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THE year whose history is set forth in this volume was a year of peace on our side of the world, and of war on the other. The great struggle between China and Japan, across Korea-which suggests that Japan may be about to occupy a position with relation to Asia similar to that held by Great Britain to Europe-has been long and bloody, and has awakened a lively interest all over the globe. A brief narrative of this war, showing its causes and its course to date, will be found in the articles "China" and "Japan." Other events of importance in foreign lands include the death of the Emperor of Russia and the coronation of his son; the assassination of President Carnot of France and the choice of a successor; and the change of ministry in Great Britain. All these are recorded, with portraits, in the appropriate articles. The record of "Geographical Progress and Discovery" shows what was done during 1894 to extend our knowledge of hitherto unknown lands and unnavigated seas. This article is illustrated with a portrait of Capt. Peary, the latest arctic explorer, and one of Mrs. Peary, the only woman that has ever taken part in such an expedition. It also contains a settlement (with a map) of the somewhat overdiscussed question of the source of the Mississippi.
In the United States, the most important events of the year were the passage of the new Tariff bill (with the income-tax section) and the great railroad strike. The full text of the tariff law, together with an abstract of the debate upon it, showing clearly all the arguments that were advanced for and against it, and President Cleveland's letters will be found in the article "Congress."
In the sciences, the "Progress of Astronomy in 1894" is set forth by Dr. Lewis Swift, the self-taught astronomer, director of Lowe Observatory, in California; "Chemistry," "Metallurgy," and "Physiology," by Dr. William J. Youmans, editor of "The Popular Science Monthly"; and "Physics," by Arthur E. Bostwick, Ph. D.
The articles on the several States and Territories of the Union will be found very full. That on "New York" includes an account of the Constitutional Convention, with the gist of the amendments (all of which were adopted at the November election) given in untechnical language. The article is illustrated with a portrait of Hon. Joseph H. Choate, president of the convention.
Following the World's Columbian Exposition, the description of which was completed in our last volume, came the California Midwinter Fair and the Antwerp Exposition, both of which are described and illustrated in these pages.
The article entitled "Cities, American, Recent Growth of," begun in the "Annual Cyclopædia" for 1886, is continued in this volume, where 21 are described, making the whole number thus treated 445. In the greatest of our cities-New York-the year witnessed the culmination of an important movement toward reform; and the story is told in the article on the city, with portraits of the Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst and Mayor Strong.
For a quick, running account of the happenings of the year, in chronological order, the reader may glance down the columns of the articles "Events of 1894" and "Disasters in 1894," and fuller accounts of the more important ones will be found in the various articles where they belong. Nearly or quite every country in the world is treated under its own name, with subheads that enable the reader to turn at once to the specific information he seeks. The articles on the religious denominations include not merely the great and well-known organizations, but many also of the smaller ones, such as "Brethren," "Disciples of Christ," "Old Catholic Church," and "United Evangelical Church."
The article "United States, Finances of the," shows our governmental receipts and expenditures, while the "Financial Review of 1894" tells the story of the general business of the country, and "Gifts and Bequests" records the notable acquisitions for education and charity.
Among the special articles are those entitled "Commercial Travelers," " Education, United States Bureau of," "Niagara Falls, Electrical Power at," "Patriotic Societies," "Sero-Therapy,' ""Water Supply," and "Woman Suffrage."
The death roll of the year is very important. France lost her President, Russia her Emperor, and Germany her most eminent scientist, Helmholtz. Twenty-two Governors or ex-Governors of States died. Literature lost Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Anthony Froude, Robert Louis Stevenson, Philip Gilbert Hamerton, Christina G. Rossetti, Celia Thaxter, and Constance Fenimore Woolson; painting lost George Inness, William Hart, and Healy; music lost Von Bülow, Rubinstein, and Mrs. Mapleson; sculpture lost Launt Thompson; medicine lost Brown-Séquard; chemistry lost Josiah P. Cooke; theology lost James McCosh, William A. Passavant, Ezekiel G. Robinson, and William G. T. Shedd; and education lost President Welling and Prof. Whitney. The men that were prominent in the great civil war are passing away with increasing rapidity. The year just past ended the lives of Gens. Banks, Early, Slocum, and Stoneman, Govs. Zebulon B. Vance and Andrew G. Curtin, and the Hon. Joseph Holt. It also closed the long lives of Kossuth the revolutionist, Layard the explorer, and Lesseps the engineer. Of all these the volume presents. sketches, most of them illustrated with portraits.
Our illustrations include a brilliant colored plate showing the insignia of the patriotic associations that have been organized within a few years; a colored map of the seat of war in Asia; foreign battle ships; a finely etched portrait of Stevenson from life studies; full-page portraits of Holmes and the new Emperor of Russia; the new German Parliament House; the principal structures of the Antwerp Exposition; and numerous vignette portraits.
The volume closes with an index to the entire series.
NEW YORK, March 28, 1895.
Author of "The Spell of Ashtaroth."
Lewis Swift, LL. D.,
Director of Lowe Observatory.
Mrs. Henry E. Thomson,
J. Kendrick Upton,
Of United States Life-saving Service.
Frank H. Vizetelly,
Associate editor of "Home and Country."
Of the Astor Library.
LITERATURE, SPANISH AMERICAN.
Charles G. Whiting,
Author of "The Saunterer."