Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/716

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698
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

obliged to adapt himself to the evolution of society. If he fails to respect that freedom of thought, of belief, of action, which our civilization makes necessary in all social relations, he finds it necessary to seek other fields where social evolution is not sufficiently advanced to make him an interloper. The same spirit in society which has caused the abolition of the birch rod in school, except in cases of peculiarly low personal organization, has caused the abolition of espionage in colleges and universities. In calling the attention of your readers to the methods by which success is attained in institutions like Amherst, where not only the right but the duty of self-government among students is insisted upon, you are aiding the work of educational reform, and all such efforts are entitled to the acknowledgment of those whose work is education.

W. Le Conte Stevens. 
 40 West Fortieth Street, New York,
 July 23, 1881.
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INFORMATION WANTED.

Messrs. Editors.

Will you permit me through the columns of your journal to ask for a scrap of information that I have been unable to obtain from any books at my command, or from any other source. Infesting the islands of Lake Erie is an insect which from all accounts plagues human beings in much the same manner that the chigoe or chigre—commonly called jigger—of the South is said to. The islanders call this insect a "midget," also a "jigger," and say that it is most numerous in bushes or the under-growth of the woods; that it is almost invisible to the naked eye; and that when it effects a lodging on the human body it bores through, and lies under, the skin, causing the very annoying and sometimes painful "bites" that are experienced by visitors to the islands. I have frequently suffered from these "bites," which are far more distressing than the most aggravated mosquito-bites, but have never been able to find anything of the little pest that gives them. I am told, however, that, if a "bite" is examined as soon as it begins to itch, the "midget," an infinitesimal yellow insect, may be seen in its center. The "midget" seems to be unlike the chigoe of the West Indies and South America, judging by cyclopedic accounts of this latter insect, only in the respect that it does not, as far as I have been able to discover, rear its progeny under the skin it bores into. Perhaps you, or some of your readers, will be kind enough to inform me what the "midget" is, its true name, etc. Respectfully,

Dean V. R. Manley. 
 Toledo, Ohio, July 16, 1881.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

THE LESSONS OF THE BOSTON "LADIES' DEPOSIT."

The "Atlantic Monthly" did well in publishing in its July issue two articles on the "Ladies' Deposit," a fraudulent banking concern in Boston, of which so much was said last year. One of these articles, by Mr. Henry A. Clapp, gives a history of the scheme, and is evidently written with care and with good knowledge of the facts. The other paper is by Miss Mary Abigail Dodge, who had some experience with the institution, and she presents the feminine side of the case. As the excitement of the affair is now passed away, and we have the main facts fairly before us, it seems proper to look a little into the lessons it teaches; and to do this it will be desirable to recall briefly its leading features. In this we follow the statements of Mr. Clapp.

By whomsoever planned, the scheme of the "Ladies' Deposit" was carried out by a woman named Howe, and she was undoubtedly its master-spirit. The revelations at the sequel show her to have been a vulgar female impostor, a clairvoyant, and fortune-telling adventuress, who had run a long career of petty crime in New England. She first married a half-breed negro, or Indian, named Solomon, who is now living in Rhode Island. They lived together some thirteen years, but the marriage was void on account of the law against the union of persons of different colors. She next married a man named Lane, or Chase, Mr. Solomon being a diligent promoter of the second union. Lane is said to have died at sea, when she married Florimund L. Howe, a house-painter and dancing-master, who is her present husband. The pair adventured