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P R E F A CE.
If the close of an internal war forms the most critical moment in the career of a nation, especially when that war has involved the nature and existence of the institutions of a country, then there can be no period so important to the people of the United States as that of the years which intervene until a final settlement of all difficulties with the Southern States. This period is the more highly important here, as it includes circumstances without a parallel in the previous history of mankind. The sudden emancipation of four millions of slaves of another race of men, their immediate investment with civil rights, their rapid elevation to the dignity and power of coequals in the Government with their former masters, is a problem full of intense interest in every step of its solution. In this view the present volume of the ANNUAL CYCLOPÆDIA contains all the measures proposed or adopted in Congress for the reconstruction of the Union; the reports and debates on those measures; the views of the Executive department of the Government; the conflict of opinion between the President and Congress, and the respective measures adopted by each; the change in the condition of the people of the Southern States, arising from their new civil and political relations, together with all those events which illustrate the history of this national crisis.
Scarcely less important were the events in Europe, which have so changed the political aspect of the western portion of that continent, and forebode momentous results in the future. The difficulties between Austria, Italy, and Prussia, are explained in these pages, with the details of their negotiations, and the military operations in that short and decisive war, accompanied by topographical and military maps and illustrations. The destruction of the old German Union by the secession of Prussia, and other States, and the formation of a northern confederation under her control and consolidation, resulting in placing her among the great powers of Europe, are fully narrated.
The details of the internal affairs of the United States embrace the financial condition of the Government; with the practical operation of its systems of taxation; its currency; debt; the banks ; commerce and agriculture ; the proceedings in the Southern States to reorganize their civil and social affairs; the position and rights allowed to the freedmen, with the practical operation of the Freedmen’s Bureau ; the various political conventions of the year, both national and State ; the acts of State Legislatures; the results of elections; the progress of educational and charitable institutions under the care of the State governments; the debts and resources of the States, and all those facts which serve to show their growth and development.
The intercourse of the United States with foreign nations, as presented in its diplomatic correspondence, is noticed, and the civil, military, and commercial history of all the states of Europe and South America, and the more important kingdoms of Asia, with some countries of Africa, is fully brought up.
The progress and peculiar features and effective mode of treatment of those scourges known as the Asiatic Cholera and Cattle Disease, are carefully described.
The advance in the various branches of physical science, with the new applications to useful purposes which have been developed, have been extensively described.
Geographical explorations were earnestly continued in all quarters of the globe, and the discoveries which have followed are fully presented.
The record of Literature is fully as important as that of any previous year, and the works published have been extensively noticed under the various classes to which they belong.
Nearly all the religious denominations of the country, with an account of their branches, membership, views on political affairs, and the progress of distinctive opinions, from their official sources, are carefully noticed.
A brief tribute has been paid to the memory of deceased persons of note in every department of society.
All important documents, messages, orders, treaties, constitutions, and letters from official persons, have been inserted entire.
· A ABYSSINIA, a kingdom or empire in East- the Queen of Sheba, but until the present monern Africa. On account of our little acquaint- arch scized the throne, their authority was ance with this country, the statements on its merely nominal, the real power being in the area and population widely differ. Brehm's hands of the governors of the provinces, who Geographisches Jahrbuch (vol. i., 1866), one of gave them a formal allegiance. The present the best authorities on population, puts down emperor, Theodore, succeeded in 1855, and his the area at 7,450 geographical square iniles and attention was soon directed to obtaining recthe population at 3,000,000. Dr. Küppell (Reise ognition and friendly intercourse from the in Abessinien, 1831–33, Frankfort, 1838) esti- power which holds India, and has established mates the population in the territory from 12° to itself in the neighboring stronghold of Aden. 16° north latitude, and from 37° to 40° east longi- A treaty had, therefore, been made between tade, at not more than 500,000 inhabitants; and Great Britain and Abyssinia so long ago as in the remainder of Abyssinia, comprising the 1849, and it was ratified in 1852. In this western provinces of Quara, Madsha, and Agov, treaty it was stipulated that each state should and the southern provinces of Gudjam, Damot, receive ambassadors from the other. The emAmhara, and Begemeder, at 1,000,000, thus peror, desirous to strengthen his authority, regiving to the whole of Abyssinia (with the ex- solved to assert the rights thus assured to him: ception of Shoa) a population of 1,500,000. but, unfortunately, the officer who represented The province of Shoa has, according to the British interests in those regions was suddenly missionary Dr. Krapf, one of the best writers taken away. Mr. Plowden had been for many on this country (" Travels, Researches, and Mis- years English consul at Massowah; though not sionary Labors in Eastern Africa,” London, an accredited agent to Abyssinia, ho had been 1860), about 1,000,000 inhabitants. These intrusted with presents for the people in austatements, taken together, and the natural in- thority, and with these he went into the councrease, indicate a population of about 3,000,000. try, where he remained, taking part in a war The same estimate is made by the Roman which broke out at the accession of the present Catholic bishop Massaja, who for many years emperor, and thus ingratiated himself exlived among the Gallas (Annales de la Propa- tremely with that potentate. gation de la Foi, January, 1865). According Mr. Plowden was killed in 1860, and Mr. to the missionary Isenberg (Abessinien, Bonn, Cameron was sent from some other Eastern 1864), the population of Abyssinia, Shoa, and post to succeed him. Mr. Cameron' arrived in the country between 7° and 16° north lat- 1862, and shortly afterward the emperor told itude and 36° and 42° east longitude, amounts him that he desired to carry out the treaty to five or six millions. The whole Ethiopian made so many years before. Toward the end plateau, comprising Abyssinia, and the Sidama of 1862 he wrote an autograph letter to Queen and Galla countries, has, according to Massaja, Victoria, requesting perinission to send an em12,000,000 of people
, 9,000,000 of whom are bassy to England. This letter reached London Sidamas and Gallas.
This statement agrees in February, 1863, and, for some reason or other, with that of Krapf, according to which the Gal- was left unanswered. Then came a quarrel with las number from six to eight millions.
a missionary, Mr. Stern, who had committed the Abyssinia is ruled by emperors, who are sup- unpardonable offence of remonstrating against posed to be descended from King Solomon and the flogging to death of two interpreters.
The emperor's wrath appears to have been the emperor dreaded that his unjustifiable conroused at these and perhaps other causes, and duct toward Consul Cameron and his associates within a year after he had written with his would bring down upon him the vengeance of own hard to Queen Victoria, asking to be ad- the British Government. In the mean time mitted into the pale of friendly intercourse, Consul Cameron and those who were imprishe sent a body of troops to the mission- oned with him enjoyed comparative freedom; ary station, seized the missionaries and Mr. and the emperor, whose fitful and suspicious Cameron himself, put them in chains, and cast temper is his banc, renewed his friendly interthem into prison, Mr. Cameron being chained course with Mr. Rassam and his companions, continually to an Abyssinian soldier. This was looking after their comforts personally, and endone in November, 1863, and from that time deavoring to relieve the pompous monotony of to this the unhappy men have been in confine- court life by taking them out on occasional ment.
shooting excursions. With the consul were incarcerated his sec- On August 25th, the Rev. Mr. Stern, one of retary Kerans, his servants McKelvie, Makerer, the prisoners, wrote as follows: "Our present Petro, and Bardel; the missionaries Stern, Ro- more rigorous captivity is to be attributed to an senthal, Flad, Steiger, and Brandeis, and the nat- alleged report that English, French, and Turkural-history collectors Schiller and Essler. This ish troops were on their way to invade Abysoutrage against British subjects produced the sinia. Mr. Rassam protested against the vegreatest excitement in England; but as the ter- racity of this statement; nay, every one of us ritory of the Emperor Theodore does not ex- would have discredited the story even had it tend to the sea, and as the murderous climate been confined to a mere military expedition. puts the greatest obstacle to the success of an On the same day that he charged the British armed expedition, it was deemed best by the Government with duplicity, he also reproached English Government to confine its efforts in be- me with the stale offence of having traduced half of the prisoners to diplomacy.
his character by throwing doubts on his lineal In the second half of the year 1865 the Eng- descent from Solomon. I tendered my wonted lish Government sent Mr. Rassam, an Asiatic by apology for this oft-repeated crime, but his birth, well known in connection with Mr. Lay- majesty said he would not pardon me till I had ard's discoveries, and at that time holding the atoned for the sin by rendering him some seroffice of assistant to the British resident at Aden, vice. In the evening of the same day he made on a special mission to the Abyssinian emperor. fresh proffers of his friendship to Mr. Rassam, Mr. Rassam started from Massowah on the and also told Mr. Rosenthal, and particularly 15th of October, with forty camel-loads of pres- nyself, that we should not indulge in unpleasents to the emperor. In a letter from Mr. ant surmises, as he had nothing against us; Rassam, dated February 7, 1866, it was an- and, like the rest of our fellow-prisoners
, we nounced that the emperor had given him a drank his health in good áraki, provided for magnificent reception, and ordered the release that purpose from the royal distillery." of all the prisoners. The fact was accordingly Letters from Rev. Mr. Stern and Consul announced in the English Parliament by Lord Cameron, dated September 15, 1866, stated that Clarendon. But the hope thus raised was soon the emperor was expected at Magdala (the to be disappointed. When Mr. Rassam and the place where the prisoners were kept), and that other prisoners were just on the point of taking a crisis in the fate of the prisoners was apleave of the emperor, he and his party were put proaching. Later letters (written about the under arrest, and informed that they were to beginning of October) were received by Dr. remain in the country, not as prisoners, but as Beke, a gentleman who has long resided in “state guests," until an answer could be ob- Abyssinia, understands the language of the tained to a second letter which the emperor country, is personałly acquainted with the Negos was about to write to the queen. This letter (emperor), and has taken a special interest in was duly indited, in a style worthy of some the liberation of the prisoners, from which it Lusitanian monarch of old, beginning: “In the appeared that Messrs. Rosenthal and McKelvie name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. had been allowed to remain at Gaffat; that From God's slave and His created being, the Messrs. Kerans and McKelvie liad offered their son of Dayid, the son of Solomon, the king of services to the emperor—those of the former kings, Theodore," etc. The ostensible reason having been rejected, but those of the latter assigned for the detention of Mr. Rassam was accepted; and that Messrs. Bardel, Makerer, to consult with him in what way the friendly Steiger, Brandeis, Essler, and Schiller, had also relations of the English and Abyssinian mon- entered the emperor's service. A full account archy might best be extended. Theodore's let- of the fate of the prisoners is given by Dr. ter was conveyed to England by Mr. Flad, the Beke, in his work, " The English Captives in German missionary, who was also the bearer of Abyssinia " (London, 1866). a letter from Mr. Rassam, in which, by desire Interesting information on the Emperor of Thcodore, he requested that English artisans Theodore is contained in the parliamentary might be sent to engage in the Abyssinian ser- papers published by the English Government. vice. It was supposed that these men were În 1855 Consul Plowden sent to the Foreign required more as liostages than as artisans, as Office a report in which, after referring to the
distracted state of Abyssinia, with its chiefs thee aid of every kind thou mayst stand in need generally at variance with each other, he says: of. We place, inoreover, at thy disposal a body * A remarkable man has now appeared, who, of troops, to protect thee against all, for thou under the title of King Theodore, has broken art our brother, and we have faith in thy loythe power of the great feudal chiefs; has united alty.” Signed : Prince Aylo-Chooma-Mohamthe whole of Northern Abyssinia under his med-abd-Allah, melk (king), in the name of anthority, and has established tolerable tran- the emperor. quillity.” It appears that from his earliest The emperor has for some time been engaged vouth he has regarded this as his destiny. Mr. in war with the rulers of Tigré and Shoa, two Powden describes him as young, vigorous in all of the principal and most civilized provinces in manly exercises, of a striking countenance, pecu- Southern Abyssinia. At the end of Februliarly polite and engaging when pleased, and ary, 1866, Devas, the lieutenant of Wáagshum mostly displaying great tact and delicacy; of Góbazye (the ruler of Tigré), was defeated in antiring energy, both mental and bodily, and battle by Tekla Geórgis, the brother and deputy of boundless daring, personal and moral. His of Ras Báriau, Theodore's lieutenant; but the ideas and language are said to be clear and cholera entered the camp of the latter, destroyed precise; hesitation is not known to liim; he a considerable number of his troops, and dishas neither councillors nor go-betweens. He persed the rest. In May Tekla Geórgis retired salates bis meanest subject with courtesy, and into Shíré to raise a fresh army. On July 30th, is generous to excess, but also unsparing in according to an account furnished to the Nicé punishment and terrible when his wrath is Journal ” by Count Bisson, the above-mentioned aroused. His faith is signal: "Without Christ," “ Founder of the French Colony in Abyssinia," he says, “I am nothing; but if He has destined a tremendous battle was fought between the ine to purify and reform this distracted king- arinies of Theodore and Góbazye at Axoum, one dom, who shall stay me?” Mr. Plowden, who of the two capitals of Tigré. Theodore is said thus sketched the king's character, stated that to have been at the head of 95,000 men; the he had made great reforms in Abyssinia; had forces of the insurgents are estimated to have enforced more decency of manners; was put- been rather larger. The latter occupied an inting down trade in slaves, and removing vexa- trenched camp. In various of their preparatious exactions on commerce. As might be tions for defence Count Bisson's correspondent expected, he was jealous of his sovereign rights, recognized European skill. “The English were and he objected to the establishment of an there, in constant communication with Aden; English consulate in his dominions as an inno- the insurgents drew arms and supplies from Fation. “He found no such thing in the history that place." Two redoubts, armed with canof the institutions of Abyssinia." Mr. Plow- non, covered the extremities of the insurgents' den hinted that if he consented to the estab- wings, the centre was covered by abatis ; lishment of friendly relations the sea-coast and the plain was cut up by trenches, and other Massowah might possibly be given up to him; obstacles were skilfully grouped, so as to renbut though his ambition was roused at this, he der the cavalry of the assailants nearly useless; feared the clanse conferring jurisdiction on the and as it composed the greater part of the army, consul as trenching on his prerogative, and the the lancers had to dismount and act as infantry. time for consideration was so short that he was Driving a cloud of skirmishers from one cover too much startled at the proposal to accept it. after another, the Abyssinians levelled the difThe Roman Catholic mission had usurped the ferent obstacles as soon as conquered. Ten functions of the Aboona and the Abyssinian thousand men then remounted and charged the clergy, and the king.feared that we should wish insurgent centre, driving it in. But when four in like manner to usurp the political rights of times as many lancers advanced to pass through the sovereign.
gap thus made, the redoubts opened a cross At the beginning of 1865 a society was or- fire on the attacking columns, inflicting heavy ganized in France by the Count de Mounier, for loss. The sharpshooters rallied, the attack was establishing at Halai, in Abyssinia, a commer- defeated, and the insurgent centre again had cial agency, but, on arriving in Egypt, the society time to form. The 10,000 horsemen, under the dissolved. Another project of civilization had orders of Telema, the general-in-chief, who had been started by the Count de Bisson, who, in a first broken the line, had pushed forward, disletter to the Paris journal, La France, stated regarding what passed in their rear, to charge that he had received from Theodore a conces- a second line of insurgents, who, profiting by sion of all the uncultivated lands of the empire, the military instruction formerly given them by and that the Negos had put an armed force at Count Bisson and his followers, firm as a rock, his disposal for the protection of himself and awaited the enemy kneeling, their lance-butts his associates. In support of his assertion he fixed in the ground, living chevaux de frise, quoted the following extract from the ordinance covered with their bucklers, while, close behind of concession: "We give to thee and concede them, thousands of sharpshooters poured volleys forever all the lands which thou mayst choose into the assailants. To complete the discomand take in Abyssinia. They belong to thee. fiture of the latter, they were charged in flank We engage by oath to defend thee and thy com- by twenty squadrons. Talema cut bis way out, panions by our invincible arms; to furnish to but left half his people behind him. After