Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/412

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398
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that it soon wears away under much traffic. Figure-pictures, for a floor to be walked on, are a mistake, though they may be used as a center-piece to be looked at from above, and be surrounded by plants or flowers; but nothing can be more appropriate for internal wall decoration than figure-subjects, or floral ornament in marble or tile mosaic; in either case it is permanent, and can be easily cleaned, and that in marble, at least, must be low in tone, for it can have but two colors of complete purity, white and black.

England has got rich these last sixty years by flooding the world with rubbish, so nothing can be more patriotic than having a piece of the best workmanship you can obtain put in your house, and by that I mean attached to the freehold, if it be your own, and let this piece be adorned by the hand of an artist, for his workmanship is transcendental, and, if possible, let it portray a noble example, or evoke a noble reminiscence, and be of such materials that it can not well be sold or destroyed for the value of the material.


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SKETCH OF ELISHA MITCHELL.

A MONUMENT of modest size and style, standing, in Yancey County, North Carolina, on the highest point of land in the eastern United States, marks the grave of the man who first determined, by measurement, the culminating point of the Appalachian range — a man, too, whose local fame as a student of natural history, a hardy explorer, and a teacher, was pre-eminent. Not the little obelisk of bronze — that only shows the exact spot where his body lies — but the mountain on which it stands, whose supremacy over all the peaks east of the Rocky Mountains he established, and in the exploration of which he lost his life, is the true monument of Prof. Elisha Mitchell.

Elisha Mitchell was born in Washington, Conn., August 19, 1703. His father, Abner Mitchell, was a farmer; and his mother, Phebe Eliot, was a descendant, in the fifth generation, from John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians. His great-grandfather, the Rev. Jared Eliot, M. D. and D. D., for many years minister at Killingworth, Conn., was distinguished for his knowledge of history, natural philosophy, botany, and mineralogy, no less than as a sturdily orthodox theologian; was a correspondent of Dr. Franklin and Bishop Berkeley, and was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Society for a discovery in the manufacture of iron. Young Mitchell inherited many of the qualities of the Eliots, and particularly of this ancestor. At four years of age he acquitted himself with credit in a school exhibition. At a little later age he