This book is made up of a series of articles which appeared originally in Van Nostrand's Engineering Magazine. The author's object is to win more general attention to a new method for a graphical solution of statical problems, which, during the last ten years, has been gradually developed and perfected, and which offers to the architect, civil engineer, and constructor, a simple, swift, and accurate means for the solution of a great number of practical questions.
In 1874 Mr. Elliott was directed by the Treasury Department to visit Alaska, for the purpose of studying and reporting upon the present condition of the seal-fisheries; the haunts and habits of the seal; the preservation and extension of the fisheries; the statistics of the fur-trade; and the condition of the natives. The results are contained in the volume before us. The work is full of valuable information. It is divided into nine chapters, treating of the "Character of the Country;" "Condition of the Natives;" "Duty of the United States Government;" "Trade and Traders;" "The Sea-Otter;" "The Seal-Islands;" "Habits of the Fur-Seal;" "The Sea-Lion;" "Fish and Fisheries;" and the "Ornithology of the Prybilov Islands."
Dr. Hargreaves quotes statistics to show that, in 1873, the income of the people of the United States exceeded $7,000,000,000. He thinks that, to the use of intoxicating drinks, nearly all of the crime and pauperism of the country is to be attributed. He compares the cost of intoxicating liquors with the total receipts of sundry industries; sums up the losses of the country from the trade in liquors; tries to show that the use of liquors and the liquor-trade destroy the influence of education. Finally, he lays down the proposition that "the use of and the traffic in strong drinks impede the progress of the Christian Church, and the spread of the gospel."
There appears to exist in the public mind a genuine interest in the exploration of Africa, and the number of books of African travel published within the last ten years is enormous. The writings of C. J. Andersson have in no small measure contributed to the awakening of this curiosity, and doubtless the present work, made up from the memoranda of that distinguished traveler, will be read with the same eagerness as his earlier publications.
This is the fifth volume of the "Dissertations and Discussions," and it completes the series. It contains five papers on "Land Tenure;" also essays on "Endowments;" on "Labor;" on "Treaty Obligations;" on Maine's "Village Communities;" Taine's "Intelligence;" Crete's "Aristotle;" Baer's "L'Avere e l'Imposta;" and Leslie's "Land Question."
The author points out the manifold uses of soluble glass, for instance, as a means of preserving timber and making it noninflammable; as an ingredient in the composition of artificial stone; for mixing with paints to be applied to the surface of metals, glass, and porcelain; in soap-making; in calico-printing, etc.
Contains, in addition to the observations and suggestions of the commissioner, a great mass of statistics relating to the state of education throughout the country in the year 1874.