National Geographic : 1900 Aug
THREE BOOKS ON CHINA the importance of this railway to Russia in a material and economic view there can be no doubt. His picture of Pekin and of the life of the legations there in past and recent times is exceedingly graphic. The ancient walled city, swarming with human life, whose hostility to the handful of foreigners is held in check only by fear; the little settlement of foreigners near its center, without social intercourse or relations with any outside their own circle, are strikingly pictured. Until recent years this little colony of foreigners was by its isolation a unit in all matters political and social, but with the advance of Russia in the accession of China's territory and the success of Germany in matters of trade, dissensions sprang up, and in later years the little colony has failed to present a united front either in matters political or social. China is disintegrating. Russia has made her preparations for the final catastrophe. Indeed, she has, in all probability, aided in bringing on the crisis, and is ready to lay hands upon all the territory which she can acquire. Ger many, though late in entering the great game, is also prepared to seize what ever may help her trade. France, on the southern border, is aiding and abetting Russia with a view to receiving her share of the spoils. On the other hand, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan are agreed in supporting the totter ing empire, in the opening of the country to trade, and in the maintenance of the open door. The next few months will probably show whether the Anglo Saxon, the German, or the Slav will control the situation. It is America's opportunity. H. G. A GENERAL continuous map of the region from St Michael to Port Clarence the U. S . Coast and Geodetic Survey hopes to present by the end of the season. The position of Sledge Island, lying to the westward of Cape Nome; the shore line on the northern part of Norton Sound and in Golofnin Bay, and the ap proaches to and harbor of Port Clarence will be determined in great detail. TELEGRAPH lines connect Pekin with the principal towns of China and by the Trans-Siberian telegraph line with Europe. From the towns on the border of Manchuria wires run to Pekin ; also from Port Arthur, Seoul, and Chemulpo. Canton and the principal cities on the seaboard connect with the capital via Shanghai and Chifu. From the coast one line penetrates from Canton to Yunnanfu, the capital of the province of Yunnan, and another extends up the Yangtze Valley to the border of Tibet. MISSIONARIES have penetrated to nearly every province in China. Pekin may perhaps be called the center of the Catholic missions and Shanghai the Protestant center. The field of the American Presbyterians, who have more workers in China than any other single denomination except the China Inland Mission, has been Shantung. The Baptists and others have pushed on to the more western provinces. The Catholics divided the country into five sections, one being allotted to each of the five orders-the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the Lazarists. Probably 1,425 is a fair estimate of the number of American and European missionaries in the empire. The Catholics claim 1,000,000 native converts and the Protestants about 100,000.