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AND REGISTER OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
OF THE YEAR
EMBRACING POLITICAL, MILITARY, AND ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS; PUBLIC DOCUMENTS; BIOGRAPHY, STATISTICS, COMMERCE, FINANCE, LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE,
AND MECHANICAL INDUSTRY
It is hardly so true in our day as when the maxim was first uttered, that laws are silent amid the clash of arms. But it is still true, and perhaps always will be, that the movements of armies and navies surpass all else in immediate popular interest, and the thunder of the guns appears to render the sounds of peaceful industry tame if not silent. In this volume we record the close of one war and a large part of the causes that are likely to produce another, in which Americans have the highest interest. The article on “Greece" narrates the closing operations of the war between that country and Turkey, and gives the terms of peace. The articles on “Cuba," “Spain," and the “United States” will enable the reader to inform himself as to the condition of things that led to the complication which will probably involve our own country in war by the time this volume is ready for delivery. Many questions that will naturally follow can be answered by turning to the enumeration of the land and naval forces of the two countries. A full account of the “National Guard of the United States” was given in the “ Annual Cyclopædia” for 1895, and later statistics (where they exist) may be found in the articles on the several States in this volume. In pursuing the subject further, the reader will be interested in the articles on the United States Naval and Military Academies, the article on Signals,” which is accompanied by a colored chart, and that on the “Revenue-Cutter Service.” If he is still further interested in the struggles for possession of territory that seem never to cease, he may turn to the articles on “ India” and “ West Africa,” where he can read of the frontier wars carried on by European powers against uncivilized but not easily conquered tribes. And if he is inclined to consider the subject imaginatively—to follow the poet where he “saw the heavens fill with commerce," and heard “the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue"he may read the illustrated article on “Aërial Navigation.”
In studying the progress of the arts of peace, the reader will find interesting the article on the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and those on “ Associations for the Advancement of Science,” “ Chemistry,” “Uses of Compressed Air,” the “Fine Arts,” “ Geographical Progress,” “ Metallurgy,” “ Railroad Service,” “Street Railways,” “Tin Manufacture,” and “Wire Glass.”
The summaries of American, British, and Continental literature will be found full as usual; and for those who take an interest in the trimmings and incidents of literature there is an interesting illustrated article on “Book Plates” prepared by an expert ; while the illustrated description of the new Congressional Library is a subject for honest national pride.
To the articles on the larger religious bodies we add this year“ Christian Scientists,” the “Federation of Free Churches," the “German Evangelical Synod,” “Oriental Churches in the United States," and “Volunteers of America.”
of the mercantile and monetary movements of the year may be had by
consulting the articles “ Financial Review” and “United States Finances,” together with the trade summaries in the articles on our own and other countries. Pursuing this subject into the speculative and adventurous region, the reader will be interested in our article on “The Klondike” with its accompanying colored maps.
A new and interesting feature will be found in the State articles this year, where we give the portraits of the Governors, with the exception of a few who failed to respond to our request for a photograph.
In the realm of science, the “ Astronomical Progress” of the year is recorded by Prof. Swift, that in “Physiology” by Dr. Youmans, “Physics” by Dr. Bostwick, and the “National Academy” by Dr. Benjamin.
The yearly list of “ Gifts and Bequests ” will be found unusually interesting by reason of its extent. This feature was introduced in the volume for 1893, and the five lists thus far published make a remarkable showing. The aggregate in 1893 was $29,000,000 ; in 1894, $32,000,000; in 1895, nearly $33,000,000; in 1896, $27,000,000; and in 1897, $45,000,000; making a grand total of nearly $166,000,000.
Among the eminent dead of the year Charles A. Dana—who had a double career, as Assistant Secretary of War during the great civil contest and for nearly thirty years as the foremost journalist in the United States—comes first. We present not only a sketch of his life, but a fine portrait, which forms the frontispiece of this volume. The other men and women of letters who passed away in 1897 include: Alphonse Daudet, the French novelist; Jean Ingelow, the English poet; Margaret Oliphant, the story-writer and critic; William J. Linton, the artist and author ; William T. Adams, known to the boys as Oliver Optic; Joel T. Headley, popular a generation ago; Margaret J. Preston, Alice Wellington Rollins, Margaret Hosmer, Justin Winsor, and Daniel G. Thompson in our country; and in Europe Isabella Banks; Cavalcaselle, the Italian art historian ; Richard Holt Hutton ; Meilhac, the French dramatist; Francis Turner Palgrave; Riehl, the German historian ; Sir John Skelton; and Vacherot, the French philosopher. The necrology of the artists includes the names of Homer Martin, Johnson M. Mundy, John Sartain, Eliza Greatorex, Max Maretzek, George P. Boyce, Sir John Gilbert, Charles P. Knight, and John L. Pearson. Among the scholars we lost were Henry Drisler, Solomon Deutsch, James Hammond Trumbull, Francis A. Walker, E. Cobham Brewer, Sir Augustus Franks, James Legge, Francis W. Newman, and Charles J. Vaughan ; while the scientists and inventors included Edward D. Cope, Alfred M. Mayer, Theodore Lyman, Campbell Morfit, Alvan G. Clark, George M. Pullman, Carl R. Fresenius, Sir Isaac Holden, Sebastian Kneipp, and Alexander M. Ross. The clergymen whose earthly career was closed included Father Hewit, Joshua H. McIlvaine, George H. Houghton, Bishop Rulison, Henry Drummond, Edward M. Goulbourn, William W. How (the hymn-writer), and Baron Plunket. Of statesmen the world lost Canovas del Castillo, the Spanish Premier, assassinated by an anarchist, Lord Rosmead (Sir Hercules Robinson), Sir Rutherford Alcock, John Anthony Mundella, James R. Doolittle, Daniel W. Voorhees, and Isham G. Harris. Of reformers Neal Dow completed a long life and Henry George was called away in mid career. Of those who played noticeable parts in our great civil war were Couch, De Trobriand, McLaws, Pleasonton, R. W. Meade, Samuel P. Lee, A. C. Rhind, and John L. Worden; while the eminent European soldiers who passed away included Sir Henry Havelock-Allan, Sir William Jervois, Sir George Malcolm, and Baron Sterneck. Of all these, and many more, brief but comprehensive sketches will be found here.
The book closes with an index covering the two volumes of the new series.