Page images

villages 1,800 miles above the mouth of the Missouri. Thence he made an excursion to a fur-trading station 200 miles higher up the river. When he returned to the Arikara he considered it inadvisable to continue the journey across the continent, so he availed himself of an opportunity of descending the river to St. Louis in one of the boats of the fur-trader, Manuel Lisa. From St. Louis he had a perilous voyage to New Orleans. It is his account of these wanderings that constitutes the main text of this volume.

The sensation of being concerned with an antediluvian epoch strikes us in the very first sentence, which begins: "On the 31st December, 1809, I arrived at St. Louis, in Upper Louisiana." On a later page, when Bradbury is somewhere along the Missouri, he speaks of meeting a trader who "informed me that he should go to the United States in a few days." A more constant impression of the remoteness of the period described is produced by the fact that all the way through we seem to be moving in a country thick with Indians. Bradbury travels, indeed, from town to town, but each "town" is actually an Indian village. And the main interest of his recital lies in its account of these same aborigines. There is here a wealth of information respecting all phases of their life their religion, their laws, their manner of fighting, their industries, and their social customs. Dr. Thwaites, in his introduction, goes so far as to say that next to Lewis and Clark's journals we have no better ethnological authority for the Western Indians of this period than Bradbury.

Of secondary value, though evidently holding the first place in the mind of the author himself, are his botanical researches. It was to satisfy his curiosity in this direction that he came to America, and his scientific enthusiasm did not forsake him even in moments when most of us would have thought botany a dangerous distraction. Dr. Thwaites bids us observe how Bradbury, when exposed to the tornado which threatened to overwhelm himself and his party on the Missouri, was collected enough to note exactly the shrub (amorpha fruticosa) to which the boat was moored and on whose tenacity the lives of its occupants depended. The editor might also have called attention to the fact that, only the day before, he was so determined not to miss the opportunity to add a few species to his collection that he went out plant-hunting, though in great danger of being made a victim of the chase himself. "I was accompanied in my excursion," he says, "by Mr. Brackenridge, who employed himself in keeping a good lookout for fear of a surprise by the Sioux, a precaution necessary to my safety, as the nature of my

employment kept me for the most part in a stooping posture." As might have been expected, this pure devotion to science was unintelligible to the Indians. They knew only one use for herbs, and consequently wherever Bradbury was seen gathering plants he was taken for a medicine man, and was required upon occasion to risk his reputation by prescribing for patients.

One of the appendices of this volume is as good reading as the record of the Missouri journey. It is entitled "Remarks on the States of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the Illinois and Western Territory, and of the Emigrations to those Countries." This chapter is the fruit of a second exploration made a few years later. It paints for us a time when the Middle West was the goal of a great migration; when within eighteen months more than 15,000 wagons containing emigrants passed over the bridge at Cayuga. The settlements were still crude, but hospitable. As to their honesty, Bradbury noted that in the Western States very few of the houses in which he slept had either locks or bolts on the doors, and that the jails were in general without a single tenant. For no less than 2,000 miles of his travels through the inhabited regions of the country, he passed through parts where there were no taverns, and where he had therefore to appeal to the hospitality of the settlers. In this appeal he was not once disappointed. He admits the charge of inquisitiveness often brought against the Westerners, but naïvely adds: "For my part I must say that it is a practice that I never was disposed to complain of, because I always found them as ready to answer a question as to ask one, and therefore I always came off a gainer by this sort of barter; and if any traveller does not it is his own fault."

Bradbury appends to his description of these inchoate territories some practical suggestions for intending emigrants from the British Isles. He enters into detail as to the preparation for the voyage. He advises steerage passengers to provide cold cooked meats sufficient for the whole voyage, as they will probably have an utter aversion to the trouble of cooking on board. Enough should be taken for at least eight weeks, in particular for Baltimore, as sometimes vessels are a week or ten days in going up the Chesapeake after passing the Capes. A few bottles of vinegar should be carried to sprinkle occasionally on the floor of the ship, and the practice of putting a red-hot piece of iron in a kettle of pitch will also be found useful for fumigation. One wonders whether the adviser was herein giving the fruits of his own experience.

More up to date is the suggestion that new-comers should not stay in the cities until they have spent all their money, but should make their

way at once to neighborhoods where there is a demand for labor. The immigrant need not stay long, for "great numbers of wagons" start daily from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, and from Baltimore to Pittsburg or Wheeling. The charge is by the hundredweight - varying from five to seven dollars both for passengers and their luggage. "But the men may go cheaper if they chuse to walk over the mountains, which is recommended." If one descends the Ohio, the best plan is to join one or more families in the purchase of an "ark." It costs about seventy-five dollars, but can often be sold six or eight hundred miles lower down for nearly what it cost. When the author has his immigrant fairly at his destination he deals separately with each class, discussing in turn the best course to be adopted by the laborer, the tradesman or professional man, and the man of property.

These are but a few details in the picture which is here drawn for us of the early processes of the colonization of the West. The writer himself was evidently much impressed by the sturdy and open character of the pioneers. He was delighted not only by their hospitality and their integrity, but by their diligence, their spirit of coöperation, and their illustration of the democratic virtues in general. As the ground which he traversed becomes more and more occupied by great civic communities, conspicuous for their commercial prosperity and for their applications of mechanical science to the arts of civilization, so fair-minded and straightforward a record of the beginning of this development will appeal more and more to Americans who do not wish to forget the seed from which their national greatness has sprung.



EDUCATIONAL judges have been appointed to distribute awards of medals and certificates of merit among the schools represented by exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The seriousness with which these judges will go through the motions of their highly respectable and equally unprofitable task of decreeing relative superiority will in itself form a significant exhibit of the present status of the teaching profession. If the principles which govern men in other departments of human activity had been followed, the most representative organization, in this case the National Educational Association, would have been asked to recommend a committee of experts to examine the exhibits and present a critical report. The National Council of Education and all the other departments of the National Educational Association could, after a close canvass of their respective fields, have nominated a board of judges whose opinion might have carried some weight. At best, the awarding of prizes to schools and school systems on the basis of exhibits supplied to an international fair is an unedifying performance, let alone the unreasonableness and injustice of it. Imagine lawyers receiving diplomas testifying to their superior merits on the strength of briefs displayed at an exposition as original efforts. Clergymen, churches, and religious denominations might be thus rated on photographs of their converts, flashlight pictures of a banner attendance at a weekly prayer-meeting, phonograph records of sermons, and kinetoscope reproductions of the various ceremonies and gesticulations, the passing of the contribution plate, and the shaking of hands at the close of the service.

However baroque the idea of prize awards to schools and school systems must appear, the educational exhibits themselves form a most. interesting and valuable feature of the St. Louis fair. The management has been exceedingly generous in its provisions for them. In fact, never before have the schools been given such conspicuous recognition. This in itself speaks volumes for the exposition and the country at large. The Palace of Education and Social Economy, a whole building, beautiful and thoroughly appropriate, with more than seven acres of floor

space, has been set aside for the educational exhibits. Here an interested expert may spend several weeks of very profitable study. Exceptional excellences of individual exhibits do not, of course, necessarily signify exceptional excellence of instruction. They need not be accepted even as exemplifications of school ideals. They merely suggest that a closer direct investigation into the work of the schools which supplied the good things may yield helpful results. If the work of an entire class or of an entire school reveals originality and a high degree of excellence, one may justly call special attention to it. On the whole, it is best to be cautious in drawing final conclusions from attractive displays. Where the work is unquestionably poor one is justified in speaking very positively; for the material has the indorsement not only of the teachers who supplied it, but also of the supervising officers who passed it on. Moreover, the evident object of the American exhibits, with but very few exceptions, is to display only the things in which the various schools or school systems take particular pride.

Thanks to Commissioner Rogers, who has had extensive experience in organizing the educational exhibits at former great international exhibitions, the classification is most satisfactory in every respect. Exhibits which an expert would most naturally desire to compare are almost invariably found in convenient proximity. On the other hand, the sightseeing rambler cannot fail to be impressed with it all as an attractive show.

The selection of Pestalozzi and Mann as subjects for artistic statues at the main entrances was a happy one. The ideas of these two leaders, together with those of Jefferson, to the glory of whose statesmanship and educational genius the whole exposition is a monument, were undoubtedly the most powerful forces in the shaping of popular education and social endeavor in the United States during the period since the Louisiana Purchase. But somebody blundered most wofully in labelling Pestalozzi as founder of the first manual training schools. To begin with, he did far greater things for education. The whole spirit of teaching in the elementary schools has been affected by him. The influence of his insistence upon Anschauung in teaching has worked its way even into the colleges and universities. The magnificent showing made by the higher institutions of Germany in experimentation and illustration as aids to study is due in no small measure to the didactic reforms put under way by him. And then to have the legend upon his statue read: J. H. P., who "established the first manual training schools." It is too bad. Besides, the credit for these schools does not at all belong to him,

« PreviousContinue »