National Geographic : 1896 Jan
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE 43 inces, 14,866 miles, $57,600; Italy, 8,496 miles, $114,600; Argentine Re public, 8,161 miles; Mexico, 6,624 miles; Brazil, 6,388 miles; Spain, 6,169 miles; Belgium, 3,379 miles, $131,000. The information concerning the railways of South and Central Africa is of especial interest, although great progress has been made in the ex tension of transportation lines during the past year. The value of the report is enhanced by the insertion of the well known map of the world issued by the Hydrographic Office of the United States Navy Department in June, 1891, which shows tracks of full-powered steam vessels, with dis tances, and probably contains a larger amount of information on this subject than can be found elsewhere within an equally limited space. Its presentation on the map in both graphic and tabular form increases its usefulness. The distances between different ports on the east and west coasts of North and South America and the shores of the gulf of Mexico and Caribbean sea are also shown. The volume contains a full topical index. EXECUTIVE REPORTS The annual reports of the cabinet officers, recently transmitted by the President to Congress, contain some items of geographic interest. WAR DEPARTMENT.- The Secretary of War states that since 1879 $29,500,000 has been appropriated for the improvement of the Mississippi river, of which $8,400,000 has been directly applied to general improve ments to aid navigation. The greater part of this amount has been spent on two reaches of the river, each 20 miles long, one situated 80 miles above Memphis and the other 80 miles above Vicksburg. The result has only been to increase the depth of the river at low water by 18 inches. For the improvement of the Missouri river, which for years has had practi cally no navigation, $8,900,000 has been appropriated. The Secretary questions the propriety of further appropriations for this river. With regard to the proposed Chicago drainage canal, a board of engi neer officers state that the abstraction of 10,000 cubic feet of water per second from lake Michigan will lower the level of all the great lakes ex cept Superior, and reduce the navigable capacity of all harbors and shal lows, but to what extent cannot be foretold at this time. The Yellowstone National Park has now 170 miles of good highways, permitting easy access from the railways to the principal points of interest. It is proposed that 25 miles of additional roads, now impassable for ve hicles, be opened, which will complete the general scheme of highways. The Apache Indian prisoners, comprising about 70 families, have been removed to the Fort Sill reservation, which is being gradually brought to a self-sustaining basis. The defenseless condition of the principal harbors is dwelt upon and the necessity of liberal appropriations strongly presented.
1895 Oct 31