National Geographic : 1896 Mar
MISCELLANEA No one unacquainted with Professor W. H. Dall's earlier work as an explorer would imagine from the reading of his modest article on pages 110 and 111 that he himself bore an important and honorable part in one of the expeditions to which he refers. To all, however, except the younger generation, this fact is well known, as is the further fact that Professor Dall's continued explorations and researches in Alaska and the North Pacific ocean for the long period of 30 years have led to his recognition as one of the best informed men of the time on all matters relating to that most interesting and increasingly important section of the globe. After the abandonment of the overland telegraph project in 1867, Mr Dall remained for some time in Russian America, witnessing its transformation into Alaska as the result of its purchase by the United States. On his return, he published numerous articles of great scientific value, and in 1870 ap peared his well known work on Alaska and its Resources. As an assistant in the U. S . Coast Survey from 1871 to 1874, he devoted himself largely to Alaskan studies, making repeated visits to the far north and publish ing from time to time the results of his investigations concerning it. In 1884 he joined the U. S. Geological Survey, of which he has since re mained an officer. He is also closely identified with the Smithsonian Institution, of which he is an honorary curator. The proposal to establish a permanent directorship-in-chief of scientific bureaus and investigations in the Department of Agriculture, to give coordination and continuity to the many-sided scientific work of the De partment and to complete the good work done by the present Secretary in protecting the scientific force from the onslaught of the political spoils man, has excited great interest in the scientific world and called forth a very notable expression of favorable opinion from a large number of emi nent scientists and scientific educators. Within a brief period-in fact, since February 18, President Gilman and the faculty of Johns Hopkins, President Dwight and the scientific faculty of Yale, President Schurman of Cornell, President Low of Columbia, President Adams of Wisconsin, President Francis A. Walker of the Boston Institute of Technology, Dr Shaler, dean of the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard; Dr John S. Billings, of New York; the Joint Commission of the Scientific Societies of Washington, and the presidents and other officers of various state universities and colleges have given the proposal the very strongest in dorsement. While the recommendation is scarcely likely to be favorably acted upon at the present session of Congress, it is too obviously a step in the direction of a more effective and at the same time more economical administration-too manifestly in the interest of good government in general-for its adoption to be long delayed. A preliminary announcement of the Mexican census of 1895 gives a total population of 12,542,057, as against 9,908,011 at the census of 1879, and 11,632,924 as officially estimated in 1889. The population of the principal cities is said to be as follows: City of Mexico, 339,935; Puebla, 91,917 ; Guadalajara, 83,870; San Luis Potosi, 69,676; Monterey, 56,835 Merida, 56,702; Pachuca, 52,188; Durango, 42,166, and Zacatecas, 40,026.