Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/175

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163
ALASKA AND THE KLONDIKE.

could not remove the children until the Board of Health condemned and closed the building under the provisions of the sanitary code. The minor abuses in the way of aiding undeserving persons extend to nearly all the private societies that receive city money. Those that exercise care and have been long established are often deceived by professional beggars.

After his investigation of the subject the city comptroller established in his office a bureau of examination for the purpose of placing a check on the many small societies that indulge in indiscriminate charity at the expense of the city, but he soon found that he was powerless to correct all abuses. The present condition can not be corrected and public charity placed upon a practical basis and limited to the real necessities of the deserving poor until the city government begins to deal with each society and institution upon its merits. Changes and reforms to the present system will come in time, but progress will be slow because charity is a valid excuse at the bar of public opinion for the reckless expenditure of city money, and for that reason it appeals strongly to the average politician and lawmaker. Charity will cover with a mantle of commendation a multitude of abuses and crave pardon for gross frauds. It is the pastime of the rich and their gratuity to the poor. The magic of the word seems to move a Legislature and open the treasure vaults of city and State.

 
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ALASKA AND THE KLONDIKE.

A JOURNEY TO THE NEW ELDORADO.

By ANGELO HEILPRIN,
PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY AT THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA, FELLOW OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON.
II.—SAN FRANCISCO OF THE NORTH.

A FIRST impression of Dawson, in August, 1898, could not be other than one calculated to bring up comparisons with strange and foreign lands. As we saw it, approaching from the water side, it persistently suggested the banks of the Yang-tse-kiang, or of some other Chinese river, on which a densely apportioned population had settled. Hundreds—one is almost tempted to say thousands—of boats were lined up against the river front, and so packed in rows back of one another that exit from the inner line was made possible only by a passive accommodation from the outside. There were steam craft, house-boats, scows, and a variety of minor bottoms, ranging from the hay-packed raft to the graceful Peterboro canoe. Many had canvas spread over them, giving house quarter to those who preferred the economy of an owned estate to the high-priced cabins of