« AnteriorContinuar »
reclamation of the Indians, and, connected with this, the collection and dissemination of information respecting their language, history, traditions, customs, and character; their numbers and condition; the geological features of their country, and its natural history and productions. It also proposed some definite means of action for furthering the moral instruction of the Indians, and for helping the missionaries in all work for their benefit. As president of this society, Mr. Schoolcraft was asked to lecture on the grammatical construction of the Algonquin languages as spoken by the Northwestern tribes, and to procure a lexicon of it; also to deliver a poem on the Indian character at the annual meeting of 1833. Other literary efforts of this period were, an address before the Historical Society of Michigan in 1830, and an address, in 1831, before the Detroit Lyceum, on the natural history of the Territory. In the summer of 1832 Mr. Schoolcraft, under a commission from the Government, organized and commanded an expedition to the country upon the sources of the Mississippi River. The primary object of the expedition was to extend to the Indians living north of St. Anthony's Falls the measures previously taken with those south of that point, to effect a pacification; also, to endeavor to ascertain the actual source of the river. He ascended the St. Louis from Lake Superior to Sandy Lake summit, and passed thence direct to the Mississippi six degrees below the central island in Cass Lake, which was till then the ultimate point of geographical discovery. Thence he went up the river and its lakes, avoiding too long circuits of the stream by portages, to the junction of the two branches, where by the advice of his Indian guide he took the left-hand, or Plantagenian branch, to Lake Assawa, its source. Thence he went by portage, a distance of “twelve resting-places,” to Itasca Lake, which he struck within a mile of its southern extremity. The lake was judged to be about seven miles in length, by one or two broad; "a bay, near its eastern end, gave it somewhat the shape of the letter y.” The discoverer returned, through the stream and its lakes, to St. Peter's.
The narrative of this expedition was published in 1834; and was republished, with the account of the expedition of 1820, in 1853, under the title, Narrative of an Exploratory Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi River in 1820, completed by the Discovery of its Origin in Itasca Lake in 1832. The whole of Mr. Schoolcraft's earlier life and work up to this time is recorded, mostly from day to day, in his Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers, etc., 1812 to 1842, a book having“ the flavor of the time, with its motley incident on the frontier, with Indian chiefs, trappers, government employés, chance travelers, rising legislators, farmers, ministers of the gospel, all standing out with more or less of indi
viduality in the formative period of the country.” This book abounds with evidence of Mr. Schoolcraft's scientific and literary activity, as well as of his efficiency in work in whatever field. As early as 1820 we find a letter from Amos Eaton, asking him for information for the second edition of his Index to Geology, respecting the secondary and alluvial formations and the strata of the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Samuel Mitchell writes him, in 1821, about the shells and other specimens he has sent, including a “sandy fungus,” and inviting specimens for the cabinet of the Emperor of Austria. Profs. Silliman and Hall acknowledge the value of his examination of the mining regions of Missouri; Prof. Silliman asks for articles for his journal; and Sir Humphry Davy thinks his book would sell well in England. Prof. Cleaveland writes him, in 1827, that he is about preparing a new edition of his work on mineralogy, and solicits the communication of new localities. In the same year Mr. Schoolcraft himself writes that the collection he made in Missouri, etc., in 1819, appears to have had an effect on the prevalent taste for those subjects, “and at least it has fixed the eyes of naturalists on my position on the frontiers.” Mr. Peter S. Duponceau addresses him, in 1834, on the structure of the Indian languages, “in terms which are very complimentary, coming, as they do, as a voluntary tribute from a person whom I never saw, and who has taken the lead in investigations on this abstruse topic in America.” He pronounces Mr. Schoolcraft's book on the Chippewa languages one of the most philosophical works on the Indian languages which he has ever read. In another letter Mr. Duponceau acknowledges having used Mr. Schoolcraft's grammar, giving due credit, in preparing a prize essay for the Institute of France, on the grammatical structure of Indian languages. Dr. Thomas H. Webb, of Providence, in 1835, notifies him of his election as an honorary member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and asks about aboriginal inscriptions on rocks. The Massachusetts Historical Society, in 1836, asks him to proceed with his work on the Ojibway language, complete it, and let the society publish it. John J. Audubon asks for aid in preparing his work on American quadrupeds. There are numerous notices of specimens that have been sent to Mr. Schoolcraft to pass upon, and solicitations from persons representing the principal magazines, to contribute of the results of his researches.
A new disposition of official posts having been made, Mr. Schoolcraft transferred his residence in 1837 to Michilimackinac or Mackinaw. Thence he removed, in 1841, to New York, where he expected to find the surroundings more favorable to the col. lation and publication of the results of his observations on the red race, whom he "had found in many traits a subject of deep
io, and pork as a collect instigation ginia, New state, atop this land enlarg his life
interest; in some things wholly misunderstood and misrepresented; and altogether an object of the highest humanitarian interest.” But the publishers were not yet prepared in their views to undertake anything corresponding to his ideas. In the next year he carried out a long-deferred purpose of visiting England and continental Europe, attending the British Association at Manchester. On his return he made a tour through western Virginia, Ohio, and Canada. In 1875 he was appointed by the Legislature of New York as a commissioner to take the census of the Indians of the State, and collect information concerning the Six Nations. The results of this investigation were embodied in his Notes on the Iroquois, a second enlarged edition of which was published in 1847. The latter part of his life was spent in the preparation—under an act passed by Congress in 1847—of an elaborate work on all the Indian tribes of the country, based upon information obtained through the reports of the Indian Bureau. This work-which was published in six quarto volumes—is described in Duyckink's Cyclopædia of American Literature as cov. ering a wide range of subjects in the general history of the race; their traditions and associations with the whites; their special antiquities in the several departments of archæology in relation to the arts; their government, manners, and customs; their physiological and ethnological peculiarities as individuals and nations; their intellectual and moral cultivation; their statistics of population; and their geographical position, past and present.
Mr. Schoolcraft became interested in religion at an early period in his career, and his journals show him ever more earnestly co-operating in local religious movements; furthering the progress of missionary effort among the Indians, by whatever denomination; laboring for the promotion of temperance among them; and taking the lead in whatever might contribute to their well-being or to the repression of wrong against them. His literary activity was prolific, and appears to have been nearly evenly divided between poetry, Indian lore and ethnology, and the objects of his explorations and scientific investigation. Besides books of poems and the narratives already named, he published Algic Researches, a collection of Indian allegories and legends (1839); Oneota, or the Characteristics of the Red Race in America (1844-45), republished in 1848 as The Indian and his Wigwam; Report on Aboriginal Names and the Geographical Terminology of New York (1845); Plan for investigating American Ethnology (1846); The Red Race of America (1847); A Bibliography of the Indian Tongues of the United States (1849); and American Indians, their History, Condition, and Prospects (1850). He received the degree of LL. D. from the University of Geneva in 1846; and was a member of many learned societies.
AGRICULTURE ON THE PLAINS. | County, Kansas, which lies west of the ninetyEditor Popular Science Monthly:
eighth meridian, is the champion corn-proTN the February number of The Popular
ducing county in the Union ? Was he aware I Science Monthly was published an arti
that nearly one half of the wealth and popcle, by Stuart 0. Henry, entitled Rainfall
ulation of the State of Nebraska is to be on the Plains. Mr. Henry claims that the
found west of the ninety-eighth meridian ? rainfall on our plains bas not increased to
The report of the Nebraska Board of Agriany appreciable extent since the first settle
culture for the year 1889 has not been issued, ment; and he says that the general impres
but we have the report for 1888. The crops sion that settlement and cultivation traveling
in Nebraska in 1888 were not as good as in westward have been attended by a gradual
1889, nor was there as much ground in cultiincrease of rainfalls is a "remarkable falla
vation. I give below some statistics taken cy." He concludes that agricultural opera
from the report for 1888 making a comparations can never be successfully carried on
tive statement of the amount of wheat, corn, west of a line about the ninety-eighth me
and potatoes raised east of the ninety-eighth ridian, and that attempts to utilize the regions
meridian and west of that meridian in the named for purely agricultural purposes, with.
State of Nebraska. It will be admitted by out artificial irrigation, will only result in
all that wheat, corn, and potatoes require as calamitous failure. Mr. Henry makes the
much moisture as do any farm products. It statement that “the reports of the Kansas
must be borne in mind that many of the and Nebraska Boards of Agriculture will
western counties are very new and their capashow that, in the territory lying west of the
bilities not developed; but enough is shown ninety-eighth meridian in those States, the
to completely disprove Mr. Henry's stateacreage of land actually under cultivation,
ments. In the counties of Nebraska that lie when compared with the whole area of that
west of the ninety-eighth meridian there were territory, is almost insignificant." After
raised in 1888 of corn, wheat, and potatoes:
Corn ....... seventeen years of residence in southwestern
............ 62,847,469 bushels Wheat.....
. 7,088,688 Nebraska, near the one hundredth meridian,
8,626,145 I am convinced that Mr. Henry is correct as to the absence of an increase of rainfall;
In the counties in Nebraska lying east of but bis conclusions are very erroneous, and
á | the ninety-eighth meridian there were raised must have been formed without informa.
in 1888: tion as to the great growth in wealth and
Corn ..... ............. 93,379,370 bushels
. 4.576,190 population in the region west of the ninety-||
Potatoes..... ......... 2,724,996 " eigbth meridian during the last ten years.
It will thus be seen that the counties The statement that the cultivated land west of the ninety-eighth meridian in Kansas and
west of the ninety-eighth meridian produced Nebraska is insignificant when compared with
about thirty-six per cent of all the corn, the whole area of that territory may have
about sixty per cent of all the wheat, and been true ten years ago, but at the present
about seventy-six per cent of all the potatime it is far from the truth. The writer
toes that were raised in 1888 in Nebraska, believes that no increase of rainfall has ever
and as a matter of fact a good portion was been necessary to fit the country named for
raised west of the one hundredth meridian.
Reference to the same report shows that in profitable farming, but that the rainfall has
1888 there were 2,611,337 acres of improved always been sufficient, and that the obstacles to farming that have existed resulted from
land in the Nebraska counties lying west of the newness of the country, rather than from
the ninety-eighth meridian. These statistics lack of rain, and that these obstacles are
clearly demonstrate that the improvements gradually disappearing as the country settles
there made are far from “insignificant," up, and will wholly disappear when the coun.
and, could the statistics for 1889 be bad, we try becomes as densely settled as are the
would, without doubt, have a still more en. States of Iowa and Illinois.
couraging showing. A. E. HARVEY.
ORLEANS, NEBRASKA, March 26, 1890. Mr. Henry's gloomy statements seem like an echo of predictions made by sundry scientific gentlemen twenty years ago concerning
PUBLIC SCHOOLS AS AFFECTING CRIME the plains of Kansas and Nebraska; and he
AND VICE. might be aptly compared to a modern Rip | Editor Popular Science Monthly: Van Winkle, who has just awakened after a UNDER the above heading Mr. Reece twenty years' sleep, ignorant of the wonderful presented some statistics in The Popular growth that the country west of the ninety- Science Monthly for January, apparently eighth meridian has made. When he penned showing a high and increasing per cent of the lines quoted, was he aware that Jewell crime in those communities where there
were the fewest illiterates as compared with those for which commitments are increasing, aro those where there were the most. In the
crimes of intemperance; 80 Mr. Torrey makes a sec
ond division of crimes, separating those of intonisucceeding numbers of the Monthly two
perance from all other crimes. The returns to the writers, apparently accepting the statistics State permit of this division for a longer period : without question, have proceeded to draw
Commitments Commitments conclusions from them. Some one has wit
YEAR. for inter for all other tily said that "nothing can lie like fig
perance. crimes. ures" ; and certainly any one who deals much with statistics knows that unless care
7.511 16.032 fully and thoughtfully handled they are
8,822 11,764 capable of giving the most deceptive re 1865
9,918 sults. For this reason startling conclusions
7,250 16.600 1875.....
24,548 should not be accepted without careful con
1880..... 10,962 6,091 17.053 sideration. There is getting to be too wide 1803..... 18,701
7,950 26,651 a tendency to accept statistics as decisive proof on any subject without regard to how
This division shows that the total increase in all
crimes other than intemperance, taken together, has they were prepared or discussed.
been only fifty per cent (population not considered), In the January Lend a Hand, Mr. David but that commitments for intern perance have inC. Torrey carefully discussed the records of
creased pearly five hundred per cent. The commit
ments which were not for intemperance are comcrime in Massachusetts, which was one of
pared with the population of the State with the folthe States where Mr. Reece found his high lowing results: In 1830, 1 commitment to 188 in. est per cent of criminals, and some of his
babitants; in 1855, 1 to 144; in 1860, 1 to 147: in
1865, 1 to 225; in 1870, 1 to 201; in 1873, no statisresults seem worthy of quoting, as throwing
tics : in 1880, 1 to 280 ; in 1885, 1 to 244. From 1950 much light on this subject :
to 1865 the average commitments for crimes other From 1950 to 1895 the total commitments in
than intemperance were 1 to 174 inhabitants, wbile creased from 8.761 to 26,651; in the first mentioned
from 1870 to 1885 it was 1 to 241 inhabitants. Thus year, 1 to 113 inhabitants; in the second, 1 to 72 in
& decrease of thirty-eight per cent is shown in all babitants. It is found, however, on investigation,
crimes other than intemperance during a period of that the increase is almost entirely confined to crimos
seventeen years. egalost public order and decency, while the commit.
The question of crime in Massachusetts thus rements for the more serious crimes against persons
solves itself into a question of intemperance, pure
and simple for it is owing to intemperance alono and property have not even kept pace with the Towth of population. The following statistics for
that there is an increase of commitments. Mr. Torthe years since 1865 in which a census has been
Tey proceeds to show that the increasing committaken proves this statement. This division by
ments for intemperance do not necessarily prove an crimes was first made in the returns to the State in
increase of intemperance. The public has a different 1665, and was not made in 1875:
opinion of the crime of intemperance from what it has of other crimes. The commitments for more
serions crimes could not increase without an increase COMMITMENTS FOR OBIMES AGAINST
of those crimes; but, because so few of the men who YEAR.
drink to excess are committed, there is abundant Pervons and
opportunity for an increase in coinmitments for inproperty.
temperance without an actual increase of intemper
ance. In thirty-five years public sentiment has been 1965......
commitments caused by this sentiment and the 13-...
changes in law which it has brought about are the 153....
inadequate grounds which warrant claims that crime
is increasing in Massachusetts. The State seems For the more serious crimes in 1865 and 1870, the still to have encouragement to continue its schools average commitments were 1 to 801 inhabitants, and its reforinatories and its churches, with faith while in the years 1880 and 1895 they were 1 to 436 that it can not only take care of the children born to Inhabitants. The increase in commitments was for it, but also that it can assimilate to its social order less serious crimes exclusively, and there was an those which it is forced to adopt.- Boston Post. &ctual decrease in commitments for more serious
H. HELM CLAYTON, crimes, in proportion to population, of forty-four per Bure Hill OBSERVATORY, READVILLE, Mass., cent. The larger portion of the less serious crimes, | March 30, 1890.
drink tunity to thout a
PRACTICAL ECONOMICS. | brought out a few months ago by Mr. TN last month's Table we had a few D. A. Wells, under the title of Recent I words upon the discredit into which Economic Changes. Mr. Wells is not a what is sometimes called the “ or- dogmatist, though it is evident he has thodox” political economy has fallen sufficiently definite opinions of his own. among practical men. It is a pleasure He conceives it to be his main business to be able to call attention to a book to marshal the facts that seem to him which furnishes a signal example of the capable of explaining the present mateway in which economical studies should rial condition of society, and of indibe pursued. We refer to the volume cating the course that things are likely