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She decided upon Riverside. It then became the privilege of
his friends to provide a suitable tomb for the illustrious soldier. The
funds needed, amounting to nearly half a million dollars, were raised by
subscription, ground was broken on the anniversary of Grant's birthday,
April 27, 1891, and a year later the corner-stone was laid by President
Harrison.

The tomb of General Grant, standing on the banks of the Hudson, is an
imposing structure, square in shape, ninety feet on each side, and of
the Grecian-Doric order. The entrance on the south side is guarded by a
portico in double lines of columns, approached by steps seventy feet in
width. The tomb is surmounted at a height of seventy-two feet with a
cornice and parapet, above which is a circular cupola, seventy feet in
diameter, terminating in a top the shape of a pyramid, which is 280 feet
above the river.

The interior of the structure is of cruciform form, seventy-six feet at
its greatest length, the piers of masonry at the corners being connected
by arches which form recesses. The arches are fifty feet in height, and
are surmounted by an open circular gallery, capped with a panneled dome,
105 feet above the floor. Scenes in General Grant's career are depicted
with sculpture on the plane and relieved surfaces in _alto rilievo_. The
granite of the structure is light in color, and the sarcophagus of
brilliant reddish porphyry. The crypt rests directly under the centre of
the dome, stairways connecting with the passage surrounding the
sarcophagus, where the remains of the widow of General Grant are
eventually to repose.

[Illustration: TOMB OF U.S. GRANT, NEW YORK.]

The ceremonies attending the removal of the remains on April 27, 1897,
included three impressive displays, the ceremony at the tomb, the parade
of the army--the National Guard and civic bodies--and the review of the
navy and merchant marine on the Hudson. Those who gathered to take part
in the final tribute to the great soldier included the President,
Vice-President of the United States, the Cabinet, many State governors,
prominent American citizens, and representatives of foreign nations.
From 129th Street to the Battery, and from Whitehall up East River to
the Bridge, thousands of American and foreign flags were displayed,
while the parade of men on foot included 60,000 persons.

Bishop Newman opened the exercises with prayer, and President McKinley
made one of the finest speeches of his life, the opening words of which
were:

"A great life, dedicated to the welfare of the nation, here finds its
earthly coronation. Even if this day lacked the impressiveness of
ceremony and was devoid of pageantry, it would still be memorable,
because it is the anniversary of the birth of the most famous and
best beloved of American soldiers."

[Illustration: REVIEW OF THE NAVY AND MERCHANT MARINE ON THE HUDSON,
APRIL 27, 1897.]

The President concluded with the words:

"With Washington and Lincoln, Grant had an exalted place in the
history and the affections of the people. To-day his memory is held
in equal esteem by those whom he led to victory, and by those who
accepted his generous terms of peace. The veteran leaders of the Blue
and Gray here meet not only to honor the name of Grant, but to
testify to the living reality of a fraternal national spirit which
has triumphed over the differences of the past and transcends the
limitations of sectional lines. Its completion--which we pray God to
speed--will be the nation's greatest glory.

"It is right that General Grant should have a memorial commensurate
with his greatness, and that his last resting-place should be in the
city of his choice, to which he was so attached, and of whose ties he
was not forgetful even in death. Fitting, too, is it that the great
soldier should sleep beside the noble river on whose banks he first
learned the art of war, and of which he became master and leader
without a rival.

"But let us not forget the glorious distinction with which the
metropolis among the fair sisterhood of American cities has honored
his life and memory. With all that riches and sculpture can do to
render the edifice worthy of the man, upon a site unsurpassed for
magnificence, has this monument been reared by New York as a
perpetual record of his illustrious deeds, in the certainty that, as
time passes, around it will assemble, with gratitude and reverence
and veneration, men of all climes, races, and nationalities.

"New York holds in its keeping the precious dust of the silent
soldier, but his achievements--what he and his brave comrades wrought
for mankind--are in the keeping of seventy millions of American
citizens, who will guard the sacred heritage forever and
forevermore."

[Illustration: ALASKA]

General Horace Porter, president of the Grant Memorial Association, made
an address, giving the history of the crowning work of the association,
rendering acknowledgment to those who had given valuable help, and
closing with a masterly and eloquent tribute to the great citizen whom
all had gathered to honor.


THE KLONDIKE GOLD EXCITEMENT.

There was much excitement throughout the country in 1897 over the
reported discoveries of rich deposits of gold in the Klondike, as the
region along the Yukon River in Alaska is called. These reports were
discredited at first, but they were repeated, and proof soon appeared
that they were based upon truth. In the autumn of 1896, about fifty
miners visited the section, led thither by the rumors that had come to
them. None of the men carried more than his outfit and a few hundred
dollars, but when they returned they brought gold to the value of from
$5,000 to $100,000 apiece, besides leaving claims behind them that were
worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In July, 1897, a party of miners
arrived at Seattle from the Klondike, bringing with them nuggets and
gold-dust weighing more than a ton and worth a million and a half of
dollars. Besides this, other men continually came back with such
quantities of the precious metal that it was apparent that not only were
the reports justified, but, what is the exception in such cases, the
whole truth had not been told.

The natural consequence was that a rush set in for the Klondike, which
is the name of a tributary of the Yukon, and flows through the richest
gold fields, where the mining days of early California were repeated.
Dawson City was founded at the mouth of the Klondike, and in a short
time had a population of 5,000. Before the year closed, 500 claims were
located, with more taken up daily. As was inevitable, there was much
suffering, for the Yukon is closed by ice during the greater part of the
year, and the winter climate is of Arctic severity. The most productive
fields were found to be not in Alaska, but in the British provinces
known as the Northwest Territories. While many gathered fortunes in the
Klondike, the majority, after great hardships and suffering, returned to
their homes poorer than when they left them.

[Illustration: READY FOR THE TRAIL.]


SPAIN'S MISRULE IN CUBA.

The administration of McKinley occupies a prominent place in American
history because of our brief and decisive war with Spain. A full account
is given in the pages that follow, but it is proper in this chapter to
set forth some historical facts, that will serve to clear the way to a
proper understanding of the story of the war itself.

Spain may best illustrate the certain decline of the Latin race and the
rise of the Anglo-Saxon. When America was discovered, she was the
leading maritime power of the world, but she was corrupt, rapacious,
ferocious, and totally devoid of what is best expressed by the term
"common sense." So lacking indeed was she in this prime requisite that
she alienated, when it was just as easy to attract, the weaker nations
and colonies with which she came in contact. It has been shown in the
earlier chapters of this work that when her exploring expeditions into
the interior of America were obliged to depend for their own existence
upon the good-will of the natives, and when they could readily gain and
retain that good-will, they roused the hatred of the simple-minded
natives by their frightful cruelties. The chief amusement of the early
Spaniards was killing Indians. They did it from the innate brutality of
their nature, when they could have gained tenfold more by justice and
kindness.

The treatment of those poor people was precisely what on a larger scale
has been shown to her colonies. England wins and holds her dependencies
through her liberality and justice; Spain repels hers through her
treachery, falsehoods, and injustice. As a consequence, England has
become one of the mightiest nations in the world, while Spain has
steadily declined to a fourth-rate power. With the example of the
results of her idiocy, to say nothing of its dishonor, ever before her,
she has persisted in that idiocy, never learning from experience, but
always selfish, short-sighted, cruel, treacherous, and unjust.

The steadiness with which Cuba clung to the mother country won for her
the title of the "Ever Faithful Isle." Had she received any
consideration at all, she still would have held fast. She poured
princely revenues into the lap of Spain; when other colonies revolted,
she refused to be moved. It required long years of outrage, robbery, and
injustice to turn her affection into hate, but Spain persisted until the
time came when human nature could stand no more. The crushed worm turned
at last.

When Napoleon Bonaparte deposed the Bourbon King, Ferdinand VII., in
1808, and placed his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, Cuba
declared her loyalty to the old dynasty, and the king made many promises
of what he would do to prove his gratitude when he should come to his
own. This took place five years later, whereupon the king violated every
pledge he had made.

The truth gradually worked its way into the Cuban mind that the only
thing a Spaniard could be depended upon to do is to violate his most
solemn promises.



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