that was held in almost equal value with pedigree, and
that was female beauty. There was always the recognized “belle,” the
beauty of the day, who was the toast and the theme of talk, whose memory
was always green with her chivalrous contemporaries; the veterans liked
to recall over the old Madeira the wit and charms of the raving beauties
who had long gone the way of the famous vintages of the cellar.

The position of the clergyman in the Episcopal Church was very much what
his position was in England in the time of James II. He was patronized
and paid like any other adjunct of a well-ordered society. If he did not
satisfy his masters he was quietly informed that he could probably
be more useful elsewhere. If he was acceptable, one element of his
popularity was that he rode to hounds and could tell a good story over
the wine at dinner.

The pride of this society preserved itself in a certain high, chivalrous
state. If any of its members were poor, as most of them became after the
war, they took a certain pride in their poverty. They were too proud to
enter into a vulgar struggle to be otherwise, and they were too old to
learn the habit of labor. No such thing was known in it as scandal.
If any breach of morals occurred, it was apt to be acknowledged with
a Spartan regard for truth, and defiantly published by the families
affected, who announced that they accepted the humiliation of it.
Scandal there should be none. In that caste the character of women was
not even to be the subject of talk in private gossip and innuendo. No
breach of social caste was possible. The overseer, for instance, and
the descendants of the overseer, however rich, or well educated, or
accomplished they might become, could never marry into the select
class. An alliance of this sort doomed the offender to an absolute and
permanent loss of social position. This was the rule. Beauty could no
more gain entrance there than wealth.

This plantation life, of which so much has been written, was repeated
with variations all over the South. In Louisiana and lower Mississippi
it was more prodigal than in Virginia. To a great extent its tone was
determined by a relaxing climate, and it must be confessed that it had
in it an element of the irresponsible—of the “after us the deluge.”
The whole system wanted thrift and, to an English or Northern
visitor, certain conditions of comfort. Yet everybody acknowledged its
fascination; for there was nowhere else such a display of open-hearted
hospitality. An invitation to visit meant an invitation to stay
indefinitely. The longer the visit lasted, if it ran into months,
the better were the entertainers pleased. It was an uncalculating
hospitality, and possibly it went along with littleness and meanness, in
some directions, that were no more creditable than the alleged meanness
of the New England farmer. At any rate, it was not a systematized
generosity. The hospitality had somewhat the character of a new country
and of a society not crowded. Company was welcome on the vast, isolated
plantations. Society also was really small, composed of a few families,
and intercourse by long visits and profuse entertainments was natural
and even necessary.

This social aristocracy had the faults as well as the virtues of an
aristocracy so formed. One fault was an undue sense of superiority,
a sense nurtured by isolation from the intellectual contests and the
illusion-destroying tests of modern life. And this sense of superiority
diffused itself downward through the mass of the Southern population.
The slave of a great family was proud; he held himself very much above
the poor white, and he would not associate with the slave of the small
farmer; and the poor white never doubted his own superiority to the
Northern “mudsill”—as the phrase of the day was. The whole life was
somehow pitched to a romantic key, and often there was a queer contrast
between the Gascon-like pretension and the reality—all the more because
of a certain sincerity and single-mindedness that was unable to see the
anachronism of trying to live in the spirit of Scott’s romances in our
day and generation.

But with all allowance for this, there was a real basis for romance
in the impulsive, sun-nurtured people, in the conflict between the two
distinct races, and in the system of labor that was an anomaly in modern
life. With the downfall of this system it was inevitable that the social
state should radically change, and especially as this downfall
was sudden and by violence, and in a struggle that left the South
impoverished, and reduced to the rank of bread-winners those who had
always regarded labor as a thing impossible for themselves.

As a necessary effect of this change, the dignity of the agricultural
interest was lowered, and trade and industrial pursuits were elevated.
Labor itself was perforce dignified. To earn one’s living by actual
work, in the shop, with the needle, by the pen, in the counting-house or
school, in any honorable way, was a lot accepted with cheerful courage.
And it is to the credit of all concerned that reduced circumstances and
the necessity of work for daily bread have not thus far cost men and
women in Southern society their social position. Work was a necessity of
the situation, and the spirit in which the new life was taken up brought
out the solid qualities of the race. In a few trying years they had
to reverse the habits and traditions of a century. I think the honest
observer will acknowledge that they have accomplished this without loss
of that social elasticity and charm which were heretofore supposed to
depend very much upon the artificial state of slave labor. And they have
gained much. They have gained in losing a kind of suspicion that was
inevitable in the isolation of their peculiar institution. They have
gained freedom of thought and action in all the fields of modern
endeavor, in the industrial arts, in science, in literature. And the
fruits of this enlargement must add greatly to the industrial and
intellectual wealth of the world.

Society itself in the new South has cut loose from its old moorings, but
it is still in a transition state, and offers the most interesting study
of tendencies and possibilities. Its danger, of course, is that of the
North—a drift into materialism, into a mere struggle for wealth, undue
importance attached to money, and a loss of public spirit in the selfish
accumulation of property. Unfortunately, in the transition of twenty
years the higher education has been neglected. The young men of this
generation have not given even as much attention to intellectual
pursuits as their fathers gave. Neither in polite letters nor in
politics and political history have they had the same training. They
have been too busy in the hard struggle for a living. It is true at the
North that the young men in business are not so well educated, not
so well read, as the young women of their own rank in society. And I
suspect that this is still more true in the South. It is not uncommon
to find in this generation Southern young women who add to sincerity,
openness and frankness of manner; to the charm born of the wish to
please, the graces of cultivation; who know French like their native
tongue, who are well acquainted with the French and German literatures,
who are well read in the English classics—though perhaps guiltless of
much familiarity with our modern American literature. But taking the
South at large, the schools for either sex are far behind those of
the North both in discipline and range. And this is especially to
be regretted, since the higher education is an absolute necessity to
counteract the intellectual demoralization of the newly come industrial
spirit.

We have yet to study the compensations left to the South in their
century of isolation from this industrial spirit, and from the
absolutely free inquiry of our modern life. Shall we find something
sweet and sound there, that will yet be a powerful conservative
influence in the republic? Will it not be strange, said a distinguished
biblical scholar and an old-time antislavery radical, if we have to
depend, after all, upon the orthodox conservatism of the South? For it
is to be noted that the Southern pulpit holds still the traditions
of the old theology, and the mass of Southern Christians are still
undisturbed by doubts. They are no more troubled by agnosticism in
religion than by altruism in sociology. There remains a great mass of
sound and simple faith. We are not discussing either the advantage or
the danger of disturbing thought, or any question of morality or of the
conduct of life, nor the shield or the peril of ignorance—it is simply a
matter of fact that the South is comparatively free from what is called
modern doubt.

Another fact is noticeable. The South is not and never has been
disturbed by “isms” of any sort. “Spiritualism” or “Spiritism” has
absolutely no lodgement there. It has not even appealed in any way to
the excitable and superstitious colored race. Inquiry failed to discover
to the writer any trace of this delusion among whites or blacks. Society
has never been agitated on the important subjects of graham-bread or of
the divided skirt. The temperance question has forced itself upon the
attention of deeply drinking communities here and there. Usually it
has been treated in a very common-sense way, and not as a matter
of politics. Fanaticism may sometimes be a necessity against an
overwhelming evil; but the writer knows of communities in the South that
have effected a practical reform in liquor selling and drinking without
fanatical excitement. Bar-room drinking is a fearful curse in Southern
cities, as it is in Northern; it is an evil that the colored people fall
into easily, but it is beginning to be met in some Southern localities
in a resolute and sensible manner.

The students of what we like to call “progress,” especially if they are
disciples of Mr. Ruskin, have an admirable field of investigation in the
contrast of the social, economic, and educational structure of the North
and the South at the close of the war. After a century of free schools,
perpetual intellectual agitation, extraordinary enterprise in every
domain of thought and material achievement, the North presented a
spectacle at once of the highest hope and the gravest anxiety. What
diversity of life! What fulness! What intellectual and even social
emancipation! What reforms, called by one party Heavensent, and by
the other reforms against nature! What agitations, doubts, contempt of
authority! What wild attempts to conduct life on no basis philosophic
or divine! And yet what prosperity, what charities, what a marvellous
growth, what an improvement in physical life! With better knowledge of
sanitary conditions and of the culinary art, what an increase of beauty
in women and of stalwartness in men! For beauty and physical comeliness,
it must be acknowledged (parenthetically), largely depend upon food.

It is in the impoverished parts of the country, whether South or North,
the sandy barrens, and the still vast regions where cooking is an
unknown art, that scrawny and dyspeptic men and women abound—the
sallow-faced, flat-chested, spindle-limbed.

This Northern picture is a veritable nineteenth-century spectacle. Side
by side with it was the other society, also covering a vast domain, that
was in many respects a projection of the eighteenth century into the
nineteenth. It had much of the conservatism, and preserved something
of the manners, of the eighteenth century, and lacked a good deal the
so-called spirit of the age of the nineteenth, together with its doubts,
its isms, its delusions, its energies. Life in the South is still on
simpler terms than in the North, and society is not so complex. I am
inclined to think it is a little more natural, more sincere in manner
though not in fact, more frank and impulsive. One would hesitate to use
the word unworldly with regard to it, but it may be less calculating. A
bungling male observer would be certain to get himself into trouble by
expressing an opinion about women in any part of the world; but women
make society, and to discuss society at all is to discuss them. It is
probably true that the education of women at the South, taken at
large, is more superficial than at the North, lacking in purpose, in
discipline, in intellectual vigor. The aim of the old civilization was
to develop the graces of life, to make women attractive, charming, good
talkers (but not too learned), graceful, and entertaining companions.
When the main object is to charm and please, society is certain to be
agreeable. In Southern society beauty, physical beauty, was and is much
thought of, much talked of. The “belle” was an institution, and is yet.
The belle of one city or village had a wide reputation, and trains
of admirers wherever she went—in short, a veritable career, and was
probably better known than a poetess at the North. She not only ruled
in her day, but she left a memory which became a romance to the next
generation. There went along with such careers a certain lightness and
gayety of life, and now and again a good deal of pathos and tragedy.

With all its social accomplishments, its love of color, its climatic
tendency to the sensuous side of life, the South has been unexpectedly
wanting in a fine-art development—namely, in music and pictorial art.
Culture of this sort has been slow enough in the North, and only
lately has had any solidity or been much diffused. The love of art, and
especially of art decoration, was greatly quickened by the Philadelphia
Exhibition, and the comparatively recent infusion of German music has
begun to elevate the taste. But I imagine that while the South naturally
was fond of music of a light sort, and New Orleans could sustain and
almost make native the French opera when New York failed entirely to
popularize any sort of opera, the musical taste was generally very
rudimentary; and the poverty in respect to pictures and engravings was
more marked still. In a few great houses were fine paintings, brought
over from Europe, and here and there a noble family portrait. But the
traveller to-day will go through city after city, and village after
village, and find no art-shop (as he may look in vain in large cities
for any sort of book-store except a news-room); rarely will see an
etching or a fine engraving; and he will be led to doubt if the taste
for either existed to any great degree before the war. Of course he will
remember that taste and knowledge in the fine arts may be said in the
North to be recent acquirements, and that, meantime, the South has been
impoverished and struggling in a political and social revolution.

Slavery and isolation and a semi-feudal state have left traces that must
long continue to modify social life in the South, and that may not wear
out for a century to come. The new life must also differ from that in
the North by reason of climate, and on account of the presence of the
alien, insouciant colored race. The vast black population, however
it may change, and however education may influence it, must remain a
powerful determining factor. The body of the slaves, themselves inert,
and with no voice in affairs, inevitably influenced life, the character
of civilization, manners, even speech itself. With slavery ended, the
Southern whites are emancipated, and the influence of the alien race
will be other than what it was, but it cannot fail to affect the tone of
life in the States where it is a large element.

When, however, we have made all allowance for difference in climate,
difference in traditions, total difference in the way of looking at life
for a century, it is plain to be seen that a great transformation
is taking place in the South, and that Southern society and Northern
society are becoming every day more and more alike. I know there are
those, and Southerners, too, who insist that we are still two peoples,
with more points of difference than of resemblance—certainly farther
apart than Gascons and Bretons.

This seems to me not true in general, though it may be of a portion of
the passing generation. Of course there is difference in temperament,
and peculiarities of speech and manner remain and will continue, as they
exist in different portions of the North—the accent of the Bostonian
differs from that of the Philadelphian, and the inhabitant of Richmond
is known by his speech as neither of New Orleans nor New York. But the
influence of economic laws, of common political action, of interest
and pride in one country, is stronger than local bias in such an age of
intercommunication as this. The great barrier between North and South
having been removed, social assimilation must go on. It is true that
the small farmer in Vermont, and the small planter in Georgia, and the
village life in the two States, will preserve their strong contrasts.
But that which, without clearly defining, we call society becomes
yearly more and more alike North and South. It is becoming more and more
difficult to tell in any summer assembly—at Newport, the White Sulphur,
Saratoga, Bar Harbor—by physiognomy, dress, or manner, a person’s
birthplace. There are noticeable fewer distinctive traits that enable
us to say with certainty that one is from the South, or the West, or the
East. No doubt the type at such a Southern resort as the White Sulphur
is more distinctly American than at such a Northern resort as Saratoga.
We are prone to make a good deal of local peculiarities, but when we
look at the matter broadly and consider the vastness of our territory
and the varieties of climate, it is marvellous that there is so little
difference in speech, manner, and appearance. Contrast us with Europe
and its various irreconcilable races occupying less territory. Even
little England offers greater variety than the United States. When we
think of our large, widely scattered population, the wonder is that we
do not differ more.

Southern society has always had a certain prestige in the North. One
reason for this was the fact that the ruling class South had more
leisure for social life. Climate, also, had much to do in softening
manners, making the temperament ardent, and at the same time producing
that leisurely movement which is essential to a polished life. It is
probably true, also, that mere wealth was less a passport to social
distinction than at the North, or than it has become at the North; that
is to say, family, or a certain charm of breeding, or the talent
of being agreeable, or the gift of cleverness, or of beauty, were
necessary, and money was not. In this respect it seems to be true that
social life is changing at the South; that is to say, money is getting
to have the social power in New Orleans that it has in New York. It is
inevitable in a commercial and industrial community that money should
have a controlling power, as it is regrettable that the enjoyment of
its power very slowly admits a sense of its responsibility. The
old traditions of the South having been broken down, and nearly all
attention being turned to the necessity of making money, it must follow
that mere wealth will rise as a social factor. Herein lies one danger to
what was best in the old régime. Another danger is that it must be put
to the test of the ideas, the agitations, the elements of doubt and
disintegration that seem inseparable to “progress,” which give Northern
society its present complexity, and just cause of alarm to all who watch
its headlong career. Fulness of life is accepted as desirable, but it
has its dangers.

Within the past five years social intercourse between North and South
has been greatly increased. Northerners who felt strongly about the
Union and about slavery, and took up the cause of the freedman, and were
accustomed all their lives to absolute free speech, were not comfortable
in the post-reconstruction atmosphere. Perhaps they expected too much of
human nature—a too sudden subsidence of suspicion and resentment. They
felt that they were not welcome socially, however much their capital and
business energy were desired. On the other hand, most Southerners were
too poor to travel in the North, as they did formerly. But all these
points have been turned. Social intercourse and travel are renewed. If
difficulties and alienations remain they are sporadic, and melting away.
The harshness of the Northern winter climate has turned a stream of
travel and occupation to the Gulf States, and particularly to Florida,
which is indeed now scarcely a Southern State except in climate. The
Atlanta and New Orleans Exhibitions did much to bring people of all
sections together socially. With returning financial prosperity all the
Northern summer resorts have seen increasing numbers of Southern people
seeking health and pleasure. I believe that during the past summer more
Southerners have been travelling and visiting in the North than ever
before.

This social intermingling is significant in itself, and of the utmost
importance for the removal of lingering misunderstandings. They who
learn to like each other personally will be tolerant in political
differences, and helpful and unsuspicious in the very grave problems
that rest upon the late slave States. Differences of opinion and
different interests will exist, but surely love is stronger than hate,
and sympathy and kindness are better solvents than alienation and
criticism. The play of social forces is very powerful in such a republic
as ours, and there is certainly reason to believe that they will be
exerted now in behalf of that cordial appreciation of what is good and
that toleration of traditional differences which are necessary to a
people indissolubly bound together in one national destiny. Alienated
for a century, the society of the North and the society of the South
have something to forget but more to gain in the union that every day
becomes closer.



III.—NEW ORLEANS.

The first time I saw New Orleans was on a Sunday morning in the month of
March. We alighted from the train at the foot of Esplanade Street, and
walked along through the French Market, and by Jackson Square to the
Hotel Royal. The morning, after rain, was charming; there was a fresh
breeze from the river; the foliage was a tender green; in the balconies
and on the mouldering window-ledges flowers bloomed, and in the decaying
courts climbing-roses mingled their perfume with the orange; the shops
were open; ladies tripped along from early mass or to early market;
there was a twittering in the square and in the sweet old gardens; caged
birds sang and screamed the songs of South America and the tropics; the
language heard on all sides was French or the degraded jargon which
the easy-going African has manufactured out of the tongue of Bienville.
Nothing could be more shabby than the streets, ill-paved, with
undulating sidewalks and open gutters green with slime, and both
stealing and giving odor; little canals in which the cat, become the
companion of the crawfish, and the vegetable in decay sought in vain a
current to oblivion; the streets with rows of one-story houses, wooden,
with green doors and batten window-shutters, or brick, with the painted
stucco peeling off, the line broken often by an edifice of two stories,
with galleries and delicate tracery of wrought-iron, houses pink and
yellow and brown and gray—colors all blending and harmonious when we get
a long vista of them and lose the details of view in the broad artistic
effect. Nothing could be shabbier than the streets, unless it is the
tumble-down, picturesque old market, bright with flowers and vegetables
and many-hued fish, and enlivened by the genial African, who in the New
World experiments in all colors, from coal black to the pale pink of the
sea-shell, to find one that suits his mobile nature. I liked it all
from the first; I lingered long in that morning walk, liking it more and
more, in spite of its shabbiness, but utterly unable to say then or ever
since wherein its charm lies. I suppose we are all wrongly made up and
have a fallen nature; else why is it that while the most thrifty and
neat and orderly city only wins our approval, and perhaps gratifies us
intellectually, such a thriftless, battered and stained, and lazy old
place as the French quarter of New Orleans takes our hearts?

I never could find out exactly where New Orleans is. I have looked
for it on the map without much enlightenment. It is dropped down there
somewhere in the marshes of the Mississippi and the bayous and lakes. It
is below the one, and tangled up among the others, or it might some
day float out to the Gulf and disappear. How the Mississippi gets out
I never could discover. When it first comes in sight of the town it is
running east; at Carrollton it abruptly turns its rapid, broad, yellow
flood and runs south, turns presently eastward, circles a great portion
of the city, then makes a bold push for the north in order to avoid
Algiers and reach the foot of Canal Street, and encountering there the
heart of the town, it sheers off again along the old French quarter and
Jackson Square due east, and goes no one knows where, except perhaps Mr.
Eads.

The city is supposed to lie in this bend of the river, but it in fact
extends eastward along the bank down to the Barracks, and spreads
backward towards Lake Pontchartrain over a vast area, and includes some
very good snipe-shooting.

Although New Orleans has only about a quarter of a million of
inhabitants, and so many only in the winter, it is larger than Pekin,
and I believe than Philadelphia, having an area of about one hundred and
five square miles. From Carrollton to the Barracks, which are not far
from the Battle-field, the distance by the river is some thirteen miles.
From the river to the lake the least distance is four miles. This vast
territory is traversed by lines of horse-cars which all meet in Canal
Street, the most important business thoroughfare of the city, which
runs north-east from the river, and divides the French from the American
quarter. One taking a horse-car in any part of the city will ultimately
land, having boxed the compass, in Canal Street. But it needs a person
of vast local erudition to tell in what part of the city, or in what
section of the home of the frog and crawfish, he will land if he takes
a horse-ear in Canal Street. The river being higher than the city, there
is of course no drainage into it; but there is a theory that the water
in the open gutters does move, and that it moves in the direction of
the Bayou St. John, and of the cypress swamps that drain into Lake
Pontchartrain. The stranger who is accustomed to closed sewers, and to
get his malaria and typhoid through pipes conducted into his house by
the most approved methods of plumbing, is aghast at this spectacle
of slime and filth in the streets, and wonders why the city is not in
perennial epidemic; but the sun and the wind are great scavengers, and
the city is not nearly so unhealthy as it ought to be with such a city
government as they say it endures.

It is not necessary to dwell much upon the external features of New
Orleans, for innumerable descriptions and pictures have familiarized
the public with them. Besides, descriptions can give the stranger little
idea of the peculiar city. Although all on one level, it is a town of
contrasts. In no other city of the United States or of Mexico is the
old and romantic preserved in such integrity and brought into such
sharp contrast to the modern. There are many handsome public buildings,
churches, club-houses, elegant shops, and on the American side a great
area of well-paved streets solidly built up in business blocks. The
Square of the original city, included between the river and canal,
Rampart and Esplanade streets, which was once surrounded by a wall, is
as closely built, but the streets are narrow, the houses generally are
smaller, and although it swarms with people, and contains the cathedral,
the old Spanish buildings, Jackson Square, the French Market, the French
Opera-house, and other theatres, the Mint, the Custom-house, the old
Ursuline convent (now the residence of the archbishop), old banks, and
scores of houses of historic celebrity, it is a city of the past, and
specially interesting in its picturesque decay. Beyond this, eastward
and northward extend interminable streets of small houses, with now and
then a flowery court or a pretty rose garden, occupied mainly by people
of French and Spanish descent. The African pervades all parts of the
town, except the new residence portion of the American quarter. This,
which occupies the vast area in the bend of the river west of the
business blocks as far as Carrollton, is in character a great village
rather than a city. Not all its broad avenues and handsome streets
are paved (and those that are not are in some seasons impassable), its
houses are nearly all of wood, most of them detached, with plots of
ground and gardens, and as the quarter is very well shaded, the effect
is bright and agreeable. In it are many stately residences, occupying a
square or half a square, and embowered in foliage and flowers. Care
has been given lately to turf-culture, and one sees here thick-set
and handsome lawns. The broad Esplanade Street, with its elegant
old-fashioned houses, and double rows of shade trees, which has
long been the rural pride of the French quarter, has now rivals in
respectability and style on the American side.

New Orleans is said to be delightful in the late fall months, before the
winter rains set in, but I believe it looks its best in March and April.
This is owing to the roses. If the town was not attached to the name
of the Crescent City, it might very well adopt the title of the City of
Roses. So kind are climate and soil that the magnificent varieties of
this queen of flowers, which at the North bloom only in hot-houses, or
with great care are planted out-doors in the heat of our summer, thrive
here in the open air in prodigal abundance and beauty. In April the town
is literally embowered in them; they fill door-yards and gardens, they
overrun the porches, they climb the sides of the houses, they spread
over the trees, they take possession of trellises and fences and walls,
perfuming the air and entrancing the heart with color. In the outlying
parks, like that of the Jockey Club, and the florists’ gardens at
Carrollton, there are fields of them, acres of the finest sorts waving
in the spring wind. Alas! can beauty ever satisfy? This wonderful
spectacle fills one with I know not what exquisite longing. These
flowers pervade the town, old women on the street corners sit behind
banks of them, the florists’ windows blush with them, friends despatch
to each other great baskets of them, the favorites at the theatre and
the amateur performers stand behind high barricades of roses which the
good-humored audience piles upon the stage, everybody carries roses
and wears roses, and the houses overflow with them. In this passion for
flowers you may read a prominent trait of the people. For myself I like
to see a spot on this earth where beauty is enjoyed for itself and
let to run to waste, but if ever the industrial spirit of the
French-Italians should prevail along the littoral of Louisiana and
Mississippi, the raising of flowers for the manufacture of perfumes
would become a most profitable industry.

New Orleans is the most cosmopolitan of provincial cities. Its
comparative isolation has secured the development of provincial traits
and manners, has preserved the individuality of the many races that
give it color, morals, and character, while its close relations with
France—an affiliation and sympathy which the late war has not altogether
broken—and the constant influx of Northern men of business and affairs
have given it the air of a metropolis. To the Northern stranger the
aspect and the manners of the city are foreign, but if he remains long
enough he is sure to yield to its fascinations, and become a partisan
of it. It is not altogether the soft and somewhat enervating and
occasionally treacherous climate that beguiles him, but quite as much
the easy terms on which life can be lived. There is a human as well as a
climatic amiability that wins him. No doubt it is better for a man to
be always braced up, but no doubt also there is an attraction in a
complaisance that indulges his inclinations.

Socially as well as commercially New Orleans is in a transitive state.
The change from river to railway transportation has made her levees
vacant; the shipment of cotton by rail and its direct transfer to ocean
carriage have nearly destroyed a large middle-men industry; a large
part of the agricultural tribute of the South-west has been diverted;
plantations have either not recovered from the effects of the war or
have not adjusted themselves to new productions, and the city waits
the rather blind developments of the new era. The falling off of law
business, which I should like to attribute to the growth of common-sense
and good-will is, I fear, rather due to business lassitude, for it is
observed that men quarrel most when they are most actively engaged in
acquiring each other’s property. The business habits of the Creoles were
conservative and slow; they do not readily accept new ways, and in
this transition time the American element is taking the lead in all
enterprises. The American element itself is toned down by the climate
and the contagion of the leisurely habits of the Creoles, and loses
something of the sharpness and excitability exhibited by business men in
all Northern cities, but it is certainly changing the social as well as
the business aspect of the city. Whether these social changes will make
New Orleans a more agreeable place of residence remains to be seen.

For the old civilization had many admirable qualities. With all its love
of money and luxury and an easy life, it was comparatively simple. It
cared less for display than the society that is supplanting it. Its rule
was domesticity. I should say that it bad the virtues as well as
the prejudices and the narrowness of intense family feeling, and
its exclusiveness. But when it trusted, it had few reserves, and its
cordiality was equal to its naivete. The Creole civilization differed
totally from that in any Northern city; it looked at life, literature,
wit, manners, from altogether another plane; in order to understand the
society of New Orleans one needs to imagine what French society would
be in a genial climate and in the freedom of a new country. Undeniably,
until recently, the Creoles gave the tone to New Orleans. And it was the
French culture, the French view of life, that was diffused. The young
ladies mainly were educated in convents and French schools. This
education had womanly agreeability and matrimony in view, and the graces
of social life. It differed not much from the education of young ladies
of the period elsewhere, except that it was from the French rather than
the English side, but this made a world of difference. French was a
study and a possession, not a fashionable accomplishment. The Creole had
gayety, sentiment, spice with a certain climatic languor, sweetness of
disposition, and charm of manner, and not seldom winning beauty; she was
passionately fond of dancing and of music, and occasionally an adept in
the latter; and she had candor, and either simplicity or the art of it.
But with her tendency to domesticity and her capacity for friendship,
and notwithstanding her gay temperament, she was less worldly than some
of her sisters who were more gravely educated after the English manner.
There was therefore in the old New Orleans life something nobler than
the spirit of plutocracy. The Creole middle-class population had, and
has yet, captivating naivete, friendliness, cordiality.

But the Creole influence in New Orleans is wider and deeper than this.
It has affected literary sympathies and what may be called literary
morals. In business the Creole is accused of being slow, conservative,
in regard to improvements obstinate and reactionary, preferring to
nurse a prejudice rather than run the risk of removing it by improving
himself, and of having a conceit that his way of looking at life is
better than the Boston way. His literary culture is derived from France,
and not from England or the North. And his ideas a good deal affect the
attitude of New Orleans towards English and contemporary literature.
The American element of the town was for the most part commercial, and
little given to literary tastes. That also is changing, but I fancy it
is still true that the most solid culture is with the Creoles, and it
has not been appreciated because it is French, and because its point
of view for literary criticism is quite different from that prevailing
elsewhere in America. It brings our American and English contemporary
authors, for instance, to comparison, not with each other, but
with French and other Continental writers. And this point of view
considerably affects the New Orleans opinion of Northern literature. In
this view it wants color, passion; it is too self-conscious and prudish,
not to say Puritanically mock-modest. I do not mean to say that the
Creoles as a class are a reading people, but the literary standards
of their scholars and of those among them who do cultivate literature
deeply are different from those at the North. We may call it provincial,
or we may call it cosmopolitan, but we shall not understand New Orleans
until we get its point of view of both life and letters.

In making these observations it will occur to the reader that they are
of necessity superficial, and not entitled to be regarded as criticism
or judgment. But I am impressed with the foreignness of New Orleans
civilization, and whether its point of view is right or wrong, I am very
far from wishing it to change. It contains a valuable element of variety
for the republic. We tend everywhere to sameness and monotony. New
Orleans is entering upon a new era of development, especially in
educational life. The Tonlane University is beginning to make itself
felt as a force both in polite letters and in industrial education. And
I sincerely hope that the literary development of the city and of the
South-west will be in the line of its own traditions, and that it will
not be a copy of New England or of Dutch Manhattan. It can, if it is
faithful to its own sympathies and temperament, make an original and
valuable contribution to our literary life.

There is a great temptation to regard New Orleans through the romance of
its past; and the most interesting occupation of the idler is to stroll
about in the French part of the town, search the shelves of French and
Spanish literature in the second-hand book-shops, try to identify the
historic sites and the houses that are the seats of local romances, and
observe the life in the narrow streets and alleys that, except for the
presence of the colored folk, recall the quaint picturesqueness of
many a French provincial town. One never tires of wandering in the
neighborhood of the old cathedral, facing the smart Jackson Square,
which is flanked by the respectable Pontalba buildings, and supported
on either side by the ancient Spanish courthouse, the most interesting
specimens of Spanish architecture this side of Mexico. When the court is
in session, iron cables are stretched across the street to prevent the
passage of wagons, and justice is administered in silence only broken by
the trill of birds in the Place d’.rmee and in the old flower-garden in
the rear of the cathedral, and by the muffled sound of footsteps in the
flagged passages. The region is saturated with romance, and so full of
present sentiment and picturesqueness that I can fancy no ground more
congenial to the artist and the story-teller. To enter into any details
of it would be to commit one’s self to a task quite foreign to the
purpose of this paper, and I leave it to the writers who have done and
are doing so much to make old New Orleans classic.

Possibly no other city of the United States so abounds in stories
pathetic and tragic, many of which cannot yet be published, growing
out of the mingling of races, the conflicts of French and Spanish, the
presence of adventurers from the Old World and the Spanish Main, and
especially out of the relations between the whites and the fair women
who had in their thin veins drops of African blood. The quadroon and
the octoroon are the staple of hundreds of thrilling tales. Duels were
common incidents of the Creole dancing assemblies, and of the cordon
bleu balls—the deities of which were the quadroon women, “the handsomest
race of women in the world,” says the description, and the most splendid
dancers and the most exquisitely dressed—the affairs of honor being
settled by a midnight thrust in a vacant square behind the cathedral,
or adjourned to a more French daylight encounter at “The Oaks,” or “Les
Trois Capalins.” But this life has all gone. In a stately building in
this quarter, said by tradition to have been the quadroon ball-room, but
I believe it was a white assembly-room connected with the opera, is
now a well-ordered school for colored orphans, presided over by colored
Sisters of Charity.

It is quite evident that the peculiar prestige of the quadroon and
the octoroon is a thing of the past. Indeed, the result of the war
has greatly changed the relations of the two races in New Orleans. The
colored people withdraw more and more to themselves. Isolation from
white influence has good results and bad results, the bad being, as one
can see, in some quarters of the town, a tendency to barbarism, which
can only be counteracted by free public schools, and by a necessity
which shall compel them to habits of thrift and industry. One needs
to be very much an optimist, however, to have patience for these
developments.

I believe there is an instinct in both races against mixture of
blood, and upon this rests the law of Louisiana, which forbids such
intermarriages; the time may come when the colored people will be as
strenuous in insisting upon its execution as the whites, unless there is
a great change in popular feeling, of which there is no sign at present;
it is they who will see that there is no escape from the equivocal
position in which those nearly white in appearance find themselves
except by a rigid separation of races. The danger is of a reversal
at any time to the original type, and that is always present to the
offspring of any one with a drop of African blood in the veins. The
pathos of this situation is infinite, and it cannot be lessened by
saying that the prejudice about color is unreasonable; it exists. Often
the African strain is so attenuated that the possessor of it would pass
to the ordinary observer for Spanish or French; and I suppose that many
so-called Creole peculiarities of speech and manner are traceable to
this strain. An incident in point may not be uninteresting.

I once lodged in the old French quarter in a house kept by two maiden
sisters, only one of whom spoke English at all. They were refined, and
had the air of decayed gentlewomen. The one who spoke English had the
vivacity and agreeability of a Paris landlady, without the latter’s
invariable hardness and sharpness. I thought I had found in her pretty
mode of speech the real Creole dialect of her class. “You are French,” I
said, when I engaged my room.

“No,” she said, “no, m’sieu, I am an American; we are of the United
States,” with the air of informing a stranger that New Orleans was now
annexed.

“Yes,” I replied, “but you are of French descent?”

“Oh, and a little Spanish.”

“Can you tell me, madame,” I asked, one Sunday morning, “the way to
Trinity Church?”

“I cannot tell, m’sieu; it is somewhere the other side; I do not know
the other side.”

“But have you never been the other side of Canal Street?”

“Oh yes, I went once, to make a visit on a friend on New-Year’s.”

I explained that it was far uptown, and a Protestant church.

“M’sieu, is he Cat’olic?”

“Oh no; I am a Protestant.”

“Well, me, I am Cat’olic; but Protestan’ o’ Cat’olic, it is ‘mos’ ze
same.”

This was purely the instinct of politeness, and that my feelings might
not be wounded, for she was a good Catholic, and did not believe at all
that it was “‘mos’ ze same.”

It was Exposition year, and then April, and madame had never been to the
Exposition. I urged her to go, and one day, after great preparation
for a journey to the other side, she made the expedition, and returned
enchanted with all she had seen, especially with the Mexican band. A new
world was opened to her, and she resolved to go again. The morning of
Louisiana Day she rapped at my door and informed me that she was going
to the fair. “And”—she paused at the door-way, her eyes sparkling with
her new project—“you know what I goin’ do?”

“No.”

“I goin’ get one big bouquet, and give to the leader of the orchestre.”

“You know him, the leader?”

“No, not yet.”

I did not know then how poor she was, and how much sacrifice this would
be to her, this gratification of a sentiment.

The next year, in the same month, I asked for her at the lodging.
She was not there. “You did not know,” said the woman then in
possession—“good God! her sister died four days ago, from want of food,
and madame has gone away back of town, nobody knows where. They told
nobody, they were so proud; none of their friends knew, or they would
have helped. They had no lodgers, and could not keep this place, and
took another opposite; but they were unlucky, and the sheriff came.”
I said that I was very sorry that I had not known; she might have been
helped. “No,” she replied, with considerable spirit; “she would have
accepted nothing; she would starve rather. So would I.” The woman
referred me to some well-known Creole families who knew madame, but I
was unable to find her hiding-place. I asked who madame was. “Oh, she
was a very nice woman, very respectable. Her father was Spanish, her
mother was an octoroon.”

One does not need to go into the past of New Orleans for the
picturesque; the streets have their peculiar physiognomy, and
“character” such as the artists delight to depict is the result of the
extraordinary mixture of races and the habit of out-door life. The long
summer, from April to November, with a heat continuous, though rarely so
excessive as it occasionally is in higher latitudes, determines the
mode of life and the structure of the houses, and gives a leisurely and
amiable tone to the aspect of people and streets which exists in few
other American cities. The French quarter is out of repair, and has the
air of being for rent; but in fact there is comparatively little change
in occupancy, Creole families being remarkably adhesive to localities.
The stranger who sees all over the French and the business parts of the
town the immense number of lodging-houses—some of them the most
stately old mansions—let largely by colored landladies, is likely to
underestimate the home life of this city. New Orleans soil is so wet
that the city is without cellars for storage, and its court-yards and
odd corners become catch-alls of broken furniture and other lumber. The
solid window-shutters, useful in the glare of the long summer, give a
blank appearance to the streets. This is relieved, however, by the
queer little Spanish houses, and by the endless variety of galleries
and balconies. In one part of the town the iron-work of the balconies is
cast, and uninteresting in its set patterns; in French-town much of
it is hand-made, exquisite in design, and gives to a street vista a
delicate lace-work appearance. I do not know any foreign town which
has on view so much exquisite wrought-iron work as the old part of
New Orleans. Besides the balconies, there are recessed galleries, old
dormer-windows, fantastic little nooks and corners, tricked out with
flower-pots and vines.

The glimpses of street life are always entertaining, because
unconscious, while full of character. It may be a Creole court-yard, the
walls draped with vines, flowers blooming in bap-hazard disarray, and
a group of pretty girls sewing and chatting, and stabbing the passer-by
with a charmed glance. It may be a cotton team in the street, the mules,
the rollicking driver, the creaking cart. It may be a single figure, or
a group in the market or on the levee—a slender yellow girl sweeping up
the grains of rice, a colored gleaner recalling Ruth; an ancient darky
asleep, with mouth open, in his tipped-up two-wheeled cart, waiting for
a job; the “solid South,” in the shape of an immense “aunty” under a red
umbrella, standing and contemplating the river; the broad-faced women in
gay bandannas behind their cake-stands; a group of levee hands about
a rickety table, taking their noonday meal of pork and greens;
the blind-man, capable of sitting more patiently than an American
Congressman, with a dog trained to hold his basket for the pennies of
the charitable; the black stalwart vender of tin and iron utensils,
who totes in a basket, and piled on his head, and strung on his back,
a weight of over two hundred and fifty pounds; and negro women who walk
erect with baskets of clothes or enormous bundles balanced on their
heads, smiling and “jawing,” unconscious of their burdens. These are
the familiar figures of a street life as varied and picturesque as the
artist can desire.

New Orleans amuses itself in the winter with very good theatres, and
until recently has sustained an excellent French opera. It has all
the year round plenty of cafes chantants, gilded saloons, and
gambling-houses, and more than enough of the resorts upon which the
police are supposed to keep one blind eye. “Back of town,” towards
Lake Pontchartrain, there is much that is picturesque and blooming,
especially in the spring of the year—the charming gardens of the Jockey
Club, the City Park, the old duelling-ground with its superb oaks, and
the Bayou St. John with its idling fishing-boats, and the colored houses
and plantations along the banks—a piece of Holland wanting the Dutch
windmills. On a breezy day one may go far for a prettier sight than the
river-bank and esplanade at Carrollton, where the mighty coffee-colored
flood swirls by, where the vast steamers struggle and cough against the
stream, or swiftly go with it round the bend, leaving their trail of
smoke, and the delicate line of foliage against the sky on the far
opposite shore completes the outline of an exquisite landscape. Suburban
resorts much patronized, and reached by frequent trains, are the old
Spanish Fort and the West End of Lake Pontchartrain. The way lies
through cypress swamp and palmetto thickets, brilliant at certain
seasons with fleur-de-lis. At each of these resorts are restaurants,
dancing-halls, promenade-galleries, all on a large scale; boat-houses,
and semi-tropical gardens very prettily laid out in walks and
labyrinths, and adorned with trees and flowers. Even in the heat of
summer at night the lake is sure to offer a breeze, and with waltz music
and moonlight and ices and tinkling glasses with straws in them and
love’s young dream, even the ennuyé globe-trotter declares that it is
not half bad.

The city, indeed, offers opportunity for charming excursions in
all directions. Parties are constantly made up to visit the river
plantations, to sail up and down the stream, or to take an outing across
the lake, or to the many lovely places along the coast. In the winter,
excursions are made to these places, and in summer the well-to-do take
the sea-air in cottages, at such places as Mandeville across the lake,
or at such resorts on the Mississippi as Pass Christian.

I crossed the lake one spring day to the pretty town of Mandeville, and
then sailed up the Tehefuncta River to Covington. The winding Tchefuncta
is in character like some of the narrow Florida streams, has the same
luxuriant overhanging foliage, and as many shy lounging alligators to
the mile, and is prettier by reason of occasional open glades and large
moss-draped live-oaks and China-trees. From the steamer landing in the
woods we drove three miles through a lovely open pine forest to the
town. Covington is one of the oldest settlements in the State, is the
centre of considerable historic interest, and the origin of several
historic families. The land is elevated a good deal above the
coast-level, and is consequently dry. The town has a few roomy oldtime
houses, a mineral spring, some pleasing scenery along the river that
winds through it, and not much else. But it is in the midst of pine
woods, it is sheltered from all “northers,” it has the soft air, but
not the dampness, of the Gulf, and is exceedingly salubrious in all the
winter months, to say nothing of the summer. It has lately come
into local repute as a health resort, although it lacks sufficient
accommodations for the entertainment of many strangers. I was told by
some New Orleans physicians that they regarded it as almost a specific
for pulmonary diseases, and instances were given of persons in what was
supposed to be advanced stages of lung and bronchial troubles who had
been apparently cured by a few months’ residence there; and invalids
are, I believe, greatly benefited by its healing, soft, and piny
atmosphere.

I have no doubt, from what I hear and my limited observation, that all
this coast about New Orleans would be a favorite winter resort if it had
hotels as good as, for instance, that at Pass Christian. The region
has many attractions for the idler and the invalid. It is, in the first
place, interesting; it has a good deal of variety of scenery and of
historical interest; there is excellent fishing and shooting; and if the
visitor tires of the monotony of the country, he can by a short ride on
cars or a steamer transfer himself for a day or a week to a large and
most hospitable city, to society, the club, the opera, balls, parties,
and every variety of life that his taste craves. The disadvantage of
many Southern places to which our Northern regions force us is that they
are uninteresting, stupid, and monotonous, if not malarious. It seems
a long way from New York to New Orleans, but I do not doubt that the
region around the city would become immediately a great winter resort if
money and enterprise were enlisted to make it so.

New Orleans has never been called a “strait-laced” city; its Sunday
is still of the Continental type; but it seems to me free from the
socialistic agnosticism which flaunts itself more or less in Cincinnati,
St. Louis, and Chicago; the tone of leading Presbyterian churches is
distinctly Calvinistic, one perceives comparatively little of religious
speculation and doubt, and so far as I could see there is harmony
and entire social good feeling between the Catholic and Protestant
communions. Protestant ladies assist at Catholic fairs, and the
compliment is returned by the society ladies of the Catholic faith when
a Protestant good cause is to be furthered by a bazaar or a “pink tea.”
Denominational lines seem to have little to do with social affiliations.
There may be friction in the management of the great public charities,
but on the surface there is toleration and united good-will. The
Catholic faith long had the prestige of wealth, family, and power, and
the education of the daughters of Protestant houses in convent schools
tended to allay prejudice. Notwithstanding the reputation New Orleans
has for gayety and even frivolity—and no one can deny the fast
and furious living of ante-bellum days—it possesses at bottom an
old-fashioned religious simplicity. If any one thinks that “faith” has
died out of modern life, let him visit the mortuary chapel of St. Roch.
In a distant part of the town, beyond the street of the Elysian Fields,
and on Washington avenue, in a district very sparsely built up, is
the Campo Santo of the Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity. In this
foreign-looking cemetery is the pretty little Gothic Chapel of St. Roch,
having a background of common and swampy land. It is a brown stuccoed
edifice, wholly open in front, and was a year or two ago covered with
beautiful ivy. The small interior is paved in white marble, the windows
are stained glass, the side-walls are composed of tiers of vaults, where
are buried the members of certain societies, and the spaces in the wall
and in the altar area are thickly covered with votive offerings, in wax
and in naive painting—contributed by those who have been healed by the
intercession of the saints. Over the altar is the shrine of St. Roch—a
cavalier, staff in hand, with his clog by his side, the faithful animal
which accompanied this eighth-century philanthropist in his visitations
to the plague-stricken people of Munich. Within the altar rail are rows
of lighted candles, tended and renewed by the attendant, placed there
by penitents or by seekers after the favor of the saint. On the wooden
benches, kneeling, are ladies, servants, colored women, in silent
prayer. One approaches the lighted, picturesque shrine through the
formal rows of tombs, and comes there into an atmosphere of peace and
faith. It is believed that miracles are daily wrought here, and one
notices in all the gardeners, keepers, and attendants of the place the
accent and demeanor of simple faith. On the wall hangs this inscription:

“O great St. Roch, deliver us, we beseech thee, from the scourges of
God. Through thy intercessions preserve our bodies from contagious
diseases, and our souls from the contagion of sin. Obtain for us
salubrious air; but, above all, purity of heart. Assist us to make good
use of health, to bear suffering with patience, and after thy example to
live in the practice of penitence and charity, that we may one day enjoy
the happiness which thou hast merited by thy virtues.

“St. Roch, pray for us.

“St. Roch, pray for us.

“St. Roch, pray for us.”

There is testimony that many people, even Protestants, and men, have had
wounds cured and been healed of diseases by prayer in this chapel. To
this distant shrine come ladies from all parts of the city to make
the “novena”—the prayer of nine days, with the offer of the burning
taper—and here daily resort hundreds to intercede for themselves or
their friends. It is believed by the damsels of this district that if
they offer prayer daily in this chapel they will have a husband within
the year, and one may see kneeling here every evening these trustful
devotees to the welfare of the human race. I asked the colored woman who
sold medals and leaflets and renewed the candles if she personally knew
any persons who had been miraculously cured by prayer, or novena, in St.
Roch. “Plenty, sir, plenty.” And she related many instances, which were
confirmed by votive offerings on the walls. “Why,” said she, “there was
a friend of mine who wanted a place, and could hear of none, who made a
novena here, and right away got a place, a good place, and” (conscious
that she was making an astonishing statement about a New Orleans
servant) “she kept it a whole year!”

“But one must come in the right spirit,” I said.

“Ah, indeed. It needs to believe. You can’t fool God!”

One might make various studies of New Orleans: its commercial life; its
methods, more or less antiquated, of doing business, and the leisure
for talk that enters into it; its admirable charities and its mediaeval
prisons; its romantic French and Spanish history, still lingering in
the old houses, and traits of family and street life; the city politics,
which nobody can explain, and no other city need covet; its sanitary
condition, which needs an intelligent despot with plenty of money and an
ingenuity that can make water run uphill; its colored population—about
a fourth of the city—with its distinct social grades, its superstition,
nonchalant good-humor, turn for idling and basking in the sun, slowly
awaking to a sense of thrift, chastity, truth-speaking, with many
excellent order-loving, patriotic men and women, but a mass that
needs moral training quite as much as the spelling-book before it can
contribute to the vigor and prosperity of the city; its schools and
recent libraries, and the developing literary and art taste which will
sustain book-shops and picture-galleries; its cuisine, peculiar in its
mingling of French and African skill, and determined largely by a market
unexcelled in the quality of fish, game, and fruit—the fig alone would
go far to reconcile one to four or five months of hot nights; the
climatic influence in assimilating races meeting there from every region
of the earth.

But whatever way we regard New Orleans., it is in its aspect, social
tone, and character sui generis; its civilization differs widely from
that of any other, and it remains one of the most interesting places in
the republic. Of course, social life in these days is much the same in
all great cities in its observances, but that of New Orleans is
markedly cordial, ingenuous, warmhearted. I do not imagine that it
could tolerate, as Boston does, absolute freedom of local opinion on all
subjects, and undoubtedly it is sensitive to criticism; but I believe
that it is literally true, as one of its citizens said, that it is still
more sensitive to kindness.

The metropolis of the South-west has geographical reasons for a great
future. Louisiana is rich in alluvial soil, the capability of which has
not yet been tested, except in some localities, by skilful agriculture.
But the prosperity of the city depends much upon local conditions.
Science and energy can solve the problem of drainage, can convert all
the territory between the city and Lake Pontchartrain into a veritable
garden, surpassing in fertility the flat environs of the city of Mexico.
And the steady development of common-school education, together with
technical and industrial schools, will create a skill which will make
New Orleans the industrial and manufacturing centre of that region.



IV.—A VOUDOO DANCE.

There was nothing mysterious about it. The ceremony took place in broad
day, at noon in the upper chambers of a small frame house in a street
just beyond Congo Square and the old Parish prison in New Orleans. It
was an incantation rather than a dance—a curious mingling of African
Voudoo rites with modern “spiritualism” and faith-cure.

The explanation of Voudooism (or Vaudouism) would require a chapter by
itself. It is sufficient to say for the purpose of this paper that
the barbaric rites of Voudooism originated with the Congo and Guinea
negroes, were brought to San Domingo, and thence to Louisiana. In Hayti
the sect is in full vigor, and its midnight orgies have reverted more
and more to the barbaric original in the last twenty-five years. The
wild dance and incantations are accompanied by sacrifice of animals
and occasionally of infants, and with cannibalism, and scenes of most
indecent license. In its origin it is serpent worship. The Voudoo
signifies a being all-powerful on the earth, who is, or is represented
by, a harmless species of serpent (couleuvre), and in this belief
the sect perform rites in which the serpent is propitiated. In common
parlance, the chief actor is called the Voudoo—if a man, the Voudoo
King; if a woman, the Voudoo Queen. Some years ago Congo Square was
the scene of the weird midnight rites of this sect, as unrestrained and
barbarous as ever took place in the Congo country. All these semi-public
performances have been suppressed, and all private assemblies for this
worship are illegal, and broken up by the police when discovered. It
is said in New Orleans that Voudooism is a thing of the past. But the
superstition remains, and I believe that very few of the colored people
in New Orleans are free from it—that is, free from it as a superstition.
Those who repudiate it, have nothing to do with it, and regard it as
only evil, still ascribe power to the Voudoo, to some ugly old woman
or man, who is popularly believed to have occult power (as the Italians
believe in the “evil-eye”), can cast a charm and put the victims under a
spell, or by incantations relieve them from it. The power of the
Voudoo is still feared by many who are too intelligent to believe in it
intellectually. That persons are still Voudooed, probably few doubt; and
that people are injured by charms secretly placed in their beds, or are
bewitched in various ways, is common belief—more common than the Saxon
notion that it is ill-luck to see the new moon over the left shoulder.

Although very few white people in New Orleans have ever seen the
performance I shall try to describe, and it is said that the police
would break it up if they knew of it, it takes place every Wednesday
at noon at the house where I saw it; and there are three or four other
places in the city where the rites are celebrated sometimes at night.
Our admission was procured through a friend who had, I suppose, vouched
for our good intentions.

We were received in the living-rooms of the house on the ground-floor
by the “doctor,” a good-looking mulatto of middle age, clad in a white
shirt with gold studs, linen pantaloons, and list slippers. He had the
simple-minded shrewd look of a “healing medium.” The interior was neat,
though in some confusion; among the rude attempts at art on the walls
was the worst chromo print of General Grant that was probably ever made.
There were several negroes about the door, many in the rooms and in the
backyard, and all had an air of expectation and mild excitement. After
we had satisfied the scruples of the doctor, and signed our names in his
register, we were invited to ascend by a narrow, crooked stair-way in
the rear. This led to a small landing where a dozen people might stand,
and from this a door opened into a chamber perhaps fifteen feet by ten,
where the rites were to take place; beyond this was a small bedroom.
Around the sides of these rooms were benches and chairs, and the close
quarters were already well filled.

The assembly was perfectly orderly, but a motley one, and the women
largely outnumbered the men. There were coal-black negroes, porters, and
stevedores, fat cooks, slender chamber-maids, all shades of complexion,
yellow girls and comely quadroons, most of them in common servant
attire, but some neatly dressed. And among them were, to my surprise,
several white people.

On one side of the middle room where we sat was constructed a sort of
buffet or bureau, used as an altar. On it stood an image of the Virgin
Mary in painted plaster, about two feet high, flanked by lighted candles
and a couple of cruets, with some other small objects. On a shelf below
were two other candles, and on this shelf and the floor in front were
various offerings to be used in the rites—plates of apples, grapes,
bananas, oranges; dishes of sugar, of sugarplums; a dish of powdered
orris root, packages of candles, bottles of brandy and of water. Two
other lighted candles stood on the floor, and in front an earthen bowl.
The clear space in front for the dancer was not more than four or five
feet square.

Some time was consumed in preparations, or in waiting for the
worshippers to assemble. From conversation with those near me, I found
that the doctor had a reputation for healing the diseased by virtue of
his incantations, of removing “spells,” of finding lost articles, of
ministering to the troubles of lovers, and, in short, of doing very much
what clairvoyants and healing mediums claim to do in what are called
civilized communities. But failing to get a very intelligent account of
the expected performance from the negro woman next me, I moved to the
side of the altar and took a chair next a girl of perhaps twenty years
old, whose complexion and features gave evidence that she was white.
Still, finding her in that company, and there as a participant in the
Voudoo rites, I concluded that I must be mistaken, and that she must
have colored blood in her veins. Assuming the privilege of an inquirer,
I asked her questions about the coming performance, and in doing so
carried the impression that she was kin to the colored race. But I
was soon convinced, from her manner and her replies, that she was pure
white. She was a pretty, modest girl, very reticent, well-bred, polite,
and civil. None of the colored people seemed to know who she was,
but she said she had been there before. She told me, in course of the
conversation, the name of the street where she lived (in the American
part of the town), the private school at which she had been educated
(one of the best in the city), and that she and her parents were
Episcopalians. Whatever her trouble was, mental or physical, she was
evidently infatuated with the notion that this Voudoo doctor could
conjure it away, and said that she thought he had already been of
service to her. She did not communicate her difficulties to him or speak
to him, but she evidently had faith that he could discern what every
one present needed, and minister to them. When I asked her if, with
her education, she did not think that more good would come to her by
confiding in known friends or in regular practitioners, she wearily said
that she did not know. After the performance began, her intense interest
in it, and the light in her eyes, were evidence of the deep hold the
superstition had upon her nature. In coming to this place she had gone a
step beyond the young ladies of her class who make a novena at St. Roch.

While we still waited, the doctor and two other colored men called me
into the next chamber, and wanted to be assured that it was my own name
I had written on the register, and that I had no unfriendly intentions
in being present. Their doubts at rest, all was ready.

The doctor squatted on one side of the altar, and his wife, a stout
woman of darker hue, on the other.

“Commençons,” said the woman, in a low voice. All the colored people
spoke French, and French only, to each other and in the ceremony.

The doctor nodded, bent over, and gave three sharp raps on the floor
with a bit of wood. (This is the usual opening of Voudoo rites.) All
the others rapped three times on the floor with their knuckles. Anyone
coming in to join the circle afterwards, stooped and rapped three times.
After a moment’s silence, all kneeled and repeated together in French
the Apostles’ Creed, and still on their knees, they said two prayers to
the Virgin Mary.

The colored woman at the side of the altar began a chant in a low,
melodious voice. It was the weird and strange “Dansé Calinda.” A tall
negress, with a bright, good-natured face, entered the circle with the
air of a chief performer, knelt, rapped the floor, laid an offering of
candles before the altar, with a small bottle of brandy, seated herself
beside the singer, and took up in a strong, sweet voice the bizarre
rhythm of the song. Nearly all those who came in had laid some
little offering before the altar. The chant grew, the single line was
enunciated in stronger pulsations, and other voices joined in the wild
refrain,


“Dansé Calinda, boudoum, boudoum

Dansé Calinda, boudoum, boudoum!”


bodies swayed, the hands kept time in soft patpatting, and the feet in
muffled accentuation. The Voudoo arose, removed his slippers, seized a
bottle of brandy, dashed some of the liquid on the floor on each side of
the brown bowl as a libation, threw back his head and took a long pull
at the bottle, and then began in the open space a slow measured dance,
a rhythmical shuffle, with more movement of the hips than of the feet,
backward and forward, round and round, but accelerating his movement as
the time of the song quickened and the excitement rose in the room. The
singing became wilder and more impassioned, a strange minor strain, full
of savage pathos and longing, that made it almost impossible for the
spectator not to join in the swing of its influence, while the dancer
wrought himself up into the wild passion of a Cairene dervish. Without
a moment ceasing his rhythmical steps and his extravagant gesticulation,
he poured liquid into the basin, and dashing in brandy, ignited the
fluid with a match. The liquid flamed up before the altar. He seized
then a bunch of candles, plunged them into the bowl, held them up all
flaming with the burning brandy, and, keeping his step to the maddening
“Calinda,” distributed them lighted to the devotees. In the same way
he snatched up dishes of apples, grapes, bananas, oranges, deluged them
with burning brandy, and tossed them about the room to the eager and
excited crowd. His hands were aflame, his clothes seemed to be on fire;
he held the burning dishes close to his breast, apparently inhaling the
flame, closing his eyes and swaying his head backward and forward in an
ecstasy, the hips advancing and receding, the feet still shuffling to
the barbaric measure.

Every moment his own excitement and that of the audience increased. The
floor was covered with the débris of the sacrifice—broken candy, crushed
sugarplums, scattered grapes—and all more or less in flame. The wild
dancer was dancing in fire! In the height of his frenzy he grasped a
large plate filled with lump-sugar. That was set on fire. He held the
burning mass to his breast, he swung it round, and finally, with his
hand extended under the bottom of the plate (the plate only adhering to
his hand by the rapidity of his circular motion), he spun around like a
dancing dervish, his eyes shut, the perspiration pouring in streams from
his face, in a frenzy. The flaming sugar scattered about the floor, and
the devotees scrambled for it. In intervals of the dance, though the
singing went on, the various offerings which had been conjured were
passed around—bits of sugar and fruit and orris powder. That which fell
to my share I gave to the young girl next me, whose eyes were blazing
with excitement, though she had remained perfectly tranquil, and
joined neither by voice or hands or feet in the excitement. She put the
conjured sugar and fruit in her pocket, and seemed grateful to me for
relinquishing it to her.

Before this point had been reached the chant had been changed for the
wild canga, more rapid in movement than the chanson africaine:


“Eh! eli! Bomba, hen! hen!

Canga bafio té

Canga moune dé lé

Canga do ki la

Canga li.”


At intervals during the performance, when the charm had begun to
work, the believers came forward into the open space, and knelt for
“treatment.” The singing, the dance, the wild incantation, went on
uninterruptedly; but amid all his antics the dancer had an eye to
business. The first group that knelt were four stalwart men, three of
them white laborers. All of them, I presume, had some disease which they
had faith the incantation would drive away. Each held a lighted candle
in each hand. The doctor successively extinguished each candle by
putting it in his mouth, and performed a number of antics of a saltatory
sort. During his dancing and whirling he frequently filled his mouth
with liquid, and discharged it in spray, exactly as a Chinese laundryman
sprinkles his clothes, into the faces and on the heads of any man or
woman within reach. Those so treated considered themselves specially
favored. Having extinguished the candles of the suppliants, he scooped
the liquid from the bowl, flaming or not as it might be, and with
his hands vigorously scrubbed their faces and heads, as if he were
shampooing them. While the victim was still sputtering and choking he
seized him by the right hand, lifted him up, spun him round half a dozen
times, and then sent him whirling.

This was substantially the treatment that all received who knelt in the
circle, though sometimes it was more violent. Some of them were
slapped smartly upon the back and the breast, and much knocked about.
Occasionally a woman was whirled till she was dizzy, and perhaps swung
about in his arms as if she had been a bundle of clothes. They all took
it meekly and gratefully. One little girl of twelve, who had rickets,
was banged about till it seemed as if every bone in her body would be
broken. But the doctor had discrimination, even in his wildest moods.
Some of the women were gently whirled, and the conjurer forbore either
to spray them from his mouth or to shampoo them.

Nearly all those present knelt, and were whirled and shaken, and
those who did not take this “cure” I suppose got the benefit of
the incantation by carrying away some of the consecrated offerings.
Occasionally a woman in the whirl would whisper something-in the
doctor’s ear, and receive from him doubtless the counsel she needed. But
generally the doctor made no inquiries of his patients, and they said
nothing to him.

While the wild chanting, the rhythmic movement of hands and feet, the
barbarous dance, and the fiery incantations were at their height, it was
difficult to believe that we were in a civilized city of an enlightened
republic. Nothing indecent occurred in word or gesture, but it was so
wild and bizarre that one might easily imagine he was in Africa or in
hell.

As I said, nearly all the participants were colored people; but in the
height of the frenzy one white woman knelt and was sprayed and whirled
with the others. She was a respectable married woman from the other side
of Canal Street. I waited with some anxiety to see what my modest little
neighbor would do. She had told me that she should look on and take
no part. I hoped that the senseless antics, the mummery, the rough
treatment, would disgust her. Towards the close of the séance, when
the spells were all woven and the flames had subsided, the tall,
good-natured negress motioned to me that it was my turn to advance into
the circle and kneel. I excused myself. But the young girl was unable
to resist longer. She went forward and knelt, with a candle in her hand.
The conjurer was either touched by her youth and race, or he had spent
his force. He gently lifted her by one hand, and gave her one turn
around, and she came back to her seat.

The singing ceased, The doctor’s wife passed round the hat for
contributions, and the ceremony, which had lasted nearly an hour and a
half, was over. The doctor retired exhausted with the violent exertions.
As for the patients, I trust they were well cured of rheumatism, of
fever, or whatever ill they had, and that the young ladies have either
got husbands to their minds or have escaped faithless lovers. In the
breaking up I had no opportunity to speak further to the interesting
young white neophyte; but as I saw her resuming her hat and cloak in the
adjoining room there was a strange excitement in her face, and in her
eyes a light of triumph and faith. We came out by the back way, and
through an alley made our escape into the sunny street and the air of
the nineteenth century.



V.—THE ACADIAN LAND.

If one crosses the river from New Orleans to Algiers, and takes Morgan’s
Louisiana and Texas Railway (now a part of the Southern Pacific line),
he will go west, with a dip at first southerly, and will pass through a
region little attractive except to water-fowl, snakes, and alligators,
by an occasional rice plantation, an abandoned indigo field, an
interminable stretch of cypress swamps, thickets of Spanish-bayonets,
black waters, rank and rampant vegetation, vines, and water-plants;
by-and-by firmer arable land, and cane plantations, many of them
forsaken and become thickets of undergrowth, owing to frequent
inundations and the low price of sugar.

At a distance of eighty miles Morgan City is reached, and the broad
Atchafalaya Bayou is crossed. Hence is steamboat communication with New
Orleans and Vera Cruz. The Atchafalaya Bayou has its origin near the
mouth of the Red River, and diverting from the Mississippi most of
that great stream, it makes its tortuous way to the Gulf, frequently
expanding into the proportions of a lake, and giving this region a great
deal more water than it needs. The Bayou Teche, which is, in fact, a
lazy river, wanders down from the rolling country of Washington and
Opelousas, with a great deal of uncertainty of purpose, but mainly
south-easterly, and parallel with the Atchafalaya, and joins the latter
at Morgan City. Steamers of good size navigate it as far as New Iberia,
some forty to fifty miles, and the railway follows it to the latter
place, within sight of its fringe of live-oaks and cotton-woods.
The region south and west of the Bayou Teche, a vast plain cut by
innumerable small bayous and streams, which have mostly a connection
with the bay of Côte Blanche and Vermilion Bay, is the home of the Nova
Scotia Acadians.

The Acadians in 1755 made a good exchange, little as they thought so
at the time, of bleak Nova Scotia for these sunny, genial, and
fertile lands. They came into a land and a climate suited to their
idiosyncrasies, and which have enabled them to preserve their primitive
traits. In a comparative isolation from the disturbing currents
of modern life, they have preserved the habits and customs of the
eighteenth century. The immigrants spread themselves abroad among those
bayous, made their homes wide apart, and the traveller will nowhere
find—at least I did not—large and compact communities of them, unalloyed
with the American and other elements. Indeed, I imagine that they are
losing, in the general settlement of the country, their conspicuousness.
They still give the tone, however, to considerable districts, as in the
village and neighborhood of Abbeville. Some places, like the old town of
St. Martinsville, on the Teche, once the social capital of the region,
and entitled, for its wealth and gayety, the Petit Paris, had a large
element of French who were not Acadians.

The Teche from Morgan City to New Iberia is a deep, slow, and winding
stream, flowing through a flat region of sugar plantations. It is
very picturesque by reason of its tortuousness and the great spreading
live-oak trees, moss-draped, that hang over it. A voyage on it is one of
the most romantic entertainments offered to the traveller. The
scenery is peaceful, and exceedingly pretty. There are few conspicuous
plantations with mansions and sugar-stacks of any pretensions, but the
panorama from the deck of the steamer is always pleasing. There is an
air of leisure and “afternoon” about the expedition, which is heightened
by the idle case of the inhabitants lounging at the rude wharves and
landing-places, and the patience of the colored fishers, boys in scant
raiment and women in sun-bonnets, seated on the banks. Typical of this
universal contentment is the ancient colored man stretched on a plank
close to the steamer’s boiler, oblivious of the heat, apparently asleep,
with his spacious mouth wide open, but softly singing.

“Are you asleep, uncle?”

“No, not adzackly asleep, boss. I jes wake up, and thinkin’ how good de
Lord is, I couldn’t help singin’.”

The panorama is always interesting. There are wide silvery expanses of
water, into which fall the shadows of great trees. A tug is dragging
along a tow of old rafts composed of cypress logs all water-soaked,
green with weeds and grass, so that it looks like a floating garden.
What pictures! Clusters of oaks on the prairie; a picturesque old
cotton-press; a house thatched with palmettoes; rice-fields irrigated by
pumps; darkies, field-hands, men and women, hoeing in the cane-fields,
giving stalwart strokes that exhibit their robust figures; an old
sugar-mill in ruin and vine-draped; an old begass chimney against the
sky; an antique cotton-press with its mouldering roof supported on
timbers; a darky on a mule motionless on the bank, clad in Attakapas
cloth, his slouch hat falling about his head like a roof from which the
rafters have been withdrawn; palmettoes, oaks, and funereal moss; lines
of Spanish-bayonets; rickety wharves; primitive boats; spider-legged
bridges. Neither on the Teche nor the Atchafalaya, nor on the great
plain near the Mississippi, fit for amphibious creatures, where one
standing on the level wonders to sec the wheels of the vast river
steamers above him, apparently without cause, revolving, is there any
lack of the picturesque.

New Iberia, the thriving mart of the region, which has drawn away the
life from St. Martinsville, ten miles farther up the bayou, is a
village mainly of small frame houses, with a smart court-house, a lively
business street, a few pretty houses, and some oldtime mansions on the
bank of the bayou, half smothered in old rose gardens, the ground in the
rear sloping to the water under the shade of gigantic oaks. One of
them, which with its outside staircases in the pillared gallery suggests
Spanish taste on the outside, and in the interior the arrangement of
connecting rooms a French chateau, has a self-keeping rose garden, where
one might easily become sentimental; the vines disport themselves
like holiday children, climbing the trees, the side of the house, and
revelling in an abandon of color and perfume.

The population is mixed—Americans, French, Italians, now and then a
Spaniard and even a Mexican, occasionally a basket-making Attakapas,
and the all-pervading person of color. The darky is a born fisherman, in
places where fishing requires no exertion, and one may see him any
hour seated on the banks of the Teche, especially the boy and the
sun-bonneted woman, placidly holding their poles over the muddy stream,
and can study, if he like, the black face in expectation of a bite.
There too are the washer-women, with their tubs and a plank thrust
into the water, and a handkerchief of bright colors for a turban. These
people somehow never fail to be picturesque, whatever attitude they
take, and they are not at all self-conscious. The groups on Sunday give
an interest to church-going—a lean white horse, with a man, his wife,
and boy strung along its backbone, an aged darky and his wife seated in
a cart, in stiff Sunday clothes and flaming colors, the wheels of the
cart making all angles with the ground, and wabbling and creaking
along, the whole party as proud of its appearance as Julius Caesar in a
triumph.

I drove on Sunday morning early from New Iberia to church at St.
Martinsville. It was a lovely April morning. The way lay over fertile
prairies, past fine cane plantations, with some irrigation, and for a
distance along the pretty Teche, shaded by great live-oaks, and here and
there a fine magnolia-tree; a country with few houses, and those mostly
shanties, but a sunny, smiling land, loved of the birds. We passed on
our left the Spanish Lake, a shallow, irregular body of water. My
driver was an ex-Confederate soldier, whose tramp with a musket through
Virginia had not greatly enlightened him as to what it was all about.
As to the Acadians, however, he had a decided opinion, and it was a poor
one. They are no good. “You ask them a question, and they shrug their
shoulders like a tarrapin—don’t know no more’n a dead alligator; only
language they ever have is ‘no’ and ‘what?’.rdquo;

If St. Martinsville, once the scat of fashion, retains anything of its
past elegance, its life has departed from it. It has stopped growing
anything but old, and yet it has not much of interest that is antique;
it is a village of small white frame houses, with three or four big
gaunt brick structures, two stories and a half high, with galleries,
and here and there a Creole cottage, the stairs running up inside the
galleries, over which roses climb in profusion.

I went to breakfast at a French inn, kept by Madame Castillo, a large
red-brick house on the banks of the Teche, where the live-oaks cast
shadows upon the silvery stream. It had, of course, a double gallery.
Below, the waiting-room, dining-room, and general assembly-room were
paved with brick, and instead of a door, Turkey-red curtains hung in the
entrance, and blowing aside, hospitably invited the stranger within. The
breakfast was neatly served, the house was scrupulously clean, and the
guest felt the influence of that personal hospitality which is always so
pleasing. Madame offered me a seat in her pew in church, and meantime
a chair on the upper gallery, which opened from large square sleeping
chambers. In that fresh morning I thought I never had seen a more
sweet and peaceful place than this gallery. Close to it grew graceful
China-trees in full blossom and odor; up and down the Teche were
charming views under the oaks; only the roofs of the town could be seen
amid the foliage of China-trees; and there was an atmosphere of repose
in all the scene.

It was Easter morning. I felt that I should like to linger there a week
in absolute forgetfulness of the world. French is the ordinary language
of the village, spoken more or less corruptly by all colors.

The Catholic church, a large and ugly structure, stands on the plaza,
which is not at all like a Spanish plaza, but a veritable New England
“green,” with stores and shops on all sides—New England, except that
the shops are open on Sunday. In the church apse is a noted and not bad
painting of St. Martin, and at the bottom of one aisle a vast bank of
black stucco clouds, with the Virgin standing on them, and the legend,
“Je suis l’immaculee conception.”

Country people were pouring into town for the Easter service and
festivities—more blacks than whites—on horseback and in rickety
carriages, and the horses were hitched on either side of the church.
Before service the square was full of lively young colored lads cracking
Easter-eggs. Two meet and strike together the eggs in their hands, and
the one loses whose egg breaks. A tough shell is a valuable possession.
The custom provokes a good deal of larking and merriment. While this is
going on, the worshippers are making their way into the church
through the throng, ladies in the neat glory of provincial dress, and
high-stepping, saucy colored belles, yellow and black, the blackest in
the most radiant apparel of violent pink and light blue, and now and
then a society favorite in all the hues of the rainbow. The centre pews
of the church are reserved for the whites, the seats of the side aisles
for the negroes. When mass begins, the church is crowded. The boys,
with occasional excursions into the vestibule to dip the finger in the
holy-water, or perhaps say a prayer, are still winning and losing eggs
on the preen.

On the gallery at the inn it is also Sunday. The air is full of odor. A
strong south wind begins to blow. I think the south wind is the wind
of memory and of longing. I wonder if the gay spirits of the last
generation ever return to the scenes of their revelry? Will they come
back to the theatre this Sunday night, and to the Grand Ball afterwards?
The admission to both is only twenty-five cents, including gombo file.

From New Iberia southward towards Vermilion Bay stretches a vast
prairie; if it is not absolutely fiat, if it resembles the ocean, it
is the ocean when its long swells have settled nearly to a calm. This
prairie would be monotonous were it not dotted with small round ponds,
like hand-mirrors for the flitting birds and sailing clouds, were its
expanse not spotted with herds of cattle, scattered or clustering like
fishing-boats on a green sea, were it not for a cabin here and there, a
field of cane or cotton, a garden plot, and were it not for the forests
which break the horizon line, and send out dark capes into the verdant
plains. On a gray day, or when storms and fogs roll in from the Gulf, it
might be a gloomy region, but under the sunlight and in the spring it is
full of life and color; it has an air of refinement and repose that is
very welcome. Besides the uplift of the spirit that a wide horizon is
apt to give, one is conscious here of the neighborhood of the sea, and
of the possibilities of romantic adventure in a coast intersected by
bayous, and the presence of novel forms of animal and vegetable life,
and of a people with habits foreign and strange. There is also a
grateful sense of freedom and expansion.

Soon, over the plain, is seen on the horizon, ten miles from New Iberia,
the dark foliage on the island of Petite Anse, or Wery’s Island. This
unexpected upheaval from the marsh, bounded by the narrow, circling
Petite Anse Bayou, rises into the sky one hundred and eighty feet,
and has the effect in this flat expanse of a veritable mountain,
comparatively a surprise, like Pike’s Peak seen from the elevation of
Denver. Perhaps nowhere else would a hill of one hundred and eighty
feet make such an impression on the mind. Crossing the bayou, where
alligators sun themselves and eye with affection the colored people
angling at the bridge, and passing a long causeway over the marsh, the
firm land of the island is reached. This island, which is a sort of
geological puzzle, has a very uneven surface, and is some two and a half
miles long by one mile broad. It is a little kingdom in itself, capable
of producing in its soil and adjacent waters nearly everything one
desires of the necessaries of life. A portion of the island is devoted
to a cane plantation and sugar-works; a part of it is covered with
forests; and on the lowlands and gentle slopes, besides thickets of
palmetto, are gigantic live-oaks, moss-draped trees monstrous in girth,
and towering into the sky with a vast spread of branches. Scarcely
anywhere else will one see a nobler growth of these stately trees. In
a depression is the famous saltmine, unique in quality and situation
in the world. Here is grown and put up the Tobasco pepper; here, amid
fields of clover and flowers, a large apiary flourishes. Stones of some
value for ornament are found.

Indeed, I should not be surprised at anything turning up there, for I am
told that good kaoline has been discovered; and about the residences
of the hospitable proprietors roses bloom in abundance, the China-tree
blossoms sweetly, and the mocking-bird sings.

But better than all these things I think I like the view from the broad
cottage piazzas, and I like it best when the salt breeze is strong
enough to sweep away the coast mosquitoes—a most undesirable variety. I
do not know another view of its kind for extent and color comparable to
that from this hill over the waters seaward. The expanse of luxuriant
grass, brown, golden, reddish, in patches, is intersected by a network
of bayous, which gleam like silver in the sun, or trail like dark
fabulous serpents under a cloudy sky. The scene is limited only by the
power of the eye to meet the sky line. Vast and level, it is constantly
changing, almost in motion with life; the long grass and weeds run like
waves when the wind blows, great shadows of clouds pass on its surface,
alternating dark masses with vivid ones of sunlight; fishing-boats and
the masts of schooners creep along the threads of water; when the sun
goes down, a red globe of fire in the Gulf mists, all the expanse is
warm and ruddy, and the waters sparkle like jewels; and at night, under
the great field of stars, marsh fires here and there give a sort of
lurid splendor to the scene. In the winter it is a temperate spot, and
at all times of the year it is blessed by an invigorating seabreeze.

Those who have enjoyed the charming social life and the unbounded
hospitality of the family who inhabit this island may envy them their
paradisiacal home, but they would be able to select none others so
worthy to enjoy it.

It is said that the Attakapas Indians are shy of this island, having
a legend that it was the scene of a great catastrophe to their race.
Whether this catastrophe has any connection with the upheaval of the
salt mountain I do not know. Many stories are current in this region in
regard to the discovery of this deposit. A little over a quarter of a
century ago it was unsuspected. The presence of salt in the water of
a small spring led somebody to dig in that place, and at the depth of
sixteen feet below the surface solid salt was struck. In stripping away
the soil several relics of human workmanship came to light, among them
stone implements and a woven basket, exactly such as the Attakapas make
now. This basket, found at the depth of sixteen feet, lay upon the salt
rock, and was in perfect preservation. Half of it can now be seen in the
Smithsonian Institution. At the beginning of the war great quantities of
salt were taken from this mine for the use of the Confederacy. But this
supply was cut off by the Unionists, who at first sent gunboats up the
bayou within shelling distance, and at length occupied it with troops.

The ascertained area of the mine is several acres; the depth of the
deposit is unknown. The first shaft was sunk a hundred feet; below
this a shaft of seventy feet fails to find any limit to the salt.
The excavation is already large. Descending, the visitor enters vast
cathedral-like chambers; the sides are solid salt, sparkling with
crystals; the floor is solid salt; the roof is solid salt, supported
on pillars of salt left by the excavators, forty or perhaps sixty feet
square. When the interior is lighted by dynamite the effect is superbly
weird and grotesque. The salt is blasted by dynamite, loaded into ears
which run on rails to the elevator, hoisted, and distributed into the
crushers, and from the crushers directly into the bags for shipment.
The crushers differ in crushing capacity, some producing fine and others
coarse salt. No bleaching or cleansing process is needed; the salt
is almost absolutely pure. Large blocks of it are sent to the Western
plains for “cattle licks.” The mine is connected by rail with the main
line at New Iberia.

Across the marshes and bayous eight miles to the west from Petite Anse
Island rises Orange Island, famous for its orange plantation, but
called Jefferson Island since it became the property and home of Joseph
Jefferson. Not so high as Petite Anse, it is still conspicuous with its
crown of dark forest. From a high point on Petite Anse, through a lovely
vista of trees, with flowering cacti in the foreground, Jefferson’s
house is a white spot in the landscape. We reached it by a circuitous
drive of twelve miles over the prairie, sometimes in and sometimes out
of the water, and continually diverted from our course by fences. It is
a good sign of the thrift of the race, and of its independence, that the
colored people have taken up or bought little tracts of thirty or forty
acres, put up cabins, and new fences round their domains regardless of
the travelling public. We zigzagged all about the country to get round
these little enclosures. At one place, where the main road was bad, a
thrifty Acadian had set up a toll of twenty-five cents for the privilege
of passing through his premises. The scenery was pastoral and pleasing.

There were frequent round ponds, brilliant with lilies and
fleurs-de-lis, and hundreds of cattle feeding on the prairie or standing
In the water, and generally of a dun-color, made always an agreeable
picture. The monotony was broken by lines of trees, by cape-like woods
stretching into the plain, and the horizon line was always fine. Great
variety of birds enlivened the landscape, game birds abounding. There
was the lively little nonpareil, which seems to change its color, and is
red and green and blue, I believe of the oriole family, the papabotte,
a favorite on New Orleans tables in the autumn, snipe, killdee, the
cherooke (snipe?), the meadow-lark, and quantities of teal ducks in the
ponds. These little ponds are called “bull-holes.” The traveller is told
that they are started in this watery soil by the pawing of bulls, and
gradually enlarged as the cattle frequent them. He remembers that he has
seen similar circular ponds in the North not made by bulls.

Mr. Jefferson’s residence—a pretty rose-vine-covered cottage—is situated
on the slope of the hill, overlooking a broad plain and a vast stretch
of bayou country. Along one side of his home enclosure for a mile runs
a superb hedge of Chickasaw roses. On the slope back of the house, and
almost embracing it, is a magnificent grove of live-oaks, great gray
stems, and the branches hung with heavy masses of moss, which swing in
the wind like the pendent boughs of the willow, and with something of
its sentimental and mournful suggestion. The recesses of this forest
are cool and dark, but upon ascending the hill, suddenly bursts upon the
view under the trees a most lovely lake of clear blue water. This lake,
which may be a mile long and half a mile broad, is called Lake Peigneur,
from its fanciful resemblance, I believe, to a wool-comber. The shores
are wooded. On the island side the bank is precipitous; on the opposite
shore amid the trees is a hunting-lodge, and I believe there are
plantations on the north end, but it is in aspect altogether solitary
and peaceful. But the island did not want life. The day was brilliant,
with a deep blue sky and high-sailing fleecy clouds, and it seemed a
sort of animal holiday: squirrels chattered; cardinal-birds flashed
through the green leaves; there flitted about the red-winged blackbird,
blue jays, redheaded woodpeckers, thrushes, and occasionally a rain-crow
crossed the scene; high overhead sailed the heavy buzzards, describing
great aerial circles; and off in the still lake the ugly heads of
alligators were toasting in the sun.

It was very pleasant to sit on the wooded point, enlivened by all this
animal activity, looking off upon the lake and the great expanse of
marsh, over which came a refreshing breeze. There was great variety of
forest-trees. Besides the live-oaks, in one small area I noticed the
water-oak, red-oak, pin-oak, the elm, the cypress, the hackberry, and
the pecan tree.

This point is a favorite rendezvous for the buzzards. Before I reached
it I heard a tremendous whirring in the air, and, lo! there upon the
oaks were hundreds and hundreds of buzzards. Upon one dead tree, vast,
gaunt, and bleached, they had settled in black masses. When I came near
they rose and flew about with clamor and surprise, momentarily
obscuring the sunlight. With these unpleasant birds consorted in unclean
fellowship numerous long-necked water-turkeys.

Doré would have liked to introduce into one of his melodramatic pictures
this helpless dead tree, extending its gray arms loaded with these black
scavengers. It needed the blue sky and blue lake to prevent the scene
from being altogether uncanny. I remember still the harsh, croaking
noise of the buzzards and the water-turkeys when they were disturbed,
and the flapping of their funereal wings, and perhaps the alligators
lying off in the lake noted it, for they grunted and bellowed a
response. But the birds sang merrily, the wind blew softly; there was
the repose as of a far country undisturbed by man, and a silvery tone on
the water and all the landscape that refined the whole.

If the Acadians can anywhere be seen in the prosperity of their
primitive simplicity, I fancy it is in the parish of Vermilion, in the
vicinity of Abbeville and on the Bayou Tigre. Here, among the intricate
bayous that are their highways and supply them with the poorer sort of
fish, and the fair meadows on which their cattle pasture, and where they
grow nearly everything their simple habits require, they have for over
a century enjoyed a quiet existence, practically undisturbed by the
agitations of modern life, ignorant of its progress. History makes their
departure from the comparatively bleak meadows of Grand Pré a cruel
hardship, if a political necessity. But they made a very fortunate
exchange. Nowhere else on the continent could they so well have
preserved their primitive habits, or found climate and soil so suited
to their humor. Others have exhaustively set forth the history and
idiosyncrasies of this peculiar people; it is in my way only to tell
what I saw on a spring day.

To reach the heart of this abode of contented and perhaps wise ignorance
we took boats early one morning at Petite Anse Island, while the dew was
still heavy and the birds were at matins, and rowed down the Petite
Anse Bayou. A stranger would surely be lost in these winding, branching,
interlacing streams. Evangeline and her lover might have passed each
other unknown within hail across these marshes. The party of a dozen
people occupied two row-boats. Among them were gentlemen who knew the
route, but the reserve of wisdom as to what bayous and cutoffs were
navigable was an ancient ex-slave, now a voter, who responded to
the name of “Honorable”—a weather-beaten and weather-wise darky, a
redoubtable fisherman, whose memory extended away beyond the war, and
played familiarly about the person of Lafayette, with whom he had been
on agreeable terms in Charleston, and who dated his narratives, to our
relief, not from the war, but from the year of some great sickness on
the coast. From the Petite Anse we entered the Carlin Bayou, and wound
through it is needless to say what others in our tortuous course. In
the fresh morning, with the salt air, it was a voyage of delight. Mullet
were jumping in the glassy stream, perhaps disturbed by the gar-fish,
and alligators lazily slid from the reedy banks into the water at our
approach. All the marsh was gay with flowers, vast patches of the blue
fleur-de-lis intermingled with the exquisite white spider-lily, nodding
in clusters on long stalks; an amaryllis (pancratium), its pure halfdisk
fringed with delicate white filaments. The air was vocal with the notes
of birds, the nonpareil and the meadow-lark, and most conspicuous of
all the handsome boat-tail grackle, a blackbird, which alighted on the
slender dead reeds that swayed with his weight as he poured forth his
song. Sometimes the bayou narrowed so that it was impossible to row
with the oars, and poling was resorted to, and the current was swift and
strong. At such passes we saw only the banks with nodding flowers,
and the reeds, with the blackbirds singing, against the sky. Again we
emerged into placid reaches overhung by gigantic live-oaks and fringed
with cypress. It was enchanting. But the way was not quite solitary.
Numerous fishing parties were encountered, boats on their way to the
bay, and now and then a party of stalwart men drawing a net in the
bayou, their clothes being deposited on the banks. Occasionally a large
schooner was seen, tied to the bank or slowly working its way, and on
one a whole family was domesticated. There is a good deal of queer life
hidden in these bayous.

After passing through a narrow artificial canal, we came into the Bayou
Tigre, and landed for breakfast on a greensward, with meadow-land and
signs of habitations in the distance, under spreading live-oaks. Under
one of the most attractive of these trees, close to the stream, we did
not spread our table-cloth and shawls, because a large moccason snake
was seen to glide under the roots, and we did not know but that his
modesty was assumed, and he might join the breakfast party. It is
said that these snakes never attack any one who has kept all the ten
commandments from his youth up. Cardinal-birds made the wood gay for us
while we breakfasted, and we might have added plenty of partridges to
our menu if we had been armed.

Resuming our voyage, we presently entered the inhabited part of
the bayou, among cultivated fields, and made our first call on the
Thibodeaux. They had been expecting us, and Andonia came down to the
landing to welcome us, and with a formal, pretty courtesy led the way to
the house. Does the reader happen to remember, say in New England, say
fifty years ago, the sweetest maiden lady in the village, prim, staid,
full of kindness, the proportions of the figure never quite developed,
with a row of small corkscrew curls about her serene forehead, and all
the juices of life that might have overflowed into the life of others
somehow withered into the sweetness of her wistful face? Yes; a little
timid and appealing, and yet trustful, and in a scant, quaint gown?
Well, Andonia was never married, and she had such curls, and a
high-waisted gown, and a kerchief folded across her breast; and when she
spoke, it was in the language of France as it is rendered in Acadia.

The house, like all in this region, stands upon blocks of wood, is in
appearance a frame house, but the walls between timbers are of concrete
mixed with moss, and the same inside as out. It had no glass in tin
windows, which were closed with solid shutters. Upon the rough walls
were hung sacred pictures and other crudely colored prints. The
furniture was rude and apparently home-made, and the whole interior was
as painfully neat as a Dutch parlor. Even the beams overhead and ceiling
had been scrubbed. Andonia showed us with a blush of pride her neat
little sleeping-room, with its souvenirs of affection, and perhaps some
of the dried flowers of a possible romance, and the ladies admired the
finely woven white counterpane on the bed. Andonia’s married sister was
a large, handsome woman, smiling and prosperous. There were children
and, I think, a baby about, besides Mr. Thibodeaux. Nothing could exceed
the kindly manner of these people. Andonia showed us how they card,
weave, and spin the cotton out of which then-blankets and the jean for
their clothing are made. They use the old-fashioned hand-cards, spin
on a little wheel with a foot-treadle, have the most primitive
warping-bars, and weave most laboriously on a rude loom. But the cloth
they make will wear forever, and the colors they use are all fast. It
is a great pleasure, we might almost say shock, to encounter such honest
work in these times. The Acadians grow a yellow or nankeen sort of
cotton which, without requiring any dye, is woven into a handsome yellow
stuff. When we departed Andonia slipped into the door-yard, and returned
with a rose for each of us. I fancied she was loath to have us go, and
that the visit was an event in the monotony of her single life.

Embarking again on the placid stream, we moved along through a land
of peace. The houses of the Acadians are scattered along the bayou at
considerable distances apart. The voyager seems to be in an unoccupied
country, when suddenly the turn of the stream shows him a farm-house,
with its little landing-wharf, boats, and perhaps a schooner moored at
the bank, and behind it cultivated fields and a fringe of trees. In
the blossoming time of the year, when the birds are most active, these
scenes are idyllic. At a bend in the bayou, where a tree sent its
horizontal trunk half across it, we made our next call, at the house
of Mr Vallet, a large frame house, and evidently the abode of a man of
means. The house was ceiled outside and inside with native woods. As
usual in this region, the premises were not as orderly as those about
some Northern farm-houses, but the interior of the house was spotlessly
clean, and in its polish and barrenness of ornament and of appliances
of comfort suggested a Brittany home, while its openness and the broad
veranda spoke of a genial climate. Our call here was brief, for a sick
man, very ill, they said, lay in the front room—a stranger who had been
overtaken with fever, and was being cared for by these kind-hearted
people.

Other calls were made—this visiting by boat recalls Venice—but the end
of our voyage was the plantation of Simonette Le Blanc, a sturdy old
man, a sort of patriarch in this region, the centre of a very large
family of sons, daughters, and grandchildren. The residence, a rambling
story-and-a-half house, grown by accretions as more room was needed,
calls for no comment. It was all very plain, and contained no books,
nor any adornments except some family photographs, the poor work of a
travelling artist. But in front, on the bayou, Mr. Le Blanc had erected
a grand ballroom, which gave an air of distinction to the place. This
hall, which had benches along the wail, and at one end a high dais for
the fiddlers, and a little counter where the gombo filé (the common
refreshment) is served, had an air of gayety by reason of engravings
cut from the illustrated papers, and was shown with some pride. Here
neighborhood dances take place once in two weeks, and a grand ball was
to come off on Easter-Sunday night, to which we were urgently invited to
come.

Simonette Le Blanc, with several of his sons, had returned at midnight
from an expedition to Vermilion Bay, where they had been camping for
a couple of weeks, fishing and taking oysters. Working the schooner
through the bayou at night had been fatiguing, and then there was
supper, and all the news of the fortnight to be talked over, so that it
was four o’clock before the house was at rest, but neither the hale old
man nor his stalwart sons seemed the worse for the adventure. Such trips
are not uncommon, for these people seem to have leisure for enjoyment,
and vary the toil of the plantation with the pleasures of fishing
and lazy navigation. But to the women and the home-stayers this was
evidently an event. The men had been to the outer world, and brought
back with them the gossip of the bayous and the simple incidents of the
camping life on the coast. “There was a great deal to talk over that had
happened in a fortnight,” said Simonette—he and one of his sons spoke
English. I do not imagine that the talk was about politics, or any of
the events that seem important in other portions of the United States,
only the faintest echoes of which ever reach this secluded place. This
is a purely domestic and patriarchal community, where there are no books
to bring in agitating doubts, and few newspapers to disquiet the nerves.
The only matter of politics broached was in regard to an appropriation
by Congress to improve a cut-off between two bayous. So far as I could
learn, the most intelligent of these people had no other interest in
or concern about the Government. There is a neighborhood school where
English is taught, but no church nearer than Abbeville, six miles away.
I should not describe the population as fanatically religious, nor
a churchgoing one except on special clays. But by all accounts it is
moral, orderly, sociable, fond of dancing, thrifty, and conservative.

The Acadians are fond of their homes. It is not the fashion for the
young people to go away to better their condition. Few young men have
ever been as far from home as New Orleans; they marry young, and settle
down near the homestead. Mr. Le Blanc has a colony of his descendants
about him, within hail from his door. It must be large, and his race
must be prolific, judging by the number of small children who gathered
at the homestead to have a sly peep at the strangers. They took
small interest in the war, and it had few attractions for them. The
conscription carried away many of their young men, but I am told they
did not make very good soldiers, not because they were not stalwart and
brave, but because they were so intolerably homesick that they deserted
whenever they had a chance. The men whom we saw were most of them fine
athletic fellows, with honest, dark, sun-browned faces; some of the
children were very pretty, but the women usually showed the effects of
isolation and toil, and had the common plainness of French peasants.
They are a self-supporting community, raise their own cotton, corn, and
sugar, and for the most part manufacture their own clothes and
articles of household use. Some of the cotton jeans, striped with blue,
indigo-dyed, made into garments for men and women, and the blankets,
plain yellow (from the native nankeen cotton), curiously clouded, are
very pretty and serviceable. Further than that their habits of living
are simple, and their ways primitive, I saw few eccentricities. The
peculiarity of this community is in its freedom from all the hurry and
worry and information of our modern life. I have read that the gallants
train their little horses to prance and curvet and rear and fidget
about, and that these are called “courtin’ horses,” and are used when
a young man goes courting, to impress his mistress with his manly
horsemanship. I have seen these horses perform under the saddle, but I
was not so fortunate as to see any courting going on.

In their given as well as their family names these people are classical
and peculiar. I heard, of men, the names L’Odias, Peigneur, Niolas,
Elias, Homère, Lemaire, and of women, Emilite, Ségoura, Antoinette,
Clarise, Elia.

We were very hospitably entertained by the Le Blancs. On our arrival
tiny cups of black coffee were handed round, and later a drink of
syrup and water, which some of the party sipped with a sickly smile of
enjoyment. Before dinner we walked up to the bridge over the bayou
on the road leading to Abbeville, where there is a little cluster of
houses, a small country store, and a closed drug-shop—the owner of which
had put up his shutters and gone to a more unhealthy region. Here is a
fine grove of oaks, and from the bridge we had in view a grand sweep of
prairie, with trees, single and in masses, which made with the winding
silvery stream a very pleasing picture. We sat down to a dinner—the
women waiting on the table—of gombo file, fried oysters, eggs,
sweet-potatoes (the delicious saccharine, sticky sort), with syrup out
of a bottle served in little saucers, and afterwards black coffee. We
were sincerely welcome to whatever the house contained, and when we
departed the whole family, and indeed all the neighborhood, accompanied
us to our boats, and we went away down the stream with a chorus of
adieus and good wishes.

We were watching for a hail from the Thibodeaux. The doors and shutters
were closed, and the mansion seemed blank and forgetful. But as we
came opposite the landing, there stood Andonia, faithful, waving her
handkerchief. Ah me!

We went home gayly and more swiftly, current and tide with us, though a
little pensive, perhaps, with too much pleasure and the sunset effects
on the wide marshes through which we voyaged. Cattle wander at will
over these marshes, and are often stalled and lost. We saw some pitiful
sights. The cattle venturing too near the boggy edge to drink become
inextricably involved. We passed an ox sunken to his back, and dead; a
cow frantically struggling in the mire, almost exhausted, and a cow and
calf, the mother dead, the calf moaning beside her. On a cattle lookout
near by sat three black buzzards surveying the prospect with hungry
eyes.

When we landed and climbed the hill, and from the rose-embowered veranda
looked back over the strange land we had sailed through, away to Bayou
Tigre, where the red sun was setting, we felt that we had been in a
country that is not of this world.



VI.—THE SOUTH REVISITED, IN 1887.

In speaking again of the South in Harper’s Monthly, after an interval of
about two years, and as before at the request of the editor, I said,
I shrink a good deal from the appearance of forwardness which a second
paper may seem to give to observations which have the single purpose of
contributing my mite towards making the present spirit of the
Southern people, their progress in industries and in education, their
aspirations, better known. On the other hand, I have no desire to escape
the imputation of a warm interest in the South, and of a belief that its
development and prosperity are essential to the greatness and glory of
the nation. Indeed, no one can go through the South, with his eyes open,
without having his patriotic fervor quickened and broadened, and without
increased pride in the republic.

We are one people. Different traditions, different education or the lack
of it, the demoralizing curse of slavery, different prejudices, made
us look at life from irreconcilable points of view; but the prominent
common feature, after all, is our Americanism. In any assembly of
gentlemen from the two sections the resemblances are greater than the
differences. A score of times I have heard it said, “We look alike, talk
alike, feel alike; how strange it is we should have fought!” Personal
contact always tends to remove prejudices, and to bring into prominence
the national feeling, the race feeling, the human nature common to all
of us.

I wish to give as succinctly as I can the general impressions of a
recent six weeks’ tour, made by a company of artists and writers, which
became known as the “Harper party,” through a considerable portion
of the South, including the cities of Lynchburg, Richmond, Danville,
Atlanta, Augusta (with a brief call at Charleston and Columbia, for
it was not intended to take in the eastern seaboard on this trip),
Knoxville, Chattanooga, South Pittsburg, Nashville, Birmingham,
Montgomery, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Vicksburg,
Memphis, Louisville. Points of great interest were necessarily omitted
in a tour which could only include representatives of the industrial and
educational development of the New South. Naturally we were thrown more
with business men and with educators than with others; that is, with
those who are actually making the New South; but we saw something of
social life, something of the homes and mode of living of every class,
and we had abundant opportunities of conversation with whites and blacks
of every social grade and political affinity. The Southern people
were anxious to show us what they were doing, and they expressed their
sentiments with entire frankness; if we were misled, it is our own
fault. It must be noted, however, in estimating the value of our
observations, that they were mainly made in cities and large villages,
and little in the country districts.

Inquiries in the South as to the feeling of the North show that there
is still left some misapprehension of the spirit in which the North sent
out its armies, though it is beginning to be widely understood that the
North was not animated by hatred of the South, but by intense love of
the Union. On the other hand, I have no doubt there still lingers in the
North a little misapprehension of the present feeling of the Southern
people about the Union. It arises from a confusion of two facts which it
is best to speak of plainly. Everybody knows that the South is heartily
glad that slavery is gone, and that a new era of freedom has set in.
Everybody who knows the South at all is aware that any idea of any
renewal of the strife, now or at any time, is nowhere entertained, even
as a speculation, and that to the women especially, who are said to
be first in war, last in peace, and first in the hearts of their
countrymen, the idea of war is a subject of utter loathing. The two
facts to which I refer are the loyalty of the Southern whites to the
Union, and their determination to rule in domestic affairs. Naturally
there are here and there soreness and some bitterness over personal loss
and ruin, life-long grief, maybe, over lost illusions—the observer
who remembers what human nature is wonders that so little of this is
left—but the great fact is that the South is politically loyal to the
Union of the States, that the sentiment for its symbol is growing into a
deep reality which would flame out in passion under any foreign insult,
and that nationality, pride in the republic, is everywhere strong
and prominent. It is hardly necessary to say this, but it needs to be
emphasized when the other fact is dwelt on, namely, the denial of free
suffrage to the colored man. These two things are confused, and this
confusion is the source of much political misunderstanding. Often when
a Southern election “outrage” is telegraphed, when intimidation or fraud
is revealed, it is said in print, “So that is Southern loyalty!” In
short, the political treatment of the negro is taken to be a sign of
surviving war feeling, if not of a renewed purpose of rebellion. In this
year of grace 1887 the two things have no isolation to each other. It
would be as true to say that election frauds and violence to individuals
and on the ballot-box in Cincinnati are signs of hatred of the Union and
of Union men, as that a suppressed negro vote at the South, by adroit
management or otherwise, is indication of remaining hostility to the
Union. In the South it is sometimes due to the same depraved party
spirit that causes frauds in the North—the determination of a party to
get or keep the upper-hand at all hazards; but it is, in its origin and
generally, simply the result of the resolution of the majority of the
brains and property of the South to govern the cities and the States,
and in the Southern mind this is perfectly consistent with entire
allegiance to the Government. I could name men who were abettors of
what is called the “shotgun policy” whose national patriotism is
beyond question, and who are warm promoters of negro education and the
improvement of the condition of the colored people.

We might as well go to the bottom of this state of things, and look it
squarely in the face. Under reconstruction, sometimes owing to a
tardy acceptance of the new conditions by the ruling class, the State
governments and the municipalities fell under the control of ignorant
colored people, guided by unscrupulous white adventurers. States and
cities were prostrate under the heel of ignorance and fraud, crushed
with taxes, and no improvements to show for them. It was ruin on the way
to universal bankruptcy. The regaining of power by the intelligent and
the property owners was a question of civilization. The situation was
intolerable. There is no Northern community that would have submitted
to it; if it could not have been changed by legal process, it would have
been upset by revolution, as it was at the South. Recognizing as we
must the existence of race prejudice and pride, it was nevertheless a
struggle for existence. The methods resorted to were often violent, and
being sweeping, carried injustice. To be a Republican, in the eyes of
those smarting under carpet-bag government and the rule of the ignorant
lately enfranchised, was to be identified with the detested carpetbag
government and with negro rule. The Southern Unionist and the Northern
emigrant, who justly regarded the name Republican as the proudest they
could bear, identified as it was with the preservation of the Union and
the national credit, could not show their Republican principles at the
polls without personal danger in the country and social ostracism in
the cities. Social ostracism on account of politics even outran social
ostracism on account of participation in the education of the negroes.
The very men who would say, “I respect a man who fought for the Union
more than a Northern Copperhead, and if I had lived North, no doubt I
should have gone with my section,” would at the same time say, or think,
“But you cannot be a Republican down here now, for to be that is to
identify yourself with the party here that is hostile to everything in
life that is dear to us.” This feeling was intensified by the memories
of the war, but it was in a measure distinct from the war feeling,
and it lived on when the latter grew weak, and it still survives in
communities perfectly loyal to the Union, glad that slavery is ended,
and sincerely desirous of the establishment and improvement of public
education for colored and white alike.

Any tampering with the freedom of the ballot-box in a republic, no
matter what the provocation, is dangerous; the methods used to regain
white ascendancy were speedily adopted for purely party purposes and
factional purposes; the chicanery, even the violence, employed to render
powerless the negro and “carpetbag” vote were freely used by partisans
in local elections against each other, and in time became means of
preserving party and ring ascendancy. Thoughtful men South as well as
North recognize the vital danger to popular government if voting and the
ballot-box are not sacredly protected. In a recent election in Texas, in
a district where, I am told, the majority of the inhabitants are white,
and the majority of the whites are Republicans, and the majority of
the colored voters voted the Republican ticket, and greatly the larger
proportion of the wealth and business of the district are in Republican
hands, there was an election row; ballot-boxes were destroyed in several
precincts, persons killed on both sides, and leading Republicans driven
out of the State. This is barbarism. If the case is substantiated as
stated, that in the district it was not a question of race ascendancy,
but of party ascendancy, no fair-minded man in the Sooth can do
otherwise than condemn it, for under such conditions not only is a
republican form of government impossible, but development and prosperity
are impossible.

For this reason, and because separation of voters on class lines is
always a peril, it is my decided impression that throughout the South,
though not by everybody, a breaking up of the solidarity of the South
would be welcome; that is to say, a breaking up of both the negro and
the white vote, and the reforming upon lines of national and economic
policy, as in the old days of Whig and Democrat, and liberty of free
action in all local affairs, without regard to color or previous party
relations. There are politicians who would preserve a solid South, or
as a counterpart a solid North, for party purposes. But the sense of the
country, the perception of business men North and South, is that this
condition of politics interferes with the free play of industrial
development, with emigration, investment of capital, and with that
untrammelled agitation and movement in society which are the life of
prosperous States.

Let us come a little closer to the subject, dealing altogether with
facts, and not with opinions. The Republicans of the North protest
against the injustice of an increased power in the Lower House and in
the Electoral College based upon a vote which is not represented. It is
a valid protest in law; there is no answer to it. What is the reply to
it? The substance of hundreds of replies to it is that “we dare not
let go so long as the negroes all vote together, regardless of local
considerations or any economic problems whatever; we are in danger of a
return to a rule of ignorance that was intolerable, and as long as you
wave the bloody shirt at the North, which means to us a return to that
rule, the South will be solid.” The remark made by one man of political
prominence was perhaps typical: “The waving of the bloody shirt suits me
exactly as a political game; we should have hard work to keep our State
Democratic if you did not wave it.” So the case stands. The Republican
party will always insist on freedom, not only of political opinion, but
of action, in every part of the Union; and the South will keep “solid”
so long as it fears, or so long as politicians can persuade it to fear,
the return of the late disastrous domination. And recognizing this fact,
and speaking in the interest of no party, but only in that of better
understanding and of the prosperity of the whole country, I cannot doubt
that the way out of most of our complications is in letting the past
drop absolutely, and addressing ourselves with sympathy and good-will
all around to the great economical problems and national issues. And I
believe that in this way also lies the speediest and most permanent good
to the colored as well as the white population of the South.

There has been a great change in the aspect of the South and in its
sentiment within two years; or perhaps it would be more correct to say
that the change maturing for fifteen years is more apparent in a period
of comparative rest from race or sectional agitation. The educational
development is not more marvellous than the industrial, and both are
unparalleled in history. Let us begin by an illustration.

I stood one day before an assembly of four hundred pupils of a
colored college—called a college, but with a necessary preparatory
department—children and well-grown young women and men. The buildings
are fine, spacious, not inferior to the best modern educational
buildings either in architectural appearance or in interior furnishing,
with scientific apparatus, a library, the appliances approved by recent
experience in teaching, with admirable methods and discipline, and an
accomplished corps of instructors. The scholars were neat, orderly,
intelligent in appearance. As I stood for a moment or two looking at
their bright expectant faces the profound significance of the spectacle
and the situation came over me, and I said: “I wonder if you know what
you are doing, if you realize what this means. Here you are in a school
the equal of any of its grade in the land, with better methods of
instruction than prevailed anywhere when I was a boy, with the gates of
all knowledge opened as freely to you as to any youth in the land—here,
in this State, where only about twenty years ago it was a misdemeanor,
punishable with fine and imprisonment, to teach a colored person to read
and write. And I am brought here to see this fine school, as one of the
best things he can show me in the city, by a Confederate colonel. Not in
all history is there any instance of a change like this in a quarter
of a century: no, not in one nor in two hundred years. It seems
incredible.”

This is one of the schools instituted and sustained by Northern friends
of the South; but while it exhibits the capacity of the colored people
for education, it is not so significant in the view we are now taking
of the New South as the public schools. Indeed, next to the amazing
industrial change in the South, nothing is so striking as the interest
and progress in the matter of public schools. In all the cities we
visited the people were enthusiastic about their common schools. It was
a common remark, “I suppose we have one of the best school systems in
the country.” There is a wholesome rivalry to have the best. We found
everywhere the graded system and the newest methods of teaching in
vogue. In many of the primary rooms in both white and colored schools,
when I asked if these little children knew the alphabet when they came
to school, the reply was, “Not generally we prefer they should not;
we use the new method of teaching words.” In many schools the youngest
pupils were taught to read music by sight, and to understand its
notation by exercises on the blackboard. In the higher classes
generally, the instruction in arithmetic, in reading, In geography, in
history, and in literature was wholly in the modern method. In some of
the geography classes and in the language classes I was reminded of the
drill in the German schools. In all the cities, as far as I could learn,
the public money was equally distributed to the colored and to the white
schools, and the number of schools bore a just proportion to the number
of the two races. When the town was equally divided in population, the
number of pupils in the colored schools was about the same as the number
in the white schools. There was this exception: though provision was
made for a high-school to terminate the graded for both colors, the
number in the colored high-school department was usually very small;
and the reason given by colored and white teachers was that the colored
children had not yet worked up to it. The colored people prefer teachers
of their own race, and they are quite generally employed; but many of
the colored schools have white teachers, and generally, I think, with
better results, although I saw many thoroughly good colored teachers,
and one or two colored classes under them that compared favorably with
any white classes of the same grade.

The great fact, however, is that the common-school system has become
a part of Southern life, is everywhere accepted as a necessity, and
usually money is freely voted to sustain it. But practically, as an
efficient factor in civilization, the system is yet undeveloped in the
country districts. I can only speak from personal observation of the
cities, but the universal testimony was that the common schools in the
country for both whites and blacks are poor. Three months’ schooling in
the year is about the rule, and that of a slack and inferior sort, under
incompetent teachers. In some places the colored people complain that
ignorant teachers are put over them, who are chosen simply on political
considerations. More than one respectable colored man told me that he
would not send his children to such schools, but combined with a few
others to get them private instruction. The colored people are more
dependent on public schools than the whites, for while there are vast
masses of colored people in city and country who have neither the money
nor the disposition to sustain schools, in all the large places the
whites are able to have excellent private schools, and do have them.
Scarcely anywhere can the colored people as yet have a private school
without white aid from somewhere. At the present rate of progress,
and even of the increase of tax-paying ability, it must be a long time
before the ignorant masses, white and black, in the country districts,
scattered over a wide area, can have public schools at all efficient.
The necessity is great. The danger to the State of ignorance is more and
more apprehended; and it is upon this that many of the best men of
the South base their urgent appeal for temporary aid from the Federal
Government for public schools. It is seen that a State cannot soundly
prosper unless its laborers are to some degree intelligent. This opinion
is shown in little things. One of the great planters of the Yazoo Delta
told me that he used to have no end of trouble in settling with his
hands. But now that numbers of them can read and cipher, and explain the
accounts to the others, lie never has the least trouble.

One cannot speak too highly of the private schools in the South,
especially of those for young women. I do not know what they were before
the war, probably mainly devoted to “accomplishments,” as most of girls’
schools in the North were. Now most of them are wider in range, thorough
in discipline, excellent in all the modern methods. Some of them, under
accomplished women, are entirely in line with the best in the country.
Before leaving this general subject of education, it is necessary to
say that the advisability of industrial training, as supplementary to
book-learning, is growing in favor, and that in some colored schools it
is tried with good results.

When we come to the New Industrial South the change is marvellous, and
so vast and various that I scarcely know where to begin in a short
paper that cannot go much into details. Instead of a South devoted
to agriculture and politics, we find a South wide awake to business,
excited and even astonished at the development of its own immense
resources in metals, marbles, coal, timber, fertilizers, eagerly laying
lines of communication, rapidly opening mines, building furnaces,
founderies, and all sorts of shops for utilizing the native riches. It
is like the discovery of a new world. When the Northerner finds great
founderies in Virginia using only (with slight exceptions) the products
of Virginia iron and coal mines; when he finds Alabama and Tennessee
making iron so good and so cheap that it finds ready market in
Pennsylvania, and founderies multiplying near the great furnaces for
supplying Northern markets; when he finds cotton-mills running to full
capacity on grades of cheap cottons universally in demand throughout the
South and South-west; when he finds small industries, such as paper-box
factories and wooden bucket and tub factories, sending all they can make
into the North and widely over the West; when he sees the loads of most
beautiful marbles shipped North; when he learns that some of the largest
and most important engines and mill machinery were made in Southern
shops; when he finds in Richmond a “pole locomotive,” made to run on
logs laid end to end, and drag out from Michigan forests and Southern
swamps lumber hitherto inaccessible; when he sees worn-out highlands
in Georgia and Carolina bear more cotton than ever before by help of a
fertilizer the base of which is the cotton-seed itself (worth more as
a fertilizer than it was before the oil was extracted from it); when
he sees a multitude of small shops giving employment to men, women, and
children who never had any work of that sort to do before; and when he
sees Roanoke iron cast in Richmond into car-irons, and returned to a
car-factory in Roanoke which last year sold three hundred cars to the
New York and New England Railroad—he begins to open his eyes. The South
is manufacturing a great variety of things needed in the house, on the
farm, and in the shops, for home consumption, and already sends to the
North and West several manufactured products. With iron, coal, timber
contiguous and easily obtained, the amount sent out is certain to
increase as the labor becomes more skilful. The most striking industrial
development today is in iron, coal, lumber, and marbles; the more
encouraging for the self-sustaining life of the Southern people is the
multiplication of small industries in nearly every city I visited.

When I have been asked what impressed me most in this hasty tour, I have
always said that the most notable thing was that everybody was at work.
In many cities this was literally true: every man, woman, and child
was actively employed, and in most there were fewer idlers than in many
Northern towns. There are, of course, slow places, antiquated methods,
easy-going ways, a-hundred-years-behind-the-time makeshifts, but the
spirit in all the centres, and leavening the whole country, is work.
Perhaps the greatest revolution of all in Southern sentiment is in
regard to the dignity of labor. Labor is honorable, made so by the
example of the best in the land. There are, no doubt, fossils or
Bourbons, sitting in the midst of the ruins of their estates, martyrs
to an ancient pride; but usually the leaders in business and enterprise
bear names well known in politics and society. The nonsense that it is
beneath the dignity of any man or woman to work for a living is pretty
much eliminated from the Southern mind. It still remains true that the
Anglo-Saxon type is prevalent in the South; but in all the cities the
business sign-boards show that the enterprising Hebrew is increasingly
prominent as merchant and trader, and he is becoming a plantation owner
as well.

It cannot be too strongly impressed upon the public mind that the South,
to use a comprehensible phrase, “has joined the procession.” Its mind is
turned to the development of its resources, to business, to enterprise,
to education, to economic problems; it is marching with the North in the
same purpose of wealth by industry. It is true that the railways,
mines, and furnaces could not have been without enormous investments of
Northern capital, but I was continually surprised to find so many and
important local industries the result solely of home capital, made and
saved since the war.

In this industrial change, in the growth of manufactures, the Southern
people are necessarily divided on the national economic problems.
Speaking of it purely from the side of political economy and not of
politics, great sections of the South—whole States, in fact—are becoming
more in favor of “protection” every day. All theories aside, whenever
a man begins to work up the raw material at hand into manufactured
articles for the market, he thinks that the revenue should be so
adjusted as to help and not to hinder him.

Underlying everything else is the negro problem. It is the most
difficult ever given to a people to solve.

It must, under our Constitution, be left to the States concerned, and
there is a general hopefulness that time and patience will solve it to
the advantage of both races. The negro is generally regarded as the
best laborer in the world, and there is generally goodwill towards him,
desire that he shall be educated and become thrifty. The negro has more
confidence now than formerly in the white man, and he will go to him for
aid and advice in everything except politics. Again and again colored
men said to me, “If anybody tells you that any considerable number of
colored men are Democrats, don’t you believe him; it is not so.” The
philanthropist who goes South will find many things to encourage
him, but if he knows the colored people thoroughly, he will lose many
illusions. But to speak of things hopeful, the progress in education, in
industry, in ability to earn money, is extraordinary—much greater than
ought to have been expected in twenty years even by their most sanguine
friends, and it is greater now than at any other period. They are
generally well paid, according to the class of work they do. Usually I
found the same wages for the same class of work as whites received. I
cannot say how this is in remote country districts. The treatment of
laborers depends, I have no doubt, as elsewhere, upon the nature of the
employer. In some districts I heard that the negroes never got out of
debt, never could lay up anything, and were in a very bad condition. But
on some plantations certainly, and generally in the cities, there is an
improvement in thrift shown in the ownership of bits of land and houses,
and in the possession of neat and pretty homes. As to morals, the gain
is slower, but it is discernible, and exhibited in a growing public
opinion against immorality and lax family relations. He is no friend to
the colored people who blinks this subject, and does not plainly say
to them that their position as citizens in the enjoyment of all civil
rights depends quite as much upon their personal virtue and their
acquiring habits of thrift as it does upon school privileges.

I had many interesting talks with representative colored men in
different sections. While it is undoubtedly true that more are
indifferent to politics than formerly, owing to causes already named and
to the unfulfilled promises of wheedling politicians, it would be untrue
to say that there is not great soreness over the present situation.
At Nashville I had an interview with eight or ten of the best colored
citizens, men of all shades of color. One of them was a trusted clerk in
the post-office; another was a mail agent, who had saved money, and
made more by an investment in Birmingham; another was a lawyer of good
practice in the courts, a man of decided refinement and cultivation;
another was at the head of one of the leading transportation lines in
the city, and another had the largest provision establishment in town,
and both were men of considerable property; and another, a slave when
the war ended, was a large furniture dealer, and reputed worth a hundred
thousand dollars. They were all solid, sensible business men, and all
respected as citizens. They talked most intelligently of politics, and
freely about social conditions. In regard to voting in Tennessee
there was little to complain of; but in regard to Mississippi, as an
illustration, it was an outrage that the dominant party had increased
power in Congress and in the election of President, while the colored
Republican vote did not count. What could they do? Some said that
probably nothing could be done; time must be left to cure the wrong.
Others wanted the Federal Government to interfere, at least to the
extent of making a test case on some member of Congress that his
election was illegal. They did not think that need excite anew any race
prejudice. As to exciting race and sectional agitation, we discussed
this question: whether the present marvellous improvement of the colored
people, with general good-will, or at least a truce everywhere, would
not be hindered by anything like a race or class agitation; that is to
say, whether under the present conditions of education and thrift the
colored people (whatever injustice they felt) were not going on faster
towards the realization of all they wanted than would be possible under
any circumstances of adverse agitation. As a matter of policy most of
them assented to this. I put this question: “In the first reconstruction
days, how many colored men were there in the State of Mississippi fitted
either by knowledge of letters, law, political economy, history, or
politics to make laws for the State?” Very few. Well then, it was
unfortunate that they should have attempted it. There are more to-day,
and with education and the accumulation of property the number will
constantly increase. In a republic, power usually goes with intelligence
and property.

Finally I asked this intelligent company, every man of which stood upon
his own ability in perfect self-respect, “What do you want here in the
way of civil rights that you have not?” The reply from one was that he
got the respect of the whites just as he was able to command it by his
ability and by making money, and, with a touch of a sense of injustice,
he said he had ceased to expect that the colored race would get it in
any other way. Another reply was—and this was evidently the deep feeling
of all: “We want to be treated like men, like anybody else, regardless
of color. We don’t mean by this social equality at all; that is a matter
that regulates itself among whites and colored people everywhere. We
want the public conveyances open to us according to the fare we pay;
we want privilege to go to hotels and to theatres, operas and places of
amusement. We wish you could see our families and the way we live; you
would then understand that we cannot go to the places assigned us in
concerts and theatres without loss of self-respect.” I might have said,
but I did not, that the question raised by this last observation is not
a local one, but as wide as the world.

If I tried to put in a single sentence the most widespread and active
sentiment in the South to-day, it would be this: The past is put behind
us; we are one with the North in business and national ambition: we want
a sympathetic recognition of this fact.



VII.—A FAR AND FAIR COUNTRY.

Lewis and Clarke, sent out by Mr. Jefferson in 1804 to discover the
North-west by the route of the Missouri River, left the town of St.
Charles early in the spring, sailed and poled and dragged their boats up
the swift, turbulent, and treacherous stream all summer, wintered with
the Mandan Indians, and reached the Great Falls of the Missouri in about
a year and a quarter from the beginning of their voyage. Now, when we
wish to rediscover this interesting country, which is still virgin land,
we lay down a railway-track in the spring and summer, and go over there
in the autumn in a palace-car—a much more expeditious and comfortable
mode of exploration.

In beginning a series of observations and comments upon Western life it
is proper to say that the reader is not to expect exhaustive statistical
statements of growth or development, nor descriptions, except such as
will illustrate the point of view taken of the making of the Great West.
Materialism is the most obtrusive feature of a cursory observation, but
it does not interest one so much as the forces that underlie it, the
enterprise and the joyousness of conquest and achievement that it stands
for, or the finer processes evolved in the marvellous building up of new
societies. What is the spirit, what is the civilization of the West? I
have not the presumption to expect to answer these large questions to
any one’s satisfaction—least of all to my own—but if I may be permitted
to talk about them familiarly, in the manner that one speaks to his
friends of what interested him most in a journey, and with flexibility
in passing from one topic to another, I shall hope to contribute
something to a better understanding between the territories of a vast
empire. How vast this republic is, no one can at all appreciate who does
not actually travel over its wide areas. To many of us the West is still
the West of the geographies of thirty years ago; it is the simple
truth to say that comparatively few Eastern people have any adequate
conception of what lies west of Chicago and St. Louis: perhaps a hazy
geographical notion of it, but not the faintest idea of its civilization
and society. Now, a good understanding of each other between the great
sections of the republic is politically of the first importance. We
shall hang together as a nation; blood, relationship, steel rails,
navigable waters, trade, absence of natural boundaries, settle that. We
shall pull and push and grumble, we shall vituperate each other, parties
will continue to make capital out of sectional prejudice, and wantonly
inflame it (what a pitiful sort of “politics” that is!), but we shall
stick together like wax. Still, anything like smooth working of our
political machine depends upon good understanding between sections. And
the remark applies to East and West as well as to North and South. It is
a common remark at the West that “Eastern people know nothing about
us; they think us half civilized and there is mingled with slight
irritability at this ignorance a waxing feeling of superiority over
the East in force and power.” One would not say that repose as yet goes
along with this sense of great capacity and great achievement; indeed,
it is inevitable that in a condition of development and of quick growth
unparalleled in the history of the world there should be abundant
self-assertion and even monumental boastfulness.

When the Western man goes East he carries the consciousness of playing
a great part in the making of an empire; his horizon is large; but
he finds himself surrounded by an atmosphere of indifference or
non-comprehension of the prodigiousness of his country, of incredulity
as to the refinement and luxury of his civilization; and self-assertion
is his natural defence. This longitudinal incredulity and swagger is
a curious phenomenon. London thinks New York puts on airs, New York
complains of Chicago’s want of modesty, Chicago can see that Kansas City
and Omaha are aggressively boastful, and these cities acknowledge the
expansive self-appreciation of Denver and Helena.

Does going West work a radical difference in a man’s character? Hardly.
We are all cut out of the same piece of cloth. The Western man is the
Eastern or the Southern man let loose, with his leading-strings cut. But
the change of situation creates immense diversity in interests and in
spirit. One has but to take up any of the great newspapers, say in St.
Paul or Minneapolis, to be aware that he is in another world of ideas,
of news, of interests. The topics that most interest the East he does
not find there, nor much of its news. Persons of whom he reads daily
in the East drop out of sight, and other persons, magnates in politics,
packing, railways, loom up. It takes columns to tell the daily history
of places which have heretofore only caught the attention of the Eastern
reader for freaks of the thermometer, and he has an opportunity to
read daily pages about Dakota, concerning which a weekly paragraph has
formerly satisfied his curiosity. Before he can be absorbed in these
lively and intelligent newspapers he must change the whole current of
his thoughts, and take up other subjects, persons, and places than those
that have occupied his mind. He is in a new world.

One of the most striking facts in the West is State pride, attachment
to the State, the profound belief of every citizen that his State is the
best. Engendered perhaps at first by a permanent investment and the spur
of self-interest, it speedily becomes a passion, as strong in the newest
State as it is in any one of the original thirteen. Rivalry between
cities is sharp, and civic pride is excessive, but both are outdone by
the larger devotion to the commonwealth. And this pride is developed in
the inhabitants of a Territory as soon as it is organized. Montana has
condensed the ordinary achievements of a century into twenty years, and
loyalty to its present and expectation of its future are as strong in
its citizens as is the attachment of men of Massachusetts to the State
of nearly three centuries of growth. In Nebraska I was pleased with the
talk of a clergyman who had just returned from three months’ travel in
Europe. He was full of his novel experiences; he had greatly enjoyed
the trip; but he was glad to get back to Nebraska and its full, vigorous
life. In England and on the Continent he had seen much to interest him;
but he could not help comparing Europe with Nebraska; and as for
him, this was the substance of it: give him Nebraska every time. What
astonished him most, and wounded his feelings (and there was a note of
pathos in his statement of it), was the general foreign ignorance abroad
about Nebraska—the utter failure in the European mind to take it in.
I felt guilty, for to me it had been little more than a geographical
expression, and I presume the Continent did not know whether Nebraska
was a new kind of patent medicine or a new sort of religion. To
the clergymen this ignorance of the central, richest,
about-to-be-the-most-important of States, was simply incredible.

This feeling is not only admirable in itself, but it has an incalculable
political value, especially in the West, where there is a little haze as
to the limitations of Federal power, and a notion that the Constitution
was swaddling-clothes for an infant, which manly limbs may need to
kick off. Healthy and even assertive State pride is the only possible
counterbalance in our system against that centralization which tends to
corruption in the centre and weakness and discontent in the individual
members.

It should be added that the West, speaking of it generally, is defiantly
“American.” It wants a more vigorous and assertive foreign policy.
Conscious of its power, the growing pains in the limbs of the young
giant will not let it rest. That this is the most magnificent country,
that we have the only government beyond criticism, that our civilization
is far and away the best, does not admit of doubt. It is refreshing to
see men who believe in something heartily and with-out reserve, even if
it is only in themselves. There is a tonic in this challenge of all
time and history. A certain attitude of American assertion towards other
powers is desired. For want of this our late representatives to Great
Britain are said to be un-American; “political dudes” is what the
Governor of Iowa calls them. It is his indictment against the present
Minister to St. James that “he is numerous in his visits to the castles
of English noblemen, and profuse in his obsequiousness to British
aristocrats.” And perhaps the Governor speaks for a majority of Western
voters and fighters when he says that “timidity has characterized our
State Department for the last twenty years.”

By chance I begin these Western studies with the North-west. Passing by
for the present the intelligent and progressive State of Wisconsin,
we will consider Minnesota and the vast region at present more or less
tributary to it. It is necessary to remember that the State was admitted
to the Union in 1858, and that its extraordinary industrial development
dates from the building of the first railway in its limits—ten miles
from St. Paul to St. Anthony—in 1862. For this road the first stake was
driven and the first shovelful of earth lifted by a citizen of St. Paul
who has lived to see his State gridironed with railways, and whose firm
constructed in 1887 over eleven hundred miles of railroad.

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the familiar facts that Minnesota is a
great wheat State, and that it is intersected by railways that stimulate
the enormous yield and market it with facility. The discovery that
the State, especially the Red River Valley, and Dakota and the country
beyond, were peculiarly adapted to the production of hard spring-wheat,
which is the most desirable for flour, probably gave this vast region
its first immense advantage. Minnesota, a prairie country, rolling, but
with no important hills, well watered, well grassed, with a repellent
reputation for severe winters, not well adapted to corn, nor friendly
to most fruits, attracted nevertheless hardy and adventurous people,
and proved specially inviting to the Scandinavians, who are tough and
industrious. It would grow wheat without end. And wheat is the easiest
crop to raise, and returns the greatest income for the least labor. In
good seasons and with good prices it is a mine of wealth. But Minnesota
had to learn that one industry does not suffice to make a State, and
that wheat-raising alone is not only unreliable, but exhaustive. The
grasshopper scourge was no doubt a blessing in disguise. It helped to
turn the attention of farmers to cattle and sheep, and to more varied
agriculture. I shall have more to say about this in connection with
certain most interesting movements in Wisconsin.

The notion has prevailed that the North-west was being absorbed by
owners of immense tracts of land, great capitalists who by the aid of
machinery were monopolizing the production of wheat, and crowding out
small farmers. There are still vast wheat farms under one control, but
I am happy to believe that the danger of this great land monopoly has
reached its height, and the tendency is the other way. Small farms are
on the increase, practising a more varied agriculture. The reason is
this: A plantation of 5000 or 15,000 acres, with a good season, freedom
from blight and insects, will enrich the owner if prices are good; but
one poor crop, with low prices, will bankrupt him. Whereas the small
farmer can get a living under the most adverse circumstances, and taking
one year with another, accumulate something, especially if he varies
his products and feeds them to stock, thus returning the richness of his
farm to itself. The skinning of the land by sending away its substance
in hard wheat is an improvidence of natural resources, which belongs,
like cattle-ranging, to a half-civilized era, and like cattle-ranging
has probably seen its best days. One incident illustrates what can be
done. Mr. James J. Hill, the president of the Manitoba railway system,
an importer and breeder of fine cattle on his Minnesota country place,
recently gave and loaned a number of blooded bulls to farmers over a
wide area in Minnesota and Dakota. The result of this benefaction
has been surprising in adding to the wealth of those regions and the
prosperity of the farmers. It is the beginning of a varied farming
and of cattle production, which will be of incalculable benefit to the
North-west.

It is in the memory of men still in active life when the Territory of
Minnesota was supposed to be beyond the pale of desirable settlement.
The State, except in the north-east portion, is now well settled, and
well sprinkled with thriving villages and cities. Of the latter, St.
Paul and Minneapolis are still a wonder to themselves, as they are to
the world. I knew that they were big cities, having each a population
nearly approaching 175,000, but I was not prepared to find them so
handsome and substantial, and exhibiting such vigor and activity of
movement. One of the most impressive things to an Eastern man in both
of them is their public spirit, and the harmony with which business men
work together for anything which will build up and beautify the city.
I believe that the ruling force in Minneapolis is of New England stock,
while St. Paul has a larger proportion of New York people, with a
mixture of Southern; and I have a fancy that there is a social shading
that shows this distinction. It is worth noting, however, that the
Southerner, transplanted to Minnesota or Montana, loses the laisser
faire with which he is credited at home, and becomes as active
and pushing as anybody. Both cities have a very large Scandinavian
population. The laborers and the domestic servants are mostly Swedes. In
forecasting what sort of a State Minnesota is to be, the Scandinavian
is a largely determining force. It is a virile element. The traveller is
impressed with the idea that the women whom he sees at the stations in
the country and in the city streets are sturdy, ruddy, and better able
to endure the protracted season of cold and the highly stimulating
atmosphere than the American-born women, who tend to become nervous in
these climatic conditions. The Swedes are thrifty, taking eagerly
to polities, and as ready to profit by them as anybody; unreservedly
American in intention, and on the whole, good citizens.

The physical difference of the two cities is mainly one of situation.
Minneapolis spreads out on both sides of the Mississippi over a plain,
from the gigantic flouring-mills and the canal and the Falls of St.
Anthony as a centre (the falls being, by-the-way, planked over with a
wooden apron to prevent the total wearing away of the shaly rock) to
rolling land and beautiful building sites on moderate elevations. Nature
has surrounded the city with a lovely country, diversified by lakes and
forests, and enterprise has developed it into one of the most inviting
of summer regions. Twelve miles west of it, Lake Minnetonka, naturally
surpassingly lovely, has become, by an immense expenditure of money,
perhaps the most attractive summer resort in the North-west. Each city
has a hotel (the West in Minneapolis, the Ryan in St. Paul) which would
be distinguished monuments of cost and elegance in any city in the
world, and each city has blocks of business houses, shops, and offices
of solidity and architectural beauty, and each has many private
residences which are palaces in size, in solidity, and interior
embellishment, but they are scattered over the city in Minneapolis,
which can boast of no single street equal to Summit avenue in St. Paul.
The most conspicuous of the private houses is the stone mansion of
Governor Washburn, pleasing in color, harmonious in design, but so
gigantic that the visitor (who may have seen palaces abroad) expects
to find a somewhat vacant interior. He is therefore surprised that the
predominating note is homelikeness and comfort, and he does not see
how a family of moderate size could well get along with less than the
seventy rooms (most of them large) which they have at their disposal.

St. Paul has the advantage of picturesqueness of situation. The business
part of the town lies on a spacious uneven elevation above the river,
surrounded by a semicircle of bluffs averaging something like two
hundred feet high. Up the sides of these the city climbs, beautifying
every vantage-ground with handsome and stately residences. On the north
the bluffs maintain their elevation in a splendid plateau, and over this
dry and healthful plain the two cities advance to meet each other, and
already meet in suburbs, colleges, and various public buildings. Summit
avenue curves along the line of the northern bluff, and then turns
northward, two hundred feet broad, graded a distance of over two miles,
and with a magnificent asphalt road-way for more than a mile. It is
almost literally a street of palaces, for although wooden structures
alternate with the varied and architecturally interesting mansions of
stone and brick on both sides, each house is isolated, with a handsome
lawn and ornamental trees, and the total effect is spacious and noble.
This avenue commands an almost unequalled view of the sweep of bluffs
round to the Indian Mounds, of the city, the winding river, and the town
and heights of West St. Paul. It is not easy to recall a street and view
anywhere finer than this, and this is only one of the streets on this
plateau conspicuous for handsome houses. I see no reason why St. Paul
should not become, within a few years, one of the notably most beautiful
cities in the world. And it is now wonderfully well advanced in that
direction. Of course the reader understands that both these rapidly
growing cities are in the process of “making,” and that means cutting
and digging and slashing, torn-up streets, shabby structures alternating
with gigantic and solid buildings, and the usual unsightliness of
transition and growth.

Minneapolis has the State University, St. Paul the Capitol, an ordinary
building of brick, which will not long, it is safe to say, suit the
needs of the pride of the State. I do not set out to describe the city,
the churches, big newspaper buildings, great wholesale and ware houses,
handsome club-house (the Minnesota Club), stately City Hall, banks,
Chamber of Commerce, and so on. I was impressed with the size of the
buildings needed to house the great railway offices. Nothing can give
one a livelier idea of the growth and grasp of Western business than
one of these plain structures, five or six stories high, devoted to the
several departments of one road or system of roads, crowded with
busy officials and clerks, offices of the president, vice-president,
assistant of the president, secretary, treasurer, engineer, general
manager, general superintendent, general freight, general traffic,
general passenger, perhaps a land officer, and so on—affairs as
complicated and vast in organization and extensive in detail as those of
a State government.

There are sixteen railways which run in Minnesota, having a total
mileage of 5024 miles in the State. Those which have over two hundred
miles of road in the State are the Chicago and North-western, Chicago,
Milwaukee, and St. Paul, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha,
Minneapolis and St. Louis, Northern Pacific, St. Paul and Duluth, and
the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba. The names of these roads give
little indication of their location, as the reader knows, for many of
them run all over the North-west like spider-webs.

It goes without saying that the management of these great
interests—imperial, almost continental in scope—requires brains,
sobriety, integrity; and one is not surprised to find that the railways
command and pay liberally for the highest talent and skill. It is not
merely a matter of laying rails and running trains, but of developing
the resources—one might almost say creating the industries—of vast
territories. These are gigantic interests, concerning which there is
such sharp rivalry and competition, and as a rule it is the generous,
large-minded policy that wins. Somebody has said that the railway
managers and magnates (I do not mean those who deal in railways for
the sake of gambling) are the élite of Western life. I am not drawing
distinctions of this sort, but I will say, and it might as well be said
here and simply, that next to the impression I got of the powerful
hand of the railways in the making of the West, was that of the high
character, the moral stamina, the ability, the devotion to something
outside themselves, of the railway men I met in the North-west.
Specialists many of them are, and absorbed in special work, but I doubt
if any other profession or occupation can show a proportionally larger
number of broad-minded, fair-minded men, of higher integrity and less
pettiness, or more inclined to the liberalizing culture in art and
social life. Either dealing with large concerns has lifted up the
men, or the large opportunities have attracted men of high talent and
character; and I sincerely believe that we should have no occasion
for anxiety if the average community did not go below the standard of
railway morality and honorable dealing.

What is the raison d’etre of these two phenomenal, cities? why do they
grow? why are they likely to continue to grow? I confess that this
was an enigma to me until I had looked beyond to see what country was
tributary to them, what a territory they have to supply. Of course, the
railways, the flouring-mills, the vast wholesale dry goods and grocery
houses speak for themselves. But I had thought of these cities as on
the confines of civilization. They are, however, the two posts of the
gate-way to an empire. In order to comprehend their future, I made some
little trips north-east and north-west.

Duluth, though as yet with only about twenty-five to thirty thousand
inhabitants, feels itself, by its position, a rival of the cities on the
Mississippi. A few figures show the basis of this feeling. In 1880 the
population was 3740; in 1886, 25,000. In 1880 the receipts of wheat were
1,347,679 bushels; in 1886, 22,425,730 bushels; in 1860 the shipments
of wheat 1,453,647 bushels; in 1886,17,981,965 bushels. In 1880 the
shipments of flour were 551,800 bushels; in 1886, 1,500,000 bushels. In
1886 there were grain elevators with a capacity of 18,000,000 bushels.
The tax valuation had increased from 8669,012 in 1880 to 811,773,729
in 1886. The following comparisons are made: The receipt of wheat in
Chicago in 1885 was 19,266,000 bushels; in Duluth, 14,880,000 bushels.
The receipt of wheat in 1886 was at Duluth 22,425,730 bushels;
at Minneapolis, 33,394,450; at Chicago, 15,982,524; at Milwaukee,
7,930,102. This shows that an increasing amount of the great volume of
wheat raised in north Dakota and north-west Minnesota (that is, largely
in the Red River Valley) is seeking market by way of Duluth and water
transportation. In 1869 Minnesota raised about 18,000,000 bushels of
wheat; in 1886, about 50,000,000. In 1869 Dakota grew no grain at all;
in 1886 it produced about 50,000,000 bushels of wheat. To understand the
amount of transportation the reader has only to look on the map and
see the railway lines—the Northern Pacific, the Chicago, St. Paul,
Minneapolis, and Omaha, the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba, and
other lines, running to Duluth, and sending out spurs, like the roots of
an elm-tree, into the wheat lands of the North-west.

Most of the route from St. Paul to Duluth is uninteresting; there is
nothing picturesque except the Dalles of the St. Louis River, and a good
deal of the country passed through seems agriculturally of no value. The
approaches to Duluth, both from the Wisconsin and the Minnesota side,
are rough and vexatious by reason of broken, low, hummocky, and swamp
land. Duluth itself, with good harbor facilities, has only a strip of
level ground for a street, and inadequate room for railway tracks and
transfers. The town itself climbs up the hill, whence there is a good
view of the lake and the Wisconsin shore, and a fair chance for both
summer and winter breezes. The residence portion of the town, mainly
small wooden houses, has many highly ornamental dwellings, and the long
street below, following the shore, has many noble buildings of stone
and brick, which would be a credit to any city. Grading and sewer-making
render a large number of the streets impassable, and add to the signs of
push, growth, and business excitement.

For the purposes of trade, Duluth, and the towns of Superior and West
Superior, in Wisconsin, may be considered one port; and while Duluth may
continue to be the money and business centre, the expansion for railway
terminal facilities, elevators, and manufactures is likely to be in the
Wisconsin towns on the south side of the harbor. From the Great Northern
Elevator in West Superior the view of the other elevators, of the
immense dock room, of the harbor and lake, of a net-work of miles and
miles of terminal tracks of the various roads, gives one an idea
of gigantic commerce; and the long freight trains laden with wheat,
glutting all the roads and sidings approaching Duluth, speak of the
bursting abundance of the tributary country. This Great Northern
Elevator, belonging to the Manitoba system, is the largest In the world;
its dimensions are 360 feet long, 95 in width, 115 in height, with
a capacity of 1,800,000 bushels, and with facilities for handling 40
car-loads an hour, or 400 cars in a day of 10 hours. As I am merely
illustrating the amount of the present great staple of the North-west,
I say nothing here of the mineral, stone, and lumber business of this
region. Duluth has a cool, salubrious summer and a snug winter climate.
I ought to add that the enterprising inhabitants attend to education
as well as the elevation of grain; the city has eight commodious school
buildings.

To return to the Mississippi. To understand what feeds Minneapolis and
St. Paul, and what country their great wholesale houses supply, one must
take the rail and penetrate the vast North-west. The famous Park or Lake
district, between St. Cloud (75 miles north-west of St. Paul) and Fergus
Falls, is too well known to need description. A rolling prairie, with
hundreds of small lakes, tree fringed, it is a region of surpassing
loveliness, and already dotted, as at Alexandria, with summer resorts.
The whole region, up as far as Moorhead (240 miles from St. Paul), on
the Red River, opposite Fargo, Dakota, is well settled, and full of
prosperous towns. At Fargo, crossing the Northern Pacific, we ran
parallel with the Red River, through a line of bursting elevators and
wheat farms, clown to Grand Forks, where we turned westward, and passed
out of the Red River Valley, rising to the plateau at Larimore, some
three hundred feet above it.

The Red River, a narrow but deep and navigable stream, has from its
source to Lake Winnipeg a tortuous course of about 600 miles, while
the valley itself is about 285 miles long, of which 180 miles Is in the
United States. This valley, which has astonished the world by its wheat
production, is about 160 miles in breadth, and level as a floor, except
that it has a northward slope of, I believe, about five feet to the
mile. The river forms the boundary between Minnesota and Dakota; the
width of valley on the Dakota side varies from 50 to 100 miles. The rich
soil is from two to three feet deep, underlaid with clay. Fargo, the
centre of this valley, is 940 feet above the sea. The climate is one
of extremes between winter and summer, but of much constancy of cold or
heat according to the season. Although it is undeniable that one does
not feel the severe cold there as much as in more humid atmospheres, it
cannot be doubted that the long continuance of extreme cold is trying
to the system. And it may be said of all the North-west, including
Minnesota, that while it is more favorable to the lungs than many
regions where the thermometer has less sinking power, it is not free
from catarrh (the curse of New England), nor from rheumatism. The
climate seems to me specially stimulating, and I should say there is
less excuse here for the use of stimulants (on account of “lowness” or
lassitude) than in almost any other portion of the United States with
which I am acquainted.

But whatever attractions or drawbacks this territory has as a place of
residence, its grain and stock growing capacity is inexhaustible, and
having seen it, we begin to comprehend the vigorous activity and growth
of the twin cities. And yet this is the beginning of resources; there
lies Dakota, with its 149,100 square miles (96,596,480 acres of land),
larger than all the New England States and New York combined, and
Montana beyond, together making a belt of hard spring-wheat land
sufficient, one would think, to feed the world. When one travels over
1200 miles of it, doubt ceases.

I cannot better illustrate the resources and enterprise of the
North-west than by speaking in some detail of the St. Paul, Minneapolis,
and Manitoba Railway (known as the Manitoba system), and by telling
briefly the story of one season’s work, not because this system is
bigger or more enterprising or of more importance in the West than some
others I might name, but because it has lately pierced a comparatively
unknown region, and opened to settlement a fertile empire.

The Manitoba system gridirons north Minnesota, runs to Duluth, puts two
tracks down the Red River Valley (one on each side of the river) to the
Canada line, sends out various spurs into Dakota, and operates a main
line from Grand Forks westward through the whole of Dakota, and through
Montana as far as the Great Falls of the Missouri, and thence through
the canon of the Missouri and the canon of the Prickly-Pear to Helena—in
all about 3000 miles of track. Its president is Mr. James J. Hill, a
Canadian by birth, whose rapid career from that of a clerk on the St.
Paul levee to his present position of influence, opportunity, and wealth
is a romance in itself, and whose character, integrity, tastes, and
accomplishments, and domestic life, were it proper to speak of them,
would satisfactorily answer many of the questions that are asked about
the materialistic West.

The Manitoba line west had reached Minot, 530 miles from St. Paul, in
1886. I shall speak of its extension in 1887, which was intrusted to Mr.
D. C. Shepard, a veteran engineer and railway builder of St. Paul, and
his firm, Messrs. Shepard, Winston & Co. Credit should be given by name
to the men who conducted this Napoleonic enterprise; for it required
not only the advance of millions of money, but the foresight, energy,
vigilance, and capacity that insure success in a distant military
campaign.

It needs to be noted that the continuation of the St. Paul, Minneapolis,
and Manitoba road from Great Falls to Helena, 98 miles, is called the
Montana Central. The work to be accomplished in 1887 was to grade 500
miles of railroad to reach Great Falls, to put in the bridging and
mechanical structures (by hauling all material brought up by rail ahead
of the track by teams, so as not to delay the progress of the track)
on 530 miles of continuous railway, and to lay and put in good running
condition 643 miles of rails continuously and from one end only.

In the winter of 1886-87 the road was completed to a point five miles
west of Minot, and work was done beyond which if consolidated would
amount to about fifty miles of completed grading, and the mechanical
structures were done for twenty miles west from Minot. On the Montana
Central the grading and mechanical structures were made from Helena as
a base, and completed before the track reached Great Falls. St. Paul,
Minneapolis, and Duluth were the primary bases of operations, and
generally speaking all materials, labor, fuel, and supplies originated
at these three points; Minot was the secondary base, and here in
the winter of 1886-87 large depots of supplies and materials for
construction were formed.

Track-laying began April 2,1887, but was greatly retarded by snow and
ice in the completed cuts, and by the grading, which was heavy. The
cuts were frozen more or less up to May 15th. The forwarding of grading
forces to Minot began April 6th, but it was a labor of considerable
magnitude to outfit them at Minot and get them forward to the work;
so that it was as late as May 10th before the entire force was under
employment.

The average force on the grading was 3300 teams and about 8000 men.
Upon the track-laving, surfacing, piling, and timber-work there were
225 teams and about 650 men. The heaviest work was encountered on the
eastern end, so that the track was close upon the grading up to the 10th
of June. Some of the cuttings and embankments were heavy. After the 10th
of June progress upon the grading was very rapid. From the mouth of Milk
River to Great Falls (a distance of 200 miles) grading was done at an
average rate of seven miles a day. Those who saw this army of men
and teams stretching over the prairie and casting up this continental
highway think they beheld one of the most striking achievements of
civilization.

I may mention that the track is all cast up (even where the grading is
easy) to such a height as to relieve it of drifting snow; and to give
some idea of the character of the work, it is noted that in preparing it
there were moved 9,700,000 cubic yards of earth, 15,000 cubic yards of
loose rock, and 17,500 cubic yards of solid rock, and that there were
hauled ahead of the track and put in the work to such distance as would
not obstruct the track-laying (in some instances 30 miles), 9,000,000
feet (board measure) of timber and 390,000 lineal feet of piling.

On the 5th of August the grading of the entire line to Great Falls was
either finished or properly manned for its completion the first day
of September, and on the 10th of August it became necessary to remove
outfits to the east as they completed their work, and about 2500 teams
and their quota of men were withdrawn between the 10th and 20th of
August, and placed upon work elsewhere.

The record of track laid is as follows: April 2d to 30th, 30 miles;
May, 82 miles; June, 79.8 miles; July, 100.8 miles; August, 115.4 miles;
September, 102.4 miles; up to October 15th to Great Falls, 34.0 miles—a
total to Great Falls of 545 miles. October 10th being Sunday, no track
was laid. The track started from Great Falls Monday, October 17th, and
reached Helena on Friday, November 18th, a distance of 98 miles, making
a grand total of 043 miles, and an average rate for every working-day
of three and one-quarter miles. It will thus be seen that laying a good
road was a much more expeditious method of reaching the Great Falls of
the Missouri than that adopted by Lewis and Clarke.

Some of the details of this construction and tracklaying will interest
railroad men. On the 16th of July 7 miles and 1040 feet of track were
laid, and on the 8th of August 8 miles and 60 feet were laid, in each
instance by daylight, and by the regular gang of track-layers, without
any increase of their numbers whatever. The entire work was done by
handling the iron on low iron cars, and depositing it on the track from
the car at the front end. The method pursued was the same as when one
mile of track is laid per day in the ordinary manner. The force of
track-layers was maintained at the proper number for the ordinary daily
work, and was never increased to obtain any special result. The result
on the 11th of August was probably decreased by a quarter to a half mile
by the breaking of an axle of an iron car while going to the front with
its load at about 4 p.m. From six to eight iron cars were employed in
doing this day’s work. The number ordinarily used was four to five.

Sidings were graded at intervals of seven to eight miles, and spur
tracks, laid on the natural surface, put in at convenient points,
sixteen miles apart, for storage of materials and supplies at or near
the front. As the work went on, the spur tracks in the rear were taken
up. The construction train contained box cars two and three stories
high, in which workmen were boarded and lodged. Supplies, as a rule,
were taken by wagon-trains from the spur tracks near the front to their
destination, an average distance of one hundred miles and an extreme one
of two hundred miles. Steamboats were employed to a limited extent on
the Missouri River in supplying such remote points as Fort Benton
and the Coal Banks, but not more than fifteen per cent, of the
transportation was done by steamers. A single item illustrating the
magnitude of the supply transportation is that there were shipped to
Minot and forwarded and consumed on the work 590,000 bushels of oats.

It is believed that the work of grading 500 miles of railroad in five
months, and the transportation into the country of everything consumed,
grass and water excepted, and of every rail, tie, bit of timber, pile,
tool, machine, man, or team employed, and laying 643 miles of track
in seven and a half months, from one end, far exceeds in magnitude
and rapidity of execution any similar undertaking in this or any other
country. It reflects also the greatest credit on the managers of the
railway transportation (it is not invidious to mention the names of Mr.
A. Manvel, general manager, and Mr. J. M. Egan, general superintendent,
upon whom the working details devolved) when it is stated that the
delays for material or supplies on the entire work did not retard it
in the aggregate one hour. And every hour counted in this masterly
campaign.

The Western people apparently think no more of throwing down a railroad,
if they want to go anywhere, than a conservative Easterner does of
taking an unaccustomed walk across country; and the railway constructors
and managers are a little amused at the Eastern slowness and want of
facility in construction and management. One hears that the East is
antiquated, and does not know anything about railroad building. Shovels,
carts, and wheelbarrows are of a past age; the big wheel-scraper does
the business. It is a common remark that a contractor accustomed to
Eastern work is not desired on a Western job.

On Friday afternoon, November 18th, the news was flashed that the last
rail was laid, and at 6 p.m. a special train was on the way from St.
Paul with a double complement of engineers and train-men. For the first
500 miles there was more or less delay in avoiding the long and frequent
freight trains, but after that not much except the necessary stops for
cleaning the engine. Great Falls, about 1100 miles, was reached Sunday
noon, in thirty-six hours, an average of over thirty miles an hour. A
part of the time the speed was as much as fifty miles an hour. The track
was solid, evenly graded, heavily tied, well aligned, and the cars ran
over it with no more swing and bounce than on an old road. The only
exception to this is the piece from Great Falls to Helena, which had not
been surfaced all the way. It is excellent railway construction, and it
is necessary to emphasize this when we consider the rapidity with which
it was built.

The company has built this road without land grant or subsidy of any
kind. The Montana extension, from Minot, Dakota, to Great Falls, runs
mostly through Indian and military reservations, permission to pass
through being given by special Act of Congress, and the company buying
200 feet road-way. Little of it, therefore, is open to settlement.

These reservations, naming them in order westward, are as follows: The
Fort Berthold Indian reservation, Dakota, the eastern boundary of which
is twenty-seven miles west of Minot, has an area of 4550 square miles
(about as large as Connecticut), or 2,912,000 acres. The Fort Buford
military reservation, lying in Dakota and Montana, has an area of 900
square miles, or 576,000 acres. The Blackfeet Indian reserve has an area
of 34,000 square miles (the State of New York has 46,000), or 21,760,000
acres. The Fort Assiniboin military reserve has an area of 869.82 square
miles, or 556,684 acres.

It is a liberal estimate that there are 6000 Indians on the Blackfeet
and Fort Berth old reservations. As nearly as I could ascertain, there
are not over 3500 Indians (some of those I saw were Créés on a long
visit from Canada) on the Blackfeet reservation of about 22,000,000
acres. Some judges put the number as low as 2500 to all this territory,
and estimate that there was about one Indian to ten square miles, or one
Indian family to fifty square miles. We rode through 300 miles of this
territory along the Milk River, nearly every acre of it good soil, with
thick, abundant grass, splendid wheat land.

I have no space to take up the Indian problem. But the present condition
of affairs is neither fair to white settlers nor just or humane to the
Indians. These big reservations are of no use to them, nor they to
the reservations. The buffaloes have disappeared; they do not live by
hunting; they cultivate very little ground; they use little even to
pasture their ponies. They are fed and clothed by the Government,
and they camp about the agencies in idleness, under conditions that
pauperize them, destroy their manhood, degrade them into dependent,
vicious lives. The reservations ought to be sold, and the
proceeds devoted to educating the Indians and setting them up in a
self-sustaining existence. They should be allotted an abundance of good
land, in the region to which they are acclimated, in severalty, and
under such restrictions that they cannot alienate it at least for a
generation or two. As the Indian is now, he will neither work, nor keep
clean, nor live decently. Close to, the Indian is not a romantic object,
and certainly no better now morally than Lewis and Clarke depicted him
in 1804. But he is a man; he has been barbarously treated; and it is
certainly not beyond honest administration and Christian effort to
better his condition. And his condition will not be improved simply by
keeping from settlement and civilization the magnificent agricultural
territory that is reserved to him.

Of this almost unknown country, pierced by the road west from Larimore,
I can only make the briefest notes. I need not say that this open,
unobstructed highway of arable land and habitable country, from the Red
River to the Rocky Mountains, was an astonishment to me; but it is more
to the purpose to say that the fertile region was a surprise to railway
men who are perfectly familiar with the West.

We had passed some snow in the night, which had been very cold, but
there was very little at Larimore, a considerable town; there was a
high, raw wind during the day, and a temperature of about 10° above,
which heavily frosted the car windows. At Devil’s Lake (a body of
brackish water twenty-eight miles long) is a settlement three years old,
and from this and two insignificant stations beyond were shipped,
in 1887, 1,500,000 bushels of wheat. The country beyond is slightly
rolling, fine land, has much wheat, little houses scattered about, some
stock, very promising altogether. Minot, where we crossed the Mouse
River the second time, is a village of 700 people, with several brick
houses and plenty of saloons. Thence we ran up to a plateau some three
hundred feet higher than the Mouse River Valley, and found a land more
broken, and interspersed with rocky land and bowlders—the only touch
of “bad lands” I recall on the route. We crossed several small streams,
White Earth, Sandy, Little Muddy, and Muddy, and before reaching
Williston descended into the valley of the Missouri, reached Fort
Buford, where the Yellowstone comes in, entered what is called Paradise
Valley, and continued parallel with the Missouri as far as the mouth of
Milk River. Before reaching this we crossed the Big Muddy and the Poplar
rivers, both rising in Canada. At Poplar Station is a large Indian
agency, and hundreds of Teton Sioux Indians (I was told 1800) camped
there in their conical tepees. I climbed the plateau above the station
where the Indians bury their dead, wrapping the bodies in blankets
and buffalo-robes, and suspending them aloft on crossbars supported by
stakes, to keep them from the wolves. Beyond Assiniboin I saw a platform
in a cottonwood-tree on which reposed the remains of a chief and his
family. This country is all good, so far as I could see and learn.

It gave me a sense of geographical deficiency in my education to travel
three hundred miles on a river I had never heard of before. But it
happened on the Milk River, a considerable but not navigable stream,
although some six hundred miles long. The broad Milk River Valley is
in itself an empire of excellent land, ready for the plough and the
wheat-sower. Judging by the grass (which cures into the most nutritious
feed as it stands), there had been no lack of rain during the summer;
but if there is lack of water, all the land can be irrigated by the Milk
River, and it may also be said of the country beyond to Great Falls that
frequent streams make irrigation easy, if there is scant rainfall. I
should say that this would be the only question about water.

Leaving the Milk River Valley, we began to curve southward, passing Fort
Assiniboin on our right. In this region and beyond at Fort Benton great
herds of cattle are grazed by Government contractors, who supply the
posts with beef. At the Big Sandy Station they were shipping cattle
eastward. We crossed the Marias River (originally named Maria’s River),
a stream that had the respectful attention of Lewis and Clarke, and the
Teton, a wilfully erratic watercourse in a narrow valley, which caused
the railway constructors a good deal of trouble. We looked down, in
passing, on Fort Benton, nestled in a bend of the Missouri; a smart
town, with a daily newspaper, an old trading station. Shortly after
leaving Assiniboin we saw on our left the Bear Paw Mountains and the
noble Highwood Mountains, fine peaks, snow-dusted, about thirty miles
from us, and adjoining them the Belt Mountains. Between them is a
shapely little pyramid called the Wolf Butte. Far to our right were the
Sweet Grass Hills, on the Canada line, where gold-miners are at work.
I have noted of all this country that it is agriculturally fine. After
Fort Benton we had glimpses of the Rockies, off to the right (we had
seen before the Little Rockies in the south, towards Yellowstone Park);
then the Bird-tail Divide came in sight, and the mathematically Square
Butte, sometimes called Fort Montana.

At noon, November 20th, we reached Great Falls, where the Sun River,
coming in from the west, joins the Missouri. The railway crosses the Sun
River, and runs on up the left bank of the Missouri. Great Falls, which
lies in a bend of the Missouri on the cast side, was not then, but soon
will be, connected with the line by a railway bridge. I wish I could
convey to the reader some idea of the beauty of the view as we came out
upon the Sun River Valley, or the feeling of exhilaration and elevation
we experienced. I had come to no place before that did not seem remote,
far from home, lonesome. Here the aspect was friendly, livable, almost
home-like. We seemed to have come out, after a long journey, to a place
where one might be content to stay for some time—to a far but fair
country, on top of the world, as it were. Not that the elevation is
great—only about 3000 feet above the sea—nor the horizon illimitable, as
on the great plains; its spaciousness is brought within human sympathy
by guardian hills and distant mountain ranges.

A more sweet, smiling picture than the Sun River Valley the traveller
may go far to see. With an average breadth of not over two and a half to
five miles, level, richly grassed, flanked by elevations that swell up
to plateaus, through the valley the Sun River, clear, full to the grassy
banks, comes down like a ribbon of silver, perhaps 800 feet broad before
its junction. Across the far end of it, seventy-five miles distant, but
seemingly not more than twenty, run the silver serrated peaks of the
Rocky Mountains, snow-clad and sparkling in the sun. At distances of
twelve and fifty miles up the valley have been for years prosperous
settlements, with school-houses and churches, hitherto cut off from the
world.

The whole rolling, arable, though treeless country in view is beautiful,
and the far prospects are magnificent. I suppose that something of the
homelikeness of the region is due to the presence of the great Missouri
River (a connection with the world we know), which is here a rapid,
clear stream, in permanent rock-laid banks. At the town a dam has been
thrown across it, and the width above the dam, where we crossed it, is
about 1800 feet. The day was fair and not cold, but a gale of wind
from the south-west blew with such violence that the ferry-boat was
unmanageable, and we went over in little skiffs, much tossed about by
the white-capped waves.

In June, 1886, there was not a house within twelve miles of this place.
The country is now taken up and dotted with claim shanties, and Great
Falls is a town of over 1000 inhabitants, regularly laid out, with
streets indeed extending far on to the prairie, a handsome and
commodious hotel, several brick buildings, and new houses going up in
all directions. Central lots, fifty feet by two hundred and fifty, are
said to sell for $5000, and I was offered a corner lot on Tenth Street,
away out on the prairie, for $1500, including the corner stake.

It is difficult to write of this country without seeming exaggeration,
and the habitual frontier boastfulness makes the acquisition of bottom
facts difficult. It is plain to be seen that it is a good grazing
country, and the experimental fields of wheat near the town show that it
is equally well adapted to wheatraising. The vegetables grown there are
enormous and solid, especially potatoes and turnips; I have the outline
of a turnip which measured seventeen inches across, seven inches deep,
and weighed twenty-four pounds. The region is underlaid by bituminous
coal, good coking quality, and extensive mines are opening in the
neighborhood. I have no doubt from what I saw and heard that iron of
good quality (hematite) is abundant. It goes without saying that the
Montana mountains are full of other minerals. The present advantage
of Great Falls is in the possession of unlimited water-power in the
Missouri River.

As to rainfall and climate? The grass shows no lack of rain, and the
wheat was raised in 1887 without irrigation. But irrigation from the
Missouri and Sun rivers is easy, if needed. The thermometer shows a more
temperate and less rigorous climate than Minnesota and north Dakota.
Unless everybody fibs, the winters are less severe, and stock ranges and
fattens all winter. Less snow falls here than farther east and south,
and that which falls does not usually remain long. The truth seems to be
that the mercury occasionally goes very low, but that every few days
a warm Pacific wind from the south-west, the “Chinook,” blows a gale,
which instantly raises the temperature, and sweeps off the snow in
twenty-four hours. I was told that ice rarely gets more than ten inches
thick, and that ploughing can be done as late as the 20th of December,
and recommenced from the 1st to the 15th of March. I did not stay long
enough to verify these statements. There had been a slight fall of snow
in October, which speedily disappeared. November 20th was pleasant, with
a strong Chinook wind. November 21st there was a driving snow-storm.

The region is attractive to the sight-seer. I can speak of only two
things, the Springs and the Falls.

There is a series of rapids and falls, for twelve miles below the town;
and the river drops down rapidly into a canyon which is in some places
nearly 200 feet deep. The first fall is twenty-six feet high. The most
beautiful is the Rainbow Fall, six miles from town. This cataract, in a
wild, deep gorge, has a width of 1400 feet, nearly as straight across as
an artificial dam, with a perpendicular plunge of fifty feet. What makes
it impressive is the immense volume of water. Dashed upon the rocks
below, it sends up clouds of spray, which the sun tinges with prismatic
colors the whole breadth of the magnificent fall. Standing half-way down
the precipice another considerable and regular fall is seen above, while
below are rapids and falls again at the bend, and beyond, great reaches
of tumultuous river in the canon. It is altogether a wild and splendid
spectacle. Six miles below, the river takes a continuous though not
perpendicular plunge of ninety-six feet.

One of the most exquisitely beautiful natural objects I know is the
Spring, a mile above Rainbow Fall. Out of a rocky ledge, sloping up some
ten feet above the river, burst several springs of absolutely crystal
water, powerfully bubbling up like small geysers, and together forming
instantly a splendid stream, which falls into the Missouri. So perfectly
transparent is the water that the springs seem to have a depth of only
fifteen inches; they are fifteen feet deep. In them grow flat-leaved
plants of vivid green, shades from lightest to deepest emerald, and
when the sunlight strikes into their depths the effect is exquisitely
beautiful. Mingled with the emerald are maroon colors that heighten
the effect. The vigor of the outburst, the volume of water, the
transparency, the play of sunlight on the lovely colors, give one a
positively new sensation.

I have left no room to speak of the road of ninety-eight miles
through the canon of the Missouri and the canon of the Prickly-Pear to
Helena—about 1400 feet higher than Great Falls. It is a marvellously
picturesque road, following the mighty river, winding through crags and
precipices of trap-rock set on end in fantastic array, and wild mountain
scenery. On the route are many pleasant places, openings of fine
valleys, thriving ranches, considerable stock and oats, much laud
ploughed and cultivated. The valley broadens out before we reach Helena
and enter Last Chance Gulch, now the main street of the city, out of
which millions of gold have been taken.

At Helena we reach familiar ground. The 21st was a jubilee day for the
city and the whole Territory. Cannon, bells, whistles, welcomed the
train and the man, and fifteen thousand people hurrahed; the town was
gayly decorated; there was a long procession, speeches and music in the
Opera-house in the afternoon, and fireworks, illumination, and banquet
in the evening. The reason of the boundless enthusiasm of Helena was
in the fact that the day gave it a new competing line to the East, and
opened up the coal, iron, and wheat fields of north Montana.



VIII.—ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TOPICS. MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN.

A visitor at a club in Chicago was pointed out a table at which usually
lunched a hundred and fifty millions of dollars! This impressive
statement was as significant in its way as the list of the men, in the
days of Emerson, Agassiz, and Longfellow, who dined together as the
Saturday Club in Boston. We cannot, however, generalize from this that
the only thing considered in the North-west is money, and that the only
thing held in esteem in Boston is intellect.

The chief concerns in the North-west are material, and the making of
money, sometimes termed the “development of resources,” is of the
first importance. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, social position is more
determined by money than it is in most Eastern cities, and this makes
social life more democratic, so far as traditions and family are
concerned. I desire not to overstate this, for money is potent
everywhere; but I should say that a person not devoted to business,
or not succeeding in it, but interested rather in intellectual
pursuits—study, research, art (not decorative), education, and the
like—would find less sympathy there than in Eastern cities of the same
size and less consideration. Indeed, I was told, more than once, that
the spirit of plutocracy is so strong in these cities as to make a very
disagreeable atmosphere for people who value the higher things in life
more than money and what money only will procure, and display which is
always more or less vulgar. But it is necessary to get closer to the
facts than this statement.

The materialistic spirit is very strong in the West; of necessity it is,
in the struggle for existence and position going on there, and in the
unprecedented opportunities for making fortunes. And hence arises a
prevailing notion that any education is of little value that does not
bear directly upon material success. I should say that the professions,
including divinity and the work of the scholar and the man of letters,
do not have the weight there that they do in some other places. The
professional man, either in the college or the pulpit, is expected to
look alive and keep up with the procession. Tradition is weak; it is
no objection to a thing that it is new, and in the general strain
“sensations” are welcome. The general motto is, “Be alive; be
practical.” Naturally, also, wealth recently come by desires to assert
itself a little in display, in ostentatious houses, luxurious living,
dress, jewellery, even to the frank delight in the diamond shirt-stud.

But we are writing of Americans, and the Americans are the quickest
people in the world to adapt themselves to new situations. The Western
people travel much, at home and abroad, and they do not require a very
long experience to know what is in bad taste. They are as quick as
anybody—I believe they gave us the phrase—to “catch on” to quietness and
a low tone. Indeed, I don’t know but they would boast that if it is a
question of subdued style, they can beat the world. The revolution
which has gone all over the country since the Exposition of 1876 in
house-furnishing and decoration is quite as apparent in the West as
in the East. The West has not suffered more than the East from
eccentricities of architecture in the past twenty years. Violations of
good taste are pretty well distributed, but of new houses the proportion
of handsome, solid, good structures is as large in the West as in the
East, and in the cities I think the West has the advantage in variety.
It must be frankly said that if the Easterner is surprised at the size,
cost, and palatial character of many of their residences, he is not less
surprised by the refinement and good taste of their interiors. There are
cases where money is too evident, where the splendor has been ordered,
but there are plenty of other cases where individual taste is apparent,
and love of harmony and beauty. What I am trying to say is that the East
undervalues the real refinement of living going along with the admitted
cost and luxury in the West. The art of dining is said to be a test of
civilization—on a certain plane. Well, dining, in good houses (I believe
that is the phrase), is much the same East and West as to appointments,
service, cuisine, and talk, with a trifle more freedom and sense of
newness in the West. No doubt there is a difference in tone, appreciable
but not easy to define. It relates less to the things than the way the
things are considered. Where a family has had “things” for two or three
generations they are less an object than an unregarded matter of course;
where things and a manner of living are newly acquired, they have more
importance in themselves. An old community, if it is really civilized (I
mean a state in which intellectual concerns are paramount), values less
and less, as an end, merely material refinement. The tendency all over
the United States is for wealth to run into vulgarity.

In St. Paul and Minneapolis one thing notable is the cordial
hospitality, another is the public spirit, and another is the intense
devotion to business, the forecast and alertness in new enterprises.
Where society is fluid and on the move, it seems comparatively easy
to interest the citizens in any scheme for the public good. The public
spirit of those cities is admirable. One notices also an uncommon power
of organization, of devices for saving time. An illustration of this is
the immense railway transfer ground here. Midway between the cities is a
mile square of land where all the great railway lines meet, and by
means of communicating tracks easily and cheaply exchange freight
cars, immensely increasing the facility and lessening the cost of
transportation. Another illustration of system is the State office of
Public Examiner, an office peculiar to Minnesota, an office supervising
banks, public institutions, and county treasuries, by means of which
a uniform system of accounting is enforced for all public funds, and
safety is insured.

There is a large furniture and furnishing store in Minneapolis, well
sustained by the public, which gives one a new idea of the taste of the
North-west. A community that buys furniture so elegant and chaste in
design, and stuffs and decorations so aesthetically good, as this shop
offers it, is certainly not deficient either in material refinement or
the means to gratify the love of it.

What is there besides this tremendous energy, very material prosperity,
and undeniable refinement in living? I do not know that the excellently
managed public-school system offers anything peculiar for comment. But
the High-school in St. Paul is worth a visit. So far as I could judge,
the method of teaching is admirable, and produces good results. It has
no rules, nor any espionage. Scholars are put upon their honor. One
object of education being character, it is well to have good behavior
consist, not in conformity to artificial laws existing only in school,
but to principles of good conduct that should prevail everywhere. There
is system here, but the conduct expected is that of well-bred boys and
girls anywhere. The plan works well, and there are very few cases of
discipline. A manual training school is attached—a notion growing in
favor in the West, and practised in a scientific and truly educational
spirit. Attendance is not compulsory, but a considerable proportion of
the pupils, boys and girls, spend a certain number of hours each week in
the workshops, learning the use of tools, and making simple objects to
an accurate scale from drawings on the blackboard. The design is not at
all to teach a trade. The object is strictly educational, not simply
to give manual facility and knowledge in the use of tools, but to teach
accuracy, the mental training that there is in working out a definite,
specific purpose.

The State University is still in a formative condition, and has attached
to it a preparatory school. Its first class graduated only in 1872. It
sends out on an average about twenty graduates a year in the various
departments, science, literature, mechanic arts, and agriculture. The
bane of a State university is politics, and in the West the hand of the
Granger is on the college, endeavoring to make it “practical.” Probably
this modern idea of education will have to run its course, and so long
as it is running its course the Eastern colleges which adhere to the
idea of intellectual discipline will attract the young men who value
a liberal rather than a material education. The State University of
Minnesota is thriving in the enlargement of its facilities. About
one-third of its scholars are women, but I notice that in the last
catalogue, in the Senior Class of twenty-six there is only one woman.
There are two independent institutions also that should be mentioned,
both within the limits of St. Paul, the Hamline University, under
Methodist auspices, and the McAllister College, under Presbyterian.
I did not visit the former, but the latter, at least, though just
beginning, has the idea of a classical education foremost, and does
not adopt co-education. Its library is well begun by the gift of a
miscellaneous collection, containing many rare and old books, by the
Rev. E. D. Neill, the well-known antiquarian, who has done so much to
illuminate the colonial history of Virginia and Maryland. In the State
Historical Society, which has rooms in the Capitol in St. Paul, a
vigorous and well-managed society, is a valuable collection of books
illustrating the history of the North-west. The visitor will notice in
St. Paul quite as much taste for reading among business men as exists
elsewhere, a growing fancy for rare books, and find some private
collections of interest. Though music and art cannot be said to be
generally cultivated, there are in private circles musical enthusiasm
and musical ability, and many of the best examples of modern painting
are to be found in private houses. Indeed, there is one gallery in which
is a collection of pictures by foreign artists that would be notable in
any city. These things are mentioned as indications of a liberalizing
use of wealth.

Wisconsin is not only one of the most progressive, but one of the most
enlightened, States in the Union. Physically it is an agreeable and
beautiful State, agriculturally it is rich, in the southern and
central portions at least, and it is overlaid with a perfect network
of railways. All this is well known. I wish to speak of certain other
things which give it distinction. I mean the prevailing spirit in
education and in social-economic problems. In some respects it leads all
the other States.

There seem to be two elements in the State contending for the mastery,
one the New England, but emancipated from tradition, the other the
foreign, with ideas of liberty not of New England origin. Neither is
afraid of new ideas nor of trying social experiments. Co-education
seems to be everywhere accepted without question, as if it were already
demonstrated that the mingling of the sexes in the higher education
will produce the sort of men and women most desirable in the highest
civilization. The success of women in the higher schools, the capacity
shown by women in the management of public institutions and in reforms
and charities, have perhaps something to do with the favor to woman
suffrage. It may be that, if women vote there in general elections as
well as school matters, on the ground that every public office “relates
to education,” Prohibition will be agitated as it is in most other
States, but at present the lager-bier interest is too strong to give
Prohibition much chance. The capital invested in the manufacture of beer
makes this interest a political element of great importance.

Milwaukee and Madison may be taken to represent fairly the civilization
of Wisconsin. Milwaukee, having a population of about 175,000, is a
beautiful city, with some characteristics peculiar to itself, having the
settled air of being much older than it is, a place accustomed to money
and considerable elegance of living. The situation on the lake is fine,
the high curving bluffs offering most attractive sites for residences,
and the rolling country about having a quiet beauty. Grand avenue, an
extension of the main business thoroughfare of the city, runs out into
the country some two miles, broad, with a solid road, a stately avenue,
lined with fine dwellings, many of them palaces in size and elegant in
design. Fashion seems to hesitate between the east side and the
west side, but the east or lake side seems to have the advantage in
situation, certainly in views, and contains a greater proportion of the
American population than the other. Indeed, it is not easy to recall
a quarter of any busy city which combines more comfort, evidences of
wealth and taste and refinement, and a certain domestic character, than
this portion of the town on the bluffs, Prospect avenue and the adjacent
streets. With the many costly and elegant houses there is here and
there one rather fantastic, but the whole effect is pleasing, and
the traveller feels no hesitation in deciding that this would be
an agreeable place to live. From the avenue the lake prospect is
wonderfully attractive—the beauty of Lake Michigan in changing color and
variety of lights in sun and storm cannot be too much insisted on—and
this is especially true of the noble Esplanade, where stands the bronze
statue (a gift of two citizens) of Solomon Juneau, the first settler of
Milwaukee in 1818. It is a very satisfactory figure, and placed where it
is, it gives a sort of foreign distinction to the open place which the
city has wisely left for public use. In this part of the town is the
house of the Milwaukee Club, a good building, one of the most
tasteful internally, and one of the best appointed, best arranged, and
comfortable club-houses In the country. Near this is the new Art Museum
(also the gift of a private citizen), a building greatly to be commended
for its excellent proportions, simplicity, and chasteness of style, and
adaptability to its purpose. It is a style that will last, to please
the eye, and be more and more appreciated as the taste of the community
becomes more and more refined.

In this quarter are many of the churches, of the average sort, but
none calling for special mention except St. Paul’s, which is noble in
proportions and rich in color, and contains several notable windows of
stained glass, one of them occupying the entire end of one transept, the
largest, I believe, in the country. It is a copy of Doré’. painting of
Christ on the way to the Crucifixion, an illuminated street scene, with
superb architecture of marble and porphyry, and crowded with hundreds
of figures in colors of Oriental splendor. The colors are rich and
harmonious, but it is very brilliant, flashing in the sunlight with
magnificent effect, and I am not sure but it would attract the humble
sinners of Milwaukee from a contemplation of their little faults which
they go to church to confess.

The city does not neglect education, as the many thriving public
schools testify. It has a public circulating library of 42,000 volumes,
sustained at an expense of $22,000 a year by a tax; is free, and well
patronized. There are good private collections of books also, one that
I saw large and worthy to be called a library, especially strong in
classic English literature.

Perhaps the greatest industry of the city, certainly the most
conspicuous, is brewing. I do not say that the city is in the hands of
the brewers, but with their vast establishments they wield great power.
One of them, about the largest in the country, and said to equal in its
capacity any in Europe, has in one group seven enormous buildings, and
is impressive by its extent and orderly management, as well as by the
rivers of amber fluid which it pours out for this thirsty country.
Milwaukee, with its large German element—two-thirds of the population,
most of whom are freethinkers—has no Sunday except in a holiday
sense; the theatres are all open, and the pleasure-gardens, which are
extensive, are crowded with merrymakers in the season. It is, in short,
the Continental fashion, and while the churches and church-goers are
like churches and church-goers everywhere, there is an air of general
Continental freedom.

The general impression of Milwaukee is that it is a city of much
wealth and a great deal of comfort, with a settled, almost conservative
feeling, like an Eastern city, and charming, cultivated social life,
with the grace and beauty that are common in American society anywhere.
I think the men generally would be called well-looking, robust, of the
quiet, assured manner of an old community. The women seen on the street
and In the shops are of good physique and good color and average good
looks, without anything startling in the way of beauty or elegance. I
speak of the general aspect of the town, and I mention the well-to-do
physical condition because it contradicts the English prophecy of a
physical decadence in the West, owing to the stimulating climate and
the restless pursuit of wealth. On the train to Madison (the line runs
through a beautiful country) one might have fancied that he was on a
local New England train: the same plain, good sort of people, and in
abundance the well-looking, domestic sort of young women.

Madison is a great contrast to Milwaukee. Although it is the political
and educational centre, has the Capitol and the State University, and a
population of about 15,000, it is like a large village, with the village
habits and friendliness. On elevated, hilly ground, between two charming
lakes, it has an almost unrivalled situation, and is likely to
possess, in the progress of years and the accumulation of wealth, the
picturesqueness and beauty that travellers ascribe to Stockholm. With
the hills of the town, the gracefully curving shores of the lakes and
their pointed bays, the gentle elevations beyond the lakes, and the
capacity of these two bodies of water as pleasure resorts, with elegant
music pavilions and fleets of boats for the sail and the oar—why do we
not take a hint from the painted Venetian sail?—there is no limit to
what may be expected in the way of refined beauty of Madison in the
summer, if it remains a city of education and of laws, and does not get
up a “boom,” and set up factories, and blacken all the landscape with
coal smoke!

The centre of the town is a big square, pleasantly tree-planted, so
large that the facing rows of shops and houses have a remote and dwarfed
appearance, and in the middle of it is the great pillared State-house,
American style. The town itself is one of unpretentious, comfortable
houses, some of them with elegant interiors, having plenty of books
and the spoils of foreign travel. In one of them, the old-fashioned but
entirely charming mansion of Governor Fairchild, I cannot refrain
from saying, is a collection which, so far as I know, is unique in the
world—a collection to which the helmet of Don Quixote gives a certain
flavor; it is of barbers’ basins, of all ages and countries.

Wisconsin is working out its educational ideas on an intelligent system,
and one that may be expected to demonstrate the full value of the
popular method—I mean a more intimate connection of the university with
the life of the people than exists elsewhere. What effect this will have
upon the higher education in the ultimate civilization of the State is
a question of serious and curious interest. Unless the experience of the
ages is misleading, the tendency of the “practical” in all education is
a downward and material one, and the highest civilization must continue
to depend upon a pure scholarship, and upon what are called abstract
ideas. Even so practical a man as Socrates found the natural sciences
inadequate to the inner needs of the soul. “I thought,” he says, “as
I have failed in the contemplation of true existence (by means of the
sciences), I ought to be careful that I did not lose the eye of the
soul, as people may injure their bodily eye by gazing on the sun during
an eclipse.... That occurred to me, and I was afraid that my soul might
be blinded altogether if I looked at things with my eyes, or tried by
the help of the senses to apprehend them. And I thought I had better
have recourse to ideas, and seek in them the truth of existence.” The
intimate union of the university with the life of the people is a most
desirable object, if the university does not descend and lose its high
character in the process.

The graded school system of the State is vigorous, all working up to the
University. This is a State institution, and the State is fairly liberal
to it, so far as practical education is concerned. It has a magnificent
new Science building, and will have excellent shops and machinery for
the sciences (especially the applied) and the mechanic arts. The system
is elective. A small per cent, of the students take Greek, a larger
number Latin, French, and German, but the University is largely devoted
to science. In all the departments, including law, there are about six
hundred students, of whom above one hundred are girls. There seems to be
no doubt about co-education as a practical matter in the conduct of
the college, and as a desirable thing for women. The girls are good
students, and usually take more than half the highest honors on the
marking scale. Notwithstanding the testimony of the marks, however, the
boys say that the girls don’t “know” as much as they do about things
generally, and they (the boys) have no doubt of their ability to pass
the girls either in scholarship or practical affairs in the struggle of
life. The idea seems to be that the girls are serious in education
only up to a certain point, and that marriage will practically end the
rivalry.

The distinguishing thing, however, about the State University is its
vital connection with the farmers and the agricultural interests. I do
not refer to the agricultural department, which it has in common with
many colleges, nor to the special short agricultural course of three
months in the winter, intended to give farmers’ boys, who enter it
without examination or other connection with the University, the most
available agricultural information in the briefest time, the intention
being not to educate boys away from a taste for farming but to make them
better farmers. The students must be not less than sixteen years old,
and have a common-school education. During the term of twelve weeks
they have lectures by the professors and recitations on practical and
theoretical agriculture, on elementary and agricultural chemistry, on
elemental botany, with laboratory practice, and on the anatomy of our
domestic animals and the treatment of their common diseases. But what
I wish to call special attention to is the connection of the University
with the farmers’ institutes.

A special Act of the Legislature, drawn by a lawyer, Mr. C. E.
Estabrook, authorized the farmers’ institutes, and placed them under the
control of the regents of the University, who have the power to select
a State superintendent to control them. A committee of three of the
regents has special charge of the institutes. Thus the farmers are
brought into direct relation with the University, and while, as a
prospectus says, they are not actually non-resident students of the
University, they receive information and instruction directly from it.
The State appropriates twelve thousand dollars a year to this work,
which pays the salaries of Mr. W. H. Morrison, the superintendent, to
whose tact and energy the success of the institutes is largely due, and
his assistants, and enables him to pay the expenses of specialists
and agriculturists who can instruct the farmers and wisely direct the
discussions at the meetings. By reason of this complete organization,
which penetrates every part of the State, subjects of most advantage are
considered, and time is not wasted in merely amateur debates.

I know of no other State where a like system of popular instruction on
a vital and universal interest of the State, directed by the highest
educational authority, is so perfectly organized and carried on with
such unity of purpose and detail of administration; no other in which
the farmer is brought systematically into such direct relations to the
university. In the current year there have been held eighty-two
farmers’ institutes in forty-five counties. The list of practical topics
discussed is 279, and in this service have been engaged one hundred and
seven workers, thirty-one of whom are specialists from other States.
This is an “agricultural college,” on a grand scale, brought to the
homes of the people. The meetings are managed by local committees in
such a way as to evoke local pride, interest, and talent. I will
mention some of the topics that were thoroughly discussed at one of
the institutes: clover as a fertilizer; recuperative agriculture;
bee-keeping; taking care of the little things about the house and
farm; the education for farmers’ daughters; the whole economy of sheep
husbandry; egg production; poultry; the value of thought and application
in farming; horses to breed for the farm and market; breeding and
management of swine; mixed farming; grain-raising; assessment and
collection of taxes; does knowledge pay? (with illustrations of money
made by knowledge of the market); breeding and care of cattle, with
expert testimony as to the best sorts of cows; points in corn culture;
full discussion of small-fruit culture; butter-making as a line art; the
daily; our country roads; agricultural education. So, during the winter,
every topic that concerns the well-being of the home, the prolit of
the farm, the moral welfare of the people and their prosperity, was
intelligently discussed, with audiences fully awake to the value of this
practical and applied education. Some of the best of these discussions
are printed and widely distributed. Most of them are full of wise
details in the way of thrift and money-making, but I am glad to see that
the meetings also consider the truth that as much care should be given
to the rearing of boys and girls as of calves and colts, and that brains
are as necessary in farming as in any other occupation.

As these farmers’ institutes are conducted, I do not know any influence
comparable to them in waking up the farmers to think, to inquire into
new and improved methods, and to see in what real prosperity consists.
With prosperity, as a rule, the farmer and his family are conservative,
law-keeping, church-going, good citizens. The little appropriation of
twelve thousand dollars has already returned to the State a hundred-fold
financially and a thousand-fold in general intelligence.

I have spoken of the habit in Minnesota and Wisconsin of depending
mostly upon one crop—that of spring wheat—and the disasters from this
single reliance in bad years. Hard lessons are beginning to teach the
advantage of mixed farming and stockraising. In this change the farmers’
institutes of Wisconsin have been potent. As one observer says, “They
have produced a revolution in the mode of farming, raising crops, and
caring for stock.” The farmers have been enabled to protect themselves
against the effects of drought and other evils. Taking the advice of the
institute in 1886, the farmers planted 50,000 acres of ensilage corn,
which took the place of the short hay crop caused by the drought.
This provision saved thousands of dollars’ worth of stock in several
counties. From all over the State comes the testimony of farmers as to
the good results of the institute work, like this: “Several thousand
dollars’ worth of improved stock have been brought in. Creameries and
cheese-factories have been established and well supported. Farmers are
no longer raising grain exclusively as heretofore. Our hill-sides are
covered with clover. Our farmers are encouraged to labor anew. A new era
of prosperity in our State dates from the farmers’ institutes.”

There is abundant evidence that a revolution is going on in the farming
of Wisconsin, greatly assisted, if not inaugurated, by this systematic
popular instruction from the University as a centre. It may not greatly
interest the reader that the result of this will be greater agricultural
wealth in Wisconsin, but it does concern him that putting intelligence
into farming must inevitably raise the level of the home life and the
general civilization of Wisconsin. I have spoken of this centralized,
systematic effort in some detail because it seems more efficient than
the work of agricultural societies and sporadic institutes in other
States.

In another matter Wisconsin has taken a step in advance of other States;
that is, in the care of the insane. The State has about 2600 insane,
increasing at the rate of about 167 a year. The provisions in the State
for these are the State Hospital (capacity of 500), Northern Hospital
(capacity of 600), the Milwaukee Asylum (capacity of 255), and fifteen
county asylums for the chronic insane, including two nearly ready
(capacity 1220). The improvement in the care of the insane consists in
several particulars—the doing away of restraints, either by mechanical
appliances or by narcotics, reasonable separation of the chronic cases
from the others, increased liberty, and the substitution of wholesome
labor for idleness. Many of these changes have been brought about by the
establishment of county asylums, the feature of which I wish specially
to speak. The State asylums were crowded beyond their proper capacity,
classification was difficult in them, and a large number of the insane
were miserably housed in county jails and poor-houses. The evils of
great establishments were more and more apparent, and it was determined
to try the experiment of county asylums. These have now been in
operation for six years, and a word about their constitution and
perfectly successful operation may be of public service.

These asylums, which are only for the chronic insane, are managed by
local authorities, but under constant and close State supervision; this
last provision is absolutely essential, and no doubt accounts for the
success of the undertaking. It is not necessary here to enter into
details as to the construction of these buildings. They are of brick,
solid, plain, comfortable, and of a size to accommodate not less than
fifty nor more than one hundred inmates: an institution with less than
fifty is not economical; one with a larger number than one hundred is
unwieldy, and beyond the personal supervision of the superintendent. A
farm is needed for economy in maintenance and to furnish occupation for
the men; about four acres for each inmate is a fair allowance. The
land should be fertile, and adapted to a variety of crops as well as to
cattle, and it should have woodland to give occupation in the winter.
The fact is recognized that idleness is no better for an insane than
for a sane person. The house-work is all done by the women; the farm,
garden, and general out-door work by the men. Experience shows that
three-fourths of the chronic insane can be furnished occupation of
some sort, and greatly to their physical and moral well-being. The
nervousness incident always to restraint and idleness disappears with
liberty and occupation. Hence greater happiness and comfort to the
insane, and occasionally a complete or partial cure.

About one attendant to twenty insane persons is sufficient, but it is
necessary that these should have intelligence and tact; the men capable
of leading in farm-work, the women to instruct in house-work and
dress-making, and it is well if they can play some musical instrument
and direct in amusements. One of the most encouraging features of this
experiment in small asylums has been the discovery of so many efficient
superintendents and matrons among the intelligent farmers and business
men of the rural districts, who have the practical sagacity and
financial ability to carry on these institutions successfully.

These asylums are as open as a school; no locked doors (instead of
window-bars, the glass-frames are of iron painted white), no pens made
by high fences. The inmates are free to go and come at their work, with
no other restraint than the watch of the attendants. The asylum is a
home and not a prison. The great thing is to provide occupation. The
insane, it is found, can be trained to regular industry, and it is
remarkable how little restraint is needed if an earnest effort is made
to do without it. In the county asylums of Wisconsin about one person in
a thousand is in restraint or seclusion each day. The whole theory seems
to be to treat the insane like persons in some way diseased, who need
occupation, amusement, kindness. The practice of this theory in the
Wisconsin county asylums is so successful that it must ultimately affect
the treatment of the insane all over the country.

And the beauty of it is that it is as economical as it is enlightened
and humane. The secret of providing occupation for this class is to buy
as little material and hire as little labor as possible; let the women
make the clothes, and the men do the farm-work without the aid of
machinery. The surprising result of this is that some of these asylums
approach the point of being self-supporting, and all of them save money
to the counties, compared with the old method. The State has not lost
by these asylums, and the counties have gained; nor has the economy been
purchased at the expense of humanity to the insane; the insane in the
county asylums have been as well clothed, lodged, and fed as in the
State institutions, and have had more freedom, and consequently more
personal comfort and a better chance of abating their mania. This is the
result arrived at by an exhaustive report on these county asylums in the
report of the State Board of Charities and Reforms, of which Mr. Albert
O. Wright is secretary. The average cost per week per capita of patients
in the asylums by the latest report was, in the State Hospital, $4.39;
in the Northern Hospital, $4.33; in the county asylums, $1.89.

The new system considers the education of the chronic insane an
important part of their treatment; not specially book-learning (though
that may be included), but training of the mental, moral, and physical
faculties in habits of order, propriety, and labor. By these means
wonders have been worked for the insane. The danger, of course, is that
the local asylums may fall into unproductive routine, and that politics
will interfere with the intelligent State supervision. If Wisconsin is
able to keep her State institutions out of the clutches of men with whom
politics is a business simply for what they can make out of it (as it is
with those who oppose a civil service not based upon partisan dexterity
and subserviency), she will carry her enlightened ideas into the making
of a model State. The working out of such a noble reform as this in the
treatment of the insane can only be intrusted to men specially qualified
by knowledge, sympathy, and enthusiasm, and would be impossible in the
hands of changing political workers. The systematized enlightenment
of the farmers in the farmers’ institutes by means of their vital
connection with the University needs the steady direction of those
who are devoted to it, and not to any party success. As to education
generally, it may be said that while for the present the popular favor
to the State University depends upon its being “practical” in this and
other ways, the time will come when it will be seen that the highest
service it can render the State is by upholding pure scholarship,
without the least material object.

Another institution of which Wisconsin has reason to be proud is the
State Historical Society—a corporation (dating from 1853) with perpetual
succession, supported by an annual appropriation of five thousand
dollars, with provisions for printing the reports of the society and the
catalogues of the library. It is housed in the Capitol. The society has
accumulated interesting historical portraits, cabinets of antiquities,
natural history, and curiosities, a collection of copper, and some
valuable MSS. for the library. The library is one of the best historical
collections in the country. The excellence of it is largely due to Lyman
C. Draper, LL.D., who was its secretary for thirty-three years, but who
began as early as 1834 to gather facts and materials for border history
and biography, and who had in 1852 accumulated thousands of manuscripts
and historical statements, the nucleus of the present splendid library,
which embraces rare and valuable works relating to the history of nearly
every State. This material is arranged by States, and readily accessible
to the student. Indeed, there are few historical libraries in the
country where historical research in American subjects can be better
prosecuted than in this. The library began in January, 1854, with fifty
volumes. In January, 1887, it had 57,935 volumes and 60,731 pamphlets
and documents, making a total of 118,666 titles.

There is a large law library in the State-house, the University has a
fair special library for the students, and in the city is a good public
circulating library, free, supported by a tax, and much used. For a
young city, it is therefore very well off for books.

Madison is not only an educational centre, but an intelligent city; the
people read and no doubt buy books, but they do not support book-stores.
The shops where books are sold are variety-shops, dealing in stationery,
artists’ materials, cheap pictures, bric-à-brac. Books are of minor
importance, and but few are “kept in stock.” Indeed, bookselling is not
a profitable part of the business; it does not pay to “handle” books,
or to keep the run of new publications, or to keep a supply of standard
works. In this the shops of Madison are not peculiar. It is true all
over the West, except in two or three large cities, and true, perhaps,
not quite so generally in the East; the book-shops are not the literary
and intellectual centres they used to be.

There are several reasons given for this discouraging state of the
book-trade. Perhaps it is true that people accustomed to newspapers full
of “selections,” to the flimsy publications found on the cheap counters,
and to the magazines, do not buy “books that are books,” except for
“furnishing;” that they depend more and more upon the circulating
libraries for anything that costs more than an imported cigar or half
a pound of candy. The local dealers say that the system of the great
publishing houses is unsatisfactory as to prices and discounts. Private
persons can get the same discounts as the dealers, and can very likely,
by ordering a list, buy more cheaply than of the local bookseller, and
therefore, as a matter of business, he says that it does not pay to
keep books; he gives up trying to sell them, and turns his attention to
“varieties.” Another reason for the decline in the trade may be in the
fact that comparatively few booksellers are men of taste in letters, men
who read, or keep the run of new publications. If a retail grocer knew
no more of his business than many booksellers know of theirs, he would
certainly fail. It is a pity on all accounts that the book-trade is
in this condition. A bookseller in any community, if he is a man of
literary culture, and has a love of books and knowledge of them, can do
a great deal for the cultivation of the public taste. His shop becomes
a sort of intellectual centre of the town. If the public find there
an atmosphere of books, and are likely to have their wants met for
publications new or rare, they will generally sustain the shop; at
least this is my observation. Still, I should not like to attempt to say
whether the falling off in the retail book-trade is due to want of skill
in the sellers, to the publishing machinery, or to public indifference.
The subject is worthy the attention of experts. It is undeniably
important to maintain everywhere these little depots of intellectual
supply. In a town new to him the visitor is apt to estimate the taste,
the culture, the refinement, as well as the wealth of the town, by its
shops. The stock in the dry goods and fancy stores tells one thing, that
in the art-stores another thing, that in the book-stores another thing,
about the inhabitants. The West, even on the remote frontiers, is full
of magnificent stores of goods, telling of taste as well as luxury; the
book-shops are the poorest of all.

The impression of the North-west, thus far seen, is that of tremendous
energy, material refinement, much open-mindedness, considerable
self-appreciation,’ uncommon sagacity in meeting new problems, generous
hospitality, the Old Testament notion of possessing this world, rather
more recognition of the pecuniary as the only success than exists in
the East and South, intense national enthusiasm, and unblushing and most
welcome “Americanism.”

In these sketchy observations on the North-west nothing has seemed to me
more interesting and important than the agricultural changes going on
in eastern Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In the vast wheat farms, as
well as in the vast cattle ranges, there is an element of speculation,
if not of gambling, of the chance of immense profits or of considerable
loss, that is neither conducive to the stable prosperity nor to the
moral soundness of a State. In the breaking up of the great farms, and
in the introduction of varied agriculture and cattle-raising on a small
scale, there will not be so many great fortunes made, but each State
will be richer as a whole, and less liable to yearly fluctuations in
prosperity. But the gain most worth considering will be in the home
life and the character of the citizens. The best life of any community
depends upon varied industries. No part of the United States has ever
prospered, as regards the well-being of the mass of the people, that
relied upon the production of a single staple.



IX.—CHICAGO. [First Paper.]

Chicago is becoming modest. Perhaps the inhabitants may still be able to
conceal their modesty, but nevertheless they feel it. The explanation
is simple. The city has grown not only beyond the most sanguine
expectations of those who indulged in the most inflated hope of its
future, but it has grown beyond what they said they expected. This gives
the citizens pause—as it might an eagle that laid a roc’s egg.

The fact is, Chicago has become an independent organism, growing by a
combination of forces and opportunities, beyond the contrivance of
any combination of men to help or hinder, beyond the need of flaming
circulars and reports of boards of trade, and process pictures. It has
passed the danger or the fear of rivalry, and reached the point where
the growth of any other portion of the great North-west, or of any
city in it (whatever rivalry that city may show in industries or in
commerce), is in some way a contribution to the power and wealth of
Chicago. To them that have shall be given. Cities, under favoring
conditions for local expansion, which reach a certain amount of
population and wealth, grow by a kind of natural increment, the law of
attraction, very well known in human nature, which draws a person to an
active city of two hundred thousand rather than to a stagnant city of
one hundred thousand. And it is a fortunate thing for civilization that
this attraction is almost as strong to men of letters as it is to men of
affairs. Chicago has, it seems to me, only recently turned this point of
assured expansion, and, as I intimated, the inhabitants have hardly yet
become accustomed to this idea; but I believe that the time is near when
they will be as indifferent to what strangers think of Chicago as the
New-Yorkers are to what strangers think of New York. New York is
to-day the only American city free from this anxious note of
provincialism—though in Boston it rather takes the form of pity for the
unenlightened man who doubts its superiority; but the impartial student
of Chicago to-day can see plenty of signs of the sure growth of this
metropolitan indifference. And yet there is still here enough of the old
Chicago stamp to make the place interesting.

It is everything in getting a point of view. Last summer a lady of New
Orleans who had never before been out of her native French city, and
who would look upon the whole North with the impartial eyes of a
foreigner—and more than that, with Continental eyes—visited Chicago, and
afterwards New York. “Which city did you like best?” I asked, without
taking myself seriously in the question. To my surprise, she hesitated.
This hesitation was fatal to all my preconceived notions. It mattered
not thereafter which she preferred: she had hesitated. She was actually
comparing Chicago to New York in her mind, as one might compare Paris
and London. The audacity of the comparison I saw was excused by its
innocence. I confess that it had never occurred to me to think of
Chicago in that Continental light. “Well,” she said, not seeing at all
the humor of my remark, “Chicago seems to me to have finer buildings and
residences, to be the more beautiful city; but of course there is more
in New York; it is a greater city; and I should prefer to live there for
what I want.” This naïve observation set me thinking, and I wondered if
there was a point of view, say that of divine omniscience and fairness,
in which Chicago would appear as one of the great cities of the world,
in fact a metropolis, by-and-by to rival in population and wealth any
city of the seaboard. It has certainly better commercial advantages,
so far as water communication and railways go, than Paris or Pekin or
Berlin, and a territory to supply and receive from infinitely vaster,
richer, and more promising than either. This territory will have
many big cities, but in the nature of things only one of surpassing
importance. And taking into account its geographical position—a thousand
miles from the Atlantic seaboard on the one side, and from the mountains
on the other, with the acknowledged tendency of people and of money to
it as a continental centre—it seems to me that Chicago is to be that
one.

The growth of Chicago is one of the marvels of the world. I do not
wonder that it is incomprehensible even to those who have seen it year
by year. As I remember it in 1860, it was one of the shabbiest and most
unattractive cities of about a hundred thousand inhabitants anywhere to
be found; but even then it had more than trebled its size in ten years;
the streets were mud sloughs, the sidewalks were a series of stairs and
more or less rotten planks, half the town was in process of elevation
above the tadpole level, and a considerable part of it was on wheels—the
moving house being about the only wheeled vehicle that could get around
with any comfort to the passengers. The west side was a straggling
shanty-town, the north side was a country village with two or three
“aristocratic” houses occupying a square, the south side had not a
handsome business building in it, nor a public edifice of any merit
except a couple of churches, but there were a few pleasant residences on
Michigan avenue fronting the encroaching lake, and on Wabash avenue. Yet
I am not sure that even then the exceedingly busy and excited traders
and speculators did not feel that the town was more important than
New York. For it had a great business. Aside from its real estate
operations, its trade that year was set down at $97,000,000, embracing
its dealing in produce, its wholesale supply business, and its
manufacturing.

No one then, however, would have dared to predict that the value of
trade in 1887 would be, as it was, $1,103,000,000. Nor could any one
have believed that the population of 100,000 would reach in 1887
nearly 800,000 (estimated 782,644), likely to reach in 1888, with the
annexation of contiguous villages that have become physically a part of
the city, the amount of 900,000. Growing at its usual rate for several
years past, the city is certain in a couple of years to count its
million of people. And there is not probably anywhere congregated a
more active and aggressive million, with so great a proportion of
young, ambitious blood. Other figures keep pace with those of trade and
population. I will mention only one or two of them here. The national
banks, in 1887, had a capital of $15,800,000, in which the deposits
were $80,473,740, the loans and discounts $63,113,821, the surplus and
profits $6,320,559. The First National is, I believe, the second or
third largest banking house in the country, having a deposit account of
over twenty-two millions. The figures given only include the national
banks; add to these the private banks, and the deposits of Chicago in
1887 were $105,307,000. The aggregate bank clearings of the city were
$2,969,216,210.00, an increase of 14 per cent, over 1880. It should be
noted that there were only twenty-one banks in the clearing house (with
an aggregate capital and surplus of $28,514,000), and that the fewer the
banks the smaller the total clearings will be. The aggregate Board of
Trade clearings for 1887 were $78,179,809. In the year 1880 Chicago
imported merchandise entered for consumption to the value of
$11,574,449, and paid $4,349,237 duties on it. I did not intend to go
into statistics, but these and a few other figures will give some
idea of the volume of business in this new city. I found on inquiry
that—owing to legislation that need not be gone into—there are few
savings-banks, and the visible savings of labor cut a small figure in
this way. The explanation is that there are several important loan and
building associations. Money is received on deposit in small amounts,
and loaned at a good rate of interest to those wishing to build or buy
houses, the latter paying in small instalments. The result is that these
loan institutions have been very profitable to those who have put money
in them, and that the laborers who have borrowed to build have also been
benefited by putting all their savings into houses. I believe there
is no other large city, except Philadelphia perhaps, where so large a
proportion of the inhabitants own the houses they live in. There is
no better prevention of the spread of anarchical notions and communist
foolishness than this.

It is an item of interest that the wholesale drygoods jobbing
establishments increased their business in 1887 12 1/2 per cent, over
1886. Five houses have a capital of $9,000,000, and the sales in 1887
were nearly $74,000,000. And it is worth special mention that one man in
Chicago, Marshall Field, is the largest wholesale and retail dry-goods
merchant in the world. In his retail shop and wholesale store there are
3000 employes on the pay-roll. As to being first in his specialty, the
same may be said of Philip D. Armour, who not only distances all rivals
in the world as a packer, but no doubt also as a merchant of such
products as the hog contributes to the support of life. His sales in one
year have been over $51,000,000. The city has also the distinction
of having among its citizens Henry W. King, the largest dealer, in
establishments here and elsewhere, in clothing in the world.

In nothing has the growth of Chicago been more marked in the past five
years than in manufactures. I cannot go into the details of all the
products, but the totals of manufacture for 1887 were, in 2396 firms,
$113,960,000 capital employed, 134,615 workers, $74,567,000 paid in
wages, and the value of the product was $403,109,500—an increase of
product over 1886 of about 15 1/2 per cent. A surprising item in this is
the book and publishing business. The increase of sales of books in 1887
over 1886 was 20 per cent. The wholesale sales for 1887 are estimated at
$10,000,000. It is now claimed that as a book-publishing centre
Chicago ranks second only to New York, and that in the issue of
subscription-books it does more business than New York, Boston, and
Philadelphia combined. In regard to musical instruments the statement
is not less surprising. In 1887 the sales of pianos amounted to about
$2,600,000—a gain of $300,000 over 1886. My authority for this, and for
some, but not all, of the other figures given, is the Tribune, which
says that Chicago is not only the largest reed-organ market in the
world, but that more organs are manufactured here than in any other city
in Europe or America. The sales for 1887 were $2,000,000—an increase
over 1880 of $500,000. There were $1,000,000 worth of small musical
instruments sold, and of sheet music and music-books a total of
$450,000. This speaks well for the cultivation of musical taste in the
West, especially as there was a marked improvement in the class of the
music bought.

The product of the iron manufactures in 1887, including rolling-mills
($23,952,000) and founderies ($10,000,000), was $61,187,000 against
$46,790,000 in 1886, and the wages paid in iron and steel work was
$14,899,000. In 1887 there were erected 4833 buildings, at a reported
cost of $19,778,100—a few more build-’ ings, but yet at nearly two
millions less cost, than in 1886. A couple of items interested me:
that Chicago made in 1887 $900,000 worth of toys and $500,000 worth of
perfumes. The soap-makers waged a gallant but entirely unsuccessful war
against the soot and smoke of the town in producing $6,250,000 worth
of soap and candles. I do not see it mentioned, but I should think the
laundry business in Chicago would be the most profitable one at present.

Without attempting at all to set forth the business of Chicago in
detail, a few more figures will help to indicate its volume. At the
beginning of 1887 the storage capacity for grain in 29 elevators was
27,025,000 bushels. The total receipts of flour and grain in 1882, ‘3,
‘4, ‘5, and ‘6, in bushels, were respectively, 126,155,483, 164,924,732,
159,561,474, 156,408,228, 151,932,995. In 1887 the receipts in bushels
were: flour, 6,873,544; wheat, 21,848,251; corn, 51,578,410; oats,
45,750,842; rye, 852,726; barley, 12,476,547—total, 139,380,320. It is
useless to go into details of the meat products, but interesting to know
that in 1886 Chicago shipped 310,039,600 pounds of lard and 573,496,012
pounds of dressed beef.

I was surprised at the amount of the lake commerce, the railway traffic
(nearly 50,000 miles tributary to the city) making so much more show. In
1882 the tonnage of vessels clearing this port was 4,904,999; in 1880
it was 3,950,762. The report of the Board of Trade for 1886 says the
arrivals and clearances, foreign and coastwise, for this port for the
year ending June 30th were 22,096, which was 869 more than at the ports
of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland and Falmouth,
and San Francisco combined; 315 more than at New York, New Orleans,
Portland and Falmouth, and San Francisco; and 100 more than at New York,
Baltimore, and Portland and Falmouth. It will not be overlooked that
this lake commerce is training a race of hardy sailors, who would come
to the front in case of a naval war, though they might have to go out on
rafts.

In 1888 Chicago is a magnificent city. Although it has been incorporated
fifty years, during which period its accession of population has been
rapid and steady—hardly checked by the devastating fires of 1871 and
1874—its metropolitan character and appearance is the work of less than
fifteen years. There is in history no parallel to this product of a
freely acting democracy: not St. Petersburg rising out of the marshes
at an imperial edict, nor Berlin, the magic creation of a consolidated
empire and a Caesar’s power. The north-side village has become a city
of broad streets, running northward to the parks, lined with handsome
residences interspersed with stately mansions of most varied and
agreeable architecture, marred by very little that is bizarre and
pretentious—a region of churches and club-houses and public buildings
of importance. The west side, the largest section, and containing more
population than the other two divisions combined, stretching out over
the prairie to a horizon fringed with villages, expanding in three
directions, is more mediocre in buildings, but impressive in its
vastness; and the stranger driving out the stately avenue of Washington
some four miles to Garfield Park will be astonished by the evidences of
wealth and the vigor of the city expansion.

But it is the business portion of the south side that is the miracle of
the time, the solid creation of energy and capital since the fire—the
square mile containing the Post-office and City Hall, the giant
hotels, the opera-houses and theatres, the Board of Trade building, the
many-storied offices, the great shops, the clubhouses, the vast retail
and wholesale warehouses. This area has the advantage of some other
great business centres in having broad streets at right angles, but with
all this openness for movement, the throng of passengers and traffic,
the intersecting street and cable railways, the loads of freight and the
crush of carriages, the life and hurry and excitement are sufficient to
satisfy the most eager lover of metropolitan pandemonium. Unfortunately
for a clear comprehension of it, the manufactories vomit dense clouds of
bituminous coal smoke, which settle in a black mass in this part of the
town, so that one can scarcely see across the streets in a damp day,
and the huge buildings loom up in the black sky in ghostly dimness. The
climate of Chicago, though some ten degrees warmer than the average of
its immediately tributary territory, is a harsh one, and in the short
winter days the centre of the city is not only black, but damp and
chilly. In some of the November and December days I could without any
stretch of the imagination fancy myself in London. On a Sunday, when
business gives place to amusement and religion, the stately city is
seen in all its fine proportions. No other city in the Union can show
business warehouses and offices of more architectural nobility. The mind
inevitably goes to Florence for comparison with the structures of the
Medicean merchant princes. One might name the Pullman Building for
offices as an example, and the wholesale warehouse of Marshall Field,
the work of that truly original American architect, Richardson, which
in massiveness, simplicity of lines, and admirable blending of artistic
beauty with adaptability to its purpose, seems to me unrivalled in this
country. A few of these buildings are exceptions to the general style of
architecture, which is only good of its utilitarian American kind, but
they give distinction to the town, and I am sure are prophetic of the
concrete form the wealth of the city will take. The visitor is likely
to be surprised at the number and size of the structures devoted to
offices, and to think, as he sees some of them unfilled, that the
business is overdone. At any given moment it may be, but the demand for
“offices” is always surprising to those who pay most attention to this
subject, and I am told that if the erection of office buildings should
cease for a year, the demand would pass beyond the means of satisfying
it.

Leaving the business portion of the south side, the city runs in
apparently limitless broad avenues southward into suburban villages and
a region thickly populated to the Indiana line. The continuous slightly
curving lake front of the city is about seven miles, pretty solidly
occupied with houses. The Michigan avenue of 1860, with its wooden
fronts and cheap boarding-houses, has taken on quite another appearance,
and extends its broad way in unbroken lines of fine residences five
miles, which will be six miles next summer, when its opening is
completed to the entrance of Washington Park. I do not know such another
street in the world. In the evening the converging lines of gas lamps
offer a prospective of unequalled beauty of its kind. The south parks
are reached now by turning either into the Drexel Boulevard or the Grand
Boulevard, a magnificent avenue a mile in length, tree-planted, gay with
flower-beds in the season, and crowded in the sleighing-time with fast
teams and fancy turnouts.

This leads me to speak of another feature of Chicago, which has no rival
in this country: I mean the facility for pleasure driving and riding.
Michigan avenue from the mouth of the river, the centre of town, is
macadamized. It and the other avenues immediately connected with the
park system are not included in the city street department, but are
under the care of the Commissioners of Parks. No traffic is permitted on
them, and consequently they are in superb condition for driving, summer
and winter. The whole length of Michigan avenue you will never see a
loaded team. These roads—that is, Michigan avenue and the others of
the park system, and the park drives—are superb for driving or riding,
perfectly made for drainage and permanency, with a top-dressing of
pulverized granite. The cost of the Michigan avenue drive was two
hundred thousand dollars a mile. The cost of the parks and boulevards
in each of the three divisions is met by a tax on the property in
that division. The tax is considerable, but the wise liberality of
the citizens has done for the town what only royalty usually
accomplishes—given it magnificent roads; and if good roads are a
criterion of civilization, Chicago must stand very high. But it needed
a community with a great deal of daring and confidence in the future to
create this park system.

One in the heart of the city has not to drive three or four miles
over cobble-stones and ruts to get to good driving-ground. When he
has entered Michigan avenue he need not pull rein for twenty to thirty
miles. This is almost literally true as to extent, without counting the
miles of fine drives in the parks; for the city proper is circled by
great parks, already laid out as pleasure-grounds, tree-planted
and beautified to a high degree, although they are nothing to what
cultivation will make them in ten years more. On the lake shore, at
the south, is Jackson Park; next is Washington Park, twice as large as
Central Park, New York; then, farther to the west, and north, Douglas
Park and Garfield Park; then Humboldt Park, until we come round to
Lincoln Park, on the lake shore on the north side. These parks are
all connected by broad boulevards, some of which are not yet fully
developed, thus forming a continuous park drive, with enough of nature
and enough of varied architecture for variety, unsurpassed, I should
say, in the world within any city limits. Washington Park, with a
slightly rolling surface and beautiful landscape-gardening, has not only
fine drive-ways, but a splendid road set apart for horsemen. This is
a dirt road, always well sprinkled, and the equestrian has a chance
besides of a gallop over springy turf. Water is now so abundantly
provided that this park is kept green in the driest season. From
anywhere in the south side one may mount his horse or enter his carriage
for a turn of fifteen or twenty miles on what is equivalent to a country
road—that is to say, an English country road. Of the effect of this
facility on social life I shall have occasion to speak. On the lake side
of Washington Park are the grounds of the Washington Park Racing Club,
with a splendid track, and stables and other facilities which, I am
told, exceed anything of the kind in the country. The club-house itself
is very handsome and commodious, is open to the members and their
families summer and winter, and makes a favorite rendezvous for that
part of society which shares its privileges. Besides its large dining
and dancing halls, it has elegant apartments set apart for ladies. In
winter its hospitable rooms and big wood fires are very attractive after
a zero drive.

Almost equal facility for driving and riding is had on the north side by
taking the lake-shore drive to Lincoln Park. Too much cannot be said of
the beauty of this drive along the curving shore of an inland sea, ever
attractive in the play of changing lights and colors, and beginning to
be fronted by palatial houses—a foretaste of the coming Venetian variety
and splendor. The park itself, dignified by the Lincoln statue, is
an exquisite piece of restful landscape, looked over by a thickening
assemblage of stately residences. It is a quarter of spacious elegance.

One hardly knows how to speak justly of either the physical aspect or
the social life of Chicago, the present performance suggesting such
promise and immediate change. The excited admiration waits a little upon
expectation. I should like to sec it in five years—in ten years; it is
a formative period, but one of such excellence of execution that the
imagination takes a very high flight in anticipating the result of
another quarter of a century. What other city has begun so nobly or
has planned so liberally for metropolitan solidity, elegance, and
recreation? What other has such magnificent, avenues and boulevards,
and such a system of parks? The boy is born here who will see the town
expanded far beyond these splendid pleasure-grounds, and what is now
the circumference of the city will be to Chicago what the vernal gardens
from St. James to Hampton are to London. This anticipation hardly seems
strange when one remembers what Chicago was fifteen years ago.

Architecturally, Chicago is more interesting than many older cities. Its
wealth and opportunity for fine building coming when our national
taste is beginning to be individual, it has escaped the monotony and
mediocrity in which New York for so many years put its money, and out
of the sameness of which it is escaping in spots. Having also plenty of
room, Chicago has been able to avoid the block system in its residences,
and to give play to variety and creative genius. It is impossible to do
much with the interior of a house in a block, however much you may load
the front with ornament. Confined to a long parallelogram, and limited
as to light and air, neither comfort nor individual taste can be
consulted or satisfied. Chicago is a city of detached houses, in the
humbler quarters as well as in the magnificent avenues, and the
effect is home-like and beautiful at the same time. There is great
variety—stone, brick, and wood intermingled, plain and ornamental; but
drive where you will in the favorite residence parts of the vast city,
you will be continually surprised with the sight of noble and artistic
houses and homes displaying taste as well as luxury. In addition to the
business and public buildings of which I spoke, there are several, like
the Art Museum, the Studebaker Building, and the new Auditorium, which
would be conspicuous and admired in any city in the world. The city is
rich in a few specimens of private houses by Mr. Richardson (whose loss
to the country is still apparently irreparable), houses worth a long
journey to see, so simple, so noble, so full of comfort, sentiment,
unique, having what may be called a charming personality. As to
interiors, there has been plenty of money spent in Chicago in mere show;
but, after all, I know of no other city that has more character and
individuality in its interiors, more evidences of personal refinement
and taste. There is, of course—Boston knows that—a grace and richness
in a dwelling in which generations have accumulated the best fruits of
wealth and cultivation; but any tasteful stranger here, I am sure, will
be surprised to find in a city so new so many homes pervaded by the
atmosphere of books and art and refined sensibility, due, I imagine,
mainly to the taste of the women, for while there are plenty of men here
who have taste, there are very few who have leisure to indulge it; and
I doubt if there was ever anywhere a livable house—a man can build a
palace, but he cannot make a home—that was not the creation of a refined
woman. I do not mean to say that Chicago is not still very much the
victim of the upholsterer, and that the eye is not offended by a good
deal that is gaudy and pretentious, but there is so much here that is in
exquisite taste that one has a hopeful heart about its future. Everybody
is not yet educated up to the “Richardson houses,” but nothing is
more certain than that they will powerfully influence all the future
architecture of the town.

Perhaps there never was before such an opportunity to study the growth
of an enormous city, physically and socially, as is offered now in
Chicago, where the development of half a century is condensed into a
decade. In one respect it differs from all other cities of anything like
its size. It is not only surrounded by a complete net-work of railways,
but it is permeated by them. The converging lines of twenty-one (I think
it is) railways paralleling each other or criss-crossing in the suburbs
concentrate upon fewer tracks as they enter the dense part of the
city, but they literally surround it, and actually pierce its heart. So
complete is this environment and interlacing that you cannot enter the
city from any direction without encountering a net-work of tracks. None
of the water-front, except a strip on the north side, is free from them.
The finest residence part of the south side, including the boulevards
and parks, is surrounded and cut by them. There are a few viaducts, but
for the most part the tracks occupy streets, and the crossings are at
grade. Along the Michigan avenue water-front and down the lake shore to
Hyde Park, on the Illinois Central and the Michigan Central and their
connections, the foreign and local trains pass incessantly (I believe
over sixty a day), and the Illinois crosses above Sixteenth Street,
cutting all the great southward avenues; and farther down, the tracks
run between Jackson Park and Washington Park, crossing at grade the
500-feet-wide boulevard which connects these great parks and makes them
one. These tracks and grade crossings, from which so few parts of the
city are free, are a serious evil and danger, and the annoyance is
increased by the multiplicity of street railway’s, and by the swiftly
running cable-cars, which are a constant source of alarm to the timid.
The railways present a difficult problem. The town covers such a vast
area (always extending in a ratio that cannot be calculated) that to
place all the passenger stations outside would be a great inconvenience,
to unite the lines in a single station probably impracticable. In time,
however, the roads must come in on elevated viaducts, or concentrate in
three or four stations which communicate with the central parts of the
town by elevated roads.

This state of things arose from the fact that the railways antedated,
and we may say made, the town, which has grown up along their lines. To
a town of pure business, transportation was the first requisite, and the
newer roads have been encouraged to penetrate as far into the city as
they could. Now that it is necessary to make it a city to live in safely
and agreeably, the railways are regarded from another point of view. I
suppose a sociologist would make some reflections on the effect of such
a thorough permeation of tracks, trains, engines, and traffic upon
the temperament of a town, the action of these exciting and irritating
causes upon its nervous centres. Living in a big railway-station must
have an effect on the nerves. At present this seems a legitimate part
of the excited activity of the city; but if it continues, with the rapid
increase of wealth and the growth of a leisure class, the inhabitants
who can afford to get away will live here only the few months necessary
to do their business and take a short season of social gayety, and then
go to quieter places early in the spring and for the summer months.

It is at this point of view that the value of the park system appears,
not only as a relief, as easily accessible recreation-grounds for the
inhabitants in every part of the city, but as an element in society
life. These parks, which I have already named, contain 1742 acres.
The two south parks, connected so as to be substantially one, have 957
acres. Their great connecting boulevards are interfered with somewhat by
railway-tracks, and none of them, except Lincoln, can be reached without
crossing tracks on which locomotives run, yet, as has been said, the
most important of them are led to by good driving-roads from the heart
of the city. They have excellent roads set apart for equestrians as
well as for driving. These facilities induce the keeping of horses, the
setting up of fine equipages, and a display for which no other city has
better opportunity. This cannot but have an appreciable effect upon the
growth of luxury and display in this direction. Indeed, it is already
true that the city keeps more private carriages—for the pleasure not
only of the rich, but of the well-to-do—in proportion to its population,
than any other large city I know. These broad thoroughfares, kept free
from traffic, furnish excellent sleighing when it does not exist in the
city streets generally, and in the summer unequalled avenues for the
show of wealth and beauty and style. In a few years the turnouts on the
Grand Boulevard and the Lincoln Park drive will be worth going far to
see for those who admire—and who does not? for, the world over, wealth
has no spectacle more attractive to all classes—fine horses and the
splendor of moving equipages. And here is no cramped mile or two for
parade, like most of the fashionable drives of the world, but space
inviting healthful exercise as well as display. These broad avenues and
park outlooks, with ample ground-room, stimulate architectural rivalry,
and this opportunity for driving and riding and being on view cannot but
affect very strongly the social tone. The foresight of the busy men who
planned this park system is already vindicated. The public appreciate
their privileges. On fair days the driving avenues are thronged. One
Sunday afternoon in January, when the sleighing was good, some one
estimated that there were as many as ten thousand teams flying up and
down Michigan avenue and the Grand Boulevard. This was, of course, an
over-estimate, but the throng made a ten-thousand impression on the
mind. Perhaps it was a note of Western independence that a woman was
here and there seen “speeding” a fast horse, in a cutter, alone.

I suppose that most of these people had been to church in the morning,
for Chicago, which does everything it puts its hand to with tremendous
energy, is a church-going city, and I believe presents some contrast to
Cincinnati in this respect. Religious, mission, and Sunday-school work
is very active, churches are many, whatever the liberality of the creeds
of a majority of them, and there are several congregations of over two
thousand people. One vast music-hall and one theatre are thronged Sunday
after Sunday with organized, vigorous, worshipful congregations. Besides
these are the Sunday meetings for ethical culture and Christian science.
It is true that many of the theatres are open as on week-days, and there
is a vast foreign population that takes its day of rest in idleness or
base-ball and garden amusements, but the prevailing aspect of the city
is that of Sunday observance. There is a good deal of wholesome New
England in its tone. And it welcomes any form of activity—orthodoxy,
liberalism, revivals, ethical culture.

A special interest in Chicago at the moment is because it is
forming—full of contrasts and of promise, palaces and shanties side by
side. Its forces are gathered and accumulating, but not assimilated.
What a mass of crude, undigested material it has! In one region on the
west side are twenty thousand Bohemians and Poles; the street signs
are all foreign and of unpronounceable names—a physically strong,
but mentally and morally brutal, people for the most part; the adults
generally do not speak English, and claning as they do, they probably
never will. There is no hope that this generation will be intelligent
American citizens, or be otherwise than the political prey of
demagogues. But their children are in the excellent public schools, and
will take in American ideas and take on American ways. Still, the mill
has about as much grist as it can grind at present.

Social life is, speaking generally, as unformed, unselected, as the
city—that is, more fluid and undetermined than in Eastern large cities.
That is merely to say, however, that while it is American, it is young.
When you come to individuals, the people in society are largely from
the East, or have Eastern connections that determine their conduct. For
twenty years the great universities, Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Princeton,
and the rest, have been pouring in their young men here. There is no
better element in the world, and it is felt in every pulse of the town.
Young couples marry and come here from every sort of Eastern circle. But
the town has grown so fast, and so many new people have come into the
ability suddenly to spend money in fine houses and equipages, that the
people do not know each other. You may drive past miles of good houses,
with a man who has grown up with the town, who cannot tell you who any
of the occupants of the houses are. Men know each other on change, in
the courts, in business, and are beginning to know each other in clubs,
but society has not got itself sorted out and arranged, or discovered
its elements. This is a metropolitan trait, it is true, but the
condition is socially very different from what it is in New York or
Boston; the small village associations survive a little yet, struggling
against the territorial distances, but the social mass is still
unorganized, although “society” is a prominent feature in the
newspapers. Of course it is understood that there are people “in
society,” and dinners, and all that, in nowise different from the same
people and events the world over.

A striking feature of the town is “youth,” visible in social life as
well as in business. An Eastern man is surprised to see so many young
men in responsible positions, at the head, or taking the managing oar,
in great moneyed institutions, in railway corporations, and in societies
of charity and culture. A young man, graduate of the city high-school,
is at the same time president of a prominent bank, president of the
Board of Trade, and president of the Art Institute. This youthful spirit
must be contagious, for apparently the more elderly men do not permit
themselves to become old, either in the business or the pleasures of
life. Everything goes on with youthful vim and spirit.

Next to the youth, and perhaps more noticeable, the characteristic
feature of Chicago is money-making, and the money power is as obtrusive
socially as on change. When we come to speak of educational and
intellectual tendencies, it will be seen how this spirit is being at
once utilized and mitigated; but for the moment money is the recognized
power. How could it be otherwise? Youth and energy did not flock here
for pleasure or for society, but simply for fortune. And success in
money-getting was about the only one considered. And it is still that
by which Chicago is chiefly known abroad, by that and by a certain
consciousness of it which is noticed. And as women reflect social
conditions most vividly, it cannot be denied that there is a type known
in Europe and in the East as the Chicago young woman, capable rather
than timid, dashing rather than retiring, quite able to take care of
herself. But this is not by any means an exhaustive account of the
Chicago woman of to-day.

While it must be said that the men, as a rule, are too much absorbed
in business to give heed to anything else, yet even this statement will
need more qualification than would appear at first, when we come to
consider the educational, industrial, and reformatory projects. And
indeed a veritable exception is the Literary Club, of nearly two hundred
members, a mingling of business and professional men, who have fine
rooms in the Art Building, and meet weekly for papers and discussions.
It is not in every city that an equal number of busy men will give
the time to this sort of intellectual recreation. The energy here is
superabundant; in whatever direction it is exerted it is very effective;
and it may be said, in the language of the street, that if the men of
Chicago seriously take hold of culture, they will make it hum.

Still it remains true here, as elsewhere in the United States, that
women are in advance in the intellectual revival. One cannot yet
predict what will be the result of this continental furor for literary,
scientific, and study clubs—in some places in the East the literary wave
has already risen to the height of the scientific study of whist—but for
the time being Chicago women are in the full swing of literary life.
Mr. Browning says that more of his books are sold in Chicago than in any
other American city. Granting some affectation, some passing fashion, in
the Browning, Dante, and Shakespeare clubs, I think it is true that
the Chicago woman, who is imbued with the energy of the place, is more
serious in her work than are women in many other places; at least she
is more enthusiastic. Her spirit is open, more that of frank admiration
than of criticism of both literature and of authors. This carries her
not only further into the heart of literature itself, but into a genuine
enjoyment of it—wanting almost to some circles at the East, who are
too cultivated to admire with warmth or to surrender themselves to the
delights of learning, but find their avocation rather in what may be
called literary detraction, the spirit being that of dissection of
authors and books, much as social gossips pick to pieces the characters
of those of their own set. And one occupation is as good as the other.
Chicago has some reputation for beauty, for having pretty, dashing,
and attractive women; it is as much entitled to be considered for its
intelligent women who are intellectually agreeable. Comparisons are very
unsafe, but it is my impression that there is more love for books in
Chicago than in New York society, and less of the critical, nil admirari
spirit than in Boston.

It might be an indication of no value (only of the taste of individuals)
that books should be the principal “favors” at a fashionable german, but
there is a book-store in the city whose evidence cannot be set aside
by reference to any freak of fashion. McClurg’s book-store is a very
extensive establishment in all departments—publishing, manufacturing,
retailing, wholesaling, and importing. In some respects it has not its
equal in this country. The book-lover, whether he comes from London
or New York, will find there a stock, constantly sold and constantly
replenished, of books rare, curious, interesting, that will surprise
him. The general intelligence that sustains a retail shop of this
variety and magnitude must be considerable, and speaks of a taste for
books with which the city has not been credited; but the cultivation,
the special love of books for themselves, which makes possible this rich
corner of rare and imported books at McClurg’s, would be noticeable
in any city, and women as well as men in Chicago are buyers and
appreciators of first editions, autograph and presentation copies, and
books valued because they are scarce and rare.

Chicago has a physical peculiarity that radically affects its social
condition, and prevents its becoming homogeneous. It has one business
centre and three distinct residence parts, divided by the branching
river. Communication between the residence sections has to be made
through the business city, and is further hindered by the bridge
crossings, which cause irritating delays the greater part of the year.
The result is that three villages grew up, now become cities in size,
and each with a peculiar character. The north side was originally
the more aristocratic, and having fewer railways and a
less-occupied-with-business lake front, was the more agreeable as a
place of residence, always having the drawback of the bridge crossings
to the business part. After the great fire, building lots were cheaper
there than on the south side within reasonable distance of the active
city. It has grown amazingly, and is beautified by stately bouses and
fine architecture, and would probably still be called the more desirable
place of residence. But the south side has two great advantages—easy
access to the business centre and to the great southern parks and
pleasure-grounds. This latter would decide many to live there. The vast
west side, with its lumber-yards and factories, its foreign settlements,
and its population outnumbering the two other sections combined, is
practically an unknown region socially to the north side and south side.
The causes which produced three villages surrounding a common business
centre will continue to operate. The west side will continue to expand
with cheap houses, or even elegant residences on the park avenues—it
is the glory of Chicago that such a large proportion of its houses are
owned by their occupants, and that there are few tenement rookeries, and
even few gigantic apartment houses—over a limitless prairie; the north
side will grow in increasing beauty about Lincoln Park; and the south
side will more and more gravitate with imposing houses about the
attractive south parks. Thus the two fashionable parts of the city,
separated by five, eight, and ten miles, will develop a social life of
their own, about as distinct as New York and Brooklyn. It remains to be
seen which will call the other “Brooklyn.” At present these divisions
account for much of the disorganization of social life, and prevent that
concentration which seems essential to the highest social development.

In this situation Chicago is original, as she is in many other ways, and
it makes one of the interesting phases in the guesses at her future.



X.—CHICAGO [Second Paper.]

The country gets its impression of Chicago largely from the Chicago
newspapers. In my observation, the impression is wrong. The press is
able, vigorous, voluminous, full of enterprise, alert, spirited; its
news columns are marvellous in quantity, if not in quality; nowhere
are important events, public meetings, and demonstrations more fully,
graphically, and satisfactorily reported; it has keen and competent
writers in several departments of criticism—theatrical, musical, and
occasionally literary; independence, with less of personal bias than
in some other cities; the editorial pages of most of the newspapers are
bright, sparkling, witty, not seldom spiced with knowing drollery, and
strong, vivid, well-informed and well-written, in the discussion of
public questions, with an allowance always to be made for the “personal
equation” in dealing with particular men and measures—as little
provincial in this respect as any press in the country.

But it lacks tone, elevation of purpose; it represents to the world
the inferior elements of a great city rather than the better, under a
mistaken notion in the press and the public, not confined to Chicago,
as to what is “news.” It cannot escape the charge of being highly
sensational; that is, the elevation into notoriety of mean persons and
mean events by every rhetorical and pictorial device. Day after day the
leading news, the most displayed and most conspicuous, will be of vulgar
men and women, and all the more expanded if it have in it a spice
of scandal. This sort of reading creates a diseased appetite, which
requires a stronger dose daily to satisfy; and people who read it lose
their relish for the higher, more decent, if less piquant, news of the
world. Of course the Chicago newspapers are not by any means alone in
this course; it is a disease of the time. Even New York has recently
imitated successfully this feature of what is called “Western
journalism.”

But it is largely from the Chicago newspapers that the impression has
gone abroad that the city is preeminent in divorces, pre-eminent in
scandals, that its society is fast, that it is vulgar and pretentious,
that its tone is “shoddy,” and its culture a sham. The laws of Illinois
in regard to divorces are not more lax than in some Eastern States,
and divorces are not more numerous there of residents (according to
population) than in some Eastern towns; but while the press of the
latter give merely an official line to the court separations, the
Chicago papers parade all the details, and illustrate them with
pictures. Many people go there to get divorces, because they avoid
scandal at their homes, and because the Chicago courts offer unusual
facilities in being open every month in the year. Chicago has a young,
mobile population, an immense foreign brutal element. I watched for
some weeks the daily reports of divorces and scandals. Almost without
exception they related to the lower, not to say the more vulgar,
portions of social life. In several years the city has had, I believe,
only two causes célèbres in what is called good society—a remarkable
record for a city of its size. Of course a city of this magnitude and
mobility is not free from vice and immorality and fast living; but I
am compelled to record the deliberate opinion, formed on a good deal of
observation and inquiry, that the moral tone in Chicago society, in all
the well-to-do industrious classes which give the town its distinctive
character, is purer and higher than in any other city of its size with
which I am acquainted, and purer than in many much smaller. The tone is
not so fast, public opinion is more restrictive, and women take, and are
disposed to take, less latitude in conduct. This was not my impression
from the newspapers. But it is true not only that social life holds
itself to great propriety, but that the moral atmosphere is uncommonly
pure and wholesome. At the same time, the city does not lack gayety
of movement, and it would not be called prudish, nor in some respects
conventional.

It is curious, also, that the newspapers, or some of them, take pleasure
in mocking at the culture of the town. Outside papers catch this spirit,
and the “culture” of Chicago is the butt of the paragraphers. It is a
singular attitude for newspapers to take regarding their own city. Not
long ago Mr. McClurg published a very neat volume, in vellum, of the
fragments of Sappho, with translations. If the volume had appeared in
Boston it would have been welcomed and most respectfully received in
Chicago. But instead of regarding it as an evidence of the growing
literary taste of the new town, the humorists saw occasion in it for
exquisite mockery in the juxtaposition of Sappho with the modern ability
to kill seven pigs a minute, and in the cleverest and most humorous
manner set all the country in a roar over the incongruity. It goes
without saying that the business men of Chicago were not sitting up
nights to study the Greek poets in the original; but the fact was
that there was enough literary taste in the city to make the volume
a profitable venture, and that its appearance was an evidence of
intellectual activity and scholarly inclination that would be creditable
to any city in the land. It was not at all my intention to intrude my
impressions of a newspaper press so very able and with such magnificent
opportunities as that of Chicago, but it was unavoidable to mention one
of the causes of the misapprehension of the social and moral condition
of the city.

The business statistics of Chicago, and the story of its growth, and the
social movement, which have been touched on in a previous paper, give
only a half-picture of the life of the town. The prophecy for its
great and more hopeful future is in other exhibitions of its incessant
activity. My limits permit only a reference to its churches, extensive
charities (which alone would make a remarkable and most creditable
chapter), hospitals, medical schools, and conservatories of music. Club
life is attaining metropolitan proportions. There is on the south side
the Chicago, the Union League, the University, the Calumet, and on the
north side the Union—all vigorous, and most of them housed in
superb buildings of their own. The Women’s Exchange is a most
useful organization, and the Ladies’ Fortnightly ranks with the best
intellectual associations in the country. The Commercial Club, composed
of sixty representative business men in all departments, is a most vital
element in the prosperity of the city. I cannot dwell upon these. But
at least a word must be said about the charities, and some space must be
given to the schools.

The number of solicitors for far West churches and colleges who pass by
Chicago and come to Xew York and New England for money have created
the impression that Chicago is not a good place to go for this purpose.
Whatever may be the truth of this, the city does give royally for
private charities, and liberally for mission work beyond her borders. It
is estimated by those familiar with the subject that Chicago contributes
for charitable and religious purposes, exclusive of the public charities
of the city and county, not less than five millions of dollars annually.
I have not room to give even the partial list of the benevolent
societies that lies before me, but beginning with the Chicago Relief and
Aid, and the Armour Mission, and going down to lesser organizations, the
sum annually given by them is considerably over half a million dollars.
The amount raised by the churches of various denominations for religious
purposes is not less than four millions yearly. These figures prove
the liberality, and I am able to add that the charities are most
sympathetically and intelligently administered.

Inviting, by its opportunities for labor and its facilities for
business, comers from all the world, a large proportion of whom are
aliens to the language and institutions of America, Chicago is making
a noble fight to assimilate this material into good citizenship.
The popular schools are liberally sustained, intelligently directed,
practise the most advanced and inspiring methods, and exhibit excellent
results. I have not the statistics of 1887; but in 1886, when the
population was only 703,000, there were 129,000 between the ages of six
and sixteen, of whom 83,000 were enrolled as pupils, and the average
daily attendance in schools was over 65,000. Besides these there were
about 43,000 in private schools. The census of 1886 reports only 34
children between the ages of six and twenty-one who could neither read
nor write. There were 91 school buildings owned by the city, and two
rented. Of these, three are high-schools, one in each division, the
newest, on the west side, having 1000 students. The school attendance
increases by a large per cent, each year. The principals of the
high-schools were men; of the grammar and primary schools, 35 men and
42 women. The total of teachers was 1440, of whom 56 were men. By the
census of 1886 there were 106,929 children in the city under six years
of age. No kindergartens are attached to the public schools, but the
question of attaching them is agitated. In the lower grades, however,
the instruction is by object lessons, drawing, writing, modelling, and
exercises that train the eye to observe, the tongue to describe, and
that awaken attention without weariness. The alertness of the scholars
and the enthusiasm of the teachers were marked. It should be added that
German is extensively taught in the grammar schools, and that the number
enrolled in the German classes in 1886 was over 28,000. There is some
public sentiment for throwing out German from the public schools, and
generally for restricting studies in the higher branches.

The argument against this is that very few of the children, and the
majority of those girls, enter the high-schools; the boys are taken
out early for business, and get no education afterwards. In 1885 were
organized public elementary evening schools (which had, in 1886, 6709
pupils), and an evening high-school, in which book-keeping, stenography,
mechanical drawing, and advanced mathematics were taught. The Sehool
Committee also have in charge day schools for the education of deaf and
dumb children.

The total expenditure for 1880 was $2,000,803; this includes $1,023,394
paid to superintendents and teachers, and large sums for new buildings,
apparatus, and repairs. The total cash receipts for sehool purposes were
$2,091,951. Of this was from the school tax fund $1,758,053 (the total
city tax for all purposes was $5,308,409), and the rest from State
dividend and sehool fund bonds and miscellaneous sources. These figures
show that education is not neglected.

Of the quality and efficacy of this education there cannot be two
opinions, as seen in the schools whieh I visited. The high-school on the
west side is a model of its kind; but perhaps as interesting an example
of popular education as any is the Franklin grammar and primary school
on the north side, in a district of laboring people. Here were 1700
pupils, all children of working people, mostly Swedes and Germans, from
the age of six years upwards. Here were found some of the children of
the late anarchists, and nowhere else can one see a more interesting
attempt to manufacture intelligent American citizens. The instruction
rises through the several grades from object lessons, drawing, writing
and reading (and writing and reading well), to elementary physiology,
political and constitutional history, and physical geography. Here is
taught to young children what they cannot learn at home, and might never
clearly comprehend otherwise; not only something of the geography
and history of the country, but the distinctive principles of our
government, its constitutional ideas, the growth, creeds, and relations
of political parties, and the personality of the great men who have
represented them. That the pupils comprehend these subjects fairly well
I had evidence in recitations that were as pleasing as surprising. In
this way Chicago is teaching its alien population American ideas, and it
is fair to presume that the rising generation will have some notion of
the nature and value of our institutions that will save them from the
inclination to destroy them.

The public mind is agitated a good deal on the question of the
introduction of manual training into the public schools. The idea of
some people is that manual training should only be used as an aid to
mental training, in order to give definiteness and accuracy to thought;
others would like actual trades taught; and others think that it is
outside the function of the State to teach anything but elementary
mental studies. The subject would require an essay by itself, and I only
allude to it to say that Chicago is quite alive to the problems and
the most advanced educational ideas. If one would like to study
the philosophy and the practical working of what may be called
physico-mental training, I know no better place in the country to do so
than the Cook County Normal School, near Englewood, under the charge
of Colonel F. W. Parker, the originator of what is known as the
Quincy (Massachusetts) System. This is a training school for about 100
teachers, in a building where they have practice on about 500 children
in all stages of education, from the kindergarten up to the eighth
grade. This may be called a thorough manual training school, but not
to teach trades, work being done in drawing, modelling in clay, making
raised maps, and wood-carving. The Quincy System, which is sometimes
described as the development of character by developing mind and body,
has a literature to itself. This remarkable school, which draws teachers
for training from all over the country, is a notable instance of the
hospitality of the West to new and advanced ideas. It does not neglect
the literary side in education. Here and in some of the grammar schools
of Chicago the experiment is successfully tried of interesting young
children in the best literature by reading to them from the works of the
best authors, ancient and modern, and giving them a taste for what
is excellent, instead of the trash that is likely to fall into
their hands—the cultivation of sustained and consecutive interest in
narratives, essays, and descriptions in good literature, in place of the
scrappy selections and reading-books written down to the childish level.
The written comments and criticisms of the children on what they acquire
in this way are a perfect vindication of the experiment. It is to be
said also that this sort of education, coupled with the manual training,
and the inculcated love for order and neatness, is beginning to tell on
the homes of these children. The parents are actually being educated and
civilized through the public schools.

An opportunity for superior technical education is given in the Chicago
Manual Training School, founded and sustained by the Commercial Club. It
has a handsome and commodious building on the corner of Michigan avenue
and Twelfth Street, which accommodates over two hundred pupils, under
the direction of Dr. Henry H. Belfield, assisted by an able corps of
teachers and practical mechanics. It has only been in operation since
1884, but has fully demonstrated its usefulness in the training of young
men for places of responsibility and profit. Some of the pupils are
from the city schools, but it is open to all boys of good character and
promise. The course is three years, in which the tuition is $80, $100,
and $120 a year; but the club provides for the payment of the tuition of
a limited number of deserving boys whose parents lack the means to give
them this sort of education. The course includes the higher mathematics,
English, and French or Latin, physics, chemistry—in short, a high-school
course—with drawing, and all sorts of technical training in work in wood
and iron, the use and making of tools, and the building of machinery,
up to the construction of steam-engines, stationary and locomotive.
Throughout the course one hour each day is given to drawing, two
hours to shop-work, and the remainder of the school day to study and
recitation. The shops—the wood-work rooms, the foundery, the forge-room,
the machine-shop—are exceedingly well equipped and well managed.
The visitor cannot but be pleased by the tone of the school and the
intelligent enthusiasm of the pupils. It is an institution likely to
grow, and perhaps become the nucleus of a great technical school, which
the West much needs. It is worthy of notice also as an illustration of
the public spirit, sagacity, and liberality of the Chicago business men.
They probably sec that if the city is greatly to increase its importance
as a manufacturing centre, it must train a considerable proportion
of its population to the highest skilled labor, and that splendidly
equipped and ably taught technical schools would do for Chicago what
similar institutions in Zurich have done for Switzerland. Chicago is
ready for a really comprehensive technical and industrial college, and
probably no other investment would now add more to the solid prosperity
and wealth of the town.

Such an institution would not hinder, but rather help, the higher
education, without which the best technical education tends to
materialize life. Chicago must before long recognize the value of the
intellectual side by beginning the foundation of a college of pure
learning. For in nothing is the Western society of to-day more in danger
than in the superficial half-education which is called “practical,”
and in the lack of logic and philosophy. The tendency to the literary
side—awakening a love for good books—in the public schools is very
hopeful. The existence of some well-chosen private libraries shows the
same tendency. In art and archæology there is also much promise. The Art
Institute is a very fine building, with a vigorous school in drawing
and painting, and its occasional loan exhibitions show that the city
contains a good many fine pictures, though scarcely proportioned to its
wealth. The Historical Society, which has had the irreparable misfortune
twice to lose its entire collections by fire, is beginning anew with
vigor, and will shortly erect a building from its own funds. Among the
private collections which have a historical value is that relating to
the Indian history of the West made by Mr. Edward Ayer, and a large
library of rare and scarce books, mostly of the English Shakespeare
period, by the Rev. Frank M. Bristoll. These, together with the
remarkable collection of Mr. C. F. Gunther (of which further mention
will be made), are prophecies of a great literary and archaeological
museum.

The city has reason to be proud of its Free Public Library, organized
under the general library law of Illinois, which permits the support
of a free library in every incorporated city, town, and township by
taxation. This library is sustained by a tax of one halfmill on the
assessed value of all the city property. This brings it in now about
$80,000 a year, which makes its income for 1888, together with its fund
and fines, about $90,000. It is at present housed in the City Hall, but
will soon have a building of its own (on Dearborn Park), towards the
erection of which it has a considerable fund. It has about 130,000
volumes, including a fair reference library and many expensive art
books. The institution has been well managed hitherto, notwithstanding
its connection with politics in the appointment of the trustees by the
mayor, and its dependence upon the city councils. The reading-rooms are
thronged daily; the average daily circulation has increased yearly; it
was 2263 in 1887—a gain of eleven per cent, over the preceding year.
This is stimulated by the establishment of eight delivering stations in
different parts of the city. The cosmopolitan character of the users
of the library is indicated by the uncommon number of German, French,
Dutch, Bohemian, Polish, and Scandinavian books. Of the books issued
at the delivery stations in 1887 twelve per cent, were in the Bohemian
language. The encouraging thing about this free library is that it is
not only freely used, but that it is as freely sustained by the voting
population.

Another institution, which promises to have still more influence on the
city, and indeed on the whole North-west, is the Newberry Library, now
organizing under an able board of trustees, who have chosen Mr. W. F.
Poole as librarian. The munificent fund of the donor is now reckoned at
about 82,500,000, but the value of the property will be very much more
than this in a few years. A temporary building for the library, which
is slowly forming, will be erected at once, but the library, which is to
occupy a square on the north side, will not be erected until the plans
are fully matured. It is to be a library of reference and study solely,
and it is in contemplation to have the books distributed in separate
rooms for each department, with ample facilities for reading and study
in each room. If the library is built and the collections are made in
accordance with the ample means at command, and in the spirit of its
projectors, it will powerfully tend to make Chicago not only the money
but the intellectual centre of the North-west, and attract to it
hosts of students from all quarters. One can hardly over-estimate
the influence that such a library as this may be will have upon the
character and the attractiveness of the city.

I hope that it will have ample space for, and that it will receive,
certain literary collections, such as are the glory and the attraction,
both to students and sight-seers, of the great libraries of the world.
And this leads me to speak of the treasures of Mr. Gunther, the most
remarkable private collection I have ever seen, and already worthy to
rank with some of the most famous on public exhibition. Mr. Gunther is a
candy manufacturer, who has an archaeological and “curio” taste, and for
many years has devoted an amount of money to the purchase of historical
relics that if known would probably astonish the public. Only specimens
of what he has can be displayed in the large apartment set apart for the
purpose over his shop. The collection is miscellaneous, forming a varied
and most interesting museum. It contains relics—many of them unique, and
most of them having a historical value—from many lands and all periods
since the Middle Ages, and is strong in relics and documents relating to
our own history, from the colonial period down to the close of our civil
war. But the distinction of the collection is in its original letters
and manuscripts of famous people, and its missals, illuminated
manuscripts, and rare books. It is hardly possible to mention a name
famous since America was discovered that is not here represented by an
autograph letter or some personal relics. We may pass by such mementos
as the Appomattox table, a sampler worked by Queen Elizabeth, a
prayer-book of Mary, Queen of Scots, personal belongings of Washington,
Lincoln, and hundreds of other historical characters, but we must give a
little space to the books and manuscripts, in order that it may be seen
that all the wealth of Chicago is not in grain and meat.

It is only possible here to name a few of the original letters,
manuscripts, and historical papers in this wonderful collection of over
seventeen thousand. Most of the great names in the literature of our era
are represented. There is an autograph letter of Molière, the only one
known outside of France, except one in the British Museum; there are
letters of Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Madame Roland, and other French
writers. It is understood that this is not a collection of mere
autographs, but of letters or original manuscripts of those named.
In Germany, nearly all the great poets and writers—Goethe, Schiller,
Uhland, Lessing, etc.; in England, Milton, Pope, Shelley, Keats,
Wordsworth, Coleridge, Cowper, Hunt, Gray, etc.; the manuscript of
Byron’s “Prometheus,” the “Auld Lang Syne” of Burns, and his “Journal in
the Highlands,” “Sweet Home” in the author’s hand; a poem by Thackeray;
manuscript stories of Scott and Dickens. Among the Italians, Tasso. In
America, the known authors, almost without exception. There are letters
from nearly all the prominent reformers—Calvin, Melanehthon, Zwingle,
Erasmus, Savonarola; a letter of Luther in regard to the Pope’s bull;
letters of prominent leaders—William the Silent, John the Steadfast,
Gustavus Adolphus, Wallenstein. There is a curious collection of letters
of the saints—St. Francis de Sales, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Borromeo;
letters of the Popes for three centuries and a half, and of many of the
great cardinals.

I must set down a few more of the noted names, and that without much
order. There is a manuscript of Charlotte Corday (probably the only
one in this country), John Bunyan, Izaak Walton, John Cotton, Michael
Angelo, Galileo, Lorenzo the Magnificent; letters of Queen Elizabeth,
Mary, Queen of Scots, Mary of England, Anne, several of Victoria (one at
the age of twelve), Catherine de’ Medici, Marie Antoinette, Josephine,
Marie Louise; letters of all the Napoleons, of Frederick the Great,
Marat, Robespierre, St. Just; a letter of Hernando Cortez to Charles the
Fifth; a letter of Alverez; letters of kings of all European nations,
and statesmen and generals without number.

The collection is rich in colonial and Revolutionary material; original
letters from Plymouth Colony, 1621, 1622,1623—I believe the only ones
known; manuscript sermons of the early American ministers; letters of
the first bishops, White and Seabury; letters of John André, Nathan
Hale, Kosciusko, Pulaski, De Kalb, Steuben, and of great numbers of the
general and subordinate officers of the French and Revolutionary wars;
William Tudor’s manuscript account of the battle of Bunker Hill; a
letter of Aide-de-camp Robert Orhm to the Governor of Pennsylvania
relating Braddock’s defeat; the original of Washington’s first
Thanksgiving proclamation; the report of the committee of the
Continental Congress on its visit to Valley Forge on the distress of the
army; the original proceedings of the Commissioners of the Colonies at
Cambridge for the organization of the Continental army; original returns
of the Hessians captured at Princeton; orderly books of the Continental
army; manuscripts and surveys of the early explorers; letters of
Lafitte, the pirate, Paul Jones, Captain Lawrence, Bainbridge, and so
on. Documents relating to the Washington family are very remarkable: the
original will of Lawrence Washington bequeathing Mount Vernon to George;
will of John Custis to his family; letters of Martha, of Mary, the
mother of George, of Betty Lewis, his sister, of all his step and grand
children of the Custis family.

In music there are the original manuscript compositions of all the
leading musicians in our modern world, and there is a large collection
of the choral books from ancient monasteries and churches. There are
exquisite illuminated missals on parchment of all periods from the
eighth century. Of the large array of Bibles and other early printed
books it is impossible to speak, except in a general way. There is a
copy of the first English Bible, Coverdale’s, also of the very rare
second Matthews, and of most of the other editions of the English Bible;
the first Scotch, Irish, French, Welsh, and German Luther Bibles; the
first Eliot’s Indian Bible, of 1662, and the second, of 1685; the first
American Bibles; the first American primers, almanacs, newspapers, and
the first patent, issued in 1794; the first book printed in Boston; the
first printed accounts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia,
South Carolina, Georgia; the first picture of New York City, an original
plan of the city in 1700, and one of it in 1765; early surveys of
Boston, Philadelphia, and New York; the earliest maps of America,
including the first, second, and third map of the world in which America
appears.

Returning to England, there are the Shakespeare folio editions of 1632
and 1685; the first of his printed “Poems” and the “Rape of Lucrece;”
an early quarto of “Othello;” the first edition of Ben Jonson, 1616,
in which Shakespeare’s name appears in the cast for a play; and letters
from the Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s friend, and Sir Walter
Raleigh, Francis Bacon, and Essex. There is also a letter written by
Oliver Cromwell while he was engaged in the conquest of Ireland.

The relics, documents, and letters illustrating our civil war are
constantly being added to. There are many old engravings, caricatures,
and broadsides. Of oil-portraits there are three originals of
Washington, one by Stuart, one by Peale, one by Polk, and I think I
remember one or two miniatures. There is also a portrait in oil of
Shakespeare which may become important. The original canvas has been
remounted, and there are indubitable signs of its age, although the
picture can be traced back only about one hundred and fifty years. The
Owner hopes to be able to prove that it is a contemporary work. The
interesting fact about it is that whilc it is not remarkable as a work
of art, it is recognizable at once as a likeness of what we suppose from
other portraits and the busts to be the face and head of Shakespeare,
and yet it is different from all other pictures w know, so that it does
not suggest itself as a copy.

The most important of Mr. Gunther’s collection is an autograph of
Shakespeare; if it prove to be genuine, it will be one of the four in
the world, and a great possession for America. This autograph is pasted
on the fly-leaf of a folio of 1632, which was the property of one
John Ward. In 1839 there was published in London, from manuscripts in
possession of the Medical Society, extracts from the diary of John Ward
(1648-1679), who was vicar and doctor at Stratford-on-Avon. It is
to this diary that we owe certain facts theretofore unknown about
Shakespeare. The editor, Mr. Stevens, had this volume in his hands while
he was compiling his book, and refers to it in his preface. He supposed
it to have belonged to the John Ward, vicar, who kept the diary. It
turns out, however, to have been the property of John Ward the actor,
who was in Stratford in 1740, was an enthusiast in the revival of
Shakespeare, and played Hamlet there in order to raise money to repair
the bust of the poet in the church. This folio has the appearance of
being much used. On the fly-leaf is writing by Ward and his signature;
there are marginal notes and directions in his hand, and several of the
pages from which parts were torn off have been repaired by manuscript
text neatly joined.

The Shakespeare signature is pasted on the leaf above Ward’s name. The
paper on which it is written is unlike that of the book in texture. The
slip was pasted on when the leaf was not as brown as it is now, as can
be seen at one end where it is lifted. The signature is written out
fairly and in full, William Shakspeare, like the one to the will, and
differs from the two others, which are hasty scrawls, as if the
writer were cramped for room, or finished off the last syllable with
a flourish, indifferent to the formation of the letters. I had the
opportunity to compare it with a careful tracing of the signature to
the will sent over by Mr. Hallowell-Phillips. At first sight the two
signatures appear to be identical; but on examination they are not;
there is just that difference in the strokes, spaces, and formation of
the letters that always appears in two signatures by the same hand.
One is not a copy of the other, and the one in the folio had to me the
unmistakable stamp of genuineness. The experts in handwriting and the
micro-scopists in this country who have examined ink and paper as to
antiquity, I understand, regard it as genuine.

There seems to be all along the line no reason to suspect forgery.
What more natural than that John Ward, the owner of the book, and a
Shakespeare enthusiast, should have enriched his beloved volume with an
autograph which he found somewhere in Stratford? And in 1740 there was
no craze or controversy about Shakespeare to make the forgery of his
autograph an object. And there is no suspicion that the book has been
doctored for a market. It never was sold for a price. It was found
in Utah, whither it had drifted from England in the possession of an
emigrant, and he readily gave it in exchange for a new and fresh edition
of Shakespeare’s works.

I have dwelt upon this collection at some length, first because of
its intrinsic value, second because of its importance to Chicago as a
nucleus for what (I hope in connection with the Newberry Library) will
become one of the most interesting museums in the country, and lastly as
an illustration of what a Western business man may do with his money.

New York is the first and Chicago the second base of operations on this
continent—the second in point of departure, I will not say for another
civilization, but for a great civilizing and conquering movement, at
once a reservoir and distributing point of energy, power, and money.
And precisely here is to be fought out and settled some of the most
important problems concerning labor, supply, and transportation.
Striking as are the operations of merchants, manufacturers, and traders,
nothing in the city makes a greater appeal to the imagination than the
railways that centre there, whether we consider their fifty thousand
miles of track, the enormous investment in them, or their competition
for the carrying trade of the vast regions they pierce, and apparently
compel to be tributary to the central city. The story of their building
would read like a romance, and a simple statement of their organization,
management, and business rivals the affairs of an empire. The present
development of a belt road round the city, to serve as a track of
freight exchange for all the lines, like the transfer grounds between
St. Paul and Minneapolis, is found to be an affair of great magnitude,
as must needs be to accommodate lines of traffic that represent an
investment in stock and bonds of $1,305,000,000.

As it is not my purpose to describe the railway systems of the West, but
only to speak of some of the problems involved in them, it will suffice
to mention two of the leading corporations. Passing by the great eastern
lines, and those like the Illinois Central, and the Chicago, Alton, and
St. Louis, and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé, which are operating
mainly to the south and south-west, and the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St.
Paul, one of the greatest corporations, with a mileage which had reached
4921, December 1, 1885, and has increased since, we may name the Chicago
and North-western, and the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy. Each of
these great systems, which has grown by accretion and extension and
consolidations of small roads, operates over four thousand miles of
road, leaving out from the North-western’s mileage that of the Omaha
system, which it controls. Looked at on the map, each of these systems
completely occupies a vast territory, the one mainly to the north of the
other, but they interlace to some extent and parallel each other in very
important competitions.

The North-western system, which includes, besides the lines that-have
its name, the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha, the Fremont; Elkhorn,
and Missouri Valley, and several minor roads, occupies northern Illinois
and southern Wisconsin, sends a line along Lake Michigan to Lake
Superior, with branches, a line to St. Paul, with branches tapping Lake
Superior again at Bayfield and Duluth, sends another trunk line, with
branches, into the far fields of Dakota, drops down a tangle of lines
through Iowa and into Nebraska, sends another great line through
northern Nebraska into Wyoming, with a divergence into the Black Hills,
and runs all these feeders into Chicago by another trunk line from
Omaha. By the report of 1887 the gross earnings of this system (in round
numbers) were over twenty-six millions, expenses over twenty millions,
leaving a net income of over six million dollars. In these items the
receipts for freight were over nineteen millions, and from passengers
less than six millions. Not to enter into confusing details, the
magnitude of the system is shown in the general balance-sheet for May,
1887, when the cost of road (4101 miles), the sinking funds, the general
assets, and the operating assets foot up $176,048,000. Over 3500 miles
of this road are laid with steel rails; the equipment required 735
engines and over 23,000 cars of all sorts. It is worthy of note that a
table makes the net earnings of 4000 miles of road, 1887, only a little
more than those of 3000 miles of road in 1882—a greater gain evidently
to the public than to the railroad.

In speaking of this system territorially, I have included the Chicago,
St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha, but not in the above figures. The
two systems have the same president, but different general managers and
other officials, and the reports are separate. To the over 4000 miles of
the other North-western lines, therefore, are to be added the 1360
miles of the Omaha system (report of December, 1886, since considerably
increased). The balance-sheet of the Omaha system (December, 1886)
shows a cost of over fifty-seven millions. Its total net earnings over
operating expenses and taxes were about $2,304,000. It then required an
equipment of 194 locomotives and about 6000 cars. These figures are not,
of course, given for specific railroad information, but merely to give a
general idea of the magnitude of operations. This may be illustrated
by another item. During the year for which the above figures have been
given the entire North-western system ran on the average 415 passenger
and 732 freight trains each day through the year. It may also be an
interesting comparison to say that all the railways in Connecticut,
including those that run into other States, have 416 locomotives, 668
passenger cars, and 11,502 other cars, and that their total mileage in
the State is 1405 miles.

The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy (report of December, 1886) was
operating 4036 miles of road. Its only eccentric development was the
recent Burlington and Northern, up the Mississippi River to St. Paul.
Its main stem from Chicago branches out over northern and western
Illinois, runs down to St. Louis, from thence to Kansas City by way of
Hannibal, has a trunk line to Omaha, criss-crosses northern Missouri
and southern Iowa, skirts and pierces Kansas, and fairly occupies
three-quarters of Nebraska with a network of tracks, sending out lines
north of the Platte, and one to Cheyenne and one to Denver. The whole
amount of stock and bonds, December, 1886, was reported at $155,920,000.
The gross earnings for 1886 were over twenty-six millions (over nineteen
of which was for freight and over five for passengers), operating
expenses over fourteen millions, leaving over twelve millions net
earnings. The system that year paid eight per cent, dividends (as it
had done for a long series of years), leaving over fixed charges
and dividends about a million and a half to be carried to surplus or
construction outlays. The equipment for the year required 619 engines
and over 24,000 cars. These figures do not give the exact present
condition of the road, but only indicate the magnitude of its affairs.

Both these great systems have been well managed, and both have been,
and continue to be, great agents in developing the West. Both have been
profitable to investors. The comparatively small cost of building roads
in the West and the profit hitherto have invited capital, and stimulated
the construction of roads not absolutely needed. There are too many
miles of road for capitalists. Are there too many for the accommodation
of the public? What locality would be willing to surrender its road?

It is difficult to understand the attitude of the Western Granger and
the Western Legislatures towards the railways, or it would be if we
didn’t understand pretty well the nature of demagogues the world over.
The people are everywhere crazy for roads, for more and more roads.
The whole West we are considering is made by railways. Without them
the larger part of it would be uninhabitable, the lands of small value,
produce useless for want of a market. No railways, no civilization. Year
by year settlements have increased in all regions touched by railways,
land has risen in price, and freight charges have diminished. And yet no
sooner do the people get the railways near them than they become hostile
to the companies; hostility to railway corporations seems to be the
dominant sentiment in the Western mind, and the one most naturally
invoked by any political demagogue who wants to climb up higher in
elective office. The roads are denounced as “monopolies”—a word getting
to be applied to any private persons who are successful in business—and
their consolidation is regarded as a standing menace to society.

Of course it goes without saying that great corporations with
exceptional privileges are apt to be arrogant, unjust, and grasping,
and especially when, as in the case of railways, they unite private
interests and public functions, they need the restraint of law and
careful limitations of powers. But the Western situation is nevertheless
a very curious one. Naturally when capital takes great risks it
is entitled to proportionate profits; but profits always encourage
competition, and the great Western lines are already in a war for
existence that does not need much unfriendly legislation to make fatal.
In fact, the lowering of rates in railway wars has gone on so rapidly of
late years that the most active Granger Legislature cannot frame hostile
bills fast enough to keep pace with it. Consolidation is objected to.
Yet this consideration must not be lost sight of: the West is cut up
by local roads that could not be maintained; they would not pay running
expenses if they had not been made parts of a great system. Whatever
may be the danger of the consolidation system, the country has doubtless
benefited by it.

The present tendency of legislation, pushed to its logical conclusion,
is towards a practical confiscation of railway property; that is, its
tendency is to so interfere with management, so restrict freedom of
arrangement, so reduce rates, that the companies will with difficulty
continue operations. The first effect of this will be, necessarily,
poorer service and deteriorated equipments and tracks. Roads that do not
prosper cannot keep up safe lines. Experienced travellers usually shun
those that are in the hands of a receiver. The Western roads of which
I speak have been noted for their excellent service and the liberality
towards the public in accommodations, especially in fine cars and
matters pertaining to the comfort of passengers. Some dining cars on the
Omaha system were maintained last year at a cost to the company of ten
thousand dollars over receipts. The Western Legislatures assume
that because a railway which is thickly strung with cities can carry
passengers for two cents a mile, a railway running over an almost
unsettled plain can carry for the same price. They assume also that
because railway companies in a foolish fight for business cut rates,
the lowest rate they touch is a living one for them. The same logic
that induces Legislatures to fix rates of transportation, directly or by
means of a commission, would lead it to set a price on meat, wheat, and
groceries. Legislative restriction is one thing; legislative destruction
is another. There is a craze of prohibition and interference. Iowa has
an attack of it. In Nebraska, not only the Legislature but the courts
have been so hostile to railway enterprise that one hundred and fifty
miles of new road graded last year, which was to receive its rails this
spring, will not be railed, because it is not safe for the company to
make further investments in that State. Between the Grangers on the
one side and the labor unions on the other, the railways are in a tight
place. Whatever restrictions great corporations may need, the sort of
attack now made on them in the West is altogether irrational. Is it
always made from public motives? The legislators of one Western State
had been accustomed to receive from the various lines that centred at
the capital trip passes, in addition to their personal annual passes.
Trip passes are passes that the members can send to their relations,
friends, and political allies who want to visit the capital. One year
the several roads agreed that they would not issue trip passes. When
the members asked the agent for them they were told that they were
not ready. As days passed and no trip passes were ready, hostile and
annoying bills began to be introduced into the Legislature. In six weeks
there was a shower of them. The roads yielded, and began to give out the
passes. After that, nothing more was heard of the bills.

What the public have a right to complain of is the manipulation of
railways in Wall Street gambling. But this does not account for the
hostility to the corporations which are developing the West by an
extraordinary outlay of money, and cutting their own throats by a war of
rates. The vast interests at stake, and the ignorance of the relation
of legislation to the laws of business, make the railway problem to a
spectator in Chicago one of absorbing interest.

In a thorough discussion of all interests it must be admitted that the
railways have brought many of their troubles upon themselves by their
greedy wars with each other, and perhaps in some cases by teaching
Legislatures that have bettered their instructions, and that tyrannies
in management and unjust discriminations (such as the Inter-State
Commerce Law was meant to stop) have much to do in provoking hostility
that survives many of its causes.

I cannot leave Chicago without a word concerning the town of Pullman,
although it has already been fully studied in the pages of Harper’s
Monthly. It is one of the most interesting experiments in the world. As
it is only a little over seven years old, it would be idle to prophesy
about it, and I can only say that thus far many of the predictions as
to the effect of “paternalism” have not come true. If it shall turn
out that its only valuable result is an “object lesson” in decent and
orderly living, the experiment will not have been in vain. It is to be
remembered that it is not a philanthropic scheme, but a purely business
operation, conducted on the idea that comfort, cleanliness, and
agreeable surroundings conduce more to the prosperity of labor and of
capital than the opposites.

Pullman is the only city in existence built from the foundation on
scientific and sanitary principles, and not more or less the result of
accident and variety of purpose and incapacity. Before anything else was
done on the flat prairie, perfect drainage, sewerage, and water supply
were provided. The shops, the houses, the public buildings, the parks,
the streets, the recreation grounds, then followed in intelligent
creation. Its public buildings are fine, and the grouping of them about
the open flower-planted spaces is very effective. It is a handsome city,
with the single drawback of monotony in the well-built houses. Pullman
is within the limits of the village of Hyde Park, but it is not included
in the annexation of the latter to Chicago.

It is certainly a pleasing industrial city. The workshops are spacious,
light, and well ventilated, perfectly systematized; for instance, timber
goes into one end of the long car-shop and, without turning back, comes
out a freight car at the other, the capacity of the shop being one
freight car every fifteen minutes of the working hours. There are a
variety of industries, which employ about 4500 workmen. Of these about
500 live outside the city, and there are about 1000 workmen who live
in the city and work elsewhere. The company keeps in order the streets,
parks, lawns, and shade trees, but nothing else except the schools
is free. The schools are excellent, and there are over 1300 children
enrolled in them. The company has a well-selected library of over 6000
volumes, containing many scientific and art books, which is open to all
residents on payment of an annual subscription of three dollars. Its use
increases yearly, and study classes are formed in connection with it.
The company rents shops to dealers, but it carries on none of its own.
Wages are paid to employés without deduction, except as to rent, and
the women appreciate a provision that secures them a home beyond
peradventure.

The competition among dealers brings prices to the Chicago rates, or
lower, and then the great city is easily accessible for shopping. House
rent is a little higher for ordinary workmen than in Chicago, but not
higher in proportion to accommodations, and living is reckoned a little
cheaper. The reports show that the earnings of operatives exceed those
of other working communities, averaging per capita (exclusive of the
higher pay of the general management) $590 a year. I noticed that
piece-wages were generally paid, and always when possible. The town is a
hive of busy workers; employment is furnished to all classes except the
school-children, and the fine moral and physical appearance of the
young women in the upholstery and other work rooms would please a
philanthropist.

Both the health and the morale of the town are exceptional; and the
moral tone of the workmen has constantly improved under the agreeable
surroundings. Those who prefer the kind of independence that gives
them filthy homes and demoralizing associations seem to like to live
elsewhere. Pullman has a population of 10,000. I do not know another
city of 10,000 that has not a place where liquor is sold, nor a house
nor a professional woman of ill repute. With the restrictions as to
decent living, the community is free in its political action, its
church and other societies, and in all healthful social activity. It has
several ministers; it seems to require the services of only one or two
policemen; it supports four doctors and one lawyer.

I know that any control, any interference with individual
responsibility, is un-American. Our theory is that every person knows
what is best for himself. It is not true, but it may be safer,
in working out all the social problems, than any lessening of
responsibility either in the home or in civil affairs. When I contrast
the dirty tenements, with contiguous seductions to vice and idleness,
in some parts of Chicago, with the homes of Pullman, I am glad that this
experiment has been made. It may be worth some sacrifice to teach people
that it is better for them, morally and pecuniarily, to live cleanly and
under educational influences that increase their self-respect. No doubt
it is best that people should own their homes, and that they should
assume all the responsibilities of citizenship. But let us wait the full
evolution of the Pullman idea. The town could not have been built as
an object lesson in any other way than it was built. The hope is that
laboring people will voluntarily do hereafter what they have here
been induced to accept. The model city stands there as a lesson,
the wonderful creation of less than eight years. The company is now
preparing to sell lots on the west side of the railway-tracks, and we
shall see what influence this nucleus of order, cleanliness, and system
will have upon the larger community rapidly gathering about it. Of
course people should be free to go up or go down. Will they be injured
by the opportunity of seeing how much pleasanter it is to go up than to
go down?



XI.—THREE CAPITALS—SPRINGFIELD, INDIANAPOLIS, COLUMBUS.

To one travelling over this vast country, especially the northern and
western portions, the superficial impression made is that of uniformity,
and even monotony: towns are alike, cities have a general resemblance,
State lines are not recognized, and the idea of conformity and
centralization is easily entertained. Similar institutions, facility
of communication, a disposition to stronger nationality, we say, are
rapidly fusing us into one federal mass.

But when we study a State at its centre, its political action, its
organization, its spirit, the management of its institutions of
learning and of charity, the tendencies, restrictive or liberal, of its
legislation, even the tone of social life and the code of manners, we
discover distinctions, individualities, almost as many differences as
resemblances. And we see—the saving truth in our national life—that each
State is a well-nigh indestructible entity, an empire in itself, proud
and conscious of its peculiarities, and jealous of its rights. We see
that State boundaries are not imaginary lines, made by the geographers,
which could be easily altered by the central power. Nothing, indeed, in
our whole national development, considering the common influences that
have made us, is so remarkable as the difference of the several States.
Even on the lines of a common settlement, say from New England and New
York, note the differences between northern Ohio, northern Indiana,
northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Or take another line, and
see the differences between southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern
Illinois, and northern Missouri. But each State, with its diverse
population, has a certain homogeneity and character of its own. We can
understand this where there are great differences of climate, or when
one is mountainous and the other flat. But why should Indiana be
so totally unlike the two States that flank it, in so many of the
developments of civilized life or in retarded action; and why should
Iowa, in its entire temper and spirit, be so unlike Illinois? One State
copies the institutions of another, but there is always something in
its life that it does not copy from any other. And the perpetuity of the
Union rests upon the separateness and integrity of this State life. I
confess that I am not so much impressed by the magnitude of our country
as I am by the wonderful system of our complex government in unity,
which permits the freest development of human nature, and the most
perfect adaptability to local conditions. I can conceive of no
greater enemy to the Union than he who would by any attempt at further
centralization weaken the self-dependence, pride, and dignity of a
single State. It seems to me that one travels in vain over the United
States if he does not learn that lesson.

The State of Illinois is geographically much favored both for
agriculture and commerce. With access to the Gulf by two great rivers
that bound it on two sides, and communicating with the Atlantic by Lake
Michigan, enterprise has aided these commercial advantages by covering
it with railways. Stretching from Galena to Cairo, it has a great
variety of climate; it is well watered by many noble streams, and
contains in its great area scarcely any waste land. It has its contrasts
of civilization. In the northern half are the thriving cities; the
extreme southern portion, owing in part to a more debilitating, less
wholesome climate, and in part to a less virile, ambitious population,
still keeps its “Egyptian” reputation. But the railways have already
made a great change in southern Illinois, and education is transforming
it. The establishment of a normal school at Carbondale in 1874-75
has changed the aspect of a great region. I am told by the State
Superintendent of Education that the contrast in dress, manners,
cultivation, of the country crowd which came to witness the dedication
of the first building, and those who came to see the inauguration of the
new school, twelve years later, was something astonishing.

Passing through the central portion of the State to Springfield, after
an interval of many years, let us say a generation, I was impressed with
the transformation the country had undergone by tree-planting and
the growth of considerable patches of forest. The State is generally
prosperous. The farmers have money, some surplus to spend in luxuries,
in the education of their children, in musical instruments, in the
adornment of their homes. This is the universal report of the commercial
travellers, those modern couriers of business and information, who
run in swarms to and fro over the whole land. To them it is
significant—their opinion can go for what it is worth—that Illinois has
not tried the restrictive and prohibitory legislation of its western
neighbor, Iowa, which, with its rolling prairies and park-like timber,
loved in the season of birds and flowers, is one of the most fertile and
lovely States in the West.

Springfield, which spreads its 30,000 people extensively over a plain on
the Sangamon River, is prosperous, and in the season when any place can
be agreeable, a beautiful city. The elm grows well in the rich soil,
and its many broad, well-shaded streets, with pretty detached houses and
lawns, make it very attractive, a delightful rural capital. The large
Illinois towns are slowly lifting themselves out of the slough of rich
streets, better adapted to crops than to trade; though good material
for pavement is nowhere abundant. Springfield has recently improved
its condition by paving, mostly with cedar blocks, twenty-five miles
of streets. I notice that in some of the Western towns tile pavement
is being tried. Manufacturing is increasing—there is a prosperous
rolling-mill and a successful watch factory—but the overwhelming
interest of the city is that it is the centre of the political and
educational institutions—of the life emanating from the State-honse.

The State-house is, I believe, famous. It is a big building, a great
deal has been spent on it in the way of ornamentation, and it enjoys the
distinction of the highest State-honse dome in the country—350 feet. It
has the merit also of being well placed on an elevation, and its
rooms are spacious and very well planned. It is an incongruous pile
externally, mixing many styles of architecture, placing Corinthian
capitals on Doric columns, and generally losing the impression of a
dignified mass in details. Within, it is especially rich in wall-casings
of beautiful and variegated marbles, each panel exquisite, but all
together tending to dissipate any idea of unity of design or simplicity.
Nothing whatever can be said for many of the scenes in relief, or the
mural paintings (except that they illustrate the history of the State),
nor for most of the statues in the corridors, but the decoration of the
chief rooms, in mingling of colors and material, is frankly barbarous.

Illinois has the reputation of being slow in matters of education and
reform. A day in the State offices, however, will give the visitor an
impression of intelligence and vigor in these directions. The office of
the State Board of Pharmacy in the Capitol shows a strict enforcement of
the law in the supervision of drugs and druggists. Prison management has
also most intelligent consideration. The two great penitentiaries, the
Southern, at Chester (with about 800 convicts), and the Northern, at
Joliet (with about 1600 convicts), call for no special comment. The
one at Joliet is a model of its kind, with a large library, and such
schooling as is practicable in the system, and is well administered;
and I am glad to see that Mr. McClaughry, the warden, believes that
incorrigibles should be permanently held, and that grading, the
discipline of labor and education, with a parole system, can make
law-abiding citizens of many convicts.

In school education the State is certainly not supine in efforts. Out
of a State population of about 8,500,000, there were, in 1887, 1,627,841
under twenty-one years, and 1,096,464 between the ages of six
and twenty-one. The school age for free attendance is from six to
twenty-one; for compulsory attendance, from eight to fourteen. There
were 749,994 children enrolled, and 500,197 in daily attendance. Those
enrolled in private schools numbered 87,725. There were 2258 teachers in
private schools, and 22,925 in public schools; of this latter, 7402 were
men and 15,403 women. The average monthly salary of men was $51.48,
and of women $42.17. The sum available for school purposes in 1887 was
$12,890,515, in an assessed value of taxable property of $797,752,888.
These figures are from Dr. X. W. Edwards, Superintendent of Public
Instruction, whose energy is felt In every part of the State.

The State prides itself on its institutions of charity. I saw some of
them at Jacksonville, an hour’s ride west of Springfield. Jacksonville
is a very pretty city of some 15,000, with elm-shaded avenues that crest
but do not rival New Haven—one of those intellectual centres that are
a continual surprise to our English friends in their bewildered
exploration of our monotonous land. In being the Western centre of
Platonic philosophy, it is more like Concord than like New Haven. It
is the home of a large number of people who have travelled, who give
intelligent attention to art, to literary study in small societies and
clubs—its Monday Evening Club of men long antedated most of the similar
institutions at the East—and to social problems. I certainly did not
expect to find, as I did, water-colors by Turner in Jacksonville,
besides many other evidences of a culture that must modify many Eastern
ideas of what the West is and is getting to be.

The Illinois College is at Jacksonville. It is one of twenty-five small
colleges in the State, and I believe the only one that adheres to the
old curriculum, and does not adopt co-education. It has about sixty
students in the college proper, and about one hundred and thirty in
the preparatory academy. Most of the Illinois colleges have preparatory
departments, and so long as they do, and the various sects scatter their
energies among so many institutions, the youth of the State who wish a
higher education will be obliged to go East. The school perhaps the most
vigorous just now is the University of Illinois, at Urbana, a school
of agriculture and applied science mainly. The Central Hospital for the
Insane (one of three in the State), under the superintendence of Dr.
Henry F. Carriel, is a fine establishment, a model of neatness and good
management, with over nine hundred patients, about a third of whom do
some light work on the farm or in the house. A large conservatory of
plants and flowers is rightly regarded as a remedial agency in the
treatment of the patients. Here also is a fine school for the education
of the blind.

The Institution for the Education of Deaf-Mutes, Dr. Philip H. Gillette,
superintendent, is, I believe, the largest in the world, and certainly
one of the most thoroughly equipped and successful in its purposes. It
has between five hundred and six hundred pupils. All the departments
found in many other institutions are united here. The school has a
manual training department; articulation is taught; the art school
exhibits surprising results in aptitude for both drawing and painting;
and industries are taught to the extent of giving every pupil a trade
or some means of support—shoemaking, cabinet-making, printing, sewing,
gardening, and baking.

Such an institution as this raises many interesting questions. It is
at once evident that the loss of the sense of hearing has an effect on
character, moral and intellectual. Whatever may be the education of
the deaf-mute, he will remain, in some essential and not easily to be
characterized respects, different from other people. It is exceedingly
hard to cultivate in them a spirit of self-dependence, or eradicate the
notion that society owes them perpetual care and support. The education
of deaf-mutes, and the teaching them trades, so that they become
intelligent and productive members of society, of course induce
marriages among them. Is not this calculated to increase the number
of deaf-mutes? Dr. Gillette thinks not. The vital statistics show that
consanguineous marriages are a large factor in deaf-muteism; about
ten per cent., it is estimated, of the deaf-mutes are the offspring of
parents related by blood. Ancestral defects are not always perpetuated
in kind; they may descend in physical deformity, in deafness, in
imbecility. Deafness is more apt to descend in collateral branches than
in a straight line. It is a striking fact in a table of relationships
prepared by Dr. Gillette that, while the 450 deaf-mutes enumerated had
770 relationships to other deaf-mutes, making a total of 1220, only
twelve of them had deaf-mute parents, and only two of them one deaf-mute
parent, the mother of these having been able to hear, and that in no
case was the mother alone a deaf-mute. Of the pupils who have left this
institution, 251 have married deaf-mutes, and 19 hearing persons. These
marriages have been as fruitful as the average, and among them all only
sixteen have deaf-mute children; in some of the families having a deaf
child there are other children who hear. These facts, says the report,
clearly indicate that the probability of deaf offspring from deaf
parentage is remote, while other facts may clearly indicate that a deaf
person probably has or will have a deaf relation other than a child.

Springfield is old enough to have a historic flavor and social
traditions; perhaps it might be called a Kentucky flavor, so largely did
settlers from Kentucky determine it. There was a leisurely element in
it, and it produced a large number of men prominent in politics and in
the law, and women celebrated for beauty and spirit. It was a hospitable
society, with a certain tone of “family” that distinguished it from
other frontier places, a great liking for the telling of racy stories,
and a hearty enjoyment of life. The State has provided a Gubernatorial
residence which is at once spacious and pleasant, and is a mansion, with
its present occupants, typical in a way of the old regime and of modern
culture.

To the country at large Springfield is distinguished as the home of
Abraham Lincoln to an extent perhaps not fully realized by the residents
of the growing capital, with its ever new interests. And I was perhaps
unreasonably disappointed in not finding that sense of his personality
that I expected. It is, indeed, emphasized by statues in the Capitol and
by the great mausoleum in the cemetery—an imposing structure, with an
excellent statue in bronze, and four groups, relating to the civil war,
of uncommon merit. But this great monumental show does not satisfy the
personal longing of which I speak. Nor is the Lincoln residence much
more satisfactory in this respect. The plain two-story wooden house has
been presented to the State by his son Robert, and is in charge of
a custodian. And although the parlor is made a show-room and full of
memorials, there is no atmosphere of the man about it. On Lincoln’s
departure for Washington the furniture was sold and the house rented,
never to be again occupied by him. There is here nothing of that
personal presence that clings to the Hermitage, to Marshfield, to Mount
Vernon, to Monticello. Lincoln was given to the nation, and—a frequent
occurrence in our uprooting business life—the home disappeared. Lincoln
was honored and beloved in Springfield as a man, but perhaps some of
the feeling towards him as a party leader still lingers, although it has
disappeared almost everywhere else in the country. Nowhere else was the
personal partisanship hotter than in this city, and it is hardly to be
expected that political foes in this generation should quite comprehend
the elevation of Lincoln, in the consenting opinion of the world, among
the greatest characters of all ages. It has happened to Lincoln that
every year and a more intimate knowledge of his character have added
to his fame and to the appreciation of his moral grandeur. There is
a natural desire to go to some spot pre-eminently sacred to his
personality. This may be his birthplace. At any rate, it is likely that
before many years Kentucky will be proud to distinguish in some way
the spot where the life began of the most illustrious man born in its
borders.

When we come to the capital of Indiana we have, in official language,
to report progress. One reason assigned for the passing of emigrants
through Indiana to Illinois was that the latter was a prairie country,
more easily subdued than the more wooded region of Indiana. But it is
also true that the sluggish, illiterate character of its early occupants
turned aside the stream of Western emigration from its borders. There
has been a great deal of philosophic speculation upon the acknowledged
backwardness of civilization in Indiana, its slow development in
institutions of education, and its slow change in rural life, compared
with its sister States. But this concerns us less now than the awakening
which is visible at the capital and in some of the northern towns.
The forests of hard timber which were an early disadvantage are now an
important element in the State industry and wealth. Recent developments
of coal-fields and the discovery of natural gas have given an impetus to
manufacturing, which will powerfully stimulate agriculture and traffic,
and open a new career to the State.

Indianapolis, which stood still for some years in a reaction from
real-estate speculation, is now a rapidly improving city, with a
population of about 125,000. It is on the natural highway of the old
National Turnpike, and its central location in the State, in the midst
of a rich agricultural district, has made it the centre of fifteen
railway lines, and of active freight and passenger traffic. These lines
are all connected for freight purposes by a belt road, over which pass
about 5000 freight cars daily. This belt road also does an enormous
business for the stock-yards, and its convenient line is rapidly
filling up with manufacturing establishments. As a consequence of these
facilities the trade of the city in both wholesale and retail houses is
good and increasing. With this increase of business there has been an
accession of banking capital. The four national and two private
banks have an aggregate capital of about three millions, and the
Clearing-house report of 1887 showed a business of about one hundred
millions, an increase of nearly fifty per cent, over the preceding year.
But the individual prosperity is largely due to the building and loan
associations, of which there are nearly one hundred, with an aggregate
capital of seven millions, the loans of which exceed those of the
banks. These take the place of savings-banks, encourage the purchase
of homesteads, and are preventives of strikes and labor troubles in the
factories.

The people of Indianapolis call their town a Park City. Occupying a
level plain, its streets (the principal ones with a noble width of
ninety feet) intersect each other at right angles; but in the centre of
the city is a Circle Park of several acres, from which radiate to the
four quarters of the town avenues ninety feet broad that relieve the
monotony of the right lines. These streets are for the most part well
shaded, and getting to be well paved, lined with pleasant but not
ambitious residences, so that the whole aspect of the city is open and
agreeable. The best residences are within a few squares of the most
active business streets, and if the city has not the distinction of
palaces, it has fewer poor and shabby quarters than most other towns
of its size. In the Circle Park, Here now stands a statue of Governor
Morton, is to be erected immediately the Soldiers’ Monument, at a cost
of $250,000.

The city is fortunate in its public buildings. The County Court-house
(which cost $1,000,000) and City Hall are both fine buildings; in the
latter are the city markets, and above, a noble auditorium with seats
for 4000 people. But the State Capitol, just finished within the
appropriation of $2,000,000, is pre-eminent among State Capitols in
many respects. It is built of the Bedford limestone, one of the best
materials both for color and endurance found in the country. It
follows the American plan of two wings and a dome; but it is finely
proportioned; and the exterior, with rows of graceful Corinthian columns
above the basement story, is altogether pleasing. The interior is
spacious and impressive, the Chambers fine, the furnishing solid and in
good taste, with nowhere any over-ornamentation or petty details to
mar the general noble effect. The State Library contains, besides the
law-books, about 20,000 miscellaneous volumes.

When Matthew Arnold first came to New York the place in the West about
which he expressed the most curiosity was Indianapolis; that he said he
must see, if no other city. He had no knowledge of the place, and could
give no reason for his preference except that the name had always had
a fascination for him. He found there, however, a very extensive
book-store, where his own works were sold in numbers that pleased and
surprised him. The shop has a large miscellaneous stock, and does a
large jobbing and retail business, but the miscellaneous books dealt
in are mostly cheap reprints of English works, with very few American
copyright books. This is a significant comment on the languishing
state of the market for works of American authors in the absence of an
international copyright law.

The city is not behind any other in educational efforts. In its five
free public libraries are over 70,000 volumes. The city has a hundred
churches and a vigorous Young Men’s Christian Association, which cost
$75,000. Its private schools have an excellent reputation. There are
20,000 children registered of school age, and 11,000 in daily attendance
in twenty-eight free-school houses. In methods of efficacy these are
equal to any in the Union, as is shown by the fact that there are
reported in the city only 325 persons between the ages of six and
twenty-one unable to read and write. The average cost of instruction for
each pupil is $19.04 a year. In regard to advanced methods and manual
training, Indianapolis schools claim to be pioneers.

The latest reports show educational activity in the State as well as in
the capital. In 1880 the revenues expended in public schools were about
$5,000,000. The State supports the Indiana University at Bloomington,
with about 300 students, the Agricultural College at Lafayette, with
over 300, and a normal school at Terre Haute, with an attendance of
about 500. There are, besides, seventeen private colleges and several
other normal schools. In 1886 the number of school-children enrolled
in the State was 500,000, of whom 340,000 were in daily attendance.
To those familiar with Indiana these figures show a greatly increased
interest in education.

Several of the State benevolent institutions are in Indianapolis: a
hospital for the insane, which cost $1,200,000, and accommodates 1000
patients; an asylum for the blind, which has 132 pupils; and a school
for deaf-mutes which cost $500,000, and has about 400 scholars. The
novel institution, however, that I saw at Indianapolis is a reformatory
for women and girls, controlled entirely by women. The board of trustees
are women, the superintendent, physician, and keepers are women. In one
building, but in separate departments, were the female convicts, 42 in
number, several of them respectable-looking elderly women who had
killed their husbands, and about 150 young girls. The convicts and the
girls—who are committed for restraint and reform—never meet except in
chapel, but it is more than doubtful if it is wise for the State to
subject girls to even this sort of contiguity with convicts, and to the
degradation of penitentiary suggestions. The establishment is very neat
and well ordered and well administered. The work of the prison is done
by the convicts, who are besides kept employed at sewing and in the
laundry. The girls in the reformatory work half a day, and are in school
the other half.

This experiment of the control of a State-prison by women is regarded as
doubtful by some critics, who say that women will obey a man when they
will not obey a woman. Female convicts, because they have fallen lower
than men, or by reason of their more nervous organization, are commonly
not so easily controlled as male convicts, and it is insisted that they
indulge in less “tantrums” under male than under female authority.
This is denied by the superintendent of this prison, though she has
incorrigible cases who can only be controlled by solitary confinement.
She has daily religious exercises, Bible reading and exposition, and a
Sunday-school; and she doubts if she could control the convicts without
this religious influence. It not only has a daily quieting effect,
but has resulted in several cases in “conversion.” There are in
the institution several girls and women of color, and I asked the
superintendent if the white inmates exhibited any prejudice against
them on account of their color. To my surprise, the answer was that the
contrary is the case. The whites look up to the colored girls, and seem
either to have a respect for them or to be fascinated by them. This
surprising statement was supplemented by another, that the influence of
the colored girls on the whites is not good; the white girl who seeks
the company of the colored girl deteriorates, and the colored girl does
not change.

Indianapolis, which is attractive by reason of a climate that avoids
extremes, bases its manufacturing and its business prosperity upon the
large coal-beds lying to the west and south of it, the splendid and very
extensive quarries of Bedford limestone contiguous to the coal-fields,
the abundant supply of various sorts of hard-wood for the making of
furniture, and the recent discovery of natural gas. The gas-field
region, which is said to be very much larger than any other in the
country, lies to the north-west, and comes within eight miles of the
city. Pipes are already laid to the city limits, and the whole heating
and manufacturing of the city will soon be done by the gas. I saw this
fuel in use in a large and successful pottery, where are made superior
glazed and encaustic tiles, and nothing could be better for the purpose.
The heat in the kilns is intense; it can be perfectly regulated; as fuel
the gas is free from smoke and smut, and its cost is merely nominal. The
excitement over this new agent is at present extraordinary. The field
where it has been found is so extensive as to make the supply seem
inexhaustible. It was first discovered in Indiana at Eaton, in Delaware
County, in 1880. From January 1, 1887, to February, 1888, it is reported
that 1000 wells were opened in the gas territory, and that 245 companies
were organized for various manufactures, with an aggregate capital
of $25,000,000. Whatever the figures may he, there are the highest
expectations of immense increase of manufactures in Indianapolis and in
all the gas region. Of some effects of this revolution in fuel we may
speak when we come to the gas wells of Ohio.

I had conceived of Columbus as a rural capital, pleasant and slow,
rather a village than a city. I was surprised to find a city of 80,000
people, growing with a rapidity astonishing even for a Western town,
with miles of prosperous business blocks (High Street is four miles
long), and wide avenues of residences extending to suburban parks. Broad
Street, with its four rows of trees and fine houses and beautiful lawns,
is one of the handsomest avenues in the country, and it is only one
of many that are attractive. The Capitol Square, with several good
buildings about it, makes an agreeable centre of the city. Of the
Capitol building not much is to be said. The exterior is not wholly bad,
but it is surmounted by a truncated something that is neither a dome nor
a revolving turret, and the interior is badly arranged for room, light,
and ventilation. Space is wasted, and many of the rooms, among them the
relic-room and the flag-room, are inconvenient and almost inaccessible.
The best is the room of the Supreme Court, which has attached a large
law library. The general State Library contains about 54,000 volumes,
with a fair but not large proportion of Western history.

Columbus is a city of churches, of very fine public schools, of
many clubs, literary and social, in which the intellectual element
predominates, and of an intelligent, refined, and most hospitable
society. Here one may study the educational and charitable institutions
of the State, many of the more important of which are in the city,
and also the politics. It was Ohio’s hard fate to be for many years
an “October State,” and the battle-field and corruption-field of many
outside influences. This no doubt demoralized the politics of the State,
and lowered the tone of public morality. With the removal of the cause
of this decline, I believe the tone is being raised. Recent trials for
election frauds, and the rehabilitation of the Cincinnati police, show
that a better spirit prevails.

Ohio is growing in wealth as it is in population, and is in many
directions an ambitious and progressive State. Judged by its
institutions of benevolence and of economies, it is a leading State. No
other State provides more liberally for its unfortunates, in asylums for
the insane, the blind, the deaf-mutes, the idiotic, the young waifs and
strays, nor shows a more intelligent comprehension of the legitimate
functions of a great commonwealth, in the creation of boards of
education and of charities and of health, in a State inspection of
workshops and factories, in establishing bureaus of meteorology and of
forestry, a fish commission, and an agricultural experiment station. The
State has thirty-four colleges and universities, a public-school system
which has abolished distinctions of color, and which by the reports is
as efficient as any in the Union. Cincinnati, the moral tone of which,
the Ohio people say, is not fairly represented by its newspapers, is
famous the world over for its cultivation in music and its progress in
the fine and industrial arts. It would be possible for a State to have
and be all this and yet rise in the general scale of civilization
only to a splendid mediocrity, without the higher institutions of pure
learning, and without a very high standard of public morality. Ohio is
in no less danger of materialism, with all its diffused intelligence,
than other States. There is a recognizable limit to what a diffused
level of education, say in thirty-four colleges, can do for the higher
life of a State. I heard an address in the Capitol by ex-President Hayes
on the expediency of adding a manual-training school to the Ohio State
University at Columbus. The comment of some of the legislators on it
was that we have altogether too much book-learning; what we need is
workshops in our schools and colleges. It seems to a stranger that
whatever first-class industrial and technical schools Ohio needs, it
needs more the higher education, and the teaching of philosophy, logic,
and ethics. In 1886 Governor Foraker sent a special message to the
Legislature pointing out the fact that notwithstanding the increase
of wealth in the State, the revenue was inadequate to the expenditure,
principally by reason of the undervaluation of taxable property (there
being a yearly decline in the reported value of personal property), and
a fraudulent evasion of taxes. There must have been a wide insensibility
to the wrong of cheating the State to have produced this state of
things, and one cannot but think that it went along with the low
political tone before mentioned. Of course Ohio is not a solitary sinner
among States in this evasion of duty, but she helps to point the moral
that the higher life of a State needs a great deal of education that is
neither commercial nor industrial nor simply philanthropic.

It is impossible and unnecessary for the purposes of this paper to speak
of many of the public institutions of the State, even of those in the
city. But educators everywhere may study with profit the management of
the public schools under the City Board of Education, of which Mr. R.
W. Stevenson is superintendent. The High-school, of over 600 pupils, is
especially to be commended. Manual training is not introduced into
the schools, and the present better sentiment is against it; but its
foundation, drawing, is thoroughly taught from the primaries up to the
High-school, and the exhibits of the work of the schools of all grades
in modelling, drawing, and form and color studies, which were made last
year in New York and Chicago, gave these Columbus schools a very high
rank in the country. Any visitor to them must be impressed with the
intelligence of the methods employed, the apprehension of modern
notions, and also the conservative spirit of common-sense.

The Ohio State University has an endowment from the State of over half
a million dollars, and a source of ultimate wealth in its great farm and
grounds, which must Increase in value as the city extends. It is a very
well equipped institution for the study of the natural sciences and
agriculture, and might easily be built up into a university in all
departments, worthy of the State. At present it has 335 students,
of whom 150 are in the academic department, 41 in special practical
courses, and 143 in the preparatory school. All the students are
organized in companies, under an officer of the United States, for
military discipline; the uniform, the drill, the lessons of order and
obedience, are invaluable in the transforming of carriage and manners.
The University has a museum of geology which ranks among the important
ones of the country. It is a pity that a consolidation of other State
institutions with this cannot be brought about.

The Ohio Penitentiary at Columbus is an old building, not in keeping
with the modern notions of prison construction. In 1887 it had about
1300 convicts, some 100 less than in the preceding year. The management
is subject to political changes, and its officers have to be taken from
various parts of the State at the dictation of political workers. Under
this system the best management is liable to be upset by an election.
The special interest in the prison at this time was in the observation
of the working of the Parole Law. Since the passage of the Act in May,
1885, 283 prisoners have been paroled, and while several of the convicts
have been returned for a violation of parole, nearly the whole number
are reported as law-abiding citizens. The managers are exceedingly
pleased with the working of the law; it promotes good conduct in the
prison, and reduces the number in confinement. The reduction of the
number of convicts in 1887 from the former year was ascribed partially
to the passage of the General Sentence Law in 1884, and the Habitual
Crimes Act in 1885. The criminals dread these laws, the first because
it gives no fixed time to build their hopes upon, but all depends upon
their previous record and good conduct in prison, while the latter
affects the incorrigible, who are careful to shun the State after being
convicted twice, and avoid imprisonment for life. The success of these
laws and the condition of the State finances delay the work on
the Intermediate Prison, or Reformatory, begun at Mansfield. This
Reformatory is intended for first offenders, and has the distinct
purpose of prevention of further deterioration, and of reformation
by means of the discipline of education and labor. The success of the
tentative laws in this direction, as applied to the general prisons, is,
in fact, a strong argument for the carrying out of the Mansfield scheme.

There cannot be a more interesting study of the “misfits” of humanity
than that offered in the Institution for Feeble-minded Youth, under the
superintendence of Dr. G. A. Doren. Here are 715 imbeciles in all stages
of development from absolute mental and physical incapacity. There is
scarcely a problem that exists in education, in the relation of the body
and mind, in the inheritance of mental and physical traits, in regard to
the responsibility for crime, in psychology or physiology, that is not
here illustrated. It is the intention of the school to teach the idiot
child some trade or occupation that will make him to some degree useful,
and to carry him no further than the common branches in learning. The
first impression, I think, made upon a visitor is the almost invariable
physical deformity that attends imbecility—ill-proportioned, distorted
bodies, dwarfed, misshapen gelatinoids, with bones that have no
stiffness. The next impression is the preponderance of the animal
nature, the persistence of the lower passions, and the absence of moral
qualities in the general immaturity. And perhaps the next impression is
of the extraordinary effect that physical training has in awakening the
mind, and how soon the discipline of the institution creates the
power of self-control. From almost blank imbecility and utter lack of
self-restraint the majority of these children, as we saw them in
their schoolrooms and workshops, exhibited a sense of order, of entire
decency, and very considerable intelligence. It was demonstrated that
most imbeciles are capable of acquiring the rudiments of an education
and of learning some useful occupation. Some of the boys work on the
farm, others learn trades. The boys in the shoe-shop were making shoes
of excellent finish. The girls do plain sewing and house-work apparently
almost as well as girls of their age outside. Two or three things that
we saw may be mentioned to show the scope of the very able management
and the capacities of the pupils. There was a drill of half a hundred
boys and girls in the dumb-bell exercise, to music, under the leadership
of a pupil, which in time, grace, and exact execution of complicated
movements would have done credit to any school. The institution has two
bands, one of brass and one of strings, which perform very well. The
string band played for dancing in the large amusement hall. Several
hundred children were on the floor dancing cotillons, and they went
through the variety of changes not only in perfect time and decorum, but
without any leader to call the figures. It would have been a remarkable
performance for any children. There were many individual cases of great
and deplorable interest. Cretins, it was formerly supposed, were only
born in mountainous regions. There are three here born in Ohio. There
were five imbeciles of what I should call the ape type, all of one Ohio
family. Two of them were the boys exhibited some years ago by Barnum as
the Aztec children—the last of an extinct race. He exhibited them as
a boy and a girl. When they had grown a little too large to show as
children, or the public curiosity was satisfied about the extinct race,
he exhibited them as wild Australians.

The humanity of so training these imbeciles that they can have some
enjoyment of life, and be occasionally of some use to their relations,
is undeniable. But since the State makes this effort in the survival of
the unfittest, it must go further and provide a permanent home for them.
The girls who have learned to read and write and sew and do house-work,
and are of decent appearance, as many of them are, are apt to marry when
they leave the institution. Their offspring are invariably idiots. I saw
in this school the children of mothers who had been trained here. It is
no more the intention of the State to increase the number of imbeciles
than it is the number of criminals. Many of our charitable and penal
institutions at present do both.

I should like to approach the subject of Natural Gas in a proper spirit,
but I have neither the imagination nor the rhetoric to do justice to
the expectations formed of it. In the restrained language of one of the
inhabitants of Findlay, its people “have, caught the divine afflatus
which came with the discovery of natural gas.” If Findlay had only
natural gas, “she would be the peer, if not the superior, of any
municipality on earth;” but she has much more, “and in all things has no
equal or superior between the oceans and the lakes and the gulf, and is
marching on to the grandest destiny ever prepared for any people, in any
land, or in any period, since the morning stars first sang together,
and the flowers in the garden of Eden budded and blossomed for man.” In
fact, “this she has been doing in the past two years in the grandest
and most satisfactory way, and that she will continue to progress is as
certain as the stars that hold their midnight revel around the throne of
Omnipotence.”

Notwithstanding this guarded announcement, it is evident that the
discovery of natural gas has begun a revolution in fuel, which will have
permanent and far-reaching economic and social consequences, whether the
supply of gas is limited or inexhaustible.

Those who have once used fuel in this form are not likely to return to
the crude and wasteful heating by coal. All the cities and large towns
west of the Alleghanies are made disagreeable by bituminous coal smoke.
The extent of this annoyance and its detraction from the pleasure of
daily living cannot be exaggerated. The atmosphere is more or less
vitiated, and the sky obscured, houses, furniture, clothing, are dirty,
and clean linen and clean hands and face are not expected. All this is
changed where gas is used for fuel. The city becomes cheerful, and the
people can see each other. But this is not all. One of the great burdens
of our Northern life, fire building and replenishing, disappears,
house-keeping is simplified, the expense of servants reduced,
cleanliness restored. Add to this that in the gas regions the cost of
fuel is merely nominal, and in towns distant some thirty or forty miles
it is not half that of coal. It is easy to see that this revolution in
fuel will make as great a change in social life as in manufacturing,
and that all the change may not be agreeable. This natural gas is a very
subtle fluid, somewhat difficult to control, though I have no doubt that
invention will make it as safe in our houses as illuminating gas is. So
far as I have seen its use, the heat from it is intense and withering.
In a closed stove it is intolerable; in an open grate, with a simulated
pile of hard coal or logs, it is better, but much less agreeable than
soft coal or wood. It does not, as at present used, promote a good
air in the room, and its intense dryness ruins the furniture. But its
cheapness, convenience, and neatness will no doubt prevail; and we are
entering upon a gas age, in which, for the sake of progress, we shall
doubtless surrender something that will cause us to look back to the
more primitive time with regret. If the gas-wells fail, artificial gas
for fuel will doubtless be manufactured.

I went up to the gas-fields of northern Ohio in company with Prof.
Edward Orton, the State Geologist, who has made a study of the subject,
and pretty well defined the fields of Indiana and Ohio. The gas is found
at a depth of between 1100 and 1200 feet, after passing through a
great body of shale and encountering salt-water, in a porous Trenton
limestone. The drilling and tubing enter this limestone several feet to
get a good holding. This porous limestone holds the gas like a sponge,
and it rushes forth with tremendous force when released. It is now
well settled that these are reservoirs of gas that are tapped, and
not sources of perpetual supply by constant manufacture. How large the
supply may be in any case cannot be told, but there is a limit to it. It
can be exhausted, like a vein of coal. But the fields are so large, both
in Indiana and Ohio, that it seems probable that by sinking new wells
the supply will be continued for a long time. The evidence that it is
not inexhaustible in any one well is that in all in which the flow
of gas has been tested at intervals the force of pressure is found to
diminish. For months after the discovery the wells were allowed to run
to waste, and billions of feet of gas were lost. A better economy now
prevails, and this wastefulness is stopped. The wells are all under
control, and large groups of them are connected by common service-pipes.
The region about Fostoria is organized under the North-western Gas
Company, and controls a large territory. It supplies the city of Toledo,
which uses no other fuel, through pipes thirty miles long, Fremont,
and other towns. The loss per mile in transit through the pipes is now
known, so that the distance can be calculated at which it will pay to
send it. I believe that this is about fifty to sixty miles. The gas when
it comes from the well is about the temperature of 32° Fahr., and the
common pressure is 400 pounds to the square inch. The velocity with
which it rushes, unchecked, from the pipe at the mouth of the well may
be said to be about that of a minie-ball from an ordinary rifle. The
Ohio area of gas is between 2000 and 3000 square miles. The claim for
the Indiana area is that it is 20,000 square miles, but the geologists
make it much less.

The speculation in real estate caused by this discovery has been perhaps
without parallel in the history of the State, and, as is usual in such
cases, it is now in a lull, waiting for the promised developments. But
these have been almost as marvellous as the speculation. Findlay was
a sleepy little village in the black swamp district, one of the
most backward regions of Ohio. For many years there had been surface
indications of gas, and there is now a house standing in the city which
used gas for fuel forty years ago. When the first gas-well was opened,
ten years ago, the village had about 4500 inhabitants. It has now
probably 15,-. 000, it is a city, and its limits have been extended to
cover an area six miles long by four miles wide. This is dotted
over with hastily built houses, and is rapidly being occupied by
manufacturing establishments. The city owns all the gas-wells, and
supplies fuel to factories and private houses at the simple cost of
maintaining the service-pipes. So rapid has been the growth and the
demand for gas that there has not been time to put all the pipes
underground, and they are encountered on the surface all over the
region. The town is pervaded by the odor of the gas, which is like that
of petroleum, and the traveller is notified of his nearness to the town
by the smell before he can see the houses. The surface pipes, hastily
laid, occasionally leak, and at these weak places the gas is generally
ignited in order to prevent its tainting the atmosphere. This immediate
neighborhood has an oil-field contiguous to the gas, plenty of limestone
(the kilns are burned by gas), good building stone, clay fit for making
bricks and tiles, and superior hard-wood forests. The cheap fuel has
already attracted here manufacturing industries of all sorts, and new
plants are continually made.

I have a list of over thirty different mills and factories which
are either in full operation or getting under way. Among the most
interesting of these are the works for making window-glass and table
glass. The superiority of this fuel for the glass-furnaces seems to be
admitted.

Although the wells about Findlay are under control, the tubing is
anchored, and the awful force is held under by gates and levers of
steel, it is impossible to escape a feeling of awe in this region at
the subterranean energies which seem adequate to blow the whole country
heavenward. Some of the wells were opened for us. Opening a well is
unscrewing the service-pipe and letting the full force of the gas issue
from the pipe at the mouth of the well. When one of these wells is thus
opened the whole town is aware of it by the roaring and the quaking of
the air. The first one exhibited was in a field a mile and a half from
the city. At the first freedom from the screws and clamps the gas rushed
out in such density that it was visible. Although we stood several rods
from it, the roar was so great that one could not make himself heard
shouting in the ear of his neighbor. The geologist stuffed cotton in
his ears and tied a shawl about his head, and, assisted by the chemist,
stood close to the pipe to measure the flow. The chemist, who had not
taken the precaution to protect himself, was quite deaf for some time
after the experiment. A four-inch pipe, about sixty feet in length, was
then screwed on, and the gas ignited as it issued from the end on the
ground. The roaring was as before. For several feet from the end of
the tube there was no flame, but beyond was a sea of fire sweeping the
ground and rioting high in the air—billows of red and yellow and blue
flame, fierce and hot enough to consume everything within reach. It was
an awful display of power.

We had a like though only a momentary display at the famous Karg well,
an eight-million-feet well. This could only be turned on for a few
seconds at a time, for it is in connection with the general system. If
the gas is turned off, the fires in houses and factories would go out,
and if it were turned on again without notice, the rooms would be full
of gas, and an explosion follow an attempt to relight it. This danger
is now being removed by the invention of an automatic valve in the pipe
supplying each fire, which will close and lock when the flow of gas
ceases, and admit no more gas until it is opened. The ordinary pressure
for house service is about two pounds to the square inch. The Karg well
is on the bank of the creek, and the discharge-pipe through which the
gas (though not in its full force) was turned for our astonishment
extends over the water. The roar was like that of Niagara; all the town
shakes when the Karg is loose. When lighted, billows of flame rolled
over the water, brilliant in color and fantastic in form, with a fury
and rage of conflagration enough to strike the spectator with terror.
I have never seen any other display of natural force so impressive as
this. When this flame issues from an upright pipe, the great mass of
fire rises eighty feet into the air, leaping and twisting in fiendish
fury. For six weeks after this well was first opened its constant
roaring shook the nerves of the town, and by night its flaming torch
lit up the heaven and banished darkness. With the aid of this new agent
anything seems possible.

The feverishness of speculation will abate; many anticipations will
not be realized. It will be discovered that there is a limit to
manufacturing, even with fuel that costs next to nothing. The supply
of natural gas no doubt has its defined limits. But nothing seems more
certain to me than that gas, manufactured if not to be the fuel of the
future in the West, and that the importance of this economic change in
social life is greater than we can at present calculate.



XII.—CINCINNATI AND LOUISVILLE.

Cincinnati is a city that has a past. As Daniel Webster said, that at
least is secure. Among the many places that have been and are the Athens
of America, this was perhaps the first. As long ago as the first visit
of Charles Dickens to this country it was distinguished as a town of
refinement as well as cultivation; and the novelist, who saw little to
admire, though much to interest him in our raw country, was captivated
by this little village on the Ohio. It was already the centre of an
independent intellectual life, and produced scholars, artists, writers,
who subsequently went east instead of west. According to tradition,
there seems to have been early a tendency to free thought, and a
response to the movement which, for lack of a better name, was known in
Massachusetts as transcendentalism.

The evolution of Cincinnati seems to have been a little peculiar in
American life. It is a rich city, priding itself on the solidity of its
individual fortunes and business, and the freedom of its real property
from foreign mortgages. Usually in our development the pursuit of wealth
comes first, and then all other things are added thereto, as we read
the promise. In Cincinnati there seems to have been a very considerable
cultivation first in time, and we have the spectacle of what wealth
will do in the way of the sophistication and materialization of society.
Ordinarily we have the process of an uncultivated community gradually
working itself out into a more or less ornamented and artistic condition
as it gets money. The reverse process we might see if the philosophic
town of Concord, Massachusetts, should become the home of rich men
engaged in commerce and manufacturing. I may be all wrong in my notion
of Cincinnati, but there is a sort of tradition, a remaining flavor of
old-time culture before the town became commercially so important as it
was before the war.

It is difficult to think of Cincinnati as in Ohio. I cannot find their
similarity of traits. Indeed, I think that generally in the State there
is a feeling that it is an alien city; the general characteristics
of the State do not flow into and culminate in Cincinnati as its
metropolis. It has had somehow an independent life. If you look on a
geologic map of the State, you see that the glacial drift, I believe it
is called, which flowed over three-fourths of the State and took out its
wrinkles did not advance into the south-west. And Cincinnati lies in the
portion that was not smoothed into a kind of monotony. When a settlement
was made here it was a good landing-place for trade up and down the
river, and was probably not so much thought of as a distributing and
receiving point for the interior north of it. Indeed, up to the time of
the war, it looked to the South for its trade, and naturally, even when
the line of war was drawn, a good deal of its sympathies lay in the
direction of its trade. It had become a great city, and grown rich both
in trade and manufactures, but in the decline of steamboating and in the
era of railways there were physical difficulties in the way of adapting
itself easily to the new conditions. It was not easy to bring the
railways down the irregular hills and to find room for them on the
landing. The city itself had to contend with great natural obstacles
to get adequate foothold, and its radiation over, around, and among the
hills produced some novel features in business and in social life.

What Cincinnati would have been, with its early culture and its
increasing wealth, if it had not become so largely German in its
population, we can only conjecture. The German element was at once
conservative as to improvements and liberalizing, as the phrase is, in
theology and in life. Bituminous coal and the Germans combined to make
a novel American city. When Dickens saw the place it was a compact,
smiling little city, with a few country places on the hills. It is now
a scattered city of country places, with a little nucleus of beclouded
business streets. The traveller does not go there to see the city, but
to visit the suburbs, climbing into them, out of the smoke and grime, by
steam “inclines” and grip railways. The city is indeed difficult to
see. When you are in it, by the river, you can see nothing; when you are
outside of it you are in any one of half a dozen villages, in regions
of parks and elegant residences, altogether charming and geographically
confusing; and if from some commanding point you try to recover the city
idea, you look down upon black roofs half hid in black smoke, through
which the fires of factories gleam, and where the colored Ohio rolls
majestically along under a dark canopy. Looked at in one way, the real
Cincinnati is a German city, and you can only study its true character
“Over the Rhine,” and see it successfully through the bottom of an
upturned beer glass. Looked at another way, it is mainly an affair
of elegant suburbs, beautifully wooded hills, pleasure-grounds, and
isolated institutions of art or charity. I am thankful that there is no
obligation on me to depict it.

It would probably be described as a city of art rather than of theology,
and one of rural homes rather than metropolitan society. Perhaps
the German element has had something to do in giving it its musical
character, and the early culture may have determined its set more
towards art than religion. As the cloud of smoke became thicker and
thicker in the old city those who disliked this gloom escaped out upon
the hills in various directions. Many, of course, still cling to the
solid ancestral houses in the city, but the country movement was so
general that church-going became an affair of some difficulty, and I can
imagine that the church-going habit was a little broken up while the new
neighborhoods were forming on the hills and in the winding valleys, and
before the new churches in the suburbs were erected. Congregations
were scattered, and society itself was more or less disintegrated. Each
suburb is fairly accessible from the centre of the city, either by
a winding valley or by a bold climb up a precipice, but owing to the
configuration of the ground, it is difficult to get from one suburb to
another without returning to the centre and taking a fresh start. This
geographical hinderance must necessarily interfere with social life, and
tend to isolation of families, or to merely neighborhood association.

Although much yet remains to be done in the way of good roads, nature
and art have combined to make the suburbs of the city wonderfully
beautiful. The surface is most picturesquely broken, the forests
are fine, from this point and that there are views pleasing, poetic,
distant, perfectly satisfying in form and variety, and in advantageous
situations taste has guided wealth in the construction of stately
houses, having ample space in the midst of manorial parks. You are not
out of sight of these fine places in any of the suburbs, and there
are besides, in every direction, miles of streets of pleasing homes. I
scarcely know whether to prefer Clifton, with its wide sweeping avenues
rounding the hills, or the perhaps more commanding heights of Walnut,
nearer the river, and overlooking Kentucky. On the East Walnut Hills
is a private house worth going far to see for its color. It is built of
broken limestone, the chance find of a quarry, making the richest walls
I have anywhere seen, comparable to nothing else than the exquisite
colors in the rocks of the Yellowstone Falls, as I recall them in Mr.
Moran’s original studies.

If the city itself could substitute gas fuel for its smutty coal, I
fancy that, with its many solid homes and stately buildings, backed by
the picturesque hills, it would be a city at once curious and attractive
to the view. The visitor who ascends from the river as far as Fourth
Street is surprised to find room for fair avenues, and many streets and
buildings of mark. The Probasco fountain in another atmosphere would be
a thing of beauty, for one may go far to find so many groups in
bronze so good. The Post-office building is one of the best of the
Mullet-headed era of our national architecture—so good generally that
one wonders that the architect thought it expedient to destroy the
effect of the monolith columns by cutting them to resemble superimposed
blocks. A very remarkable building also is the new Chamber of Commerce
structure, from Richardson’s design, massive, mediæval, challenging
attention, and compelling criticism to give way to genuine admiration.
There are other buildings, public and private, that indicate a city of
solid growth; and the activity of its strong Chamber of Commerce is a
guarantee that its growth will be maintained with the enterprise common
to American cities. The effort is to make manufacturing take the place
in certain lines of business that, as in the item of pork-packing, has
been diverted by various causes. Money and effort have been freely given
to regain the Southern trade interrupted by the war, and I am forced to
believe that the success in this respect would have been greater if some
of the city newspapers had not thought it all-important to manufacture
political capital by keeping alive old antagonisms and prejudices.
Whatever people may say, sentiment does play a considerable part in
business, and it is within the knowledge of the writer that prominent
merchants in at least one Southern city have refused trade contracts
that would have been advantageous to Cincinnati, on account of this
exhibition of partisan spirit, as if the war were not over. Nothing
would be more contemptible than to see a community selling its
principles for trade; but it is true that men will trade, other things
being equal, where they are met with friendly cordiality and toleration,
and where there is a spirit of helpfulness instead of suspicion.
Professional politicians, North and South, may be able to demonstrate to
their satisfaction that they should have a chance to make a living,
but they ask too much when this shall be at the expense of free-flowing
trade, which is in itself the best solvent of any remaining alienation,
and the surest disintegrator of the objectionable political solidity,
and to the hinderance of that entire social and business good feeling
which is of all things desirable and necessary in a restored and
compacted Union. And it is as bad political as it is bad economic
policy. As a matter of fact, the politicians of Kentucky are grateful to
one or two Republican journals for aid in keeping their State “solid.”
It is a pity that the situation has its serious as well as its
ridiculous aspect.

Cincinnati in many respects is more an Eastern than a Western town;
it is developing its own life, and so far as I could see, without much
infusion of young fortune-hunting blood from the East. It has attained
its population of about 275,000 by a slower growth than some other
Western cities, and I notice in its statistical reports a pause rather
than excitement since 1878-79-80. The valuation of real and personal
property has kept about the same for nearly ten years (1886, real estate
about $129,000,000, personal about $42,000,000), with a falling off in
the personalty, and a noticeable decrease in the revenue from taxation.
At the same time manufacturing has increased considerably. In 1880 there
was a capital of $60,623,350, employing 74,798 laborers, with a product
of $148,957,280. In 1886 the capital was $76,248,200, laborers 93,103,
product $190,722,153. The business at the Post-office was a little less
in 1886 than in 1883. In the seven years ending with 1886 there was
a considerable increase in banking capital, which reached in the city
proper over ten millions, and there was an increase in clearings from
1881 to 1886.

It would teach us nothing to follow in detail the fluctuations of the
various businesses in Cincinnati, either in appreciation or decline, but
it may be noted that it has more than held its own in one of the great
staples—leaf tobacco—and still maintains a leading position. Yet I must
refer to one of the industries for the sake of an important experiment
made in connection with it. This is the experiment of profit-sharing
at Ivorydale, the establishment of Messrs. Procter and Gamble, now,
I believe, the largest soap factory in the world. The soap and candle
industry has always been a large one in Cincinnati, and it has increased
about seventy-five per cent, within the past two years. The proprietors
at Ivorydale disclaim any intention of philanthropy in their new
scheme—that is, the philanthropy that means giving something for
nothing, as a charity: it is strictly a business operation. It is an
experiment that I need not say will be watched with a good deal of
interest as a means of lessening the friction between the interests of
capital and labor. The plan is this: Three trustees are named who are
to declare the net profits of the concern every six months; for this
purpose they are to have free access to the books and papers at all
times, and they are to permit the employes to designate a book-keeper
to make an examination for them also. In determining the net profits,
interest on all capital invested is calculated as an expense at the rate
of six per cent., and a reasonable salary is allowed to each member of
the firm who gives his entire time to the business. In order to share
in the profits, the employé must have been at work for three consecutive
months, and must be at work when the semi-annual account is made up.
All the men share whose wages have exceeded $5 a week, and all the women
whose wages have exceeded $4.25 a week. The proportion divided to
each employé is determined by the amount of wages earned; that is, the
employés shall share as between themselves in the profits exactly as
they have shared in the entire fund paid as wages to the whole body,
excluding the first three months’ wages. In order to determine the
profits for distribution, the total amount of wages paid to all employés
(except travelling salesmen, who do not share) is ascertained. The
amount of all expenses, Including interest and salaries, is ascertained,
and the total net profits shall be divided between the firm and the
employés sharing in the fund. The amount of the net profit to be
distributed will be that proportion of the whole net profit which will
correspond to the proportion of the wages paid as compared with
the entire cost of production and the expense of the business. To
illustrate: If the wages paid to all employés shall equal twenty per
cent, of the entire expenditure in the business, including interest and
salaries of members of the firm, then twenty per cent, of the net profit
will be distributed to employés.

It will be noted that this plan promotes steadiness in work, stimulates
to industry, and adds a most valuable element of hopefulness to labor.
As a business enterprise for the owners it is sound, for it makes
every workman an interested party in increasing the profits of the
firm—interested not only in production, but in the marketableness of the
thing produced. There have been two divisions under this plan. At the
declaration of the first the workmen had no confidence in it; many of
them would have sold their chances for a glass of beer. They expected
that “expenses” would make such a large figure that nothing would
be left to divide. When they received, as the good workmen did,
considerable sums of money, life took on another aspect to them, and
we may suppose that their confidence in fair dealing was raised. The
experiment of a year has been entirely satisfactory; it has not
only improved the class of employés, but has introduced into the
establishment a spirit of industrial cheerfulness. Of course it is still
an experiment. So long as business is good, all will go well; but
if there is a bad six months, and no profits, it is impossible that
suspicion should not arise. And there is another consideration: the
publishing to the world that the business of six months was without
profit might impair credit. But, on the other hand, this openness in
legitimate business may be contagious, and in the end promotive of a
wider and more stable business confidence. Ivorydale is one of the best
and most solidly built industrial establishments anywhere to be found,
and doubly interesting for the intelligent attempt to solve the most
difficult problem in modern society. The first semi-annual dividend
amounted to about an eighth increase of wages. A girl who was earning
five dollars a week would receive as dividend about thirty dollars a
year. I think it was not in my imagination that the laborers in
this establishment worked with more than usual alacrity, and seemed
contented. If this plan shall prevent strikes, that alone will be as
great a benefit to the workmen as to those who risk capital in employing
them.

Probably to a stranger the chief interest of Cincinnati is not in its
business enterprises, great as they are, but in another life just as
real and important, but which is not always considered in taking account
of the prosperity of a community—the development of education and of the
fine arts. For a long time the city has had an independent life in art
and in music. Whether a people can be saved by art I do not know. The
pendulum is always swinging backward and forward, and we seem never to
be able to be enthusiastic in one direction without losing something
in another. The art of Cincinnati has a good deal the air of being
indigenous, and the outcome in the arts of carving and design and in
music has exhibited native vigor. The city has made itself a reputation
for wood-carving and for decorative pottery. The Rockwood pottery, the
private enterprise of Mrs. Bellamy Storer, is the only pottery in this
country in which the instinct of beauty is paramount to the desire of
profit. Here for a series of years experiments have been going on with
clays and glazing, in regard to form and color, and in decoration purely
for effect, which have resulted in pieces of marvellous interest and
beauty. The effort has always been to satisfy a refined sense rather
than to cater to a vicious taste, or one for startling effects already
formed. I mean that the effort has not been to suit the taste of
the market, but to raise that taste. The result is some of the most
exquisite work in texture and color anywhere to be found, and I was glad
to learn that it is gaining an appreciation which will not in this case
leave virtue to be its own reward.

The various private attempts at art expression have been consolidated in
a public Museum and an Art School, which are among the best planned and
equipped in the country. The Museum Building in Eden Park, of which the
centre pavilion and west wing are completed (having a total length of
214 feet from east to west), is in Romanesque style, solid and pleasing,
with exceedingly well-planned exhibition-rooms and picture-galleries,
and its collections are already choice and interesting. The fund was
raised by the subscriptions of 455 persons, and amounts to $310,501,
of which Mr. Charles R. West led off with the contribution of $150,000,
invested as a permanent fund. Near this is the Art School, also a noble
building, the gift of Mr. David Sinton, who in 1855 gave the Museum
Association $75,000 for this purpose. It should be said that the
original and liberal endowment of the Art School was made by Mr.
Nicholas Longworth, in accordance with the wish of his father, and
that the association also received a legacy of $40,000 from Mr. R. R.
Springer. Altogether the association has received considerably over a
million of dollars, and has in addition, by gift and purchase, property
gained at nearly $200,000. The Museum is the fortunate possessor of one
of the three Russian Reproductions, the other two being in the South
Kensington Museum of London and the Metropolitan of New York. Thus, by
private enterprise, in the true American way, the city is graced and
honored by art buildings which give it distinction, and has a school of
art so well equipped and conducted that it attracts students from far
and near, filling its departments of drawing, painting, sculpture,
and wood-carving with eager learners. It has over 400 scholars in the
various departments. The ample endowment fund makes the school really
free, there being only a nominal charge of about $5 a year.

In the collection of paintings, which has several of merit, is one with
a history, which has a unique importance. This is B. R. Haydon’s “Public
Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.” This picture of heroic size, and in the
grand style which had a great vogue in its day, was finished in 1820,
sold for £170 in 1831, and brought to Philadelphia, where it was
exhibited. The exhibition did not pay expenses, and the picture was
placed in the Academy as a companion piece to Benjamin West’s “Death on
the Pale Horse.” In the fire of 1845 both canvases were rescued by being
cut from the frames and dragged out like old blankets. It was finally
given to the Cathedral in Cincinnati, where its existence was forgotten
until it was discovered lately and loaned to the Museum. The interest
in the picture now is mainly an accidental one, although it is a fine
illustration of the large academic method, and in certain details
is painted with the greatest care. Haydon’s studio was the resort of
English authors of his day, and the portraits of several of them are
introduced into this picture. The face of William Hazlitt does duty
as St. Peter; Wordsworth and Sir Isaac Newton and Voltaire appear as
spectators of the pageant—the cynical expression of Voltaire is the
worldly contrast to the believing faith of the disciples—and the
inspired face of the youthful St. John is that of John Keats. This being
the only portrait of Keats in life, gives this picture extraordinary
interest.

The spirit of Cincinnati, that is, its concern for interests not
altogether material, is also illustrated by its College of Music. This
institution was opened in 1878. It was endowed by private subscription,
the largest being $100,000 by Mr. R. R. Springer. It is financially
very prosperous; its possessions in real estate, buildings—including a
beautiful concert hall—and invested endowments amount to over $300,000.
Its average attendance is about 550, and during the year 1887 it had
about 650 different scholars. From tuition alone about $45,000 were
received, and although the expenditures were liberal, the college had at
the beginning of 1888 a handsome cash balance. The object of the college
is the development of native talent, and to evoke this the best foreign
teachers obtainable have been secured. In the departments of the voice,
the piano, and the violin, American youth are said to show special
proficiency, and the result of the experiment thus far is to strengthen
the belief that out of our mixed nationality is to come most artistic
development in music. Free admission is liberally given to pupils who
have talent but not the means to cultivate it. Recognizing the value of
broad culture in musical education, the managers have provided courses
of instruction in English literature, lectures upon American authors,
and for the critical study of Italian. The college proper has forty
teachers, and as many rooms for instruction. Near it, and connected by
a covered way, is the great Music Hall, with a seating capacity of 5400,
and the room to pack in nearly 7000 people. In this superb hall the
great annual musical festivals are held. It has a plain interior,
sealed entirely in wood, and with almost no ornamentation to impair its
resonance. The courage of the projectors who dared to build this hall
for a purely musical purpose and not for display is already vindicated.
It is no doubt the best auditorium in the country. As age darkens the
wood, the interior grows rich, and it is discovered that the effect of
the seasoning of the wood or of the musical vibrations steadily improves
the acoustic properties, having the same effect upon the sonorousness of
the wood that long use has upon a good violin. The whole interior is a
magnificent sounding-board, if that is the proper expression, and for
fifty years, if the hall stands, it will constantly improve, and have a
resonant quality unparalleled in any other auditorium.

The city has a number of clubs, well housed, such as are common to
other cities, and some that are peculiar. The Cuvier Club, for the
preservation of game, has a very large museum of birds, animals,
and fishes, beautifully prepared and arranged. The Historical and
Philosophical Society has also good quarters, a library of about 10,000
books and 44,000 pamphlets, and is becoming an important depository of
historical manuscripts. The Literary Society, composed of 100 members,
who meet weekly, in commodious apartments, to hear an essay, discuss
general topics, and pass an hour socially about small tables, with
something to eat and drink, has been vigorously-maintained since 1848.

An institution of more general importance is the Free Public Library,
which has about 150,000 books and 18,000 pamphlets. This is supported
in part by an accumulated fund, but mainly by a city tax, which is
appropriated through the Board of Education. The expenditures for it
in 1887 were about $50,000. It has a notably fine art department. The
Library is excellently managed by Mr. A. W. Whelpley, the librarian, who
has increased its circulation and usefulness by recognizing the new
idea that a librarian is not a mere custodian of books, but should be
a stimulator and director of the reading of a community. This office
becomes more and more important now that the good library has to compete
for the attention of the young with the “cheap and nasty” publications
of the day. It is probably due somewhat to direction in reading that
books of fiction taken from the Library last year were only fifty-one
per cent, of the whole.

An institution established in many cities as a helping hand to women
is the Women’s Exchange. The Exchange in Cincinnati is popular as a
restaurant. Many worthy women support themselves by preparing food which
is sold here over the counter, or served at the tables. The city has
for many years sustained a very good Zoological Garden, which is much
frequented except in the winter. Interest in it is not, however, as
lively as it was formerly. It seems very difficult to keep a “zoo” up to
the mark in America.

I do not know that the public schools of Cincinnati call for special
mention. They seem to be conservative schools, not differing from the
best elsewhere, and they appear to be trying no new experiments. One
of the high-schools which I saw with 600 pupils is well conducted, and
gives good preparation for college. The city enumeration is over 87,000
children between the ages of six and twenty-one, and of these about
36,000 are reported not in school. Of the 2300 colored children in the
city, about half were in school. When the Ohio Legislature repealed
the law establishing separate schools for colored people, practically
creating mixed schools, a majority of the colored parents in the city
petitioned and obtained branch schools of their own, with colored
teachers in charge. The colored people everywhere seem to prefer to be
served by teachers and preachers of their own race.

The schools of Cincinnati have not adopted manual training, but a
Technical School has been in existence about a year, with promise of
success. The Cincinnati University under the presidency of Governor Cox
shows new vitality. It is supported in part by taxation, and is open
free to all resident youth, so that while it is not a part of the
public-school system, it supplements it.

Cincinnati has had a great many discouragements of late, turbulent
politics and dishonorable financial failures. But, for all that, it
impresses one as a solid city, with remarkable development in the higher
civilization.

In its physical aspect Louisville is in every respect a contrast to
Cincinnati. Lying on a plain, sloping gently up from the river, it
spreads widely in rectangular uniformity of streets—a city of broad
avenues, getting to be well paved and well shaded, with ample spaces in
lawns, houses detached, somewhat uniform in style, but with an air of
comfort, occasionally of elegance and solid good taste. The city has
an exceedingly open, friendly, cheerful appearance. In May, with its
abundant foliage and flowery lawns, it is a beautiful city: a beautiful,
healthful city in a temperate climate, surrounded by a fertile country,
is Louisville. Beyond the city the land rises into a rolling country of
Blue-Grass farms, and eastward along the river are fine bluffs broken
into most advantageous sites for suburban residences. Looking northward
across the Ohio are seen the Indiana “Knobs.” In high-water the river
is a majestic stream, covering almost entirely the rocks which form the
“Falls,” and the beds of “cement” which are so profitably worked.
The canal, which makes navigation round the rapids, has its mouth at
Shipping-port Island. About this spot clusters much of the early romance
of Louisville. Here are some of the old houses and the old mill built
by the Frenchman Tarascon in the early part of the century. Here in a
weather-beaten wooden tenement, still standing, Taras-con offered border
hospitality to many distinguished guests; Aaron Burr and Blennerhasset
were among his visitors, and General Wilkinson, the projector of the
canal, then in command of the armies of the United States; and it was
probably here that the famous “Spanish conspiracy” was concocted. Corn
Island, below the rapids, upon which the first settlement of Louisville
was made in 1778, disappeared some years ago, gradually washed away by
the swift river.

Opposite this point, in Indiana, is the village of Clarksville, which
has a unique history. About 1785 Virginia granted to Gen. George Rogers
Clark, the most considerable historic figure of this region, a large
tract of land in recognition of his services in the war. When Virginia
ceded this territory to Indiana the township of Clarksville was
excepted from the grant. It had been organized with a governing board
of trustees, self-perpetuating, and this organization still continues.
Clarksville has therefore never been ceded to the United States, and if
it is not an independent community, the eminent domain must still rest
in the State of Virginia.

Some philosophers say that the character of a people is determined by
climate and soil. There is a notion in this region that the underlying
limestone and the consequent succulent Blue-Grass produce a race of
large men, frank in manner, brave in war, inclined to oratory and
ornamental conversation, women of uncommon beauty, and the finest horses
in the Union. Of course a fertile soil and good living conduce to beauty
of form and in a way to the free graces of life. But the contrast of
Cincinnati and Louisville in social life and in the manner of doing
business cannot all be accounted for by Blue-Grass. It would be very
interesting, if one had the knowledge, to study the causes of this
contrast in two cities not very far apart. In late years Louisville has
awakened to a new commercial life, as one finds in it a strong infusion
of Western business energy and ambition. It is jubilant in its growth
and prosperity. It was always a commercial town, but with a dash of
Blue-Grass leisure and hospitality, and a hereditary flavor of manners
and fine living. Family and pedigree have always been held in as high
esteem as beauty. The Kentuckian of society is a great contrast to
the Virginian, but it may be only the development of the tide-water
gentleman in the freer, wider opportunities of the Blue-Grass region.
The pioneers of Kentucky were backwoodsmen, but many of the early
settlers, whose descendants are now leaders in society and in the
professions, came with the full-blown tastes and habits of Virginia
civilization, as their spacious colonial houses, erected in the latter
part of the last century and the early part of this, still attest. They
brought and planted in the wilderness a highly developed social state,
which was modified into a certain freedom by circumstances. One can
fancy in the abundance of a temperate latitude a certain gayety and
joyousness in material existence, which is contented with that, and
has not sought the art and musical development which one finds in
Cincinnati. All over the South, Louisville is noted for the beauty of
its women, but the other ladies of the South say that they can always
tell one from Louisville by her dress, something in it quite aware of
the advanced fashion, something in the “cut”—a mystery known only to the
feminine eye.

I did not intend, however, to enter upon a disquisition of the different
types of civilization in Cincinnati and in Louisville. One observes them
as evidences of what has heretofore been mentioned, the great variety
in American life, when one looks below the surface. The traveller enjoys
both types, and is rejoiced to find such variety, culture, taking in one
city the form of the worship of beauty and the enjoyment of life, and
in the other greater tendency to the fine arts. Louisville is a city of
churches, of very considerable religious activity, and of pretty stanch
orthodoxy. I do not mean to say that what are called modern ideas do
not leaven its society. In one of its best literary clubs I heard the
Spencerian philosophy expounded and advocated with the enthusiasm and
keenness of an emancipated Eastern town. But it is as true of Louisville
as it is of other Southern cities that traditional faith is less
disturbed by doubts and isms than in many Eastern towns. One notes
here also, as all over the South, the marked growth of the temperance
movement. The Kentuckians believe that they produce the best fluid from
rye and corn in the Union, and that they are the best judges of it.
Neither proposition will be disputed, nor will one trifle with a
legitimate pride in a home production; but there is a new spirit abroad,
and both Bourbon and the game that depends quite as much upon the
knowledge of human nature as upon the turn of the cards are silently
going to the rear. Always Kentuckians have been distinguished in
politics, in oratory, in the professions of law and of medicine; nor has
the city ever wanted scholars in historical lore, men who have not only
kept alive the traditions of learning and local research, like Col. John
Mason Brown, but have exhibited the true antiquarian spirit of Col.
H. T. Durrett, whose historical library is worth going far to see and
study. It will be a great pity if his exceedingly valuable collection is
not preserved to the State to become the nucleus of a Historical Society
worthy of the State’s history. When I spoke of art it was in a public
sense; there are many individuals who have good pictures and especially
interesting portraits, and in the early days Kentucky produced at least
one artist, wholly self-taught, who was a rare genius. Matthew H. Jouett
was born in Mercer County in 1780, and died in Louisville in 1820. In
the course of his life he painted as many as three hundred and fifty
portraits, which are scattered all over the Union. In his mature years
he was for a time with Stuart in Boston. Some specimens of his work in
Louisville are wonderfully fine, recalling the style and traditions
of the best masters, some of them equal if not superior to the best
by Stuart, and suggesting in color and solidity the vigor and grace of
Vandyck. He was the product of no school but nature and his own genius.
Louisville has always had a scholarly and aggressive press, and its
traditions are not weakened in Mr. Henry Watterson. On the social side
the good-fellowship of the city is well represented in the Pendennis
Club, which is thoroughly home-like and agreeable. The town has at
least one book-store of the first class, but it sells very few American
copyright books. The city has no free or considerable public library.
The Polytechnic Society, which has a room for lectures, keeps for
circulation among subscribers about 38,000 books. It has also a
geological and mineral collection, and a room devoted to pictures, which
contains an allegorical statue by Canova.

In its public schools and institutions of charity the city has a great
deal to show that is interesting. In medicine it has always been famous.
It has four medical colleges, a college of dentistry, a college of
pharmacy, and a school of pharmacy for women. In nothing, however,
is the spirit of the town better exhibited than in its public-school
system. With a population of less than 180,000, the school enrolment,
which has advanced year by year, was in 1887, 21,601, with an aggregate
belonging of 17,392. The amount expended on schools, which was in 1880
$197,699, had increased to $323,943 in 1887—a cost of $18.62 per pupil.
Equal provision is made for colored schools as for white, but the number
of colored pupils is less than 3000, and the colored high-school is
small, as only a few are yet fitted to go so far in education. The
negroes all prefer colored teachers, and so far as I could learn, they
are quite content with the present management of the School Board.
Co-education is not in the Kentucky idea, nor in its social scheme.
There are therefore two high-schools—one for girls and one for boys—both
of the highest class and efficiency, in excellent buildings, and under
most intelligent management. Among the teachers in the schools are
ladies of position, and the schools doubtless owe their good character
largely to the fact that they are in the fashion: as a rule, all the
children of the city are educated in them. Manual training is not
introduced, but all the advanced methods in the best modern schools,
object-lessons, word-building, moulding, and drawing, are practised.
During the fall and winter months there are night schools, which are
very well attended. In one of the intermediate schools I saw an exercise
which illustrates the intelligent spirit of the schools. This was an
account of the early settlement, growth, and prosperity of Louisville,
told in a series of very short papers—so many that a large number of
the pupils had a share in constructing the history. Each one took up
connectively a brief period or the chief events in chronological order,
with illustrations of manners and customs, fashions of dress and mode
of life. Of course this mosaic was not original, but made up of extracts
from various local histories and statistical reports. This had the merit
of being a good exercise as well as inculcating an intelligent pride in
the city.

Nearly every religious denomination is represented in the 142 churches
of Louisville. Of these 9 are Northern Presbyterian and 7 Southern
Presbyterian, 11 of the M.E. Church South and 6 of the M.E. Church
North, 18 Catholic, 7 Christian, 1 Unitarian, and 31 colored. There are
seven convents and monasteries, and a Young Men’s Christian Association.
In proportion to its population, the city is pre-eminent for public
and private charities: there are no less than thirty-eight of these
institutions, providing for the infirm and unfortunate of all ages
and conditions. Unique among these in the United States is a very fine
building for the maintenance of the widows and orphans of deceased
Freemasons of the State of Kentucky, supported mainly by contributions
of the Masonic lodges. One of the best equipped and managed industrial
schools of reform for boys and girls is on the outskirts of the city.
Mr. P. Caldwell is its superintendent, and it owes its success, as all
similar schools do, to the peculiar fitness of the manager for this sort
of work. The institution has three departments. There were 125 white
boys and 79 colored boys, occupying separate buildings in the same
enclosure, and 41 white girls in their own house in another enclosure.

The establishment has a farm, a garden, a greenhouse, a library
building, a little chapel, ample and pleasant play-yards. There is as
little as possible the air of a prison about the place, and as much as
possible that of a home and school. The boys have organized a very fair
brass band. The girls make all the clothes for the establishment; the
boys make shoes, and last year earned $8000 in bottoming chairs. The
school is mainly sustained by taxation and city appropriations; the
yearly cost is about $26,000. Children are indentured out when good
homes can be found for them.

The School for the Education of the Blind is a State institution,
and admits none from outside the State. The fine building occupies a
commanding situation on hills not far from the river, and is admirably
built, the rooms spacious and airy, and the whole establishment is
well ordered. There are only 79 scholars, and the few colored are
accommodated by themselves in a separate building, in accordance with
an Act of the Legislature in 1884 for the education of colored blind
children. The distinction of this institution is that it has on its
premises the United States printing-office for furnishing publications
for the blind asylums of the country. Printing is done here both in
letters and in points, by very ingenious processes, and the library is
already considerable. The space required to store a library of books
for the blind may be reckoned from the statement that the novel of
“Ivan-hoe” occupies three volumes, each larger than Webster’s Unabridged
Dictionary. The weekly Sunday-school Times is printed here. The point
writing consists entirely of dots in certain combinations to represent
letters, and it is noticed that about half the children prefer this
to the alphabet. The preference is not explained by saying that it is
merely a matter of feeling.

The city has as yet no public parks, but the very broad streets—from
sixty to one hundred and twenty feet in width—the wide spacing of the
houses in the residence parts, and the abundant shade make them less a
necessity than elsewhere. The city spreads very freely and openly over
the plain, and short drives take one into lovely Blue-Grass country.
A few miles out on Churchill Downs is the famous Jockey Club Park, a
perfect racing track and establishment, where worldwide reputations are
made at the semi-annual meetings. The limestone region, a beautifully
rolling country, almost rivals the Lexington plantations in the raising
of fine horses. Driving out to one of these farms one day, we passed,
not far from the river, the old Taylor mansion and the tomb of Zachary
Taylor. It is in the reserved family burying-ground, where lie also the
remains of Richard Taylor, of Revolutionary memory. The great tomb and
the graves are overrun thickly with myrtle, and the secluded irregular
ground is shaded by forest-trees. The soft wind of spring was blowing
sweetly over the fresh green fields, and there was about the place an
air of repose and dignity most refreshing to the spirit. Near the
tomb stands the fine commemorative shaft bearing on its summit a good
portrait statue of the hero of Buena Vista. I liked to linger there, the
country was so sweet; the great river flowing in sight lent a certain
grandeur to the resting-place, and I thought how dignified and fit it
was for a President to be buried at his home.

The city of Louisville in 1888 has the unmistakable air of confidence
and buoyant prosperity. This feeling of confidence is strengthened
by the general awakening of Kentucky in increased immigration of
agriculturists, and in the development of extraordinary mines of coal
and iron, and in the railway extension. But locally the Board of
Trade (an active body of 700 members) has in its latest report most
encouraging figures to present. In almost every branch of business there
was an increase in 1887 over 1886; in both manufactures and trade
the volume of business increased from twenty to fifty per cent. For
instance, stoves and castings increased from 16,574,547 pounds to
19,386,808; manufactured tobacco, from 12,729,421 pounds to 17,059,006;
gas and water pipes, from 56,083,380 pounds to 63,745,216; grass and
clover seed, from 4,240,908 bushels to 6,601,451. A conclusive item
as to manufactures is that there were received in 1887 951,767 tons
of bituminous coal, against 204,221 tons in 1886. Louisville makes
the claim of being the largest tobacco market in the world in bulk and
variety. It leads largely the nine principal leaf-tobacco markets in
the West. The figures for 1887 are—receipts, 123,569 hogsheads;
sales, 135,192 hogsheads; stock in hand, 36,431 hogsheads, against the
corresponding figures of 62,074, 65,924, 13,972 of its great rival,
Cincinnati. These large figures are a great increase over 1886, when
the value of tobacco handled here was estimated at nearly $20,000,000.
Another great interest always associated with Louisville, whiskey, shows
a like increase, there being shipped in 1887 119,637 barrels, against
101,943 barrels in 1886. In the Louisville collection district there
were registered one hundred grain distilleries, with a capacity of
80,000 gallons a day. For the five years ending June 30, 1887, the
revenue taxes on this product amounted to nearly $30,000,000. I am not
attempting a conspectus of the business of Louisville, only selecting
some figures illustrating its growth. Its manufacture of agricultural
implements has attained great proportions. The reputation of Louisville
for tobacco and whiskey is widely advertised, but it is not generally
known that it has the largest plough factory in the world. This is one
of four which altogether employ about 2000 hands, and make a product
valued at $2,275,000. In 1880 Louisville made 80,000 ploughs; in 1886,
190,000. The capacity of manufacture in 1887 was increased by the
enlargement of the chief factory to a number not given, but there were
shipped that year 11,005,151 pounds of ploughs. There is a steadily
increasing manufacture of woollen goods, and the production of the mixed
fabric known as Kentucky jeans is another industry in which Louisville
leads the world, making annually 7,500,000 yards of cloth, and its four
mills increased their capacity twenty per cent, in 1887. The opening of
the hard-wood lumber districts in eastern Kentucky has made Louisville
one of the important lumber markets: about 125,000,000 feet of
lumber, logs, etc., were sold here in 1887. But it is unnecessary
to particularize. The Board of Trade think that the advantages of
Louisville as a manufacturing centre are sufficiently emphasized from
the fact that during the year 1887 seventy-three new manufacturing
establishments, mainly from the North and East, were set up, using
a capital of $1,290,500, and employing 1621 laborers. The city has
twenty-two banks, which had, July 1, 1887, $8,200,200 capital, and
$19,927,138 deposits. The clearings for 1887 were $281,110,402—an
increase of nearly $50,000,000 over 1886.

Another item which helps to explain the buoyant feeling of Louisville is
that its population increased over 10,000 from 1886 to 1887, reaching,
according to the best estimate, 177,000 people. I should have said also
that no city in the Union is better served by street railways, which
are so multiplied and arranged as to “correspondences” that for one
fare nearly every inhabitant can ride within at least two blocks of his
residence. In these cars, as in the railway cars of the State, there
is the same absence of discrimination against color that prevails in
Louisiana and in Arkansas. And it is an observation hopeful, at least to
the writer, of the good time at hand when all party lines shall be drawn
upon the broadest national issues, that there seems to be in Kentucky no
social distinction between Democrats and Republicans.



XIII.—MEMPHIS AND LITTLE ROCK.

The State of Tennessee gets its diversity of climate and productions
from the irregularity of its surface, not from its range over degrees
of latitude, like Illinois; for it is a narrow State, with an average
breadth of only a hundred and ten miles, while it is about four hundred
miles in length, from the mountains in the east—the highest land east
of the Rocky Mountains—to the alluvial bottom of the Mississippi in the
west. In this range is every variety of mineral and agricultural wealth,
with some of the noblest scenery and the fairest farming-land in the
Union, and all the good varieties of a temperate climate.

In the extreme south-west corner lies Memphis, differing as entirely
in character from Knoxville and Nashville as the bottom-lands of the
Mississippi differ from the valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is
the natural centre of the finest cotton-producing district in the
world, the county of Shelby, of which it is legally known as the Taxing
District, yielding more cotton than any other county in the Union
except that of Washington in Mississippi. It is almost as much aloof
politically from east and middle Tennessee as it is geographically. A
homogeneous State might be constructed by taking west Tennessee, all of
Mississippi above Vicksburg and Jackson, and a slice off Arkansas, with
Memphis for its capital. But the redistricting would be a good thing
neither for the States named nor for Memphis, for the more variety
within convenient limits a State can have, the better, and Memphis
could not wish a better or more distinguished destiny than to become the
commercial metropolis of a State of such great possibilities and varied
industries as Tennessee. Her political influence might be more decisive
in the homogeneous State outlined, but it will be abundant for all
reasonable ambition in its inevitable commercial importance. And
besides, the western part of the State needs the moral tonic of the more
elevated regions.

The city has a frontage of about four miles on the Mississippi River,
but is high above it on the Chickasaw Bluffs, with an uneven surface and
a rolling country back of it, the whole capable of perfect drainage.
Its site is the best on the river for a great city from St. Louis to the
Gulf; this advantage is emphasized by the concentration of railways
at this point, and the great bridge, which is now on the eve of
construction, to the Arkansas shore, no doubt fixes its destiny as
the inland metropolis of the South-west. Memphis was the child of the
Mississippi, and this powerful, wayward stream is still its fostering
mother, notwithstanding the decay of river commerce brought about by the
railways; for the river still asserts its power as a regulator of rates
of transportation. I do not mean to say that the freighting on it in
towed barges is not still enormous, but if it did not carry a pound
to the markets of the world it is still the friend of all the inner
continental regions, which says to the railroads, beyond a certain
rate of charges you shall not go. With this advantage of situation, the
natural receiver of the products of an inexhaustible agricultural region
(one has only to take a trip by rail through the Yazoo Valley to be
convinced of that), and an equally good point for distribution of
supplies, it is inevitable that Memphis should grow with an accelerating
impulse.

The city has had a singular and instructive history, and that she
has survived so many vicissitudes and calamities, and entered upon
an extraordinary career of prosperity, is sufficient evidence of the
territorial necessity of a large city just at this point on the river.
The student of social science will find in its history a striking
illustration of the relation of sound sanitary and business conditions
to order and morality. Before the war, and for some time after it,
Memphis was a place for trade in one staple, where fortunes were quickly
made and lost, where no attention was paid to sanitary laws. The cloud
of impending pestilence always hung over it, the yellow-fever was always
a possibility, and a devastating epidemic of it must inevitably be
reckoned with every few years. It seems to be a law of social life that
an epidemic, or the probability of it, engenders a recklessness of life
and a low condition of morals and public order. Memphis existed, so to
speak, on the edge of a volcano, and it cannot be denied that it had a
reputation for violence and disorder. While little or nothing was done
to make the city clean and habitable, or to beautify it, law was weak
in its mobile, excitable population, and differences of opinion were
settled by the revolver. In spite of these disadvantages, the profits of
trade were so great there that its population of twenty thousand at the
close of the war had doubled by 1878. In that year the yellow-fever came
as an epidemic, and so increased in 1879 as nearly to depopulate the
city; its population was reduced from nearly forty thousand to about
fourteen thousand, two-thirds of which were negroes; its commerce was
absolutely cut off, its manufactures were suspended, it was bankrupt.
There is nothing more unfortunate for a State or a city than loss of
financial credit. Memphis struggled in vain with its enormous debt,
unable to pay it, unable to compromise it.

Under these circumstances the city resorted to a novel expedient.
It surrendered its charter to the State, and ceased to exist as a
municipality. The leaders of this movement gave two reasons for it, the
wish not to repudiate the city debt, but to gain breathing-time, and
that municipal government in this country is a failure. The Legislature
erected the former Memphis into The Taxing District of Shelby County,
and provided a government for it. This government consists of a
Legislative Council of eight members, made up of the Board of Fire
and Police Commissioners, consisting of three, and the Board of Public
Works, consisting of five. These are all elected by popular vote to
serve a term of four years, but the elections are held every two years,
so that the council always contains members who have had experience. The
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners elects a President, who is the
executive officer of the Taxing District, and has the power and duties
of a mayor; he has a salary of $2000, inclusive of his fees as police
magistrate, and the other members of his board have salaries of $500.
The members of the Board of Public Works serve without compensation. No
man can be eligible to either board who has not been a resident of
the district for five years. In addition there is a Board of Health,
appointed by the council. This government has the ordinary powers of
a city government, defined carefully in the Act, but it cannot run the
city in debt, and it cannot appropriate the taxes collected except for
the specific purpose named by the State Legislature, which specific
appropriations are voted annually by the Legislature on the
recommendation of the council. Thus the government of the city is
committed to eight men, and the execution of its laws to one man, the
President of the Taxing District, who has extraordinary power. The final
success of this scheme will be watched with a great deal of interest
by other cities. On the surface it can be seen that it depends upon
securing a non-partisan council, and an honest, conscientious President
of the Taxing District—that is to say, upon the choice by popular vote
of the best eight men to rule the city. Up to this time, with only
slight hitches, it has worked exceedingly well, as will appear in a
consideration of the condition of the city. The slight hitch mentioned
was that the President was accused of using temporarily the sum
appropriated for one city purpose for another.

The Supreme Court of the United States decided that Memphis had not
evaded its obligations by a change of name and form of government. The
result was a settlement with the creditors at fifty cents on the dollar;
and then the city gathered itself together for a courageous effort and a
new era of prosperity. The turning-point in its career was the adoption
of a system of drainage and sewerage which transformed it immediately
into a fairly healthful city. With its uneven surface and abundance of
water at hand, it was well adapted to the Waring system, which works
to the satisfaction of all concerned, and since its introduction
the inhabitants are relieved from apprehension of the return of a
yellow-fever epidemic. Population and business returned with this sense
of security, and there has been a change in the social atmosphere
as well. In 1880 it had a population of less than 34,000; it can now
truthfully claim between 75,000 and 80,000; and the business activity,
the building both of fine business blocks and handsome private
residences, are proportioned to the increase in inhabitants. In 1879-80
the receipt of cotton was 409,809 bales, valued at $23,752,529; in
1886-87, 603,277 bales, valued at $30,099,510. The estimate of the Board
of Trade for 1888, judging from the first months of the year, is 700,000
bales. I notice in the comparative statement of leading articles of
commerce and consumption an exceedingly large increase in 1887 over
1886. The banking capital in 1887 was $3,300,000—an increase of
$1,560,000 over 1886. The clearings were $101,177,377 in 1877, against
$82,642,192 in 1880.

The traveller, however, does not need figures to convince him of the
business activity of the town; the piles of cotton beyond the capacity
of storage, the street traffic, the extension of streets and residences
far beyond the city limits, all speak of growth. There is in process of
construction a union station to accommodate the six railways now meeting
there and others projected. On the west of the river it has lines to
Kansas City and Little Rock and to St. Louis; on the east, to Louisville
and to the Atlantic seaboard direct, and two to New Orleans. With the
building of the bridge, which is expected to be constructed in a
couple of years, Memphis will be admirably supplied with transportation
facilities.

As to its external appearance, it must be said that the city has grown
so fast that city improvements do not keep pace with its assessable
value. The inability of the city to go into debt is a wholesome
provision, but under this limitation the city offices are shabby,
the city police quarters and court would disgrace an indigent country
village, and most of the streets are in bad condition for want of
pavement. There are fine streets, many attractive new residences, and
some fine old places, with great trees, and the gravelled pikes running
into the country are in fine condition, and are favorite drives. There
is a beautiful country round about, with some hills and pleasant
woods. Looked at from an elevation, the town is seen to cover a
large territory, and presents in the early green of spring a charming
appearance. Some five miles out is the Montgomery race-track, park,
and club-house—a handsome establishment, prettily laid out and planted,
already attractive, and sure to be notable when the trees are grown.

The city has a public-school system, a Board of Education elected by
popular vote, and divides its fund fairly between schools for white and
colored children. But it needs good school-houses as much as it needs
good pavements. In 1887 the tax of one and a half mills produced $54,000
for carrying on the schools, and $19,000 for the building fund. It was
not enough—at least $75,000 were needed. The schools were in debt. There
is a plan adopted for a fine High-school building, but the city needs
altogether more money and more energy for the public schools. According
to some reports the public schools have suffered from politics, and are
not as good as they were years ago, but they are undoubtedly gaining in
public favor, notwithstanding some remaining Bourbon prejudice against
them. The citizens are making money fast enough to begin to be liberal
in matters educational, which are only second to sanitary measures in
the well-being of the city. The new free Public Library, which will be
built and opened in a couple of years, will do much for the city in this
direction. It is the noble gift of the late F. H. Cossitt, of New York,
formerly a citizen of Memphis, who left $75,000 for that purpose.

Perhaps the public schools of Memphis would be better (though not so
without liberal endowment) if the city had not two exceptionally good
private schools for young ladies. These are the Clara Conway Institute
and the Higby School for Young Ladies, taking their names from their
principals and founders. Each of these schools has about 350 pupils,
from the age of six to the mature age of graduation, boys being admitted
until they are twelve years old. Each has pleasant grounds and fine
buildings, large, airy, well planned, with ample room for all the
departments—literature, science, art, music—of the most advanced
education. One finds in them the best methods of the best schools, and a
most admirable spirit. It is not too much to say that these schools
give distinction to Memphis, and that the discipline and intellectual
training the young ladies receive there will have a marked effect upon
the social life of the city. If one who spent some delightful hours in
the company of these graceful and enthusiastic scholars, and who would
like heartily to acknowledge their cordiality, and his appreciation of
their admirable progress in general study, might make a suggestion, it
would be that what the frank, impulsive Southern girl, with her inborn
talent for being agreeable and her vivid apprehension of life, needs
least of all is the cultivation of the emotional, the rhetorical, the
sentimental side. However cleverly they are done, the recitation of
poems of sentiment, of passion, of lovemaking and marriage, above all,
of those doubtful dialect verses in which a touch of pseudo-feeling
is supposed to excuse the slang of the street and the vulgarity of the
farm, is not an exercise elevating to the taste. I happen to speak of
it here, but I confess that it is only a text from which a little sermon
might be preached about “recitations” and declamations generally, in
these days of overdone dialect and innuendoes about the hypocrisy of
old-fashioned morality.

The city has a prosperous college of the Christian Brothers, another
excellent school for girls in the St. Agnes Academy, and a colored
industrial school, the Lemoyne, where the girls are taught cooking and
the art of house-keeping, and the boys learn carpentering. This does not
belong to the public-school system.

Whatever may be the opinion about the propriety of attaching industrial
training to public schools generally, there is no doubt that this sort
of training is indispensable to the colored people of the South, whose
children do not at present receive the needed domestic training at
borne, and whose education must contribute to their ability to earn
a living. Those educated in the schools, high and low, cannot all be
teachers or preachers, and they are not in the way of either social
elevation or thrifty lives if they have neither a trade nor the taste to
make neat and agreeable homes. The colored race cannot have it too often
impressed upon them that their way to all the rights and privileges
under a free government lies in industry, thrift, and morality. Whatever
reason they have to complain of remaining discrimination and prejudice,
there is only one way to overcome both, and that is by the acquisition
of property and intelligence. In the history of the world a people
were never elevated otherwise. No amount of legislation can do it. In
Memphis—in Southern cities generally—the public schools are impartially
administered as to the use of money for both races. In the country
districts they are as generally inadequate, both in quality and in the
length of the school year. In the country, where farming and domestic
service must be the occupations of the mass of the people, industrial
schools are certainly not called for; but in the cities they are a
necessity of the present development.

Ever since Memphis took itself in hand with a new kind of municipal
government, and made itself a healthful city, good-fortune of one kind
and another seems to have attended it. Abundant water it could get from
the river for sewerage purposes, but for other uses either extensive
filters were needed or cisterns were resorted to. The city was supplied
with water, which the stranger would hesitate to drink or bathe in, from
Wolf River, a small stream emptying into the Mississippi above the city.
But within the year a most important discovery has been made for
the health and prosperity of the town. This was the striking, in the
depression of the Gayoso Bayou, at a depth of 450 feet, perfectly
pure water, at a temperature of about 62°, in abundance, with a head
sufficient to bring it in fountains some feet about the level of the
ground. Ten wells had been sunk, and the water flowing was estimated at
ten millions of gallons daily, or half enough to supply the city. It
was expected that with more wells the supply would be sufficient for
all purposes, and then Memphis will have drinking water not excelled in
purity by that of any city in the land. It is not to be wondered at that
this incalculable good-fortune should add buoyancy to the business, and
even to the advance in the price, of real estate. The city has widely
outgrown its corporate limits, there is activity in building and
improvements in all the pleasant suburbs, and with the new pavements
which are in progress, the city will be as attractive as it is
prosperous.

Climate is much a matter of taste. The whole area of the alluvial land
of the Mississippi has the three requisites for malaria—heat, moisture,
and vegetable decomposition. The tendency to this is overcome, in a
measure, as the land is thoroughly drained and cultivated. Memphis has
a mild winter, long summer, and a considerable portion of the year
when the temperature is just about right for enjoyment. In the table
of temperature for 1887 I find that the mean was 61.9°, the mean of the
highest by months was 84.9°, and the mean lowest was 37.4°. The coldest
month was January, when the range of the thermometer was from 72.2° to
4.3°, and the hottest was July, when the range was from 99° to 67.30.
There is a preponderance of fair, sunny weather. The record for 1887
was: 157 days of clear, 132 fair, 65 cloudy, 91 days of frost. From this
it appears that Memphis has a pretty agreeable climate for those who do
not insist upon a good deal of “bracing,” and it has a most genial and
hospitable society.

Early on the morning of the 12th of April we crossed the river to the
lower landing of the Memphis and Little Rock Railway, the upper landing
being inaccessible on account of the high water. It was a delicious
spring morning, the foliage, half unfolded, was in its first flush of
green, and as we steamed down the stream the town, on bluffs forty feet
high, was seen to have a noble situation. All the opposite country for
forty miles from the river was afloat, and presented the appearance of
a vast swamp, not altogether unpleasing in its fresh dress of green. For
forty miles, to Madison, the road ran upon an embankment just above the
flood; at intervals were poor shanties and little cultivated patches,
but shanties, corn patches, and trees all stood in the water. The
inhabitants, the majority colored, seemed of the sort to be content with
half-amphibious lives. Before we reached Madison and crossed St. Francis
River we ran through a streak of gravel. Forest City, at the crossing of
the Iron Mountain Railway, turned out to be not exactly a city, in the
Eastern meaning of the word, but a considerable collection of
houses, with a large hotel. It seemed, so far in the wilderness, an
irresponsible sort of place, and the crowd at the station were in
a festive, hilarious mood. This was heightened by the playing of a
travelling band which we carried with us in the second-class car, and
which good-naturedly unlimbered at the stations. It consisted of a
colored bass-viol, violin, and guitar, and a white cornet. On the way
the negro population were in the majority, all the residences were
shabby shanties, and the moving public on the trains and about the
stations had not profited by the example of the commercial travellers,
who are the only smartly dressed people one sees in these regions.
A young girl who got into the car here told me that she came from
Marianna, a town to the south, on the Languille River, and she seemed
to regard it as a central place. At Brinkley we crossed the St. Louis,
Arkansas, and Texas road, ran through more swamps to the Cache River,
after which there was prairie and bottom-land, and at De Valle’s Bluff
we came to the White River. There is no doubt that this country is
well watered. After White River fine reaches of prairie-land were
encountered—in fact, a good deal of prairie and oak timber. Much of
this prairie had once been cultivated to cotton, but was now turned to
grazing, and dotted with cattle. A place named Prairie Centre had been
abandoned; indeed, we passed a good many abandoned houses before we
reached Carlisle and the Galloway. Lonoke is one of the villages of
rather mean appearance, but important enough to be talked about and
visited by the five aspirants for the gubernatorial nomination, who were
travelling about together, each one trying to convince the people that
the other four were unworthy the office. This is lowland Arkansas,
supporting a few rude villages, inhabited by negroes and unambitious
whites, and not a fairly representative portion of a great State.

At Argenta, a sort of railway and factory suburb of the city, we crossed
the muddy, strong-flowing Arkansas River on a fine bridge, elevated so
as to strike high up on the bluff on which Little Rock is built. The
rock of the bluff, which the railway pierces, is a very shaly slate. The
town lying along the bluff has a very picturesque appearance, in spite
of its newness and the poor color of its brick. The situation is a noble
one, commanding a fine prospect of river and plain, and mountains to the
west rising from the bluff on a series of gentle hills, with conspicuous
heights farther out for public institutions and country houses. The
eity, which has nearly thirty thousand inhabitants, can boast a number
of handsome business streets with good shops and an air of prosperous
trade, with well-shaded residence streets of comfortable houses; but
all the thoroughfares are bad for want of paving, Little Rock being
forbidden by the organic law ( as Memphis is ) to run in debt for city
improvements. A city which has doubled its population within eight
years, and been restrained from using its credit, must expect to suffer
from bad streets, but its caution about debt is reassuring to intending
settlers. The needed street improvements, it is understood, however,
will soon be under way, and the citizens have the satisfaction of
knowing that when they are made, Little Rock will be a beautiful city.

Below the second of the iron bridges which span the river is a bowlder
which gave the name of Little Rock to the town. The general impression
is that it is the first rock on the river above its confluence with
the Mississippi; this is not literally true, but this rock is the first
conspicuous one, and has become historic. On the opposite side of the
river, a mile above, is a bluff several hundred feet high, called Big
Rock. On the summit is a beautiful park, a vineyard, a summer hotel, and
pleasure-grounds—a delightful resort in the hot weather. From the top
one gains a fair idea of Arkansas—the rich delta of the river, the
mighty stream itself, the fertile rolling land and forests, the
mountains on the border of the Indian Territory, the fair city,
the sightly prominences about it dotted with buildings—altogether a
magnificent and most charming view.

There is a United States arsenal at Little Rock; the Government
Post-office is a handsome building, and among the twenty-seven churches
there are some of pleasing architecture. The State-house, which
stands upon the bluff overlooking the river, is a relic of old times,
suggesting the easy-going plantation style. It is an indescribable
building, or group of buildings, with classic pillars of course, and
rambling galleries that lead to old-fashioned, domestic-looking State
offices. It is shabby in appearance, but has a certain interior air of
comfort. The room of the Assembly—plain, with windows on three sides,
open to the sun and air, and not so large that conversational speaking
cannot be heard in it—is not at all the modern notion of a legislative
chamber, which ought to be lofty, magnificently decorated, lighted from
above, and shut in as much as possible from the air and the outside
world. Arkansas, which is rapidly growing in population and wealth, will
no doubt very soon want a new State-house. Heaven send it an architect
who will think first of the comfortable, cheerful rooms, and second
of imposing outside display! He might spend a couple of millions on
a building which would astonish the natives, and not give them as
agreeable a working room for the Legislature as this old chamber. The
fashion is to put up an edifice whose dimensions shall somehow represent
the dignity of the State, a vast structure of hall-ways and staircases,
with half-lighted and ill-ventilated rooms. It seems to me that the
American genius ought to be able to devise a capitol of a different
sort, certainly one better adapted to the Southern climate. A group of
connected buildings for the various departments might be better than
one solid parallelogram, and I have a fancy that legislators would be
clearer-headed, and would profit more by discussion, if they sat in a
cheerful chamber, not too large to be easily heard in, and open as much
as possible to the sun and air and the sight of tranquil nature. The
present Capitol has an air of lazy neglect, and the law library which
is stored in it could not well be in a worse condition; but there is
something rather pleasing about the old, easy-going establishment that
one would pretty certainly miss in a smart new building. Arkansas has an
opportunity to distinguish itself by a new departure in State-houses.

In the city are several of the State institutions, most of them
occupying ample grounds with fine sites in the suburbs. Conspicuous
on high ground in the city is the Blind Asylum, a very commodious,
and well-conducted institution, with about 80 inmates. The School
for Deaf-mutes, with 125 pupils, is under very able management. But I
confess that the State Lunatic Asylum gave me a genuine surprise, and if
the civilization of Arkansas were to be judged by it, it would take high
rank among the States. It is a very fine building, well constructed and
admirably planned, on a site commanding a noble view, with eighty
acres of forest and garden. More land is needed to carry out the
superintendent’s idea of labor, and to furnish supplies for the
patients, of whom there are 450, the men and women, colored and white,
in separate wings. The builders seem to have taken advantage of all the
Eastern experience and shunned the Eastern mistakes, and the result
is an establishment with all the modern improvements and conveniences,
conducted in the most enlightened spirit. I do not know a better large
State asylum in the United States. Of the State penitentiary nothing
good can be said. Arkansas is still struggling with the wretched lease
system, the frightful abuses of which she is beginning to appreciate.
The penitentiary is a sort of depot for convicts, who are distributed
about the State by the contractors. At the time of my visit a
considerable number were there, more or less crippled and sick, who had
been rescued from barbarous treatment in one of the mines. A gang were
breaking stones in the yard, a few were making cigars, and the dozen
women in the women’s ward were doing laundry-work. But nothing appeared
to be done to improve the condition of the inmates. In Southern prisons
I notice comparatively few of the “professional” class which so largely
make the population of Northern penitentiaries, and I always fancy that
in the rather easy-going management, wanting the cast-iron discipline,
the lot of the prisoners is not so hard. Thus far among the colored
people not much odium attaches to one of their race who has been in
prison.

The public-school system of the State is slowly improving, hampered
by want of Constitutional power to raise money for the schools. By the
Constitution, State taxes are limited to one per cent.; county taxes to
one-half of one per cent., with an addition of one-half of one per cent,
to pay debts existing when the Constitution was adopted in 1874;
city taxes the same as county; in addition, for the support of common
schools, the Assembly may lay a tax not to exceed two mills on the
dollar on the taxable property of the State, and an annual per capita
tax of one dollar on every male inhabitant over the age of twenty-one
years; and it may also authorize each school district to raise for
itself, by vote of its electors, a tax for school purposes not to exceed
five mills on the dollar. The towns generally vote this additional tax,
but in most of the country districts schools are not maintained for
more than three months in the year. The population of the State is about
1,000,000, in an area of 53,045 square miles. The scholastic population
enrolled has increased steadily for several years, and in 1886 was
164,757, of which 122,296 were white and 42,461 were colored. The total
population of school age (including the enrolled) was 358,006, of which
266,188 were white and 91,818 colored. The school fund available for
that year was $1,327,710. The increased revenue and enrolment are
encouraging, but it is admitted that the schools of the State (sparsely
settled as it is) cannot be what they should be without more money to
build decent school-houses, employ competent teachers, and have longer
sessions.

Little Rock has fourteen school-houses, only one or two of which are
commendable-The High-school, with 50 pupils and 2 teachers, is held in
a district building. The colored people have their fair proportion of
schools, with teachers of their own race. Little Rock is abundantly able
to tax itself for better schools, as it is for better pavements. In all
the schools most attention seems to be paid to mathematics, and it is
noticeable how proficient colored children under twelve are in figures.

The most important school in the State, which I did not see, is the
Industrial University at Fayetteville, which received the Congressional
land grant and is a State beneficiary; its property, including
endowments and the University farm, is reckoned at $300,000. The general
intention is to give a practical industrial education. The collegiate
department, a course of three years, has 77 pupils; in the preparatory
department are about 200; but the catalogue, including special students
in art and music, the medical department at Little Rock of 60, and the
Normal School at Pine Bluff of 215, foots up about 600 students. The
University is situated in a part of the State most attractive in its
scenery and most healthful, and offers a chance for every sort of mental
and manual training.

The most widely famous place in the State is the Hot Springs. I should
like to have seen it when it was in a state of nature; I should like to
see it when it gets the civilization of a European bath-place. It
has been a popular and even crowded resort for several years, and the
medical treatment which can be given there in connection with the use
of the waters is so nearly a specific for certain serious diseases, and
going there is so much a necessity for many invalids, that access to
it ought by this time to be easy. But it is not. It is fifty-five miles
south-west of Little Rock, but to reach it the traveller must leave
the Iron Mountain road at Malvern for a ride over a branch line of some
twenty miles. Unfortunately this is a narrow-gauge road, and however
ill a person may be, a change of cars must be made at Malvern. This is
a serious annoyance, and it is a wonder that the main railways and the
hotel and bath keepers have not united to rid themselves of the monopoly
of the narrow-gauge road.

The valley of the Springs is over seven hundred feet above the sea;
the country is rough and broken; the hills, clad with small pines and
hard-wood, which rise on either side of the valley to the height’ of two
or three hundred feet, make an agreeable impression of greenness;
and the place is capable, by reason of its irregularity, of becoming
beautiful as well as picturesque. It is still in the cheap cottage and
raw brick stage. The situation suggests Carlsbad, which is also jammed
into a narrow valley. The Hot Springs Mountain—that is, the mountain
from the side of which all the hot springs (about seventy) flow—is a
Government reservation. Nothing is permitted to be built on it except
the Government hospital for soldiers and sailors, the public bath-houses
along the foot, and one hotel, which holds over on the reserved land.
The Government has enclosed and piped the springs, built a couple of
cement reservoirs, and lets the bath privileges to private parties at
thirty dollars a tub, the number of tubs being limited. The rent money
the Government is supposed to devote to the improvement of the mountain.
This has now a private lookout tower on the summit, from which a most
extensive view is had over the well-wooded State, and it can be made
a lovely park. There is a good deal of criticism about favoritism in
letting the bath privileges, and the words “ring” and “syndicate”
are constantly heard. Before improvements were made, the hot water
discharged into a creek at the base of the hill. This creek is now
arched over and become a street, with the bath-houses on one side and
shops and shanties on the other. Difficulty about obtaining a good title
to land has until recently stood in the way of permanent improvements.
All claims have now been adjudicated upon, the Government is prepared to
give a perfect title to all its own land, except the mountain, forever
reserved, and purchasers can be sure of peaceful occupation.

Opposite the Hot Springs Mountain rises the long sharp ridge of West
Mountain, from which the Government does not permit the foliage to be
stripped. The city runs around and back of this mountain, follows the
winding valley to the north, climbs up all the irregular ridges in the
neighborhood, and spreads itself over the valley on the south, near the
Ouachita River. It is estimated that there are 10,000 residents in this
rapidly growing town. Houses stick on the sides of the hills, perch on
terraces, nestle in the ravines. Nothing is regular, nothing is as
might have been expected, but it is all interesting, and promising
of something pleasing and picturesque in the future. All the springs,
except one, on Hot Springs Mountain are hot, with a temperature ranging
from 93° to 157° Fahrenheit; there are plenty of springs in and among
the other hills, but they are all cold. It is estimated that the present
quantity of hot water, much of which runs to waste, would supply about
19,000 persons daily with 25 gallons each. The water is perfectly clear,
has no odor, and is very agreeable for bathing. That remarkable cures
are performed here the evidence does not permit one to doubt, nor can
one question the wonderfully rejuvenating effect upon the system of a
course of its waters.

It is necessary to suggest, however, that the value of the springs
to invalids and to all visitors would be greatly enhanced by such
regulations as those that govern Carlsbad and Marienbad in Bohemia. The
success of those great “cures” depends largely upon the regimen enforced
there, the impossibility of indulging in an improper diet, and the
prevailing regularity of habits as to diet, sleep, and exercise. There
is need at Hot Springs for more hotel accommodation of the sort that
will make comfortable invalids accustomed to luxury at home, and at
least one new and very large hotel is promised soon to supply this
demand; but what Hot Springs needs is the comforts of life, and not
means of indulgence at table or otherwise. Perhaps it is impossible
for the American public, even the sick part of it, to submit itself to
discipline, but we never will have the full benefit of our many curative
springs until it consents to do so. Patients, no doubt, try to follow
the varying regimen imposed by different doctors, but it is difficult
to do so amid all the temptations of a go-as-you-please bath-place.
A general regimen of diet applicable to all visitors is the only safe
rule. Under such enlightened rules as prevail at Marienbad, and with the
opportunity for mild entertainment in pretty shops, agreeable walks
and drives, with music and the hundred devices to make the time pass
pleasantly, Hot Springs would become one of the most important sanitary
resorts in the world. It is now in a very crude state; but it has the
water, the climate, the hills and woods; good saddle-horses are to be
had, and it is an interesting country to ride over; those who frequent
the place are attached to it; and time and taste and money will, no
doubt, transform it into a place of beauty.

Arkansas surprised the world by the exhibition it made of itself at
New Orleans, not only for its natural resources, but for the range and
variety of its productions. That it is second to no other State in
its adaptability to cotton-raising was known; that it had magnificent
forests and large coal-fields and valuable minerals in its mountains was
known; but that it raised fruit superior to any other in the South-west,
and quite equal to any in the North, was a revelation. The mountainous
part of the State, where some of the hills rise to the altitude of 2500
feet, gives as good apples, pears, and peaches as are raised in any
portion of the Union; indeed, this fruit has taken the first prize in
exhibitions from Massachusetts to Texas. It is as remarkable for flavor
and firmness as it is for size and beauty. This region is also a good
vineyard country. The State boasts more miles of navigable waters than
any other, it has variety of soil and of surface to fit it for every
crop in the temperate latitudes, and it has a very good climate.
The range of northern mountains protects it from “northers,” and its
elevated portions have cold enough for a tonie. Of course the low
and swampy lands are subject to malaria. The State has just begun to
appreciate itself, and has organized efforts to promote immigration.
It has employed a competent State geologist, who is doing excellent
service. The United States has still a large quantity of valuable land
in the State open to settlement under the homestead and preemption laws.
The State itself has over 2,000,000 acres of land, forfeited and granted
to it in various ways; of this, the land forfeited for taxes will be
given to actual settlers in tracts of 160 acres to each person, and the
rest can be purchased at a low price. I cannot go into all the details,
but the reader may be assured that the immigration committee make an
exceedingly good showing for settlers who wish to engage in farming,
fruit-raising, mining, or lumbering. The Constitution of the State
is very democratic, the statute laws are stringent in morality, the
limitations upon town and city indebtedness are severe, the rate of
taxation is very low, and the State debt is small. The State, in short,
is in a good condition for a vigorous development of its resources.

There is a popular notion that Arkansas is a “bowie-knife” State, a
lawless and an ignorant State. I shared this before I went there. I
cannot disprove the ignorance of the country districts. As I said, more
money is needed to make the public-school system effective. But in
its general aspect the State is as orderly and moral as any. The laws
against carrying concealed weapons are strict, and are enforced.. It is
a fairly temperate State. Under the high license and local option laws,
prohibition prevails in two-thirds of the State, and the popular vote
is strictly enforced. In forty-eight of the seventy-five counties no
license is granted, in other counties only a single town votes license,
and in many of the remaining counties many towns refuse it. In five
counties only is liquor perfectly free. A special law prohibits
liquor-selling within five miles of a college; within three miles of a
church or school, a majority of the adult inhabitants can prohibit it.
With regard to liquor-selling, woman suffrage practically exists. The
law says that on petition of a majority of the adult population in any
district the county judge must refuse license. The women, therefore,
without going into politics, sign the petitions and create prohibition.

The street-cars and railways make no discrimination as to color of
passengers. Everywhere I went I noticed that the intercourse between the
two races was friendly. There is much good land on the railway between
Little Rock and Arkansas City, heavily timbered, especially with the
clean-boled, stately gum-trees. At Pine Bluff, which has a population
of 5000, there is a good colored Normal School, and the town has many
prosperous negroes, who support a racetrack of their own, and keep up a
county fair. I was told that the most enterprising man in the place, the
largest street-railway owner, is black as a coal. Farther down the road
the country is not so good, the houses are mostly poor shanties, and
the population, largely colored, appears to be of a shiftless
character. Arkansas City itself, low-lying on the Mississippi, has a bad
reputation.

Little Rock, already a railway centre of importance, is prosperous and
rapidly improving. It has the settled, temperate, orderly society of
an Eastern town, but democratic in its habits, and with a cordial
hospitality which is more provincial than fashionable. I heard there a
good chamber concert of stringed instruments, one of a series which had
been kept up by subscription all winter, and would continue the coming
winter. The performers were young Bohemians. The gentleman at whose
pleasant, old-fashioned house I was entertained, a leading lawyer and
jurist in the South-west, was a good linguist, had travelled in most
parts of the civilized globe, had on his table the current literature of
France, England, Germany, and America, a daily Paris newspaper, one
New York journal (to give its name might impugn his good taste in
the judgment of every other New York journal), and a very large and
well-selected library, two-thirds of which was French, and nearly half
of the remainder German. This was one of the many things I found in
Arkansas which I did not expect to find.



XIV.—ST. LOUIS AND KANSAS CITY.

St. Louis is eighty years old. It was incorporated as a town in 1808,
thirteen years before the admission of Missouri into the Union as a
State. In 1764 a company of thirty Frenchmen made a settlement on its
site and gave it its distinguished name. For nearly half a century,
under French and Spanish jurisdiction alternately, it was little more
than a trading post, and at the beginning of this century it contained
only about a thousand inhabitants. This period, however, gave it a
romantic historic background, and as late as 1853, when its population
was a hundred thousand, it preserved French characteristics and a French
appearance—small brick houses and narrow streets crowded down by the
river. To the stranger it was the Planters’ Hotel and a shoal of big
steamboats moored along an extensive levee roaring with river traffic.
Crowded, ill-paved, dirty streets, a few country houses on elevated
sites, a population forced into a certain activity by trade, but
hindered in municipal improvement by French conservatism, and touched
with the rust of slavery—that was the St. Louis of thirty-five years
ago.

Now everything is changed as by some magic touch. The growth of the
city has always been solid, unspeculative, conservative in its business
methods, with some persistence of the old French influence, only
gradually parting from its ancient traditions, preserving always
something of the aristocratic flavor of “old families,” accounted “slow”
in the impatience of youth. But it has burst its old bounds, and grown
with a rapidity that would be marvellous in any other country. The levee
is comparatively deserted, although the trade on the lower river is
actually very large. The traveller who enters the city from the east
passes over the St. Louis Bridge, a magnificent structure and one of the
engineering wonders of the modern world, plunges into a tunnel under the
business portion of the old city, and emerges into a valley covered with
a net-work of railway-tracks, and occupied by apparently interminable
lines of passenger coaches and freight cars, out of the confusion of
which he makes his way with difficulty to a carriage, impressed at once
by the enormous railway traffic of the city. This is the site of
the proposed Union Depot, which waits upon the halting action of the
Missouri Pacific system. The eastern outlet for all this growing traffic
is over the two tracks of the bridge; these are entirely inadequate, and
during a portion of the year there is a serious blockade of freight.
A second bridge over the Mississippi is already a necessity to the
commerce of the city, and is certain to be built within a few years.

St. Louis, since the war, has spread westward over the gentle ridges
which parallel the river, and become a city vast in territory and most
attractive in appearance. While the business portion has expanded into
noble avenues with stately business and public edifices, the residence
parts have a beauty, in handsome streets and varied architecture, that
is a continual surprise to one who has not seen the city for twenty
years. I had set down the length of the city along the river-front
as thirteen miles, with a depth of about six miles; but the official
statistics are: length of river-front, 19.15 miles; length of western
limits, 21.27; extent north and south in an air line, 17; and length
east and west on an air line, 6.62. This gives an area of 61.37 square
miles, or 39,276 acres. This includes the public parks (containing 2095
acres), and is sufficient room for the population of 450,000, which
the city doubtless has in 1888. By the United States census of 1870 the
population was reported much larger than it was, the figures having no
doubt been manipulated for political purposes. Estimating the natural
increase from this false report, the city was led to claim a population
far beyond the actual number, and unjustly suffered a little ridicule
for a mistake for which it was not responsible. The United States census
of 1880 gave it 350,522. During the eight years from 1880 there were
erected 18,574 new dwelling-houses, at a cost of over fifty millions of
dollars.

The great territorial extension of the city in 1876 was for a time a
disadvantage, for it threw upon the city the care of enormous street
extensions, made a sporadic movement of population beyond Grand avenue,
which left hiatuses in improvement, and created a sort of furor of
fashion for getting away from what to me is still the most attractive
residence portion of the town, namely, the elevated ridges west of
Fourteenth Street, crossed by Lucas Place and adjoining avenues. In this
quarter, and east of Grand avenue, are fine high streets, with detached
houses and grounds, many of them both elegant and comfortable, and
this is the region of the Washington University, some of the finest
club-houses, and handsomest churches. The movements of eity populations,
however, are not to be accounted for. One of the finest parts of the
town, and one of the oldest of the better residence parts, that south of
the railways, containing broad, well-planted avenues, and very stately
old homes, and the exquisite Lafayette Park, is almost wholly occupied
now by Germans, who make up so large a proportion of the population.

One would have predicted at an early day that the sightly bluffs below
the eity would be the resort of fashion, and be occupied with fine
country houses. But the movement has been almost altogether westward and
away from the river. And this rolling, wooded region is most inviting,
elevated, open, cheerful. No other eity in the West has fairer suburbs
for expansion and adornment, and its noble avenues, dotted with
conspicuously fine residences, give promise of great beauty and
elegance. In its late architectural development, St. Louis, like
Chicago, is just in time to escape a very mediocre and merely imitative
period in American building. Beyond Grand avenue the stranger will be
shown Vandeventer Place, a semiprivate oblong park, surrounded by many
pretty and some notably fine residences. Two of them are by Richardson,
and the city has other specimens of his work. I cannot refrain from
again speaking of the effect that this original genius has had upon
American architecture, especially in the West, when money and enterprise
afforded him free scope. It is not too much to say that he created a new
era, and the influence of his ideas is seen everywhere in the work of
architects who have caught his spirit.

The city has addressed itself to the occupation and adornment of its
great territory and the improvement of its most travelled thoroughfares
with admirable public spirit. The rolling nature of the ground has been
taken advantage of to give it a nearly perfect system of drainage and
sewerage. The old pavements of soft limestone, which were dust in dry
weather and liquid mud in wet weather, are being replaced by granite in
the business parts and asphalt and wood blocks (laid on a concrete base)
in the residence portions. Up to the beginning of 1888 this new pavement
had cost nearly three and a half million dollars, and over thirty-three
miles of it were granite blocks. Street railways have also been pushed
all over the territory. The total of street lines is already over one
hundred and fifty-four miles, and over thirty miles of these give rapid
transit by cable. These facilities make the whole of the wide territory
available for business and residence, and give the poorest inhabitants
the means of reaching the parks.

The park system is on the most liberal scale, both public and private;
the parks are already famous for extent and beauty, but when the
projected connecting boulevards are made they will attain world-wide
notoriety. The most extensive of the private parks is that of the
combined Agricultural Fair Grounds and Zoological Gardens. Here is held
annually the St. Louis Fair, which is said to be the largest in the
United States. The enclosure is finely laid out and planted, and
contains an extensive park, exhibition buildings, cottages, a
race-track, an amphitheatre, which suggests in size and construction
some of the largest Spanish bull-rings, and picturesque houses for
wild animals. The zoological exhibition is a very good one. There are
eighteen public parks. One of the smaller (thirty acres) of these, and
one of the oldest, is Lafayette Park, on the south side. Its beauty
surprised me more than almost anything I saw in the city. It is a gem;
just that artificial control of nature which most pleases—forest-trees,
a pretty lake, fountains, flowers, walks planned to give everywhere
exquisite vistas. It contains a statue of Thomas II. Benton, which may
be a likeness, but utterly fails to give the character of the man. The
largest is Forest Park, on the west side, a tract of 1372 acres, mostly
forest, improved by excellent drives, and left as much as possible in
a natural condition. It has ten miles of good driving-roads. This park
cost the city about $850,000, and nearly as much more has been expended
on it since its purchase. The surface has great variety of slopes,
glens, elevations, lakes, and meadows. During the summer music is
furnished in a handsome pagoda, and the place is much resorted to.
Fronting the boulevard are statues of Governor Edward Bates and Frank P.
Blair, the latter very characteristic.

Next in importance is Tower Grove Park, an oblong of 276 acres. This and
Shaw’s Garden, adjoining, have been given to the city by Mr. Henry Shaw,
an Englishman who made his fortune in the city, and they remain under
his control as to care and adornment during his life. Those who have
never seen foreign parks and pleasure-gardens can obtain a very good
idea of their formal elegance and impressiveness by visiting Tower Grove
Park and the Botanical Gardens. They will see the perfection of lawns,
avenues ornamented by statuary, flower-beds, and tasteful walks. The
entrances, with stone towers and lodges, suggest similar effects in
France and in England. About the music-stand are white marble busts of
six chief musical composers. The drives are adorned with three statues
in bronze, thirty feet high, designed and cast in Munich by Frederick
Millier. They are figures of Shakespeare, Humboldt, and Columbus, and so
nobly conceived and executed that the patriotic American must wish they
had been done in this country. Of Shaw’s Botanical Garden I need to say
little, for its fame as a comprehensive and classified collection
of trees, plants, and flowers is world-wide. It has no equal in this
country. As a place for botanical study no one appreciated it
more highly than the late Professor Asa Gray. Sometimes a peculiar
classification is followed; one locality’ is devoted to economic
plants—camphor, quinine, cotton, tea, coffee, etc.; another to “Plants
of the Bible.” The space of fifty-four acres, enclosed by high stone
walls, contains, besides the open garden and allées and glass houses,
the summer residence and the tomb of Mr. Shaw. This old gentleman, still
vigorous in his eighty-eighth year, is planning new adornments in the
way of statuary and busts of statesmen, poets, and scientists. His plans
are all liberal and cosmopolitan. For over thirty years his botanical
knowledge, his taste, and abundant wealth and leisure have been devoted
to the creation of this wonderful garden and park, which all bear the
stamp of his strong individuality, and of a certain pleasing foreign
formality. What a source of unfailing delight it must have been to him!
As we sat talking with him I thought how other millionaires, if they
knew how, might envy a matured life, after the struggle for a competency
is over, devoted to this most rational enjoyment, in an occupation as
elevating to the taste as to the character, and having in mind always
the public good. Over the entrance gate is the inscription, “Missouri
Botanical Gardens.” When the city has full control of the garden the
word “Missouri” should be replaced by “Shaw.”

The money expended for public parks gives some idea of the liberal and
far-sighted provision for the health and pleasure of a great city. The
parks originally cost the city 81,309,944, and three millions more have
been spent upon their improvement and maintenance. This indicates an
enlightened spirit, which we shall see characterizes the city in other
things, and is evidence of a high degree of culture.

Of the commerce and manufactures of the town I can give no adequate
statement without going into details, which my space forbids. The
importance of the Mississippi River is much emphasized, not only as an
actual highway of traffic, but as a regulator of railway rates. The town
has by the official reports been discriminated against, and even the
Inter-State Act has not afforded all the relief expected. In 1887
the city shipped to foreign markets by way of the Mississippi and the
jetties 3,973,000 bushels of wheat and 7,365,000 bushels of corn—a
larger exportation than ever before except in the years 1880 and 1881.
An outlet like this is of course a check on railway charges. The trade
of the place employs a banking capital of fifteen millions. The deposits
in 1887 were thirty-seven millions; the clearings over 8894,527,731—the
largest ever reached, and over ten per cent, in excess of the clearings
of 1886. To whatever departments I turn in the report of the Merchants’
Exchange for 1887 I find a vigorous growth—as in building—and in
most articles of commerce a great increase. It appears by the tonnage
statements that, taking receipts and shipments together, 12,060,995 tons
of freight were handled in and out during 1886, against 14,359,059 tons
in 1887—a gain of nineteen and a half per cent. The buildings in 1886
cost $7,030,819; in 1887, $8,162,914. There were $44,740 more stamps
sold at the post-office in 1887 than in 1886. The custom-house
collections were less than in 1886, but reached the figures of
$1,414,747. The assessed value of real and personal property in 1887 was
$217,142,320, on which the rate of taxation in the old city limits was
$2.50.

It is never my intention in these papers to mention individual
enterprises for their own sake, but I do not hesitate to do so when it
is necessary in order to illustrate some peculiar development. It is a
curious matter of observation that so many Western cities have one or
more specialties in which they excel—houses of trade or manufacture
larger and more important than can be found elsewhere. St. Louis finds
itself in this category in regard to several establishments. One of
these is a wooden-ware company, the largest of the sort in the country,
a house which gathers its peculiar goods from all over the United
States, and distributes them almost as widely—a business of gigantic
proportions and bewildering detail. Its annual sales amount to as much
as the sales of all the houses in its line in New York, Chicago, and
Cincinnati together. Another is a hardware company, wholesale and
retail, also the largest of its kind in the country, with sales annually
amounting to six millions of dollars, a very large amount when we
consider that it is made up of an infinite number of small and cheap
articles in iron, from a fish-hook up—indeed, over fifty thousand
separate articles. I spent half a day in this establishment, walking
through its departments, noting the unequalled system of compact
display, classification, and methods of sale and shipment. Merely as
a method of system in business I have never seen anything more
interesting. Another establishment, important on account of its
central position in the continent and its relation to the Louisiana
sugar-fields, is the St. Louis Sugar Refinery.

The refinery proper is the largest building in the Western country
used for manufacturing purposes, and, together with its adjuncts of
cooper-shops and warehouses, covers five entire blocks and employs 500
men. It has a capacity of working up 400 tons of raw sugar a day, but
runs only to the extent of about 200 tons a day, making the value of its
present product $7,500,000 a year.

During the winter and spring it uses Louisiana sugars; the remainder
of the year, sugars of Cuba and the Sandwich Islands. Like all other
refineries of which I have inquired, this reckons the advent of the
Louisiana crop as an important regulator of prices. This establishment,
in common with other industries of the city, has had to complain of
business somewhat hampered by discrimination in railway rates. St. Louis
also has what I suppose, from the figures accessible, to be the largest
lager-beer brewing establishment in the world; its solid, gigantic, and
architecturally imposing buildings lift themselves up like a fortress
over the thirty acres of ground they cover. Its manufacture and sales
in 1887 were 456,511 barrels of beer—an increase of nearly 100,000 since
1885-86. It exports largely to Mexico, South America, the West Indies,
and Australia. The establishment is a marvel of system and ingenious
devices. It employs 1200 laborers, to whom it pays $500,000 a year.
Some of the details are of interest. In the bottling department we saw
workmen filling, corking, labelling, and packing at the rate of 100,000
bottles a day. In a year 25,000,000 bottles are used, packed in 400,000
barrels and boxes. The consumption of barley is 1,100,000 bushels
yearly, and of hops over 700,000 pounds, and the amount of water used
for all purposes is 250,000,000 gallons—nearly enough to float our navy.
The charges for freight received and shipped by rail amount to nearly a
million dollars a year. There are several other large breweries in the
city. The total product manufactured in 1887 was 1,383,301 barrels,
equal to 43,575,872 gallons—more than three times the amount of 1877.
The barley used in the city and vicinity was 2,932,192 bushels, of which
340,335 bushels came from Canada. The direct export of beer during 1887
to foreign countries was equal to 1,924,108 quart bottles. The greater
part of the barley used comes from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

It is useless to enumerate the many railways which touch and affect St.
Louis. The most considerable is the agglomeration known as the Missouri
Pacific, or South-western System, which operated 6994 miles of road on
January 1, 1888. This great aggregate is likely to be much diminished
by the surrender of lines, but the railway facilities of the city are
constantly extending.

There are figures enough to show that St. Louis is a prosperous city,
constantly developing new enterprises with fresh energy; to walk its
handsome streets and drive about its great avenues and parks is
to obtain an impression of a cheerful town on the way to be most
attractive; but its chief distinction lies in its social and
intellectual life, and in the spirit that has made it a pioneer in so
many educational movements. It seems to me a very good place to study
the influence of speculative thought in economic and practical affairs.
The question I am oftenest asked is, whether the little knot of
speculative philosophers accidentally gathered there a few years
ago, and who gave a sort of fame to the city, have had any permanent
influence. For years they discussed abstractions; they sustained for
some time a very remarkable periodical of speculative philosophy, and
in a limited sphere they maintained an elevated tone of thought and life
quite in contrast with our general materialism. The circle is broken,
the members are scattered. Probably the town never understood them,
perhaps they did not altogether understand each other, and maybe the
tremendous conflict of Kant and Hegel settled nothing. But if there is
anything that can be demonstrated in this world it is the influence of
abstract thought upon practical affairs in the long-run. And although
one may not be able to point to any definite thing created or
established by this metaphysical movement, I think I can see that it was
a leaven that had a marked effect in the social, and especially in the
educational, life of the town, and liberalized minds, and opened the way
for the trial of theories in education. One of the disciples declares
that the State Constitution of Missouri and the charter of St. Louis are
distinctly Hegelian. However this may be, both these organic laws are
uncommonly wise in their provisions. A study of the evolution of the
city government is one of the most interesting that the student can
make. Many of the provisions of the charter are admirable, such as those
securing honest elections, furnishing financial checks, and guarding
against public debt. The mayor is elected for four years, and the
important offices filled by his appointment are not vacant until the
beginning of the third year of his appointment, so that hope of reward
for political work is too dim to affect the merits of an election. The
composition and election of the school board is also worthy of notice.
Of the twenty-one members, seven are elected on a general ticket,
and the remaining fourteen by districts, made by consolidating the
twenty-eight city wards, members to serve four years, divided into two
classes. This arrangement secures immunity from the ward politician.

St. Louis is famous for its public schools, and especially for the
enlightened methods, and the willingness to experiment in improving
them. The school expenditures for the year ending June 30, 1887, were
$1,095,773; the school property in lots, buildings, and furniture in
1885 was estimated at $3,445,254. The total number of pupils enrolled
was 56,936. These required about 1200 teachers, of whom over a thousand
were women. The actual average of pupils to each teacher was about
42. There were 106 school buildings, with a seating capacity for about
50,000 scholars. Of the district schools 13 were colored, in which were
employed 78 colored teachers. The salaries of teachers are progressive,
according to length of service. As for instance, the principal of the
High-school has $2400 the first year, $2500 the second, $2600 the third,
$2750 the fourth; a head assistant in a district school, $650 the first
year, $700 the second, $750 the third, $800 the fourth, $850 the fifth.

The few schools that I saw fully sustained their public reputation as
to methods, discipline, and attainments. The Normal School, of
something over 100 pupils, nearly all the girls being graduates of
the High-school, was admirable in drill, in literary training, in
calisthenic exercises. The High-school is also admirable, a school with
a thoroughly elevated tone and an able principal. Of the 600 pupils at
least two-thirds were girls. From appearances I should judge that it is
attended by children of the most intelligent families, for certainly
the girls of the junior and senior classes, in manner, looks, dress,
and attainments, compared favorably with those of one of the best girls’
schools I have seen anywhere, the Mary Institute, which is a department
of the Washington University. This fact is most important, for the
excellence of our public schools (for the product of good men and women)
depends largely upon their popularity with the well-to-do classes. One
of the most interesting schools I saw was the Jefferson, presided over
by a woman, having fine fire-proof buildings and 1100 pupils, nearly all
whom are of foreign parentage—German, Russian, and Italian, with many
Hebrews also—a finely ordered, wide-awake school of eight grades. The
kindergarten here was the best I saw; good teachers, bright and happy
little children, with natural manners, throwing themselves gracefully
into their games with enjoyment and without self-consciousness, and
exhibiting exceedingly pretty fancy and kindergarten work. In St.
Louis the kindergarten is a part of the public-school system, and the
experiment is one of general interest. The question cannot be called
settled. In the first place the experiment is hampered in St. Louis by
a decision of the Supreme Court that the public money cannot be used for
children out of the school age, that is, under six and over twenty. This
prevents teaching English to adult foreigners in the evening schools,
and, rigidly applied, it shuts out pupils from the kindergarten under
six. One advantage from the kindergarten was expected to be an extension
of the school period; and there is no doubt that the kindergarten
instruction ought to begin before the age of six, especially for the
mass of children who miss home training and home care. As a matter
of fact, many of the children I saw in the kindergartens were only
constructively six years old. It cannot be said, also, that the Froebel
system is fully understood or accepted. In my observation, the success
of the kindergarten depends entirely upon the teacher; where she is
competent, fully believes in and understands the Froebel system, and is
enthusiastic, the pupils are interested and alert; otherwise they are
listless, and fail to get the benefit of it. The Froebel system is the
developing the concrete idea in education, and in the opinion of his
disciples this is as important for children of the intelligent
and well-to-do as for those of the poor and ignorant. They resist,
therefore, the attempt which is constantly made, to introduce the
primary work into the kindergarten. But for the six years’ limit the
kindergarten in St. Louis would have a better chance in its connection
with the public schools. As the majority of children leave school for
work at the age of twelve or fourteen, there is little time enough
given for book education; many educators think time is wasted in the
kindergarten, and they advocate the introduction of what they call
kindergarten features in the primary classes. This is called by the
disciples of Froebel an entire abandonment of his system. I should like
to see the kindergarten in connection with the public school tried long
enough to demonstrate all that is claimed for it in its influence on
mental development, character, and manners, but it seems unlikely to
be done in St. Louis, unless the public-school year begins at least as
early as five, or, better still, is specially unlimited for kindergarten
pupils.

Except in the primary work in drawing and modelling, there is no manual
training feature in the St. Louis public schools. The teaching of German
is recently dropped from all the district schools (though retained in
the High), in accordance with the well-founded idea of Americanizing our
foreign population as rapidly as possible.

One of the most important institutions in the Mississippi Valley, and
one that exercises a decided influence upon the intellectual and social
life of St. Louis, and is a fair measure of its culture and the value
of the higher education, is the Washington University, which was
incorporated in 1853, and was presided over until his death, in 1887,
by the late Chancellor William Green-leaf Eliot, of revered memory.
It covers the whole range of university studies, except theology,
and allows no instruction either sectarian in religion or partisan in
politics, nor the application of any sectarian or party test in the
election of professors, teachers, or officers. Its real estate and
buildings in use for educational purposes cost $625,000; its libraries,
scientific apparatus, casts, and machinery cost over $100,000, and it
has investments for revenue amounting to over $650,000. The University
comprehends an undergraduate department, including the college (a
thorough classical, literary, and philosophical course, with about sixty
students), open to women, and the polytechnic, an admirably equipped
school of science; the St. Louis Law School, of excellent reputation;
the Manual Training School, the most celebrated school of this sort, and
one that has furnished more manual training teachers than any other;
the Henry Shaw School of Botany; the St. Louis School of Fine Arts; the
Smith Academy, for boys; and the Mary Institute, one of the roomiest and
most cheerful school buildings I know, where 400 girls, whose collective
appearance need not fear comparison with any in the country, enjoy the
best educational advantages. Mary Institute is justly the pride of the
city.

The School of Botany, which is endowed and has its own laboratory,
workshop, and working library, was, of course, the outgrowth of the Shaw
Botanical Garden; it has usually from twenty to thirty special students.

The School of Fine Arts, which was reorganized under the University
in 1879, has enrolled over 200 students, and gives a wide and careful
training in all the departments of drawing, painting, and modelling,
with instructions in anatomy, perspective, and composition, and has life
classes for both sexes, in drawing from draped and nude figures. Its
lecture, working rooms, and galleries of paintings and casts are in
its Crow Art Museum—a beautiful building, well planned and justly
distinguished for architectural excellence. It ranks among the best Art
buildings in the country.

The Manual Training School has been in operation since 1880. It may be
called the most fully developed pioneer institution of the sort. I spent
some time in its workshops and schools, thinking of the very interesting
question at the bottom of the experiment, namely, the mental development
involved in the training of the hand and the eye, and the reflex help to
manual skill in the purely intellectual training of study. It is, it may
be said again, not the purpose of the modern manual training to teach
a trade, but to teach the use of tools as an aid in the symmetrical
development of the human being. The students here certainly do beautiful
work in wood-turning and simple carving, in ironwork and forging. They
enjoy the work; they are alert and interested in it. I am certain that
they are the more interested in it in seeing how they can work out and
apply what they have learned in books, and I doubt not they take hold of
literary study more freshly for this manual training in exactness. The
school exacts close and thoughtful study with tools as well as in books,
and I can believe that it gives dignity in the opinion of the working
student to hand labor. The school is large, its graduates have been
generally successful in practical pursuits and in teaching, and it lias
demonstrated in itself the correctness of the theory of its authors,
that intellectual drill and manual training are mutually advantageous
together. Whether manual training shall be a part of all district school
education is a question involving many considerations that do not enter
into the practicability of this school, but I have no doubt that manual
training schools of this sort would be immensely useful in every city.
There are many boys in every community who cannot in any other wayr be
awakened to any real study. This training school deserves a chapter
by itself, and as I have no space for details, I take the liberty of
referring those interested to a volume on its aims and methods by Dr. C.
M. Woodward, its director.

Notwithstanding the excellence of the public-school system of St. Louis,
there is no other city in the country, except New Orleans, where so
large a proportion of the youths are being educated outside the public
schools. A very considerable portion of the population is Catholic.
There are forty-four parochial schools, attended by nineteen thousand
pupils, and over a dozen different Sisterhoods are engaged in teaching
in them. Generally each parochial school has two departments—one for
boys and one for girls. They are sustained entirely by the parishes. In
these schools, as in the two Catholic universities, the prominence of
ethical and religious training is to be noted. Seven-eighths of the
schools are in charge of thoroughly trained religious teachers. Many of
the boys’ schools are taught by Christian Brothers. The girls are almost
invariably taught by members of religious Sisterhoods. In most of the
German schools the girls and smaller boys are taught by Sisters, the
larger boys by lay teachers. Some reports of school attendance are given
in the Catholic Directory: SS. Peter and Paul’s (German), 1300 pupils;
St. Joseph’s (German), 957; St. Bridget’s, 950; St. Malaehy’s, 756; St.
John’s, 700; St. Patrick’s, 700. There is a school for colored children
of 150 pupils taught by colored Sisters.

In addition to these parochial schools there are a dozen academies
and convents of higher education for young ladies, all under charge of
Catholic Sisterhoods, commonly with a mixed attendance of boarders
and day scholars, and some of them with a reputation for learning that
attracts pupils from other States, notably the Academy of the Sacred
Heart, St. Joseph’s Academy, and the Academy of the Visitation, in
charge of cloistered nuns of that order. Besides these, in connection
with various reformatory and charitable institutions, such as the House
of the Good Shepherd and St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum, there are industrial
schools in charge of the Sisterhoods, where girls receive, in addition
to their education, training in some industry to maintain themselves
respectably when they leave their temporary homes. Statistics are
wanting, but it will be readily inferred from these statements that
there are in the city a great number of single women devoted for life,
and by special religious and intellectual training, to the office of
teaching.

For the higher education of Catholic young men the city is distinguished
by two remarkable institutions. The one is the old St. Louis University,
and the other is the Christian Brothers’ College. The latter, which a
few years ago outgrew its old buildings in the city, has a fine pile of
buildings at Côte Brillante, on a commanding site about five miles out,
with ample grounds, and in the neighborhood of the great parks and the
Botanical Garden. The character of the school is indicated by the motto
on the façade of the building—Religio, Mores, Cultura. The institution
is designed to accommodate a thousand boarding students. The present
attendance is 450, about half of whom are boarders, and represent twenty
States. There is a corps of thirty-five professors, and three courses of
study are maintained—the classical, the scientific, and the commercial.
As several of the best parochial schools are in charge of Christian
Brothers, these schools are feeders of the college, and the pupils have
the advantage of an unbroken system with a consistent purpose from the
day they enter into the primary department till they graduate at the
college. The order has, at Glencoe, a large Normal School for the
training of teachers. The fame and success of the Christian Brothers
as educators in elementary and the higher education, in Europe and the
United States, is largely due to the fact that they labor as a unit in
a system that never varies in its methods of imparting instruction,
in which the exponents of it have all undergone the same pedagogic
training, in which there is no room for the personal fancy of the
teacher in correction, discipline, or scholarship, for everything is
judiciously governed by prescribed modes of procedure, founded on long
experience, and exemplified in the co-operative plan of the Brothers.
In vindication of the exceptional skill acquired by its teachers in the
thorough drill of the order, the Brotherhood points to the success of
its graduates in competitive examinations for public employment in this
country and in Europe, and to the commendation its educational exhibits
received at London and New Orleans.

The St. Louis University, founded in 1829 by members of the Society of
Jesus, and chartered in 1834, is officered and controlled by the Jesuit
Fathers. It is an unendowed institution, depending upon fees paid
for tuition. Before the war its students were largely the children of
Southern planters, and its graduates are found all over the South and
South-west; and up to 1881 the pupils boarded and lodged within the
precincts of the old buildings on the corner of Ninth Street and
Washington, where for over half a century the school has vigorously
flourished. The place, which is now sold and about to be used for
business purposes, has a certain flavor of antique scholarship, and the
quaint buildings keep in mind the plain but rather pleasing architecture
of the French period. The University is in process of removal to the new
buildings on Grand avenue, which are a conspicuous ornament to one of
the most attractive parts of the city. Soon nothing will be left of
the institution on Ninth Street except the old college church, which is
still a favorite place of worship for the Catholics of the city. The new
buildings, in the early decorated English Gothic style, are ample and
imposing; they have a front of 270 feet, and the northern wing extends
325 feet westward from the avenue. The library, probably the finest room
of the kind in the West, is sixty-seven feet high, amply lighted,
and provided with three balconies. The library, which was packed for
removal, has over 25,000 volumes, is said to contain many rare and
interesting books, and to fairly represent science and literature.
Besides this, there are special libraries, open to students, of over
0000 volumes. The museum of the new building is a noble ball, one
hundred feet by sixty feet, and fifty-two feet high, without columns,
and lighted from above and from the side. The University has a valuable
collection of ores and minerals, and other objects of nature and
art that will be deposited in this hall, which will also serve as
a picture-gallery for the many paintings of historical interest.
Philosophical apparatus, a chemical laboratory, and an astronomical
observatory are the equipments on the scientific side.

The University has now no dormitories and no boarders. There are
twenty-five professors and instructors. The entire course, including the
preparatory, is seven years. A glance at the catalogue shows that in
the curriculum the institution keeps pace with the demands of the age.
Besides the preparatory course (89 pupils), it has a classical course
(143 pupils), an English course (82 pupils), and 85 post-graduate
students, making a total of 399. Its students form societies for various
purposes; one, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with distinct
organizations in the senior and junior classes, is for the promotion of
piety and the practice of devotion towards the Blessed Virgin; another
is for training in public speaking and philosophic and literary
disputation; there is also a scientific academy, to foster a taste for
scientific culture; and there is a student’s library of 4000 volumes,
independent of the religious books of the Sodality societies.

In a conversation with the president I learned that the prevailing idea
in the courses of study is the gradual and healthy development of
the mind. The classes are carefully graded. The classics are favorite
branches, but mental philosophy, chemistry, physics, astronomy, are
taught with a view to practical application. Much stress is laid upon
mathematics. During the whole course of seven years, one hour each day
is devoted to this branch. In short, I was impressed with the fact that
this is an institution for mental training. Still more was I struck with
the prominence in the whole course of ethical and religious culture. On
assembling every morning, all the Catholic students hear mass. In every
class in every year Christian doctrine has as prominent a place as
any branch of study; beginning in the elementary class with the small
catechism and practical instructions in the manner of reciting the
ordinary prayers, it goes on through the whole range of doctrine—creed,
evidences, ritual, ceremonial, mysteries—in the minutest details of
theory and practice; ingraining, so far as repeated instruction can,
the Catholic faith and pure moral conduct in the character, involving
instructions as to what occasions and what amusements are dangerous to
a good life, on the reading of good books and the avoiding bad books and
bad company.

In the post-graduate course, lectures are given and examinations made
in ethics, psychology, anthropology, biology, and physics; and in the
published abstracts of lectures for the past two years I find that none
of the subjects of modern doubt and speculation are ignored—spiritism,
psychical research, the cell theory, the idea of God, socialism,
agnosticism, the Noachinn deluge, theories of government, fundamental
notions of physical science, unity of the human species, potency
of matter, and so on. During the past fifty years this faculty has
contained many men famous as pulpit orators and missionaries, and this
course of lectures on philosophic and scientific subjects has brought it
prominently before the cultivated inhabitants of the town.

Another educational institution of note in St. Louis is the Concordia
Seminar of the Old Lutheran, or the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This
denomination, which originated in Saxony, and has a large membership in
our Western States, adheres strictly to the Augsburg Confession, and is
distinguished from the general Lutheran Church by greater strictness
of doctrine and practice, or, as may be said, by a return to primitive
Lutheranism; that is to say, it grounds itself upon the literal
inspiration of the Scriptures, upon salvation by faith alone, and upon
individual liberty. This Seminar is one of several related institutions
in the Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States: there is a college at
Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Progymnasium at Milwaukee, a Seminar of practical
theology at Springfield, Illinois, and this Seminar at St. Louis,
which is wholly devoted to theoretical theology. This Church numbers, I
believe, about 200,000 members.

The Concordia Seminar is housed in a large, commodious building,
effectively set upon high ground in the southern part of the city. It
was erected and the institution is sustained by the contributions of the
congregations. The interior, roomy, light, and commodious, is plain to
barrenness, and has a certain monastic severity, which is matched by the
discipline and the fare. In visiting it one takes a step backward into
the atmosphere and theology of the sixteenth century. The ministers of
the denomination are distinguished for learning and earnest simplicity.
The president, a very able man, only thirty-five years of age, is at
least two centuries old in his opinions, and wholly undisturbed by
any of the doubts which have agitated the Christian world since the
Reformation. He holds the faith “once for all” delivered to the saints.
The Seminar has a hundred students. It is requisite to admission, said
the president, that they be perfect Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholars.
A large proportion of the lectures are given in Latin, the remainder in
German and English, and Latin is current in the institution, although
German is the familiar speech. The course of study is exacting, the
rules are rigid, and the discipline severe. Social intercourse with
the other sex is discouraged. The pursuit of love and learning are
considered incompatible at the same time; and if a student were
inconsiderate enough to become engaged, he would be expelled. Each
student from abroad may select or be selected by a family in the
communion, at whose house he may visit once a week, which attends to his
washing, and supplies to a certain extent the place of a home. The young
men are trained in the highest scholarship and the strictest code of
morals. I know of no other denomination which holds its members to such
primitive theology and such strictness of life. Individual liberty and
responsibility are stoutly asserted, without any latitude in belief.
It repudiates Prohibition as an infringement of personal liberty, would
make the use of wine or beer depend upon the individual conscience,
but no member of the communion would be permitted to sell intoxicating
liquors, or to go to a beer-garden or a theatre. In regard to the
sacrament of communion, there is no authority for altering the plain
directions in the Scripture, and communion without wine, or the
substitution of any concoction for wine, would be a sin. No member would
be permitted to join any labor union or secret society. The sacrament
of communion is a mystery. It is neither transubstantiation nor
consubstantiation. The president, whose use of English in subtle
distinctions is limited, resorted to Latin and German in explanation
of the mystery, but left the question of real and actual presence, of
spirit and substance, still a matter of terms; one can only say that
neither the ordinary Protestant nor the Catholic interpretation is
accepted. Conversion is not by any act or ability of man; salvation is
by faith alone. As the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is
insisted on in all cases, the world was actually created in six days
of twenty-four hours each. When I asked the president what he did
with geology, he smiled and simply waved his hand. This communion has
thirteen flourishing churches in the city. In a town so largely German,
and with so many freethinkers as well as free-livers, I cannot but
consider this strict sect, of a simple unquestioning faith and high
moral demands, of the highest importance in the future of the city. But
one encounters with surprise, in our modern life, this revival of the
sixteenth century, which plants itself so squarely against so much that
we call “progress.”

As to the institutions of charity, I must content myself with saying
that they are many, and worthy of a great and enlightened city. There
are of all denominations 211 churches; of these the Catholics lead with
47; the Presbyterians come next with 24; and the Baptists have 22; the
Methodists North, 4; and the Methodists South, 8. The most interesting
edifices, both for associations and architecture, are the old Cathedral;
the old Christ Church (Episcopalian), excellent Gothic; and an exquisite
edifice, the Church of the Messiah (Unitarian), in Locust Street.

The city has two excellent libraries. The Public Library, an adjunct
of the public-school system, in the Polytechnic Building, has an annual
appropriation of about $14,000 from the School Board, and receives about
$5000 more from membership and other sources. It contains about 67,000
volumes, and is admirably managed. The Mercantile Library is in process
of removal into a magnificent six-story building on Broadway and Locust
Street. It is a solid and imposing structure, the first story of red
granite, and the others of brick and terra-cotta. The library and
reading-rooms are on the fifth story, the rest of the building is
rented. This association, which is forty-two years old, has 3500
members, and had an income in 1887 of $120,000, nearly all from
membership. In January, 1888, it had 68,732 volumes, and in a
circulation of over 168,000 in the year, it had the unparalleled
distinction of reducing the fiction given out to 41.95 per cent. Both
these libraries have many treasures interesting to a book-lover, and
though neither is free, the liberal, intelligent management of each has
been such as to make it a most beneficent institution for the city.

There are many handsome and stately buildings in the city, the recent
erections showing growth in wealth and taste. The Chamber of Commerce,
which is conspicuous for solid elegance, cost a million and a half
dollars. There are 3295 members of the Merchants’ Exchange. The
Court-house, with its noble dome, is as well proportioned a building as
can be found in the country. A good deal may be said for the size and
effect of the Exposition Building, which covers what was once a pretty
park at the foot of Lucas Place, and cost 6750,000. There are clubs many
and flourishing. The St. Louis Club (social) has the finest building,
an exceedingly tasteful piece of Romanesque architecture on Twenty-ninth
Street. The University Club, which is like its namesake in other cities,
has a charming old-fashioned house and grounds on Pine Street. The
Commercial Club, an organization limited in its membership to sixty,
has no club-house, but, like its namesake in Chicago, is a controlling
influence in the prosperity of the city. Representing all the leading
occupations, it is a body of men who, by character, intellect, and
wealth, can carry through any project for the public good, and which is
animated by the highest public spirit.

Of the social life of the town one is permitted to speak only in general
terms. It has many elements to make it delightful—long use in social
civilities, interest in letters and in education, the cultivation of
travel, traditions, and the refinement of intellectual pursuits. The
town has no academy of music, but there is a good deal of musical
feeling and cultivation; there is a very good orchestra, one of the very
best choruses in the country, and Verdi’s “Requiem” was recently given
splendidly. I am told by men and women of rare and special cultivation
that the city is a most satisfactory one to live in, and certainly
to the stranger its society is charming. The city has, however, the
Mississippi Valley climate—extreme heat in the summer, and trying
winters.

There is no more interesting industrial establishment in the West than
the plate-glass works at Crystal City, thirty miles south on the river.
It was built up after repeated failures and reverses—for the business,
like any other, had to be learned. The plant is very extensive, the
buildings are of the best, the machinery is that most approved, and the
whole represents a cash investment of $1,500,000. The location of the
works at this point was determined by the existence of a mountain of
sand which is quarried out like rock, and is the finest and cleanest
silica known in the country. The production is confined entirety to
plate-glass, which is cast in great slabs, twelve feet by twelve and
a half in size, each of which weighs, before it is reduced half in
thickness by grinding, smoothing, and polishing, about 750 pounds. The
product for 1887 was 1,200,000 feet. The coal used in the furnaces is
converted into gas, which is found to be the most economical and most
easily regulated fuel. This industry has drawn together a population of
about 1500. I was interested to learn that labor in the production of
this glass is paid twice as much as similar labor in England, and from
three to four times as much as similar labor in France and Belgium. As
the materials used in making plate-glass are inexpensive, the main cost,
after the plant, is in labor. Since plate-glass was first made in this
country, eighteen years ago, the price of it in the foreign market has
been continually forced down, until now it costs the American consumer
only half what it cost him before, and the jobber gets it at an average
cost of 75 cents a foot, as against the $1.50 a foot which we paid the
foreign manufacturer before the establishment of American factories.
And in these eighteen years the Government has had from this source a
revenue of over seventeen millions, at an average duty, on all sizes, of
less than 59 per cent.

Missouri is one of the greatest of our States in resources and in
promise, and it is conspicuous in the West for its variety and capacity
of interesting development. The northern portion rivals Iowa in
beautiful rolling prairie, with high divides and park-like forests; its
water communication is unsurpassed; its mineral resources are immense;
it has noble mountains as well as fine uplands and fertile valleys, and
it never impresses the traveller as monotonous. So attractive is it
in both scenery and resources that it seems unaccountable that so
many settlers have passed it by. But, first slavery, and then a rural
population disinclined to change, have stayed its development. This
state of things, however, is changing, has changed marvellously within
a few years in the northern portion, in the iron regions, and especially
in larger cities of the west, St. Joseph and Kansas City. The State
deserves a study by itself, for it is on the way to be a great empire
of most varied interests. I can only mention here one indication of
its moral progress. It has adopted a high license and local option law.
Under this the saloons are closed in nearly all the smaller villages and
country towns. A shaded map shows more than three-fourths of the area
of the State, including three-fifths of the population, free from
liquor-selling. The county court may grant a license to sell liquor to
a person of good moral character on the signed petition of a majority of
the taxpaying citizens of a township or of a city block; it must grant
it on the petition of two-thirds of the citizens. Thus positive action
is required to establish a saloon. On the map there are 76 white
counties free of saloons, 14 counties In which there are from one to
three saloons only, and 24 shaded counties which have altogether 2263
saloons, of which 1450 are in St. Louis and 520 in Kansas City. The
revenue from the saloons in St. Louis is about 8800,000, in Kansas City
about 8375,000, annually. The heavily shaded portions of the map are on
the great rivers.

Of all the wonderful towns in the West, none has attracted more
attention in the East than Kansas City. I think I am not wrong in saying
that it is largely the product of Eastern energy and capital, and that
its closest relations have been with Boston. I doubt if ever a new town
was from the start built up so solidly or has grown more substantially.
The situation, at the point where the Missouri River makes a sharp bend
to the east, and the Kansas River enters it, was long ago pointed out
as the natural centre of a great trade. Long before it started on its
present career it was the great receiving and distributing point of
South-western commerce, which left the Missouri River at this point
for Santa Fé and other trading marts in the South-west. Aside from this
river advantage, if one studies the course of streams and the incline of
the land in a wide circle to the westward, he is impressed with the fact
that the natural business drainage of a vast area is Kansas City. The
city was therefore not fortuitously located, and when the railways
centred there, they obeyed an inevitable law. Here nature intended, in
the development of the country, a great city. Where the next one will
be in the South-west is not likely to be determined until the Indian
Territory is open to settlement. To the north, Omaha, with reference
to Nebraska and the West, possesses many similar advantages, and is
likewise growing with great vigor and solidity. Its situation on a slope
rising from the river is commanding and beautiful, and its splendid
business houses, handsome private residences, and fine public schools
give ample evidence of the intelligent enterprise that is directing its
rapid growth.

It is difficult to analyze the impression Kansas City first makes upon
the Eastern stranger. It is usually that of immense movement, much of it
crude, all of it full of purpose. At the Union Station, at the time of
the arrival and departure of trains, the whole world seems afloat; one
is in the midst of a continental movement of most varied populations. I
remember that the first time I saw it in passing, the detail that most
impressed me was the racks and rows of baggage checks; it did not seem
to me that the whole travelling world could need so many. At that time
a drive through the city revealed a chaos of enterprise—deep cuts for
streets, cable roads in process of construction over the sharp ridges,
new buildings, hills shaved down, houses perched high up on slashed
knolls, streets swarming with traffic and roaring with speculation. A
little more than a year later the change towards order was marvellous:
the cable roads were running in all directions; gigantic buildings
rising upon enormous blocks of stone gave distinction to the principal
streets; the great residence avenues have been beautified, and showed
all over the hills stately and picturesque houses. And it is worthy of
remark that while the “boom” of speculation in lots had subsided, there
was no slacking in building, and the reports showed a steady increase in
legitimate business. I was confirmed in my theory that a city is likely
to be most attractive when it has had to struggle heroically against
natural obstacles in the building.

I am not going to describe the city. The reader knows that it lies south
of the river Missouri, at the bend, and that the notable portion of it
is built upon a series of sharp hills. The hill portion is already a
beautiful city; the flat part, which contains the railway depot and
yards, a considerable portion of the manufactories and wholesale
houses, and much refuse and squatting population (white and black), is
unattractive in a high degree. The Kaw, or Kansas, River would seem to
be the natural western boundary, but it is not the boundary; the city
and State line runs at some distance east of Kansas River, leaving
a considerable portion of low ground in Kansas City, Kansas, which
contains the larger number of the great packing-houses and the great
stock-yards. This identity of names is confusing. Kansas City (Kansas),
Wyandotte, Armourdale, Armstrong, and Riverview (all in the State of
Kansas) have been recently consolidated under the name of Kansas City,
Kansas. It is to be regretted that this thriving town of Kansas,
which already claims a population of 40,000, did not take the name of
Wyandotte. In its boundaries are the second largest stock-yards in the
country, which received last year 670,000 cattle, nearly 2,500,000 hogs,
and 210,000 sheep, estimated worth 851,000,000. There also are half a
dozen large packing-houses, one of them ranking with the biggest in the
country, which last year slaughtered 195,933 cattle, and 1,907,104 hogs.
The great elevated railway, a wonderful structure, which connects Kansas
City, Missouri, with Wyandotte, is owned and managed by men of Kansas
City, Kansas. The city in Kansas has a great area of level ground for
the accommodation of manufacturing enterprises, and I noticed a good
deal of speculative feeling in regard to this territory. The Kansas side
has fine elevated situations for residences, but Wyandotte itself does
not compare in attractiveness with the Missouri city, and I fancy that
the controlling impetus and capital will long remain with the city that
has so much the start.

Looking about for the specialty which I have learned to expect in every
great Western city, I was struck by the number of warehouses for the
sale of agricultural implements on the flats, and I was told that Kansas
City excels all others in the amount of sales of farming implements. The
sale is put down at 815,000,000 for the year 1887—a fourth of the entire
reported product manufactured in the United States. Looking for the
explanation of this, one largely accounts for the growth of Kansas City,
namely, the vast rich agricultural regions to the west and southwest,
the development of Missouri itself, and the facilities of distribution.
It is a general belief that settlement is gradually pushing the rainy
belt farther and farther westward over the prairies and plains, that
the breaking up of the sod by the plough and the tilling have increased
evaporation and consequently rainfall. I find this questioned by
competent observers, who say that the observation of ten years is not
enough to settle the fact of a change of climate, and that, as not
a tenth part of the area under consideration has been broken by the
plough, there is not cause enough for the alleged effect, and that we
do not yet know the cycle of years of drought and years of rain. However
this may be, there is no doubt of the vast agricultural yield of these
new States and Territories, nor of the quantities of improved machinery
they use. As to facility of distribution, the railways are in evidence.
I need not name them, but I believe I counted fifteen lines and systems
centring there. In 1887, 4565 miles of railway were added to the
facilities of Kansas City, stretching out in every direction. The
development of one is notable as peculiar and far-sighted, the Fort
Scott and Gulf, which is grasping the East as well as the South-west;
turning eastward from Fort Scott, it already reaches the iron industries
of Birmingham, pushes on to Atlanta, and seeks the seaboard. I do not
think I over-estimate the importance of this quite direct connection of
Kansas City with the Atlantic.

The population of Kansas City, according to the statistics of the Board
of Trade, increased from 41,786 in 1877 to 165,924 in 1887, the assessed
valuation from $9,370,287 in 1877 to $53,017,290 in 1887, and the rate
of taxation was reduced in the same period from about 22 mills to 14.
I notice also that the banking capital increased in a year—1886 to
1887—from $3,873,000 to $6,950,000, and the Clearing-house transactions
in the same year from $251,963,441 to $353,895,458. This, with other
figures which might be given, sustains the assertion that while
real-estate speculation has decreased in the current year, there was a
substantial increase of business. During the year ending June 30, 1886,
there were built 4054 new houses, costing $10,393,207; during the year
ending June 30, 1887, 5889, costing $12,839,808. An important feature
of the business of Kansas City is in the investment and loan and trust
companies, which are many, and aggregate a capital of $7,773,000. Loans
are made on farms in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa, and also for
city improvements.

Details of business might be multiplied, but enough have been given to
illustrate the material prosperity of the city. I might add a note
of the enterprise which last year paved (mainly with cedar blocks on
concrete) thirteen miles of the city; the very handsome churches
in process of erection, and one or two (of the many) already built,
admirable in plan and appearance; the really magnificent building of the
Board of Trade—a palace, in fact; and other handsome, costly structures
on every hand. There are thirty-five miles of cable road. I am not
sure but these cable roads are the most interesting—certainly the most
exciting—feature of the city to a stranger. They climb such steeps, they
plunge down such grades, they penetrate and whiz through such crowded,
lively thoroughfares, their trains go so rapidly, that the rider is in
a perpetual exhilaration. I know no other locomotion more exciting and
agreeable. Life seems a sort of holiday when one whizzes through the
crowded city, up and down and around amid the tall buildings, and then
launches off in any direction into the suburbs, which are alive with new
buildings. Independence avenue is shown as one of the finest avenues,
and very handsome it and that part of the town are, but I fancied
I could detect a movement of fashion and preference to the hills
southward.

In the midst of such a material expansion one has learned to expect fine
houses, but I was surprised to find three very good book-stores (as I
remember, St. Louis has not one so good), and a very good start for a
public library, consisting of about 16,000 well-arranged and classified
books. Members pay $2 a year, and the library receives only about
$2500 a year from the city. The citizens could make no better-paying
investment than to raise this library to the first rank. There is also
the beginning of an art school in some pretty rooms, furnished with
casts and autotypes, where pupils practise drawing under direction of
local artiste. There are two social clubs—the University, which occupies
pleasant apartments, and the Kansas City Club, which has just erected a
handsome club-house. In these respects, and in a hundred refinements
of living, the town, which has so largely drawn its young, enterprising
population from the extreme East, has little the appearance of a
frontier place; it is the push, the public spirit, the mixture of
fashion and slouching negligence in street attire, the mingling of
Eastern smartness with border emancipation in manner, and the general
restlessness of movement, that proclaim the newness. It seems to me that
the incessant stir, and especially the clatter, whir, and rapidity of
the cable ears, must have a decided effect on the nerves of the whole
population. The appearance is certainly that of an entire population
incessantly in motion.

I have spoken of the public spirit. Besides the Board of Trade there is
a Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Bureau, which works vigorously to bring
to the city and establish mercantile and manufacturing enterprises. The
same spirit is shown in the public schools. The expenditures in 1887
were, for school purposes, $226,923; for interest on bonds, $18,408; for
grounds and buildings, $110,087; in all, $355,418. The total of children
of school age was, white, 31,667; colored, 4204. Of these in
attendance at school were, white, 12,933; colored, 1975. There were
25 school-houses and 212 teachers. The schools which I saw—one large
grammar-school, a colored school, and the High-school of over 600
pupils—were good all through, full of intelligent emulation, the
teachers alert and well equipped, and the attention to literature, to
the science of government, to what, in short, goes to make intelligent
citizens, highly commendable. I find the annual reports, under Prof.
J. M. Greenwood, most interesting reading. Topics are taken up and
investigations made of great public interest. These topics relate to the
even physical and mental development of the young in distinction from
the effort merely to stuff them with information. There is a most
intelligent attempt to remedy defective eyesight. Twenty per cent, of
school children have some anomaly of refraction or accommodation which
should be recognized and corrected early; girls have a larger per cent,
of anomalies than boys. Irish, Swedish, and German children have the
highest percentage of affections of the eyes; English, French, Scotch,
and Americans the lowest. Scientific observations of the eyes are made
in the Kansas City schools, with a view to remedy defects. Another
curious topic is the investigation of the Contents of Children’s
Minds—that is, what very small children know about common things. Prof.
Stanley Hall published recently the result of examinations made of
very little folks in Boston schools. Professor Greenwood made similar
investigations among the lowest grade of pupils in the Kansas City
schools, and a table of comparisons is printed. The per cent, of
children ignorant of common things is astonishingly less in Kansas City
schools than in the Boston; even the colored children of the Western
city made a much better showing. Another subject of investigation is the
alleged physical deterioration in this country. Examinations were made
of hundreds of school children from the age of ten to fifteen,
and comparisons taken with the tables in Mulhal’s “Dictionary of
Statistics,” London, 1884. It turns out that the Kansas City children
are taller, taking sex into account, than the average English child
at the age of either ten or fifteen, weigh a fraction less at ten, but
upwards of four pounds more at fifteen, while the average Belgian boy
and girl compare favorably with American children two years younger.
The tabulated statistics show two facts, that the average Kansas child
stands fully as tall as the tallest, and that in weight he tips the
beam against an older child on the other side of the Atlantic. With this
showing, we trust that our American experiment will be permitted to go
on.

In reaching the necessary limit of a paper too short for its subject, I
can only express my admiration of the indomitable energy and spirit of
that portion of the West which Kansas City represents, and congratulate
it upon so many indications of attention to the higher civilization,
without which its material prosperity will be wonderful but not
attractive.



XV.—KENTUCKY.

All Kentucky, like Gaul, is divided into three parts. This division,
which may not be sustained by the geologists or the geographers, perhaps
not even by the ethnologists, is, in my mind, one of character: the east
and south-east mountainous part, the central blue-grass region, and the
great western portion, thrifty in both agriculture and manufactures.
It is a great self-sustaining empire, lying midway in the Union, and
between the North and the South (never having yet exactly made up its
mind whether it is North or South), extending over more than seven
degrees of longitude. Its greatest length east and west is 410 miles;
its greatest breadth, 178 miles. Its area by latest surveys, and larger
than formerly estimated, is 42,283 square miles. Within this area
prodigal nature has brought together nearly everything that a highly
civilized society needs: the most fertile soil, capable of producing
almost every variety of product for food or for textile fabrics;
mountains of coals and iron ores and limestone; streams and springs
everywhere; almost all sorts of hard-wood timber in abundance. Nearly
half the State is still virgin forest of the noblest trees, oaks,
sugar-maple, ash, poplar, black-walnut, linn, elm, hickory, beech,
chestnut, red cedar. The climate may honestly be called temperate: its
inhabitants do not need to live in cellars in the summer, nor burn up
their fences and furniture in the winter.

Kentucky is loved of its rivers. It can be seen by their excessively
zigzag courses how reluctant they are to leave the State, and if they do
leave it they are certain to return. The Kentucky and the Green wander
about in the most uncertain way before they go to the Ohio, and the
Licking and Big Sandy exhibit only a little less reluctance. The
Cumberland, after a wide detour in Tennessee, returns; and Powell’s
River, joining the Clinch and entering the Tennessee, finally persuades
that river, after it has looked about the State of Tennessee and
gladdened northern Alabama, to return to Kentucky.

Kentucky is an old State, with an old civilization. It was the pioneer
in the great western movement of population after the Revolution.
Although it was first explored in 1770, and the Boone trail through the
wilderness of Cumberland Gap was not marked till 1775, a settlement
had been made in Frankfort in 1774, and in 1790 the Territory had a
population of 79,077. This was a marvellous growth, considering the
isolation by hundreds of miles of wilderness from Eastern communities,
and the savage opposition of the Indians, who selw fifteen hundred whilc
settlers from 1783 to 1790. Kentucky was the home of no Indian tribe,
but it was the favorite hunting and fighting ground of those north of
the Ohio and south of the Cumberland, and they united to resent white
interference. When the State came into the Union in 1792—the second
admitted—it was the equal in population and agricultural wealth of some
of the original States that had been settled a hundred and fifty years,
and in 1800 could boast 220,750 inhabitants, and in 1810, 400,511.

At the time of the settlement, New York west of the Hudson, western
Pennsylvania, and western Virginia were almost unoccupied except by
hostile Indians; there was only chance and dangerous navigation down
the Ohio from Pittsburg, and it was nearly eight hundred miles of a
wilderness road, which was nothing but a bridle-path, from Philadelphia
by way of the Cumberland Gap to central Kentucky. The majority of
emigrants came this toilsome way, which was, after all, preferable to
the river route, and all passengers and produce went that way eastward,
for the steamboat bad not yet made the ascent of the Ohio feasible. In
1779 Virginia resolved to construct a wagon-road through the wilderness,
but no road was made for many years afterwards, and indeed no vehicle of
any sort passed over it till a road was built by action of the Kentucky
Legislature in 1700. I hope it was better then than the portion of it I
travelled from Pineville to the Gap in 1888.

Civilization made a great leap over nearly a thousand miles into the
open garden-spot of central Kentucky, and the exploit is a unique
chapter in our frontier development. Either no other land ever lent
itself so easily to civilization as the blue-grass region, or it was
exceptionally fortunate in its occupants. They formed almost immediately
a society distinguished for its amenities, for its political influence,
prosperous beyond precedent in farming, venturesome and active in trade,
developing large manufactures, especially from hemp, of such articles
as could be transported by river, and sending annually through the
wilderness road to the East and South immense droves of cattle, horses,
and swine. In the first necessity, and the best indication of superior
civilization, good roads for transportation, Kentucky was conspicuous in
comparison with the rest of the country. As early as 1825 macadam roads
were projected, the turnpike from. Lexington to Maysville on the Ohio
was built in 1829, and the work went on by State and county co-operation
until the central region had a system of splendid roads, unexcelled
in any part of the Union. In 1830 one of the earliest railways in the
United States, that from Lexington to Frankfort, was begun; two years
later seven miles were constructed, and in 1835 the first locomotive and
train of cars ran on it to Frankfort, twenty-seven miles, in two hours
and twenty-nine minutes. The structure was composed of stone sills, in
which grooves were cut to receive the iron bars. These stone blocks can
still be seen along the line of the road, now a part of the Louisville
and Nashville system. In all internal improvements the State was very
energetic. The canal around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville was
opened in 1831, with some aid from the General Government. The State
expended a great deal in improving the navigation of the Kentucky, the
Green, and other rivers in its borders by an expensive system of locks
and dams; in 1837 it paid $19,500 to engineers engaged in turnpike and
river improvement, and in 1839 $31,075 for the same purpose.

The story of early Kentucky reads like a romance. By 1820 it counted
a population of over 510,000, and still it had scarcely wagon-road
communication with the East. Here was a singular phenomenon, a
prosperous community, as one might say a garden in the wilderness,
separated by natural barriers from the great life of the East, which
pushed out north of it a connected, continuous development; a community
almost self-sustaining, having for his centre the loveliest agricultural
region in the Union, and evolving a unique social state so gracious and
attractive that it was thought necessary to call in the effect of the
blue-grass to explain it, unaided human nature being inadequate, it
was thought, to such a result. Almost from the beginning fine houses
attested the taste and prosperity of the settlers; by 1792 the
blue-grass region was dotted with neat and commodious dwellings, fruit
orchards and gardens, sugar groves, and clusters of villages; while,
a little later, rose, in the midst of broad plantations and park-like
forests, lands luxuriant with wheat and clover and corn and hemp and
tobacco, the manorial dwellings of the colonial period, like the stately
homes planted by the Holland Land Company along the Hudson and the
Mohawk and in the fair Genesee, like the pillared structures on the
James and the Staunton, and like the solid square mansions of old New
England. A type of some of them stands in Frankfort now, a house which
was planned by Thomas Jefferson and built in 1796, spacious, permanent,
elegant in the low relief of its chaste ornamentation. For comfort, for
the purposes of hospitality, for the quiet and rest of the mind,
there is still nothing so good as the colonial house, with the slight
modifications required by our changed conditions.

From 1820 onward the State grew by a natural increment of population,
but without much aid from native or foreign emigration. In 1860 its
population was only about 919,000 whites, with some 225,000 slaves and
over 10,000 free colored persons. It had no city of the first class, nor
any villages specially thriving. Louisville numbered only about 68,000,
Lexington less than 15,000, and Frankfort, the capital, a little over
5000. It retained the lead in hemp and a leading position in tobacco;
but it had fallen away behind its much younger rivals in manufactures
and the building of railways, and only feeble efforts had been made in
the development of its extraordinary mineral resources.

How is this arrest of development accounted for? I know that a short
way of accounting for it has been the presence of slavery. I would not
underestimate this. Free labor would not go where it had to compete with
slave labor; white labor now does not like to come into relations with
black labor; and capital also was shy of investment in a State where
both political economy and social life were disturbed by a color line.
But this does not wholly account for the position of Kentucky as to
development at the close of the war. So attractive is the State in most
respects, in climate, soil, and the possibilities of great wealth by
manufactures, that I doubt not the State would have been forced into the
line of Western progress and slavery become an unimportant factor long
ago, but for certain natural obstacles and artificial influences.

Let the reader look on the map, at the ranges of mountains running from
the north-east to the southwest—the Blue Ridge, the Alleghanies, the
Cumberland, and Pine mountains, continuous rocky ridges, with scarcely a
water gap, and only at long intervals a passable mountain gap—and notice
how these would both hinder and deflect the tide of emigration. With
such barriers the early development of Kentucky becomes ten times a
wonder. But about 1825 an event occurred that placed her at a greater
disadvantage in the competition. The Erie Canal was opened. This made
New York, and not Virginia, the great commercial highway. The railway
development followed. It was easy to build roads north of Kentucky, and
the tide of settlement followed the roads, which were mostly aided
by land grants; and in order to utilize the land grants the railways
stimulated emigration by extensive advertising. Capital and population
passed Kentucky by on the north. To the south somewhat similar
conditions prevailed. Comparatively cheap roads could be built along
the eastern slope of the Alleghanies, following the great valley from
Pennsylvania to Alabama; and these south-westwardly roads were also
aided by the General Government. The North and South Railway of Alabama,
and the Alabama and Great Southern, which cross at Birmingham, were
land-grant roads. The roads which left the Atlantic seaboard passed
naturally northward and southward of Kentucky, and left an immense area
in the centre of the Union—all of western and southwestern Virginia and
eastern Kentucky—without transportation facilities. Until 1880 here was
the largest area east of the Mississippi impenetrated by railways.

The war removed one obstacle to the free movement of men desiring work
and seeking agreeable homes, a movement marked in the great increase
of the industrial population of Louisville and the awakening to varied
industries and trade in western Kentucky. The offer of cheap land,
which would reward skilful farming In agreeable climatic conditions,
has attracted foreign settlers to the plateau south of the blue-grass
region; and scientific investigation has made the mountain district in
the south-east the object of the eager competition of both domestic
and foreign capital. Kentucky, therefore, is entering upon a new era of
development. Two phases of it, the Swiss colonies, and the opening
of the coal, iron, and timber resources, present special points of
interest.

This Incoming of the commercial spirit will change Kentucky for the
better and for the worse, will change even the tone of the blue-grass
country, and perhaps take away something of that charm about which so
much has been written. So thoroughly has this region been set forth by
the pen and the pencil and the lens that I am relieved of the necessity
of describing it. But I must confess that all I had read of it, all
the pictures I had seen, gave me an inadequate idea of its beauty and
richness. So far as I know, there is nothing like it in the world.
Comparison of it with England is often made in the use of the words
“garden” and “park.” The landscape is as unlike the finer parts of Old
England as it is unlike the most carefully tended parts of New England.
It has neither the intense green, the subdivisions in hedges, the bosky
lanes, the picturesque cottages, the niceness of minute garden-culture,
of England, nor the broken, mixed lawn gardening and neglected pastures
and highways, with the sweet wild hills, of the Berkshire region. It
is an open, elevated, rolling land, giving the traveller often the most
extended views over wheat and clover, hemp and tobacco fields, forests
and blue-grass pastures. One may drive for a hundred miles north and
south over the splendid macadam turnpikes, behind blooded roadsters,
at an easy ten-mile gait, and see always the same sight—a smiling
agricultural paradise, with scarcely a foot, in fence corners, by the
road-side, or in low grounds, of uncultivated, uncared-for land. The
open country is more pleasing than the small villages, which have not
the tidiness of the New England small villages; the houses are for the
most part plain; here and there is a negro cabin, or a cluster of them,
apt to be unsightly, but always in view somewhere is a plantation-house,
more or less pretentious, generally old-fashioned and with the colonial
charm. These are frequently off the main thoroughfare, approached by a
private road winding through oaks and ash-trees, seated on some gentle
knoll or slope, maybe with a small flower-garden, but probably with the
old sentimental blooms that smell good and have reminiscences, in the
midst of waving fields of grain, blue-grass pastures, and open forest
glades watered by a dear stream. There seems to be infinite peace in
a house so surrounded. The house may have pillars, probably a colonial
porch and door-way with earving in bass-relief, a wide hall, large
square rooms, low studded, and a general air of comfort. What is new in
it in the way of art, furniture, or bric-à-brac may not be in the best
taste, and may “swear” at the old furniture and the delightful old
portraits. For almost always will be found some portraits of the
post-Revolutionary period, having a traditional and family interest, by
Copley or Jouett, perhaps a Stuart, maybe by some artist who evidently
did not paint for fame, which carry the observer back to the colonial
society in Virginia, Philadelphia, and New York. In a country house and
in Lexington I saw portraits, life-size and miniature, of Rebecca Gratz,
whose loveliness of person and character is still a tender recollection
of persons living. She was a great beauty and toast in her day. It
was at her house in Philadelphia, a centre of wit and gayety, that
Washington Irving and Henry Brevoort and Gulian C. Verplanck often
visited. She shone not less in New York society, and was the most
intimate friend of Matilda Hoffman, who was betrothed to Irving; indeed,
it was in her arms that Matilda died, fadeless always to us as she was
to Irving, in the loveliness of her eighteenth year. The well-founded
tradition is that Irving, on his first visit to Abbotsford, told Scott
of his own loss, and made him acquainted with the beauty and grace of
Rebecca Gratz, and that Scott, wanting at the moment to vindicate a race
that was aspersed, used her as a model for Rebecca in “Ivanhoe.”

One distinction of the blue-grass region is the forests, largely of
gigantic oaks, free of all undergrowth, carpeted with the close-set,
luscious, nutritive blue-grass, which remains green all the season when
it is cropped by feeding. The blue-grass thrives elsewhere, notably in
the upper Shenandoah Valley, where somewhat similar limestone conditions
prevail; but this is its natural habitat. On all this elevated rolling
plateau the limestone is near the surface. This grass blooms towards the
middle of June in a bluish, almost a peacock blue, blossom, which gives
to the fields an exquisite hue. By the end of the month the seed ripens
into a yellowish color, and while the grass is still green and lush
underneath, the surface presents much the appearance of a high New
England pasture in August. When it is ripe, the top is cut for the seed.
The limestone and the blue-grass together determine the agricultural
pre-eminence of the region, and account for the fine breeding of the
horses, the excellence of the cattle, the stature of the men, and the
beauty of the women; but they have social and moral influence also. It
could not well be otherwise, considering the relation of the physical
condition to disposition and character. We should be surprised if a
rich agricultural region, healthful at the same time, where there is
abundance of food, and wholesome cooking is the rule, did not affect the
tone of social life. And I am almost prepared to go further, and
think that blue-grass is a specific for physical beauty and a certain
graciousness of life. I have been told that there is a natural relation
between Presbyterianism and blue-grass, and am pointed to the Shenandoah
and to Kentucky as evidence of it. Perhaps Presbyterians naturally seek
a limestone country. But the relation, if it exists, is too subtle and
the facts are too few to build a theory on. Still, I have no doubt there
is a distinct variety of woman known as the blue-grass girl. A geologist
told me that once when he was footing it over the State with a geologist
from another State, as they approached the blue-grass region from the
southward they were carefully examining the rock formation and studying
the surface indications, which are usually marked on the border line,
to determine exactly where the peculiar limestone formation began.
Indications, however, were wanting. Suddenly my geologist looked up the
road and exclaimed:

“We are in the blue-grass region now.”

“How do you know?” asked the other.

“Why, there is a blue-grass girl.”

There was no mistaking the neat dress, the style, the rounded contours,
the gracious personage. A few steps farther on the geologists found the
outcropping of the blue limestone.

Perhaps the people of this region are trying to live up to the
thorough-bred. A pedigree is a necessity. The horse is of the first
consideration, and either has or gives a sort of social distinction;
first, the running horse, the thorough-bred, and now the trotting horse,
which is beginning to have a recognizable descent, and is on the way to
be a thorough-bred. Many of the finest plantations are horse farms;
one might call them the feature of the country. Horse-raising is here
a science, and as we drive from one estate to another, and note the
careful tillage, the trim fences, the neat stables, the pretty paddocks,
and the houses of the favorites, we see how everything is intended
to contribute to the perfection in refinement of fibre, speed, and
endurance of the noble animal. Even persons who are usually indifferent
to horses cannot but admire these beautiful high-bred creatures, either
the famous ones displayed at the stables, or the colts and fillies,
which have yet their reputations to make, at play in the blue-grass
pastures; and the pleasure one experiences is a refined one in harmony
with the landscape. Usually horse-dealing carries with it a lowering of
the moral tone, which we quite understand when we say of a man that he
is “horsy.” I suppose the truth is that man has degraded the idea of the
horse by his own evil passions, using him to gamble and cheat with.
Now, the visitor will find little of these degrading associations in the
blue-grass region. It is an orthodox and a moral region. The best
and most successful horse-breeders have nothing to do with racing or
betting. The yearly product of their farms is sold at auction, without
reserve or favor. The sole business is the production of the best
animals that science and care can breed. Undeniably where the horse is
of such importance he is much in the thought, and the use of “horsy”
phrases in ordinary conversation shows his effect upon the vocabulary.
The recital of pedigree at the stables, as horse after horse is led out,
sounds a little like a chapter from the Book of Genesis, and naturally
this Biblical formula gets into a conversation about people.

And after the horses there is whiskey. There are many distilleries in
this part of the country, and a great deal of whiskey is made. I am not
defending whiskey, at least any that is less than thirty years old and
has attained a medicinal quality. But I want to express my opinion that
this is as temperate as any region in the United States. There is a
wide-spread strict temperance sentiment, and even prohibition prevails
to a considerable degree. Whiskey is made and stored, and mostly shipped
away; rightly or wrongly, it is regarded as a legitimate business, like
wheatraising, and is conducted by honorable men. I believe this to be
the truth, and that drunkenness does not prevail in the neighborhood of
the distilleries, nor did I see anywhere in the country evidence of a
habit of dram drinking, of the traditional matter-of-course offering of
whiskey as a hospitality. It is true that mint grows in Kentucky,
and that there are persons who would win the respect of a tide-water
Virginian in the concoction of a julep. And no doubt in the mind of
the born Kentuckian there is a rooted belief that if a person needed
a stimulant, the best he can take is old hand-made whiskey. Where the
manufacture of whiskey is the source of so much revenue, and is carried
on with decorum, of course the public sentiment about it differs from
that of a community that makes its money in raising potatoes for starch.
Where the horse is so beautiful, fleet, and profitable, of course
there is intense interest in him, and the general public take a
lively pleasure in the races; but if the reader has been accustomed
to associate this part of Kentucky with horse-racing and drinking as
prominent characteristics, he must revise his opinion.

Perhaps certain colonial habits lingered longer in Kentucky than
elsewhere. Travellers have spoken about the habit of profanity and
gambling, especially the game of poker. In the West generally profane
swearing is not as bad form as it is in the East. But whatever
distinction central Kentucky had in profanity or poker, it has evidently
lost it. The duel lingered long, and prompt revenge for insults,
especially to women. The blue-grass region has “histories”—beauty has
been fought about; women have had careers; families have run out through
dissipation. One may hear stories of this sort even in the Berkshire
Hills, in any place where there have been long settlement, wealth, and
time for the development of family and personal eccentricities. And
there is still a flavor left in Kentucky; there is still a subtle
difference in its social tone; the intelligent women are attractive in
another way from the intelligent New England women—they have a charm
of their own. May Heaven long postpone the day when, by the commercial
spirit and trade and education, we shall all be alike in all parts
of the Union! Yet it would be no disadvantage to anybody if the
graciousness, the simplicity of manner, the refined hospitality, of the
blue-grass region should spread beyond the blue limestone of the Lower
Silurian.

In the excellent State Museum at Frankfort, under the charge of Prof.
John R. Procter, * who is State Geologist and also Director of the
Bureau of Immigration, in addition to the admirable exhibit of the
natural resources of Kentucky, are photographs, statistics, and products
showing the condition of the Swiss and other foreign farming colonics
recently established in the State, which were so interesting and
offered so many instructive points that I determined to see some of the
colonies.

* Whatever value this paper has is so largely due to Professor Procter
that I desire to make to him the most explicit acknowledgments. One of
the very best results of the war was keeping him in the Union.

This museum and the geological department, the intelligent management of
which has been of immense service to the commonwealth, is in one of the
detached buildings which make up the present Capitol. The Capitol is
altogether antiquated, and not a credit to the State. The room in which
the Lower House meets is shabby and mean, yet I noticed that it is
fairly well lighted by side windows, and debate can be heard in it
conducted in an ordinary tone of voice. Kentucky will before many years
be accommodated with new State buildings more suited to her wealth and
dignity. But I should like to repeat what was said in relation to the
Capitol of Arkansas. Why cannot our architects devise a capitol suited
to the wants of those who occupy it? Why must we go on making these
huge inconvenient structures, mainly for external display, in which the
legislative Chambers are vast air-tight and water-tight compartments,
commonly completely surrounded by other rooms and lobbies, and lighted
only from the roof, or at best by high windows in one or two sides that
permit no outlook—rooms difficult to speak or hear in, impossible to
ventilate, needing always artificial light? Why should the Senators of
the United States be compelled to occupy a gilded dungeon, unlighted
ever by the sun, unvisited ever by the free wind of heaven, in which the
air is so foul that the Senators sicken? What sort of legislation ought
we to expect from such Chambers? It is perfectly feasible to build a
legislative room cheerful and light, open freely to sun and air on
three sides. In order to do this it may be necessary to build a group
of connected buildings, instead of the parallelogram or square, which is
mostly domed, with gigantic halls and stair-ways, and, considering the
purpose for which it is intended, is a libel on our ingenuity and a
burlesque on our civilization.

Kentucky has gone to work in a very sensible way to induce immigration
and to attract settlers of the right sort. The Bureau of Immigration
was established in 1880. It began to publish facts about the State, in
regard to the geologic formation, the soils, the price of lands, both
the uncleared and the lands injured by slovenly culture, the kind and
amount of products that might be expected by thrifty farming, and the
climate; not exaggerated general proclamations promising sudden wealth
with little labor, but facts such as would attract the attention of men
willing to work in order to obtain for themselves and their children
comfortable homes and modest independence. Invitations were made for
a thorough examination of lands—of the different sorts of soils in
different counties—before purchase and settlement. The leading idea was
to induce industrious farmers who were poor, or had not money enough
to purchase high-priced improved lands, to settle upon lands that the
majority of Kentuckians considered scarcely worth cultivating, and the
belief was that good farming would show that these neglected lands were
capable of becoming very productive. Eight years’ experience has fully
justified all these expectations. Colonies of Swiss, Germans, Austrians,
have come, and Swedes also, and these have attracted many from the
North and North-west. In this period I suppose as many as ten thousand
immigrants of this class, thrifty cultivators of the soil, have come
into the State, many of whom are scattered about the State, unconnected
with the so-called colonies. These colonies are not organized
communities in any way separated from the general inhabitants of the
State. They have merely settled together for companionship and social
reasons, where a sufficiently large tract of cheap land was found
to accommodate them. Each family owns its own farm, and is perfectly
independent. An indiscriminate immigration has not been desired
or encouraged, but the better class of laboring agriculturists,
grape-growers, and stock-raisers. There are several settlements of
these, chiefly Swiss, dairy-farmers, cheese-makers, and vine-growers, in
Laurel County; others in Lincoln County, composed of Swiss, Germans, and
Austrians; a mixed colony in Rock Castle County; a thriving settlement
of Austrians in Boyle County; a temperance colony of Scandinavians in
Edmonson County; another Scandinavian colony in Grayson County; and
scattered settlements of Germans and Scandinavians in Christian County.
These settlements have from one hundred to over a thousand inhabitants
each. The lands in Laurel and Lincoln counties, which I travelled
through, are on a high plateau, with good air and temperate climate, but
with a somewhat thin, loamy, and sandy soil, needing manure, and called
generally in the State poor land—poor certainly compared with the
blue-grass region and other extraordinarily fertile sections. These
farms, which had been more or less run over by Kentucky farming, were
sold at from one to five dollars an acre. They are farms that a man
cannot live on in idleness. But they respond well to thrifty tillage,
and it is a sight worth a long journey to see the beautiful farms these
Swiss have made out of land that the average Kentuckian thought not
worth cultivating. It has not been done without hard work, and as most
of the immigrants were poor, many of them have had a hard struggle in
building comfortable houses, reducing the neglected land to order, and
obtaining stock. A great attraction to the Swiss was that this land
is adapted to vine culture, and a reasonable profit was expected
from selling grapes and making wine. The vineyards are still young;
experiment has not yet settled what kind of grapes flourish best, but
many vine-growers have realized handsome profits in the sale of fruit,
and the trial is sufficient to show that good wine can be produced. The
only interference thus far with the grapes has been the unprecedented
late freeze last spring.

At the recent exposition in Louisville the exhibit of these Swiss
colonies—the photographs showing the appearance of the unkempt land when
they bought it, and the fertile fields of grain and meadow and vineyards
afterwards, and the neat, plain farm cottages, the pretty Swiss chalet
with its attendants of intelligent comely girls in native costumes
offering articles illustrating the taste and the thrift of the
colonies, wood-carving, the products of the dairy, and the fruit of the
vine—attracted great attention.

I cannot better convey to the reader the impression I wish to in regard
to this colonization and its lesson for the country at large than
by speaking more in detail of one of the Swiss settlements in Laurel
County. This is Bernstadt, about six miles from Pittsburg, on the
Louisville and Nashville road, a coal-mining region, and offering a good
market for the produce of the Swiss farmers. We did not need to be told
when we entered the colony lands; neater houses, thrifty farming, and
better roads proclaimed it. It is not a garden-spot; in some respects it
is a poor-looking country; but it has abundant timber, good water, good
air, a soil of light sandy loam, which is productive under good
tillage. There are here, I suppose, some two hundred and fifty families,
scattered about over a large area, each on its farm. There is no
collection of houses; the church (Lutheran), the school-house, the
store, the post-office, the hotel, are widely separated; for the
hotel-keeper, the store-keeper, the postmaster, and, I believe, the
school-master and the parson, are all farmers to a greater or less
extent. It must be understood that it is a primitive settlement,
having as yet very little that is picturesque, a community of simple
working-people. Only one or two of the houses have any pretension to
taste in architecture, but this will come in time—the vine-clad porches,
the quaint gables, the home-likeness. The Kentuckian, however, will
notice the barns for the stock, and a general thriftiness about the
places. And the appearance of the farms is an object-lesson of the
highest value.

The chief interest to me, however, was the character of the settlers.
Most of them were poor, used to hard work and scant returns for it in
Switzerland. What they have accomplished, therefore, is the result of
industry, and not of capital. There are among the colonists
skilled laborers in other things than vine-growing and
cheese-making—watch-makers and wood-carvers and adepts in various
trades. The thrifty young farmer at whose pretty house we spent the
night, and who has saw-mills at Pittsburg, is of one of the best Swiss
families; his father was for many years President of the republic, and
he was a graduate of the university at Lucerne. There were others of
the best blood and breeding and schooling, and men of scientific
attainments. But they are all at work close to the soil. As a rule,
however, the colonists were men and women of small means at home. The
notable thing is that they bring with them a certain old civilization, a
unity of simplicity of life with real refinement, courtesy, politeness,
good-humor. The girls would not be above going out to service, and they
would not lose their self-respect in it. Many of them would be described
as “peasants,” but I saw some, not above the labors of the house and
farm, with real grace and dignity of manner and charm of conversation.
Few of them as yet speak any English, but in most houses are evidences
of some German culture. Uniformly there was courtesy and frank
hospitality. The community amuses itself rationally. It has a very good
brass band, a singing club, and in the evenings and holidays it is apt
to assemble at the hotel and take a little wine and sing the songs of
father-land. The hotel is indeed at present without accommodations for
lodgers—nothing but a Wirthshaus with a German garden where dancing may
take place now and then. With all the hard labor, they have an idea of
the simple comforts and enjoyments of life. And they live very well,
though plainly. At a house where we dined, in the colony Strasburg,
near Bernstadt, we had an excellent dinner, well served, and including
delicious soup. If the colony never did anything else than teach that
part of the State how to make soup, its existence would be justified.
Here, in short, is an element of homely thrift, civilization on a
rational basis, good-citizenship, very desirable in any State. May their
vineyards flourish! When we departed early in the morning—it was not
yet seven—a dozen Switzers, fresh from the dewy fields, in their working
dresses, had assembled at the hotel, where the young landlady also
smiled a welcome, to send us off with a song, which ended, as we drove
away, in a good-bye yodel.

A line drawn from the junction of the Scioto River with the Ohio
south-west to a point in the southern boundary about thirty miles
east of where the Cumberland leaves the State defines the eastern
coal-measures of Kentucky. In area it is about a quarter of the State—a
region of plateaus, mountains, narrow valleys, cut in all directions by
clear, rapid streams, stuffed, one may say, with coals, streaked
with iron, abounding in limestone, and covered with superb forests.
Independent of other States a most remarkable region, but considered
in its relation to the coals and iron ores of West Virginia, western
Virginia, and eastern Tennessee, it becomes one of the most important
and interesting regions in the Union. Looking to the south-eastern
border, I hazard nothing in saying that the country from the Breaks of
Sandy down to Big Creek Gap (in the Cumberland Mountain), in Tennessee,
is on the eve of an astonishing development—one that will revolutionize
eastern Kentucky, and powerfully affect the iron and coal markets of the
country. It is a region that appeals as well to the imagination of the
traveller as to the capitalist. My personal observation of it extends
only to the portion from Cumberland Gap to Big Stone Gap, and the
head-waters of the Cumberland between Cumberland Mountain and Pine
Mountain, but I saw enough to comprehend why eager purchasers are buying
the forests and the mining rights, why great companies, American and
English, are planting themselves there and laying the foundations of
cities, and why the gigantic railway corporations are straining every
nerve to penetrate the mineral and forest heart of the region. A dozen
roads, projected and in progress, are pointed towards this centre. It
is a race for the prize. The Louisville and Nashville, running through
soft-coal fields to Jellico and on to Knoxville, branches from Corbin
to Barboursville (an old and thriving town) and to Pineville. From
Pineville it is under contract, thirteen miles, to Cumberland Gap. This
gap is being tunnelled (work going on at both ends) by an independent
company, the tunnel to be open to all roads. The Louisville and
Nashville may run up the south side of the Cumberland range to Big Stone
Gap, or it may ascend the Cumberland River and its Clover Fork, and pass
over to Big Stone Gap that way, or it may do both. A road is building
from Knoxville to Cumberland Gap, and from Johnson City to Big Stone
Gap. A road is running from Bristol to within twenty miles of Big Stone
Gap; another road nears the same place—the extension of the Norfolk and
Western—from Pocahontas down the Clinch River. From the north-west many
roads are projected to pierce the great deposits of coking and
cannel coals, and find or bore a way through the mountain ridges into
south-western Virginia. One of these, the Kentucky Union, starting from
Lexington (which is becoming a great railroad centre), has reached Clay
City, and will soon be open to the Three Forks of the Kentucky River,
and on to Jackson, in Breathitt County. These valley and transridge
roads will bring within short hauling distance of each other as great
a variety of iron ores of high and low grade, and of coals, coking
and other, as can be found anywhere—according to the official reports,
greater than anywhere else within the same radius. As an item it may be
mentioned that the rich, pure, magnetic iron ore used in the manufacture
of Bessemer steel, found in East Tennessee and North Carolina, and
developed in greatest abundance at Cranberry Forge, is within one
hundred miles of the superior Kentucky coking coal. This contiguity (a
contiguity of coke, ore, and limestone) in this region points to the
manufacture of Bessemer steel here at less cost than it is now elsewhere
made.

It is unnecessary that I should go into details as to the ore and coal
deposits of this region: the official reports are accessible. It may be
said, however, that the reports of the Geological Survey as to both
coal and iron have been recently perfectly confirmed by the digging of
experts. Aside from the coal-measures below the sandstone, there have
been found above the sandstone, north of Pine Mountain, 1650 feet of
coal-measures, containing nine beds of coal of workable thickness, and
between Pine and Cumberland mountains there is a greater thickness of
coal-measures, containing twelve or more workable beds. Some of these
are coking coals of great excellence. Cannel-coals are found in sixteen
of the counties in the eastern coal-fields. Two of them at least are of
unexampled richness and purity. The value of a cannel-coal is determined
by its volatile combustible matter. By this test some of the Kentucky
cannel-coal excels the most celebrated coals of Great Britain. An
analysis of a cannel-coal in Breathitt County gives 66.28 of volatile
combustible matter; the highest in Great Britain is the Boghead,
Scotland, 51.60 per cent. This beautiful cannel-coal has been brought
out in small quantities via the Kentucky River; it will have a market
all over the country when the railways reach it. The first coal
identified as coking was named the Elkhorn, from the stream where it was
found in Pike County. A thick bed of it has been traced over an area of
1600 square miles, covering several counties, but attaining its greatest
thickness in Letcher, Pike, and Harlan. This discovery of coking coal
adds greatly to the value of the iron ores in north-eastern Kentucky,
and in the Red and Kentucky valleys, and also of the great deposits
of ore on the south-east boundary, along the western base of the
Cumberland, along the slope of Powell’s Mountain, and also along
Wallin’s Ridge, three parallel lines, convenient to the coking coal in
Kentucky. This is the Clinton or red fossil ore, stratified, having
from 45 to 54 per cent, of metallic iron. Recently has been found on the
north side of Pine Mountain in Kentucky, a third deposit of rich “brown”
ore, averaging 52 per cent, of metallic iron. This is the same as the
celebrated brown ore used in the furnaces at Clifton Forge; it makes a
very tough iron. I saw a vein of it on Straight Creek, three miles north
of Pineville, just opened, at least eight feet thick.

The railway to Pineville follows the old Wilderness road, the trail of
Boone and the stage-road, along which are seen the ancient tavern
stands where the jolly story-telling travellers of fifty years ago were
entertained and the droves of horses and cattle were fed. The railway
has been stopped a mile west of Pineville by a belligerent property
owner, who sits there with his Winchester rifle, and will not let the
work go on until the courts compel him. The railway will not cross the
Cumberland at Pineville, but higher up, near the great elbow. There
was no bridge over the stream, and we crossed at a very rough and rocky
wagon-ford. Pineville, where there has loner been a backwoods settlement
on the south bend of the river just after it breaks through Pine
Mountain, is now the centre of a good deal of mining excitement and
real-estate speculation. It has about five hundred inhabitants, and a
temporary addition of land buyers, mineral experts, engineers, furnace
projectors, and railway contractors. There is not level ground for a
large city, but what there is is plotted out for sale. The abundant iron
ore, coal, and timber here predict for it a future of some importance.
It has already a smart new hotel, and business buildings, and churches
are in process of erection. The society of the town had gathered for the
evening at the hotel. A wandering one-eyed fiddler was providentially
present who could sing and play “The Arkansas Traveller” and other tunes
that lift the heels of the young, and also accompany the scream of the
violin with the droning bagpipe notes of the mouth-harmonica. The star
of the gay company was a graduate of Annapolis, in full evening dress
uniform, a native boy of the valley, and his vis-à-vis was a heavy man
in a long linen duster and carpet slippers, with a palm-leaf fan, who
crashed through the cotillon with good effect. It was a pleasant party,
and long after it had dispersed, the troubadour, sitting on the piazza,
wiled away sleep by the break-downs, jigs, and songs of the frontier.

Pineville and its vicinity have many attractions; the streams are clear,
rapid, rocky, the foliage abundant, the hills picturesque. Straight
Creek, which comes in along the north base of Pine Mountain, is an
exceedingly picturesque stream, having along its banks fertile little
stretches of level ground, while the gentle bordering hills are
excellent for grass, fruit orchards, and vineyards. The walnut-trees
have been culled out, but there is abundance of oat, beech, poplar,
encumber, and small pines. And there is no doubt about the mineral
wealth.

We drove from Pineville to Cumberland Gap, thirteen miles, over the now
neglected Wilderness road, the two mules of the wagon unable to pull
us faster than two miles an hour. The road had every variety of badness
conceivable—loose stones, ledges of rock, bowlders, sloughs, holes,
mud, sand, deep fords. We crossed and followed up Clear Creek (a muddy
stream) over Log Mountain (full of coal) to Canon Creek. Settlements
were few—only occasional poor shanties. Climbing over another ridge, we
reached the Yellow Creek Valley, through which the Yellow Creek meanders
in sand. This whole valley, lying very prettily among the mountains, has
a bad name for “difficulties.” The hills about, on the sides and tops of
which are ragged little farms, and the valley itself, still contain some
lawless people. We looked with some interest at the Turner house, where
a sheriff was killed a year ago, at a place where a “severe” man fired
into a wagon-load of people and shot a woman, and at other places where
in recent times differences of opinion had been settled by the revolver.
This sort of thing is, however, practically over. This valley, close to
Cumberland Gap, is the site of the great city, already plotted, which
the English company are to build as soon as the tunnel is completed.
It is called Middleborough, and the streets are being graded and
preparations made for building furnaces. The north side of Cumberland
Mountain, like the south side of Pine, is a conglomerate, covered with
superb oak and chestnut trees. We climbed up to the mountain over
a winding road of ledges, bowlders, and deep gullies, rising to an
extended pleasing prospect of mountains and valleys. The pass has a
historic interest, not only as the ancient highway, but as the path of
armies in the Civil War. It is narrow, a deep road between overhanging
rocks. It is easily defended. A light bridge thrown over the road,
leading to rifle-pits and breastworks on the north side, remains to
attest the warlike occupation. Above, on the bald highest rocky head on
the north, guns were planted to command the pass. Two or three houses, a
blacksmith’s shop, a drinking tavern, behind which on the rocks four men
were playing old sledge, made up the sum of its human attractions as we
saw it. Just here in the pass Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia touch
each other. Virginia inserts a narrow wedge between the other two.
On our way down the wild and picturesque road we crossed the State of
Virginia and went to the new English hotel in Tennessee. We passed a
magnificent spring, which sends a torrent of water into the valley, and
turns a great millwheel—a picture in its green setting—saw the opening
of the tunnel with its shops and machinery, noted the few houses and
company stores of the new settlement, climbed the hill to the pretty
hotel, and sat down on the piazza to look at the scene. The view is
a striking one. The valley through which the Powell River runs is
pleasant, and the bold, bare mountain of rock at the right of the
pass is a noble feature in the landscape. With what joy must the early
wilderness pilgrims have hailed this landmark, this gate-way to the
Paradise beyond the mountains! Some miles north in the range are the
White Rocks, gleaming in the sun and conspicuous from afar, the first
signal to the weary travellers from the east of the region they sought.
Cumberland Gap is full of expectation, and only awaits the completion of
the tunnel to enter upon its development. Here railways from the north,
south, and west are expected to meet, and in the Yellow Creek Valley
beyond, the English are to build a great manufacturing city. The valleys
and sides of these mountain ranges (which have a uniform elevation
of not much more than 2000 to 2500 feet) enjoy a delightful climate,
moderate in the winter and temperate in the summer. This whole region,
when it is accessible by rail, will be attractive to tourists.

We pursued our journey up the Powell River Valley, along the base of
the Cumberland, on horseback—one day in a wagon in this country ought
to satisfy anybody. The roads, however, are better on this side of the
mountain; all through Lee County, In Virginia, in spots very good.
This is a very fine valley, with good water, cold and clear, growing in
abundance oats and corn, a constant succession of pretty views. We dined
excellently at a neat farm-house on the river, and slept at the house
of a very prosperous farmer near Boon’s Path post-office. Here we are
abreast the White Rocks, the highest point of the Cumberland (3451
feet), that used to be the beacon of immigration.

The valley grows more and more beautiful as we go up, full fields of
wheat, corn, oats, friendly to fruit of all sorts, with abundance of
walnut, oak, and chestnut timber—a fertile, agreeable valley, settled
with well-to-do farmers. The next morning, beautifully clear and
sparkling, we were off at seven o’clock through a lovely broken
country, following the line of Cumberland (here called Stone) Mountain,
alternately little hills and meadows, cultivated hill-sides, stretches
of rich valley, exquisite views—a land picturesque and thriving.
Continuing for nine miles up Powell Valley, we turned to the left
through a break in the hills into Poor Valley, a narrow, wild, sweet
ravine among the hills, with a swift crystal stream overhung by masses
of rhododendrons in bloom, and shaded by magnificent forest-trees. We
dined at a farm-house by Pennington’s Gap, and had a swim in the north
fork of Powell River, which here, with many a leap, breaks through the
bold scenery in the gap. Farther on, the valley was broader and
more fertile, and along the wide reaches of the river grew enormous
beech-trees, the russet foliage of which took on an exquisite color
towards evening. Indeed, the ride all day was excitingly interesting,
with the great trees, the narrow rich valleys, the frequent sparkling
streams, and lovely mountain views. At sunset we came to the house of an
important farmer who has wide possessions, about thirteen miles from Big
Stone Gap. We have nothing whatever against him except that he routed
us out at five o’clock of a foggy Sunday morning, which promised to
be warm—July 1st—to send us on our way to “the city.” All along we had
heard of “the city.” In a radius of a hundred miles Big Stone Gap is
called nothing but “the city,” and our anticipations were raised.

That morning’s ride I shall not forget. We crossed and followed Powell
River. All along the banks are set the most remarkable beech-trees I
have ever seen—great, wide-spreading, clean-boled trees, overbading the
stream, and giving under their boughs, nearly all the way, ravishingly
lovely views. This was the paradisiacal way to Big Stone Gap, which we
found to be a round broken valley, shut in by wooded mountains, covered
more or less with fine trees, the meeting-place of the Powell River,
which comes through the gap, and its south fork. In the round elevation
between them is the inviting place of the future city. There are two Big
Stone Gaps—the one open fields and forests, a settlement of some thirty
to forty houses, most of them new and many in process of building, a
hotel, and some tents; the other, the city on the map. The latter is
selling in small lots, has wide avenues, parks, one of the finest hotels
in the South, banks, warehouses, and all that can attract the business
man or the summer lounger.

The heavy investments in Big Stone Gap and the region I should say were
fully justified by the natural advantages. It is a country of great
beauty, noble mountain ranges, with the valleys diversified by small
hills, fertile intervales, fine streams, and a splendid forest growth.
If the anticipations of an important city at the gap are half realized,
the slopes of the hills and natural terraces will be dotted with
beautiful residences, agreeable in both summer and winter. It was the
warmest time of the year when we were there, but the air was fresh and
full of vitality. The Big Stone Gap Improvement Company has the city and
its site in charge; it is a consolidation of the various interests of
railway companies and heavy capitalists, who have purchased the land.
The money and the character of the men behind the enterprise insure a
vigorous prosecution of it. On the west side of the river are the depot
and switching-grounds which the several railways have reserved for
their use, and here also are to be the furnaces and shops. When the
city outgrows its present site it can extend up valleys in several
directions. We rode through line forests up the lovely Powell Valley to
Powell Mountain, where a broad and beautiful meadow offers a site for a
suburban village. The city is already planning for suburbs. A few miles
south of the city a powerful stream of clear water falls over precipices
and rocks seven hundred feet in continuous rapids. This is not only
a charming addition to the scenic attractions of the region, but the
stream will supply the town with excellent water and unlimited “power.”
Beyond, ten miles to the north-east, rises High Knob, a very sightly
point, where one gets the sort of view of four States that he sees on an
atlas. It is indeed a delightful region; but however one may be charmed
by its natural beauty, he cannot spend a day at Big Stone Gap without
being infected with the great enterprises brooding there.

We forded Powell River and ascended through the gap on its right bank.
Before entering the gorge we galloped over a beautiful level plateau,
the counterpart of that where the city is laid out, reserved for
railways and furnaces. From this point the valley is seen to be wider
than we suspected, and to have ample room for the manufacturing and
traffic expected. As we turned to see what we shall never see again—the
virgin beauty of nature in this site—the whole attractiveness of this
marvellously picturesque region burst upon us—the great forests, the
clear swift streams, the fertile meadows, the wooded mountains that have
so long secluded this beauty and guarded the treasures of the hills.

The pass itself, which shows from a distance only a dent in the green
foliage, surprised us by its wild beauty. The stony road, rising little
by little above the river, runs through a magnificent forest, gigantic
trees growing in the midst of enormous bowlders, and towering among
rocks that take the form of walls and buttresses, square structures like
the Titanic ruins of castles; below, the river, full and strong, rages
over rocks and dashes down, filling the forest with its roar, which is
echoed by the towering cliffs on either side. The woods were fresh and
glistening from recent rains, but what made the final charm of the
way was the bloom of the rhododendron, which blazed along the road and
illuminated the cool recesses of the forest. The time for the blooming
of the azalea and the kalmia (mountain-laurel) was past, but the pink
and white rhododendron was in full glory, masses of bloom, not small
stalks lurking like underbrush, but on bushes attaining the dignity of
trees, and at least twenty-five feet high. The splendor of the forest
did not lessen as we turned to the left and followed up Pigeon Creek to
a high farming region, rough but fertile, at the base of Black Mountain.
Such a wealth of oak, beech, poplar, chestnut, and ash, and, sprinkled
in, the pretty cucumber-magnolia in bloom! By sunset we found our way,
off the main road, to a lonely farm-house hidden away at the foot of
Morris Pass, secluded behind an orchard of apple and peach trees. A
stream of spring-water from the rocks above ran to the house, and to the
eastward the ravine broadened into pastures. It seemed impossible to
get farther from the world and its active currents. We were still in
Virginia.

Our host, an old man over six feet in height, with spare, straight,
athletic form, a fine head, and large clear gray eyes, lived here alone
with his aged spouse. He had done his duty by his country in raising
twelve children (that is the common and orthodox number in this region),
who had all left him except one son, who lived in a shanty up the
ravine. It was this son’s wife who helped about the house and did the
milking, taking care also of a growing family of her own, and doing her
share of field-work. I had heard that the women in this country were
more industrious than the men. I asked this woman, as she was milking
that evening, if the women did all the work. No, she said; only their
share. Her husband was all the time in the field, and even her boys, one
only eight, had to work with him; there was no time to go to school, and
indeed the school didn’t amount to much anyway—only a little while in
the fall. She had all the care of the cows. “Men,” she added, “never
notice milking;” and the worst of it was that she had to go miles around
in the bush night and morning to find them. After supper we had a call
from a bachelor who occupied a cabin over the pass, on the Kentucky
side, a loquacious philosopher, who squatted on his heels in the
door-yard where we were sitting, and interrogated each of us in turn as
to our names, occupations, residence, ages, and politics, and then gave
us as freely his own history and views of life. His eccentricity in this
mountain region was that he had voted for Cleveland and should do it
again. Mr. Morris couldn’t go with him in this; and when pressed for his
reasons he said that Cleveland had had the salary long enough, and got
rich enough out of it. The philosopher brought the news, had heard it
talked about on Sunday, that a man over Clover Fork way had killed his
wife and brother. It was claimed to be an accident; they were having
a game of cards and some whiskey, and he was trying to kill his
son-in-law. Was there much killing round here? Well, not much lately.
Last year John Cone, over on Clover Fork, shot Mat Harner in a dispute
over cards. Well, what became of John Cone? Oh, he was killed by Jim
Blood, a friend of Harner. And what became of Blood? Well, he got shot
by Elias Travers. And Travers? Oh, he was killed by a man by the name
of Jacobs. That ended it. None of ‘em was of much account. There was a
pleasing naivete in this narrative. And then the philosopher, whom the
milkmaid described to me next morning as “a simlar sort of man,” went on
to give his idea about this killing business. “All this killing in the
mountains is foolish. If you kill a man, that don’t aggravate him; he’s
dead and don’t care, and it all comes on you.”

In the early morning we crossed a narrow pass in the Black Mountain into
“Canetucky,” and followed down the Clover Fork of the Cumberland.
All these mountains are perfectly tree-clad, but they have not the
sombreness of the high regions of the Great Smoky and the Black
Mountains of North Carolina. There are few black balsams, or any sort of
evergreens, and the great variety of deciduous trees, from the shining
green of the oak to the bronze hue of the beech, makes everywhere soft
gradations of color most pleasing to the eye. In the autumn, they say,
the brilliant maples in combination with the soberer bronzes and yellows
of the other forest-trees give an ineffable beauty to these ridges and
graceful slopes. The ride down Clover Fork, all day long, was for the
most part through a virgin world. The winding valley is at all times
narrow, with here and there a tiny meadow, and at long intervals a
lateral opening down which another sparkling brook comes from the
recesses of this wilderness of mountains. Houses are miles apart, and
usually nothing but cabins half concealed in some sheltered nook. There
is, however, hidden on the small streams, on mountain terraces, and high
up on the slopes, a considerable population, cabin dwellers, cultivators
of corn, on the almost perpendicular hills. Many of these cornfields are
so steep that it is impossible to plough them, and all the cultivation
is done with the hoe. I heard that a man was recently killed in this
neighborhood by falling out of his cornfield. The story has as much
foundation as the current belief that the only way to keep a mule in the
field where you wish him to stay is to put him into the adjoining lot.
But it is true that no one would believe that crops could be raised on
such nearly perpendicular slopes as these unless he had seen the planted
fields.

In my limited experience I can recall no day’s ride equal in simple
natural beauty—not magnificence—and splendor of color to that down
Clover Fork. There was scarcely a moment of the day when the scene did
not call forth from us exclamations of surprise and delight. The road
follows and often crosses the swift, clear, rocky stream. The variegated
forest rises on either hand, but all along the banks vast trees without
underbrush dot the little intervales. Now and then, in a level reach,
where the road wound through these monarch stems, and the water spread
in silver pools, the perspective was entrancing. But the color! For
always there were the rhododendrons, either gleaming in masses of white
and pink in the recesses of the forest, or forming for us an allée,
close set, and uninterrupted for miles and miles; shrubs like trees,
from twenty to thirty feet high, solid bouquets of blossoms, more
abundant than any cultivated parterre, more brilliant than the
finest display in a horticultural exhibition. There is an avenue of
rhododendrons half a mile long at Hampton Court, which is world-wide
famous. It needs a day to ride through the rhododendron avenue on Clover
Fork, and the wild and free beauty of it transcends all creations of the
gardener.

The inhabitants of the region are primitive and to a considerable extent
illiterate. But still many strong and distinguished men have come from
these mountain towns. Many families send their children away to school,
and there are fair schools at Barbersville, Harlan Court-house, and in
other places. Long isolated from the moving world, they have retained
the habits of the early settlers, and to some extent the vernacular
speech, though the dialect is not specially marked. They have been until
recently a self-sustaining people, raising and manufacturing nearly
everything required by their limited knowledge and wants. Not long ago
the women spun and wove from cotton and hemp and wool the household
linen, the bed-wear, and the clothes of the family. In many houses the
loom is still at work. The colors used for dyeing were formerly all of
home make except, perhaps, the indigo; now they use what they call the
“brought in” dyes, bought at the stores; and prints and other fabrics
are largely taking the places of the home-made. During the morning we
stopped at one of the best houses on the fork, a house with a small
apple-orchard in front, having a veranda, two large rooms, and a porch
and kitchen at the back. In the back porch stood the loom with its
web of half-finished cloth. The farmer was of the age when men sun
themselves on the gallery and talk. His wife, an intelligent, barefooted
old woman, was still engaged in household duties, but her weaving days
were over. Her daughters did the weaving, and in one of the rooms were
the linsey-woolsey dresses hung up, and piles of gorgeous bed coverlets,
enough to set up half a dozen families. These are the treasures and
heirlooms handed down from mother to daughter, for these handmade
fabrics never wear out. Only eight of the twelve children were at home.
The youngest, the baby, a sickly boy of twelve, was lounging about the
house. He could read a little, for he had been to school a few weeks.
Reading and writing were not accomplishments in the family generally.
The other girls and boys were in the cornfield, and going to the back
door, I saw a line of them hoeing at the top of the field. The field
was literally so steep that they might have rolled from the top to the
bottom. The mother called them in, and they lounged leisurely down, the
girls swinging themselves over the garden fence with athletic ease.
The four eldest were girls: one, a woman of thirty-five, had lost her
beauty, if she ever had any, with her teeth; one, of thirty, recently
married, had a stately dignity and a certain nobility of figure; one,
of sixteen, was undeniably pretty—almost the only woman entitled to this
epithet that we saw in the whole journey. This household must have been
an exception, for the girls usually marry very young. They were all,
of course, barefooted. They were all laborers, and evidently took life
seriously, and however much their knowledge of the world was limited,
the household evidently respected itself. The elder girls were the
weavers, and they showed a taste and skill in their fabrics that would
be praised in the Orient or in Mexico. The designs and colors of the
coverlets were ingenious and striking. There was a very handsome one
in crimson, done in wavy lines and bizarre figures, that was called the
Kentucky Beauty, or the Ocean Wave, that had a most brilliant effect.
A simple, hospitable family this. The traveller may go all through
this region with the certainty of kindly treatment, and in perfect
security—if, I suppose, he is not a revenue officer, or sent in to
survey land on which the inhabitants have squatted.

We came at night to Harlan Court-house, an old shabby hamlet, but
growing and improving, having a new court-house and other signs of the
awakening of the people to the wealth here in timber and mines. Here in
a beautiful valley three streams—Poor, Martin, and Clover forks—unite to
form the Cumberland. The place has fourteen “stores” and three taverns,
the latter a trial to the traveller. Harlan has been one of the counties
most conspicuous for lawlessness. The trouble is not simply individual
wickedness, but the want of courage of public opinion, coupled with a
general disrespect for authority. Plenty of people lament the state of
things, but want the courage to take a public stand. The day before we
reached the Court-house the man who killed his wife and his brother
had his examination. His friends were able to take the case before a
friendly justice instead of the judge. The facts sworn to were that in a
drunken dispute over cards he tried to kill his son-in-law, who escaped
out of the window, and that his wife and brother opposed him, and he
killed them with his pistol. Therefore their deaths were accidental,
and he was discharged. Many people said privately that he ought to be
hanged, but there was entire public apathy over the affair. If Harlan
had three or four resolute men who would take a public stand that this
lawlessness must cease, they could carry the community with them. But
the difficulty of enforcing law and order in some of these mountain
counties is to find proper judges, prosecuting officers, and sheriffs.
The officers are as likely as not to be the worst men in the community,
and if they are not, they are likely to use their authority for
satisfying their private grudges and revenges. Consequently men take
the “law” into their own hands. The most personally courageous become
bullies and the terror of the community. The worst citizens are not
those who have killed most men, in the opinion of the public. It ought
to be said that in some of the mountain counties there has been very
little lawlessness, and in some it has been repressed by the local
authorities, and there is great improvement on the whole. I was sorry
not to meet a well-known character in the mountains, who has killed
twenty-one men. He is a very agreeable “square” man, and I believe
“high-toned,” and it is the universal testimony that he never killed a
man who did not deserve killing, and whose death was a benefit to the
community. He is called, in the language of the country, a “severe” man.
In a little company that assembled at the Harlan tavern were two elderly
men, who appeared to be on friendly terms enough. Their sons had had
a difficulty, and two boys out of each family had been killed not very
long ago. The fathers were not involved in the vendetta. About the old
Harlan court-house a great many men have been killed during court week
in the past few years. The habit of carrying pistols and knives, and
whiskey, are the immediate causes of these deaths, but back of these is
the want of respect for law. At the ford of the Cumberland at Pineville
was anchored a little house-boat, which was nothing but a whiskey-shop.
During our absence a tragedy occurred there. The sheriff with a posse
went out to arrest some criminals in the mountain near. He secured his
men, and was bringing them into Pineville, when it occurred to him that
it would be a good plan to take a drink at the houseboat. The whole
party got into a quarrel over their liquor, and in it the sheriff was
killed and a couple of men seriously wounded. A resolute surveyor,
formerly a general in our army, surveying land in the neighborhood of
Pineville, under a decree of the United States Court, has for years
carried on his work at the personal peril of himself and his party. The
squatters not only pull up his stakes and destroy his work day after
day, but it was reported that they had shot at his corps from the
bushes. He can only go on with his work by employing a large guard of
armed men.

This state of things in eastern Kentucky will not be radically changed
until the railways enter it, and business and enterprise bring in
law and order. The State Government cannot find native material for
enforcing law, though there has been improvement within the past two
years. I think no permanent gain can be expected till a new civilization
comes in, though I heard of a bad community in one of the counties
that had been quite subdued and changed by the labors of a devout and
plain-spoken evangelist. So far as our party was concerned, we received
nothing but kind treatment, and saw little evidences of demoralization,
except that the young men usually were growing up to be “roughs,” and
liked to lounge about with shot-guns rather than work. But the report of
men who have known the country for years was very unfavorable as to the
general character of the people who live on the mountains and in the
little valleys—that they were all ignorant; that the men generally were
idle, vicious, and cowardly, and threw most of the hard labor in the
field and house upon the women; that the killings are mostly done
from ambush, and with no show for a fair fight. This is a tremendous
indictment, and it is too sweeping to be sustained. The testimony of
the gentlemen of our party, who thoroughly know this part of the State,
contradicted it. The fact is there are two sorts of people in the
mountains, as elsewhere.

The race of American mountaineers occupying the country from western
North Carolina to eastern Kentucky is a curious study Their origin is
in doubt. They have developed their peculiarities in isolation. In this
freedom stalwart and able men have been from time to time developed, but
ignorance and freedom from the restraints of law have had their logical
result as to the mass. I am told that this lawlessness has only existed
since the war; that before, the people, though ignorant of letters, were
peaceful. They had the good points of a simple people, and if they were
not literate, they had abundant knowledge of their own region. During
the war the mountaineers were carrying on a civil war at home. The
opposing parties were not soldiers, but bushwhackers. Some of the best
citizens were run out of the country, and never returned. The majority
were Unionists, and in all the mountain region of eastern Kentucky I
passed through there are few to-day who are politically Democrats. In
the war, home-guards were organized, and these were little better than
vigilance committees for private revenge. Disorder began with
this private and partly patriotic warfare. After the war, when the
bushwhackers got back to their cabins, the animosities were kept up,
though I fancy that politics has little or nothing to do with them now.
The habit of reckless shooting, of taking justice into private hands, is
no doubt a relic of the disorganization during the war.

Worthless, good-for-nothing, irreclaimable, were words I often heard
applied to people of this and that region. I am not so despondent of
their future. Railways, trade, the sight of enterprise and industry,
will do much with this material. Schools will do more, though it seems
impossible to have efficient schools there at present. The people in
their ignorance and their undeveloped country have a hard struggle for
life. This region is, according to the census, the most prolific in
the United States. The girls marry young, bear many children, work like
galley-slaves, and at the time when women should be at their best they
fade, lose their teeth, become ugly, and look old. One great cause of
this is their lack of proper nourishment. There is nothing unhealthy in
out-door work in moderation if the body is properly sustained by good
food. But healthy, handsome women are not possible without good fare.
In a considerable part of eastern Kentucky (not I hear in all) good
wholesome cooking is unknown, and civilization is not possible without
that. We passed a cabin where a man was very ill with dysentery. No
doctor could be obtained, and perhaps that, considering what the doctor
might have been, was not a misfortune. But he had no food fit for a
sick man, and the women of the house were utterly ignorant of the diet
suitable to a man in his state. I have no doubt that the abominable
cookery of the region has much to do with the lawlessness, as it visibly
has to do with the poor physical condition.

The road down the Cumberland, in a valley at times spreading out into
fertile meadows, is nearly all the way through magnificent forests,
along hill-sides fit for the vine, for fruit, and for pasture, while
frequent outcroppings of coal testify to the abundance of the fuel that
has been so long stored for the new civilization. These mountains
would be profitable as sheep pastures did not the inhabitants here, as
elsewhere in the United States, prefer to keep dogs rather than sheep.

I have thus sketched hastily some of the capacities of the Cumberland
region. It is my belief that this central and hitherto neglected
portion of the United States will soon become the theatre of vast and
controlling industries.

I want space for more than a concluding word about western Kentucky,
which deserves, both for its capacity and its recent improvements,
a chapter to itself. There is a limestone area of some 10,000 square
miles, with a soil hardly less fertile than that of the blue-grass
region, a high agricultural development, and a population equal in all
respects to that of the famous and historic grass country. Seven of the
ten principal tobacco-producing counties in Kentucky and the largest
Indian corn and wheat raising counties are in this part of the State.
The western coal-field has both river and rail transportation, thick
deposits of iron ore, and more level and richer farming lands than the
eastern coal-field. Indeed, the agricultural development in this western
coal region has attracted great attention.

Much also might be written of the remarkable progress of the towns of
western Kentucky within the past few years. The increase in population
is not more astonishing than the development of various industries. They
show a vigorous, modern activity for which this part of the State has
not, so far as I know, been generally credited. The traveller will
find abundant evidence of it in Owensborough, Henderson, Hopkinsville,
Bowling Green, and other places. As an illustration: Paducah, while
doubling its population since 1880, has increased its manufacturing 150
per cent. The town had in 1880 twenty-six factories, with a capital of
$600,000, employing 950 men; now it has fifty factories, with a cash
capital of $2,000,000, employing 3250 men, engaged in a variety of
industries—to which a large iron furnace is now being added. Taking it
all together—variety of resources, excellence of climate, vigor of
its people—one cannot escape the impression that Kentucky has a great
future.



COMMENTS ON CANADA.



I.

The area of the Dominion of Canada is larger than that of the United
States, excluding Alaska. It is fair, however, in the comparison, to
add Alaska, for Canada has in its domain enough arctic and practically
uninhabitable land to offset Alaska. Excluding the boundary great lakes
and rivers, Canada has 3,470,257 square miles of territory, or more than
one-third of the entire British Empire; the United States has 3,026,494
square miles, or, adding Alaska (577,390), 3,603,884 square miles. From
the eastern limit of the maritime provinces to Vancouver Island the
distance is over three thousand five hundred miles. This whole distance
is settled, but a considerable portion of it only by a thin skirmish
line. I have seen a map, colored according to the maker’s idea of
fertility, on which Canada appears little more than a green flush along
the northern boundary of the United States. With a territory equal to
our own, Canada has the population of the single State of New York—about
five millions.

Most of Canada lies north of the limit of what was reckoned agreeably
habitable before it was discovered that climate depends largely on
altitude, and that the isothermal lines and the lines of latitude do not
coincide. The division between the two countries is, however, mainly
a natural one, on a divide sloping one way to the arctic regions, the
other way to the tropics. It would seem better map-making to us if our
line followed the northern mountains of Maine and included New
Brunswick and the other maritime provinces. But it would seem a better
rectification to Canadians if their line included Maine with the harbor
of Portland, and dipped down in the North-west so as to take in the Red
River of the North, and all the waters discharging into Hudson’s Bay.

The great bulk of Canada is on the arctic slope. When we pass the
highlands of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York we fall away into
a wide champaign country. The only break in this is the Lauren-tian
granite mountains, north of the St. Lawrence, the oldest land above
water, now degraded into hills of from 1500 to 2000 feet in height. The
central mass of Canada consists of three great basins: that portion of
the St. Lawrence in the Dominion, 400,000 square miles; the Hudson’s
Bay, 2,000,000 square miles; the Mackenzie, 550,000 square miles.
That is to say, of the 3,470,257 square miles of the area of Canada,
3,010,000 have a northern slope.

This decrease in altitude from our northern boundary makes Canada a
possible nation. The Rocky Mountains fall away north into the Mackenzie
plain. The highest altitude attained by the Union Pacific Railroad is
8240 feet; the highest of the Canadian Pacific is 5296; and a line of
railway still farther north, from the North Saskatchewan region, can,
and doubtless some time will, reach the Pacific without any obstruction
by the Rockies and the Selkirks. In estimating, therefore, the capacity
of Canada for sustaining a large population we have to remember that
the greater portion of it is but little above the sea-level; that the
climate of the interior is modified by vast bodies of water; that the
maximum summer heat of Montreal and Quebec exceeds that of New York;
and that there is a vast region east of the Rockies and north of
the Canadian Pacific Railway, not only the plains drained by the two
branches of the Saskatchewan, but those drained by the Peace River still
farther north, which have a fair share of summer weather, and winters
much milder than are enjoyed in our Territories farther south but higher
in altitude. The summers of this vast region are by all reports
most agreeable, warm days and refreshing nights, with a stimulating
atmosphere; winters with little snow, and usually bright and pleasant,
occasional falls of the thermometer for two or three days to arctic
temperature, but as certain a recovery to mildness by the “Chinook”
or Pacific winds. It is estimated that the plains of the
Saskatchewan—500,000 square miles—are capable of sustaining a population
of thirty millions. But nature there must call forth a good deal of
human energy and endurance. There is no doubt that frosts are liable
to come very late in the spring and very early in the autumn; that
persistent winds are hostile to the growth of trees; and that varieties
of hardy cereals and fruits must be selected for success in agriculture
and horticulture. The winters are exceedingly severe on all the prairies
east of Winnipeg, and westward on the Canadian Pacific as far as
Medicine Hat, the crossing of the South Saskatchewan. Heavy items in
the cost of living there must always be fuel, warm clothing, and solid
houses. Fortunately the region has an abundance of lignite and extensive
fields of easily workable coal.

Canada is really two countries, separated from each other by the vast
rocky wilderness between the lakes and James Bay. For a thousand miles
west of Ottawa, till the Manitoba prairie is reached, the traveller
on the line of the railway sees little but granite rock and stunted
balsams, larches, and poplars—a dreary region, impossible to attract
settlers. Copper and other minerals there are; and in the region north
of Lake Superior there is no doubt timber, and arable land is spoken
of; but the country is really unknown. Portions of this land, like that
about Lake Nipigon, offer attractions to sportsmen. Lake navigation is
impracticable about four months in the year, so that Canada seems to
depend for political and commercial unity upon a telegraph wire and
two steel rails running a thousand miles through a region where local
traffic is at present insignificant.

The present government of Canada is an evolution on British lines,
modified by the example of the republic of the United States. In form
the resemblances are striking to the United States, but underneath,
the differences are radical. There is a supreme federal government,
comprehending a union of provinces, each having its local government.
But the union in the two countries was brought about in a different way,
and the restrictive powers have a different origin. In the one, power
descends from the Crown; in the other, it originates with the people.
In the Dominion Government all the powers not delegated to the provinces
are held by the Federal Government. In the United States, all the powers
not delegated to the Federal Government by the States are held by the
States. In the United States, delegates from the colonies, specially
elected for the purpose, met to put in shape a union already a necessity
of the internal and external situation. And the union expressed in the
Constitution was accepted by the popular vote in each State. In the
provinces of Canada there was a long and successful struggle for
responsible government. The first union was of the two Canadas, in
1840; that is, of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada—Ontario and
Quebec—with Parliaments sitting sometimes in Quebec and sometimes in
Toronto, and at last in Ottawa, a site selected by the Queen. This
Government was carried on with increasing friction. There is not space
here to sketch the politics of this epoch. Many causes contributed to
this friction, but the leading ones were the antagonism of French and
English ideas, the superior advance in wealth and population of Ontario
over Quebec, and the resistance of what was called French domination. At
length, in 1863-64, the two parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals
(or, in the political nomenclature of the day, the “Tories” and the
“Grits”—i. e., those of “clear grit”), were so evenly divided that a
dead-lock occurred, neither was able to carry on the government, and
a coalition ministry was formed. Then the subject of colonial
confederation was actively agitated. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
contemplated a legislative union of the maritime provinces, and a
conference was called at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in the
summer of 1864. Having in view a more comprehensive union, the Canadian
Government sought and obtained admission to this conference, which
was soon swallowed up in a larger scheme, and a conference of all the
colonies was appointed to be held at Quebec in October. Delegates,
thirty-three in number, were present from all the provinces, probably
sent by the respective legislatures or governments, for I find no note
of a popular election. The result of this conference was the adoption
of resolutions as a basis of an act of confederation. The Canadian
Parliament adopted this scheme after a protracted debate. But the
maritime provinces stood out. Meantime the Civil War in the United
States, the Fenian invasion, and the abrogation of the reciprocity
treaty fostered a spirit of Canadian nationality, and discouraged
whatever feeling existed for annexation to the United States. The
colonies, therefore, with more or less willingness, came into the plan,
and in 1867 the English Parliament passed the British North American
Act, which is the charter of the Dominion. It established the union of
the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and provided
for the admission to the union of the other parts of British North
America; that is, Prince Edward Island, the Hudson Bay Territory,
British Columbia, and Newfoundland, with its dependency Labrador. Nova
Scotia was, however, still dissatisfied with the terms of the union, and
was only reconciled on the granting of additional annual subsidies.

In 1868, by Act of the British Parliament, the Hudson’s Bay Company
surrendered to the Crown its territorial rights over the vast region it
controlled, in consideration of £300,000 sterling, grants of land around
its trading posts to the extent of fifty thousand acres in all, and
one-twentieth of all the fertile land south of the north branch of the
Saskatchewan, retaining its privileges of trade, without its exclusive
monopoly. The attempt of the Dominion Government to take possession
of this north-west territory (Manitoba was created a province July 15,
1870) was met by the rising of the squatters and half-breeds under Louis
Riel in 1869-70. Riel formed a provisional government, and proceeded
with a high hand to banish persons and confiscate property, and on a
drumhead court-martial put to death Thomas Scott, a Canadian militia
officer. The murder of Scott provoked intense excitement throughout
Canada, especially in Ontario. Colonel Garnet Wolseley’s expedition to
Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) followed, and the Government authority
was restored. Riel and his squatter confederates fled, and he was
subsequently pardoned.

In 1871 British Columbia was admitted into the Dominion. In 1873 Prince
Edward Island came in. The original Act for establishing the province of
Manitoba provided for a Lieutenant-governor, a Legislative Council, and
an elected Legislative Assembly. In 1876 Manitoba abolished the Council,
and the government took its present form of a Lieutenant-governor and
one Assembly. By subsequent legislation of the Dominion the district
of Keewatin was created out of the eastern portion of the north-west
territory, under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-governor of
Manitoba, ex officio. The Territories of Assiniboin, Alberta, and
Saskatchewan have been organized into a Territory called the North-west
Territory, with a Lieutenant-governor and Council, and a representative
in Parliament, the capital being Regina. Outside of this Territory,
to the northward, lies Athabasca, of which the Lieutenant-governor at
Regina is ex officio ruler. Newfoundland still remains independent,
although negotiations for union were revived in 1888. Some years ago
overtures were made for taking in Jamaica to the union, and a delegation
from that island visited Ottawa; but nothing came of the proposal. It
was said that the Jamaica delegates thought the Dominion debt too large.

The Dominion of Canada, therefore, has a central government at Ottawa,
and is composed of the provinces of Nova Scotia (including Cape Breton),
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, British
Columbia, and the North-west Territory.

It has been necessary to speak in this brief detail of the manner of the
formation of the union in order to understand the politics of Canada.
For there are radicals in the Liberal party who still regard the union
as forced and artificial, and say that the provinces outside of Ontario
and Quebec were brought in only by the promise of local railways and the
payment of large subsidies. And this idea more or less influences the
opposition to the “strong government” at Ottawa. I do not say that the
Liberals oppose the formation of a “nation”; but they are critics of its
methods, and array themselves for provincial rights as against federal
consolidation.

The Federal Government consists of the Queen, the Senate, and the House
of Commons. The Queen is represented by the Governor-general, who is
paid by Canada a salary of fifty thousand dollars a year. He has his
personal staff, and is aided and advised by a council, called the
Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, thirteen members, constituting the
ministry, who must be sustained by a Parliamentary majority. The English
model is exactly followed. The Governor has nominally the power of veto,
but his use of it is as much in abeyance as is the Queen’s prerogative
in regard to Acts of Parliament. The premier is in fact the ruler, but
his power depends upon possessing a majority in the House of Commons.
This responsible government, therefore, more quickly responds to popular
action than ours. The Senators are chosen for life, and are in fact
appointed by the premier in power. The House of Commons is elected for
five years, unless Parliament is sooner dissolved, and according to a
ratio of population to correspond with the province of Quebec, which has
always the fixed number of sixty-five members. The voter for members
of Parliament must have certain property qualifications, as owner or
tenant, or, if in a city or town, as earning three hundred dollars a
year—qualifications so low as practically to exclude no one who is
not an idler and a waif; the Indian may vote (though not in the
Territories), but the Mongolian or Chinese is excluded. Members of
the House may be returned by any constituency in the Dominion without
reference to residence. All bills affecting taxation or revenue must
originate in the House, and be recommended by a message from the
Governor-general. The Government introduces bills, and takes the
responsibility of them. The premier is leader of the House; there is
also a recognized leader of the Opposition. In case the Government
cannot command a majority it resigns, and the Governor-general forms
a new cabinet. In theory, also, if the Crown (represented by the
Governor-general) should resort to the extreme exercise of its
prerogative in refusing the advice of its ministers, the ministers must
submit, or resign and give place to others.

The Federal Government has all powers not granted expressly to the
provinces. In practice its jurisdiction extends over the public debt,
expenditure, and public loans; treaties; customs and excise duties;
trade and commerce; navigation, shipping, and fisheries; light-houses
and harbors; the postal, naval, and military services; public
statistics; monetary institutions, banks, banking, currency, coining
(but all coining is done in England); insolvency; criminal law; marriage
and divorce; public works, railways, and canals.

The provinces have no militia; that all belongs to the Dominion.
Marriage is solemnized according to provincial regulations, but the
power of divorce exists in Canada in the Federal Parliament only, except
in the province of New Brunswick. This province has a court of
divorce and matrimonial causes, with a single judge, a survival of
pre-confederation times, which grants divorces a vinculo for scriptural
causes, and a mensa et thoro for desertion or cruelty, with right of
appeal to the Supreme Court of the province and to the Privy Council of
the Dominion. Criminal law is one all over the Dominion, but there is
no law against adultery or incest. The British Act contains no provision
analogous to that in the Constitution of the United States which forbids
any State to pass a law impairing the obligation of contracts—a serious
defect.

The Federal Government has a Supreme Court, consisting of a
chief-justice and five puisne judges, which has original jurisdiction in
civil suits involving the validity of Dominion and provincial acts, and
appellate in appeals from the provincial courts. The Federal Government
appoints and pays the judges of the Superior, District, and County
courts of the provinces; but the provinces may constitute, maintain, and
organize provincial courts, civil and criminal, including procedure in
civil matters in those courts. But as the provinces cannot appoint any
judicial officer above the rank of magistrate, it may happen that a
constituted court may be inoperative for want of a judge. This is one of
the points of friction between the federal and provincial authorities,
and in the fall of 1888 it led to the trouble in Quebec, when the Ottawa
cabinet disallowed the appointment of two provincial judges made by the
Quebec premier.

The Dominion has another power unknown to our Constitution; that is,
disallowance or veto of provincial acts. This power is regarded with
great jealousy by the provinces. It is claimed by one party that it
should only be exercised on the ground of unconstitutionality; by
the other, that it may be exercised in the interest of the Dominion
generally. As a matter of fact it has been sometimes exercised in cases
that the special province felt to be an interference with its rights.

Another cause of friction, aggravated by the power of disallowance, has
arisen from conflict in jurisdiction as to railways. Both the Dominion
and the provinces may charter and build railways. But the British Act
forbids the province to legislate as to lines of steam or other ships,
railways, canals, and telegraphs connecting the province with any other
province, or extending beyond its limits, or any such work actually
within the limits which the Canadian Parliament may declare for the
general advantage of Canada; that is, declare it to be a Dominion work.
A promoter, therefore, cannot tell with any certainty what a charter is
worth, or who will have jurisdiction over it. The trouble in Manitoba
in the fall of 1888 between the province and the Canadian Pacific road
(which is a Dominion road in the meaning of the Act) could scarcely
have arisen if the definition of Dominion and provincial rights had been
clearer.

But a more serious cause of weakness to the provinces and embarrassment
to the Dominion is in the provincial subsidies. When the present
confederation was formed the Dominion took on the provincial debts up
to a certain amount. It also agreed to pay annually to each province, in
half-yearly payments, a subsidy. By the British Act this annual payment
was $80,000 to Ontario, $70,000 to Quebec, $60,000 to Nova Scotia,
$50,000 to New Brunswick, with something additional to the last two. In
1886-87 the subsidies paid to all the provinces amounted to $4,169,341.
This is as if the United States should undertake to raise a fixed
revenue to distribute among the States—a proceeding alien to our ideas
of the true function of the General Government, and certain to lead to
State demoralization, and tending directly to undermine its self-support
and dignity. It is an idea quite foreign to the conception of political
economy that it is best for people to earn what they spend, and only
spend what they earn. This subsidy under the Act was a grant equal to
eighty cents a head of the population. Besides this there is given
to each province an annual allowance for government; also an annual
allowance of interest on the amount of debt allowed where the province
has not reached the limit of the authorized debt. It is the theory of
the Federal Government that in taking on these pecuniary burdens of the
provinces they will individually feel them less, and that if money is to
be raised the Dominion can procure it on more favorable terms than the
provinces. The system, nevertheless, seems vicious to our apprehension,
for nothing is clearer to us than that neither the State nor the general
welfare would be promoted if the States were pensioners of the General
Government.

The provinces are miniature copies of the Dominion Government. Each has
a Lieutenant-governor, who is appointed by the Ottawa Governor-general
and ministry (that is, in fact, by the premier), whose salary is paid by
the Dominion Parliament. In theory he represents the Crown, and is
above parties. He forms his cabinet out of the party in majority in the
elective Assembly. Each province has an elective Assembly, and most of
them have two Houses, one of which is a Senate appointed for life. The
provincial cabinet has a premier, who is the leader of the House, and
the Opposition is represented by a recognized leader. The Government
is as responsible as the Federal Government. This organization of
recognized and responsible leaders greatly facilitates the despatch
of public business. Affairs are brought to a direct issue; and if
the Government cannot carry its measures, or a dead-lock occurs,
the ministry is changed, or an appeal is had to the people. Canadian
statesmen point to the want of responsibility in the conduct of public
business in our House, and the dead-lock between the Senate and the
House, as a state of things that needs a remedy.

The provinces retain possession of the public lands belonging to them at
the time of confederation; Manitoba, which had none when it was created
a province out of north-west territory, has since had a gift of swamp
lands from the Dominion. Emigration and immigration are subjects of
both federal and provincial legislation, but provincial laws must not
conflict with federal laws.

The provinces appoint all officers for the administration of justice
except judges, and are charged with the general administration of
justice and the maintenance of civil and criminal courts; they control
jails, prisons, and reformatories, but not the penitentiaries, to which
convicts sentenced for over two years must be committed. They control
also asylums and charitable institutions, all strictly municipal
institutions, local works, the solemnization of marriage, property and
civil rights, and shop, tavern, and other licenses. In regard to the
latter, a conflict of jurisdiction arose on the passage in 1878 by the
Canadian Parliament of a temperance Act. The result of judicial and
Privy Council decisions on this was to sustain the right of the Dominion
to legislate on temperance, but to give to the provincial legislatures
the right to deal with the subject of licenses for the sale of liquors.
In the Territories prohibition prevails under the federal statutes,
modified by the right of the Lieutenant-governor to grant special
permits. The effect of the general law has been most salutary in
excluding liquor from the Indians.

But the most important subject left to the provinces is education, over
which they have exclusive control. What this means we shall see when we
come to consider the provinces of Quebec and Ontario as illustrations.

Broadly stated, Canada has representative government by ministers
responsible to the people, a federal government charged with the
general good of the whole, and provincial governments attending to local
interests. It differs widely from the English Government in subjects
remitted to the provincial legislatures and in the freedom of the
municipalities, so that Canada has self-government comparable to that
in the United States. Two striking limitations are that the provinces
cannot keep a militia force, and that the provinces have no power of
final legislation, every Act being subject to Dominion revision and
veto.

The two parties are arranged on general lines that we might expect
from the organization of the central and the local governments. The
Conservative, which calls itself Liberal-Conservative, inclines to the
consolidation and increase of federal power; the Liberal (styled the
“Grits”) is what we would call a State-rights party. Curiously enough,
while the Ottawa Government is Conservative, and the ministry of
Sir John A. Macdonald is sustained by a handsome majority, all the
provincial governments are at present Liberal. The Conservatives say
that this is because the opinion of the country sustains the general
Conservative policy for the development of the Dominion, so that the
same constituency will elect a Conservative member to the Dominion House
and a Liberal member to the provincial House. The Liberals say that this
result in some cases is brought about by the manner in which the central
Government has arranged the voting districts for the central Parliament,
which do not coincide with the provincial districts. There is no doubt
some truth in this, but I believe that at present the sentiment of
nationality is what sustains the Conservative majority in the Ottawa
Government.

The general policy of the Conservative Government may fairly be
described as one for the rapid development of the country. This leads
it to desire more federal power, and there are some leading spirits
who, although content with the present Constitution, would not oppose a
legislative union of all the provinces. The policy of “development” led
the party to adopt the present moderate protective tariff. It led it to
the building of railways, to the granting of subsidies, in money and in
land, to railways, to the subsidizing of steamship lines, to the active
stimulation of immigration by offering extraordinary inducements
to settlers. Having a vast domain, sparsely settled, but capable of
sustaining a population not less dense than that in the northern parts
of Europe, the ambition of the Conservative statesmen has been to open
up the resources of the country and to plant a powerful nation. The
Liberal criticism of this programme I shall speak of later. At present
it is sufficient to say that the tariff did stimulate and build
up manufactories in cotton, leather, iron, including implements of
agriculture, to the extent that they were more than able to supply the
Canadian market. As an item, after the abrogation of the reciprocity
treaty, the factories of Ontario were able successfully to compete with
the United States in the supply of agricultural implements to the great
North-west, and in fact to take the market. I think it cannot be denied
that the protective tariff did not only build up home industries,
but did give an extraordinary stimulus to the general business of the
Dominion.

Under this policy of development and subsidies the Dominion has been
accumulating a debt, which now reaches something over $200,000,000.
Before estimating the comparative size of this debt, the statistician
wants to see whether this debt and the provincial debts together equal,
per capita, the federal and State debts together of the United States.
It is estimated by one authority that the public lands of the Dominion
could pay the debt, and it is noted that it has mainly been made for
railways, canals, and other permanent improvements, and not in offensive
or defensive wars. The statistical record of 1887 estimates that the
provincial debts added to the public debt give a per capita of $48.88.
The same year the united debts of States and general government in the
United States gave a per capita of $32, but, the municipal and county
debts added, the per capita would be $55. If the unreported municipal
debts in Canada were added, I suppose the per capita would somewhat
exceed that in the United States.

Before glancing at the development and condition of Canada in
confederation we will complete the official outline by a reference
to the civil service and to the militia. The British Government has
withdrawn all the imperial troops from Canada except a small garrison at
Halifax, and a naval establishment there and at Victoria. The Queen is
commander-in-chief of all the military and naval forces in Canada, but
the control of the same is in the Dominion Parliament. The general of
the military force is a British officer. There are permanent corps and
schools of instruction in various places, amounting in all to about 950
men, exclusive of officers, and the number is limited to 1000. There is
a royal military school at Kingston, with about 80 cadets. The active
militia, December 31, 1887, in all the provinces, the whole being under
Dominion control, amounted to 38,152. The military expenditure that year
was $1,281,255. The diminishing military pensions of that year amounted
to $35,100. The reserve militia includes all the male inhabitants of the
age of eighteen and under sixty. In 1887 the total active cavalry was
under 2000.

The members of the civil service are nearly all Canadians. In the
Federal Government and in the provinces there is an organized system;
the federal system has been constantly amended, and is not yet free
of recognized defects. The main points of excellence, more or less
perfectly attained, may be stated to be a decent entrance examination
for all, a special, strict, and particular examination for some who
are to undertake technical duties, and a secure tenure of office. The
federal Act of 1886, which has since been amended in details, was not
arrived at without many experiments and the accumulation of testimonies
and diverse reports; and it did not follow exactly the majority report
of 1881, but leaned too much, in the judgment of many, to the English
system, the working of which has not been satisfactory. The main
features of the Act, omitting details, are these: The service has two
divisions—first, deputy heads of departments and employés in the Ottawa
departments; second, others than those employed in Ottawa departments,
including customs officials, inland revenue officials, post-office
inspectors, railway mail clerks, city postmasters, their assistants,
clerks, and carriers, and inspector of penitentiaries. A board of three
examiners is appointed by the Governor in council. All appointments
shall be “during pleasure,” and no persons shall be appointed or
promoted to any place below that of deputy head unless he has passed the
requisite examination and served the probationary term of six months;
he must not be over thirty-five years old for appointment in Ottawa
departments (this limit is not fixed for the “outside” appointments),
nor under fifteen in a lower grade than third-class clerk, nor under
eighteen in other cases. Appointees must be sound in health and of good
character. Women are not appointed. A deputy head may be removed “on
pleasure,” but the reasons for the removal must be laid before both
Houses of Parliament. Appointments may be made without reference to
age on the report of the deputy head, on account of technical or
professional qualifications or the public interest. City postmasters,
and such officers as inspectors and collectors, may be appointed without
examination or reference to the rules for promotion. Examinations are
dispensed with in other special cases. Removals may be made by the
Governor in council. Reports of all examinations and of the entire civil
service list must be laid before Parliament each session. Amendments
have been made to the law in the direction of relieving from examination
on their promotion men who have been long in the service, and an
amendment of last session omitted some examinations altogether.

It must be stated also that the service is not free from favoritism, and
that influence is used, if not always necessary, to get in and to get
on in it. The law has been gone around by means of the plea of “special
qualifications,” and this evasion has sometimes been considered a
political necessity on account of service to a minister or to the party
generally. I suppose that the party in power favors its own adherents.
The competitive system of England has a mischievous effect in the
encouragement of the examinations to direct studies towards a service
which nine in ten of the applicants will never reach. This evil, of
numbers qualified but not appointed, has grown so great in Canada that
it has lately been ordered that there shall be only one examination in
each year.

The federal pension system cannot be considered settled. A man may be
superannuated at any time, but by custom, not law, he retires at the
full age of sixty. While in service he pays a superannuation allowance
of two and a half per cent, on his salary for thirty-five years; after
that, no more. If he is superannuated after ten years’ service, say, he
gets one-fiftieth of his salary for each year. If he is not in fault in
any way, Government may add ten years more to his service, so as to give
him a larger allowance. If a man serves the full term of thirty-five
years he gets thirty-five fiftieths of his salary in pension. This
pension system, recognized as essential to a good civil service, has
this weakness: A man pays two and a half per cent, of his salary for
twenty years. If the salary is $3000, his payments would have amounted
to $1200, with interest, in that time. If he then dies, his widow gets
only two months’ salary as a solatium; all the rest is lost to her,
and goes to the superannuation fund of the treasury. Or, a man is
superannuated after thirty-five years; he has paid perhaps $2100, with
interest; he draws, say, one year’s superannuative allowance, and then
dies. His family get nothing at all, not even the two months’ salary
they would have had if he had died in service. This is illogical and
unjust. If the two and a half per cent, had been put into a life policy,
the insurance being undertaken by the Government, a decent sum would
have been realized at death.

A civil service is also established in the provinces. That in Quebec is
better organized than the federal; the Government adds to the pension
fund one-fourth of that retained from the salaries, and half pensions
are extended to widows and children.

It will be seen that this pension is an essential part of the civil
service system, and the method of it is at once a sort of insurance and
a stimulation to faithful service. Good service is a constant inducement
to retention, to promotion, and to increase of pension. The Canadians
say that the systems work well both in the federal and provincial
services, and in this respect, as well as in the matter of responsible
government, they think their government superior to ours.

The policy of the Dominion Government, when confederation had given
it the form and territory of a great nation, was to develop this into
reality and solidity by creating industries, building railways, and
filling up the country with settlers. As to the means of carrying out
this the two parties differed somewhat. The Conservatives favored active
stimulation to the extent of drawing on the future; the Liberals favored
what they call a more natural if a slower growth. To illustrate: the
Conservatives enacted a tariff, which was protective, to build up
industries, and it is now continued, as in their view a necessity
for raising the revenue needed for government expenses and for the
development of the country. The Liberals favored a low tariff, and
in the main the principles of free-trade. It might be impertinence
to attempt to say now whether the Canadian affiliations are with the
Democratic or the Republican party in the United States, but it is
historical to say that for the most part the Unionists had not the
sympathy of the Conservatives during our Civil War, and that they had
the sympathy of the Liberals generally, and that the sympathy of the
Liberals continued with the Republican party down to the Presidential
campaign of 1884. It seemed to the Conservatives a necessity for the
unity and growth of the Dominion to push railway construction. The
Liberals, if I understand their policy, opposed mortgaging the future,
and would rather let railways spring from local action and local
necessity throughout the Dominion. But whatever the policies of parties
may be, the Conservative Government has promoted by subsidies of money
and grants of land all the great so-called Dominion railways. The chief
of these in national importance, because it crosses the continent, is
the Canadian Pacific. In order that I might understand its relation
to the development of the country, and have some comprehension of the
extent of Canadian territory, I made the journey on this line—3000
miles—from Montreal to Vancouver.

The Canadians have contributed liberally to the promotion of railways.
The Hand-book of 1886 says that $187,000,000 have been given by the
governments (federal and provincial) and by the municipalities towards
the construction of the 13,000 miles of railways within the Dominion.
The same authority says that from 1881 to July, 1885, the Federal
Government gave $74,500,000 to the Canadian Pacific. The Conservatives
like to note that the railway development corresponds with the political
life of Sir John A. Macdonald, for upon his entrance upon political life
in 1844 there were only fourteen miles of railway in operation.

The Federal Government began surveys for the Canadian Pacific road in
1871, a company was chartered the same year to build it, but no results
followed. The Government then began the construction itself, and built
several disconnected sections. The present company was chartered in
1880. The Dominion Government granted it a subsidy of $25,000,000 and
25,000,000 acres of land, and transferred to it, free of cost, 713 miles
of railway which had been built by the Government, at a cost of
about $35,000,000. In November, 1885, considerably inside the time of
contract, the road was finished to the Pacific, and in 1886 cars were
running regularly its entire length. In point of time, and considering
the substantial character of the road, it is a marvellous achievement.
Subsequently, in order to obtain a line from Montreal to the maritime
ports, a subsidy of $186,000 per annum for a term of twenty years was
granted to the Atlantic and North-west Railway Company, which undertook
to build or acquire a line from Montreal via Sherbrooke, and across the
State of Maine to St. John, St. Andrews, and Halifax. This is one of the
leased lines of the Canadian Pacific, which finished it last December.

The main line, from Quebec to Montreal and Vancouver, is 3065 miles. The
leased lines measure 2412 miles, one under construction 112, making a
total mileage of 5589. Adding to this the lines in which the company’s
influence amounts to a control (including those on American soil to St.
Paul and Chicago), the total mileage of the company is over 6500. The
branch lines, built or acquired in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba,
are all necessary feeders to the main line. The cost of the Canadian
Pacific, including the line built by the Government and acquired
(not leased) lines, is: Cost of road, $170,689,629.51; equipment,
$10,570,933.22; amount of deposit with Government to guarantee three
per cent, on capital stock until August 17, 1893, $10,310,954.75. Total,
$191,571,517.48.

Without going into the financial statement, nor appending the leases
and guarantees, any further than to note that the capital stock
is $65,000,000 and the first mortgage bonds (five per cent.) are
$34,999,633, it is only necessary to say that in the report the capital
foots up $112,908,019. The total earnings for 1885 were $8,308,493; for
1886, $10,081,803; for 1887, $11,600,412, while the working expenses for
1887 were $8,102,294. The gross earnings for 1888 are about $14,000,000,
and the net earnings about $4,000,000. These figures show the steady
growth of business.

Being a Dominion road, and favored, the company had a monopoly in
Manitoba for building roads south of its line and roads connecting with
foreign lines. This monopoly was surrendered in 1887 upon agreement
of the Dominion Government to guarantee 3 1/2 per cent, interest on
$15,000,000 of the company’s land grant bonds for fifty years. The
company has paid its debt to the Government, partly by surrender of a
portion of its lands, and now absolutely owns its entire line free of
Government obligations. It has, however, a claim upon the Government of
something like six million dollars, now in litigation, on portions of
the mountain sections of the road built by the Government, which are not
up to the standard guaranteed in the contract with the company.

The road was extended to the Pacific as a necessity of the national
development, and the present Government is convinced that it is worth
to the country all it has cost. The Liberals’ criticism is that the
Government has spent a vast sum for what it can show no assets, and that
it has enriched a private company instead of owning the road itself. The
property is no doubt a good one, for the road is well built as to grades
and road-bed, excellently equipped, and notwithstanding the heavy Lake
Superior and mountain work, at a less cost than some roads that preceded
it.

The full significance of this transcontinental line to Canada, Great
Britain, and the United States will appear upon emphasizing the value of
the line across the State of Maine to connect with St. John and
Halifax; upon the fact that its western terminus is in regular steamer
communication with Hong-Kong via Yokohama; that the company is building
new and swift steamers for this line, to which the British Government
has granted an annual subsidy of £60,000, and the Dominion one of
$15,000; that a line will run from Vancouver to Australia; and that
a part of this round-the-world route is to be a line of fast steamers
between Halifax and England. The Canadian Pacific is England’s shortest
route to her Pacific colonies, and to Japan and China; and in case of a
blockade in the Suez Canal it would become of the first importance for
Australia and India. It is noted as significant by an enthusiast of
the line that the first loaded train that passed over its entire length
carried British naval stores transferred from Quebec to Vancouver, and
that the first car of merchandise was a cargo of Jamaica sugar refined
at Halifax and sent to British Columbia.



II.

We left Montreal, attached to the regular train, on the evening of
September 22d. The company runs six through trains a week, omitting the
despatch of a train on Sunday from each terminus. The time is six
days and rive nights. We travelled in the private ear of Mr. T. G.
Shaughnessy, the manager, who was on a tour of inspection, and took it
leisurely, stopping at points of interest on the way. The weather was
bad, rainy and cold, in eastern Canada, as it was all over New England,
and as it continued to be through September and October. During our
absence there was snow both in Montreal and Quebec. We passed out of the
rain into lovely weather north of Lake Superior; encountered rain again
at Winnipeg; but a hundred miles west of there, on the prairie, we
were blessed with as delightful weather as the globe can furnish, which
continued all through the remainder of the trip until our return to
Montreal, October 12th. The climate just east of the Rocky Mountains
was a little warmer than was needed for comfort (at the time Ontario and
Quebec had snow), but the air was always pure and exhilarating; and
all through the mountains we had the perfection of lovely days. On the
Pacific it was still the dry season, though the autumn rains, which
continue all winter, with scarcely any snow, were not far off. For mere
physical pleasure of living and breathing, I know no atmosphere superior
to that we encountered on the rolling lands east of the Rockies.

Between Ottawa and Winnipeg (from midnight of the 22d till the morning
of the 25th) there is not much to interest the tourist, unless he is
engaged in lumbering or mining. What we saw was mainly a monotonous
wilderness of rocks and small poplars, though the country has
agricultural capacities after leaving Rat Portage (north of Lake of the
Woods), just before coming upon the Manitoba prairies. There were
more new villages and greater crowds of people at the stations than I
expected. From Sudbury the company runs a line to the Sault Sainte Marie
to connect with lines it controls to Duluth and St. Paul. At Port Arthur
and Fort William is evidence of great transportation activity, and all
along the Lake Superior Division there are signs that the expectations
of profitable business in lumber and minerals will be realized. At Port
Arthur we strike the Western Division. On the Western, Mountain, and
Pacific divisions the company has adopted the 24-hour system, by which
a.m. and P.M. are abolished, and the hours from noon till midnight are
counted as from 12 to 24 o’clock. For instance, the train reaches Eagle
River at 24.55, Winnipeg at 9.30, and Brandon at 16.10.

At Winnipeg we come into the real North-west, and a condition of soil,
climate, and political development as different from eastern Canada as
Montana is from New England. This town, at the junction of the Red
and Assiniboin rivers, in a valley which is one of the finest
wheat-producing sections of the world, is a very important place.
Railways, built and projected, radiate from it like spokes from a wheel
hub. Its growth has been marvellous. Formerly known as Fort Garry, the
chief post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, it had in 1871 a population of
only one hundred. It is now the capital of the province of Manitoba,
contains the chief workshops of the Canadian Pacific between Montreal
and Vancouver, and has a population of 25,000. It is laid out on a grand
scale, with very broad streets—Main Street is 200 feet wide—has
many substantial public and business buildings, streetcars, and
electric-lights, and abundant facilities for trade. At present it is
in a condition of subsided “boom;” the whole province has not more
than 120,000 people, and the city for that number is out of proportion.
Winnipeg must wait a little for the development of the country. It
seems to the people that the town would start up again if it had more
railroads. Among the projects much discussed is a road northward between
Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, turning eastward to York Factory on
Hudson’s Bay. The idea is to reach a short water route to Europe. From
all the testimony I have read as to ice in Hudson’s Bay harbors and in
the straits, the short period the straits are open, and the uncertainty
from year to year as to the months they will be open, this route seems
chimerical. But it does not seem so to its advocates, and there is no
doubt that a portion of the line between the lakes first named would
develop a good country and pay. A more important line—indeed, of the
first importance—is built for 200 miles north-west from Portage la
Prairie, destined to go to Prince Albert, on the North Saskatchewan.
This is the Manitoba and North-west, and it makes its connection
from Portage la Prairie with Winnipeg over the Canadian Pacific. An
antagonism has grown up ill Manitoba towards the Canadian Pacific. This
arose from the monopoly privileges enjoyed by it as a Dominion road. The
province could build no road with extra-territorial connections. This
monopoly was surrendered in consideration of the guarantee spoken of
from the Government. The people of Winnipeg also say that the company
discriminated against them in the matter of rates, and that the
province must have a competing outlet. The company says that it did not
discriminate, but treated Winnipeg like other towns on the line, having
an eye to the development of the whole prairie region, and that the
trouble was that it refused to discriminate in favor of Winnipeg, so
that it might become the distributing-point of the whole North-west.
Whatever the truth may be, the province grew increasingly restless, and
determined to build another road. The Canadian Pacific has two lines on
either side of the Red River, connecting at Emerson and Gretna with the
Red River branches of the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba. It has
also two branches running westward south of its main line, penetrating
the fertile wheat-fields of Manitoba. The province graded a third
road, paralleling the two to the border, and the river, southward from
Winnipeg to the border connecting there with a branch of the Northern
Pacific, which was eager to reach the rich wheat,-fields of the
North-west. The provincial Red River Railway also proposed to cross the
branches of the Canadian Pacific, and connect at Portage la Prairie with
the Manitoba and North-west. The Canadian Pacific, which had offered
to sell to the province its Emerson branch, saying that there was not
business enough for three parallel routes, insisted upon its legal
rights and resisted this crossing. Hence the provincial and railroad
conflict of the fall of 1888. The province built the new road, but
it was alleged that the Northern Pacific was the real party, and that
Manitoba has so far put itself into the hands of that corporation.
There can be no doubt that Manitoba will have its road and connect the
Northern Pacific with the Saskatchewan country, and very likely will
parallel the main line of the Canadian Pacific. But whether it will get
from the Northern Pacific the relief it thought itself refused by the
Canadian, many people in Winnipeg begin to doubt; for however eager
rival railways may be for new territory, they are apt to come to an
understanding in order to keep up profitable rates. They must live.

I went down on the southern branch of the Canadian Pacific, which runs
west, not far from our border, as far as Boissevain. It is a magnificent
wheat country, and already very well settled and sprinkled with
villages. The whole prairie was covered with yellow wheat-stacks, and
teams loaded with wheat were wending their way from all directions to
the elevators on the line. There has been quite an emigration of Russian
Mennonites to this region, said to be 9000 of them. We passed near two
of their villages—a couple of rows of square unbeautiful houses facing
each other, with a street of mud between, as we see them in pictures
of Russian communes. These people are a peculiar and somewhat mystical
sect, separate and unassimilated in habits, customs, and faith from
their neighbors, but peaceful, industrious, and thrifty. I shall have
occasion to speak of other peculiar immigration, encouraged by the
governments and by private companies.

There can be no doubt of the fertility of all the prairie region of
Manitoba and Assiniboin. Great heat is developed in the summers, but
cereals are liable, as in Dakota, to be touched, as in 1888, by early
frost. The great drawback from Winnipeg on westward is the intense cold
of winter, regarded not as either agreeable or disagreeable, but as
a matter of economy. The region, by reason of extra expense for fuel,
clothing, and housing, must always be more expensive to live in than,
say, Ontario.

The province of Manitoba is an interesting political and social study.
It is very unlike Ontario or British Columbia. Its development has been,
in freedom and self-help, very like one of our Western Territories,
and it is like them in its free, independent spirit. It has a spirit
to resist any imposed authority. We read of the conflicts between
the Hudson’s Bay and the Northwestern Fur companies and the Selkirk
settlers, who began to come in in 1812. Gradually the vast territory
of the North-west had a large number of “freemen,” independent of any
company, and of half-breed Frenchmen. Other free settlers sifted in.
The territory was remote from the Government, and had no facilities
of communication with the East, even after the union. The rebellion of
1870-71 was repeated in 1885, when Riel was called back from Montana
to head the discontented. The settlers could not get patents for their
lands, and they had many grievances, which they demanded should be
redressed in a “bill of rights.” There were aspects of the insurrection,
not connected with the race question, with which many well-disposed
persons sympathized. But the discontent became a violent rebellion,
and had to be suppressed. The execution of Riel, which some of the
Conservatives thought ill-advised, raised a race storm throughout
Canada; the French element was in a tumult, and some of the Liberals
made opposition capital out of the event. In the province of Quebec it
is still a deep grievance, for party purposes partly, as was shown in
the recent election of a federal member of Parliament in Montreal.

Manitoba is Western in its spirit and its sympathies. Before the
building of the Canadian Pacific its communication was with Minnesota.
Its interests now largely lie with its southern neighbors. It has a
feeling of irritation with too much federal dictation, and frets under
the still somewhat undefined relations of power between the federal
and the provincial governments, as was seen in the railway conflict.
Besides, the natural exchange of products between south and
north—between the lower Mississippi and the Red River of the North
and the north-west prairies—is going to increase; the north and south
railway lines will have, with the development of industries and exchange
of various sorts, a growing importance compared with the great east and
west lines. Nothing can stop this exchange and the need of it along our
whole border west of Lake Superior. It is already active and growing,
even on the Pacific, between Washington Territory and British Columbia.

For these geographical reasons, and especially on account of similarity
of social and political development, I was strongly impressed with the
notion that if the Canadian Pacific Railway had not been built when it
was, Manitoba would by this time have gravitated to the United States,
and it would only have been a question of time when the remaining
Northwest should have fallen in. The line of the road is very well
settled, and yellow with wheat westward to Regina, but the farms are
often off from the line, as the railway sections are for the most part
still unoccupied; and there are many thriving villages: Portage la
Prairie, from which the Manitoba and North-western Railway starts
north-west, with a population of 3000; Brandon, a busy grain mart,
standing on a rise of ground 1150 feet above the sea, with a population
of 4000 and over; Qu’.ppelle, in the rich valley of the river of that
name, with 700; Regina, the capital of the North-west Territory, on a
vast plain, with 800; Moosejay, a market-town towards the western limit
of the settled country, with 600. This is all good land, but the winters
are severe.

Naturally, on the rail we saw little game, except ducks and geese on the
frequent fresh-water ponds, and occasionally coyotes and prairie-dogs.
But plenty of large game still can be found farther north. At Stony
Mountain, fifteen miles north of Winnipeg, the site of the Manitoba
penitentiary, we saw a team of moose, which Colonel Bedson, the
superintendent, drives—fleet animals, going easily fifteen miles an
hour. They were captured only thirty-five miles north of the prison,
where moose are abundant. Colonel Bedson has the only large herd of the
practically extinct buffalo. There are about a hundred of these uncouth
and picturesque animals, which have a range of twenty or thirty miles
over the plains, and are watched by mounted keepers. They were driven
in, bulls, cows, and calves, the day before our arrival—it seemed odd
that we could order up a herd of buffaloes by telephone, but we did—and
we saw the whole troop lumbering over the prairie, exactly as we were
familiar with them in pictures. The colonel is trying the experiment of
crossing them with common cattle. The result is a half-breed of large
size, with heavier hind-quarters and less hump than the buffalo, and
said to be good beef. The penitentiary has taken in all the convicts of
the North-west Territory, and there were only sixty-five of them. The
institution is a model one in its management. We were shown two separate
chapels—one for Catholics and another for Protestants.

All along the line settlers are sifting in, and there are everywhere
signs of promoted immigration. Not only is Canada making every effort
to fill up its lands, but England is interested in relieving itself
of troublesome people. The experiment has been tried of bringing out
East-Londoners. These barbarians of civilization are about as unfitted
for colonists as can be. Small bodies of them have been aided to make
settlements, but the trial is not very encouraging; very few of them
take to the new life. The Scotch crofters do better. They are accustomed
to labor and thrift, and are not a bad addition to the population. A
company under the management of Sir John Lister Kaye is making a larger
experiment. It has received sections from the Government and bought
contiguous sections from the railway, so as to have large blocks of land
on the road. A dozen settlements are projected. The company brings over
laborers and farmers, paying their expenses and wages for a year.
A large central house is built on each block, tools and cattle are
supplied, and the men are to begin the cultivation of the soil. At the
end of a year they may, if they choose, take up adjacent free Government
land and begin to make homes for themselves working meantime on the
company land, if they will. By this plan they are guaranteed support
for a year at least, and a chance to set up for themselves. The company
secures the breaking up of its land and a crop, and the nucleus of a
town. The further plan is to encourage farmers, with a capital of a
thousand dollars, to follow and settle in the neighborhood. There will
then be three ranks—the large company proprietors, the farmers with some
capital, and the laborers who are earning their capital. We saw some of
these settlements on the line that looked promising. About 150 settlers,
mostly men, arrived last fall, and with them were sent out English
tools and English cattle. The plan looks to making model communities, on
something of the old-world plan of proprietor, farmer, and laborer. It
would not work in the United States.

Another important colonization is that of Icelanders. These are settled
to the north-east of Winnipeg and in southern Manitoba. About 10,000
have already come over, and the movement has assumed such large
proportions that it threatens to depopulate Iceland. This is good
and intelligent material. Climate and soil are so superior to that of
Iceland that the emigrants are well content. They make good farmers, but
they are not so clannish as the Mennonites; many of them scatter about
in the towns as laborers.

Before we reached Medicine Hat, and beyond that place, we passed through
considerable alkaline country—little dried-up lakes looking like patches
of snow. There was an idea that this land was not fertile. The Canadian
Pacific Company have been making several experiments on the line of
model farms, which prove the contrary. As soon as the land is broken up
and the crust turned under, the soil becomes very fertile, and produces
excellent crops of wheat and vegetables.

Medicine Hat, on a branch of the South Saskatchewan, is a thriving town.
Here are a station and barracks of the Mounted Police, a picturesque
body of civil cavalry in blue pantaloons and red jackets. This body of
picked men, numbering about a thousand, and similar in functions to the
Guarda Civil of Spain, are scattered through the North-west Territory,
and are the Dominion police for keeping in order the Indians, and
settling disputes between the Indians and whites. The sergeants have
powers of police-justices, and the organization is altogether an
admirable one for the purpose, and has a fine esprit de corps.

Here we saw many Cree Indians, physically a creditable-looking race of
men and women, and picturesque in their gay blankets and red and
yellow paint daubed on the skin without the least attempt at shading or
artistic effect. A fair was going on, an exhibition of horses, cattle,
and vegetable and cereal products of the region. The vegetables
were large and of good quality. Delicate flowers were still blooming
(September 28th) untouched by frost in the gardens. These Crees are not
on a reservation. They cultivate the soil a little, but mainly support
themselves by gathering and selling buffalo bones, and well set-up and
polished horns of cattle, which they swear are buffalo. The women are
far from a degraded race in appearance, have good heads, high foreheads,
and are well-favored. As to morals, they are reputed not to equal the
Blackfeet.

The same day we reached Gleichen, about 2500 feet above the sea. The
land is rolling, and all good for grazing and the plough. This region
gets the “Chinook” wind. Ploughing is begun in April, sometimes in
March; in 1888 they ploughed in January. Flurries of snow may be
expected any time after October 1st, but frost is not so early as in
eastern Canada. A fine autumn is common, and fine, mild weather may
continue up to December. At Dun-more, the station before Medicine
Hat, we passed a branch railway running west to the great Lethbridge
coal-mines, and Dunmore Station is a large coal depot.

The morning at Gleichen was splendid; cool at sunrise, but no frost.
Here we had our first view of the Rockies, a long range of snow-peaks on
the horizon, 120 miles distant. There is an immense fascination in this
rolling country, the exhilarating air, and the magnificent mountains in
the distance. Here is the beginning of a reservation of the Blackfeet,
near 3000. They live here on the Bow River, and cultivate the soil to a
considerable extent, and have the benefit of a mission and two schools.
They are the best-looking race of Indians we have seen, and have most
self-respect.

We went over a rolling country to Calgary, at an altitude of 3388 feet,
a place of some 3000 inhabitants, and of the most distinction of all
between Brandon and Vancouver. On the way we passed two stations where
natural gas was used, the boring for which was only about 600 feet. The
country is underlaid with coal. Calgary is delightfully situated at the
junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers, rapid streams as clear as crystal,
with a greenish hue, on a small plateau, surrounded by low hills and
overlooked by the still distant snow-peaks. The town has many good
shops, several churches, two newspapers, and many fanciful cottages. We
drove several miles out on the McCloud trail, up a lovely valley, with
good farms, growing wheat and oats, and the splendid mountains in the
distance. The day was superb, the thermometer marking 70°. This is,
however, a ranch country, wheat being an uncertain crop, owing to
summer frosts. But some years, like 1888, are good for all grains
and vegetables. A few Saree Indians were loafing about here, inferior
savages. Much better are the Stony Indians, who are settled and work
the soil beyond Calgary, and are very well cared for by a Protestant
mission.

Some of the Indian tribes of Canada are self-supporting. This is true of
many of the Siwash and other west coast tribes, who live by fishing.
At Lytton, on the upper Fraser, I saw a village of the Siwash civilized
enough to live in houses, wear our dress, and earn their living by
working on the railway, fishing, etc. The Indians have done a good deal
of work on the railway, and many of them are still employed on it. The
coast Indians are a different race from the plains Indians, and have a
marked resemblance to the Chinese and Japanese. The polished carvings in
black slate of the Haida Indians bear a striking resemblance to archaic
Mexican work, and strengthen the theory that the coast Indians crossed
the straits from Asia, are related to the early occupiers of Arizona and
Mexico, and ought not to be classed with the North American Indian. The
Dominion has done very well by its Indians, of whom it has probably a
hundred thousand. It has tried to civilize them by means of schools,
missions, and farm instructors, and it has been pretty successful in
keeping ardent spirits away from them. A large proportion of them are
still fed and clothed by the Government. It is doubtful if the plains
Indians will ever be industrious. The Indian fund from the sale of their
lands has accumulated to $3,000,000. There are 140 teachers and
4000 pupils in school. In 1885 the total expenditure on the Indian
population, beyond that provided by the Indian fund, was $1,109,604, of
which $478,038 was expended for provisions for destitute Indians.

At Cochrane’s we were getting well into the hills. Here is a large horse
and sheep ranch and a very extensive range. North and south along the
foot-hills is fine grazing and ranging country. We enter the mountains
by the Bow River Valley, and plunge at once into splendid scenery, bare
mountains rising on both sides in sharp, varied, and fantastic peaks,
snow-dusted, and in lateral openings assemblages of giant summits
of rock and ice. The change from the rolling prairie was magical. At
Mountain House the Three Sisters were very impressive. Late in the
afternoon we came to Banff.

Banff will have a unique reputation among the resorts of the world. If
a judicious plan is formed and adhered to for the development of
its extraordinary beauties and grandeur, it will be second to few in
attractions. A considerable tract of wilderness about it is reserved
as a National Park, and the whole ought to be developed by some master
landscape expert. It is in the power of the Government and of the
Canadian Pacific Company to so manage its already famous curative hot
sulphur springs as to make Banff the resort of invalids as well as
pleasure-seekers the year round. This is to be done not simply by
established good bathing-places, but by regulations and restrictions
such as give to the German baths their virtue.

The Banff Hotel, unsurpassed in situation, amid magnificent mountains,
is large, picturesque, many gabled and windowed, and thoroughly
comfortable. It looks down upon the meeting of the Bow and the Spray,
which spread in a pretty valley closed by a range of snow-peaks. To
right and left rise mountains of savage rock ten thousand feet high. The
whole scene has all the elements of beauty and grandeur. The place
is attractive for its climate, its baths, and excellent hunting and
fishing.

For two days, travelling only by day, passing the Rockies, the Selkirks,
and the Gold range, we were kept in a state of intense excitement, in
a constant exclamation of wonder and delight. I would advise no one
to attempt to take it in the time we did. Nobody could sit through
Beethoven’s nine symphonies played continuously. I have no doubt that
when carriage-roads and foot-paths are made into the mountain recesses,
as they will be, and little hotels are established in the valleys and in
the passes and advantageous sites, as in Switzerland, this region will
rival the Alpine resorts. I can speak of two or three things only.

The highest point on the line is the station at Mount Stephen, 5296
feet above the sea. The mountain, a bald mass of rock in a rounded cone,
rises about 8000 feet above this. As we moved away from it the mountain
was hidden by a huge wooded intervening mountain. The train was speeding
rapidly on the down grade, carrying us away from the base, and we stood
upon the rear platform watching the apparent recession of the great
mass, when suddenly, and yet deliberately, the vast white bulk of Mount
Stephen began to rise over the intervening summit in the blue sky,
lifting itself up by a steady motion while one could count twenty,
until its magnificence stood revealed. It was like a transformation in
a theatre, only the curtain here was lowered instead of raised. The
surprise was almost too much for the nerves; the whole company was
awe-stricken. It is too much to say that the mountain “shot up;” it rose
with conscious grandeur and power. The effect, of course, depends much
upon the speed of the train. I have never seen anything to compare with
it for awakening the emotion of surprise and wonder.

The station of Field, just beyond Mount Stephen, where there is a
charming hotel, is in the midst of wonderful mountain and glacier
scenery, and would be a delightful place for rest. From there the
descent down the canon of Kickinghorse River, along the edge of
precipices, among the snow-monarchs, is very exciting. At Golden we come
to the valley of the Columbia River and in view of the Selkirks. The
river is navigable about a hundred miles above Golden, and this is the
way to the mining district of the Kootenay Valley. The region abounds
in gold and silver. The broad Columbia runs north here until it breaks
through the Selkirks, and then turns southward on the west side of that
range.

The railway follows down the river, between the splendid ranges of the
Selkirks and the Rockies, to the mouth of the Beaver, and then ascends
its narrow gorge. I am not sure but that the scenery of the Selkirks
is finer than that of the Rockies. One is bewildered by the illimitable
noble snow-peaks and great glaciers. At Glacier House is another
excellent hotel. In savage grandeur, nobility of mountain-peaks,
snow-ranges, and extent of glacier it rivals anything in Switzerland.
The glacier, only one arm of which is seen from the road, is, I believe,
larger than any in Switzerland. There are some thirteen miles of flowing
ice; but the monster lies up in the mountains, like a great octopus,
with many giant arms. The branch which we saw, overlooked by the
striking snow-cone of Sir Donald, some two and a half miles from the
hotel, is immense in thickness and breadth, and seems to pour out of the
sky. Recent measurements show that it is moving at the rate of twenty
inches in twenty-four hours—about the rate of progress of the Mer de
Glace. In the midst of the main body, higher up, is an isolated mountain
of pure ice three hundred feet high and nearly a quarter of a mile in
length. These mountains are the home of the mountain sheep.

From this amphitheatre of giant peaks, snow, and glaciers we drop by
marvellous loops—wonderful engineering, four apparently different tracks
in sight at one time—down to the valley of the Illicilliweat, the lower
part of which is fertile, and blooming with irrigated farms. We pass a
cluster of four lovely-lakes, and coast around the great Shuswap Lake,
which is fifty miles long. But the traveller is not out of excitement.
The ride down the Thompson and Fraser canons is as amazing almost as
anything on the line. At Spence’s Bridge we come to the old Government
road to the Cariboo gold-mines, three hundred miles above. This
region has been for a long time a scene of activity in mining and
salmon-fishing. It may be said generally of the Coast or Gold range
that its riches have yet to be developed. The villages all along these
mountain slopes and valleys are waiting for this development.

The city of Vancouver, only two years old since the beginnings of a town
were devoured by fire, is already an interesting place of seven to
eight thousand inhabitants, fast building up, and with many substantial
granite and brick buildings, and spreading over a large area. It lies
upon a high point of land between Burrard Inlet on the north and the
north arm of the Fraser River. The inner harbor is deep and spacious.
Burrard Inlet entrance is narrow but deep, and opens into English Bay,
which opens into Georgia Sound, that separates the island of Vancouver,
three hundred miles long, from the main-land. The round headland south
of the entrance is set apart for a public park, called now Stanley Park,
and is being improved with excellent driving-roads, which give charming
views. It is a tangled wilderness of nearly one thousand acres. So
dense is the undergrowth, in this moist air, of vines, ferns, and small
shrubs, that it looks like a tropical thicket. But in the midst of it
are gigantic Douglas firs and a few noble cedars. One veteran cedar,
partly decayed at the top, measured fifty-six feet in circumference, and
another, in full vigor and of gigantic height, over thirty-nine feet.
The hotel of the Canadian Pacific Company, a beautiful building in
modern style, is, in point of comfort, elegance of appointment, abundant
table, and service, not excelled by any in Canada, equalled by few
anywhere.

Vancouver would be a very busy and promising city merely as the railway
terminus and the shipping-point for Japan and China and the east
generally. But it has other resources of growth. There is a very
good country back of it, and south of it all the way into Washington
Territory. New Westminster, twelve miles south, is a place of importance
for fish and lumber. The immensely fertile alluvial bottoms of the
Fraser, which now overflows its banks, will some day be diked, and
become exceedingly valuable. Its relations to Washington Territory are
already close. The very thriving city of Seattle, having a disagreement
with the North Pacific and its rival, Tacoma, sends and receives most of
its freight and passengers via Vancouver, and is already pushing forward
a railway to that point. It is also building to Spokane Falls, expecting
some time to be met by an extension of the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and
Manitoba from the Great Falls of the Missouri. I found that many of the
emigrants in the loaded trains that we travelled with or that passed
us were bound to Washington Territory. It is an acknowledged fact that
there is a constant “leakage” of emigrants, who had apparently promised
to tarry in Canada, into United States territories. Some of them,
disappointed of the easy wealth expected, no doubt return; but the name
of “republic” seems to have an attraction for Old World people when they
are once set adrift.

We took steamer one afternoon for a five hours sail to Victoria. A part
of the way is among beautiful wooded islands. Once out in the open,
we had a view of our “native land,” and prominent in it the dim,
cloud-like, gigantic peak of Mount Baker. Before we passed the islands
we were entertained by a rare show of right-whales. A school of them a
couple of weeks before had come down through Behring Strait, and pursued
a shoal of fish into this landlocked bay. There must have been as
many as fifty of the monsters in sight, spouting up slender fountains,
lifting their huge bulk out of water, and diving, with their bifurcated
tails waving in the air. They played about like porpoises, apparently
only for our entertainment.

Victoria, so long isolated, is the most English part of Canada. The town
itself does not want solidity and wealth, but it is stationary, and, the
Canadians elsewhere think, slow. It was the dry and dusty time of the
year. The environs are broken with inlets, hilly and picturesque; there
are many pretty cottages and country places in the suburbs; and one
visits with interest the Eskimalt naval station, and the elevated Park,
which has a coble coast view. The very mild climate is favorable for
grapes and apples. The summer is delightful; the winter damp, and
constantly rainy. And this may be said of all this coast. Of the
thirteen thousand population six thousand are Chinese, and they form
in the city a dense, insoluble, unassimilating mass. Victoria has one
railway, that to the prosperous Nanaimo coal-mines. The island has
abundance of coal, some copper, and timber. But Vancouver has taken
away from Victoria all its importance as a port. The Government and
Parliament buildings are detached, but pleasant and commodious edifices.
There is a decorous British air about everything. Throughout British
Columbia the judges and the lawyers wear the gown and band and the
horse-hair wig. In an evening trial for murder which I attended in
a dingy upper chamber of the Kamloops court-house, lighted only by
kerosene lamps, the wigs and gowns of judge and attorneys lent, I
confess, a dignity to the administration of justice which the kerosene
lamps could not have given. In one of the Government buildings is
a capital museum of natural history and geology. The educational
department is vigorous and effective, and I find in the bulky report
evidence of most intelligent management of the schools.

It is only by traversing the long distance to this coast, and seeing the
activity here, that one can appreciate the importance to Canada and to
the British Empire of the Canadian Pacific Railway as a bond of unity,
a developer of resources, and a world’s highway. The out-going steamers
were crowded with passengers and laden with freight. We met on the way
two solid trains, of twenty cars each, full of tea. When the new swift
steamers are put on, which are already heavily subsidized by both the
English and the Canadian governments, the traffic in passengers and
goods must increase. What effect the possession of such a certain line
of communication with her Oriental domains will have upon the English
willingness to surrender Canada either to complete independence or to a
union with the United States, any political prophet can estimate.

It must be added that the Canadian Pacific Company are doing everything
to make this highway popular as well as profitable. Construction and
management show English regard for comfort and safety and order. It is
one of the most agreeable lines to travel over I am acquainted with.
Most of it is well built, and defects are being energetically removed.
The “Colonist” cars are clean and convenient. The first class carriages
are luxurious. The dining-room cars are uniformly well kept, the company
hotels are exceptionally excellent; and from the railway servants one
meets with civility and attention.



III.

I had been told that the Canadians are second-hand Englishmen. No
estimate could convey a more erroneous impression. A portion of the
people have strong English traditions and loyalties to institutions, but
in manner and in expectations the Canadians are scarcely more English
than the people of the United States; they have their own colonial
development, and one can mark already with tolerable distinctness a
Canadian type which is neither English nor American. This is noticeable
especially in the women. The Canadian girl resembles the American in
escape from a purely conventional restraint and in self-reliance,
and she has, like the English, a well-modulated voice and distinct
articulation. In the cities, also, she has taste in dress and a certain
style which we think belongs to the New World. In features and action
a certain modification has gone on, due partly to climate and partly to
greater social independence. It is unnecessary to make comparisons, and
I only note that there is a Canadian type of woman.

But there is great variety in Canada, and in fact a remarkable racial
diversity. The man of Nova Scotia is not at all the man of British
Columbia or Manitoba. The Scotch in old Canada have made a distinct
impression in features and speech. And it may be said generally in
eastern Canada that the Scotch element is a leading and conspicuous one
in the vigor and push of enterprise and the accumulation of fortune.
The Canadian men, as one sees them in official life, at the clubs, in
business, are markedly a vigorous, stalwart race, well made, of good
stature, and not seldom handsome. This physical prosperity needs to be
remembered when we consider the rigorous climate and the long winters;
these seem to have at least one advantage—that of breeding virile men.
The Canadians generally are fond of out-door sports and athletic games,
of fishing and hunting, and they give more time to such recreations
than we do. They are a little less driven by the business goad. Abundant
animal spirits tend to make men good-natured and little quarrelsome. The
Canadians would make good soldiers. There was a time when the drinking
habit pervaded very much in Canada, and there are still places where
they do not put water enough in their grog, but temperance reform has
taken as strong a hold there as it has in the United States.

The feeling about the English is illustrated by the statement that there
is not more aping of English ways in Montreal and Toronto clubs and
social life than in New York, and that the English superciliousness, or
condescension as to colonists, the ultra-English manner, is ridiculed
in Canada, and resented with even more warmth than in the United States.
The amusing stories of English presumption upon hospitality are current
in Canada as well as on this side. All this is not inconsistent with
pride in the empire, loyalty to its traditions and institutions, and
even a considerable willingness (for human nature is pretty much alike
everywhere) to accept decorative titles. But the underlying fact is that
there is a distinct feeling of nationality, and it is increasing.

There is not anywhere so great a contrast between neighboring cities as
between Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto. Quebec is mediæval, Toronto is
modern, Montreal is in a conflict between the two conditions. As the
travelling world knows, they are all interesting cities, and have
peculiar attractions. Quebec is French, more decidedly so than Toronto
is English, and in Montreal the French have a large numerical majority
and complete political control. In the Canadian cities generally
municipal affairs are pretty much divorced from general party politics,
greatly to the advantage of good city government.

Montreal has most wealth, and from its splendid geographical position it
is the railway centre, and has the business and commercial primacy. It
has grown rapidly from a population of 140,000 in 1881 to a population
of over 200,000—estimated, with its suburbs, at 250,000. Were it part of
my plan to describe these cities, I should need much space to devote
to the finest public buildings and public institutions of Montreal, the
handsome streets in the Protestant quarter, with their solid, tasteful,
and often elegant residences, the many churches, and the almost
unequalled possession of the Mountain as a park and resort, where one
has the most striking and varied prospects in the world. Montreal, being
a part of the province of Quebec, is not only under provincial control
of the government at Quebec, but it is ruled by the same French party
in the city, and there is the complaint always found where the poorer
majority taxes the richer and more enterprising minority out of
proportion to the benefits the latter receives. Various occasions
have produced something like race conflicts in the city, and there
are prophesies of more serious ones in the strife for ascendency. The
seriousness of this to the minority lies in the fact that the French
race is more prolific than any other in the province.

Perhaps nothing will surprise the visitor more than the persistence of
the French type in Canada, and naturally its aggressiveness. Guaranteed
their religion, laws, and language, the French have not only failed to
assimilate, but have had hopes—maybe still have—of making Canada French.
The French “national” party means simply a French consolidation, and has
no relation to the “nationalism” of Sir John Macdonald. So far as the
Church and the French politicians are concerned, the effort is to
keep the French solid as a political force, and whether the French are
Liberal or Conservative, this is the underlying thought. The province of
Quebec is Liberal, but the liberalism is of a different hue from that of
Ontario. The French recognize the truth that language is so integral
a part of a people’s growth that the individuality of a people depends
upon maintaining it. The French have escaped absorption in Canada mainly
by loyalty to their native tongue, aided by the concession to them
of their civil laws and their religious privileges. They owe this to
William Pitt. I quote from a contributed essay in the Toronto Week about
three years ago: “Up to 1791 the small French population of Canada was
in a position to be converted into an English colony with traces of
French sentiment and language, which would have slowly disappeared. But
at that date William Pitt the younger brought into the House of Commons
two Quebec Acts, which constituted two provinces—Lower Canada, with a
full provision of French laws, language, and institutions; Upper Canada,
with a reproduction of English laws and social system. During the debate
Pitt declared on the floor of the House that his purpose was to create
two colonies distinct from and jealous of each other, so as to guard
against a repetition of the late unhappy rebellion which had separated
the thirteen colonies from the empire.”

The French have always been loyal to the English connection under all
temptations, for these guarantees have been continued, which could
scarcely be expected from any other power, and certainly not in a
legislative union of the Canadian provinces. In literature and sentiment
the connection is with France; in religion, with Rome; in politics
England has been the guarantee of both. There will be no prevailing
sentiment in favor of annexation to the United States so long as
the Church retains its authority, nor would it be favored by the
accomplished politicians so long as they can use the solid French mass
as a political force.

The relegation of the subject of education entirely to the provinces
is an element in the persistence of the French type in the province
of Quebec, in the same way that it strengthens the Protestant cause
in Ontario. In the province of Quebec all the public schools are Roman
Catholic, and the separate schools are of other sects. In the council of
public instruction the Catholics, of course, have a large majority, but
the public schools are managed by a Catholic committee and the others
by a Protestant committee. In the academies, model and high schools,
subsidized by the Government, those having Protestant teachers are
insignificant in number, and there are very few Protestants in Catholic
schools, and very few Catholics in Protestant schools; the same is true
of the schools of this class not subsidized. The bulky report of the
superintendent of public instruction of the province of Quebec (which is
translated into English) shows a vigorous and intelligent attention
to education. The general statistics give the number of pupils in the
province as 219,403 Roman Catholics (the term always used in the report)
and 37,484 Protestants. In the elementary schools there are 143,848
Roman Catholics and 30,401 Protestants. Of the ecclesiastical teachers,
808 are Roman Catholics and 8 Protestants; of the certificated lay
teachers, 250 are Roman Catholic and 105 Protestant; the proportion
of schools is four to one. It must be kept in mind that in the French
schools it is French literature that is cultivated. In the Laval
University, at Quebec, English literature is as purely an ornamental
study as French literature would be in Yale. The Laval University, which
has a branch in Montreal, is a strong institution, with departments of
divinity, law, medicine, and the arts, 80 professors, and 575
students. The institution has a vast pile of buildings, one of the most
conspicuous objects in a view of the city. Besides spacious lecture,
assembly rooms, and laboratories, it has extensive collections in
geology, mineralogy, botany, ethnology, zoology, coins, a library
of 100,000 volumes, in which theology is well represented, but which
contains a large collection of works on Canada, including valuable
manuscripts, the original MS. of the Journal des Jésuites, and the most
complete set of the Relation des Jésuites existing in America. It has
also a gallery of paintings, chiefly valuable for its portraits.

Of the 62,000 population of Quebec City, by the census of 1881, not over
6000 were Protestants. By the same census Montreal had 140,747, of whom
78,684 were French, and 28,995 of Irish origin. The Roman Catholics
numbered 103,579. I believe the proportion has not much changed with the
considerable growth in seven years.

One is struck, in looking at the religious statistics of Canada, by
the fact that the Church of England has not the primacy, and that the
so-called independent sects have a position they have not in England.
In the total population of 4,324,810, given by the census of 1881,
the Protestants were put down at 2,436,554 and the Roman Catholics at
1,791,982. The larger of the Protestant denominations were, Methodists,
742,981; Presbyterians, 676,165; Church of England, 574,818; Baptists,
296,525. Taking as a specimen of the north-west the province of
Manitoba, census of 1886, we get these statistics of the larger sects:
Presbyterians, 28,406; Church of England, 23,206; Methodists, 18,648;
Roman Catholics, 14,651; Mennonites, 9112; Baptists, 3296; Lutherans,
3131.

Some statistics of general education in the Dominion show the popular
interest in the matter. In 1885 the total number of pupils in the
Dominion, in public and private schools, was 908,193, and the average
attendance was 555,404. The total expenditure of the year, not including
school buildings, was $9,310,745, and the value of school lands,
buildings, and furniture was $25,000,000. Yet in the province of Quebec,
out of the total expenditure of $3,102,410, only $353,077 was granted by
the provincial Legislature. And in Ontario, of the total of $3,904,797,
only $267,084 was granted by the Legislature.

The McGill University at Montreal, Sir William Dawson principal, is
a corporation organized under royal charter, which owes its original
endowment of land and money (valued at $120,000) to James McGill. It
receives small grants from the provincial and Dominion governments, but
mainly depends upon its own funds, which in 1885 stood at $791,000. It
has numerous endowed professorships and endowments for scholarships and
prizes; among them is the Donalda Endowment for the Higher Education of
Women (from Sir Donald A. Smith), by which a special course in separate
classes, by University professors, is maintained in the University
buildings for women. It has faculties of arts, applied sciences, law,
and medicine—the latter with one of the most complete anatomical museums
and one of the best selected libraries on the continent. It has several
colleges affiliated with it for the purpose of conferring
University degrees, a model school, and four theological colleges, a
Congregational, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, and a Wesleyan, the
students in which may supplement their own courses in the University.
The professors and students wear the University cap and gown, and
morning prayers are read to a voluntary attendance. The Redpath Museum,
of geology, mineralogy, zoology, and ethnology, has a distinction
among museums not only for the size of the collection, but for splendid
arrangement and classification. The well-selected library numbers about
30,000 volumes. The whole University is a vigorous educational centre,
and its well-planted grounds and fine buildings are an ornament to the
city.

Returning to the French element, its influence is not only felt in the
province of Quebec, but in the Dominion. The laws of the Dominion and
the proceedings are published in French and English; the debates in
the Dominion Parliament are conducted indifferently in both languages,
although it is observed that as the five years of any Parliament go on
English is more and more used by the members, for the French are more
likely to learn English than the English are to learn French. Of course
the Quebec Parliament is even more distinctly French. And the power of
the Roman Catholic Church is pretty much co-extensive with the language.
The system of tithes is legal in provincial law, and tithes can be
collected of all Roman Catholics by law. The Church has also what is
called the fabrique system; that is, a method of raising contributions
from any district for churches, priests’ houses, and conventual
buildings and schools. The tithes and the fabrique assessments make a
heavy burden on the peasants. The traveller down the St. Lawrence sees
how the interests of religion are emphasized in the large churches
raised in the midst of humble villages, and in the great Church
establishments of charity and instruction. It is said that the farmers
attempted to escape the tithe on cereals by changing to the cultivation
of pease, but the Church then decided that pease were cereals. There is
no doubt that the French population are devout, and that they support
the Church in proportion to their devotion, and that much which seems
to the Protestants extortion on the part of the Church is a voluntary
contribution. Still the fact remains that the burden is heavy on land
that is too cold for the highest productiveness. The desire to better
themselves in wages, and perhaps to escape burdens, sends a great many
French to New England. Some of them earn money, and return to settle in
the land that is dear by tradition and a thousand associations. Many do
not return, and I suppose there are over three-quarters of a million
of French Canadians now in New England. They go to better themselves,
exactly as New Englanders leave their homes for more productive farms in
the West. The Church, of course, does not encourage this emigration,
but does encourage the acquisition of lands in Ontario or elsewhere
in Canada. And there has been recently a marked increase of French
in Ontario—so marked that the French representation in the Ontario
Parliament will be increased probably by three members in the next
election. There are many people in Canada who are seriously alarmed at
this increase of the French and of the Roman Catholic power. Others look
upon this fear as idle, and say that immigration is sure to make the
Protestant element overwhelming. It is to be noted also that Ontario
furnishes Protestant emigrants to the United States in large numbers. It
may be that the interchange of ideas caused by the French emigration
to New England will be an important make-weight in favor of annexation.
Individuals, and even French newspapers, are found to advocate it. But
these are at present only surface indications. The political leaders,
the Church, and the mass of the people are fairly content with things as
they are, and with the provincial autonomy, although they resent federal
vetoes, and still make a “cry” of the Riel execution.

The French element in Canada may be considered from other points of
view. The contribution of romance and tradition is not an unimportant
one in any nation. The French in Canada have never broken with their
past, as the French in France have. There is a great charm about
Quebec—its language, its social life, the military remains of the last
century. It is a Protestant writer who speaks of the volume and
wealth of the French Canadian literature as too little known to
English-speaking Canada. And it is true that literary men have not
realized the richness of the French material, nor the work accomplished
by French writers in history, poetry, essays, and romances. Quebec
itself is at a commercial stand-still, but its uniquely beautiful
situation, its history, and the projection of mediævalism into existing
institutions make it one of the most interesting places to the tourist
on the continent. The conspicuous, noble, and commodious Parliament
building is almost the only one of consequence that speaks of the modern
spirit. It was the remark of a high Church dignitary that the object of
the French in Canada was the promotion of religion, and the object
of the English, commerce. We cannot overlook this attitude against
materialism. In the French schools and universities religion is not
divorced from education. And even in the highest education, where modern
science has a large place, what we may call the literary side is very
much emphasized. Indeed, the French students are rather inclined to
rhetoric, and in public life the French are distinguished for the
graces and charm of oratory. It may be true, as charged, that the public
schools of Quebec province, especially in the country, giving special
attention to the interest the Church regards as the highest, do little
to remove the ignorance of the French peasant. It is our belief that
the best Christianity is the most intelligent. Yet there is matter for
consideration with all thoughtful men what sort of society we shall
ultimately have in States where the common schools have neither
religious nor ethical teaching.

Ottawa is a creation of the Federal Government as distinctly as
‘Washington is. The lumber-mills on the Chaudière Falls necessitate a
considerable town here, for this industry assumes gigantic proportions,
but the beauty and attraction of the city are due to the concentration
here of political interest. The situation on the bluffs of the Ottawa
River is commanding, and gives fine opportunity for architectural
display. The group of Government buildings is surpassingly fine. The
Parliament House and the department buildings on three sides of a square
are exceedingly effective in color and in the perfection of Gothic
details, especially in the noble towers. There are few groups of
buildings anywhere so pleasing to the eye, or that appeal more strongly
to one’s sense of dignity and beauty. The library attached to the
Parliament House in the rear, a rotunda in form, has a picturesque
exterior, and the interior is exceedingly beautiful and effective.
The library, though mainly for Parliamentary uses, is rich in Canadian
history, and well up in polite literature. It contains about 90,000
volumes. In the Parliament building, which contains the two fine
legislative Chambers, there are residence apartments for the Speakers
of the Senate and of the House of Commons and their families, where
entertainments are given during the session. The opening of Parliament
is an imposing and brilliant occasion, graced by the presence of the
Governor-general, who is supposed to visit the Chambers at no other
time in the session. Ottawa is very gay during the session, society and
politics mingling as in London, and the English habit of night sessions
adds a good deal to the excitement and brilliancy of the Parliamentary
proceedings.

The growth of the Government business and of official life has made
necessary the addition of a third department building, and the new one,
departing from the Gothic style, is very solid and tasteful. There are
thirteen members of the Privy Council with portfolios, and the volume of
public business is attested by the increase of department officials.

I believe there are about 1500 men attached to the civil service in
Ottawa. It will be seen at once that the Federal Government, which
seemed in a manner superimposed upon the provincial governments, has
taken on large proportions, and that there is in Ottawa and throughout
the Dominion in federal officials and offices a strengthening vested
interest in the continuance of the present form of government. The
capital itself, with its investment in buildings, is a conservator of
the state of things as they are. The Cabinet has many able men, men who
would take a leading rank as parliamentarians in the English Commons,
and the Opposition benches in the House furnish a good quota of the
same material. The power of the premier is a fact as recognizable as
in England. For many years Sir John A. Macdonald has been virtually the
ruler of Canada. He has had the ability and skill to keep his party
in power, while all the provinces have remained or become Liberal. I
believe his continuance is due to his devotion to the national idea, to
the development of the country, to bold measures—like the urgency of the
Canadian Pacific Railway construction—for binding the provinces together
and promoting commercial activity. Canada is proud of this, even while
it counts its debt. Sir John is worshipped by his party, especially by
the younger men, to whom he furnishes an ideal, as a statesman of bold
conceptions and courage. He is disliked as a politician as cordially by
the Opposition, who attribute to him the same policy of adventure that
was attributed to Beaconsfield. Personally he resembles that remarkable
man. Undoubtedly Sir John adds prudence to his knowledge of men, and his
habit of never crossing a stream till he gets to it has gained him the
sobriquet of “Old To-morrow.” He is a man of the world as well as a man
of affairs, with a wide and liberal literary taste.

The members of Government are well informed about the United States, and
attentive students of its politics. I am sure that, while they prefer
their system of responsible government, they have no sentiment but
friendliness to American institutions and people, nor any expectation
that any differences will not be adjusted in a manner satisfactory and
honorable to both. I happened to be in Canada during the fishery
and “retaliation” talk. There was no belief that the “retaliation”
threatened was anything more than a campaign measure; it may have
chilled the rapport for the moment, but there was literally no
excitement over it, and the opinion was general that retaliation as to
transportation would benefit the Canadian railways. The effect of the
moment was that importers made large foreign orders for goods to be sent
by Halifax that would otherwise have gone to United States ports. The
fishery question is not one that can be treated in the space at
our command. Naturally Canada sees it from its point of view. To a
considerable portion of the maritime provinces fishing means livelihood,
and the view is that if the United States shares in it we ought to
open our markets to the Canadian fishermen. Some, indeed, and these are
generally advocates of freer trade, think that our fishermen ought to
have the right of entering the Canadian harbors for bait and shipment
of their catch, and think also that Canada would derive an equal benefit
from this; but probably the general feeling is that these privileges
should be compensated by a United States market. The defence of the
treaty in the United States Senate debate was not the defence of the
Canadian Government in many particulars. For instance, it was said that
the “outrages” had been disowned as the acts of irresponsible men. The
Canadian defence was that the “outrages”—that is, the most conspicuous
of them which appeared in the debate—had been disproved in the
investigation. Several of them, which excited indignation in the United
States, were declared by a Cabinet minister to have no foundation in
fact, and after proof of the falsity of the allegations the complainants
were not again heard of. Of course it is known that no arrangement made
by England can hold that is not materially beneficial to Canada and the
United States; and I believe I state the best judgment of both
sides that the whole fishery question, in the hands of sensible
representatives of both countries, upon ascertained facts, could be
settled between Canada and the United States. Is it not natural that,
with England conducting the negotiation, Canada should appear as a
somewhat irresponsible litigating party bent on securing all that she
can get? But whatever the legal rights are, under treaties or the law of
nations, I am sure that the absurdity of making a casus belli of them
is as much felt in Canada as in the United States. And I believe the
Canadians understand that this attitude is consistent with a firm
maintenance of treaty or other rights by the United States as it is by
Canada.

The province of Ontario is an empire in itself. It is nearly as large
as France; it is larger by twenty-live thousand square miles than
the combined six New England States, with New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, and Maryland. In its varied capacities it is the richest
province in Canada, and leaving out the forests and minerals and stony
wilderness between the Canadian Pacific and James Bay, it has an area
large enough for an empire, which compares favorably in climate and
fertility with the most prosperous States of our Union. The climate
of the lake region is milder than that of southern New York, and a
considerable part of it is easily productive of superior grapes, apples,
and other sorts of fruit. The average yield of wheat, per acre, both
fall and spring, for five years ending with 1886, was considerably above
that of our best grain-producing States, from Pennsylvania to those
farthest West. The same is true of oats. The comparison of barley
is still more favorable for Ontario, and the barley is of a superior
quality. On a carefully cultivated farm in York county, for this period,
the average was higher than the general in the province, being, of
wheat, 25 bushels to the acre; barley, 47 bushels; oats, 66 bushels;
pease, 32 bushels. It has no superior as a wool-producing and
cattle-raising country. Its waterpower is unexcelled; in minerals it is
as rich as it is in timber; every part of it has been made accessible to
market by railways and good highways, which have had liberal Government
aid; and its manufactures have been stimulated by a protective tariff.
Better than all this, it is the home of a very superior people. There
are no better anywhere. The original stock was good, the climate has
been favorable, the athletic habits have given them vigor and tone and
courage, and there prevails a robust, healthful moral condition. In any
company, in the clubs, in business houses, in professional circles, the
traveller is impressed with the physical development of the men, and
even on the streets of the chief towns with the uncommon number of women
who have beauty and that attractiveness which generally goes with good
taste in dress.

The original settlers of Ontario were 10,000 loyalists, who left New
England during and after our Revolutionary War. They went to Canada
impoverished, but they carried there moral and intellectual qualities
of a high order, the product of the best civilization of their day,
the best materials for making a State. I confess that I never could
rid myself of the school-boy idea that the terms “British redcoat”
and “enemy” were synonymous, and that a “Tory” was the worst character
Providence had ever permitted to live. But these people, who were
deported, or went voluntarily away for an idea, were among the best
material we had in stanch moral traits, intellectual leadership, social
position, and wealth; their crime was superior attachment to England,
and utter want of sympathy with the colonial cause, the cause of
“liberty” of the hour. It is to them, at any rate, that Ontario owes its
solid basis of character, vigor, and prosperity. I do not quarrel with
the pride of their descendants in the fact that their ancestors were
U. E. (United Empire) loyalists—a designation that still has a vital
meaning to them. No doubt they inherit the idea that the revolt was a
mistake, that the English connection is better as a form of government
than the republic, and some of them may still regard the “Yankees” as
their Tory ancestors did. It does not matter. In the development of
a century in a new world they are more like us than they are like
the English, except in a certain sentiment and in traditions, and in
adherence to English governmental ideas. I think I am not wrong in
saying that this conservative element in Ontario, or this aristocratical
element which believes that it can rule a people better than they
can rule themselves, was for a long time an anti-progressive and
anti-popular force. They did not give up their power readily—power,
however, which they were never accused of using for personal profit in
the way of money. But I suppose that the “rule of the best” is only held
today as a theory under popular suffrage in a responsible government.

The population of Ontario in 1886 was estimated at 1,819,026. For the
seven years from 1872—79 the gain was 250,782. For the seven years from
1879-86 the gain was only 145,459. These figures, which I take from the
statistics of Mr. Archibald Blue, secretary of the Ontario Bureau of
Industries, become still more significant when we consider that in the
second period of seven years the Government had spent more money in
developing the railways, in promoting immigration, and raised more money
by the protective tariff for the establishing of industries, than in the
first. The increase of population in the first period was 174 per cent.;
in the second, only 8 2/3 per cent. Mr. Blue also says that but for the
accession by immigration in the seven years 1879-86 the population
of the province in 1886 would have been 62,640 less than in 1879. The
natural increase, added to the immigration reported (208,000), should
have given an increase of 442,000. There was an increase of only
145,000. What became of the 297,000? They did not go to Manitoba—the
census shows that. “The lamentable truth is that we are growing men
for the United States.” That is, the province is at the cost of raising
thousands of citizens up to a productive age only to lose them by
emigration to the United States. Comparisons are also made with Ohio
and Michigan, showing in them a proportionally greater increase in
population, in acres of land under production, in manufactured products,
and in development of mineral wealth. And yet Ontario has as great
natural advantages as these neighboring States. The observation is
also made that in the six years 1873-79, a period of intense business
stringency, the country made decidedly greater progress than in the six
years 1879-85, “a period of revival and boom, and vast expenditure of
public money.” The reader will bear in mind that the repeal (caused
mainly by the increase of Canadian duties on American products) of the
reciprocity treaty in 1866 (under which an international trade had grown
to $70,000,000 annually) discouraged any annexation sentiment that may
have existed, aided the scheme of confederation, and seemed greatly to
stimulate Canadian manufactures, and the growth of interior and exterior
commerce.

We touch here not only political questions active in Canada, but
economic problems affecting both Canada and the United States. It is the
criticism of the Liberals upon the “development” policy, the protective
tariff, the subsidy policy of the Liberal-Conservative party now in
power, that a great show of activity is made without any real progress
either in wealth or population. To put it in a word, the Liberals want
unrestricted trade with the United States, with England, or with the
world—preferably with the United States. If this caused separation from
England they would accept the consequences with composure, but they
vehemently deny that they in any way favor annexation because they
desire free-trade. Pointing to the more rapid growth of the States of
the Union their advantage is said to consist in having free exchange of
commodities with sixty millions of people, spread over a continent.

As a matter of fact it seems plain that Ontario would benefit and have
a better development by sharing in this large circulation and exchange.
Would the State of New York be injured by the prosperity of Ontario?

Is it not benefited by the prosperity of its other neighbor,
Pennsylvania?

Toronto represents Ontario. It is its monetary, intellectual,
educational centre, and I may add that here, more than anywhere else
in Canada, the visitor is conscious of the complicated energy of a very
vigorous civilization. The city itself has grown rapidly—an increase
from 86,415 in 1881 to probably 170,000 in 1888—and it is growing as
rapidly as any city on the continent, according to the indications
of building, manufacturing, railway building, and the visible stir of
enterprise. It is a very handsome and agreeable city, pleasant for one
reason, because it covers a large area, and gives space for the
display of its fine buildings. I noticed especially the effect of noble
churches, occupying a square—ample grounds that give dignity to the
house of God. It extends along the lake about six miles, and runs back
about as far, laid out with regularity, and with the general effect
of being level, but the outskirts have a good deal of irregularity and
picturesqueness. It has many broad, handsome streets and several fine
parks; High Park on the west is extensive, the University grounds (or
Queen’s Park) are beautiful—the new and imposing Parliament Buildings
are being erected in a part of its domain ceded for the purpose; and
the Island Park, the irregular strip of an island lying in front of the
city, suggests the Lido of Venice. I cannot pause upon details, but the
town has an air of elegance, of solidity, of prosperity. The well-filled
streets present an aspect of great business animation, which is seen
also in the shops, the newspapers, the clubs. It is a place of social
activity as well, of animation, of hospitality.

There are a few delightful old houses, which date back to the New
England loyalists, and give a certain flavor to the town.

If I were to make an accurate picture of Toronto it would appear as one
of the most orderly, well-governed, moral, highly civilized towns on
the continent—in fact, almost unique in the active elements of a high
Christian civilization. The notable fact is that the concentration here
of business enterprise is equalled by the concentration of religious and
educational activity.

The Christian religion is fundamental in the educational system. In this
province the public schools are Protestant, the separate schools Roman
Catholic, and the Bible has never been driven from the schools. The
result as to positive and not passive religious instruction has not
been arrived at without agitation. The mandatory regulations of the
provincial Assembly are these: Every public and high school shall be
opened daily with the Lord’s Prayer, and closed with the reading of
the Scriptures and the Lord’s Prayer, or the prayer authorized by
the Department of Education. The Scriptures shall be read daily and
systematically, without comment or explanation. No pupil shall be
required to take part in any religious exercise objected to by parent
or guardian, and an interval is given for children of Roman Catholics to
withdraw. A volume of Scripture selections made up by clergymen of the
various denominations or the Bible may be used, in the discretion of the
trustees, who may also order the repeating of the ten commandments in
the school at least once a week. Clergymen of any denomination, or
their authorized representatives, shall have the right to give religions
instruction to pupils of their denomination in the school-house at least
once a week. The historical portions of the Bible are given with more
fulness than the others. Each lesson contains a continuous selection.
The denominational rights of the pupils are respected, because the
Scripture must be read without comment or explanation. The State thus
discharges its duty without prejudice to any sect, but recognizes the
truth that ethical and religious instruction is as necessary in life as
any other.

I am not able to collate the statistics to show the effect of this upon
public morals. I can only testify to the general healthful tone. The
schools of Toronto are excellent and comprehensive; the kindergarten is
a part of the system, and the law avoids the difficulty experienced in
St. Louis about spending money on children under the school age of six
by making the kindergarten age three. There is also a school for strays
and truants, under private auspices as yet, which reinforces the public
schools in an important manner, and an industrial school of promise,
on the cottage system, for neglected boys. The heads of educational
departments whom I met were Christian men.

I sat one day with the police-magistrate, and saw something of the
workings of the Police Department. The chief of police is a gentleman.
So far as I could see there was a distinct moral intention in the
administration. There are special policemen of high character,
with discretionary powers, who seek to prevent crime, to reconcile
differences, to suppress vice, to do justice on the side of the erring
as well as on the side of the law. The central prison (all offenders
sentenced for more than two years go to a Dominion penitentiary) is a
well-ordered jail, without any special reformatory features. I cannot
even mention the courts, the institutions of charity and reform, except
to say that they all show vigorous moral action and sentiment in the
community.

The city, though spread over such a large area, permits no horse-cars
to run on Sunday. There are no saloons open on Sunday; there are no
beer-gardens or places of entertainment in the suburbs, and no Sunday
newspapers. It is believed that the effect of not running the cars on
Sunday has been to scatter excellent churches all over the city, so
that every small section has good churches. Certainly they are well
distributed. They are large and fine architecturally; they are
well filled on Sunday; the clergymen are able, and the salaries
are considered liberal. If I may believe the reports and my limited
observation, the city is as active religiously as it is in matters
of education. And I do not see that this interferes with an agreeable
social life, with a marked tendency of the women to beauty and to taste
in dress. The tone of public and private life impresses a stranger as
exceptionally good. The police is free from political influence, being
under a commission of three, two of whom are life magistrates, and the
mayor.

The free-library system of the whole province is good. Toronto has an
excellent and most intelligently arranged free public library of about
50,000 volumes. The library trustees make an estimate yearly of the
money necessary, and this, under the law, must be voted by the city
council. The Dominion Government still imposes a duty on books purchased
for the library outside of Canada.

The educational work of Ontario is nobly crowned by the University
of Toronto, though it is in no sense a State institution. It is well
endowed, and has a fine estate. The central building is dignified and an
altogether noble piece of architecture, worthy to stand in its beautiful
park. It has a university organization, with a college inside of it, a
school of practical science, and affiliated divinity schools of several
denominations, including the Roman Catholic. There are fine museums and
libraries, and it is altogether well equipped and endowed, and under
the presidency of Dr. Daniel Wilson, the venerable ethnologist, it is a
great force in Canada. The students and officers wear the cap and gown,
and the establishment has altogether a scholastic air. Indeed, this
tradition and equipment—which in a sense pervades all life and politics
in Canada—has much to do with keeping up the British connection. The
conservation of the past is stronger than with us.

A hundred matters touching our relations with Canada press for mention.
I must not omit the labor organizations. These are in affiliation with
those in the United States, and most of them are international. The
plumbers, the bricklayers, the stone-masons and stone-cutters, the
Typographical Union, the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, the
wood-carvers, the Knights of Labor, are affiliated; there is a branch
of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in Canada; the railway
conductors, with delegates from all our States, held their conference in
Toronto last summer. The Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners
is a British association, with headquarters in Manchester, but it has
an executive committee in New York, with which all the Canadian and
American societies communicate, and it sustains a periodical in New
York. The Society of Amalgamated Engine Builders has its office in
London, but there is an American branch, with which all the Canadian
societies work in harmony. The Cigar-makers’ Union is American, but a
strike of cigar-makers in Toronto was supported by the American; so with
the plumbers. It may be said generally that the societies each side the
line will sustain each other. The trade organizations are also taken
up by women, and these all affiliate with the United States. When a
“National” union affiliates with one on the other side, the name
is changed to “International.” This union and interchange draws the
laborers of both nations closer together. From my best information, and
notwithstanding the denial of some politicians, the Canadian unions
have love and sympathy for and with America. And this feeling must be
reckoned with in speaking of the tendency to annexation. The present
much-respected mayor of Toronto is a trade-unionist, and has a seat
in the local parliament as a Conservative; he was once arrested for
picketing, or some such trade-union performance. I should not say that
the trades-unions are in favor of annexation, but they are not afraid
to discuss it. There is in Toronto a society of a hundred young men,
the greater part of whom are of the artisan class, who meet to discuss
questions of economy and politics. One of their subjects was Canadian
independence. I am told that there is among young men a considerable
desire for independence, accompanied with a determination to be on the
best terms with the United States, and that as between a connection with
Great Britain and the United States, they would prefer the latter. In
my own observation the determination to be on good terms with the United
States is general in Canada; the desire for independence is not.

The frequency of the question, “What do you think of the future
of Canada?” shows that it is an open question. Undeniably the
confederation, which seems to me rather a creation than a growth, works
very well, and under it Canada has steadily risen in the consideration
of the world and in the development of the sentiment of nationality.
But there are many points unadjusted in the federal and provincial
relations; more power is desired on one side, more local autonomy on
the other. The federal right of disallowance of local legislation is
resisted. The stated distribution of federal money to the provinces
is an anomaly which we could not reconcile with the public spirit
and dignity of the States, nor recognize as a proper function of the
Government. The habit of the provinces of asking aid from the
central government in emergencies, and getting it, does not cultivate
self-reliance, and the grant of aid by the Federal Government, in order
to allay dissatisfaction, must be a growing embarrassment. The French
privileges in regard to laws, language, and religion make an insoluble
core in the heart of the confederacy, and form a compact mass which
can be wielded for political purposes. This element, dominant in the
province of Quebec, is aggressive. I have read many alarmist articles,
both in Canadian and English periodicals, as to the danger of this to
the rights of Protestant communities. I lay no present stress upon the
expression of the belief by intelligent men that Protestant communities
might some time be driven to the shelter of the wider toleration of the
United States. No doubt much feeling is involved. I am only reporting
a state of mind which is of public notoriety; and I will add that men
equally intelligent say that all this fear is idle; that, for instance,
the French increase in Ontario means nothing, only that the habitant can
live on the semisterile Laurentian lands that others cannot profitably
cultivate.

In estimating the idea the Canadians have of their future it will not
do to take surface indications. One can go to Canada and get almost
any opinion and tendency he is in search of. Party spirit—though the
newspapers are in every way, as a rule, less sensational than
ours—runs as high and is as deeply bitter as it is with us. Motives
are unwarrantably attributed. It is always to be remembered that the
Opposition criticises the party in power for a policy it might not
essentially change if it came in, and the party in power attributes
designs to the Opposition which it does not entertain: as, for instance,
the Opposition party is not hostile to confederation because it objects
to the “development” policy or to the increase of the federal debt, nor
is it for annexation because it may favor unrestricted trade or even
commercial union. As a general statement it may be said that the
Liberal-Conservative party is a protection party, a “development” party,
and leans to a stronger federal government; that the Liberal party
favors freer trade, would cry halt to debt for the forcing of
development, and is jealous of provincial rights. Even the two parties
are not exactly homogeneous. There are Conservatives who would like
legislative union; the Liberals of the province of Quebec are of one
sort, the Liberals of the province of Ontario are of another, and there
are Conservative-Liberals as well as Radicals.

The interests of the maritime provinces are closely associated with
those of New England; popular votes there have often pointed to
political as well as commercial union, but the controlling forces
are loyal to the confederation and to British connection. Manitoba
is different in origin, as I pointed out, and in temper. It considers
sharply the benefit to itself of the federal domination. My own
impression is that it would vote pretty solidly against any present
proposition of annexation, but under the spur of local grievances and
the impatience of a growth slower than expected there is more or less
annexation talk, and one newspaper of a town of six thousand people has
advocated it. Whether that is any more significant than the same course
taken by a Quebec newspaper recently under local irritation about
disallowance I do not know. As to unrestricted trade, Sir John Thompson,
the very able Minister of Justice in Ottawa, said in a recent speech
that Canada could not permit her financial centre to be shifted to
Washington and her tariff to be made there; and in this he not only
touched the heart of the difficulty of an arrangement, but spoke, I
believe, the prevailing sentiment of Canada.

As to the future, I believe the choice of a strict conservatism would
be, first, the government as it is; second, independence; third,
imperial federation: annexation never. But imperial federation is
generally regarded as a wholly impracticable scheme. The Liberal would
choose, first, the framework as it is, with modifications; second,
independence, with freer trade; third, trust in Providence, without
fear. It will be noted in all these varieties of predilection
that separation from England is calmly contemplated as a definite
possibility, and I have no doubt that it would be preferred rather than
submission to the least loss of the present autonomy. And I must express
the belief that, underlying all other thought, unexpressed, or, if
expressed, vehemently repudiated, is the idea, widely prevalent, that
some time, not now, in the dim future, the destiny of Canada and the
United States will be one. And if one will let his imagination run a
little, he cannot but feel an exultation in the contemplation of the
majestic power and consequence in the world such a nation would be,
bounded by three oceans and the Gulf, united under a restricted federal
head, with free play for the individuality of every State. If this ever
comes to pass, the tendency to it will not be advanced by threats, by
unfriendly legislation, by attempts at conquest. The Canadians are as
high-spirited as we are. Any sort of union that is of the least value
could only come by free action of the Canadian people, in a growth of
business interests undisturbed by hostile sentiment. And there could
be no greater calamity to Canada, to the United States, to the
English-speaking interest in the world, than a collision. Nothing is
to be more dreaded for its effect upon the morals of the people of the
United States than any war with any taint of conquest in it.

There is, no doubt, with many, an honest preference for the colonial
condition. I have heard this said:

“We have the best government in the world, a responsible government,
with entire local freedom. England exercises no sort of control; we are
as free as a nation can he. We have in the representative of the Crown a
certain conservative tradition, and it only costs us ten thousand pounds
a year. We are free, we have little expense, and if we get into any
difficulty there is the mighty power of Great Britain behind us!” It
is as if one should say in life, I have no responsibilities; I have a
protector. Perhaps as a “rebel,” I am unable to enter into the colonial
state of mind. But the boy is never a man so long as he is dependent.
There was never a nation great until it came to the knowledge that it
had nowhere in the world to go for help.

In Canada to-dav there is a growing feeling for independence; very
little, taking the whole mass, for annexation. Put squarely to a popular
vote, it would make little show in the returns. Among the minor causes
of reluctance to a union are distrust of the Government of the United
States, coupled with the undoubted belief that Canada has the better
government; dislike of our quadrennial elections; the want of a
system of civil service, with all the turmoil of our constant official
overturning; dislike of our sensational and irresponsible journalism,
tending so often to recklessness; and dislike also, very likely, of
the very assertive spirit which has made us so rapidly subdue our
continental possessions.

But if one would forecast the future of Canada, he needs to take a wider
view than personal preferences or the agitations of local parties. The
railway development, the Canadian Pacific alone, has changed within five
years the prospects of the political situation. It has brought together
the widely separated provinces, and has given a new impulse to the
sentiment of nationality. It has produced a sort of unity which no Act
of Parliament could ever create. But it has done more than this: it has
changed the relation of England to Canada. The Dominion is felt to be
a much more important part of the British Empire than it was ten
years ago, and in England within less than ten years there has been a
revolution in colonial policy. With a line of fast steamers from the
British Islands to Halifax, with lines of fast steamers from Vancouver
to Yokohama, Hong-Kong, and Australia, with an all rail transit, within
British limits, through an empire of magnificent capacities, offering
homes for any possible British overflow, will England regard Canada as
a weakness? It is true that on this continent the day of dynasties is
over, and that the people will determine their own place. But there
are great commercial forces at work that cannot be ignored, which seem
strong enough to keep Canada for a long time on her present line of
development in a British connection.


THE END.





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