National Geographic : 1900 Oct
400 HUNAN- THE CLOSED PROVINCE OF CHINA yards, one stream to swell the Yangtze, the other flowing southward and ultimately into the China Sea, 800 miles away. The presence of this pass will permit a railway line to be con structed between Canton and Central China with an abnormally low ruling gradient. The distance by rail between Hankau and Canton will be about 700 miles. Of this distance 690 miles need have nowhere a gradient exceeding one-half of one per cent, that rate being used crossing the spurs as they jut out to the Siang or the Pei River. The range itself can be crossed by five miles on either side of ascending gradient not exceeding one per cent, including an allow ance for the existence of curves. In Eastern Asia the magnetic variation is small. At Hankau the variation was found to be 45' E. and at Canton 20' W. We located the line of no variation just after crossing the Nanling Range. South from the Nanling Range, at the Meling Pass, flows the Pei River, and south from the Cheling Pass flows the Wei River, the two streams joining at Shaochau, the combined stream taking the name of the Pei River, which it retains to the junction with the West River at Samsui. Kuangtung has been explored by foreigners, and the larger part of it has been carefully mapped, certainly as high as Shaochau. I am not aware that an actual survey of the Wei River has been pre viously made, but its correct course is shown on the map which accompanies this paper. The line covered by our survey and shown on the map is one of the oldest and most important trade routes in the country, of which no accurate and definite information was hitherto available. The country is populous and rich, especially in minerals, and will be one of the great factors in the coming material development of China. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY The active membership ticket for the season 1900-1901 will admit only one person to lectures instead of two as heretofore; but mem bers will have the privilege of purchasing one season ticket, admit ting one person, for two dollars, if desired. This change has been decided upon in pursuance of certain recommendations made by President Bell to the Board of Managers last June. The substance of the address is here given, by direction of the Board, for the infor mation of members.