« PreviousContinue »
THE great topic of the year, the World's Columbian Exposition, is treated in this volume in an article of liberal proportions, with half a dozen tinted illustrations showing the more important buildings. This, together with the illustrated article in the last volume of the "Annual Cyclopædia," will perhaps give as good an idea of the great fair as can be had without a visit to Chicago. The sums appropriated for State displays, buildings, etc., may be found generally in the articles on the several States. The census articles in the volumes for 1890 and 1891 are supplemented in the present volume, which gives the latest results reached by the compilers at the Census Office on the most important subjects. The interesting story of the building of a great Navy for the United States is here brought down to time in a brief article contributed by a naval officer. Other particulars of the growth of our country may be read not only in the article "United States," but in the articles "Commerce and Navigation," "Financial Review of 1892," and "United States Finances," and in a peculiar manner in the article "Shipping on the Great Lakes." What we are likely soon to acquire by way of annexation may be read in the article "Hawaiian Islands," which is illustrated with a new colored map. Many items indicating industrial growth are to be found also in the articles on the States and Territories. Our Canadian articles, written, as usual, by residents of Canada, are illustrated this year by a new colored map of the Province of Quebec. This, together with the maps in volumes immediately preceding, makes a complete cartography of the Dominion of Canada, of the most recent date. Newfoundland is treated by the eminent historian of that island, the Rev. Moses Harvey, and the article includes an account of the great fire in St. John's, and is illustrated with a fullpage view of that city and its harbor.
The articles on the great sciences are full and brought down to time, as usual. Dr. Swift, of Warner Observatory, treats the subject "Astronomy"; Dr. Youmans, of "The Popular Science Monthly," treats "Chemistry," "Metallurgy," "Meteorology," and "Physiology"; Arthur E. Bostwick, Ph. D., treats "Physics"; and much may be learned as to the general progress of the sciences from a perusal of the article " Associations for the Advancement of Science." The geographical progress of the year is treated in the article under that title.
The necessarily rapid survey of the year's work in the production of books may be found, as usual, in the articles on American, British, and Continental literature; while more particular discussion of specific literary work is contained in articles on famous authors who have passed away during the year.
The States articles, which are always important, are especially interesting this year because of the peculiar movements in politics, which are set forth with more particularity there than elsewhere. The subjects of educational progress and penal reform may also be studied through these records.
Among South American articles the greatest interest attaches to Venezuela, and we have given liberal space to an account of the revolution in that country. The articles on the great religious denominations are full and carefully prepared as usual, many of them by writers belonging to the particular communion treated. The Rev. Solomon E. Ochsenford furnishes the article on the Lutherans; Dr. Abram S. Isaacs, editor of the "Jewish Messenger," that on the Jews; Austin E. Ford, editor of the "Freeman's Journal," that on the "Roman Catholic Church"; William H. Larrabee, that on "Methodists"; and Jesse A. Spencer, D. D., that on the "Protestant Episcopal Church.”
The work of Congress during the year, with the significant portions of the debates on all important bills, is recorded, as usual, under the title of "Congress." The peculiar value of this article lies in the fact that it is arranged topically, and conveniently subheaded, so that all the information on any given subject may be found at once and read continuously without break or cross-reference.
The special articles in the present volume include one on "Christopher Columbus," in which the whole story of his life and voyages is briefly but interestingly told. This article forms a valuable introduction to the account of the great fair. The subject of "Cholera in 1892" is treated by an expert, Dr. Morris S. French, of Philadelphia, who also writes of "Diphtheria." Another special article on a subject important at this time is that on "Sugar," furnished by James B. T. Tupper, Chief of Sugar Bounty Division, Office of Internal Revenue. There is also an article on "Pipe Lines," illustrated with a map. The special articles include, furthermore, one on the "American Society of Church History," one on the "Free Evangelical Congress," one on the "Industrial Legion," one on the "Knights of Industry," and one on "Profit-Sharing," besides that on "American Cities," which this year treats of thirty-seven.
Among the eminent dead of the year, whose lives are sketched in this volume, with portraits and other illustrations, are Tennyson, the Poet Laureate of England; John Greenleaf Whittier, perhaps the most distinctively American of our poets; Walt Whitman, one of the most peculiar of all poets; George William Curtis, the graceful writer and orator; Cyrus W. Field, originator of the Atlantic telegraph; Caroline Scott Harrison, mistress of the White House; Ernest Renan, the French scholar and author; Cardinal Henry E. Manning; Charles H. Spurgeon, the most popular of all preachers; and a long array of less noted names which will be found among the "Obituaries, American and Foreign."
The illustrations, besides the colored maps and tinted views, include three full-page portraits-Columbus, Tennyson, and Whittier-many fine vignette portraits in the text, and the usual number of miscellaneous engravings.
An excellent index, covering not only the present volume but also the four that precede it, closes the book.
NEW YORK, April 15, 1893.