Popular Science Monthly/Volume 14/February 1879/Literary Notices

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The Commonwealth reconstructed. By Charles C. P. Clark, M.D. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. 1878. Pp. 216. Price, $1.50.

This is a suggestive work on the philosophy of American politics, made up of two parts logically related but very dissimilar in character. The first half of the book is devoted to an examination of the tendencies of our political system, which are arraigned as, in their working, a disappointment and a failure. This portion of the work is important, as giving a large amount of information on the morbid anatomy and the diseased functions of the. body politic. The facts are interesting and copious, but we regret that Dr. Clark has not guarded himself here against criticism by the more full and more careful citation of his authorities. For example, when he says, "Since 1870 more judges have been impeached, or have resigned to avoid impeachment, than in all our history before," or when he says, "The British Parliament, though it unites the powers and functions of all our separate State Legislatures and constitutional conventions, and manages half a hundred colonies and a fourth part of the population of the earth, does not pass as many laws annually as the State of New Jersey," we should like to be informed of the exact data on which these assertions rest. More care in this direction would have given to Dr. Clark's work a higher and more permanent value.

After pointing out, in his opening chapters, the numerous indications of our political degeneracy, the growing venality in public life, the increase of official crime, the augmenting incompetency of public men, the deeper corruption of parties, and the enormous increase of taxes, resulting from scandalous misgovernment—having, in fact, made out a strong and dark indictment against our political system, Dr. Clark then takes up the various causes and remedies that have been proposed for this bad state of things. He thinks the fault is not to be laid at the door of human nature, nor is the democratic principle to be blamed. The nation is not overgrown, our political evils are not the "aftermath of the late civil war," and our difficulties are chargeable neither to the Democratic nor the Republican party. They are such, moreover, as can not be rectified and removed by any of the usual expedients of reform, such as constitutional amendments, minority representation, cumulative voting, female suffrage, outlawry of the lobby, commissions of investigation, non-partisan organizations, religion, moral renovation, education, or civil-service reform. The writer goes rapidly over this field, showing the weak places and the general futility of these various remedial measures, and sums up that there is no hope in them as follows:

But these and many other various explanations and remedies for our evil case, that have been heretofore offered to the anxious inquiries of the people, hardly deserve so much attention. The explanations are incompetent and the remedies nugatory. He who expects to see statesmanship and fidelity to the public interests restored in city. State, or nation by civil-service reform, the restraint of special legislation, long presidential terms or short; a new settlement of functions among aldermen, commissioners, and mayors; the election or the appointment of judges; closer investigations or severer punishments; an educational test, a religious test, or a property test; or any other the like petty and partial devices, would expect to cure the yellow fever by changing a man's shirt.

This is strongly put, but we are inclined to think that the author is a good deal more than half right.

Dr. Clark thus discredits all the nostrums offered by the political doctors to cure the diseases of the body politic; but to what end? Not to confirm the conclusion, made infinitely probable by his own sweeping logic, that the case is not one to be cured by nostrums at all; but, strange to say, the other political medicine-men are dismissed, that our doctor may try a new nostrum of his own. His panacea may be effectual—it has not been tried—but we are sorry to note that it is put upon the usual quackish ground at the outset. Every sovereign cure assumes unity of cause in all diseases—"all maladies come from impurity of the blood, you know; here is something to purify the blood." Dr. Clark says, "The political rot in all the larger spheres of government is identical and pervading; it must own some single cause as dominating as gravity itself; and it must find a single cure."

The true root of our political difficulties is assumed to be the present organization of politics, represented chiefly by the caucus system, the result of which is, that "at the dictate of leaders whom we have not chosen, we vote for candidates whom we do not know, to discharge duties that we can not understand." The remedy proposed is embodied in the proposition that popular elections work well in small and ill in large constituencies. The general purity of town and village politics is contrasted with the general corruption of municipal, State, and national politics, and the cause of this is alleged to be that, in the former case, the citizen knows who and what he is voting for, while in the latter case he knows little or nothing of either. There is therefore required a new method of elections—a reconstruction of the commonwealth by which the voter shall commit to competent men, whom he knows, the function of appointing all higher officials in the larger spheres of political action. The sovereign citizen is, in fact, to recognize his incompetency to deal with general politics, to abdicate his vote, on State and national questions, and choose those whom he thinks better able to do all this business for him. Dr. Clark does not propose to dispense with caucus and organization, but that the people shall take them out of the hands of the politician and operate them themselves. He says:

The people must turn over the prerogative of choosing Governors and Legislatures, now nominally exercised at the ballot-box, to representative delegates. In the business of all large constituencies, the caucus and convention must be substituted for the polls. Thus only can the function of the voter be accommodated to his intelligence; and thus only, the shadow of power discarded, can we secure its substance.

For the details of his plan, the interested reader must be referred to Dr. Clark's work, where they are fully elaborated. Looking into it with some care, we have much the same opinion of it that its author very plainly expresses of other devices for the renovation of our politics and the salvation of the country. None the less we heartily commend his book to political readers, who will find much in it worthy of serious consideration.

Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization. By Edward B. Tylor, D. C. L., LL. D., F. R. S. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1878. Pp. 388. Price, $3.50.

This volume consists of a series of somewhat miscellaneous essays bearing upon the early history of man. In the view of the author, while there are great masses of materials already at hand for working out the subject, the time for writing a systematic treatise does not yet seem to have come. For civilization, being a process of long and complex growth, can only be thoroughly understood when studied through its entire range; as the past is continually needed to explain the present, and the whole to explain a part. The matters here discussed have been chosen, not so much for their absolute importance as because, while they are among the easiest and most inviting parts of the subject, it is possible so to work them as to bring into view certain general lines of argument which apply not only to them, but also to the more complex and difficult problems involved in a complete treatise on the history of civilization.

The book contains essays upon "Gesture Language"; "Word Language"; "Picture-Writing and Word-Writing"; "Images and Names"; "Growth and Decline of Culture"; "The Stone Age, Past and Present"; "Fire, Cooking, and Vessels"; "Some Remarkable Customs"; "Historical Traditions and Myths of Observation"; "Geographical Distribution of Myths"; and "Concluding Remarks." One or two extracts from the last chapter will give the reader an idea of the spirit in which the inquiry is pursued. The author says:

The facts collected seem to favor the view that the wide differences in the civilization and mental state of the various races of mankind are rather differences of development than of origin, rather of degree than of kind. . . . The state of things which is found is not indeed that one race does or knows exactly what another race does or knows, but that similar stages of development recur in different times and places. There is reason to infer that our ancestors in remote times made fire with a machine much like that of the modern Esquimaux, and at a far later date they used the bow and arrow, as so many savage tribes do still. The foregoing chapters, treating of the history of some early arts, of the practice of sorcery, of curious customs and superstitions, are indeed full of instances of the recurrence of like phenomena in the remotest regions of the world. We might reasonably expect that men of like minds, when placed under widely different circumstances of country, climate, vegetable and animal life, etc., should develop very various phenomena of civilization, and we even know by evidence that they actually do so; but, nevertheless, it strikingly illustrates the extent of mental uniformity among mankind to notice that It is really difficult to find among a list of twenty items of art or knowledge, custom or superstition, taken at random from a description of any uncivilized race, a single one to which something closely analogous may not be found elsewhere among some other race, unlike the first in physical characters and living thousands of miles off. It is taking a somewhat extreme case to put the Australians to such a test, for they are, perhaps, the most peculiar of the lower varieties of man, yet, among the arts, beliefs, and customs found among their tribes, there are comparatively few that can not be matched elsewhere. They raise scars on their bodies like African tribes; they circumcise like the Jews and Arabs; they bar marriage in the female line like the Iroquois; they drop out of their language the names of plants and animals which have been used as the personal names of dead men and make new words to serve instead, like the Abipones of South America; they bewitch their enemies with locks of hair; and pretend to cure the sick by sucking out stones through their skin, as is done in so many other regions. It is true that among their weapons they have one of very marked peculiarity, the boomerang, but the rest of their armory are but varieties of instruments common elsewhere. They show but few exceptions to the general rule that whatever is found in one place in the world may be matched more or less closely elsewhere.

The author believes that "the history of mankind has been, on the whole, a history of progress." Some facts are quoted which bear on the possible degeneracy of savage tribes when driven out into the desert, or otherwise reduced to destitution, or losing their old arts in the presence of a higher civilization; but there seems ground for thinking that such degeneration has been rather of a local than of a general character, and has affected the fortunes of particular tribes rather than those of the world at large.

Manual of Introductory Chemical Practice. For the Use of Students in Colleges and High-Schools. By George C. Caldwell, S. B., Ph. D., and Abram A. Breneman, S. B., Chemical Professors in Cornell University. Second edition, revised and corrected. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 1878. Price, $1.50.

In its earliest form this work consisted of detached sheets for the use of students of chemical practice. Corrected by trial, they were published in book form two years ago. We have now the second edition, in which the authors, guided by their larger experience, have been able better to adapt the work to the average capacity of students. Some experiments have been modified or rejected and others introduced, and another section added to the introduction for the help of teachers. The experiments are chosen to illustrate principles, and in the performance of the experiment the student is left to observe and describe it and trace its connection with the principle it illustrates. In this work precision and conciseness of statement are required, and the reports are subjected to critical examination by the teacher. With each copy of the book there goes a separate slip stating how much apparatus and chemicals are needed for every ten students taking this course of practice.

While in its main features the manual is introductory to a more extended course, it may still be used with profit by students who have no time or opportunity for subsequent study.

Lessons in Elementary Chemistry: Inorganic and Organic. By Henry E. Roscoe, B. A., F. R. S., Professor of Chemistry in Owens College, Manchester. New edition. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1878. Price, $1.50.

This text-book, which was first published in 1869, conforms to the metric system of weights and measures, and the centigrade thermometric scale. The most important facts and principles of modern chemistry are so presented as to give the pupil exactitude of knowledge, without which science in schools is worthless. The work was revised in 1875, and important changes were made in the organic portion, while the whole book was brought up to the level of the science of the day. The present edition, among other alterations and additions, adopts, for the combining weights of the elements, numbers derived from Sta's accurate experiments, oxygen being taken at 15·96 instead of 16. In ordinary calculations, however, the older numbers, for the sake of simplicity, are still employed.

Christ's Words as related to Science, Law, Government, History, Philosophy, Religion, and Universal Human Experience. By Prof. J. B. Turner, of Jacksonville, Illinois, author of "Three Great Races of Men," "Essays on Meteorology," "Industrial Education," etc. Springfield, Illinois: H. W. Rokker. Pp. 425. Price, $2.50.

This is an able and vigorous work by an earnest believer in the religion of Christ, the object of which is to cleave through the body of dogmatic theology that has been accumulating for centuries, and get at those simple teachings that are embodied in the words of the founder of the Christian faith. "What is it that Christ really taught, and that constitutes the essence of his religion?" is the problem that Prof. Turner puts before him and undertakes to solve. The task he has ventured upon opens a very broad field of inquiry, embracing various departments of knowledge. Prof. Turner does not claim to be an expert in all these branches of learning, but only to have considered them with reference to one controlling idea—how far they have been employed to obscure the elementary inculcations of the Master. The author is both a firm believer and a vehement doubter. He says he "does not believe that all or most of the current ideas of either religion or science, of philosophy, law, or history, are true, or in accord with the teachings of Christ. It will be forever impossible to harmonize such a medley of false assumptions with each other or with the facts of being, either natural or spiritual." It being thus assumed as out of the question to bring the chaotic schemes of belief into reconciliation, the sincere Christian has nothing left but to find out for himself that which is essential in his religion, and Prof. Turner avows no other object than to aid him in this work.

The author remarks: "What Christ actually said may be one thing; what the world has been catechised or thumb-screwed into the belief that he said may be quite another." How natural it is for the meanings of Scripture to have been distorted in the long ages of ignorance and prejudice, during which they have been a matter of conflict, is well illustrated by Prof. Turner in an example which everybody can understand. He says: "If in half a century our national Constitution, written in our native tongue, consecrated to the broadest liberty, could be perverted so that union, fraternity, and justice, were synonymous with the right of domination of white over colored men; and if our Legislatures, our courts, our army and navy, our literature, schools, and churches, our very psalms and prayers, could be marshaled and used for the defense of one of the most infamous forms of slavery the world has ever seen, what may not have been done during the ages of barbaric ignorance, with the records of the Bible existing only in manuscript, and written in dead Hebrew and Greek?"

From Prof. Turner's chapter on "Miracle and Prayer" we quote the following passages, which illustrate his view of that subject:

We have a cow that is, in her way, a great philosopher, and somewhat of a divine. She has attained such adroitness that she can handle all the hasps and latches, and open all the gates and barn-doors. She is clearly of the opinion that whatever lies beyond her capacity in that line must be miraculous; and when we take a key out of our pocket, and put it in a padlock, and open a door that she has tried in vain to open, she cocks her ears forward, opens her eyes, and says as plainly as she can: "Well, now, that is clearly miraculous; a manifest interference with the laws of Nature." And this is very good cow-philosophy and cow-theology; but will it do for human beings?. . .

No one of the gospel narrators ever intimates that Jesus's works were either a violation or a suspension of, or even an interference with, any law of Nature. All this is our own "cow-philosophy" and "cow-divinity." It neither came from Christ nor his apostles. They spoke of them as "signs" and "wonders," "mighty works;" as acts that were "significant," "strange and unusual," and implying "power." In the only three ultimate forms of being or existence known to us, matter, force, and spirit, or voluntary being of some sort, the last is the only one from which any new force or cause can even seem to originate.

Prof. Turner writes with great vigor and force, though we think with some verbal redundancy, and is mainly intent upon making himself understood. He is inclined to consider that there is a good deal of credulity on the part of scientific men, and he is not very mealy-mouthed in his statement of this opinion. The following passage is evidently for the benefit of Prof. Tyndall:

Contrast, now, the ontology, or scheme of being and destiny, implied in all Christ's teachings and works, with that implied in the dogmatism of those scientists who find "all potency in matter," beginning with their universe of stardust and incandescent gas without known cause, solidifying itself into the solid worlds. generating protoplasms, bioplasms, and cells, and even correlated sexes, out of dead matter, with no supervising intelligence: the molten mass of earth cooling down so slowly as to admit of ages of tropical life at the poles; and anon for ages taken with such a congestive chill that eternal ice and glaciers shrouded it quite down to the tropics; then a fever set in again, and it warmed up to its present condition, full of literal hellfire within, eternally belching forth in all its volcanoes—all living things made out of the same original protoplasms, more handy to the modern scientist than was the dust of the earth, or Adam's extra rib, to the old Jews, but made without any maker. All things at last, in prophetic vision, to turn to ice again; all being, even the sun himself, is to freeze to death; a universe of being born without God, born at first of hell-fire, nursed on protoplasm without any nurse, and consigned at last to eternal death by frost, with still no God to breathe the breath of life into it forever more; or it may take a notion to explode again into as and star-dust, to run its perpetual rounds, with alternate creations by hell-fire and damnations by frost, through all eternity to come! What an origin! What a destiny! What logic! What shocking assumption at every step! and what infinite dogmatism in every conclusion! What aimless and senseless credulity! Jonah and his whale, Joshua and his sun, Noah and his ark, Moses with all his snakes, and frogs, and lice, and murrains, and deaths, are totally eclipsed by these modern dealers in scientific miracles.

The American Quarterly Microscopical Journal. Edited by Romyn Hitchcock. Devoted to the Interests of Microscopical Study in all Branches of Science; with which is also published the Transactions of the New York Microscopical Society. Vol. I., No. 1. Published by Hitchcock & Wall, 150 Nassau Street, New York. Price $3 a year, or 75 cents per copy.

This is a compact, neatly printed, and beautifully illustrated journal of 96 pages, intended as an aid to professional and amateur microscopists in the promotion and diffusion of the results of research. Of the microscope and the functions of a microscopical journal the editor says:

To the student of natural science the microscope is, and always will be, a mere tool. Microscopy, as a special science, has very little claim for existence. In so far as a certain familiarity with the instrument and training in the proper management of the light and accessories are necessary to enable one to use the instrument, it may be called a science. We would detract nothing from the merits of those who are expert in securing the most perfect performance of an objective. Still, as a matter of fact, and plain facts should not give offense to any one, we must admit that the great value of the microscope as a means of investigation lies in the aid it gives to almost every branch of science. This leads us to a statement of what, in our opinion, a microscopical journal should be. Recognizing the value of microscopical study in the various branches of natural science, such a journal should aim to publish the results of research carried on with the microscope in every department.

Accordingly, besides articles relating to the structure and improvement of the microscope itself, we find in the first number the science of zoölogy represented by papers on "The Sting of the Honey-Bee," and "On the Structure of Blood-Corpuscles"; botany by "Descriptions of New Species of Diatoms," and "On the Spore-Formation of the Mesocarpeæ"; the arts, by "The Microscopical Examination of the Fibres"; and in the next number we are promised among others an article on microscopical geology, and a study of a case of tubercular meningitis; while the subject of foods will receive attention in a paper on the microscopical characters of natural and artificial butter. From this enumeration it will be seen that the editor intends to cover a wide range of topics; and, while probably in the majority of cases the discussions will be more or less technical, many of them will also possess both popular and practical interest. The projectors of the enterprise are entitled to great credit, not only for the handsome magazine they have made, but for their courage in entering a field already the scene of many failures, and we would ask for them, not the sympathy, but the cordial support, of all who are interested in the progress of science.

Science News. Edited by Ernest Ingersoll and William C. Wickoff, of New York, and published fortnightly by S. E. Cassino, Salem, Mass. Subscription price, $2 a year.

The main object of this new periodical, as indicated by its title and expressly announced in the prospectus, is the prompt publication of scientific news, and, judging from the four numbers received, the editors are fulfilling their promise in a very satisfactory way. Each number is to contain not less than sixteen pages of matter, exclusive of advertisements, freely illustrated and presented in a style that may be readily understood by the average reader. The type is good, the price is reasonable, the editors are wide awake, and, with the advantages of thorough scientific training and long previous experience on scientific journals, are well adapted to the work—conditions certainly favorable to the production of a good magazine. Yet in one respect we think the new journal might be improved. There is news enough of a scientific character, and of both special and general interest, to more than fill such a periodical, even if it contained double the present number of pages, and to our minds this, in the form of paragraphs as brief as an intelligible statement will permit, might be profitably substituted for the more elaborate essays which now occupy the earlier pages of the periodical.

Third Annual Report of the Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore: Murphy print, 1878. Pp. 60.

Mr. D. C. Gilman, President of the Johns Hopkins University, in this report, strives to draw the line of distinction between the college and the university. The university is designed to give to those who have already received a college training or its equivalent more advanced and special instruction. To this end it must possess ample libraries, laboratories, and apparatus. Then, the holders of professorial chairs in a university must be expected and encouraged to advance by positive research the sciences to which they are devoted. For though, primarily, instruction is the duty of the professor in a university, as it is in a college, the difference of intellectual maturity between the students of the two institutions involves a difference in the respective demands of each upon the professor: university students should be so mature as to exact from their teachers the most advanced instruction, and even to quicken and inspire by their appreciative responses the new investigations which their professors undertake. An interesting feature of this report is a statement by Professor Ira Remsen, of the nature of the work done in the three scientific laboratories which form part of the Johns Hopkins University—viz., the biological laboratory, the physical laboratory, and the chemical laboratory.

Notes on a Collection from the Ancient Cemetery of Chacota Bay, Peru. By J. H. Blake. With Illustrations. From "Report of Peabody Museum of Archæology and Ethnology," 1878. Pp. 28.

The interesting collection here partly described comprises mummies, utensils, weapons, ornaments, etc. What race of people it was that buried their dead in this ancient cemetery it is impossible even to conjecture. The present Indian inhabitants of the locality claim no relationship with them.

The Telegraph in America: Its Founders, Promoters and Noted Men. By James D. Reid. New York: Derby Brothers. 1879. Pp. 850. Price, cloth, $6.

When in June, 1871, a strong representation of the telegraph interest in America was assembled in New York City to attend the ceremony of unveiling the statue of Professor S. F. B. Morse, in the Central Park, an earnest desire was expressed by many to have the occasion and the man appropriately commemorated in a volume. The task of composing this memorial volume was imposed upon Mr. Reid, and the completed work is now published: but instead of its being simply a monument to the memory of Professor Morse, the work has been expanded to the proportions of a history of telegraphy in America.

In accordance with the original intention of the author, the volume contains a pretty full biography of Professor Morse, with an account of the progress of electrical science down to the year 1832, when he first conceived his idea of a recording electrical telegraph. Mr. Reid was an intimate friend of Morse, and reverently cherishes his memory; but in writing this account of his friend’s researches and inventions, he exhibits no desire to slur the merits or to belittle the labors of other workers in the same field. The story of Morse’s invention of the recording telegraph is told without rhetorical embellishment, but with the effectiveness of simple narrative. It was in the early part of October, 1832, and Morse was crossing the Atlantic on his way home from Europe, whither he had gone some three years before, to study the works of the great painters, for he was an artist before he turned his attention to telegraphy. One of his fellow travelers was Dr. Charles T. Jackson, of Boston, then profoundly interested in electro-magnetism, to which his attention had been directed by certain lectures which he had heard in Paris. In conversation with Morse he described in particular Ampère’s brilliant experiments with the electro-magnet.

"The subject," writes Mr. Reid, "at once excited very general interest, into which Mr. Morse entered with awakened enthusiasm. Hitherto he had felt no other interest in electrical matters than that of a lively and excited curiosity. His early studies now enabled him to enter into the conversation with intelligent earnestness. Dr. Jackson had in his trunk, in the hold of the vessel, an electro-magnet, which he described, and during the conversation alluded to the length of wire in the coils. This led one of the company to inquire ‘if the velocity of the electricity was retarded by the length of the wire.’ A very pregnant thought lay in that inquiry, and the conversation became earnest and practical. Dr. Jackson replied that electricity passed instantaneously over any known length of wire. At this point Mr. Morse remarked, ‘If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted instantaneously by electricity.’"

The author has had access to the artist’s sketch-book, in which Morse at the time jotted down his alphabet scheme, and drew designs of various pieces of apparatus. These are reproduced in Mr. Reid’s volume, and thus the reader is enabled to see Morse’s system of telegraphy in its germ, so to speak. The author follows his own account of the "Birth of the Recording Telegraph," with the history of the invention composed by Morse himself in 1868, on the occasion of the International Exposition at Paris.

This "Morse Memorial" occupies the first one hundred pages of Mr. Reid’s volume; the remainder is devoted to the "History of the Telegraph in America." The plan of this second part is an unfortunate one, comprising sketches of the rise and development of the different telegraph companies, with notices of their founders and promoters. This arrangement necessarily makes the work a congeries of mutually independent memoirs, each one valuable indeed in itself, but the effect of the whole must be to weary and confuse the reader’s mind. Nevertheless, the work is one possessing permanent value, not as a "History," but rather as a collection of mémoires pour servir—of authentic materials which the philosophical historian will later digest and coördinate. It is safe to say that no future historian of the telegraph can afford to overlook the work done by Mr. Reid.

The book, in its mechanical execution, leaves nothing to be desired. It contains portraits, some in steel plate, others in wood engraving, of many men of note connected with telegraphy in America, whether as inventors or as administrators.

Walks in London. By Augustus J. C. Hare. 2 vols, in one. New York: Routledge & Sons. 1878. Pp. 1,020.

"In these volumes," writes the author in the preface, "I believe all the objects of interest in London are described consecutively as they may be visited in excursions, taking Charing Cross as a center. The first volume is chiefly devoted to the city, the second to the West End and Westminster. . . . While endeavoring to make ‘Walks in London’ something more interesting than a guide-book, I have tried, especially in Westminster Abbey and the picture-galleries, to give such details as may suggest new lines of inquiry to those who care to linger and investigate."

Science Observer (Monthly). Volume II., No. 3. Boston: Amateur Scientific Society. Post-Office Box 2,725. Pp. 8. Subscription, 50 cents per year.

We observe with pleasure the continued success of this very meritorious little periodical. It appears to be particularly strong in the department of astronomy. The present number, for instance, has an elaborate article on "The Tides." This is the "leading article" of the number. The minor articles are on "The August Lyriads," "Mira Ceti," "Sun Spots," "The Intra-Mercurial Planet"; finally, we have "Ephemerides of Variable Stars."

Survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and the Mississippi River, in charge of C. B. Comstock, Major of Engineers, and H. M. Adams, Captain of Engineers. With Charts. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1877. Pp. 100.

The work of this survey, during the year ending June 1, 1877, may be thus summed up: On Lake Erie the triangulation has been carried from Westfield, New York, to near Painesville, Ohio; the topography and hydrography have been carried from Ashtabula, Ohio, to Vermilion, Ohio; the latitudes and longitudes of sundry points have been determined; a line of levels has been I run between Escanaba and Marquette, to determine the difference of levels between Lakes Michigan and Superior; four charts of Lake Michigan, one of the St. Lawrence, and one of the Detroit River have been completed; the survey of the Mississippi has been carried from five miles above Cairo to a point eight miles above Columbus, Kentucky.

Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota (1877). With Maps. Minneapolis: Johnson, Smith & Harrison print. Pp. 225.

The first work undertaken by the officers connected with the Minnesota survey in the year 1877 was an attempt, and a successful one, to ascertain the causes of the foulness of the water in wells throughout the Red River Valley. It appears that, owing to the scarcity of building-stone in the valley, pine planks are used for curbing the wells, and to this cause is to be attributed the bad quality of the water, which in itself contains nothing that is unwholesome. Professor Winchell, State Geologist, with his associates, next examined localities in Wright County, where coal had been supposed to exist. At no point were Cretaceous beds seen in situ, though possibly they might be struck below the drift, in sinking a shaft. Preliminary reconnaissances were made into the counties of Goodhue and Morrison. The surveys of the following counties were completed, viz., Hennepin, Rock, Pipestone, and Rice.

The Minerals, Ores, Rocks, and Fossils in the Pacific Coast Exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1878. San Francisco: Bosqui & Co. print. 1878. Pp. 99.

We have here a catalogue of the collection named above, preceded by an Introduction on the mineral resources of the Pacific States.

The Indian Question. Address by General Pope. Pp. 31.

The author proposes to locate reservations for Indians far in the rear of advancing emigration, in populous, well-ordered districts, where no hostility to the Indian is felt. Thus surrounded by good influences, the Indian might, the author thinks, become civilized, and perhaps eventually absorbed by the superior race.


Cooking-School Text-Book. By Juliet Corson. New York: Orange Judd Co. Pp. 240.

Outline of General Geology. By Theo. B. Comstock. Ithaca, New York: University Press. Pp. 82.

Coal: its History and Uses. Edited by Professor Thorpe. London: Macmillan & Co. 1878. Pp. 360. $4.

Red Eagle. By G. C. Eggleston. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co. 1878. Pp. 346.

Elements of Comparative Anatomy. By Carl Gegenbaur. London: Macmillan & Co. 1878. Pp. 645. $7.

The Bride of Gettysburg. By J. D. Hylton. Palmyra, New Jersey. 1878. Pp. 172.

The Reign of God not "the Reign of Law." By Thomas Scott Bacon. Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers. 1878. Pp. 400. $1.50.

Political Economy. By William Roscher. New York: Holt & Co. 1873. Two vols., pp. 464 and 465. $7.

The Labor Side of the Great Sugar Question. New York. 1878. Pp. 30.

Researches in Telephony. By Professor Dolbear. From "Proceedings of the American Academy of Science and Arts." Pp. 15.

Report on Life-Saving Apparatus. By Lieutenant D. A. Lyle, of the Ordnance Department. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1878. Pp. 100, with numerous Plates.

The Temperaments. By Dr. D. H. Jacques. New York: S. R. Wells. Pp. 289. $1.50.

Transmission of Power by Compressed Air. By R. Zahner. Now York: Van Nostrand. Pp. 133. 50 cents.

Mansill's Almanac of Planetary Meteorology for 1879. Rock Island, Illinois: R. Crampton. Pp. 52. 50 cents.

Bulletin of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. Vol. IV., Nos. 2, 3, 4. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1878.

Bulletin of the United States National Museum. Nos. 10 and 12. Washington: Government Printing-Office.

Bibliography of North American Invertebrate Paleontology. Pp. 119. Catalogue of Photographs of Indians. Pp. 122. Washington: Government Printing-Office.

Birds of the Colorado Valley. By Elliott Cones. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 822.

Drift from York Harbor. By G. Houghton. Boston: A. Williams & Co. 1879. Pp. 48.

Total Abstinence. By Dr. B. W. Richardson. London: Macmillan & Co. Pp 119.

Handbook of Alabama. By S. Berney. Pp. 338, with Map. Paper, $1..50.

Noxious and Beneficial Insects of Illinois By Dr. C. Thomas. Springfield, Illinois: Lusk print. Pp. 290.

Reptiles and Batrachians of California. etc. By Dr. H. C. Yarrow. Pp. 23. Marine Fishes. By the same author. Pp. 7. Washington: Government Printing-Office.

Physiology of the Spermatozoa. By Dr. S. S. Herrick. Pp. 7.

Text-Books and Methods of Instruction in English. By J. M. Garnett. ("Educational Journal of Virginia.") Pp. 20.

Almanac for Use of Navigators for the Year 1879. Washington: Bureau of Navigation. Pp. 259. 50 cents.

Difficult Labor. By Dr. E. M. Hale. Pp. 94.

Native Wild Flowers and Ferns. By Thomas Meehan. Parts 13, 14, 15, 16. Boston: Prang & Co.