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same level, as a single great basin, íorever five hundred miles. Add to these plans full, forever receiving the discharge of the scheme for a deep-water connection rivers and streams, and forever overflow- between the lakes and the Hudson, being through Niagara to Lake Ontario, tween Winnipeg Lake and Lake Superior, three hundred and twenty-six feet below. and between Toronto and Lake Huron ; Now, if you tap the basin at its upper the demand of Pittsburg and Cincinnati side, the first effect will be to check the to be made (by proxy of canals) lake overflow. Not until the overflow has ports; Wisconsin's plea for a canal across altogether ceased will the level of the her borders from Lake Michigan to the great basin begin to sink. In a quite Mississippi ; the scheme to cut a canal untechnical way, that is the case of the from Lake Superior at Duluth to the
It is the old story of robbing Mississippi at Minneapolis-give all these Peter to pay Paul, and Niagara is the lake-tappers, these meddlers with God's woeful Peter.
map, their way, and what would become Unfortunately, robbing Peter is tempt- of the Niagara River ? As if this were ing business. Chicago, having success- not enough, the genius of modern engifully filched some three thousand cubic neering, beginning to see the evil results of feet of water per minute, now plans to the tapping process, proposes to mend the extend her Drainage Canal-already an mischief by a plugging process. That is, artificial river forty miles long, twenty-six they propose to raise the lowered level of feet deep, and three hundred feet wide- the Great Lakes by damming the Niagara sixty-six miles further to the Illinois River, River at the head of the rapids, or at pouring into it a stream which will swell Buffalo, or both. Mr. Moore, whose lake it to sixteen times its present volume. wisdom I have already quoted, says that Engineering objections seem likely at least were the Niagara dammed so that the to delay the completion of this plan, which four upper lakes had no outflow, he does involves a deepened river channel as far not believe that their level would be really as Cairo, and from there a cross-country affected. But whether or not the procut to the mouth of the Mississippi. Butjected dam would raise the level of the this is not all. Canada, in furtherance of lakes, it would assuredly lower the level of her little plot to divert the commerce of Niagara, and during the dry season at the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence, pro- least practically drain Niagara Falls. The poses to carve out a deep waterway be- most hopeful feature of the case is the tween Georgian Bay and the Ottawa multitude of plotters and amateur geograRiver, thus shortening the lake route by phers, for they cannot assuredly all be
satisfied without making of our inland they had no right to grant away without seas a great American desert. The time compensation what belonged to the people, must come when an international protest and that by so doing they were endangerwill call a halt. But will it come soon ing the very existence of the Falls of enough to save Niagara ?
Niagara. But to no purpose. Almost Although their foster fathers at Albany every session saw the passage of fresh have cast them off, the falls are not alto- grants. Convinced at last that the Legisgether without friends. The men who lature was completely under the influence fought so valiantly for the rescue of Niag- of the corporations, Mr. Green pushed his ara from swindlers and showmen in 1884–5 efforts further back. In 1894 a convenare fighting as valiantly now for the river's tion was held to revise the State Constituvery existence. Perhaps Niagara Falls tion, and to this body Mr. Green offered has no more whole-hearted champion than a resolution looking toward the appointthe venerable President of the Commission ment of a committee to consider the advisof the State Reservation-Andrew H. ability of an amendment to the ConstituGreen, the “father of Central Park.” tion preventing the diversion of Niagara's From the first he has strenuously opposed water above the Falls. The resolution all encroachments upon the reservation passed; the committee was appointed, and, and all injuries to the river. First it was after investigation, presented to the Conthe Gorge Railway, which proposed to cut vention a vigorous and convincing report, the débris slope within the limits of the calling the attention of that body to the reservation. Then, in 1889, it was the fact that the reservation had cost the State Hydraulic Power Company, which asked $2,500,000, that not a penny of revenue of the Legislature the right to place tur- was accruing to the State from the valubines in the very heart of the American able franchises granted, and protesting Fall. They proposed to turn aside the that “if corporate and individual ambition water where it rolls over the precipice at be not checked and made subject to pubProspect Park; then, by blasting, to con- lic rights, there was certainly danger that struct a vault or cave in the rock and the Falls of Niagara, like the Falls of behind the fall. Here were to be placed Minnehaha, may live in the tradition of dynamos to be operated by water descend- song and story, but will be sadly deficient ing through a tube or well upon turbine in the amount of water flowing over their wheels. That audacious proposition was brink ;” and closed by proposing an actually reported favorably in both
favorably in both amendment restraining the Legislature Houses, but it was side-tracked for that from granting to corporations or individsession and eventually defeated. From uals the right to divert the waters of the the granting of the charter of the Niagara Upper Niagara. Through the extraor. Falls Power Company in 1886, the Com- dinary efforts of the corporations intermissioners have exhausted themselves in (sted, this amendment was defeated. efforts to persuade the lawmakers that Disappointed, but by no means crushed, Mr. Green rallied his forces and carried Even should the friendly measure become his case to a higher court. Since the a law, it may require a vigorous public Legislature would not restrain the corpo- sentiment to see to its enforcement. Past rations, nor the revisional convention the experience would seem to indicate that the Legislature, there was no resource save power companies will get about what they an appeal to the Federal Government. want about when they want it. And if, Realizing, however, that restrictive action as the perfection of electrical science on this side the river would but serve to makes a cheapened power more widely in drive the corporations across into Canada, demand, the power companies want what where a grant of two hundred thousand is distinctly prejudicial to an already lowhorse-power has already been made, it was ered river, it will be well even for an internot only for National but for international national commission to have the reinforceintervention that he looked.
ment of an awakened public opinion. But even should an international pro- The coming summer, with its exposition tectorate be established, one mighty threat on the Niagara frontier, will give millions would still overhang Niagara. For not of people of the United States and Canonly man but Nature is in conspiracy ada an opportunity to see for themselves against her. This continent of ours, this what is going on at the Falls, and to form firm and solid hemisphere, is gradually, their own opinion of the merits of the case. leisurely tilting-rising on the north and Every effort will be made to confine the east, and falling on the south and west. visitor's attention to the vast commercial Eventually, unless the continent should significance of the “harnessing of Niagchange its mind, the Great Lakes will be ara.” But if the people refuse to be hypforced to seek a new outlet by way of the notized by the talk about water-power Illinois River to the Mississippi, and the going to waste, etc., they will meet the Niagara River will be dry. The continent commercial spirit with the commercial is in no hurry about it. Scientific sched- spirit, saying,
Scientific sched- spirit, saying, “Behold all this horseules vary so that one cannot be very pre- power going to waste! In New Engcise. But about two thousand years from land they charge for the use of river now the Illinois River and the Niagara water at the rate of $25 to $75 per will compete about equally for the waters horse-power. At the rate of even five of the lakes. Twenty-five hundred years dollars per horse-power, the water running from now Niagara will have but an inter- through these power tunnels and canals mittent flow, and in three thousand years ought to bring the State a million dollars the current in the Detroit and St. Mary's a year, enough to pay for the State ReserRivers will be reversed; Lake Erie will vation in two years and a half. The genflow into Lake Huron, Lake Huron into tlemen of these corporations do not own Lake Michigan, and the Niagara River the river. Nor is it a public stream. It will be a thing of the past. With the aid is in a legal sense a navigable river, and of artificial canals, it is even possible that as such the property of the State of New this result may be brought about more York, under control (for it is also an speedily.
international boundary) of the Federal Niagara, together with scores of other Government. Moreover, in a peculiar beautiful and picturesque things in this sense the Falls of Niagara and Niagara's prosaic world of ours, is passing. Saved gorge belong, not to New York State, nor from the hands of the catchpenny sharper, even to the United States and Canada, it has fallen into the hands of the catch- but to the whole world. America and million capitalist. Rescued from the toils Canada are joint trustees of the unique of a commercial conspiracy, it will but legacy of the ice age. The world applauds vanish under the pitiless processes of to-day their public-spirited administraNature.
tion of the trust. But if they permit However, the mighty geologic clock private individuals, for their own private which ticks off the centuries and strikes profit, or individual States for the avowed the æons is set to a more majestic beat benefit of commerce, to rob Niagara of all than the tiny pulse of human life. If we that makes a reservation worth having, can save Niagara for our children's chil- they will deservedly win the derision of dren's children, it is worth fighting for. nations.
Countess Tolstoi When Dickens wrote “Our Mutual Friend,” his description of the life of Mr. and Mrs. Boffin was thought to be by many the best part of that book. It will be remembered by all Dickens lovers that Mr. Boffin's part of the house was scantily furnished, but that Mrs. Boffin's was distinguished by a rich Turkey carpet and other luxuries which accorded with that lady's personal proclivities in living. As her husband fondly said, she was “a higi:flyer at fashion.” Judging from the accounts of a recent visitor to Russia, the same distinction apparently characterizes Count and Countess Tolstoï. This visitor describes his interview with the celebrated novelist and ref er. Count Tolstoï was in peasant dress and received his guest in a plainly furnished study ; but when later they went into the reception-room, they found Countess Tolstoï magnificent in court costume, and the ladies with her similarly attired. These things are, however, mere matters of taste, and from the events of the past month it would seem that Countess Tolstoï has a peculiar right to be heard and honored by every one. Her husband's excommunication from the Greco-Russian Church gave her an opportunity of issuing a profoundly moving public letter, upon which The Outlook has already commented. She closes this letter as follows: “God will be lenient to those who even outside the Church have lived a life of humility, renunciation of the good things of this world, love, and devotion. His pardon is surer for them than for those whose miters and decorations sparkle with precious stones, but who strike and expel from the Church those over whom they are set as pastors. Hypocrisy would vainly distort my words, for good faith does not err in judging people's real intentions."