The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 19, 1901, Page 9, Image 9
9 t X F?., 't ' Items of InlerHesif. . The widow of Matthew Arnold, the famous British poet, is dead. Several deaths from bubonic plague have oc curred at Oporto, Portugal. - The coronation of King Edward is announced ti take place in June next. - Eight expeditions are now being planned to go lr. search of the North pole. The Norwegian parliament has conferred the right of franchise on women taxpayers. An official statement was made in parliament that the cost of the Boer war was in excess of $6, 000,000 per week. The submarine boat inventor, Holland, is now building a boat in wlich he expects to sail to Eu rope under the Atlantic ocean. Plants are very sensitive to the'effects of pois onous substances, making possible the detection of their presence when all other means would fail. The Ave leading minerals of the United States acqording to the value of their production in the year 1900 were coal, iron, copper, clay products and gold in the order named. A protocol has been signed by the representa tives of the United States and San Domingo ex tending for one year the pending reciprocity treaty between these two countries. The United States grants about 25,000 patents each year, or nearly three-fourths of all granted by. the rest of the world combined. England 'ranks next with about 8,000 patents to her credit-'' "' In the year 1900 the United States consumed 6.8 poundB of coffee and 1.1 pounds of tea' per capita. During the same period the per capita con sumption in Great Britain 'was 71-100 pounds of coffee and 6 pounds' of tea. Hon. John J. Feeley of Chicago is the youngest member of the present congress. He is from the Second congressional district of Illinois and was elected to his high position when but 25 years old, the age which the. constitution requires one to at tain before ho is eligible to' a seat in the house of representatives. Wireless telegraphy can now be successfully used for a distance of 200 miles. There are reg ularly established stations now in service between England and Belgium, and also Ireland and "Wales, these lines being 60 miles in length. The system has been adopted by some of the English, German and Italian war ships and promises to be of great service in naval operations. According to United States Commissioner of Patents Duell, Thomas A. Edison leads the list of American inventors, having procured 742 patents, the most of which are for electrical devices. The man with the next best record is Francis H. Rich ards, who has procured 619 patents, mostly for weighing machines. For inventive genius the five leading states rank in the following order: Con necticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York, Chicago Tribune: London, June 29. A blue book on India, just issued, shows that 18,390,000 was expended for the relief of famine sufferers during the year 1899-1900. The mortality from the plague for the five years ending March, 1901, was nearly 600,000. The census completed in Harch, 1901, shows that the increase in population during tho last ten years was only 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 in stead of the normal 19,000,000. The loss repre sents deaths from famine and tho deaths in con- sequence of the famine. Chicago Tribune: Every mixer of egg choco lates, ice cream sodas, and other summer drinks can have his own cliemical engine if he takes Chief Musham's advice. Three feet of hose and the ap paratus is complete. If a fire breaks out in one The Commoner, corner of the drug store all the mixer has to do is to attach the hose to' the soda fountain and turn on the water charged with carbonic acid gas. Tho mixer will be able to shoot a stream of water over the heads of his patrons and into the corner, and when the department arrives there will be nothing to do but turn in the "fire out" report. "Drug gists generally realize the value of soda fountains for extinguishing fires," said the chief, "but they have not carried the idea far." The coinage at the United States mints during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1901, was .as fol lows: - Denomination. Pieces. Value. Double eagles 2,640,041 $ 52,800,820 00 Eagles 3,130,088 31,300,880 00 Half eagles 2,972,623 14,863,115 00 Quarter eagles 40,360 t 100,900 00 Total gold 8,783,112 $ 99,065,715 00 Denomination. Pieces. Value. Standard dollars 24,298,850 $ 24,298,850 00 Half dollars 9,282,850 4,641,425 00 Quarter dollars 14,697,514 3,674,378 50 Dimes 26,508,450 2,650,845 00 Total silver 74,787,664 $35,265,498 50 Denomination. Pieces. Value. Five cents 26,882,113 $ 1,344,105 65 One cent 66,546,243 665,462 43 Total minor 93,428,356 ? 2,009,568 08 Denomination. Pieces. Value. The Fourth of July. If there has ever been anything really indigen ous and peculiar toAmerican life, it has been the annual celebration of the Fourth of July. That has been one holiday which we possessed to our selves alone, and in Which we all joined. Christ mas and New Year's we shared with all civilized nations. Thanksgiving day and Washington's birthday have never been truly national holidays, though of late years they are coming to be more generally observed by out people. But the "Glor ious Fourth" has been celebrated in every hamlet of the United States, and the flame and smoke of its triumphant gunpowder have filled the land from Sandy Hook to the Golden Gate, from the St Law rence to the Rio Grande, and have had no echo or reflection beyond those bounds. Indeed it has not been thje least of the glories of our national holiday v that other nations could not share in it, and there have been those among us who have found a cer tain pleasure in fancying the Crowned' Heads of Europe as looking upon us in this annual orgie of pyrotechnics somewhat sourly, and withal in ap prehension lest the political doctrines we cele brated should spread beyond our own borders and undermine their thrones. Once a year for a cen tury and a quarter we have exalted the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and with them as a sort of chip on our shoulder have defied all Christendom. Suddenly now it comes upon us that the men ace to the principles of the Declaration comes not from kings and potentates, but from ourselves. The "effete monarchs," of whom our orators have loved to talk, have needed only to sit still in pa tience and behold us repudiate all in the way of a broad and general philosophy that the Declaration of Independence stands for. The watchword of the quarrel out of which came the Declaration was "taxation without representation is tyranny," and the Declaration Itself enumerates among the causes for separation from the government of the King of England, "imposing taxes on us without our con sent." Yet precisely these things we are tlolng in Porto Rico, have done in Cuba, and shall do in the Philippines, while our supreme court affirms their entire harmony with our constitution. It was the practice universally years ago, and may be still the custom in sdme of our smaller communities, to have the Declaration read on tho village green or at some other public place for the instruction of youth and the refreshment of pa triotism generally. It.was a salutary nractice, and one which it were a pity to abandon, yet wo can foresee some embarrassment this year on the part of a reader with alert wits, when, in the face of our own doings of late, ho shall como to the enumera tion of tho dire offenses of King George offenses that justified our revolution. "Ho has refused his assent to laws tho most wholesomo and necessary for tho public good," and President McKinloy has just condemned the wholo Cuban constitution. "Ho has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and tho amount and tho payment of their salaries," exactly as the judges In Porto Rico and tho Philippines are de pendent on our president. "He has erected a multitudo of new offices, and sent hithor swarms of officers to harass our people and cat out thoir. substance," Porto Rlcans and Filipinos can reiterate this charge with entire justice. "For imposing taxes upon us without our con sent. For quartering largo bodies of armed troops among us. For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury." These are reasons why our forefathers threw off the rule of tho British king. Are wo guiltless of them? To go through tho wholo Is neither necessary nor pleasant. The catalogue of tho sins of George IIL is tho list of the colonial triumphs of tho United States government In tho opening days of tho twentieth century. Perhaps it is not wholly bad that our national self-esteem should be tempered a little on this Fourth of July, for as a rule wo make of our selves on that holiday an egregious spectacle of conceit and bumptiousness. If recollection of tho fact that out of a war entered upon with a dis avowal of any land-grabbing intent we have como with the biggest booty measured by square miles ever won in war, shall make us a little less boastful of our virtues well and good. If knowl edge of our commission of all the sins that our forefathers at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, de nounced shall make us humble, that at least will be not wholly unfortunate. And, indeed, there is a certain plausible excuse for much that we have done in seeming antagonism to our earlier national ideals, for it has been done experimentally, and In professed effort to prepare these countries either for self-government or for admission to the full privileges of our own government. It tho spirit has boon American, has been the spirit of that first Fourth of July, then no matter how far the letter may have fallen behind there cannot bo complete condemnation. But unhappily it Is exactly In the spirit that wo have repudiated the Declaration. That docu ment was not merely a shout of defiance to Great Britain; Jt was an effort to formulate a political creed of universal applicability. It was intended to apply to all peoples as well as to tho American colonists, to the United States of 1901 equally with the confederation of 1776. The phraseolgy Indi cates that it was a" political philosophy as well as a declaration of independence that the authors thought they were formulating. But we have re f pudiated the philosophy, and In celebrating the oo casion now it Is only our separation from Great Britain and not tho reasons assigned for that sep aration that wo approve. Many of our public men frankly declare that tho Declaration is a mere bundle of glittering generalities, a purely senti mental and impossible compilation of political idealisms as far removed from the practical science of -government as the golden rule is from business principles. We have discarded the theory which was tho corner-stone of the Declaration, "that gov ernments derived their just powers from the con sent of the governed," perhaps never to Teturn to it. And he who should seriously say nowadays that all men are created equal would be held as crazy as one who should sell all that he had and give it to the poor. It is indeed a new era of thought and of action upon which we bave entered, and our Fourth of July must have a new significance. We can cele brate our greater wealth, our greater power, our wider domain, our higher place in the fears of na tions. But we cannot longer celebrate ourselves as the custodians of the principle of self-government, for we have denied that boon to people whom we have bought with out money or won with our sword. We cannot feel ourselves the" nation to which all struggling for freedom, may turn for sympathy, and even aid, for we have been deaf to the moans of the dying republics of South Africa vhile engaged in blotting out the budding republic of Luzon. No longer are we sons of the morning. Wo take our place with the great powers of tho world, their equal in blood-letting power, their superior in wealth and in enterprise, their com panion in the exploitation of weaker peoples. As a universal shop-keeper, the United States is the marvel of the age, but no longer is lb the pioneer of liberty and the defender of the faith, in the equality of man and the inherent right to self government. The Pilgrim.