VOL. 1 SEPTEMBER 23, 1897. NO. 46
Copyright, 1897, THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
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The latest news from India is of a most encouraging nature.
It is supposed that the announcement made by the British Government that they mean to send a strong force to punish the rebellious tribes has had a good effect.
The Afridis are reported to have held a council of war, and have decided to return to their homes and gather in their harvests. The head men of the tribe are said to be responsible for this decision, because they made a strong stand against the continuation of the war.
It is probable that the reason of their return to their homes is not altogether because of their harvests, but that other tribes which had agreed to join in the uprising have become alarmed at the action of the British, and, fearful lest they too may come in for punishment, have refused to take any part in the border war.
Haddah Mullah, the mad priest who is accused of having incited the tribes to rebel in the first instance, has also given in. It is said that he has dispersed his followers of the Swati tribe, and that they have returned to their homes.
The Mullah had been gathering forces together for an attack on Peshawar, a strong British fort. To make his attempt successful he needed more men than he had under his command; he therefore ordered a tribe called the Mohmands to join him, and marched toward Peshawar, expecting to meet them on the way.
When he and his followers arrived at the meeting-place, he found to his dismay that instead of the host of warriors he had expected, there was only a messenger from the chief of the Mohmands, who told him in very plain terms that they would have nothing to do with either the revolt or the attack on Peshawar.
On hearing this it is said that the Mullah was so discouraged that he refused to lead the Swatis anymore, and ordered his followers to go back to their homes.
If this report be indeed true, the worst of the rebellion is undoubtedly over, for the Haddah Mullah was the most dangerous enemy the British had to fear in the frontier war. By preying upon the superstitions of the tribe he had obtained such an influence over them that they regarded him as a prophet and obeyed his slightest word.
To make them fight bravely he distributed rice that had been colored pink among his followers on the eve of a battle, and assured them that all who carried it would pass through the fiercest battle without a wound or scratch.
On one occasion when the rice had been handed round from man to man it was found after the fight was over that the Mullah's hand was very badly cut. His followers began to murmur, and wonder how the giver of this charmed rice could himself be wounded in battle. The Mullah was, however, smart enough to invent a story about having seized a bayonet and purposely cut himself. His simple followers believed him, and continued to use the wonderful rice.
The withdrawal of this crafty priest from active opposition will be a great assistance to the British cause, which has also been greatly strengthened during the last few days by the friendly attitude of the Ameer of Afghanistan.
We told you how the British suspected that this ruler had helped to stir up the rebellion: at one time it was decided to send him another letter, calling him sharply to account for his double dealing.
Before any such action could be taken, news was brought that the Ameer had caused the arrest of forty important tribesmen, who were supposed to have assisted the mad Mullah in rousing the people against the British.
This action has had such an excellent effect on the tribes that many people suppose Great Britain's frontier war is over.
The English have still a great deal to do on the borders of Afghanistan. For the sake of their future power in India they dare not let the natives think they can rebel against England without being severely punished. Whether the revolt is really over or not, a force will have to be sent against the rebellious tribes to teach them proper respect for British power.
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General Woodford has arrived safely in Spain, and is to be presented to the Queen Regent in a few days.
He has, in the mean while, met the Duke of Tetuan, and has been very pleasantly received.
A great sensation has, however, been caused in Havana by the publication of a letter from General Azcarraga, the present Spanish Prime Minister. In this letter the minister says that the Spanish Government will not listen to any demands from the United States, that no one in Spain thinks our country has any right to interfere in the Cuban question, and that rather than submit to American dictation, Spain is prepared to declare war.
In the letter it is also said that if it becomes necessary to declare war, Spain is confident that she will have the support of the nations of Europe. It is argued that if we succeed in freeing Cuba we will be certain to try and get Canada and Jamaica away from England, and the French possessions from their mother country.
The General asserts that if the United States succeeds in freeing Cuba, European rule in the New World will soon cease to exist.
Finally, he says that if General Woodford's mission is after all merely to claim damages from Spain, he will be listened to with the utmost politeness, and then informed that Spain also has her claims against America. But if General Woodford persists in entering on the subject of the Cuban war, he will be told that Spain does not admit the right of the United States to interfere in her private affairs, and the ambassador will be politely but firmly requested to mind his own business.
Every one is most anxious to learn just what General Woodford's mission is, and how Spain will receive it.
In the mean while many people are wondering why Spain has suddenly become so averse to parting with her colonies. Many times in the last century she has ceded and sold them, and it seems strange that she should be unwilling to let Cuba purchase her freedom when it is the easiest way out of the present difficulty.
At one time Spain had vast possessions in the New World. Louisiana, Florida, Mexico, the Central American States, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the Argentine Republic were all under the rule of Spain.
One by one these countries have thrown off the Spanish yoke; Cuba is only following in their footsteps, and yet while the mother country has been content to receive valuable considerations for her other provinces, she declares that to surrender Cuba would be to forfeit her honor.
Affairs in Madrid are approaching a crisis. It is rumored that within two weeks General Azcarraga will cease to be Prime Minister, and that Senor Sagasta will be called to take command of the affairs of State. Sagasta, as we have told you, has very broad views about Cuba, and wishes for nothing so much as peace with the unhappy little island.
The affairs of the election in Cuba are progressing quietly.
The election should have taken place on September 1st, but the bad roads made travelling so difficult that some of the most important members of the Assembly were unable to get to the meeting, and so the business of electing a President has had to be postponed for a few days.
The Cubans say that the first work of the new administration must be to establish a government for peace. Up to the present time their thoughts have all been directed toward preserving the army in the field, and making it possible to continue the war.
The rebellion has now such a strong hold in the eastern part of the island that it is necessary to provide laws for the welfare of those who are living under the flag of free Cuba, which, as we have told you before, now floats over Santiago de Cuba.
The Government has already established factories and workshops to furnish supplies for the army, and about five thousand persons are employed in them.
There are tanneries where the skins of beasts are made into leather; shoe, saddle, harness, gunpowder, and dynamite factories, and workshops for repairing arms and reloading gun-cartridges.
A newspaper man who says he has been through these establishments states that while they are somewhat old-fashioned in their methods, owing to the impossibility of obtaining the newest machinery, the work they turn out is excellent.
The Cuban Government is also providing for the education of its subjects. Free schools are being established wherever it is safe to do so, and every effort is being made to render the people who acknowledge the rule of the young republic happy and law-abiding.
One of the candidates for the Presidency is Gen. Bartolome Maso, who holds the office of Vice-President under the present administration.
Senor Maso is a dear friend and close companion of President Cisneros; so warm is this friendship, indeed, that Cisneros has offered to withdraw from the candidacy in favor of Maso, and Maso has refused to let him do so, declaring that he can serve the republic just as well whether he is President or private citizen.
Maso is one of the soldiers who fought in the revolt ten years ago. He was one of the first to take up arms against Spain on the present occasion. You must not confound him with Maceo, the murdered general. This man is Bartolome Maso, the dead general was Antonio Maceo.
Senor Maso is often lovingly referred to by the Cubans as the father of the revolution.
Consul-General Lee has returned from Cuba. He has been ill for some months, and has obtained a few weeks' leave of absence in which to regain his strength. There are reports that he is not to return to Cuba, but that another Consul-General is to be appointed in his place. These rumors are not generally credited.
From the Philippine Islands the news comes that the natives intend to prolong the war until Spain's money is exhausted, and then force her to agree to their demands.
The main fighting in this insurrection has taken place on the island of Luzon. This island has been visited by a terrible disaster. One of its volcanic mountains has suddenly burst into activity, and thrown out streams of lava in such volume that they have travelled over twenty miles of country until they reached the sea.
It is said that several villages have been destroyed by the lava flow, and about five hundred persons killed.
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There is once more a prospect of a settlement of the Greek question.
After the rejection of Lord Salisbury's plan, about which we told you last week, it seemed as if matters would again be brought to a standstill. England refused to consent to any plan that did not include the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Thessaly, and Germany would not listen to any arrangement that did not include the full control of the Greek Treasury.
The Russian Minister, fearing another long delay, appealed to England, and demanded that she should agree to Germany's plan, or propose some other that would be agreeable to all the parties concerned.
Lord Salisbury therefore made a new proposal to this effect. The Powers should take control of the revenues set aside by Greece for the payment of the war debt to Turkey, and that yet another sum should be handed over to the Powers to secure the payment of her other debts.
The proposal also stated that when Greece had put the funds into the hands of the Powers, Turkey was immediately to recall her troops from Thessaly.
The ambassadors all agreed to accept this plan, which, in truth, gave both Germany and England the points they desired. After the foreign Ministers had decided to accept it, it was shown informally to Tewfik Pasha.
This official also appeared satisfied with the arrangements, and gave the ambassadors to understand that when it was formally presented to him he would be able to accept it in the name of the Sultan.
It is therefore expected that the details of the peace treaty will be settled in a very few days.
Greece, the country most interested in this settlement, is the party least satisfied with the arrangement.
It is felt in Athens that the terms of the peace are very hard ones. The frontier question has been so settled that Greece is powerless to defend herself against the Turks if they should declare war on her again. The mountain passes and the important places in the mountain ranges will be in the hands of the Turks, and Greece will lie at the foot of the hills, a ready prey to any army that may descend on her from the heights.
In addition to this, she has to pay a heavy war indemnity, and to do so must turn over the control of her revenue to foreigners.
It will take many years before Greece can recover from this blow.
The blockade of Crete is to be brought to an end, or "raised" as it is called.
The Cretans having accepted the Home Rule offered them by the Powers, there is no longer any need for the allied fleets to remain there, and therefore the war-ships are to leave the island.
It is difficult to see what good they have accomplished. When Djevad Pasha arrived at the island, giving himself all the airs of a new Turkish governor, the Cretans accepted Home Rule in the belief that the Powers would protect them from the Turks.
Not being wily diplomatists, they did not insert any clause about the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island, and therefore the Powers do not feel bound to demand this of Turkey, and are taking away the only protection the Cretans had, and are leaving them just as much at the mercy of the Turks as they were before Greece tried to go to their rescue.
It seems a shabby piece of business on the part of the Powers, and one they will have hard work to justify even to themselves.
The admirals have, it is true, requested Djevad Pasha to order all the Turks in the island disarmed with the exception of the Turkish soldiers. If he refuses they threaten to ask for his recall, but this is a very poor conclusion after all the fuss that has been made, and the trouble the interference of the Powers has caused.
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There is good news from the Soudan.
After the British had taken the town of Abu Hamed, about which we told you a short while since, they continued to advance up the Nile toward the next important town that lay in their route to Khartoum.
This town was Berber.
It was expected that the Mahdists would make a fierce resistance at this place, and the British troops were prepared for severe fighting.
What was their surprise on reaching Berber to find that the Mahdists had fled before them, and were encamped at the city of Matammeh, where they intended to make a stand against the invading army.
Berber had been left in the hands of a few Soudanese who were friendly to the English, and willingly permitted them to take possession of the town.
This city is only about two hundred miles from Khartoum, and no place of importance now lies in the way of the British advance on Khartoum, the Mahdist stronghold.
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A very interesting movement is on foot to secure the return of the Jews to Palestine.
We are all familiar with the beautiful story of Moses, and how he led the Jewish people out of their captivity in Egypt into the promised land of Palestine.
We can follow out the history of the kingdom of Israel through its years of prosperity under David and Solomon; we can read how the Jews again became a conquered people, and fell under the rule of the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, and how under the leadership of Maccabeus they once more became a nation, only to fall into the hands of the Romans.
History tells us how they revolted again and again under the Roman rule, and how at last, in the year 135 A.D., Jerusalem was taken by the Roman Emperor, and the Jews, driven from their country, ceased to be a nation, and were scattered over the face of the earth.
From the year 135 Palestine remained in the hands of the Romans, and when they became converted to Christianity this land was regarded by them with great veneration. Bethlehem of Judea, where Jesus Christ was born, is in Palestine, and Jerusalem, where He suffered death on the cross, was the capital of Judea.
In the sixth century Palestine fell into the hands of the Mohammedans, and it was to rescue the Holy City from the hands of unbelievers that the Christians of Europe first undertook those long and terrible wars which are known in history as the Crusades.
The Christians finally conquered Jerusalem, and established a Christian kingdom there which lasted for eighty years, when the celebrated Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, reconquered the Holy City.
Since that time Palestine has been in the hands of the Mohammedans, and in the year 1517 it was finally added to the Turkish Empire.
The present idea of the Jewish people is to purchase Palestine from the Sultan of Turkey and re-settle the Hebrews there.
A Hebrew Congress has just been held in Basle, Switzerland, for the purpose of discussing this matter.
On the second day of the Congress a resolution was offered that a home be created in Palestine for the Jewish people, and that the consent and assistance of the Powers be asked to the plan.
The resolution was instantly adopted, amid the greatest excitement and enthusiasm.
Little more business was done that day. The people present were so excited with the hope of becoming a nation once more that they could not bring their minds to consider any less important subject.
The next day, however, the Congress settled itself to a business-like consideration of the plan. It was resolved to treat with the Sultan of Turkey for the purchase of Palestine, and a committee was formed to collect funds for that object, it being considered desirable to raise fifty million dollars as speedily as possible.
The idea of recolonizing Palestine is not a new one. In 1840 the generous Sir Moses Montefiore endeavored to start the scheme. Since his day several other attempts have been made.
In 1878 some Jews in Jerusalem founded the first colony there, and through the assistance of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and of a Jewish society in Paris, there are already five thousand Hebrews settled in Palestine. They have a tract of land about six square miles in extent, and have it in excellent cultivation, producing among other things an excellent vintage of Bordeaux, which is a high grade of claret.
The present plan originated with Dr. Theodor Herzl of Vienna. He is a literary man whose work is well known in Austria, and he is considered well fitted to be the leader of this great movement.
Dr. Herzl says that he does not think there will be much difficulty in making terms with the Sultan.
He visited Constantinople last year, and had two long conversations with the Grand Vizier on the subject. While this minister did not answer Yes or No to his project, Dr. Herzl says that he can but feel that the Sultan was favorably impressed by it, as he sent him a decoration.
A "decoration" is a badge or emblem, such as a cross, star, flower, or the like, which is bestowed by a sovereign as a special mark of favor or in recognition of some great service. Medals received for bravery on the field of battle are decorations.
Some of these decorations, or orders, as they are also called, are extremely beautiful in workmanship and design. Each country has its own special orders, a certain few of which are only bestowed on royalty, or persons of very high rank.
Decorations are intended to be worn on the left breast. To attach them to the clothing they are threaded on a ribbon which varies in color and design for every order. In Europe, medals and orders are only worn on full-dress occasions, but for ordinary use the proud owners of these marks of distinction will wear a small strip of ribbon belonging to the order.
These favors are not, as a rule, lightly bestowed, and the possessors of the important European orders are rightfully proud of them.
The decorating of Dr. Herzl may have been nothing more than amiability on the part of the Sultan, but it certainly showed that his Majesty was not displeased with the doctor's mission.
The leaders of this new movement are not, however, pinning all their faith on the Sultan.
If it becomes impossible to secure Palestine they will treat for a tract of land in some healthy part of South America.
The land once secured, it is the intention to send a number of the poorer Jews out to it.
These men are to be drawn from the laboring classes, and it is to be their work to lay out streets, build bridges and railroads, etc., and generally prepare the way for those who are to follow.
It is not intended to make any class distinctions of rich or poor, or to send out a class of rich persons to profit by the work done for them by their less fortunate brothers. The leaders of the movement will lay out extensive works in the various kinds of building that we have mentioned, and it is expected that the business these works will create will attract settlers to the new country, who will start up foundries and factories. It is the intention to furnish the colony with all the latest improvements and inventions, and it is but reasonable to suppose that the new land will soon become an important centre of industry.
The promoters of the scheme look for great assistance from England, and have approached Lord Salisbury in the hope of gaining his friendship.
Europe would of course have a great deal to say about the establishment of an enlightened and progressive race on the borders of the Red Sea, and the new nation could not be established without the consent of the Powers.
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Russia is about building a new canal, which, when finished, will be one of the greatest works ever undertaken.
It is to connect the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea, and is to be one thousand miles in length.
It is to start from Riga on the Baltic, and run to Kherson at the mouth of the Dneiper River, where that river empties itself into the Black Sea.
The advantages of this canal will be very great.
At the present time a vessel voyaging from the Baltic to the Black Sea has to go all round Europe before it reaches its destination. Take your map and follow out the course a ship must take. It must skirt Denmark and pass into the North Sea, then go through the Straits of Dover, down the coast of France, across the Bay of Biscay, and down the coast of Portugal until the Straits of Gibraltar are reached. Here the vessel must pass into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, and follow it along through the Grecian Archipelago, through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora, and passing through the Bosporus, it at last finds itself in the Black Sea.
The time required to make such a long voyage is a great loss to merchants, and the vessel has to pass through so many narrow straits and past so many strategic points that the voyage could hardly be undertaken if Russia were at war with any foreign nation.
The canal is to be 213 feet wide at the surface, 115 feet at the base, and to have a depth of 27 feet.
It should, therefore, be a very fine canal.
Germany and the United States are both very pleased about this great work, for both nations see in it an opportunity to sell their iron and steel manufactures.
The Czar of Russia has issued an order that there is to be no more exiling to Siberia except for certain very serious crimes.
Instead, large prisons are to be built in Central Russia for the political criminals. The change is to go into effect in one year's time, when it is supposed that the new prisons will be in readiness.
It seems almost too good to be true that the terrors of Siberian exile are to be abolished. To most of the unfortunate prisoners who were interviewed by Mr. George Kennan when he visited the Siberian convict settlements, even the horrors of the exile were as nothing compared to the awful journey on foot across the desolate steppes of Russia.
All this will soon be at an end, and the nearness of the prisons to civilization will perhaps remove some of the abuses and ill-treatment of the prisoners now practised in the far-away Siberian prisons.
If the young Czar Nicholas continues his kindly and humane methods of government it is likely that he will soon need very few political prisons.
He has shown much kindness and clemency to his people since he came to the throne, and there is little doubt that his subjects will soon learn to love him and trust him in return.
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The relations between the Transvaal and England are again being brought prominently before the world.
Early in the spring, when it was rumored that Germany was taking too friendly an interest in the affairs of the Transvaal, Mr. Chamberlain, the Colonial Secretary of England, sent a very stormy letter to the Boers, saying that England insisted that the Transvaal should not make any foreign alliances without her consent, and that the treaty between the Transvaal and Great Britain, which is known as the "London Treaty," must be very closely observed.
To this the Boer Government replied that it would be glad to arbitrate that point as well as the amount of the payment to be made for the Jameson raid; and the various other points on which the two governments were at issue.
Soon after this Dr. Leyds, President Krueger's confidential agent, arrived in England, and had a conference with Mr. Chamberlain. They appeared to come to satisfactory understanding, and there was every prospect of a peaceful settlement to the dispute.
Some weeks after this conversation with Dr. Leyds, Mr. Chamberlain was asked by the House of Commons whether he had consented to arbitrate with the Transvaal.
Mr. Chamberlain answered that some points would certainly be submitted to arbitration, but the question, of the Transvaal's right to allow a foreign country to befriend her could not be so treated, because it was expressly stated in the London convention that England had sovereign rights in the Transvaal, and could therefore insist on her wishes being carried out.
When the news of Mr. Chamberlain's speech reached Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal, there was great indignation among the Boers. The matter was debated by the Volksraad or Parliament, and several members declared that Great Britain must be shown that she no longer had any sovereign rights in the Transvaal.
Meetings were held denouncing Mr. Chamberlain's remarks, and finally President Krueger delivered a speech before the Volksraad which caused considerable excitement, as its meaning was an open defiance of England.
In this speech President Krueger stated that the Boers were perfectly willing to abide by the London convention, but he stated emphatically that the convention did not contain a word about the sovereign rights of England, and since it had been made, all such rights had ceased to exist.
The London convention was made in 1884.
In 1881, after the British forces had been beaten by the Boers, a treaty was made by which peace was restored, and the Transvaal recognized as a semi-independent republic, under the sovereignty of England.
In this treaty it was understood that the Boers would have freedom of government as far as their home affairs went, but that no friendships or alliances could be made with foreign powers. The British Government reserved for itself the right of managing the foreign affairs of the Transvaal.
This was in 1881.
In 1884 a new agreement was entered into which expressly stated that England no longer wanted these rights, and that the Transvaal was free to govern the country without interference, and to manage its own foreign affairs as it pleased. One right only did England demand, and that was that the Transvaal should not make any treaty with a foreign country without the approval of the Queen.
It stated that the Transvaal Government must send her Majesty a copy of any treaty it desired to make, and that if England notified the Boers within six months that the proposed treaty interfered with her rights in South Africa, it must be abandoned. Nothing was said in this agreement which prevented the Transvaal from having friendly dealings with foreign powers.
Mr. Chamberlain seems to have become confused about the contents of the London convention of 1884, and to have got it mixed with the treaty of 1881. The brave old President of the Transvaal has, however, determined to refresh his memory.
In his speech before the Volksraad he stated grimly that the Boers would oppose to the last any attempt on the part of England to enforce her fancied rights, and having declared himself emphatically for war, he concluded with one of his quaint, pious remarks. He said the Boers wished to preserve peaceful and friendly relations with the whole world, because wherever love dwelt the blessing of God was sure to follow.
President Krueger's defiance was regarded by the British Government as mere speech-making. The Government refused to believe that the old man wished his words to be taken seriously, and so passed the whole affair over as unworthy of notice.
Mr. Chamberlain has been instructed to enforce Great Britain's sovereign rights in the Transvaal, and notwithstanding the fact that several of the London newspapers are calling attention to the treaty of 1884, he is determined to insist on these rights.
It was rumored some time ago that as soon as the Greek troubles were out of the way, Germany, France, and Russia would take up the Transvaal question.
This may perhaps be the reason why the Boer President so bravely defies the British Government, and if Mr. Chamberlain tries to force the Transvaal to submit, he may find that he has to reckon with these three powerful countries as well as the handful of Dutchmen in the South African Republic.
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A terrible tragedy has occurred in Pennsylvania at a place called Hazleton, about twenty-five miles from Wilkesbarre.
Some miners were shot and killed by order of the sheriff of the county.
These miners were out on strike, their strike, however, not being in any way connected with the great coal strike of which we have told you in previous numbers.
These men were dissatisfied because an extra two-hours' work was forced upon them every day without extra pay.
Some mules which had formerly been stationed in another colliery were changed over to the one at which these men were employed, and the care of these animals occupied the drivers an extra hour morning and night, which the miners resented. They therefore struck work.
Two of the drivers did not wish to join in the strike, and the superintendent, seeing this, did his best to persuade all the men to go to work. Upon this the strikers became angry, and bitter words and hard feeling resulted.
Thinking themselves badly used, the men resolved to try and make the strike general in the neighborhood, and began marching from colliery to colliery, urging the men at work to lay down their picks and join them.
The strikers have been very orderly, and have made no disturbance of any kind, but as they were principally foreigners who are ignorant of our laws and customs, it was thought best to have men on hand ready to check them if they attempted any lawless act. The sheriff of Luzerne County, in which Hazleton is situated, was therefore notified to be on the alert, and in his turn sent word to his deputies to be ready for action.
The sheriff of a county is a very important officer. It is his duty to see that law and order are preserved within the limits of his county, that the penalties ordered by the judges are carried out, and to suppress all riots and uprisings in his district.
To assist him in this work he has the right to call on as many citizens as he needs for the business in hand. These men he binds by an oath to aid him in the discharge of his duty and to help him to preserve the peace. They compose what is known as the sheriff's posse, and are a body of men who accompany him and help him to do his duty.
Sheriff Martin, of Luzerne County, called out about ninety deputies for his posse, and had them in the vicinity of Hazleton for over a week before the shooting occurred.
On the day of the tragedy a body of the strikers had determined to march to Lattimer, a village not very far away from Hazleton. They desired to persuade the miners there to join their ranks, and started out about two hundred and fifty strong, marching in a peaceable and orderly manner along the road. None of them were armed, and none showed the slightest desire for violence or riot.
They had arrived within a few hundred yards of their destination when their road was blocked by the sheriff and his posse.
Advancing toward them, the sheriff ordered them to go back to their homes, telling them that they were creating a disturbance and were acting in defiance of the law.
Most of the strikers were foreigners, and, failing to understand what the sheriff said, the foremost men crowded round him, trying to prove to him that they were only parading, and had a perfect right to march through the streets if they only remained peaceful and orderly.
Unfortunately the sheriff could not make out what they meant, and supposed they were defying him.
He therefore proceeded to read them the Riot Act.
This is an act which in the name of the commonwealth orders the persons assembled to disperse and go to their homes.
If the rioters fail to obey they are liable to imprisonment and punishment according to the laws of the State, and the sheriff or person authorized to read the Riot Act is bound to arrest all persons who linger around after the act has been read to them.
When a riot has assumed such a serious character that armed men have had to be called out to subdue it, the Riot Act is generally read, and then the soldiers or sheriff's deputies charge the mob, being careful not to fire on them or wound them unless necessary in self-defence or in performance of their duty.
In this instance the sheriff utterly misunderstood the rioters, and as they crowded around him, trying to make out what it was that he was reading to them, he lost his self-control, and imagining the men were defying and threatening him, ordered his posse to fire.
It was a frightful affair. Ninety well-armed men firing into a crowd of defenceless laborers. Twenty-three strikers were killed, thirty-six seriously wounded, and about forty more injured.
As you may suppose, our whole country is mourning over this catastrophe.
It would seem difficult to find where the real blame lies. The sheriff thought he was doing his duty, his posse but obeyed his orders, and the poor sacrificed miners had no idea what the sheriff was reading to them, nor any intention of offering violence.
The whole neighborhood became so excited over the affray that the Governor of Pennsylvania immediately ordered some of the state troops to Hazleton to prevent further trouble.
The sheriff and his posse are to be arrested and tried for killing the strikers.
The Mayor of Hazleton declares that the shooting of the miners cannot be excused; that if the rioters refused to go home after the Riot Act had been read to them, the sheriff should have ordered his deputies to fire over the heads of the mob; and then, if they still continued rebellious, it was time to think about punishing them.
The Riot Act states that persons lingering one hour after the act has been read shall be seized and arrested, and those who arrest them shall not be held liable for any injuries the rioters may receive; but this is only after an hour has elapsed. According to the accounts that have reached us, the sheriff ordered his men to fire immediately after the reading of the act.
The great coal strike is, however, at an end.
A fresh agreement has been offered, which both miners and owners have decided to accept.
By it the men go to work at sixty-five cents per ton until January, when a new scale of wages is to be used. This scale will be settled by arbitration between this and January.
The masters and men are to meet in joint conference, and both sides promise to abide by the decision of the arbitrators.
It is said that Mr. de Armitt will not pay the sixty-five-cent rate, but will only give fifty-four cents till the new rate goes into effect in January. The leaders have determined to continue the strike in his mines if this report proves to be true, but in the other collieries the miners will go to work.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
BICYCLE-HOLDER.-A clever invention comes to us from California. It is called a bicycle-holder, and is designed for carrying bicycles on street cars.
It is a simple device consisting of two hooks placed on an iron bar, from the centre of which another bar depends which is also furnished with a hook.
The wheel is hung on to the upper hooks, one of which passes through each wheel. The lower hook is so adjusted that the hind wheel rests in it, thus forming a perfect support for the machine.
It is possible to attach two bicycle-holders to the back of each car, and if it works as well as it is expected to do, will be a great convenience to wheel-men.
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ROAD MAP.—This is also a boon to bicyclists. The map, instead of folding up to put in the pocket, is rolled on two small cylinders. With the map comes a nickeled wire attachment which fits over the ends of the cylinders and holds a portion of the map firmly extended.
In the centre of the wire holder is a loop which snaps on to the handle-bar of the wheel and enables the rider to carry his map stretched out before him ready for instant use.
As the rider proceeds farther on his journey he can twist the cylinders and unroll a fresh portion of his map. It is an excellent device, and one which can be adjusted to all bicycles.
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WRIST-GUIDE FOR PIANOS.-This is an attachment which can be fixed to any piano, and is intended to show the learner just the right angle at which the wrist should be held.
Children seem naturally to be flabby-wristed when they are trying to learn to play, and to drop the wrists below the level of the keyboard seems to be the chief aim and object of every young pianist.
Years ago there were not so many inventions for making learning delightful to the young, and we distinctly remember the fierce battles which used to take place at each music lesson over this very wrist business.
As no wrist-guide had then been invented, necessity—which is the mother of invention, they say—taught our instructress to make one of her own. Hers was more simple than the present one, but probably even more effective. It consisted of a pair of sharp-pointed scissors which glistened ferociously under the learner's wrists, ready to give them a sharp reminder whenever they flagged and showed a disposition to droop.
The piano was not as popular an instrument in those days as it has since become.
This wrist-guide ought to save many tears and much vexation of spirit to both teacher and pupil.
We have received from the publishers, Thompson, Brown & Co., Boston, a set of the Duntonian Vertical Writing-Books. This series is described by the publishers as follows:
"This is a distinctly new series of Vertical Writing-Books, having some special features of great teaching value. One of these is the specially made paper with water-marked direction lines which pertains only to this system, and by means of which a vertical hand can be much sooner acquired. These lines are not intended in any way as guide-lines to be carefully observed in writing the copy, but simply as a ready means of verifying the work and determining whether the writer is conforming to a practical vertical style or not."
The attention of readers is called to the advertisement opposite the first reading page of this number. This contest cannot fail to be pleasant work, for to read through carefully the poem of Evangeline is a treat in itself. We hope that many of our young friends will compete; and if the proper sort of interest is shown in this contest, others will follow it.