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time, I know that it would not have been the same kind of fatuity, but it would have been exactly as fatuous. For having completed my four years, and won my, invaluable degree, I took a professional course in one of the greatest of the Eastern schools. It was the same story, under a new guise. First year men were shoved off onto the less efficient teachers. Many left in disgust, going to other schools, while from other schools came occasional disgruntled first year men to us. Both had had the same experience. They were no longer boys. They were in dead earnest. They were looking for real work, and they were carelessly assigned to pensioners and over-worked regular men ambitious to have charge of a graduate class. The work became serious enough later on. There was no complaint to be made of the subsequent years, but that first year work was the same kind of farce that

it had been in my undergraduate


Of my college course as a whole, I have nothing to express but gratitude and appreciation, either in graduate or undergraduate work. But incidents that are frequently coming to my attention today have caused me to turn back to my own

freshman and first year experiences, and to note with anxiety that everywhere in America it is the same story. The freshman is the despised and neglected factor in college life, and when we have said that we have very nearly put our finger on the sore spot in American education.

It is clear to me that one of two things must happen. Either our colleges will take an entirely new attitude to the whole question of admission to college and treatment of freshmen, or the public high school will develop, under popular demand, and a pressure that cannot be resisted, into collegiate institutions, and our endowed colleges will be given over almost entirely to what is now known as graduate work. The line will be drawn at a point midway between the present Junior and Senior years at college. The point at which research work, and real independent study begins will be the beginning

of University work, and all else will class as preparatory work, and be committed to our secondary schools, and public high schools. The present lax and wasteful method cannot endure the pressure of the enormous demand for efficient higher education, within the reach of all.






T is a matter of much pride to the Yankee heart that the first ship which sent the Stars and Stripes to its masthead after its transfer to American registry last fall performed this auspicious ceremony in a New England harbor. The ship was the steamer "Tivives" of the United Fruit Company's "Great White Fleet." The flag was hoisted September 10, 1914, just before sailing from Boston, while a crowd of spectators on the neighboring piers and elevated railway platform paid its tribute in lusty cheers.

Now of the three large enterprises whose fleets have come under United States registry, the United Fruit Company not only is a New England organization, but stands for what New England holds ideal in spirit, enterprise, purpose, achievement, and romantic environ. Moreover, it has already established a strong link between our part of the world and some of those Latin lands where we are bidden look for our greatest opportunities.

Ten years ago these facts would have had value among North American readers no farther than they were picturesque in narrative. Even five years ago we paid no heed to the counsel of a few sages who tried to turn southward a channel from the stream of youthful energy that has been flowing West so long. But today the most conservative share with optimists at least the visions of Pan-American business expansion, cherishing, in spite of adverse legislation after half a century of neglect, the belief that our mercantile marine may yet become renascent. And New England expects to lead the van. Sub-con

sciously, but effectively, we are taking account of stock,-estimating what we possess in commercial strength, marking whither the feet of pioneers have led beyond Key West, gathering data for new enterprises, noting when and how we may take inspiration; for American sagacity always finds a way once it undertakes the search in earnest.

Thus the story of the United Fruit Company becomes a valuable study. Its history reaches back almost to the days of the clipper ships and covers the whole field of experimentation in modern types of ocean craft. Now there is a splendid fleet of ninety-five steamships, built and put into successful operation without subsidies, concessions, or any other of the government aids popularly supposed indispensable to a merchant marine. At the same time it is a point in line with our study that until Congress remodeled some of its navigation laws on account of the European war, not one of these fine ships which had done so much in opening up the American tropics to the world could fly the banner or claim the protection of Uncle Sam. Of course the United Fruit Company was not alone in the awkward necessity of foreign registry; many other American-owned ships were in a similar predicament. It is the irony of such a situation that appeals, In with special force in this case. 1913 Willis J. Abbot wrote in his book, "Panama and the Canal":

"The United Fruit Company would welcome the opportunity to transfer their ships to American registry, except for certain requirements of the navigation laws which make such change hazardous."

Again early in 1914 Frederick Upham Adams, writing of the United Fruit Company's "Conquest of the Tropics" in the Doubleday, Page and Company series of romances of Big Business, emphasizes the same statement.

Last September the new ruling was not many days old before twenty-five of the Fruit Co.'s steamers were recorded upon United States registers.

I suppose there is no large corporation more animated by real American esprit than the United Fruit Company; surely none has accomplished creative work at once so difficult and so beneficial to our body politic. It is the account of this creative work that I want briefly to tell here, because it brims over with inspiration, and uplift must be ministered faithfully in tonic doses for some time to come if the people of our land are to be stimulated out of their lethargy and set to planning new destinies for themselves.

From remarks I have sometimes heard, I think it is not generally understood that the business of the United Fruit Company is fundamentally a vast agricultural project which furnishes bananas and sugar to the world. The words "United Fruit" seem to have caused a notion that they are a transportation agency only, bringing all sorts of fruit North from the tropic and semitropic regions. No: the word "United" was assumed at the time of incorporation in 1899, when Andrew W. Preston, president of the Boston Fruit Co. and its several branch banana importing and distributing companies, and Minor C. Keith, president of three banana companies operating in the southwest Caribbean, with their associates, and some new capital, subscribed a sum sufficient to place their interests on the kind of legal footing that would provide for investors and thus make adequate expansion of the enterprise possible. By 1899 the

period of pioneer experiment in cultivating, transporting, and distributing bananas had passed, and it had been demonstrated that no such industry could be permanently successful unless financially equipped to insure a widely scattered and very extensive acreage of plantations, speedy ships well refrigerated, and means of swift distribution of each fresh cargo to the many consuming centers. It was felt, too, that this nutritious and palatable fruit ought to be supplied constantly, in volume to equal the rapidly growing demand, and at a rate within reach of the smallest purse. A prodigious undertaking, you discover when you investigate the subject. It makes you proud of your generation. fancy! one of the most perishable of fruits, against which jungle, drouth, flood, or storm are ever conspiring, gathered almost three thousand miles away and laid fresh and sweet on your table every day for a far less price than you paid for some of the apples that grew in the township next your own.


But Mr. Preston and Mr. Keith had always worked from potential benefit to triumphant fulfilment. The United Fruit Company has worked the same way. It was organized to overcome great obstacles, not to make a lot of money, but to build up a valuable industry.

A good parenthesis here quite in line with our study is a memo that very fair dividends follow, and most rightly, any business undertaking intelligently chosen and systematically conducted which has honest worth for its foundation, efficient service for its purpose and righteous growth for its method. President Wilson says: "I am not jealous of the size of any business. I am not jealous of any progress or growth no matter how huge the result, provided the result was indeed obtained by the processes of wholesome development, which are the processes of efficiency, of economy, of intelli

gence, and of invention." In truth, it is only big business today that can handle efficiently many of the massive needs of our community life.

The obstacles which the United Fruit Company had to overcome were as discouraging and as varied as the dank and tangled forests of the torrid zone could make them. Wonderfully fertile as those lands are, twenty years ago not a white man had looked on vast stretches of them, not a native dwelt near them. One explorer has described the Caribbean shores as originally a place only of choice assortments of pests and fe

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Before I tell how this was complished, the reader may like to know something of how the trade in bananas began to thrive.

Many people still think the banana grows wild in the jungle. Never. The plant that is called the wild banana does not bear any fruit and I will not vield to cultivation. The cultivated banana plant whose fruit we eat is a different species, which was brought across the Atlantic by some of the Spanish conquistadors. It was cultivated a very little and accounted a great luxury by the negligent natives. The plantain was cultivated more diligently, being regarded as a food necessity. The plantain is a vegetable, the banana is both fruit and vegetable. White settlers in the West Indies and, later, in parts of Central and northern South America also cultivated bananas for their own tables, but not until the middle of last century did anyone try to bring them into North America. After 1866 a Mr. Franc began making occasional shipments from his plantation in Colombia to New York, but most of the fruit spoiled en route, and the rest was considered a the more expensive curiosity than backwoodsman of today would regard the melons from South Africa

which have appeared in some of our larger city markets the past few sea


In 1870 Captain Lorenzo D. Baker on his return from a trip up the Orinoco River with a party of gold miners stopped at a port in Jamaica to seek a cargo for Boston. Trade was dull and freights so scarce that he had some trouble in filling his schooner. Among other things he took a few bunches of bananas purchased from a local dealer, loading them on the deck where they would keep as cool as possible. He made so quick a voyage that the fruit, though fully ripened, was still in an eatable condition. They are said to be the first bananas ever brought to Boston for sale. Some of them went into the hands of a youthful fruit merchant, Andrew W. Preston, who immediately realized the possibility of making Jamaica a banana competitor to Colombia. With other interested merchants he made investigations which convinced him that they had found the field of an important new industry. But he was not able then to finance such an enterprise as he felt ought to be launched. Between 1870 and 1885 small shipments of bananas continued to be brought now and then to Boston, and Mr. Preston bought and sold as many of them as he could secure. No one else made any attempt to create a steady demand or a fixed market price for this fruit.

Finally, in 1884, it it happened there was a large amount of idle money in Boston. Mr. Preston began trying in earnest to interest some of it. He wanted four or five hundred thousand, so as to put the enterprise on a secure foundation at once. But his scheme seemed absurd to most men of capital. Even "experts" in the fruit business thought the American topics the least sensible of places in which to invest money. Yet at least, in 1885, he induced nine men to contribute each a sum equal to his own available cash, $2,000, making

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