National Geographic : 1898 Feb
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE Britain in regard to the international boundary on the north of Maine, as is done by the author of this book. The story may be briefly told : By the treaty of peace at the close of the revolution that boundary was placed, in terms, on the divide between the Atlantic and the St Lawrence. No sane, disinterested person could interpret this otherwise than as mean ing the divide north of St Johns river; but Great Britain, with her ac customed modesty, claimed that the divide referred to was that between the Penobscot and the St Johns. The matter was finally referred to the King of Holland, who split the difference between the conflicting claims and placed the boundary on the St Johns river. And now our author pleads that Great Britain fared hardly under this decision. H. G. A pamphlet recently issued by Dr E. L. Corthell, C. E ., entitled " Re marks Before the Committee on Rivers and Harbors," contains a history of the jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi and a statement of the dangers to which navigation is now subjected at that point. Twenty-five years ago New Orleans was well-nigh cut off from the sea by reason of bars which had been deposited at the mouth of the passage. Southwest Pass, then the broadest and deepest, had a depth of water at its mouth of barely 18 feet. To remedy this it was proposed by the Board of Army Engineers to canalize the Southwest Pass, at a cost of eleven and a half million dollars. In opposition to this Mr James B. Eads proposed, at his own risk, to build jetties and maintain a channel 30 feet deep. After a long struggle Mr Eads' proposition was accepted, with certain modifica tions, the principal of which was that South Pass, a much narrower and shallower outlet, should be taken, and that a depth of 26 feet, or a breadth of not less than 200 feet, should be opened and maintained. Every one knows the triumphant success of Mr Eads' project, that the river has cut away its bar at the mouth of South Pass, and a depth of 34 feet has been maintained through South Pass for a score of years. Now, however, these improvements are seriously threatened. In 1891 a crevasse was cut through the low bank just above the head of South Pass, and through this crevasse a large proportion of the river's water is pouring to the Gulf, so large a proportion that a sufficient flow cannot be obtained through South Pass to keep the channel clear, and it is rapidly silting up. The Eads executors have spent, in attempts to close this crevasse, $145,000. H. G. MADAGASCAR. A steamship line has been organized between Havre and Madagascar. The telegraphic system of the island is being rapidly ex tended. SWITZERLAND. The total value of importations into Switzerland in 1896 was $191,814,822, or $58,980,443 in excess of the exports. Germany fur nished 30.7 per cent of the imports and took 25 per cent of the exports, France following with 17.9 and 11.8 per cent, Italy with 13.8 and 5.7 per cent, Great Britain with 5.2 and 21.4 per cent, the United States with 4 and 10.3 per cent, and Austria-Hungary with 7.2 and 5.9 per cent re spectively.