The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 2, No. 23, June 9, 1898 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls
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Vol. 2—No. 23, June 9, 1898. No. 83. [Entered at Post Office, New York City, as second class matter]

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Copyright, 1898, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.

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The Great Round World

And What Is Going On In It

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Vol. II., No. 23. JUNE 9, 1898 Whole No. 83

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CONTENTS. LATEST NEWS 774 With the Editor 713 Letters 714 New Books 715 American and Spanish Losses 717 Declarations of Neutrality 718 Second Call for Volunteers 719 Damage to the Columbia 719 Balloons for War Purposes 720 Taking Photographs of Battles 720 Use of Kites in War-time 721 New Armor-plate Contracts 722 Privateers for Spain 723 Hawaii 724 News from Spain 724 Lieutenant Carranza in Trouble 725 News from the Philippines 727 Postal Service in War-time 730 European Powers and the Philippines 731 Cable-Cutting and International Law 732 Riots in Italy 733 The Leiter Wheat Deal 734 News from West Africa 735 War News 736 LATEST NEWS 738 The Flag 742

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[Sidenote: With the Editor]

We wish to call our subscribers' attention to our new binders for THE GREAT ROUND WORLD. During the past year we have received many requests for missing numbers, also suggestions that some sort of cover or holder should be supplied, in order that numbers might be kept together, constant reference being made to back numbers, the loss of one causing much inconvenience. After giving the matter careful study, we have at last succeeded in making a handy case, in which the numbers as issued may be inserted. This case is strongly bound in cloth, with a handsome design on back and sides; the copies of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD can be inserted without mutilating them in any way, and be kept clean and in condition for binding.

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I am very much interested in the war, and would like to do something for my country. Could you suggest something that a little girl could do?

Respectfully yours, ALMA D.

Other boys and girls are gathering illustrated papers, periodicals, and books to be forwarded to the soldiers and sailors. You can help in this way.


In your issue of April 21st, you speak of the Russian officer Milutine having said that no Christian had ever succeeded in entering and leaving Mecca before his doing so. Sir Richard Burton distinctly states that he was the first man ever to accomplish this feat, as you will see by his book. Who is correct?

Very truly yours, J. T.

If you read the account again, you will see that Milutine is quoted as having said that he had heard that no Christian had previously gone to Mecca and returned safely. It is true that Burton did precede Milutine. EDITOR.

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New Books

"Manipulation of the Microscope," Edward Bausch (Rochester: Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.). At this season of the year, when so many of our readers are interested in the study of botany and other nature work, the use of the microscope enters largely into their work—and yet how few people really understand this most useful instrument. The writer of this admirable little book very sensibly assumes that his readers are anxious to learn the subject from its simplest form to the more complex details, and he has therefore made a thoroughly useful book. Few people realize the delight of using a microscope intelligently, nor do they grasp the true value of even the simple pocket forms of this invaluable little instrument. If they did properly appreciate the microscope, every boy would carry a two or three loop lens, and find it as useful almost as the indispensable jackknife. The wonders of field, forest, and seashore are not thoroughly appreciated unless the microscope is used—intelligently.

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Current History

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In our last number we give a review of the first month of the war. In glancing over the news, it is extremely interesting to contrast the losses of Spain with those of the United States. In the campaign off Cuba, we have had less than thirty men killed and wounded, whereas the Spaniards have lost several hundreds; they have had many of their fortifications destroyed, and have suffered great damage in other ways—by the capture of vessels, etc. In the far East, Spain's fleet was destroyed, and many men killed and wounded; against this was a loss on our part of one man killed and six wounded, and approximately no damage to our vessels.

The escape of the Oregon is considered another victory for us, as during that trip of about fifteen thousand miles she might easily have been intercepted and destroyed had she not been splendidly handled. Her run of four thousand miles between San Francisco and Callao (cal-ye-ae-o) is the longest ever made by a battle-ship without stop, and in the latter part of her trip, on one long stretch, she averaged over fifteen knots, a wonderful speed at the end of a trip of over ten thousand miles—for a vessel's bottom becomes very foul with barnacles, seaweed, etc., which greatly retard its passage through the water.

It is reported that, while coaling at Rio, a number of dynamite-bombs were smuggled into the coal, but fortunately they were discovered by the sailors.

[Footnote: Authority for pronunciation of proper names: Century Dictionary.]

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Action in reference to neutrality has been taken by Russia, Greece, Venezuela, the Netherlands, and Canada. The declaration of neutrality by Venezuela is of special importance, as Spain's fleet would have found Venezuelean ports of inestimable value as places of refuge and for the purpose of coaling. Venezuela expresses her position in the one sentence: "The Republic will observe the strictest neutrality during the contest." No statement is made, however, as to what will be considered contraband.

The Dutch proclamation of neutrality, in addition to the usual forms, especially cautions the citizens of the Netherlands against becoming connected in any way with privateering; and the Dutch vessels are also required to respect the blockade; in reference to coal, the Dutch regulation is that only enough shall be sold to permit Spanish or American vessels to reach the nearest port of their country.

The Russian proclamation contains a statement to the effect that the Imperial Government, in concert with the other powers, had endeavored to find a means which would prevent an armed conflict between the two countries; that such friendly measures were without result, and that the Imperial Government "witnesses with regret the armed conflict between two states to which she is united by old friendship and deep sympathy; it is firmly resolved in regard to the two belligerents that a perfect and impartial neutrality will be observed."

Greece has simply declared that the strictest neutrality will be maintained.

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On the 25th of May, President McKinley issued a call for 75,000 additional volunteers; of the previous volunteers called for, about 112,000 have been mustered into the army; with the addition that is now called for, the army will number about 250,000; and it is expected that active operations will be begun at once, and that Porto Rico as well as Cuba will be seized at the earliest possible moment; it is expected that part of our fleet will proceed at once to San Juan, Porto Rico, and destroy the fortifications there, so that our army can without serious opposition land on the island.

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The cruiser Columbia, which was disabled in a collision off Long Island, is being rapidly repaired in the Brooklyn Navy-Yard. If she had not been very strong there is little doubt but that the Foscolia would have cut her in two; the frames of the vessel, however, are so well constructed that these, with the protective deck, prevented more serious damage. Naval officers are very much pleased to find how well the vessel withstood the collision; they say that if the Columbia had been a ship like the large ocean liners, nothing would have prevented her sinking with the ship that struck her. When the officer on the Columbia saw that a collision was inevitable, he gave the order "Full speed ahead"; it is very fortunate that he did so, as otherwise the Foscolia would have hit her amidships; and the damage must then have been very serious, as the water compartments in that part of the vessel are large, and when filled might have caused her to capsize. The damage proves to be much less severe than was at first thought; after two or three weeks it is thought she will be on duty again.

This is not the first time that the Columbia has been in trouble of this kind; two years ago she collided with the Wyanoke, a coasting steamer; in spite of the trying circumstances at that time, not a man was lost on the sinking coaster, so perfect was the discipline on the Columbia.

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It is reported that the balloons recently received from Paris will be sent forward with the first expedition to Cuba; arrangements for equipping the balloon train are under charge of Lieut. Joseph E. Maxfield of the Signal Service. It is reported that one of the French balloons will be first given a careful test from the deck of one of the war-ships off Cuba. The necessary plant for generating the gas is already in Tampa; the gas will be forwarded in steel tubes, which will hold a large volume when the gas is compressed.

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It is now proposed to take the necessary apparatus to Cuba, and have pictures of the bombardment of Havana and of other engagements made for reproduction with the cinematograph. Dr. D. S. Elmendorf is now at Tampa, Fla., making elaborate preparations for taking these pictures. The cinematograph is a wonderful invention. By a clever arrangement hundreds of photographs are taken, one after the other, with marvellous rapidity; these pictures are printed on a long strip, and made to pass through the magic lantern as rapidly as when the photographs were taken; the result is a composite picture which, when thrown upon a screen, reproduces every motion.

Edison was the one who invented this system of taking in succession very rapidly a great number of pictures of moving objects. We hope that Dr. Elmendorf will be successful, for we will then be able to see these interesting scenes; and if by a clever use of the phonograph or graphophone he can record the sound of the guns, we may not only see, but hear, the battles.

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In THE GREAT ROUND WORLD last year we described experiments that were being made with kites by Mr. W. E. Eddy, of Bayonne, N. J., who has been largely instrumental in promoting interest in scientific kite-flying. Kites have been made of such power as to carry a heavy cable from one point to another over some obstruction, or to lift a man some distance from the ground for the purpose of observation. It is now planned to make use of the kites for offensive and defensive purposes in connection with the invasion of Cuba. These kites can be raised to an enormous height and photographs taken of the country, or, if necessary, by a clever device which slides on the string of the kite, dynamite can be carried to a point over the enemies' camp or fortifications and dropped into them.

It is also believed that the kite will be of great value for signalling purposes, especially at night, as it will be possible to hoist electric incandescent lamps to a great height above the earth and signal by turning the light on or off in accordance with a settled code. Mr. Eddy estimates that it will be possible to drop fifty pounds of dynamite at a time from a distance a mile away; the plan is to send up these kites from within the lines of the attacking force and drop the dynamite into the fortifications of Havana. The men who fly the kites can remain out of sight of the forts; and the kite will be such a small mark and so high up in the air as to be very difficult to hit with a rifle-ball.

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After a great deal of discussion in Congress, and many delays in finishing our war-ships because of the price asked for armor by the large armor companies, it was decided that the maximum rate—that is, the highest price—that the Government would pay should be $400 per ton; until this change was made neither of the great armor-plate manufacturers would bid, and, as a result, armor was not obtainable. May 24th, bids were opened for supplying the three battle-ships, Illinois, Alabama, and Wisconsin, now being constructed by the Union Iron Works, Newport News. About a year ago the Government advertised for bids for supplying this armor, but no bids were received because Congress had made the limit of price too low. Bids opened on the 24th were from two companies, the Bethlehem Iron Works and Carnegie & Co. It is evident that an arrangement had been entered into between the two, as one company bid to supply the armor for the Alabama, and the other for the Wisconsin, the bids in each case being the same—that is, at the maximum price of $400 per ton.

The armor for the Alabama will cost $1,022,504; that for the Wisconsin, $1,023,504; the first of this armor will be delivered in about seven months, and thereafter about 300 tons will be delivered monthly. At this rate it will be about fifteen months before the last of the armor is ready.

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It is reported that Spain is about to sanction the commission or fitting out of privateers to prey upon our commerce. In the Spanish newspapers appear almost daily criticisms of our cowardly methods of carrying on the war. At one time it is stated that our vessels have been seen flying the Spanish flag in order that they may surprise some ship of theirs; at another time our cowardly attack upon some fort in Cuba is mentioned, when we sneak up under cover of darkness only to beat a hasty retreat when the first gun is fired.

In the face of such conduct, it is claimed by the Spaniards that we are entitled to no consideration, and it is believed both here and abroad that all of this kind of absurd talk means that Spain contemplates a resort to privateers to get even with us.

Privateers, in former years, when fitted out by Spain have acted so much like pirates that they have been considered and treated as such by England and by other nations, and the whole system has been so seriously condemned that it is believed that, should either Spain or this country fit out privateers, other nations would immediately interfere and put a stop to it.

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There has been considerable discussion in reference to Hawaii; the question of annexation is favored almost universally by our people and in Congress; in fact, the annexation of the island is now considered not merely advisable, but absolutely necessary. In sending troops from this country to the Philippine Islands we must stop on the way for supplies, and should Hawaii be captured by the Spaniards or annexed by another power, it would prove a very serious matter to us; it is to be hoped that the question of annexation will be settled at once.

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Very little news of interest is received from Spain. In the list of the new Spanish ministry, published week before last, we included the name of Senor Leon y Castillo as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Senor Castillo did not accept the office, which was then offered to Duke Almodovar de Rio, who has accepted.

The duke said that he did not wish the office, but accepted it on patriotic grounds, "as every Spaniard is bound to devote all his powers to the defence of his country." The duke is well and favorably known in England, where he was educated, and it is considered that the choice for this office is a good one.

The Spanish Minister of Finance, in discussing Spain's financial condition, recently said that he considered it satisfactory, and that the payment of all expenses of the war is assured; as a means of raising additional funds he proposes to convert the floating debt, now amounting to about 500,000,000 pesetas, into treasury bonds of small denomination, and to extend the Bank of Spain note issues. Spain may by this issue of additional paper money find herself in as unfortunate a position as did Cuba when Weyler endeavored to force paper money upon the people there. With an increase of twenty per cent. on taxes of all kinds, and with a paper money of doubtful value, Spain will indeed be in a sorry predicament.

Later reports from Spain would indicate that a crisis is approaching; business is at a standstill, and a famine imminent, as provisions are so high as to place them beyond the reach of the poorer people. It is thought that if an encounter with our fleet ends in disaster to Admiral Cervera, a revolution is inevitable. It is said that Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria has advised the Queen to leave the country, but that she has expressed her determination to remain and face the result.

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Lieutenant Carranza, to whom we are indebted for the admirable explanation of why Spain should not be held responsible for the Maine disaster, published in THE GREAT ROUND WORLD some weeks ago, is having an unpleasant time in Canada. Together with several other Spanish officials he has been carrying on an "information bureau" for the Spanish Government; by information bureau we mean a system of receiving and forwarding reports to the Spanish Government in reference to our fortifications, etc. The present trouble has arisen from the fact that a letter containing important information has been mislaid; he accuses Joseph Kellert, a Montreal detective, and two other persons of entering his room and stealing this letter. They are making such a fuss over the matter that the letter must have been an exceedingly important one.

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A despatch has been received from Admiral Dewey, dated May 20th, addressed to the Secretary of the Navy; he cables as follows:

"Situation is unchanged. Blockade is continued. There is a great scarcity of provisions in Manila. The foreign subjects fear an outbreak of Spanish soldiers; arrangements have been made for the transfer of these foreign subjects to Cavite if necessary. The rebel commander-in-chief, Aguinaldo, who was brought here by the McCulloch, is reorganizing a force, and may render assistance that will be valuable."

The first shipment of troops to the Philippine Islands started May 25th on the three transports, City of Pekin, Australia, and City of Sydney. When these vessels left San Francisco, late in the afternoon, the shores were lined with people, and there was great enthusiasm. These three transports carry about twenty-five hundred men; the expedition is under command of Brigadier-General Anderson, and consists of four companies of regulars under Major Robe; the First Regiment California Volunteers, Colonel Smith; the First Regiment Oregon Volunteers, Colonel Summers; and a battalion of fifty heavy artillery, Major Gary; and in addition to these a number of sailors, naval officers, a large amount of ammunition and naval stores for Admiral Dewey's fleet, and supplies sufficient to last a year. It was expected that the fleet would arrive at the Sandwich Islands by Tuesday, May 31st; it will proceed from this port in company with the Charleston, and should arrive at Manila about June 20th. A detachment of the United States Engineers was ordered from Willets Point, N. Y., to the Philippines, under command of Captain Langfitt; Captain Langfitt is an expert in the matter of torpedoes and harbor defences of this kind, and it is thought that his mission at the Philippines will be to fortify the different harbors by planting mines, torpedoes, etc.

Now that the reinforcements are well on their way, there is no reason to feel any anxiety in reference to any expedition which might be sent from Spain. The shortest route from Cadiz is, of course, by way of the Suez Canal; the distance by this route is over 8,000 miles; from San Francisco to Manila, by way of the Sandwich Islands, is but 7,000 miles; therefore we have at least a week the start of any expedition which might leave Spain. The troops sent on the three transports which sailed May 25th will be sufficient to garrison Corregidor Island; with strong fortifications on this island at the entrance of Manila Bay, it is believed that we can prevent the entrance of any fleet. The only fleet which it is possible for Spain to send at this time is Admiral Camara's; in this there are but two armorclads, the Pelayo and Emperadar Carlos V. Admiral Dewey would not consider them sufficiently formidable to give him any anxiety.

Unless we meet with misfortune or great reverses in dealing with the Spanish forces now at the Philippines, there is little doubt but that they are ours by this time.

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Now that the Philippine Islands are to be kept by us, the previous regulations in reference to mails have been changed. When war was declared the Post-Office Department shut off communication with the Philippine Islands, as well as with other Spanish countries. A new order has been issued, and mail may now be sent to the Philippine Islands by way of San Francisco. In times of war this country permits soldiers to mail letters to their homes without prepaying postage; this is a great advantage to them, as we can readily understand that while on a campaign post-offices cannot be reached and postage stamps are not easy to get. The officers or men have simply to write on the letters, "Soldier's letter," "Sailor's letter," "Marine's letter," and they will be carried by post to their destination and postage collected there without extra charge. Under ordinary circumstances letters will not be carried unless partly prepaid; and if foreign postage is not fully prepaid a penalty in the shape of extra postage is added to the regular rate, and collected upon delivery.

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European powers are watching with great interest our movements in the East. Admiral Dewey's victory, it is considered, has put an end to Spanish sovereignty in the East. European governments evidently expect the United States to keep the Philippines, and it is difficult to see any other solution, as it will certainly not be advisable to return the islands to Spain, nor would this be consistent with the "war for humanity's sake." Spain's cruelties in the Philippines have been even more excessive than in Cuba, and we certainly should not again place the islands in the hands of that cruel taskmaster, Spain. It has been suggested that we cede them to some European power; the question is, Can we do this? These powers are so jealous of each other that they will not stand quietly by and see any one of their number favored by a gift of such importance; on the other hand, the presence of an American colony in Eastern Asia will be a thorn in the side of the great powers; we have, therefore, to choose which horn of the dilemma we shall accept. The final settlement of the matter will, no doubt, cause many new complications and material changes in the traditional policy of our Government.

* * * * *

The mysterious sailing of the steamship Adria from Key West, a week ago, has attracted a good deal of comment; it is said that she had on board many miles of submarine cable, together with the necessary appliances for grappling, splicing, and laying, and telegraphic instruments for use on shore. It is believed that the purpose is to cut the cable off shore, splice a piece to it, and carry it to some unfrequented spot and there establish a cable station; this would enable our authorities to communicate quickly with Washington—when the invasion of Cuba takes place, or to keep the insurgents advised as to our movements.

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A very interesting question of international law has been brought up by the cutting of the cables by Admiral Dewey; it is claimed that by doing this he has established an international precedent, for his cutting of the cable connecting a country at war with another country is a forcible interference with communication which has not been practised in any previous war.

The question of cable-cutting has never come up before as a means of offensive warfare, as it is only in recent years that there has been any extensive laying of cables. Dewey's example has been followed by the blockading fleet off Cuba; this fact establishes beyond all peradventure the position that this Government has assumed. The British Government evidently believes that in the time of war the right to cut cables connecting the opposing nation with other countries is one which may be assumed without violation of international law. In a speech on this matter, Mr. Balfour, First Lord of the Treasury, quoting in Parliament a few days ago an agreement made in Paris in 1884, in reference to the protection of cables by different nations, said: "By Article XV. of this convention, in time of war a belligerent signatory to the convention (that is, a county signing this agreement) is as free to act with respect to submarine cables as if the convention did not exist. I am not prepared, therefore, to say that a belligerent, on the ground of military exigency, would under no circumstances be justified in interfering with cables between the territory of the opposing power and any other part of the world."

Our State Department considers that this statement on the part of Great Britain commits that country to the policy regarding cables which we have recently put into practice; her approval of our action virtually establishes this right as a principle of international law.

* * * * *

Very serious trouble is anticipated in Italy because of the hopeless poverty of much of the peasantry, and the apparent inefficiency of the present system of government. The Italian peasant barely succeeds under the most advantageous circumstances in obtaining food enough for himself and family; consequently every change in the price of bread is a serious matter to him; under the present Government the taxes have become heavier, and this is sure at no distant date to bring about a crisis; that this crisis is near is shown by the recent bread riots. The only hope of averting trouble is a change in the policy of the Italian Government.

Many people in Europe are asking why the price of wheat continues to advance, as there is apparently no reason, for the Spanish-American war has created no increased demand, nor has it seriously interfered with the shipment of grain. The increase in price is accounted for, by those who are familiar with these subjects, on the ground that there seems to be a general conspiracy to hold back supplies from Europe in the hope of obtaining higher prices, and in consequence scarcity is created in certain markets, thus causing the rise in price both there and elsewhere, and with each rise in price comes additional reason for the holding back of supplies on the part of the speculators who are manipulating the market.

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It is rather interesting to turn from the account of the riots in Italy to a brief history of Joseph Leiter's famous wheat deal. This wheat deal, which has just been closed, is the most remarkable that has ever been known in the history of the grain markets. Leiter has not only made himself rich, but has added to the wealth of the farmers in the West enormously. Every effort on the part of other speculators to force Leiter to the wall has been unsuccessful. Last fall when he was buying, they turned over enormous quantities of wheat, but he seemed to have untold millions at his command, for he met every offer with cash, and demonstrated that he had more money if they could furnish more wheat: the result was that wheat went up, up, up, until it reached nearly $2 a bushel, and Leiter has made, it is estimated, over $4,000,000, or nearly $500 an hour since April of last year.

The account of the troubles in Italy, and the great prosperity resulting from Leiter's success here, simply demonstrate what has been called attention to before—that what affects one part of the world has its influence upon the rest. A contribution from the prospered wheat farmers (and Leiter) to the suffering poor in Italy would not be amiss under the circumstances.

* * * * *

In our recent numbers we mentioned the trouble in the Sierra Leone Protectorate. This trouble has been ascribed to the hut tax; this tax is practically the only tax levied upon the natives, and it is for the purpose of raising sufficient revenue to prevent slave-trading. The trouble in this colony has arisen indirectly, not directly, as a result of this tax, as the slave-traders have used it as a pretext for stirring up the rebellion among the natives. England for many years has been doing her best to suppress slave-trading, and the slave-traders make use of any grievance, imaginary or otherwise, in their attempts to overthrow the power of the white men, in order that their barbarous man-hunting may not be interfered with. Several men-of-war have been sent by England to Sierra Leone, and are to be reinforced by others; troops have also been sent to the assistance of the missionaries and others whose lives are endangered by the uprising of the natives.

Day by day news from this district becomes more alarming; all of this part of Africa is at the present time in a state of great excitement, and it is expected that great difficulty will be experienced in suppressing the revolt. Early in May, the rebels attacked the American mission at Rotufunk and killed five of the American missionaries—Mr. and Mrs. Kane, Miss Archer, Miss Hatfield, and Miss Schenck. Their bodies have been recovered.

The hut tax, which has been made a pretext for all this trouble, amounts to about one shilling a year for each member of the population, or, in case of families, five shillings for each family. The insurrection was started by a native chief who has given the colonial government much trouble heretofore.

During the latter part of May there were first rumors, then reports, and then confirmed reports that the Spanish fleet was at Santiago, Cuba, and that it was caught as in a trap by our war-vessels.

The harbor of Santiago is a deep one, with a very narrow mouth, as stated in a recent issue of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD. The Navy Department feels extremely happy over the locating of the Spanish fleet and the fact that it may be kept where it is for the present; this will make possible the invasion of Cuba and the carrying out of the general plans of the campaign without fear of having them interrupted by attack from the Spanish vessels. Santiago is not very well supplied with provisions, and it will be but a question of time when the Spanish fleet must either force their way out of the harbor or else surrender. It is to be hoped that the capture of this fleet will be accomplished without battle, for battle will mean a large loss on both sides, and it can have but one ultimate outcome. The inevitable may be deferred, but the United States is pretty sure to win in the long run.

One or two of our battle-ships or monitors stationed at the entrance of the harbor will be sufficient to prevent the exit of the Spaniards, even if we do not succeed in so blocking the channel with obstructions as to make exit impossible; this will leave the rest of our fleet free to operate elsewhere. Great vigilance will be exercised to prevent the Spanish torpedo-boats from running out and attacking our vessels under cover of darkness. The entrance to the harbor is so narrow that a patrol of small boats can be established, making such an attack almost impossible.

Cables connecting Cuba with the world outside are being rapidly located and cut, and by the time this paper goes to press Cuba will no doubt be cut off entirely, and we will cease to see reports from Madrid of what is going on in Havana and elsewhere in Cuba.

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[Sidenote: Latest News]

May 31st Commodore Schley made an attack upon the forts at the entrance to the harbor of Santiago, with the intention of ascertaining the position and strength of the fortifications. At one o'clock in the afternoon of that day the signal to form column was hoisted on the Massachusetts; the New Orleans, Iowa, and Vixen followed her as she steamed slowly toward the harbor entrance. When between three and four miles from shore two of her 13-inch guns were fired; it is reported that one of the shells struck the partly dismantled Spanish war-ship Reina Mercedes, crashing through her bow and killing a number of men; two shots followed quite near the same vessel; the two guns in the forward turret sent their projectiles so close to the Spanish flagship that the spray was thrown all over her. The shore batteries at this time began a rapid fire on the Massachusetts, but she was soon beyond their range. The fire was then turned on the New Orleans; the shells from this vessel struck the large battery on the hill above Morro Castle, and a great cloud of dust and debris rose in the air as the shells burst. They must have done considerable damage; the shells which followed sent portions of the wall of Morro Castle tumbling down, a mass of ruins. Almost every shot found a mark in either the batteries or vessels. It was the Iowa's turn next; her shells made things lively for the Spanish fleet in the harbor, although it is believed she was not successful in hitting any of the Spanish vessels. The little Vixen swept along after her predecessors, and banged away with her one 6-pounder with as great an air of importance as if it had been a 13-inch rifle; then she steamed away in a triumphant manner, as much as to say: "I have done my share." The commodore promptly ordered her to keep out of danger. The ironclads turned, and a second time bore down on the harbor, and when within five miles the shells began again to fall thick and fast around the Spanish vessels, although accurate firing was almost out of the question, as the vessels were behind the hill out in sight, and range could not be ascertained. The Spaniards kept up a brisk cannonade long after our vessels had stopped firing; a tremendous amount of damage was done—to the Caribbean Sea; their shells did not come within a mile of our vessels.

June 3d the auxiliary cruiser St. Paul returned to New York, after a two weeks' cruise in West Indian waters; she had been detailed for guard and scout duty, and was one of the first to discover the Spanish fleet in Santiago Bay. She left Key West May 18th, and arrived off Santiago about the 20th. The St. Louis had been detailed for similar service, and had been watching Santiago harbor with the expectation that the Spanish vessels would attempt to enter there; she, however, left on the 19th. It is supposed that Admiral Cervera must have entered the harbor in the twenty-four hours between this date and that of the arrival of the St. Paul.

As it was advisable that her whereabouts should not be discovered to the Spaniards, the St. Paul cruised backward and forward about twenty miles out; she kept this distance off shore in order that the Spanish torpedo-boats might not make a dash out of the harbor in the darkness and torpedo her. It was not until the 23d that anything was seen of the Spaniards. Captain Sigsbee is quite confident that on this date he identified the Vizcaya, the Christopher Colon, and several torpedo-boat destroyers within the harbor; they were evidently making preparations for departure, but were too late, as our fleet under Commodore Schley reached the harbor before they could get away.

The only excitement that the St. Paul had was the capture of the collier Restormel. The vessel was sighted very early one morning about five miles from the harbor entrance, running with all speed to obtain the protection of the batteries on shore. The St. Paul was too quick for her; crowding on all steam, the collier was soon overtaken and stopped by a solid shot fired across her bows. A prize crew was put on board and the vessel sent to Key West.

The St. Paul is off again; her destination is, however, a secret.

Another "great victory" was reported by the Spaniards on June 4th. In the despatch from Madrid it was stated that one of our most powerful vessels attempted to enter the harbor of Santiago de Cuba and had been blown up by a torpedo and sunk, her crew of six men and one officer being captured. There was something very inconsistent about the statement "most powerful vessel" with a crew of six men and one officer, but apparently the Spaniards overlooked this. The fact of the matter is that Admiral Sampson decided to close the harbor effectually, and in order to do this sent the collier Merrimac to the entrance of the channel and had her sunk there.

This brilliant exploit was planned by a young officer, Lieut. Richmond Pearson Hobson, who with seven volunteers carried it out in a most gallant way.

At this distance and without experience of the fearful effect of modern gunnery, we cannot appreciate what a dangerous errand these brave men undertook. To sail close under the guns of many batteries and forts, through a narrow channel known to be mined, was to face death, and almost sure death—an act which will make their names famous. Yet when volunteers were called for, every man stepped forward and begged to be taken.

At three o'clock Friday morning the Merrimac started. In the darkness she succeeded in getting well in shore before she was discovered; then shot and shell made the water white with spray all around her. But the brave fellows never flinched, and on they sailed until the narrowest part of the channel was reached. Down went the anchor, and soon a dull report in her hold told of the successful explosion of the torpedo which was to blow her bottom out and make her sinking certain.

The crew left and succeeded in clearing the vessel before she went down. But two are reported to have been wounded, and these but slightly. All were captured and taken to Morro Castle.

The great bravery of the gallant fellows was recognized by Admiral Cervera and he sent a boat with a flag of truce to advise Admiral Sampson that the men were safe and would be exchanged. This act of the Spanish admiral has won for him a feeling of great admiration in this country. It was the act of a noble man.

The Spanish fleet is not only bottled up now, but the cork is in the bottle.

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Many questions have reached us from subscribers and friends concerning the meaning and reason for the stars and stripes on the United States flag, and how the United States came to choose the colors and design of the flag.

Early in Revolutionary times, each colony had its own flag, and they were very varied in design, and some had strange designs. The colony of Massachusetts had a pine-tree on its flag. South Carolina had a rattlesnake on a yellow flag, and underneath the snake the motto: "Don't tread on me." New York had a white flag with a beaver on it; and Rhode Island a white flag with a blue anchor.

Many variations of the "stars and stripes" are found in the flags used during the first years of the Revolution. Some have red and white stripes, with the field (where the stars are in the flag we all know) like the field of the British flag—red, white, and blue lines crossing one another. This design in the corner of a flag is called its "jack," and is often used alone.

In 1777, Congress declared that the flag should have thirteen horizontal stripes and thirteen white stars on a blue field, each representing one of the thirteen States. The idea of the adoption of the grouping of stars and stripes was doubtless taken from the arms of the Washington family, which consisted of a white shield with two horizontal red bars, and above these three red stars.

It was the original intention to add a stripe and a star for each state admitted to the Union, and the grouping of the equal stripes was supposed to represent the unity of the Federation. In 1792 the stars and the stripes were both increased to fifteen on account of the admission to the Union of the States of Vermont and Kentucky, and, after this, others were added. In 1818, Congress decided to return to the original thirteen stripes, and to add a star for each new State, which plan has been followed since. The three colors, red, white, and blue, symbolize valor, purity, and truth.

The United States has but one national flag, which is flown alike on buildings, men-of-war, and merchant vessels, and to us Americans its purity and beauty appeal strongly.

A number of the foreign nations have different flags, known as the royal standard, the war flag, and the merchant flag. For instance, Spain has the three. The colors of Spain are red and yellow. The navy flag consists of three horizontal stripes—yellow in the middle, and a narrower red band at top and bottom. On the yellow band near the staff is a coat of arms surmounted by a crown. The merchant flag is made up of five horizontal stripes—a yellow in middle, a narrow red, then a narrow yellow, and then a broad red above and below. The colors, red and yellow, were the colors of the royal house of Aragon, whose fortunes were closely allied with the Spanish crown. The royal standard of Spain is an elaborate affair, divided into four parts, containing the heraldic arms of leading families of Spain, and many devices indicating the control of Spain over countries which it once held sway over, but which have long since been lost to her, as Holland, Portugal, etc.

France uses the "tricolor," a flag of three vertical equal stripes, red, white, and blue, the blue being nearest the staff. France has undergone many political changes, and this, the flag of the Republic, was adopted in 1789.

Germany's national flag has a white ground, divided into four parts by black lines—one broad black line and a narrow one on each side. At the centre is a circle containing the Prussian crowned eagle. The upper quarter, by the staff, is divided into three equal horizontal stripes, black, white, and red, and on these is a Maltese cross—the iron cross of Germany.

The German merchant flag has red, white, and black horizontal stripes.

Flags have grown by custom and international law to represent nationality. If they are insulted the insult is to the nation. In war they are protected by lives, and in peace they pass around the world, or float from their staffs on land—marks of their nation's strength and supremacy.

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Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuations errors repaired.

Page 714, "incovenience" changed to "inconvenience." (much inconvenience)

Page 735, "Sierre" changed to "Sierra." (England to Sierra Leone)

Under Club Rates, "Bazar" changed to "Bazaar." (Harper's Bazaar)


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