The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, December 01, 1891, Page 6, Image 6

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visitors, though I suppose they have a collection at the med
ical college, which I have not yet visited. I have not yet
visited the Boston society of natural history museum. The
Peabody museum is also opposite Divinity Hall. It contains
a magnificent collection, but it has seemed to me that it is
very poorly arranged for study. The Semitic museum is in
the same building. There are lots of students doing special
work in natural science. Geology seems to be a lovoritc line
of work. Professor Sholcr is one of the most popular men in
the faculty. Whether this is owing to his general hayseed
appearance, to the old slouch hat he wears, or to the corn
plow walk that enables one to recognize him at a distance of
half a mile, I know not. It is a singular fact that here at
Harvard where, it is supposed, there congregate the wealth
iest and most dudish students in the country, the more a pro
fessor looks and moes like a railroad paddy, or a backwoods
farmer, the more popular he seems to be. I like my work in
the divinity school very much. We arc quite a representa
tive body of students. Among my class are graduates of
Harvard, Bowdoin, University of Michigan, University of
Indiana, University of Wisconsin, College of tin city of New
York", etc. The people in the cast seem to be more
conservative in regard to education as well as to -vcrything
The following is an extract from a letter received from
P. L. Hlbbard, '91, by T. F. A. W., '92:
Belair, La., November 19, 1891.
Well, I am working hard here, "way down south, 'mong
de cotton and dc niggahs and de cane," though there is no
cotton here. The cotton is further north: hero it is all cane
and rice. Belair sugar house will make upwards of 3,000,000
pounds of sugar this season, if nothing happens to prevent.
Sugar making is increasing in popularity sa that there will be
more cane planted and a still larger crop next year. They
have already planted an unusually large amount this fall. I
have the chemical work to do, so you see I have plenty to do.
I am in the sugar house from 5:30 a. m. to 10:30 p.m. about
every day and hard at work all the time. I have been work
ing about eighteen hours a day, but when everything is run
ning regularly I expect to have more time. There is nobody
to look after me, but I have to look af'cr nearly everybody
else to see that things go right. That is what takes a great
deal of my time, going about looking alter everything. Then
I have a great amount of book keeping and figuring to do.
You see, I am here to see that all the sugar in ' - cane
is saved that it is possible to get. So I have to keep a
debit and credit account of the amount of sugai .1 each of
the principal stages of manufacture. This Is l' t chemical
control work. I have not been able to establ a very good
control yet, for want of facilities, but hope to have soon a
thorough control established.
My laboratory is in a pleasant comer of the sugar-house,
distant from most of the noise and heavy machinery. From
the window I look out over the Father of Waters and sec the
water craft of all kinds, from a skiff to the largest ocean
steamer, sailing by only a few hundred feet away. Often
the largest steamers pass at a distance of little more than their
own length from my window. There is an apology lor a rail
road here but nearly all the traffic is by water. Belair plan
tation is thirty miles below New Orleans on the cast side
of the river. There is no town here but what serves the pur
pose of tile villages of the north. We have post-office, store,
and shops with some of the more important accessories such
as doctor and baker. But there is neither lawyer nor
preacher here, yet there is no trouble whatever. There arc
some 600 persons on the place, most of them negroes, with a
good many Italians and a sprinkling of French and Spanish.
The only crop raised is cane, though rice was once import
ant. The cane fields much resemble a field of corn at a dis
tance, but on a closer view the similarity dissappears. Good
sugar cane is about as high as corn, bui much thicker and
there arc great many short joints which arc red or purple
instead of green. The leaves are much likecorn leaves but
very long and tough. There is no tassel or any other fruit
bearing part; it is like a young corn stalk. The juice is sweet
and not unpleasant to the taste. The darkies chew the cane
a great deal. When a steam boat lands here some of them
always go and get some cane stalks to chew. Oranges are
the principal fruit but bananas, figs, persimmon, and some
other fruits grow here. Almost none of the northern fruits
arc found here. From here to the mouth of the river oranges
arc the principal crop, with some rice. About a month ago
I went on an excursion down the river. The tram ran many
miles through solid orange orchards. The fruit is just about
ripe now. A month ago it was very green, now the golden
fruit hanging among the dark green leaves makes a pretty
Of course a letter is incomplete without a weather report,
so here goes: Until three days ago the weather was warm and
dry, much like a dry September in Nebraska. Then it
rained and cooled off so that there was frost. This cold here
is much more felt than in the North. Everything is built for
summer, so that the least cold is uncomfortable. There are
eaarcely any stoves for heating, only open fire places, and
those are scarce, too.
, Almost evcrthing is different here from what it is in the
North, the country, the climate, the people, and all. The
people are more or less lazy and improvident. There is a
great deal of social caste. A clerk working for $20 per month
is admitted to society where a carpenter making $50 would
not be tolerated. They seem to think manual labor dis
graceful. The negroes are apparently little better off than when
they were slaves, except that they arc not so absolutely under
control of their masters. They still live in the old "quar
ters," houses built by the proprietor. Most of them own
nothing but their few household eficcts. They are ignorant
and degraded, and what is worse don't try much to do better.
They are much more numerous than the whites, yet they
have little to say about the government. There was a pri
mary election here to-day to elect delegate to the parish con
vention to elect state delegate. It was merely a party election
and for whites only, yet they stood around as though expect
ing an attack by kornc lurking enemy. This is said to be an
unusually quiet parish and there is little trouble here; but
they say there is nearly always somebody killed at the polls
in most of the parishes in the state.
They have some absurd notions here. A man that is not
ready to pull a pistol on anyone that insults him in any way
is very likely to be looked down upon. There are very few
churches, and the people are immoral. A man that does not
drink, smoke, and swear half the time, is not much. They
don't know that water is good to drink, but use instead, beer,
ale, wine, and whisky.
Well, I am too busy to think much about these things, but
I have no idea that I should like to live long on a plantation.
I have no society here, and my only amusement is listening
to the quarrels of my two assistants. One is a little white
boy, who washes dishes, runs errands, etc., the other isalbig
black boy who does all the hard and dirty work, (with as
much other as I can teach him.
Randolf Mc. Nitt '93, is seeing life in Denver.
-..V .... 1 1 nm n ii'i-ni latri