National Geographic : 1896 Feb
GEOGRAPHIC NOTES tablished. Steamers will soon be plying on the Mekong. That river has been found navigable for 1,500 miles. Lieut. Simon, in the French gun boat, La Grandibre, steamed 900 miles, from Stung-Treng to Luang Prabang, and reports that at high water the rapids are navigable to Kiang-kong, 220 miles higher up the stream. SIBERIA. Last summer the veteran Arctic skipper, Captain Wiggins, took 400 tons of English merchandise up the Yenisei to within 180 miles of Yeniseisk. The Russian government admitted the goods free, so as to encourage navigation to Siberia by way of the Arctic ocean. The completion of the Trans-Siberian railway seems to be assured by the negotiation in Berlin of three Russian railway loans, aggregating $55,000,000. Whether Russia has secured from China authority to cross Manchuria to an ice-free port is yet a mooted question. AFRICA ASHANTI. A telegraph line is being constructed from the coast to the interior, along the principal trade route. EGYPT. A geological survey, to be completed within three years at a cost of £25,000, has been sanctioned by the Khedive. It will be carried out under the direction of Capt. Lyons, R. E . ABYSSINIA. The Italian army is constructing a good military road between Adowa, Adigrat, and Makaleh. An administration is being estab lished, with a view to promoting colonization. KONGO FREE STATE. According to the statements of the Rev. John B. Murphy, an American Baptist missionary, who speaks from an experience of several years, the authorities of the Free State are committing shock ing barbarities in connection with the exploitation of the rubber trade. The natives, as far as practicable, are abandoning the Belgian for French territory, where they are well treated. SoUTiI AFRICA. The delimitation of the railway strip on the eastern frontier of Bechuanaland is in progress, the survey being made by Colonel Goold-Adams. This delimitation is made under an agreement with the native chiefs regarding the extension of the railway to Matabeleland. The railway company surrenders a subsidy of $1,000,000 for land grants, enhanced police powers, etc., which insures its future control of the trade routes to this region. The Natal-Transvaal railway is now in operation as far as between Durban and Heidelberg, and the section from the latter point to Johannesburg is in process of construction. The heavy spring rains have postponed the opening of the through railway service from Natal to the Rand. The Transvaal is now served by three lines, the others being the Cape and Free State and the Delagoa bay. Telegraph communication between Cape Town and the East Coast is now continu ous, through the opening of the line between Umtali and Beira. The necessity of concerting measures to prevent the utter extinction of the African elephant is again being urged. It is said that the Germans are taking steps to protect the few herds remaining in German territory, and it is to be hoped that the British colonial authorities will lose no time in following their example.