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The most important topic of the year 1896 was the political contest in the United States, in which the great tariff issue was overshadowed by the newer and more exciting subject of free coinage of silver, with which were closely associated questions of Federal power in interstate matters and popular dissent from decisions of the Supreme Court. The reader will get full information of this great crisis if he consults the articles “United States," “ Presidential Canvass of 1896,” and “McKinley, William,” together with the sketches of William Jennings Bryan and Garret Augustus Hobart. A good many side lights, also, are thrown upon this subject in the paragraph entitled “Political ” in the various State articles. In the article “United States” there is a more thorough analysis of the vote than has been published before, and it brings out some curious and significant facts.
The last of a series of articles on the United States census of 1890, which have appeared as early as the slow work of compilation in the Census Office could furnish the material, is published in this volume. Taken together, they form probably the most convenient compendium of the census that can be obtained.
In other lands the most interesting movements of the year were the bloody insurrections in Cuba and the Philippine Islands, with Spain's determined attempt to retain those colonies by force of arms, and the massacres in Armenia and the Greek war in Crete. All these are fully recorded, with maps of Cuba and Crete.
In the realm of science that which has excited the greatest popular interest is the development of the X-ray process of photographing through opaque substances, and this is described under the title “Röntgen Rays," with illustrations, and with it are a sketch and portrait of Röntgen, the discoverer of the process. Another important event in science was the completion of Herbert Spencer's great life work, his “Synthetic Philosophy.” When we think how many great works in science and literature have been left unfinished because their projectors found them too vast for a single lifetime, it is a matter for special congratulation that Mr. Spencer has lived to write the final page of his. To this volume Prof. Hudson, of Stanford University, contributes a critical and descriptive sketch of Mr. Spencer and his books, which we illustrate with a fine photogravure portrait. Other scientific subjects are treated in the articles “ Astronomy,” “Chemistry,” “ Metallurgy.” “Meteorology," Physics,” “ Physiology," and Associations for the Advancement of Science.
One who completed her great literary work much earlier in life, and saw it translated into a score of languages and more widely circulated than any other novel that ever came from the press, passed away in 1896. “Uncle Tom's Cabin ” still stands first among books called for at the various circulating libraries, and still sells largely every year. We present a sketch of Mrs. Stowe's life, with a photogravure portrait and a view of the house in which she wrote the famous book. Other eminent authors who passed away during the year were William Morris, the poet and artistic designer, and George Du Maurier, the author of "Trilby," who was also an artist. Of both of these we give portraits and views of their dwellings.
The numerous recent discoveries in archæology give a special interest to that subject, and the important finds are here recorded, with illustrations.
The religious articles embrace, besides those on the great denominations, minor but interesting ones on “Christian Endeavor Societies,” “Evangelical Alliance,”
Congress of Evangelical Free Churches,” “ Old Catholic Church,” and “Sundayschool Convention."
Readers who are interested in the subject of higher education for women will turn with interest to the article that describes the fourteen institutions in our country that have the rank of colleges and are devoted exclusively to the education of young women. It is illustrated with views of six of these colleges.
Of the summaries, perhaps the most interesting is “ Gifts and Bequests,” which shows a distribution of more than $27,000,000 for educational and benevolent purposes during the year, with the names of the individual donors. The literature articles-American, British, and Continental-present a rapid survey of the production of books of all kinds, with comments that are necessarily sparing, and the “ Disasters” and “ Events” serve as reminders of many happenings.
The article on “Geographical Progress and Discovery” is enriched this year with an account of Dr. Nansen's work in the arctic regions, where he got nearer to the pole than any previous explorer. A facsimile of his own rude map of his route is given, and also an accurate map of the polar region.
Among the special and curious articles are: “Bird Day,” “Cheese, Filled," “Confederate Veterans,” “Farms, Abandoned," “Game Preserves," “ Manufacturers' Association,” “ Marine Hospital Service,” and “ Psychology, Experimental.”
The necrology list includes, beside those already mentioned, Miss Dodge (Gail Hamilton), Lord Leighton and Sir John Everett Millais (two presidents of the Royal Academy), Baron Hirsch ; the statesmen James M. Ashley, Benjamin H. Bristow, Charles F. Crisp, Columbus Delano, J. Meredith Read, and Theodore Runyon; the authors Charles Carleton Coffin, Edward King, Thomas W. Knox, Edgar W. Nye, and Nora Perry; the inventors Charles Goodyear, Norman Wiard, Laurence F. Frazee, and Nehemiah S. Beal; the publishers Alfred E. Beach, Henry C. Bowen, Robert Littell, George Munro, A. D. F. Randolph, and two members of the Harper family; the soldiers Francis C. Barlow, John G. Bourke, Thomas L. Casey, Robert E. Colston, Thomas Ewing, Lucius Fairchild, John Gibbon, Alexander R. Lawton, and G. W. Smith ; the naval officers Joseph S. Skerrett, Thomas Holdup Stevens, and Ilenry Walke; the clergymen Thomas Armitage, Talbot W. Chambers, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Daniel C. Eddy, William H. Furness, Peter R. Kenrick, and Martin Marty; the artists Wyatt Eaton, William H. Gibson, Angustus Hoppin, Charles S. Reinhart, and Olin Warner; the engineers George W. Ferris, William H. Grant, and Albert S. Greene; the jurists Charles Doe, Isaac C. Parker, and Calvin E. Pratt; the scientists Benjamin A. Gould, Horatio Hale, Henry A. Mott, Hubert A. Newton, and Josiah D. Whitney; the actors James Lewis and Frank Mayo; the financiers Austin Corbin, William II. English, Robert Garrett, Henry B. Payne, and John H. Inman; the magician Alexander Herrmann; and the photographers Matthew. B. Brady and Napoleon Sarony. Of all these and many more there are sketches, with numerous portraits.
Three full page portraits (one on steel and two photogravures) and three colored maps adorn the volume. A list of the contributors will be found at the front of the book and an index at the end. This volume begins a new series.
NEW YORK, April 14, 1897.
Among the Contributors to this Volume of the “Annual Cyclopædia" are the following:
Oscar Fay Adams,
Author of "Handbooks of American and British Au
and other articles. Oscar P. Austin,
Author of Uncle Sam's Secrets." PRESIDENTIAL CANVASS OF 1896. Marcus Benjamin, Ph. D.,
Editor of department of chemistry in the "Standard
Dictionary ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE, GOULD, BENJAMIN APTHORP, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Whitney, Josiah Dwight,
and other articles. J. H. A. Bone,
Of the "Cleveland Plain-Dealer."
Formerly of the “Literary Digest."
and other articles.
Superintendent of New York Free Libraries.
and other articles.
Formerly of United States Census Bureau. I'NITED States CENSUS,
and other articles. James P. Carey,
Formerly Financial Editor of the “Journal of Com.
William A. Croffut, LL. D.,
Formerly Secretary of the Geological Survey.
Author of " Great Composers " and "Great Singers." FARMS, ABANDONED,
Editor of the “ American Historical Magazine."
Author of "The True Story of Hamlet and Ophelia."
and other articles. Rev. William E. Griffis, D.D.,
Formerly Professor of Physics in the University of
Associate Editor of the “Columbian Cyclopædia."
OBITUARIES, AMERICAN. Miss Leslie Holmes Hall,
Of the Standard Dictionary staff. WOMEN, COLLEGES FOR, IN THE UNITED STATES. Rev. Moses Harvey,
Author of "Text-book of Newfoundland History." NEWFOUNDLAND. Ripley Hitchcock,
Author of “ The Madonna in Art" and Editor of
"The Art of the World" and " The Story of the
WARNER, OLIN LEVI.
FINANCIAL REVIEW OF 1896. John Denison Champlin,
Editor of " Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings."
President of the Farmers' Congress.
Author of "Life and Work of Mr. Gladstone
Editor of " Golden Canada."
and other Canadian articles.
Abram S. Isaacs, Ph. D.,
Editor of the “ Jewish Messenger."
DU MAURIER, GEORGE,
HOBART, GARRET A.
Col. Charles Ledyard Norton,
Author of “Political Americanisms."
EveNTS OF 1896.
SCHAEFFER, CHARLES William. Mrs. Evangeline M. O'Connor,
Author of "Index to Shakespeare." CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEOGRAPHICAL PROGRESS AND Discovery, INDIANA, KANSAS, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OREGON, TENNESSEE,
and other articles. Joseph P. Smith,
Formerly State Librarian of Ohio.
Author of “Woman and the Republic.”
and other articles. Frederic G. Mather.
and other articles.
Director of Lowe Observatory.
Formerly of Internal Revenue Office.
and other articles.
Of the Life-saving Service.
of the Astor Library,
Editor of “ Appletons' Popular Science Monthly."
Miss Joanna R. Nicholls.
MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE.