« AnteriorContinuar »
AND REGISTER OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
OF THE YEAR
EMBRACING POLITICAL, MILITARY, AND ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS;
AND MECHANICAL INDUSTRY
The most important event of 1898, not to our country alone, but to all mankind, was the short but decisive contest that destroyed the naval power of an ancient and famous kingdom, banished the last vestige of Spanish rule from the western hemisphere, thus closing the four-century drama that began with Cortez and ends with Cervera, added to the American Union territory equal to several large States, and opened the eyes of Europe to the fact that the western republic might at any time successfully assert itself as a world power of the first rank. A succinct account of this remarkable war, with illustrations, will be found in the article “United States." It is to be expected that, as in the case of all wars, some points will be hotly disputed, and, perhaps, never settled; but we believe that ours will be found to be as accurate and impartial an account as can be written while the occurrences are so new. To it we have added a statement, compiled with considerable labor and expense, showing the progress and participation of every regiment, battery, and vessel, all being arranged for ready reference in alphabetical and numerical order. In connection with this subject the reader will be interested also in the articles on “The Philippines,” “The Ladrones,” and “ Puerto Rico.” And he will also find biographical sketches, with portraits, of the more prominent military and naval commanders.
Next in importance comes the peaceful acquisition by the United States of the Hawaiian Islands, which are not only “the paradise of the Pacific,” but the great strategic point in that mighty ocean which is rapidly becoming a mercantile rival of the Atlantic. Our colored map of this group is given in the volume for 1892, and that of Cuba in 1896, while colored maps of Puerto Rico and the Philippines appear in this volume.
World's fairs—now called “expositions”—which were hailed as a remarkable invention less than half a century ago, are becoming, if not every-day, almost everyyear occurrences. This year we record, with illustrations, that which was held in Omaha, Neb.
Our regular articles on “Astronomy,” “ Chemistry,” “ Metallurgy,” « Mineralogy," “Physics,” and “Physiology” show what was done in the progressive sciences. But there were two scientific triumphs in 1898 of so great importance as to demand separate and illustrated articles; these are “Liquefied Air” and “ Wireless Telegraphy.” There is also an article on “ Motor Carriages,” which are believed to be the next thing we are to have for ordinary travel. Other advances in material improvementless noticeable, but perhaps hardly less important-are set forth in the articles on "Lighthouses," “ Refrigerating and Ice-Making,” and “Steel Buildings."
In the moral and social world there is progress also. One remarkable phase of this is set forth in our article on “Social Settlements”; while the showing that we make every year under the title of “Gifts and Bequests” proves the existence of a wonderful spirit of munificence toward education and charity. In 1893 the aggregate of these gifts was $29,000,000; in 1894 it was $32,000,000; in 1895 it was almost $33,000,000; in 1896 it was $27,000,000; in 1897 it was $45,000,000; and in 1898
it was $38,000,000. The reader who wishes to pursue this subject further should look also at the record of mission work in the articles on the great religious denominations. • The articles “Financial Review of 1898 ” and “Finances of the United States” will give a clear idea of the mercantile and monetary movements of the year; and in connection with these the reader should look at the tabulated trade summaries in the articles on the more important countries.
The series of portraits of new governors in the articles on States of the Union is continued. It is not complete, for the reason that one was unwilling to have his portrait published, and one or two others failed to respond at all.
The literatures of the world — American, British, and Continental—are presented in the usual summaries, which give a rapid survey of the whole field. And the “ Disasters” and “Events” of the year are treated in brief chronological paragraphs. These articles are intended as indicators rather than an attempt to give full information, which would be impossible in a volume like this.
Among the eminent dead of the year the names of the two great European statesmen—Bismarck and Gladstone-stand pre-eminent. On each of these there is a special article, written by a competent hand, with a portrait in photogravure. The soldiers that died in this year included Gens. Augur, Buell, and Rosecrans, who won their fame in the civil war; the two Caprons, victims of the Spanish war; and Calixto Garcia. Among the naval officers that passed away were Daniel Ammen, Worth Bagley, Daniel L. Braine, Charles V. Gridley, Milton Haxtun, and William A. Kirkland. The lawyers and statesmen included Thomas F. Bayard, Thomas M. Cooley, Robert M. McLane, Justin S. Morrill, Don M. Romero, William H. Trescot, and Sir George Grey. The dramatic profession lost some who were once universal favorites but had retired, and some who were still on the boards, including William Barry, Charles W. Couldock, Fanny Davenport, Virginia Dreher, Helen Faucit, Clara Fisher, E. J. Henley, Thomas W. Keene, Margaret Mather, and William J. Scanlan. The list of authors who closed their careers in 1898 includes two young Americans, each of whom produced a book of phenomenal popularity-Edward Bellamy and Edward N. Westcott. The other names on the literary death roll include William Black, Mary Cowden Clarke, Madeleine Vinton Dahlgren, Charles L. Dodgson, Georg Moritz Ebers, Theodore S. Fay, Harold Frederic, Blanche Willis Howard, Richard Malcolm Johnston, George Parsons Lathrop, Mrs. E. Lynn Linton, James Payn, Maria Louise Pool, Frederick Tennyson, and David A. Wells. The scientists lost James Hall, Joseph A. Lintner, William A. Rogers, and George E. Waring; the journalists, Isaac H. Bromley, Frederick W. Conrad, William T. Giles, and Charles L. MacArthur; the inventors, Sir Henry Bessemer, Wilson Eddy, and A. C. Goodell; the artists, Bùrne-Jones, Philip H. Calderon, Puvis de Chavannes, John A. Fraser, and Anton Seidl. Of the eminent persons in the necrology who could not be classed with any of the foregoing were the reformers Matilda Joslyn Gage, Parker Pillsbury, and Frances E. Willard ; the impostors, Arthur Orton (Tichborne claimant) and John E. W. Keely; Calvin Fairbank, the abolitionist; H. C. L. Dorsey, known as “the prisoner's friend”; Gardner Q. Colton, one of the claimants to the discovery of anæsthetics ; A. Oakey Hall, of Tweed-ring fame; and Adolph Sutro, the mining engineer. Sketches of all these and scores of others—inany of them accompanied with portraits—will be found under the head of “ Obituaries.”
The notable illustrations not already mentioned include colored maps of Asia and Egypt and several full-page engravings.
An index to the three volumes of the series closes the book.