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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 6, 1905)
A tig-nut . 190S.
TIIE OMAHA ILLUSTRATED BEH
Plan to Aake the Port of Antwerp the Largest in the World
fe ' win
'.-.-' , i v. V. " 'I-' 1 .,. .vi .1 .. .
TOWN HALL AND RIVER SCHELDT FROM THE CATHEDRAL.
NATIONAL BANK AND STATUE OF LEOfOLD t
HE sudden decision of the Bel
gian government in finally adopt
ing the new plans for enlarging
the port of Antwerp has come as
a most agreeable surprise to the
world at large. For the lust
twenty years the absolute necessity of en
largement has been recognized by every
interested party, but during those twenty
years it has been Impossible to agree upon
a plan of extension to satisfy everybody
interested. Some ten years ago two sec
tions were formed, one advocating the en
largement by centralization, that Is to say,
by constructing docks and basins on the
left bank of the river Scheldt at the Tete
,i Flandre, opposite the center of the city
Antwerp; the other clamoring tor an
extension at the north of the city and the
Cutting of an entirely new bed for the
rl- jr Scheldt and making a vast' basin of
the old bed. To the plan for extending in
the direction of the Tete de Flandre inter
provlnclal obstacles were raised. The Tete
de Flandre is In Flanders, and it would be
of little use to that province were the prov
ince and city 6f Antwerp to purchase the
land necessary for the extension. On the
Other hand, Antwerp did not see the ad
vantage of spending money on the terri
tory of another province which would reap
all the benefits. That the extension Is an
urgent necessity la more strongly demon
strated than ever, and during the last few
years much valuable time has been lost In
discussing multitudes of projects. In the
meantime tonnage has been Increasing un
til Antwerp has become the third port of
the world, and It Is with difficulty that
berth room or anchorage Js found for the
Government Finally Decides.
For the last two years little has been
heard of the extension project and the
government has been accused of procrasti
nation, until Friday, April 14, the news
was announced by the minister of finance,
Count de Smet de Naeyer, that after a
careful and laborious study of two years
the government had at last elaborated a
scheme that would give satisfaction and
cost something like 2o0,000.000 francs and
which, it Is estimated, would take ten
years to execute.
The plan now adopted Is far more elab
orate than that at first chosen by the gov
ernment, although It comprises all of the
original propositions whlqli some years ago
received the approbation of eminent en
gineers of both hemisphres notably those
who had charge of dredging In the Mis
sissippi river. In fact, I have been in
formed that In carrying out the cutting of
the new river bed the, government will
probably use the same type or dredging
machine as employed by the American
engineer, Bates, in dredging the Missis
sippi, which has been generally recom
mended by most of the engineers on ac
count of the rapidity of Its work.. Eleven
years ago an eminent engineer, who took
a prominent part in the Antwerp Interna
tional exhibition of 1S94 stated that the
plan for cutting the new bed was min
utely examined' by the Jury of which he
was a member and which was composed
of competent engineers from all parts of
the world. Opinion, he said, was unani
mously In favor of this scheme, and It
was furthermore agreed that this rectifi
cation of the course of the Scheldt was
an absolute necessity owing to the con
stant danger of the present river bed be
coming blocked by movable sandbanks.
This opinion has now become more general,
although at first It was fought tooth and
nail by the municipal authorities of Ant
werp. It Is now claimed, however, that
by diverting the course of the river and
thus giving It a deeper bed all chances of
shifting sandbanks will be avoided and
that the present dangers to navigation,
caused by the sharp bends In the river,
Will be entirely overcome.
German Opposition to Antwerp.
The Immediate necessity for prompt
action was very keenly felt as far back as
,1897, when the city of Frankfort-on-the-Main
commenced a campaign of extreme
violence against Antwerp and In favor of
Rotterdam. The Frankfort Chamber of
Commerce urged certain members of the
Reichstag to advocate the withdrawal of
the proposed stipulation in the German
postal contracts with the North German
Lloyd company, that the steamers of that
company should call at Antwerp and Rot
terdam, holding that the call at Rot
terdam was all-sufficient. There was no
doubt at the time that the Rhenish prov
inces were and they are still afraid of the
competition of the port of Antwerp, and
Inasmuch as Holland is not an industrial
country and does not compete with them,
they were looking for an opportunity to
favor Rotterdam, the Dutch port, to the
exclusion of Antwerp, the Belgian port.
The reason for . this Is clear. Belgium Is
encroaching upon German trade, lk Is
supplying the markets of the far east to
a great extent, and the management of
the North German Lloyd sees that It Is
to Its advantage that Its steamers should
call at Anfwerp and carry away the thou
sands of tons of dead weight cargo that
await them. The Frankfurter Zeltung. un
fortunately, at that time published errone
ous statements detrimental to the
port of Antwerp. The Antwerp Cham
ber of Commerce took the matter
up and called the attention of the
Belgian government to tha unjustifia
ble attack. A full report, proving
the misrepresentations of the Frank
fort Chamber of Commerce, was. pub
lished in Germany and sent broadcast
throughout the German empire, putting
quite to confusion the detractors and
serving as a huge advertisement for the
port of Antwerp. The Rhenish deputies,
however, still held to their purpose and
tried their best to strike a blow at Ant
werp, but the special committee appointed
by the Reichstag to examine the question
of postal subsidies voted by 10 to 2 In
favor of calling at Antwerp. Tl Reich
stag upheld the vote of its committee.
So far, then. Antwerp has held Its own.
Hut the government understands fully on
the least excuse for complaint Its rival
will Jump at the opportunity to proclaim
the superiority of Rotterdam and that It
behooves It to see that the port of Ant
werp's maritime facilities are and Bhall
remain of such grandeur and magnitude
as to defy all European competition.
Work Already Done,
For some years past, and while the
great plan of extension has been In ex
amination, the government has added
6,600 feet of new quays on the south river
front and has begun work on new docks
to the north of the American and Lefe
bvre docks, with direct communication by a
new sluice into the river at the Austru
weel bend, leading from the Lefebvre
dock and allowing for the admission of'
vessels drawing twenty-eight feet of
water. On the completion of these docks,
known as the intercalary docks, vessels
will no longer have the annoying, roun
about Journey through the Kattendyk, but
will be able to enter the northern docks
direct from the river, an Improvement
which will relieve the traffic to a very
Now comes the new and vast extension
; 1 )
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x'.. " - - .y ' ' iB wi Jf i m mum i urn. ,j -jfcv w.,,
DRr DOCK NOW IN USB AT ANTWERP.
Current Gossip and Stories About Noted People
Europe, Asia and Africa. I have a farm In
New Hampshire and desk room In the Dis
trict of Columbia. When I look to the
springs from which my blood descends, the
first ancestors I ever heard of were a
Scotchman who was half English, and a
German woman who was half French. Of
my Immediate progenitors, my mother was
from New England -and my father was
from the south. In this bewilderment of
origin and experience I can only put on an
aspect of deep humility In any gathering
of favorite sons, and confess that I am
nothing but an American."
Rewarding m Ho j hood Krlend1.
fT 111LE teaching Theodore Roosevelt
I fuSt I to hunt deer and shoot moose In
I M7 y . te Miflne woods, twenty-five
RVYjU g". William W. Sewell
learned polities so thoroughly
fr "it has defeated a millionaire In a ;on
tV7Jl public o.ttce. Si-well will be ap
fcufj.".' by Roosevelt as collector of Inter-
'kua. e.-enue for the Aroostook district,
'vh covers more territorv tnnn anv other
Toilection district in New England,
f 8eell already hohls a Enverntnent lob.
being postmaster at Island Falls by Presi
dent Roosevelt's appointment some time
ago.. He Is a typical Maine woodsman and
Was the first white person . born In that
town. In 1SS0, when young Roosevelt was
a student at Harvard collegn and was taken
so in mac ins pnysirians saia ne coma not
I recover, Sewell Invited the young man to
ii go to Maine and hunt and fish.
Voung Roosevelt, in the care of a corps
jf nurses, went on against the wishes of
I two physicians. Townspeople like to talk
about the little thin boy who wore glasses
and didn't seem to care for any one in
Island Falls and how great was his liking
for Big Bill Sewell. The two went to
(Jewell's camp, a few miles from here, and
spent the entire fall and winter In the
woods. In the spring Roosevelt's health
had Improved to such a degree that he was
able to resume his studies at Harvard and
since then has been a well rnan.
How Joe JesTrrsoa Parked a Jory.
Each spring for a number of years It was
the curtom of the late Joseph Jefferson to
leave Palm Beach, where he had his winter
home, for a theatrical tour of six weeks,
relates Success. He was once asked by
the writer If, after nearly seventy years
on the stage, he did not find this pro
fessional work burdensome and he an
swered quickly that his spring tour was
the easiest way that he knew of to make
about ).0i). Mr. Jefferson was always
fond of telling stories and often told the
following about himself:
He had been Invited to be present at the
meeting of a certain seerot order, noted
for Its hospitality. Hut he was hardly
seated before the chair roared oni:
"Ixt our worshipful sfHcers nirest one
Joseph Jefferson and bring him before us."
"But what am I arrested for. Mr. Pres
ident?" asked the primmer after he had
been hustled "up front."
"For discharging firearms in the Catskllls
ani compassing the death of your good
"Hut It was only a little holiday lark,
ard Schneider died while I was asleep!"
protested Mr. Jefferson. as I to blame,
gentlemen of the Jury?" he asked, appeal
tag to the o'hers.
'a." rami the aniKpr In n rhnrm
"The Jury acquits me. your honor." re-
V matked the prisoner.
"I am suspicious of the Jury," replied
the president; "you are such an old hand at
packing houses that I believe you have
packed this jury."
Two years ago In a speech before the Ohio
Society of New York, the late John Hay
facetiously traced hts derivation as follows:
' was born In Indiana, I grew up In Hit-
.Us. I was educated In Rhode Island. I
learned my law In Springfield. 111., and ray
politics In Washington, my diplomacy In
i I mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.mrmmmmmmmmmimmmmmmmmimmmm I I n j
'"" - ' ' " - j ' ' . ' . '. -V: .''
$i . ' " :f-1 ' : I X i : S; XX Ml
project, which Incorporates the new docks
above referred to and which will at least
triple the superficial area of the port of
Antwerp and make It larger than any
port in existence, c'vlng sixty kilome
ters of running quays.
.Outline of the Plan.
The government rroject begins by rut
ting a canal, forming a quarter of a circle,
entering the river at the Kruischanz, a
point Just above the town of Llllo and
Joining the dock system at Antwerp by
entering the northwest wing of the new
Intercalary docks, in course of construc
tion to the north of the present Lefebvre
dock. Extending inland from the right
bank of the canal will be nine open
basins. This canal will be of glgantlo
proportions, viz., eight kilometers long
(more than five miles) and 815 feet wide.
The canal will enter the river at the
Kruischanz by three sluices, 9TB feet in
length and ninety-eight feet wide, and a
depth of thirty-nine feet. The open basins
along the right side of the canal will be
3,900 feet long by 650 feet wide. Near the
canal sluice gates there wll be a circular
open basin of 1,625 feet In diameter. Dry
docks $12 feet long will also bo constructed
on the same side of the canal.
When the canal Is completed the work
on the new bed of the river will bo com
menced. The new bed will begin at a
point above the Kruischanz, and the new
canal will re-enter the present bed of the
Scheldt Just above the Austruweel bend
at the point whore cupola A stands, be
tween the new grain warehouse and tha
No Internptlon to T raffle.
During the damming of the old bed of
the river the new canal will Insure naviga
tion, so that at no time will there be an
Interruption of traffic. Engineers"" claim
that with the modern rapid dredging and
excavating machinery the work may well
be completed In ten years. The great
island formed by the new and the old
beds of the Scheldt will absorb the vil
lages of Austruweel, Cordercn and Wlll
marsdonck, which will cease to exist, and
the land will be available for all kinds
of Industry, and might well be applied
to the establishment of the free port so
frequently clamored for by the Antwerp
trade. As to the realization of the pro
ject, the government has cpnsulted the
most eminent enclaeers of the world, and
the execution of tho project has been
announced as quite practicable. The great
obstacle admitted when the new outtlng
was first mooted (the danger of Interrup
tion of navigation during the work) Is
now entirely overcome by adding to the,
original project that of the vast canal and
system of open basins. As to the finan
cial possibilities, the minister of finance
has given the city the assurance that tha
government will advance all the funds re
quired, and when matters are definitely
settled the city will be given all the time
It requires to take up Its share of tha
burden on the easiest terms. The govern
ment's proposition Is most magnanimous
and now leaves no obstacle In the way of
execution. CHURCH HOWE.
Queer Happenings in Real Life
VIEW OF THE PORT OF ANTWERP.
flail Game Killed Her.
f iiT'KRYlNG to see a base ball game
I r- I Saturday afternoon caused the
11 death of pretty Eva Bennett, 20
years old. of 2347 North, Marshall
street, Philadelphia, Pa.
"Oh, girlf, Just listen how my heart
beats!" she exclaimed, as she ran upstairs
In the annex of the Ladles' Home Journal
building. In Cherry street. These were
her last words. Hardly had she uttered
them when she fell in a faint from which
she did not recover. In half an hour she
Chat with Gustavo Bock Cuba's Tobacco King
(Copyright. 1905, by Frank O. Carpenter.)
- AVAN A. Aug. S. (Special Corre
I spondt nre of Tho Bee.) It was
a I , I, V ,).... .at-, nlira, - .r .1 f
the world, situated near the sea
on the edge of Havana, that I
met Cuba's tobacco king, Don Gustavo
Bock, the president of the Havana To
bacco company. This company controls
twenty-three of the leading brands of
Havana cigars, owns 22S.O0O acres of the
finest tobacco lands and employes 2.000 more
men than Xenophon led on his march to the
sea. It is an American organization and Is
perhaps the biggest feature of our com
mercial Invasion of Cuba. It Is now paying
Interest on about $12,0ii.u00 worth of stocks
and bonds, and Is one of the branches of
the American Tobacco trust, which repre
sents altogether a capital of about fciuO.UuO,
0o0 and sells tobacco to all the world.
Tuba's Tobacco Kins?.
Don Gustavo Bock Is a German by birth,
but he speaks EnKlKli fluently, and he has
been so closely connected with the I'nlted
Sia'rs that he may be considered an Amer
ican citizen. He came to Cuba with three
companions at the age of 20. His com
panions died of yellow fever, but Mr. Bock
thrived, ma He red the tobacco business and
made a fortune. He has been Interested In
every branch of tobacco production, and is
today one of the leading authorities of the
world on the raising, manufacturing and
selling of fine tobacco. In our talk I asked
him whether he was not afraid that the
new methods of cultivation would enable
other countries to compete with Cuba in
"Cuba has nothing to fear from the rest
of the world." was the reply. "It is not
what we have done, but what God has done
which has made this country produce fine
tobacco. There is a part of France which
yields the best grapes for champagne, and
there Is a pocket of soil along the Tthlne
from which conies wine which sells for $10
a bottle. This Is so notwithstanding the re
gions adjoining produce grapes which will
not yield more than a 26-cent wine. It la
the combination of the soil and climate
that does It, and the combination is such
that man cannot imitate It. It is the same
here In tobacco. We have a Utile region
called the Vuelia Abajo. in the province
of Plnar del Rio, In the western part of
the island. The land lies on the sunny
side of the mountains and the soil Is such
that It cannot be Imitated, We have sent
samples of this soil to the scientists of
the United States Agricultural department.
They have analyzed It, but so far they
have failed to produce a similar soil any
where else. Even In the Vuelta Abajo
not all tha soil Is good. There are some
places better than others. The country
has been prospected Just like a mining
region and the best paying soil beds are
row known. They are all owned and are
all used for tobacco raising."
"Then the fine tobaccos of Cuba must
always be limited, must they not, Mr.
"Yes. The yield of such grades will
never be greater than now. We may In
crease the crop by more careful cultivation,
but we cannot Increase the area, for the
soil does not exist."
Smokers of the Fntnre.
"But." said I. "the population of the
world Is Increasing. Where are our swells
to get their fine cigars when the globe has
three billion Inhabitants Instead of fifteen
hundred millions, as now?"
"I don't know," said Mr. Bock, "and It
don't much matter, for you and I will not
be here to supply them."
"How much of Cuba is now In tobacco?"
"Less than 100,000 acres, I should say.
About one-tenth of all the land cultivated
Is devoted to that crop. Much of this pro
duces a good tobacco, but not the cfiplcest.
That, as I have said, comes only from
the Vuelta Abajo, the region from where
we get the leaves used in the Havana
"Are there any cheap Havana cigars?"
"There are some classed as such, but
they never saw Cuba. The pure Havana
tobacco costs so much to raise and to man
ufacture Into cigars that It cannot be sold
more cheaply than It Is. It Is safe to say
that one cannot buy a good Havana cigar
anywhere In the United States for less than
10 or 16 cents. Our cigars retail from 10
cents to one dollar each."
CUBAN TOBACCO PLANT.
TRETTT CUBAN C1GAIIMAKEH.
"What country takes the most hlsh
rrlced cigars, Mr. Bock? The United States"
"No, the best cigars go to England. The
British buy more high-priced cigars than
the Americans, and the tariff which is
charged by our country upon tobacco pro
hibits us from taking the bulk of the pro
duct. We have to pay a tariff of about 125
per cent so that cigars cosj, enormously
more in the United Slates than In England.
If the United States would cut its duty
down to 60 per cent, the most of the Ha
vana tobacco would go there. As It Is, we
can raise only a little more than 200.000.0u0
pounds of such tobacco, and of that amount
the United States Is consuming In the
neighborhood of JlO.OOO.OoO worth. This is
Only a fraction of the crop."
Fashion In Tobacco.
"How about tobacco raised under shade,
Mr. Hock? I understand that a large part
c? tiie Hop is now grown In tents?"
"That Is so. We are raising tobacco un
der cloth because the shade protects the
plants und gives It a lighter colored leaf.
There la a fashion in tobacco, and the
fashion now is for llht-colored cigars.
Many suppose such cigars are not so strong
as the darker ones, but that Is a mistake.
The color is caused by the sun, and a dark
cigar Is only a sun-burnt cigar. The shade
does not change its llavor or quality. It
serves as a protection, however, and the
plants are less liable to be Injured by In
sects or the winds."
"Does not the tobacco trust .raise the
prices of cigars. Mr. Hock? Is not jour
combination such that you can fix your own
prices and the public must pay?"
"We have no tobacco trust," said Presi
dent lint k. "We are only a combination
of tobacco manutaeturers, united under
one luad In ordir to reduce expenses. As a
result we can make cheaper and lielter
cigars than ever before, and for this reason
the pure Havana cigar Is cheaper now than
it could pofcMbly be under the old condi
tions." "What are the chances for Americans In
Cuban tobacco raising?" I asked.
"They are not many In the production of
fine tobacco. The best lands, as I have
told you, have long since been taken up
and they are so vul iable that the ordinary
Investor will not buy them. The people
here know the exact value of such lands
and the Industry requires such experience
(Continued on Pag Eight)
won dead. Heart disease was the causa
Beforo the fatal attack she suffered two
slighter ones earlier In the day. A friend.
Julia Hagergars, Insisted that she dlscon
tlnuo work, but sho said: "I won't go home.
It will worry mother, and she won't let
me go to the ball game."
Mother of Twenty-Kite. j
Mrs. Samuel P. Swartwood, the mother of
twenty-tive children within twenty-nine
years, died last night at her home at Moun
tain Top, near Wilkusbarre, Pa. There wera
but two sots of twins in all this number.
Of the twenty-five, eighteen are now allva
and several are married, there being twelva
grnndchlldren. Mrs. Swartwood was mar
ried when 14 years old, and the first baby
came fourteen months later. This was In
1872, and during all the years since then,
she has not known a time when she dlil
not have a baby to caro for, except during
the last few years, for the last baby carua
five years ago.
Mrs. Swartwood, always contented, said,
It was easier to raise a large family than
a small one, and that her children were a
great Joy to er. Her husband is an en
gineer on the Jersey Central Railroad.
Locksmith Helps Burglar.
A German locksmith In Harlem, Neir
York, had a call one night recently from,
a young man who said that he'd lost hla
key and wanted to get Into his housa
quietly. The locksmith went with the younit
man to a house near by and set to work:
on the lock.
"There's no use of my hanging around,"
said the young man; "I'm going to tha
corner for a drink. When you get through,
The German stuck to Ms task and In ten
minutes he had the way clear. Then ha
The young man came up. Tho lorksmlth,
said he wanted J- for his work. Ho waa
told to come around In the morning.
As he. knew some of the occupants of tha
house he consented. The young man walked
Into the house and the German went
Next morning he went around for hla
money. The house was full of police. Ha
stayed long enough to hear that the housa
had been looted and then made tracks for
Revived from l.onic Tranre.
lyonora Romaldo, the wife of a farm
hand at Villacicnso near Burgos, Spain,
has awakened from a trance which has
lasted thlrtjMn years. The case has been
under the close observation of medical ex
perts during the whole of 'that time, and.
by their Instructions liquid food was regu
larly administered by a tube placed In
the mouth of the sleeping woman. At
times It was believed that the woman was
waking, and various means were employed
to restore her to consciousness, but they
failed. She has now regained her censes,
but cannot be persuaded that she has
slept for years. A curious feature of tha
rase Is that she remembers the Incidents
of her girlhood up to the time that she
fell Into the trance. Her body is fairly
well nourished, but her hair has turned
white. On being shown a mirror the woman
shrieked with horror and declared that
tLs linage It reflected waa not bar own.
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