National Geographic : 1904 Dec
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE Manchuria. Its People, Resources, and Recent History. By Alexander Hosie. Illustrated. Pp. 293. 6 by 9 inches. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1904. The present volume was published in England several years ago and now in revised form appears in America for the first time. It is the standard work on Manchuria, the author having been the British consul at Niuchwang from 1894 to 1897, and again in 1899 and 1900. Mr Hosie gives an excellent description of the country and especially of its agri cultural wealth and possibilities. The standard of education in Man churia, from a Chinese point of view, is not of a very high order, and compara tively few literary honors have fallen to its inhabitants; this is largely due to the fact that the population in the country districts is sparsely scattered over a very large area, so that educa tional facilities are not yet so well or ganized as in China proper. The Man chus form only o1 per cent of the population. Intellectually the Manchu is no match for the Chinese, as he lacks the intelligence and capacity which are characteristic of the latter. The domestic commerce of Manchuria is enormous. On the road from Mukden and Tie-ling to the north the author met thousands and thousands of carts loaded with merchandise. " I have traveled in different parts of China, I have seen the great salt and piece-goods traffic between Ssu-ch'uan, Kwei-Chow, and Yunnan, but I never saw a sight which from its magnitude impressed me so much with the vast trade of China as the carrying trade from north to south in Manchuria. Until late in the afternoon,when, owing to a snow storm, we had to abandon the possibility of making the city of K'ai-yuan Hsien that night, we met at least a thousand carts heavily laden with the produce of the interior, including beans, tobacco, abutilon hemp, dressed pigs, skins, and large droves of black pigs, all bound south. If we take the average team to have numbered five animals, we met some five thousand animals in one day. At one place, where a difficult gully had to be crossed, there was at least one mile of carts, three deep, waiting their turn to pass it. Numbers of men and boys were to be seen on the roads vying with each other in collecting the droppings of animals,which they scooped into wicker baskets. Much valuable manure is thus collected and utilized in the adjoining fields." Probably not more than one-fifth of the whole arable land of Manchuria is at present under cultivation. The present colonists are of them selves unable to cope with the land they have taken up, and labor is yearly im ported from the northern provinces of China, especially Shan-tung and Chihli, to till, sow, and reap. From Chefoo alone more than twenty thousand Chi nese laborers come to Niuchwang every spring by steamer and distribute them selves all over Manchuria and eastern Mongolia. The most important cereal grown in Manchuria is the tall millet (Kao-liang), or Holcus sorghum L. It is the staple food of the population and the principal grain feed of the numerous animals en gaged in the farmwork and in the im mense carrying trade of the three prov inces. The natives boil the millet for an hour into a soft, pulpy mass. "It is then scooped into bowls and eaten with boiled, fresh, or pickled vegetables, with the aid of chopsticks, just like rice. No salt or other seasoning is added to the millet while being boiled, and the taste is very insipid. An ordinary servant consumes two pounds of millet per day, while a hard-working man will, it is al leged, consume double that quantity.