« AnteriorContinuar »
ter was published under its auspices, 1879-84, with a total of twenty-nine numbers. the society took on new life, and now issues Publications, the third volume of which is out. .These consist, for the most part, of prepared papers, but some documents are included.
The Mississippi Society was organized in 1890, but did nothing much except in the way of col lecting until reorganized in 1897. It now enrolls a large and enthusiastic membership. Annual publications will be issued, three volumes of which have already appeared. It is the policy of the society to foster local affiliated organizations to facilitate the work of collecting material, and to arouse a more general interest in historical study. The contemplated work of the commission already alluded to is, judging by the tentative outline of its report, the most extensive of any that has come to the notice of the writer. Manuscripts, papers, and documents pertaining in any way to the history of Mississippi, such as archives and political papers, whether foreign, federal, of other States, or domestic, records of counties, municipalities, churches, colleges, benevolent institutions, industrial organizations, and literary remains of distinguished men, will receive attention. Prehis toric works, Indian remains, and places of historic interest, such as forts, battlefields, and historic houses, also will fall within its scope. In collect. ing manuscripts, pamphlets, etc., an effort will be made to index and bind them in such a way that they will be "available for almost immediate consultation by all interested parties." It is hardly necessary to add that the commission does not expect to finish its work in a day, nor in a year.
Apparently the youngest society is that of Texas, which dates only from 1897. Several gentlemen, long prominent in the political and educational life of the State, were instrumental in effecting its organization, and under their inspiration the society has developed rapidly. Its official organ, the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Society, is of about the same scope as the magazines already mentioned. The regents of the State University have provided a fireproof vault in the university library for the use of the society.
Several other States have organizations, in name at least. That of Louisiana published two volumes about fifty years ago. Since then it appears to have remained inactive most of the time, but is now said to be "in a state of hopeful vigor." It has recently undertaken to interest Congress in the publication of the documents now in Paris relating to Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley, a work which should elicit the sympathetic help of all interested in history.. Since its birth, in 1858, the Tennessee Historical
Society has published only a few pamphlets of minor importance, but it has done a valuable work in the way of collecting. A catalogue of the manuscripts in its possession reveals the whereabouts of some important ones which, it is to be hoped, will soon be laid before the public. The American Historical Magazine, published at Nashville under the auspices of the Department of History in the Peabody Normal College, will devote one number annually to the interests of the society. The Kentucky society does not ap pear to have published anything since 1882. The Filson Club, of Louisville, has done an invaluable service to Kentucky history, mainly in the way of collecting material. Its last publication, No. 16, relates to Boonesboro. The Missouri society has recently secured the valuable collection of Mr. F. H. Sampson, of Sedalia, who for, nearly thirty years has been engaged gathering historical material relating to Missouri, chiefly since Louisiana was purchased. The collection numbers over seven thousand, and will be made the nucleus of a great historical library which the society hopes to build up.
Two other societies deserve special mention. The Southern Historical Society, with headquar ters at Richmond, began the publication of its Papers in January, 1876, and has issued twentyeight volumes, all of which are concerned with the Civil War. Some of the later ones are of special value, being made up largely of reprints from Southern daily and weekly papers. Southern Historical Association was organized at Washington City, April 24, 1896, by a number of distinguished gentlemen, statesmen and educators in particular being prominent. Its Publications are issued bi-monthly, and make a very interesting volume.
Very few of these societies have libraries of any consequence, though two or three number as many as five thousand volumes to their credit. In this respect Georgia leads. The society occupies Hodgson Hall, a brick stuccoed building. fronting Forsyth Place in Savannah. The ground floor is used for the meetings of the society; the second is given up to the library, and contains twenty-three thousand volumes, besides many pictures, curios, old newspapers, and several valuable manuscripts. The society also has an endowment of $2,100, the income from which is not to be expended until the endowment reaches $50,000. Unfortunately, however, there has never been any income. It is due to two noble women, Mrs. Hodgson and her sister, Miss Telfair, to say that Hodgson Hall was erected by them and presented to the society as a memorial to the former's husband.
A few comparisons may be of interest, t'
not very much to our credit, and may prove an incentive to better things. A bibliography of the historical societies in the Southern States in 1890-92 covered only 38 pages in the Report of the American Historical Association. That of Rhode Island alone covered 13; Pennsylvania, 44; New York, 55; and Massachusetts, 155. Whether the relative amount would be changed now the writer cannot say, but the Southern societies certainly could make a more creditable showing than they did ten years ago. However, this is not intended to encourage them to judge of the value of their material by its mass.
One of the most potent forces which have brought about this increased interest is the position taken by our colleges and universities in regard to historical study. Ten years ago the instruction given in this subject was shamefully deficient. The writer could name colleges of acknowledged respectability, with enrollments of from two to three hundred, and with property worth several hundred thousand dollars, which gave little or no attention whatever to it. Where
it was noticed at all, the work generally was made a side issue to other departments. But happily those very colleges now have full departments of history and political economy, and others are fol lowing their lead as rapidly as their limited means will allow. The interest in several has become so great that the students maintain historical societies and issue publications. Those published by the Southern History Society of the Vanderbilt University have taken high rank as historical papers. A similar work is being done. by several colleges in North Carolina.
Thirty years ago, in an address before the Georgia Historical Society, Dr. Richard M. Arnold said: "While it was and is our duty to collect material for the history of the late great contest between the North and South, this is not the time for publication. . . . Those who come after us have a high and holy task to perform. May they worthily fulfill it." If, as Professor Burgess says, the history of the United States from 1817 to 1858 can be written only by a Northerner, because the victor can and will be more liberal, generous, and sympathetic than the vanquished, and because the Northern view is, in the main, correct, it follows, for those very reasons, that the history of reconstruction must be written by Southerners, who were the ultimate victors in that life-and-death struggle. It is for that work, now one of the richest fields for investigation in American history, that the younger generation is being trained. The scientific spirit of the universities has largely di
vested them of inherited passions and prejudices, and they are going at the task of writing history with a simple desire to discover and tell the truth. At least one such book, The Reconstruction of Mississippi," by James Wilford Garner, 1901, has already appeared. That it is fair and adequate in its treatment is attested by both Northern and Southern reviewers. A similar work is waiting to be done in several other States. Doctors' theses dealing with such subjects are appearing every year.
The writer does not mean to convey the impression that no historical works of importance were produced by the old South. A few books of this kind, which deserve to rank with the best of their class, may be set down to her credit. But of late there has been a greater awakening to the importance of historical study, and within the last few years several notable books have appeared dealing with some period of Southern history. Dr. Alexander Brown's services in bringing to light the records relating to the settlement of Virginia have already met with deserved recognition at the hands of scholars. Of the regular State histories, perhaps the most important is that by Mr. Edward McCrady, of Charleston, whose third volume brings the story of South Carolina down to 1780. A history of the Southern Confederacy on the diplomatic side, first given by Dr. J. M. Callahan as the Albert Shaw lectures on Diplomatic History at the Johns Hopkins University, was published last year. Another, dealing with the same subject on the financial and industrial side, by Prof. J. C. Schwab, was issued as one of the Yale Bi-centennial Publications. From which it appears that the interest in Southern history is not altogether local.
For another proof that the South is interested in history the writer would call attention to the fact that for several years Southern men, as fellows and scholars, have been prominent as historical students at some of the best Northern universities. The Justin Winsor prize, given by the American Historical Association for the encouragement of historical research, was awarded last year to a Southerner at Columbia Uni. versity, Mr. U. B. Phillips, for his study on "Georgia and State Rights." And when the daily papers in the South devote columns, and even whole pages, to matters purely historical, as do the Nashville American, the Chattanooga Times, and the Charleston News and Courier, we must believe that the interest is not confined to a few students, but that it is more or less general.
LEADING ARTICLES OF THE MONTH.
BRITISH CRITICISMS OF THE BALFOUR
R. BALFOUR'S reconstruction of his cabinet seems to have given very small satisfaction to his own party, or indeed to any one else. The most angry complaints are to be found in the National Review, the one Unionist organ. The editor gives a prominent position to an article by a contributor who signs himself "A Conservative," and who speaks his mind with emphasis. His chief complaint is that Mr. Austen Chamberlain has not been made Chancellor of the Exchequer in order that Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, the one statesman of commanding influence in the ministry, should have the powerful support of his son in. the plans which he cherishes for drawing closer the bonds of empire. Instead of Mr. Austen Chamberlain, Mr. Ritchie is Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Ritchie is inert, a believer in shibboleths, and incapable of thinking out for the nation a new course of economic policy. Mr. Balfour's zeal for reform has evaporated at the first obstacle. Lord Halsbury and Lord Ashbourne have defied his wishes. It counts eighteen ministers, practically the same ministers, against twenty of Lord Salisbury's cabinet. It remains unwieldy, incapable of vigorous action, and out of touch with the country and the party, which is beginning to resent the appropriation of all offices by the members of a small clique.
THE NEW APPOINTMENTS.
The changes that have been made are by no means for the better. Lord Londonderry's ap pointment as President of the Board of Education affords the exact measure of Mr. Balfour's zeal for efficiency. The appointment was made as if to illustrate the absolute defiance of tradition and experience which is characteristic of Mr. Balfour's changes. Mr. Gerald Balfour has been allowed to remain at the Board of Trade, where his record may be summed up as one of apathy and inaction. Mr. Wyndham, who is full of promise, but who never gives any performance, enters the cabinet. Lord Selborne, under whom the navy has gone backward, and Mr. Brodrick, who has done little for army reform, retain their respective offices. Lord Cadogan has returned from Ireland without adding to his reputation, and the government's policy continues to be the negation of strength and determination. At the best, the new government will be a government of stagna
(President of the Board of Education.)
tion, tempered by such jobbery as its refusal to intervene in the London and Globe scandal. At its worst, if severely tried, it may wreck the party. Mr. Balfour's lack of foresight in foreign policy is proved by the permission which he has given to Mr. Brodrick and Lord Roberts to attend the German manoeuvres, which are being held in Poland under circumstances peculiarly distasteful to every Pole. The nation is weary, not of the policy of the government, but of its inadequate performance.
AN EDITOR'S VIEWS.
The editor of the National is quite as emphatic. New blood, he says, is conspicuous by its absence. The age of the members of the new cabinet averages fifty-four and one-half, as against fifty-seven in its predecessor. There is no reason to suppose that the new cabinet will be stronger and bolder in its policy than its two predecessors, and it has been received by the country with indifference or aversion. At least half a dozen of the old cabinet might have been dispensed with, without any loss to the ministry or to the coun
AMERICAN RAILROAD INTERESTS.
The motive for the deal was simply that the venders thought it to their advantage to sell, and the purchasers to theirs to buy. Nothing more occult than this. The advantages of the combine were truly stated by Mr. Russell Rea, M.P., who said that the origin of the movement was in the business necessities of the great American railroads deriving their revenue mainly from carrying American produce across the continent to be shipped to Europe.
"The old system, under which each railroad company made its own arrangements with the various steamship companies, is said to have produced intolerable confusion and embarrassment in the handling of cargo. When, some time ago, certain of the trunk lines pooled their interests and became one association with one mind and one policy, the organization of sea traffic, on lines corresponding with the organization of the land traffic, became a business necessity. It was a vital matter for them-the associated railroads
'to be able to direct the movements of freight steamers, to allot their ports, and fix the dates of their sailing.""
THE FIRST STEP IN TRUST REGULATION.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S utterances on
the trust question have been approved by many conservative journals which have offered scant encouragement to the ordinary anti-trust propaganda. Thus, the Bankers' Magazine for September, which has no sympathy with those who seek to "make a political issue of an evolution in economic science," strongly endorses the policy of publicity advocated by the President as a first step in the regulation of the trusts. The inventors and promoters of the trust system, it declares, are themselves largely responsible for the darkness covering their operations. It is undeniable that the trust managers gained temporary advantages, in many cases, by keeping secret many details of organization.
Public hostility was excited, according to the Bankers' Magazine writer, more by the prospect of great profits under the trust system than by any real or supposed faults in the system itself. This brought about the interference of the state for purposes of taxation. It was a spirit of greed that dictated much of the anti-trust legis lation now on the statute books, and the trusts have resisted the attack in a similar spirit. They have often appeared to defy the law.
The narrow motive of securing information, for the state or for individuals, as to the money. making capacity of particular trusts is no part of the President's purpose in advocating publicity.
"It is to show the effect on the industries of the country and the general welfare of the people of a system of business which seeks to do away with competition. The public ought to take very little interest as a whole in the individuals or cliques of speculators who happen to be in control or to be quarreling over some money-making proposition. The real question is of the general or universal effect of a business system on the prosperity of the whole people. It is a waste of time to call attention to exceptional financial success on the part of individuals when it is the underlying system that should be examined.
WHY PUBLICITY IS DEMANDED.
"Those who manage trusts have, no doubt, in a great measure, pursued a policy of concealment. They have been excusable on account of the manner in which they have been attacked. Public prosecutors, often excited by demagogical motives, with the desire of popularity, have attacked corporations and trusts without preliminary investigation of the ground or knowledge of the law. Most of these suits by public prosecutors have resulted in ridiculous failure. But in consequence it has been given out as an excuse for failure, which was in most cases anticipated, that trusts have a mysterious capacity of resistance impervious to the weapons of the law. Like the medieval dragon, they are armed at all points. But all this is nonsensical. It is no doubt true that as new conditions arise in any branch of human activity old laws become inadequate, but there never has yet been a time when legislators have failed to adapt the law to new conditions when these conditions were understood. The first step is to understand them.
PUBLICITY IN THE CASE OF BANKS.
"To discover the real nature and purpose and meaning of such an economical activity as a trust, it would appear to be better to study it in its ordinary normal existence, and not when stirred up to an unusual kind of life by hostile attacks. The publicity which the President refers to is the publicity of the general operations of a trust, similar to that now required by law as to the general operations of a national bank. The legitimate business of a bank is not hampered by the publicity, nor is any secrecy necessary to the inception of business or as to private dealings necessarily revealed. Publicity of this kind is the trail which shows that business, secret enough while doing, after it is finished as done accord ing to law. This trail is so e In thos of a bank that if it indicates becomes impossible to deny
sequences of them. But it was me