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Alaska, Our Beautiful Northland of Opportunity. By Agnes Rush
BURR. (Boston: The Page Company. 1919. Pp. 428. $4.00 net.)
This handsome book with decorative cover, carrying six plates in full color and forty-eight duogravures, is another in the "See America First" Series. Most of the volumes thus far issued in the series are devoted to the West. "Sunset Canada; British Columbia and Beyond" was reviewed in this Quarterly (Volume IX., page 310) and other volumes include "California, Romantic and Beautiful,” “Oregon, the Picturesque" and "Three Wonderlands of the American West." Each book is sumptuously printed and boxed.
The author makes no pretense of presenting history. She records the observations by herself and others. The purpose of the book is best told in her preface as follows: "Alaska is a land of beautiful scenery and of almost inexhaustible resources. It is a land with a romantic history, and a land of interesting people, whether these be the sturdy pioneers and their descendants with their tales of early days, the Indians, and the rapid progress they are making on their march toward civilization, or the prospector with pack on back on his tireless quest for gold.
“It is a land also of many opportunities. In size about onefifth of the whole United States, in resources almost equal in variety to those of the entire country, Alaska as yet has but comparatively a small population and few industries. New business enterprises in almost countless number await the seeing eye and earnest hand of the shrewd business man and woman.”
She further tells about the possibility of observing much of the great scenery from well-appointed steamers and railroad trains and automobiles over a three-hundred mile road. All this reminds the present reviewer of a remark made at Prince William Sound in the summer of 1902 by General A. W. Greely, then Chief Signal Officer of the United States Army: "We have just been establishing signal stations through the unexplored interior of Alaska. When the discoverers and explorers come they can step into one of those stations and send their records to the outside world."
There remains much exploring to be done in Alaska. None of it will detract, however, from the interest or value of this book. The author acknowledges help received from many sources, including "Mr. J. L. McPherson, of the Alaska Bureau of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, who has made the study of Alaska almost his life work; Mr. Kenneth Kerr of the Seattle ‘Railway and Marine News,' and many others.” The second chapter of the book is entitled: “From Seattle Northward." EDMOND S. MEANY.
Central Oregon. By W. D. CHENEY. (Seattle: The Ivy Press.
1919. Pp. 149. $1.00.)
This little book locally produced and published has the distinct purpose of calling attention to a part of the Pacific Northwest in which railroad building is being rapidly developed. In addition to the descriptions of new resources to be made available there is also a note of preparedness, which is best told by the author himself on pages 144 to 146, as follows:
"This book is being written in the midst of the European War; and these words are written the day following an address by the Governor of Oregon in which he appeals for the completion of the Pacific Highway as a matter of military importance. Exactly as this paragraph is being written, a representative of the Coast Defense League calls upon the writer for assistance in securing support for the Pacific Highway as a part of the Military Road System. If this highway is important, what of these railroads?
"The strength of Germany has not been in men and material alone. But would have been useless but for a wonderful system of railroads, permitting the quick shifting of armies and munitions.
"Our Pacific Coast is very vulnerable; and it is not because of seven hundred miles of coast-line between Cape Flattery and the Golden Gate. It is because of the long, easily broken thread of the Southern Pacific Railroad, lying undefended between the mountains and the sea. Even if not impaired, it is utterly inadequate to handle the congested traffic of war.
"Not only will the Strahorn Lines put millions of acres under cultivation: they will provide two lines north and south along the Pacific Coast instead of the one line now existing. By doubletracking only seventy-six and one-half miles of the Strahom System, three lines will be provided for the entire distance between Mare Island and Puget Sound, over which troops and munitions can be rushed north and south; and two of these lines will be east of the Cascade Range, a natural fortification."
The Problem of the Pacific. By C. BRUNSDON FLETCHER. (New
York: Henry Holt and Company. 1919. Pp. 254. $3.00 net.)
The author opens his preface by declaring: "This book is not an ordered history of the Pacific. Its main object is to show how four Powers during a century have been reaching towards a mastery of half of the world—the Pacific Ocean covers a whole hemisphere—and only as the main facts of this mastery are kept in mind will a Peace Conference be able to do justice to the interests now dominant."
His description of the first chapter is worth repeating: “A century completed with war: Its history in the Pacific marked by chapters of special importance: Each decade from 1814 begins with some notable event: The Monroe Doctrine in 1824 and Alaska: Australia conquered in 1814, 1824, 1834: France and Tahiti in 1844, and Britain's settlement with America: The year 1854 and Japan's beginning as a Power: Germany also enters the Pacific in that year: Effect upon the Pacific of Prussia's attack upon Denmark in 1864: Fiji annexed in 1874: Germany's annexations in 1884: War between China and Japan in 1894: War between Japan and Russia in 1904: Opening of Kiel and Panama Canals in 1914."
The ambitions of Germany and Japan bulk large in the subsequent chapters and the position of Australia is given prominence. The author's preface is dated at Sydney in May, 1918. His conclusion is a plea for a better understanding of Australia and the last words: "While some things may have to wait, the main purpose of English-speaking peoples in spreading the blessings of real liberty will be greatly served."
The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma. By HENRY ADAMS.
(New York: The Macmillan Company. 1919. Pp. 317. $2.50.)
In this Quarterly for January, 1919, there appeared a review of the remarkable book entitled "The Education of Henry Adams." In correspondence with the dead author's brother, Brooks Adams, it developed that he had a manuscript giving further views of Henry Adams on the philosophy of history which would be published. It here appears as "The Rule or Phase Applied to History."
The first half of the volume is by the brother, Brooks Adams, on “The Heritage of Henry Adams.” This is followed by a letter to the American Historical Association of which he was president can Teachers of History (1910) and by the final "Phase." inn 1894 and by the hitherto privately published "Letter to Ameri
Readers of "The Education of Henry Adams" will surely want to read this book. In a private letter, Brooks Adams says: "I am afraid you will hardly find the book alluring, as it is not optimistic.” But he adds later, “Such as we are—we are.” He thinks the “Letter to Teachers" is one of the ablest things his brother Henry ever wrote.
The Life of General Ely S. Parker. By Arthur C. PARKER. (Buf
falo, N. Y.: Buffalo Historical Society. 1919. Pp. 346.)
This interesting addition to Americana is written by a greatnephew of General Parker. The author has achieved reputation as a scholar and writer. He is now State Archaeologist of New York. General Parker was the last Grand Sachem of the Iroquois and was military secretary of General Grant. He made a most remarkable link between the great race of Indians and their white neighbors. This book with its sympathetic records and collection of illustrations will prove to be a monument to one of America's admirable Indian characters.
Taxation in Nevada. By ROMANZO ADAMS. (Reno: Nevada His
torical Society. 1918. Pp. 199. $1.50.)
This little volume, well described by its title, is one in the Nevada Applied History Series, edited by Jeanne Elizabeth Wier.
Correspondence of the Reverend Ezra Fisher. Edited by SARAH
FISHER HENDERSON, NELLIE Edith LATOURETTE and KENNETH
. Rev. Ezra Fisher was a pioneer Missionary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Oregon.
The first twenty-nine pages are devoted to a biographical sketch of the missionary. His correspondence from the Middle West concludes on page 155 when he wrote on April 12, 1845, “We are now here (Davenport) on our way to Oregon.” The last entry bears the date of March 31, 1857. That span of a dozen years was filled with important events in Oregon history and these pages of letters throw light that will be welcome by all who study the period. Like most missionaries he gained his living from the soil. In 1861, he left the region of Willamette Valley and moved to The Dalles. He continued to preach and farm. He spent a short time in California for his health but returned to The Dalles and resumed his religious work. He preached his last sermon on October 18, 1874, and died at The Dalles, November 1, 1874. He was much interested in education. In his last letter to the American Baptist Home Missíon Society he said: “Will you once more send us a man for Oregon City University? I write officially." His death resulted from pneumonia contracted while visiting the schools of Wasco County. This was counted an untimely end for a man of his vigor though he was nearing his seventy-fifth birthday.
The correspondence here reproduced was considered of sufficient importance to history for large portions if it to appear in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society.
Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference of the Pacific North
west Library Association (Tacoma: ELENA A. CLANCEY, Treasurer, care of Tacoma Public Library. 1919. Pp. 52. 75
cents.) This volume contains the Proceedings of the Conference held in Seattle in September, 1918. It includes a selection from the papers presented at the Meeting, but the larger part of the volume is given over to the Minutes of the Conference and to reports of Committees. It is arranged in a serviceable and intelligible manner forming on the whole a model for institutional proceedings of its kind. An index covers the publications of the first ten years of the Association's existence.
The Seattle Conference was held a few months before the signing of the Armistice and reflects the active part taken by librarians to help in winning the War. The Pacific Northwest Library Association is to be congratulated upon its fine record and the care it has taken to safeguard the history of its contribution to the educational development of the Northwest. Such volumes have great historical value since the history of a democracy is largely the history of its institutions.
Transactions of the Forty-fourth Annual Reunion of the Oregon
Pioneer Association. (Portland: GEORGE H. Himes, Secretary. 1919. Pp. 273-350.)
This pamphlet is three years late in its appearance. It is the record of the reunion held in Portland on June 22, 1916.
The crowd in attendance numbered eight hundred. The tireless secretary collected the usual amount of valuable historical data. He