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Daily bulletins of his condition
were issued and messages of sympathy were received from many crowned
heads on the other side of the Atlantic. The sufferer was removed on the
6th of September to Elberon, New Jersey, where it was hoped the
invigorating sea-air would bring back strength to his wasted frame.
These hopes were vain, and, on the 19th of September, he quietly
breathed his last. It may be noted that this date was the anniversary of
the battle of Chickamauga, where General Garfield performed his most
brilliant service in the war. Amid universal expressions of sympathy the
remains were borne to Cleveland, where a fine monument has been erected
to his memory.

[Illustration: ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT GARFIELD.]

Guiteau was a miserable "crank," who had long dogged the President for
an appointment, failing to obtain which he shot him. That his brain was
partly awry, with perhaps a taint of insanity, cannot be questioned,
but, none the less, it was shown that he clearly knew the difference
between right and wrong and was morally responsible for his unspeakable
crime. He was given a fair trial, and, having been found guilty, was
hanged on the 30th of June, 1882.


THE TWENTY-FIRST PRESIDENT.

Chester Alan Arthur, who was immediately sworn in as President, was born
in Vermont, October 5, 1830. He received his education at Union College,
from which he was graduated in 1849. He taught school for a time in his
native State, and then removed to the City of New York, where he studied
law and was admitted to the bar. His ability speedily brought him to the
front and gave him a lucrative practice. He was quartermaster-general of
the State of New York during the war and displayed fine executive
ability. When the war ended, he resumed the practice of law and was made
collector of customs for the port of New York in 1871. Seven years later
he was removed by President Hayes, and shortly after he entered the
presidential canvass of 1880. He died November 18, 1886.

Arthur took the oath of office in New York, on the day succeeding the
death of Garfield, and left at once for Washington. Chief Justice Waite
administered the oath again to him in the vice-president's room. Among
those present were General Grant, General Sherman, Senator Sherman, and
ex-President Hayes.

[Illustration: TABLET IN THE WAITING-ROOM OF THE RAILWAY STATION WHERE
GARFIELD WAS SHOT.]

While President Arthur showed slight disposition to change the policy of
the administration, he inherited many vexatious matters from his
predecessor. One of the worst of these was the "Star Route Frauds."

The rapid settlement of the West naturally created a demand for improved
mail facilities. In a number of places, fast mail routes had been
organized by the postoffice department, and these were designated on the
official documents by the figures of stars. The authorized expenditures
of the postoffice department were clearly defined, but a clause in the
law permitted it to "expedite" such routes as proved to be inefficient.
This opened the door for fraud, and, as is always the case, it lost no
time in entering.

The contracts were let at the legal rates, and then, availing themselves
of the legal authority, the same routes were "expedited" at immense
profits. The money thus stolen--and it amounted to immense sums--was
divided among the parties letting the contracts and the contractors.
Stephen W. Dorsey, John W. Dorsey, and Thomas J. Brady--formerly
second-assistant postmaster-general--were indicted for a conspiracy to
defraud the government and enrich themselves. All were prominent
politicians, and their trial attracted national attention. Although the
testimony seemed to establish the guilt of the parties accused, all
three escaped, the miscarriage of justice causing a qualm of disgust and
indignation among right-minded citizens.

One of the famous structures in the country is the Brooklyn Bridge,
which was completed and opened for traffic May 24, 1883. Operations on
it were begun January 3, 1870, and the towers were finished six years
later. The first wire reaching from tower to tower was strung August 14,
1876. Each of the four cables contains 5,296 wires, untwisted, lying
straight, and held in place by other wires coiled tightly around them.
The length of the main span is 1,595-1/2 feet; the two land spans are
930 feet each; the masonry approach on the New York side is 1,562 feet
long, and that on the Brooklyn side 971 feet. The total distance,
therefore, is about 6,000 feet, or more than a mile. The middle of the
main span is about 135 feet above the water in summer, and in winter,
owing to the contraction caused by cold, it is three feet more. The
height is such that nearly any ship can pass under the bridge without
lowering its top-mast. Twenty persons were killed during the
construction of the bridge. Although the day was inclement and
unfavorable, the opening of the structure to travel was attended with
many ceremonies, including civic and military processions, oratory,
salutes by naval vessels, and illuminations and fireworks in the
evening.

[Illustration: CHESTER ALAN ARTHUR.

(1830-1886.) One partial term, 1881-1885.]


THE CHINESE.

The State of California, on account of its situation, received thousands
of Chinese immigrants every year from across the Pacific. These people
live so meanly that they could afford to work for wages upon which a
white man would starve. Consequently they crowded out other laborers and
caused so much discontent that something in the nature of a revolt took
place against them. The grievance of the Californians was so
well-founded that Congress, while Hayes was President, passed a bill
which forbade the immigration of Chinese laborers to this country, and
requiring those already here to take out certificates, if they left the
United States, so as to identify themselves before being allowed to
return. President Hayes vetoed the bill, but it was passed in 1882. The
amazing ingenuity of the Chinese has enabled them to evade the law in
many instances, but their immigration was substantially checked.
Probably there is no more degraded community on the face of the earth
than the part in San Francisco known as "Chinatown." Most of the yellow
celestials live underground, where their unspeakable villainies are a
flaming reproach to the authorities that permit them.

[Illustration: THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE.]


THE MORMONS.

The Mormons proved a thorn in the side of the body politic. Their
polygamous practices led to the passage in 1882 of Senator Edmunds' bill
which excluded polygamists from holding office. A good many persons
were convicted and sentenced for violation of the law, which was upheld
by the Supreme Court.

While this legislation did much to abate the crime, it cannot be said
that it effectually ended it, for, at this writing, one of the
representatives from the new State of Utah is the husband of several
wives, and it is apparent that still more severe legislation will be
required to stamp out the evil.

[Illustration: SCENE IN CHINATOWN, SAN FRANCISCO.]


EXPLORATION OF ALASKA.

Attention was so generally directed toward Alaska, our recent purchase
from Russia, that an exploring expedition visited that country in 1883,
under the command of Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka. It should be stated
that the party, which was a small one, went thither without authority
from the government, its departure from Portland, Oregon, May 22d, being
secret. It was gone for several months, and brought back interesting and
valuable information. One bit of knowledge was new. The explorers
learned that the length of the great river Yukon is 2,044 miles, which
makes it the third in length in the United States, the fourth in North
America, the seventh in the western hemisphere, and the seventeenth in
the world. The area drained by this immense stream is 200,000 square
miles.


THE YORKTOWN CENTENNIAL.

We have learned of the centennial celebration of the birth of our
republic in Philadelphia. Many other celebrations of important events
were held in different parts of the country, the most important of which
was the commemoration of the great victory at Yorktown, which brought
the Revolution to a close and secured the independence of our country.

As was befitting, preparations were made on a grand scale for this
celebration. Thousands journeyed thither days before the exercises
opened. President Arthur arrived at ten o'clock on the morning of
October 18, 1881, in a government steamer, his approach being announced
by salute after salute, each of twenty-one guns, from the different
ships of the fleet.

The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. Robert Nelson, grandson of
Governor Nelson, who commanded the Virginia militia at Yorktown and
directed the fire so as to destroy his own home, in which Cornwallis had
his headquarters, after which Governor Holliday, of Virginia, made the
address. At its conclusion, the sword was held up to view which was
presented to the horseman who rode at high speed to Philadelphia with
the news of the surrender of Cornwallis. Another interesting fact was
that W.W. Henry, the grandson of Patrick Henry, was sitting at that
moment on the platform.

The corner-stone of the monument was laid with Masonic ceremonies. The
chair in which the Grand Master for the occasion sat was one that had
been used by Washington when he was Grand Master of the Virginia Masons.
The sash and apron were presented to him at Mount Vernon in 1784, and
had been worked by Mrs. Lafayette. The gavel was made from a portion of
the quarter-deck of the United States frigate _Lawrence_, flagship of
Commodore Perry, when he won his great victory on Lake Erie in
September, 1813. Space cannot be given to enumerate the notables who
were present nor the eloquent addresses that were made. Among the guests
were descendants of Rochambeau, Steuben, and many German and French
friends. The centennial ode was written by Paul H. Hayne, the Southern
poet (who died in 1886), and the oration of the day was by Robert C.
Winthrop.

It was a graceful tribute to the friendly course of England, when
Secretary Blaine, at the reception which followed the ceremonies, read
the following order:

"In recognition of the friendly relations so long and so happily
existing between Great Britain and the United States, in the trust
and confidence of peace and good-will between the two countries for
all centuries to come, and especially as a mark of the profound
respect entertained by the American people for the illustrious
sovereign and gracious lady who sits upon the British throne, it is
hereby ordered that at the close of these services, commemorative of
the valor and success of our forefathers in their patriotic struggle
for independence, the British flag shall be saluted by the forces of
the army and navy of the United States now at Yorktown.



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