Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, January 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 3, January 1899

Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, January 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 3, January 1899


Author: Various
Science — Periodicals
Technology — Periodicals
Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, January 1899
Volume LIV, No. 3, January 1899
Established by Edward L. Youmans


NOVEMBER, 1898, TO APRIL, 1899

Copyright, 1899,

Vol. LIV.Established by Edward L. Youmans.No. 3.
JANUARY, 1899.


I. The Evolution of Colonies. VI. Industrial Evolution. By James Collier 289
II. The Mind’s Eye. By Prof. Joseph Jastrow. (Illustrated.) 299
III. Nature Study in the Philadelphia Normal School. By L. L. W. Wilson, Ph. D. 313
IV. Principles of Taxation. XX. The Diffusion of Taxes. By the Late Hon. David A. Wells 319
V. Our Florida Alligator. By I. W. Blake. (Illustrated.) 330
VI. The Racial Geography of Europe. The Jews. II. By Prof. William Z. Ripley. (Illustrated.) 338
VII. True Tales of Birds and Beasts. By David Starr Jordan 352
VIII. Glacial Geology in America. By Prof. Daniel S. Martin 356
IX. Modern Studies of Earthquakes. By Georg Geraland 362
X. A Short History of Scientific Instruction. By Sir J. N. Lockyer 372
XI. Should Children under Ten learn to Read and Write? By Prof. G. T. W. Patrick 382
XII. Soils and Fertilizers. By Charles Minor Blackford, Jr., M. D. 392
XIII. Sketch of Friedrich August Kekulé. (With Portrait.) 401
XIV. Editor’s Table: A Voice from the Pulpit.—Lessons of Anthropology.—An Example of Social Decadence.—The Advance of Science 409
XV. Scientific Literature 415
XVI. Fragments of Science 425


Single Number, 50 Cents.Yearly Subscription, $5.00.

Copyright, 1898, by D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
Entered at the Post Office at New York, and admitted for transmission through the mails at second-class rates.


JANUARY, 1899.




The earliest nomadic stage of mankind has left traces in many of the colonies. The first age of French Canada, of New York, of great part of North America, was one of hunters and trappers, and it has continued in the Northwest till recent times. The first brief period of Rhodesia was that of the big-game hunter. The Boers of the Transvaal are still as much hunters as farmers. The American backwoodsman who clears a patch, then sells his improvements to the first newcomer, and, placing his wife and children and scanty belongings on a cart, proceeds da capo elsewhere, is a nomadic pioneer. The stage is in one way or another perpetual, for the class never quite dies out. The drunken English quarryman who, driven by a demon of restlessness, continually goes “on tramp,” and in his wanderings covers on foot a space equal to twice the circumference of the globe, is a demi-savage whose nomadism is only checked by the “abhorred approaches of old age.” If he emigrates, he repeats the old, wild life as a pick-and-shovel man in Queensland or a quarryman in New South Wales. The soberer colonial youth, who more luxuriously canters from farm to farm in New Zealand on the back of a scrub, is a tamer specimen who settles down when he marries. Nay, the “restless man” who periodically applies for leave of absence from a colonial legislature in order to travel in India, China, and Timbuctoo, is a still milder but not less incorrigible example of the same indestructible type.
The pastoral stage is all but universal. Wherever grass grows (and there is wild grass almost everywhere) sheep can graze, and where there are succulent twigs cattle will fatten on them. The South American estancias and the ranches of Colorado, the cattle runs of Queensland and northern New Zealand, the sheep runs of Victoria and New South Wales repeat and perpetuate this stage. The genesis of it may even now be daily observed. A Manchester accountant who has never before been astride a horse will in twelve months learn the mysteries of cattle and sheep farming, then purchase a hundred acres or two from the colonial Government, gradually clear it of timber, build of his own trees, with no skilled assistance, a weatherboard cottage, and take home a swiftly wooed wife to lead with him a rather desolate existence in “the bush.” Or (on a larger scale) a squatter,[1] who is commonly a gentleman by birth and education, comes out from England with inherited wealth, buys or leases from the Government a large inland tract of grazing land, takes with him flocks and herds, shepherds and stockmen, builds a bark or wooden manor house, and settles down to the life of Abram on the plains of Mamre. In earlier days, when the colony was in its infancy, he would not have had to purchase or lease his “run.” One country after another saw the golden age of a would-be landed aristocracy. As Norman William parceled out all England among his nobles and knights, rulers of conquered countries were then mighty free with what did not belong to them. Possessing the authority of a sovereign, Columbus made lavish grants of land, and thus pacified his rebels. Charles II presented Carolina to eight proprietors. Baronies of twelve thousand acres in South Carolina, manors of twenty thousand acres in Maryland, were dwarfed by territorial principalities of more than a million acres in New York. The absolute governors of early Australia gave away wide tracts. When land was not given it was taken, on Rob Roy’s principle. During the interregnum that followed the recall of the first Governor of New South Wales, military robbers seized fifteen thousand acres, and under subsequent administrations they continued their depredations. Land was held on various tenures. The first American forms were varieties of belated feudalism; of a hundred often strange and ridiculous emblems of suzerainty perhaps a dozen repeated Old World customs.[2] Sir H. S. Maine has proved that nearly all the feudal exactions that maddened a whole people to mutiny in 1789 were then in force in England. How shadowy they must have grown is shown by the fact that none of them was transported to Botany Bay in that or later years. They were atrophied portions of the British land system when Australia was founded in 1788. For fully sixteen years the possession of lands granted or seized was as absolute as the English law ever allows it to be. Then the landholders, finding the large tracts already conceded insufficient for the development of the pastoral industry, applied for more, and themselves suggested in 1803 a plan of leasing crown lands which in the following year was legalized as “the first charter of squatterdom”; it was the beginning of a system that has brought under pastoral occupancy territories as extensive as the largest European countries. The land system formed part of or gave birth to a political organization. A host of so-called seigneurs imported into old Canada as much of the ancien régime as would bear the voyage. Manors in Maryland reproduced the feudal courts-baron and courts-leet. The great New York landowners, as inheriting both English and Dutch institutions, presided in such courts and were at the same time hereditary members of a powerful legislative order.[3] The courts were dropped on the way out to Australia, but the political influence of the English landed aristocracy inhered in their representatives at the antipodes. As the Southern slavearchy, through its Washingtons and Jeffersons, Clays and Calhouns, was for three quarters of a century the driving force in American politics, the Australian squatterarchy for one generation or more ruled the seven colonies with a sway that waxed as the absolute power of the governor waned. It composed the legislature, appointed the judges, controlled the executive, and if the governor was refractory it sent him home. In both southern countries social life reflected its tastes and was the measure of its grandeur. It constituted “society,” ran the races, gave the balls, and kept open house; the surrounding villages lived in its sunshine. Why could not this patriarchal state last, as it has lasted in Arabia for thousands of years and in Europe for centuries? In the Southern States it was brought to bankruptcy by the civil war. In Australia it collapsed before two enemies as deadly—a succession of droughts and a fall in the price of wool. The banker has his foot on the squatter’s neck. If one may judge from the published maps, three fourths of the freehold land in the older colonies is in the hands of the money lenders. The once lordly runholder, who would have excluded from his table, or at least from his visiting circle, any one engaged in commerce, is now the tenant of a mortgage company which began by using him too well and ended by crushing him unmercifully.
It is also brought to a close by the rise of the agricultural stage. The colonial latifundia gets broken up for the same economic reasons as that of the mother country. Whenever from the increase of population wheat-growing becomes more profitable than grazing, land rises in value, and vast sheep walks are subdivided into two-hundred-acre farms, which are put under the plow. The transition may be retarded in some countries and altogether arrested in others. Nasse has shown that, in consequence of the moisture of the climate, there was in the sixteenth century a continual tendency in England to revert from agriculture to pasture. The light rainfall, high temperatures, and unfertilized soil will forever keep nine tenths of Australia under grass. Most of the mountainous north and the glacier-shaved portions of the south of New Zealand must be perpetual cattle runs and sheep walks. A century or perhaps centuries will pass before much of the light soil of Tasmania, hardly enriched by the scanty foliage of the eucalyptus, is sufficiently fertilized by grazing to grow corn. Rich alluvial or volcanic lands are put under the plow, without passing through the pastoral stage, as soon as markets are created by the advent of immigrants. There is a cry for farm lands. Companies that have bought large estates break them up into allotments. When they or other large landholders still resist pressure, the radical colonial legislature accelerates their deliberations by putting on the thumbscrew of a statute which confiscates huge cantles of their land. Or the colonial Government, if socialist-democratic, purchases extensive properties, which it breaks up into farms and communistic village settlements. Over wide tracts the agriculturist, great and small, takes the place of the pastoralist. He holds his lands under a variety of tenures. New South Wales, in its search for an ideal form, has flowered into fifteen varieties. Other colonies are stumbling toward it more or less blindly through a succession of annual statutes. Where land is abundant the tenure will be easy. In North America nominal quitrents were general; the system was long since introduced into South Africa, and it has lately been imported into New Zealand in spite of all previous experience to the effect that such rents can not be collected. Mr. Eggleston remarks that in the United States the tendency was to “a simple and direct ownership of the soil by the occupant.” Since those days Henry George has come and (alas!) gone. A craze for the nationalization of the land buzzes in the bonnets of all who have no land. There is an equal reluctance on the part of colonial legislatures to grant waste lands as freeholds and on the part of purchasers to accept them on any other terms. Hence the constant effort to devise a tenure which shall reserve the rights of the colony and yet not oppress the tenant. One legislature has blasphemed into the “eternal lease,” which would seem to be almost preferable to absolute ownership in a country subject to earthquakes! But the tenure in the early days is unimportant. With a virgin soil yielding at first seventy and then regularly forty bushels to the acre, and high prices ruling, the farmer can stand any tenure. Seen at market or cattle show, his equine or bovine features and firm footing on mother earth suggest a sense of solidity in the commonwealth to which he belongs. He gives it its character. The legislature consists of his representatives. Laws are passed in his interest. He controls the executive. His sons fill the civil service. Judges sometimes come from his ranks, and lawyers easily fall back into them. He supports the churches and fills them. Small towns spring up in place of the pastoral villages to supply his wants. As the period of the Golden Fleece was the colonial age of gold, when Jason, the wool king, made a fortune, received a baronetcy, and, returning to the mother country, founded a county family and intermarried with the British aristocracy, so the agricultural stage is the colonial age of silver, in money as in morals. It lasted in England till well into the century, in Germany till the other day, in France till now. It is, in the main, the stage of contemporary colonies. What brings it to an end? The soil gets exhausted, prices fall, and a succession of wet seasons in New Zealand or of dry seasons in Australia or South Africa sends the farmer into the money market. Nearly every province of almost every colony gets mortgaged up to the hilt. The foot of the land agent is on the neck of the farmer, who becomes his tenant or serf—adscriptus glebæ as much as the Old English villeins who were the ancestors of the farmer, or the Virginia villeins who repeated in the seventeenth century the Old English status. But tenancy does not always arise out of bankrupt proprietorship. A capitalist may drain an extensive marsh (like that along the valley of the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales) and divide the rich alluvial soil into hundreds of profitable dairy farms. More inland marshes, like the Piako Swamp in New Zealand, have been so completely drained as to make the soil too dry to carry wheat, and so have swamped both capitalists and banker. Where the squatter owner keeps the land in his own hands, he may lease an unbroken-up tract for three or five years to a farmer who plows and fences it, takes off crops, pays a light rent of from five to fifteen bushels per acre, and leaves it in grass. On one tenure or another the whole colony gradually comes into cultivation.
The predominance of the agricultural interest is long threatened and at length shaken by the rise of the industrial stage. It is partly evolved from the pastoral and agricultural stages and partly independent. Nor do these stages at once and necessarily give rise to collective industry. In all young colonies where the population is scanty and processes are simple there are no division and no association of labor. The account that one of the best of American historians gives of the Northwest Territory might be accepted as a description of this primitive state, and realizes Fichte’s ideal of a geschlossener Handelstaat (closed trade state). Shut in by mountains, the people raised their own flax and sometimes grew their own wool, which they spun and wove at home. They made their own spinning wheels and looms, as they made their own furniture. They tanned their own leather and cobbled rude shoes of it. Of Indian-corn husks they spun ropes and manufactured horse collars and chair bottoms. Barrels and beehives were formed of sawn hollow trees. They extracted sugar from the maple and tea from the sassafras root. Their boats were dug-out canoes. In colonies of later foundation this self-sufficing stage, which repeats an earlier period in the mother country than the time when the colony was given off, is dropped, though there are traces of it everywhere to be found. Sheep countries give birth to the woolen industry. New Zealand reduplicates the woolen manufactures of England and, owing to protective duties, has attained a deserved success. New South Wales, with finer wools, has not succeeded, for no other apparent reason than that she refuses to impose such duties. For it is to be observed that it is under legislative protection—bounties, bonuses, drawbacks, export and especially import duties—that almost every colonial industry has grown up, as the industries of the mother country grew up. Sometimes the profit in a particular undertaking is exactly equal to the amount of the import duty, and it is seldom greater. By taking extravagant advantage of the liberty long refused (as leave to manufacture was long refused to the North American colonies), but at length conceded, to impose import duties, an Australasian colony, misled as much by its own splendid energy as by evil counselors (Carlyle among them), built up a whole artificial system of industries which sank in ruinous collapse when the boom had passed. Independent industries spring first from the soil. Gold and silver mining lose their wild adventurous character, and become regular industries, worked by companies with extensive plants. The digging of gum in Auckland (bled from the gigantic Kauri pine) is operated by merchants who keep the gum diggers in a species of serfage. The discovery of coal makes native industries possible or remunerative, but till iron has been found the system is incomplete. All countries, and therefore all colonies, are late in reaching this stage; the most advanced contemporary colonies have not yet reached it. None the less have they followed England with swifter steps, if with less momentum, into the modern age of iron—that Brummagem epoch which has the creation of markets for its war cry, state socialism for its gospel, Joseph of Birmingham for its prophet, and the British Empire for its deity.
The iron age is fitly inaugurated by the most degraded relationship that man can bear to man—that of slavery. Only the oldest of modern colonies imitate the mother countries in passing through this stage; in those of later foundation a mere shadow of it remains, or it takes other shapes. Colonists first enslave the natives of the

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Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, January 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 3, January 1899
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