« PreviousContinue »
HE world's greatest sonal fortune of a quarter of a million
authority on fishes dollars, and that he is a favorite dinner works for the Na- guest in Washington society, only marks tional Government at him as a member of the nation's New Washington. Hi's Volunteers, an army of wealthy men who name is Theodore Gill are doing patriotic service for their coun
—the multiplicity of try, at more or less financial sacrifice to his titles and degrees themselves.
being omitted — and To some of these volunteers, it is true, he occupies a room in the north tower of come honors and personal prestige the Smithsonian Institution. To enter greater than they could hope to gain in that room—though sometimes Doctor private life; while many others work in Gill, when hot on the trail of a scientific silence and almost complete obscurity. secret, sleeps in it—would frighten a But in either case it would be unfair and timid person. It is filled with an inde- ungenerous to question motives; and scribable litter of fishes and snakes in even if personal prominence and social big glass jars, preserved crabs, stuffed position be admitted as sometimes being sea-horses, and other wonders of the the controlling factor, it is at least remighty deep. Yet out of this seeming freshing to realize that to an increasing confusion have come great additions to number of rich men the accumulation of the scientific knowledge of the world. more money is no longer the overmasterAnd a benevolent and paternal govern- ing ambition. ment pays Doctor Gill for his labors the Take, for example, the case of Robert sum of $1 a month.
Bacon, who is Assistant Secretary of The fact that the scientist has a per- State. He is an old friend of the PresiCopyright, 1906, by The Technical World Company
dent, and was a classmate of the latter ever, officials are necessarily tied to their at Harvard. To a man like him, worth desks for eleven months out of the several millions of dollars—he is a part twelve. Such work is serious business, ner in the firm of J. Pierpont Morgan & and occupies all of a man's attention; it Co.—the wages of the place are a mere cannot be done incidentally to other matpittance. Nevertheless, he is satisfied to ters. be a hireling, at $4,500 a year, for the The case of Mr. Bacon is by no means sake of the pleasure and the small amount so exceptional as might be supposed. Ocof reputation to be derived from the cupying the place of Assistant Secretary work. Of course, too, there is a good of the Navy—the position Mr. Roosevelt chance of promotion to some desirable diplomatic post.
Places in the diplomatic service have always been regarded as particularly desirable, and are being sought more eagerly nowadays than ever before. They offer many social opportunities; and even the minor secretaryships at embassies and legations are in demand for the sons of wealthy families, who at the present time come pretty near to monopolizing such posts.
In speaking of the Department of State, one should realize that Secretary Root hiinself is one of the rich men embraced in the category described. It is altogether probable that he is able to earn by the practice of his profession (that of the law) at least $150,000 a year. As a member of the Cabinet, he gets only $8,000. But there are other things besides money that are worth while, and the privilege of managing the foreign relations of the United States may well be regarded
ROBERT BACON. as compensating for large sac
Assistant Secretary of State. rifices.
For so long a time that the memory of held at the time of the outbreak of the man runneth not to the contrary, persons war with Spain—is a millionaire manuof wealth have been ambitious to serve facturer from Detroit, Mich., Truman H. in Congress—more especially in the Sen- Newberry. He is largely interested in ate—but anxiety on the part of rich men steel, but is engaged in a number of in this country to secure employment in other industries, including the making of the executive workshops is something automobiles. Himself an enthusiast on very new. The Houses of Congress are the subject of motoring, he devotes much in session only six months in the year, of his limited leisure to traveling about and a Senator or Representative has half in a touring car. A rather stout and his time to himself, for other occupa- very jolly man is Mr. Newberry. tions. In the federal departments, how In a corresponding position, that of