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An eighty-five-year-old Jewish rabbi, who came here from a little town in Russia. After the quiet surroundings in which he had spent his life, the New York sky-scrapers filled him with a very great and deep wonder




ISERY is leveling the peoples of the world, and Ellis Island is their meeting-place. Here they weep and exchange stories, here are reached the lowest depths of despair and the most sublime heights of happiness; mistress and servant, rich and poor, they sit side by side as equals, for the only riches of which they can boast is the hope that America will permit them to land. Small wonder that this is the first subject to attract the responsive imagination and prolific pencil of Usa Gombarg, one of the most recent arrivals from-it is hard to say where; since it has taken him almost four years to cover the distance from Petrograd to New York, a journey that should be made in two weeks. But this is the fate of many.

Usa Gombarg spent many years delighting the Russian public by his spirited caricatures of great men and women and great events, adding to these a fine sense of humor, a gentle satire, and sometimes a grim warning. He was a contributor to all the leading publications,

and during the last few years he was the editor of "Art," a magazine published in Petrograd, similar to the "International Studio" in its aims and appearance.

With the Revolution Mr. Gombarg started his wanderings, and Russia lost just another man of talent. He worked his way to Kief, drawing for local publications, and finally reached Warsaw, where his versatile pencil attacked Poland's political troubles with vigor. However, Europe offers few opportunities at present, so Mr. Gombarg continued his westward course-en route for the United States. He reached Genoa during the Conference, and his portraits of the participants were featured in the New York "World." He arrived in the United States quite recently.

To Europeans Ellis Island is a mysterious mechanism from which emanate strange decisions, so it is natural that the first subject selected on American soil by Mr. Gombarg was this "Island of Tears." He spent a day there sketching, and, since a steamer from a northern

port had just arrived, his subjects were Jews-Jews from Poland, Jews from the Ukraine-all fleeing from persecution, civil strife, pogroms, and starvation. And while he sketched they told him of their past lives and of their future dreams, always in that dull monotone in which people speak of unspeakable horrors when the horrors have become habitual.

The Jews of the Ukraine and Poland bore the brunt of the war, for one army after another passed through the towns where they had small stores, and there is no doubt that they were victimized. Soldiers do not hesitate to pillage when they need something. With the Revolu tion in Russia new persecutions started up in the Ukraine and thou sands of Jews poured into Poland. where conditions were already unspeakably bad. It is fortunate that relief agencies have been active in taking care of this mass of homeless and disoriented people, for there is no work for them, and their only hope lies in America.


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A Jewish father and mother from Poland, who came here to a son, who himself was nine years
old when he came over. They did not recognize the dapper youth of twenty-one in American store
clothes who came to claim them

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RANSPORTATION being without doubt the greatest necessity of every section of Alaska, we are brought face to face with the building of the Government railway from Seward to Fairbanks-a distance of 467 miles.

Grave doubts have been expressed in some quarters regarding the necessity of constructing this road. Theorists only could offer an objection. It was every bit as necessary as the building of the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern to develop the Northwest. It was the business of the Government to build this line-a bounden duty. No private operator could have built it, since ninety-nine per cent of the resources of Alaska are owned by the Government, and are therefore tax free. Without these two strips of steel from the coast to Fairbanks a few years would have witnessed the practical depopulation of the entire Alaskan interior, bounded on the west by the McKinley Range and on the east by the Richardson Trail. In this area is contained a major portion of the agricultural lands, coal districts, placer districts of the Alaskan interior, as well as several very promising lode-mining sections.

It is true beyond a doubt that this railway will not pay operating costs for several years-it may be a generation before a return will be earned on the original investment. Whatever time it takes makes very little difference so far as the principle of the construction is concerned. Beyond all doubt the road is absolutely necessary for Alaskan development.

Two other articles on Alaska by Sherman rs appeared in The Outlook for December 6 18, 1922.

I believe that the road was constructed in a thoroughly efficient manner. It was built during the high period of wage rates, when materials were at the highest peak. It was constructed with all possible despatch, and the scores of responsible business men I talked with from Seward to Fairbanks voiced unstinted praise for the efficient methods employed in building the line. It is an excellent railway, constructed with seventy-pound steel, and soon will be practically all ballasted. Colonel Frederick Mears, Chairman of the Alaska Engineering Commission, builders of the Government road, is a highly efficient engineer. Although in the Government service, he is not of the red-tape variety. He knows what. he wants to do, knows how it should be done, and does it. Colonel Mears had a very efficient staff of assistant officers, including several men who have few equals in their line.

These men were confronted with tremendous obstacles. The work completed is a monument to their genius, and I do not believe that it would have been possible to secure better talent under private management. I have only unstinted praise for the wonderful work accomplished by these men, but I disapprove of the freight rates formerly inaugurated by ex-Secretary Lanemuch lower, true, than the Copper River Railroad schedules, lower than the old long-distance river rates; but this road should, in my opinion, be for a few years purely a development project, and there should be no relativity between the rates charged and the expenses of operation. The country will never develop and the road will not pay without population.

The quickest way to get population is to offer, at least temporarily, the best possible inducements.

If there was ever need of a protecting subsidy anywhere on earth, it should be given in cheap rates in the Alaskan interior. James J. Hill, in early Great Northern days, established rates to pioneers that were amazingly low. One of his directors assured him that the rates charged would not pay for coal alone. Mr. Hill replied: "We have two strips of steel running through a peopleless empire. If we charge a high freight rate now, the few pioneers along our road will pull up stakes and leave. Our road will only pay when thousands of pioneer settlers improve the land, work out the timber, grow grain, and ship. Settlers mean eventual success; lack of them, failure. If we haul freight for pioneers practically free for a year or so, we will eventually get it back with a high rate of interest, because we will get increased freight every year from that time on. A discouraging freight rate I will mean two streaks of rust."

Then he made a statement that, in my opinion, applies to the Alaskan railway. He said: "A railroad traversing a new country should establish a rate that will pay a fair return when the country is practically developed."

Because of this far-sighted policy the Great Northern was the only Western continental railway that never faced a receiver.

I realize the difficult position Colonel Mears occupies in regard to granting development rates. The Alaskan Engineering Commission must go before Congress for new appropriations to complete the construction work and make up deficits in operation. I quite understand the fact that the Commission desire the best balance-sheet possible in demonstrating the earning power of the entire project, knowing, as they do, that Congress is becoming restless regarding Alaskan appropriations. If Congress has any inclination to look askance at appropriations to make the Government railway a success, it is as short-sighted as a logger in Idaho who had $6,000 worth of cedar poles piled up on skidways two miles from the railway. A buyer contracted to purchase the poles, and the logger asked bids to put a road in to haul the poles out. The lowest bid was $1,000. The logger threw up his hands and declared he could not afford the outlay. The purchaser was stupefied. "Build the road, man; you spend $1,000 and get $6,000. In other words, you get back $6 for $1." "That may all be," replied the logger, "but I have the $1,000 liability before I have the $6,000 asset, and I don't want the liability."

Congress would be as short-sighted as


the logger if it objected to backing the Alaska railway to the limit.

When wagon roads and trail feeders have been constructed, thoroughly tapping every district adjacent to the Government road, and encouraging rates established, the interior will flourish, the railway will eventually prove a financial success, and its construction will go down in history as the turning-point of Alaskan development.

Pessimistic "foreigners" and some "checakas" going over the road declare that it traverses a barren, impossible country; that it is a white elephant now, and always will be. That is what timid philosophers said about Kansas, Oregon, Washington, and California in the early days. Arguments of this nature are childishly groundless. The 467-mile strip of steel from Seward to Fairbanks covers a country with as great possibilities as any like length of road west of the Mississippi in the early days. This road taps the Hope and Sunrise quartz and placer mining districts, where the Hirshey mine is located on Palmer Creek. A mill has been in operation on these claims for some time, and considerable gold has been taken out. Many claims are being prospected in this district and show promise. In the Sunrise district the Canyon Creek group of placer claims are being developed by the construction of a dam for hydraulic mining on a large scale. There are several large placer claims in this district that will be worked extensively when water ditches have been completed.

The Matanuska coal district embraces many thousands of acres containing deposits of high-grade and semi-bituminous coal. Several companies are operating with success, and development work is being carried on. The Chickaloon, Baxter, Evan Jones, Moose Creek, and Eska developments have been the most prominent in this field so far. The

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Chickaloon prospecting has created the most attention. The work on this mine has been carried on by the Navy Depart ment in conjunction with the Department of the Interior for developing highgrade coal deposits for Navy purposes. The coal veins being explored in this development are much smaller than other veins in this district, but are of a much higher grade than Moose Creek, Eska, Evan Jones, and Baxter. As a rule, the coal veins in the entire district dip from forty to fifty degrees and vary in thickness from three to twenty feet. However, a few veins of lignite have been discovered that lie nearly flat.

There has been a great deal of interest aroused by the now famous "Bain" statement. H. Foster Bain, Chief of the Bureau of Mines, made a flying visit to the Matanuska and Chickaloon field, and in a speech in Anchorage made some remarks that, in my opinion, were not correctly understood. At any rate, Mr. Bain did not say coal would not be found in paying quantities. He did say that the district was faulty; that extreme development would be necessary before large unfaulted deposits would be discovered.

There is nothing new or


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startling in this statement. Every Government geographical report issued regarding coal in this district for the last fifteen years has contained this information. Mr. Bain also stated that at present he did not believe the coal mined in this district could be handled on a competitive basis for consumption in the United States.

Experts and geologists have just as much faith in the Matanuska field now as they ever had, and that is a great deal; but if any one ever went into this district with the idea of developing large unfaulted bodies of coal with little financial outlay he displayed poor judgment and total lack of mining ability. The Matanuska district covers a very large area, with numerous outcroppings of coal, and experts who know the field and have made a study of it for years are fully convinced that extensive prospecting will open up unfaulted deposits that will eventually permit of commercial mining.

The Navy Department and the Interior Department did not engage in the Chickaloon development in a slipshod manner. The coal has been thoroughly tested and proved to be thoroughly acceptable for high-grade Navy purposes. Over a million dollars were spent on the development of this project under the direction of the Alaskan Engineering Commission. Several hundred thousand dollars were spent on a coal-washing plant, and nearly three hundred thousand dollars on buildings and other extraneous development. Prospecting was going on full blast when the Disarmament Conference decided on limitation of navies, simultaneously with General Dawes's decision to limit appropriations, and, as a result, overnight, appropriations for Alaskan development were completely cut out and work immediately suspended.

However, let me say here that naval officials and Interior Department officials have just as much faith to-day in the Matanuska and Chickaloon fields as they ever had, and, in my opinion, it is only a matter of time before this field will be developed-first to supply local purposes, and later for general commercial trade sales.

I personally know very little about

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