Слике страница

circumstances. From fifty to seventy were killed at once, and many were wounded.

Death of the Queen of Madagascar.-A Mauritius journal mentions the death of Ranavalo Marigaeka, Queen of Madagascar. This event, there was reason to hope, would put an end to the difficulties which had hitherto existed, as her son, who succeeds to the throne, is a Christian, and likely to pursue a more liberal and more tolerant policy than that followed by his mother, of whom England and France had so much reason to complain. The journal states that the Sacklaves had made an eruption into the French possession of NossiBè, killed almost the whole of the garrison, and forced the inhabitants to take refuge on board the vessels in the roadstead. The French vessels on the station were concentrating in order to take vengeance for this attack. The death of this cruel Sovereign will give a new turn to the affairs of Madagascar.

This is the woman who decreed that her subjects should forget the name of Jesus Christ!

16th. Circassia.-Advices from St. Petersburgh of the 16th November state that the division of the Russian army under Prince Dolgoruki had succeeded in storming and sacking the Circassian fortress of Tshoek. The Circassians are stated to have lost as many as 3,000 men, while the loss of the Russians is quoted at 50.

Missionaries in Syria.-Outrages have recently been committed by the Maronite Population on the Christian Missionaries, near Tripoli. The matter was referred to Beyrout, and also to the Porte, and the Sultan has iaken active measures to prevent a recurrence of the outrage. Twenty-six of the chief Moslem rioters are now at Beyrout, a detachment of troops from that place having surrounded Tripoli, and commanded the citizens to deliver them up within twenty-four hours, in default of which, they threatened to fire upon the town. The ringleaders were accordingly surrendered.

African Missionaries.-A great effort is about to be made in England, by some of the Missionary Societies, to extend their operations into Africa, and the Colonial Bishopric's Fund Committee have intimated their intention of erecting Sierra Leone into an episcopal see at the earliest possible opportunity. It is desired by some in Auential persons that the new prelate should be one of Africa's sable sons—a real black bishop,' -as Mr. Stowell expressed it. There is some probability of this suggestion being carried out.

Artificial Leeches.— The Journal des Debats describes an important discovery, which occupies the attention of the French scieniific world. It is a mechanical leech, invented by M. Alexander, a civil engineer, already celebrated for his useful discoveries. All the scientific bodies, after satisfactory trials, have caused this leech to be adopted in all the hospitals; having proved not only the immense economy of its use, but, what is better, the decided advantage which it has over the natural leech, often so scarce, always repugnant to the patient, and sometimes dangerous.

17th. The Arctic Expedition.Captain Sir James Ross and Captain Sir John Richardson met in London. The latter arrived in an American packet. They were also met by Captain Kerr, of the whaler Chieftain, who brought the story of the Esquimaux respecting Sir John Franklin. Neither Ross nor Richardson have discovered any traces of Sir John Franklin, Capt. Crozier, Captain Fitz James, and their brave and gallant companions.

The Cholera.- This dreadful disease has again manifested itself on the Western rivers. At this date a number of deaths occurred on board the steamer Constitution, bound to St. Louis from New Orleans; other cases have been mentioned. It seems to have manifested itself principally among the emigrants.

The Church in Borneo.—An account of the ceremony of laying the first beam of the missionary church at Sarawak has just been received. The celebrated Rajah of Sarawak, Sir James Brooke, with his suite, and the naval officers, and English residents, were present on the occasion.

207h, Slave Trade.-The French government have notified to the British cabinet iheir intention of withdrawing the twenty-six cruisers which have been placed on the coast of Africa for the suppression of the slave trade, pursuant to a convention signed by the Duke de Broglie, May 29, 1845.

23d. Two sailors were executed on board the U. S. frigate Savan. nah, at San Francisco, for mutiny.

25th. A very distressing and melancholy case of desertion of husband and children by a lady, occurred at Niagara Falls. From letters written at the time, and from parts of her dress found on the bridge, it was believed that she had thrown herself into the rapids. But it was subsequently ascertained that she had left during the night with a paramour, and gone South. The lady is Mrs. Miller, the wife of an officer of the army. She had heretofore borne an irreproachable character, and evinced a strong attachment to her children.

28th. Wonders of the Telegraph.-“We were present," says the editor of the National Intelligencer, “ a few evenings ago at the Coast Survey astronomical station, on Capitol Hill, which was put in telegraphic connexion with Cincinnati, for the purpose of determining the longitude between the two places. The electrical clocks

in this city and Cincinnati having been introduced into the completed circuit, every beat at Cincinnati was recorded at almost the same instant on Saxton's revolving cylinder in this city, and every beat of the clock here was recorded in like manner upon Mitchell's revolving plate at Cincinnati. At the moment a star passed the meridian at Washington, by the touch of a key the record of the passage was made upon the disc at Cincinnati, as well as upon the cylinder at the Washington station, and the difference of the time of the two clocks would of course indicate the difference of longiiude. The distance between the two cities, it must be recollected, is upwards of five hundred miles; this distance was annihilated, and events happening at the one were instantly recorded by automatic machinery at the other."

29th. A day of general thanksgiving throughout the United States.

DECEMBER, 1849. 1st. The Planetary System.-As one of the signs of the progress of science, which we feel bound to chronicle, is the opinion lately expressed by Sir J. Herschell, that it is impossible any longer to attempt the explanation of the movements of all the heavenly bodies by simple attraction, as understood in the Newtonian theory, these comets, with their trains, perversely turned from the sun, deranging sadly our systematic views. Nor are there (writes Humboldt,) any constant relations between the distances of the planets from the central body round which they revolve and their absolute magnitudes, densities, times of rotation, eccentricities, and inclinations of orbit or axis. We find Mars, though more distant from the sun than either the Earth or Venus, inferior to them in magnitude; Saturn is less than Jupiter, and yet much larger than Uranus. The zone of the telescopic planets, which are so inconsiderable in point of volume viewed in the series of distances commencing from the sun, comes next before Jupiter, the greatest in size of all the planetary bodies. Remarkable as is the small density of all the colossal planets which are farthest from the sun, yet neither in this respect can we recognise any regular succession. Uranus appears to be denser than Saturn, and, though the inner group of planets differ but little from each other in this particular, we find both Venus and Mars less dense than the Earth, which is situated between them. The time of rotation increases, on the whole, with increasing solar distance; but yet it is greater in Mars than in the Earth, and in Saturn than in Jupiter. After other remarks of the same character, he adds: “ The planetary system, in its relation of absolute magnitude, relative position of the axis, density, time of rotation, and different degrees of eccentricity of the orbits, has, to our apprehension, nothing more of natural necessity than the relative distribution of land and water on the surface of our globe, the configuration of continents, or the elevation of mountain chains. No general law, in These respects, is discoverable either in the regions of space or in the irregularities of the crust of the earth."

The fall of Zaatchi.-This place is in the midst of a desert, in the province of Constantine, in Africa. A handful of Arabs esta. blished themselves here, and for some time resisted the entire Frencia army. They fought with a desperation and courage never perhaps surpassed, until they were overpowered by numbers, and felí, fighiing to the last. On the final assault, the French swept all before them, and the whole city is now desolate.

Murder of Dr. Parkman at Boston.-On the 230 November, Dr. Parkman, who was a wealthy citizen of Boston, disappeared very suddenly. A large reward was offered to whoever should find him, and for a week all efforts were fruitless. His continued absence induced his friends to suppose that he was murdered, and a further reward of $1000 was added to the $3000 already offered for his discovery. Suspicion at length pointed to the medical college in North Grove Street, and implicated Dr. John W. Webster, Professor of Chemistry in Harvard University, a gentleman of most excellent character, who had held the professorship for several years. Dr. Parkınan was last seen going to the college, whither, it was supposed, he went for the purpose of collecting a demand which he had against Professor Webster, whom he had somewhat exasperated by the means he had used to collect it. It was said too that Prof. W. admitted that Dr. Parkman had called, and that he had paid him $450. Dr. P. was not seen again alive. Professor Webster hail kept his rooms locked during the week, and a deose smoke was seen issuing from his chimney. Urged by these circumstances, Mr. Ephrain Littlefield, who had charge of the college buildings, broke into the private vault under the laboratory of Dr. Webster, and found a leg and part of the trunk of a human body. On the further examination in Prof. W.’s laboratory there were found, in the ashes of the furnace, parts of a human skull and jaw, and teeth filled in a peculiar manner, as Dr. P.’s were, and particles of gold and silver, supposed to be parts of a watch; in a tea-chest, a bloody knife which corresponded with stabs found in the body; in another chest, all the parts of the body not previously discovered, except the head, feet,

On putting the several parts of the body together, it appeared to be that of Dr. Parkman. Oiher evidences of identification were discovered, and the family of Dr. Parkman recognised and claimed the remains as his.

Professor Webster was arrested, and at the time of his arrest was dreadfully agitated; but soon regained composure of manner, and

subsequently evinced perfect self-possession and calmness. The coroner's jury sat for several days with closed doors, and after examining a large number of witnesses, rendered a verdict that Dr. Parkman was killed by Professor Webster. The grand jury have found a bill for wilful murder. Notwithstanding the strong circumstances against him, the friends of Prof. W., and they are many, express their convictions of his innocence.

Professor Webster's family consists of a wife and four daughters, and his house was distinguished as the seat of hospitality. He himself was mild, kind, and unassuming-his character free from stain, and was amongst the very last men who would be thought capable of committing so horrible a crime.

3d. The first session of the thirty-first Congress commenced this day.

In the Senate the Vice President, Hon. Millard Fillmore, took the chair, forty-one members being present. Mr. Underwood presented the credentials of the Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and Mr. Mangum those of Hon. James Shields, of Illinois. The House not being organized, no further business was transacted by the Senate.

In the House of Representalives the roll was called, and 223 members were found to be in attendance. The House proceeded to the election of speaker. On the first ballot, Howell Cobb, of Ga., had 103 votes, and Robert C. Winthrop, of Mass., 96 votes-four efforts were made that day with similar results, and no candidate having received a majority of all the votes, the House adjourned.

The Supreme Court of the United States was opened in the Capitol. Present, Chief Justice Taney, and Associate Justices M’Lean, Wayne, Catron, Daniel, Woodbury, Nelson, and Grier. Justice M'Kinley absent.

The celebrated police officer, Jacob Hays, now in his eightieth year, was appointed, for the forty-ninth time, high constable of New York.

51h. The New York Canals were closed. The amount of tolls collected last year was $3,245,662; this year the amount collected is $3,259,210 30, which is an increase of $13,548 30. And in the mean time the work of enlargement has been studiously and a Ivantageously progressing. The expense of repairs has been diminished, and the canals are lest in better order for resuming navigation than they have been at the close of any former season.

7th. Brig. Gen. Garland assumed command of the military post at San Antonio,-the position occupied by Gen. Worth at the time of his death.

8th. The steamer Crescent City arrived at New York from Chagres, with $1,000,000 in California gold.

« ПретходнаНастави »