Chase S. Osborn
Transcribed and Contributed by Mark Seeberg
Host of Florence County WI and Winnebago Co IL
THE POETRY, CHARM, ROMANCE, AND USEFULNESS OF IRON ORE
For a period of years Indian after Indian brought me samples of ore: iron, copper, nickel, silver, gold. I paid no attention to any but iron. It is as staple as wheat. During the period of no snow I searched the wilderness of the North from one rock zone to another, and always and ever east to west across the continental formation. In the winter I traveled. My idea was to know my own country first hand. I found it did not cost any more to travel than to remain stationary. In fact I was able, by increased knowledge, to earn more by traveling than if I had stayed at home. It appeared to be just as easy in traveling to have my wife with me, as to leave her alone at home, and we were both benefited, and it made us more contented and happy. Searching for further justification for travel, I happened to hit upon the rather lugubrious fact that the world does very well without all of us, so far as we know, after death, and if so, it, or any portion of it, ought to spare us handily during life.
Very early I discovered that in order to get the most good from travel, it was necessary to have clear-cut objects and purposes. So I decided to visit all the places in the world, if possible, where iron ore is produced in commercial quantities. A big undertaking. Naturally that involved a study of other lands, their resources and geology. Even that was not enough, so I added the study of government, and particularly the methods of Colonial government adopted by those powers chiefly engaged in colonizing the world: Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Holland. At one time or another, those peoples, possibly excepting Teuton and Slav, have ruled the earth.
From the study of modern government it was an easy step to interest in the history of the yesterdays, and in dramatic personages such as Tsin, Akbar, Attila, Alaric, Timur Leng, Genghiz Ehan, Alexander, Xenophon, Cyrus, Xerxes, Napoleon and other first-class mapmakers of the world. As a result I found myself traveling and studying the world in the winter and threading a trackless wilderness in the summer. It was an ideal and also a selfish life, which I was determined to desert as soon as I had visited every country in the world that had its own autonomy, and every suzerain state and colony of any importance. This my wife and I completed to our satisfaction in 1913, after more than thirty years of travel. Before we left our own country, we went into every State and to Alaska and also visited our insular possessions as rapidly as they were secured by the United States.
There is a romance about iron that has always fascinated me and it holds me yet as a magnet attracts. I wonder if the courageous men who seek it in the bowels of the earth realize their big part in the life of the world? Do the brave, bare bodies, that reflect the furnace light and the gloating glow of the smelter, do their work because of a subtle subconsciousness of the fact that the wheels of the world and civilization would stop if they stopped?
Iron ore and steel are of greater importance than wheat, because there are many good substitutes for wheat. There is none for iron ore. It has a glory of usefulness all its own. Those who are associated with its production should know of the dignity of their calling; should realize it and then their hearts and souls would fill their big bodies until brawn and spirit are one, as an instrument of the joy of existence in the keen sense of service. There would be a brotherhood of iron that could not know strife if the totality of performance could be shown to the eyes of all those who inhabit the world of steel. Nor would its boundaries be smaller than those of the earth, for it would tie together the best developed American iron worker and the lowliest African.
If the miner who blasts or shovels or trams a pound of iron ore could follow it to its destinations and uses, he would at once conclude that he is one of the most valuable and important factors of society. This is the truth. The same is true of the furnaceman and the foundryman, the worker in the steel mill, and the artisan of keen eye and trained hand who fashions the products of iron ore with mind and heart. True also of the master captains, who have organized the armies of the age of steel and iron, and who are really learning that their industrial soldiers give up their lives even more bravely upon the battlefields of constantly applied human effort, than those who rend each other at the cannon's mouth.
From this realization it is only a step further to the practical conviction that they are entitled to even more consideration; to continuous employment (what kind of an army would it be that did not keep its soldiers constantly, but depended upon picking them up, helter skelter, when needed), to a minimum wage, to old age insurance and pensions, to adequate compensation for injury and death resulting from the risks of their work, to sanitary housing and moral environments. Menaces such as saloons are being removed. All of these things are of the moment. At first they were adopted because , it is good business. Already they are reaching the deeper and finer source of their cause in the hearts and souls of mankind; in taking intimately home of the law of laws: I am my brother's keeper. And this must comprehend social kindnesses as well as economic guardianship.
When industry was young, master and servant composed the family. There was friendship and acquaintance and sympathy. When growth reached such an extent that the master could not know his many servants and feel for them deeply, labor troubles began to beget. With the advent of artificial masters, corporations born by the law, marblesque and lacking human responsibility, the hiatus between master and servant widened almost unbridgeably. The cure is coming; is on the way; has already arrived sporadically, in the rehumanizing of industry.
Only can this finally be achieved by the master thinking as the servant thinks, and the servant thinking as the master thinks. There will then be no master and servant as now defined. Rather there will be such a mutualization as will make for leader and led; for helper and helped.
Famished are the masses for want of human recognition and consideration. They unconsciously resent arrogance and overlordship with its coldness and autocracy; even the benevolent despotism of money. In America this is more true than it is in other countries.
Hunger for freedom, for equality, for opportunity. for escape from the oppression of false human pride has milked the hest of the earth into our national pail. Here they swiftly obtain and ravenously cherish the wholesome idea that one man is as good as another. To believe that way; aye, to feel it in their heart of hearts, is why they have come here from the valleys and mountains of the earth.
Then when they see Old Man Slobson's son Andy throwing on dog, chest swelled, elephantiasis of the cranium, hard of voice and glassy of eye, bossing them around like dogs, running over their children in his automobile and running over them in his manner, the very devil in them is aroused. They have known Old Man Slobson since boyhood; worked underground and on the surface with him, and they know that Andy is no better than they are.
But he is stronger, he can drive them; yes, and he can also enrage them. The artificial master without heart or conscience has set Andy up over them to grind their bodies and their souls. As an emolient to passion they do build libraries and clubs and schools, and gymnasia and such things, and these are all very well, but they mean nothing at all in the way of removing the sharp instruments, pride and power, that are digging away at the tender spots in labor's manhood.
Everything physical may be supplied to those who work under bosses, good wages enough and all, and they will remain discontented and rebellious until the human touches are supplied: love, fraternity, association, kind words and deeds from the heart and not from the pocket book; real interest transcending commercial concern.
There never has been labor trouble where there has been personal understanding, personal acquaintance, and personal friendship, regard and respect between employer and employee. I know because I have been an employee with pick and ax and barrow and shovel, and many a time I have felt like smashing the head of an arrogant boss, not because I was hungry, but because I was not treated as considerately as I would have been if I had been a brute.
I guess we got off the iron ore trail, but not far, for it leads into the hearts and minds of men, as well as into their arms and backs and purses.
There is war, that leveler of society ; the great master surgeon of nations, operating upon the earth as the individual surgeon operates on the body. The knife is guided by the same unerring hand, directed by the All-seeing eye, and as the layman cannot see and know the mysteries of the hospital operating room, just so we cannot comprehend the purposes of the Great Surgeon of the universe.
Into cannon and into the surgeon?s knife enter iron ore. The bellowing death of one and the delicate life-saving of the other, involves the use of steel. They were a lump of iron ore yesterday. Great locomotives made from iron rush over rails of iron ore, performing missions of peace and war. Harvest fields are gambogian in their ripeness and renitent until the reaping machines come. Then they lie down peacefully with that child of iron ore.
When the Crusader dreamed and gave his life to recover the land of Christ, the sword that gleamed with the glory of heaven and the zeal of deep desire was a thing of iron ore. The bread we eat is baked in pans made from iron ore, in ovens made from iron ore. Our span of life is ticked off by springs of iron ore in clock and watch.
Huge pumping engines, made from iron ore, handle water through pipes of iron ore for all the purposes of life. Ocean steamships made of iron ore, throb with a life that is more than artificial. Giant cranes, made from iron ore, move about in Gargantuan majesty. One can look nowhere and think nowhere without en- countering manifestations of iron ore dug out of the earth and handled purposefully by real men. There is iron ore in our blood and body.
It is the age of iron ore. Let those who produce it hold up their heads with dignity and walk erect among men. They give to it their lives that it may serve man- kind. No wonder the sewing machine and the auto- mobile and the locomotive and the ship and all the things made from iron ore are so human. They are human, in that they have cost myriads of lives while making.
A workman's average working life is twenty years. Many labor for a longer time, but few are at their best for even twenty years. A prize fighter?s life is ten years. The same forces are employed by the prize fighter and the skilled mechanic. Of course the latter applies them to higher purpose. He hammers something into useful shape, while the pugilist is hammering something into useless shape.
The heart beats seventy times a minute; forty-two hundred times an hour; one hundred thousand times a day; sixteen million times a year, and as many times sixteen millions as a person lives years. Each time the heart beats it lifts nearly a half pound of blood, and all of the twenty to thirty pounds of blood in the body are forced through the heart and lungs every minute. Each heart beat represents a punctuation of death. Just as the tick-tock of a clock tells off a measure of time that will never be again for you and me, so does each heart beat reduce the total heart beats. The moment a child is born it begins to draw upon its bank account of expectant heart beats and expend them. A third of life is utilized in preparation for that portion of the span that is useful in a creative sense.
Every time an iron worker, or any other, lifts his hand or bends his back, just as many heart beats as oc- cur during the time required for these physical demonstrations are expended, and the worker has given of his life in the proportion that they bear to all of the heart beats he will be vouchsafed.
In this way may be had some idea of exactly how men and women give their lives in labor. It may be imagined, if not yet quite proven, that their lives enter into their productions affecting the character or quality of the article that is made. It is well known that the work of prisoners never makes for perfection. The more deeply one is in love with his work the better the product, and the happier the performance. All great inventions have resulted from freedom of effort applied with love.
When we think in this way we are not unreasonable if we think we can detect man's life in all those things that are commonly called artificial, just as we may so plainly see God in everything.
In order to do the best work it follows that the worker must love to work and be loyal to self and to employer, whether the employer is yourself or some other. This feeling is possible in any degree of purity only when the spirit of the worker is permitted to flow freely, without being damned by resentment and bitterness.
IRON ORE BACTERIA
THE origin of iron ore is a mystery just as all things are a mystery, unless one has faith enough to find the cosmic cause in God. Iron is present in some form in almost everything. Economic geologists know a good deal about how it has been gathered and deposited as it is found in the earth. Also there is a good deal yet that they do not know, which makes their work all the more interesting.
Iron present in solution in the subterranean hydro- sphere has been deposited upon impervious basements. Sometimes there have been lithospheric and atmospheric actions causing mechanico-chemical alterations that have won the iron ore.
The most interesting and most modem discovery is that iron ore is made by bugs. European physicists have known for some time of the existence of what is called iron ore bacteria. Now the fact is commonly accepted in America.
E.C. Harder and R.T. Chamberlain, well-known American geologists, mining engineers and investigators, attribute the great iron ore deposits in the Itabira district of Minas Geraes, Brazil, to iron ore bacteria.
With great respect for the basic flow theories of Van Hise and Leith, and equal regard for the similar ideas of igneous influence held by T.C. Chamberlin and Salisbury, they did not find sufficient evidence of volcanic intrusions in Brazil and were compelled to look further for a source. Eeferring to the Itabira formation Harder and Chamberlain say in the Journal of Geology, Vol. XXIII, Part I, No. 4, May-June; Part II, No. 5, July-August, 1915:
''The Batatal schist represents a slackening of sedimentation from the rapid deposition which characterized the laying down of the sands composing the Canaca quartzite. This slackening of clastic sedimentation continued until the close of the Batatal epoch, when very little elastic material was being washed into the sea in the region considered. The land presumably had become so low as to yield very little mechanical sediment, and with the lowering of the land surface there was probably combined a gradual re- treat of the shore line. Simultaneous with the great diminution of mechanical sediment deposited in the area under consideration, there commenced a precipitation of ferric hydroxide from solution, materials in solution being probably carried beyond the border of the region of clastic sedimentation. This precipitation may have been due, either to purely chemical reactions taking place in the sea, or perhaps to the operation of the well known iron bacteria, which cause the deposition of ferric hydroxide from waters containing ferrous carbonate in solution. These iron bacteria are said to possess the peculiar property of utilizing as food, the carbon dioxide locked up in very dilute solutions of ferrous carbonate. Ferric hydroxide is left behind and is deposited as a sediment. . . . Not having much confidence in the hypothesis that the iron oxide was precipitated directly from sea water by ordinary chemical means, we prefer to turn to the iron bacteria as perhaps forming a better working hypothesis. ... It is now known that much of the bog iron ore being formed in lagoons at the present time is the result of the activity of a certain group of bacteria known as the iron bacteria. The iron bacteria include many individual species, of which the thread bacteria Chlamydoihrix, Gallionella, Spirophyllum, Crenothrix, and Clonothrix, and the coccus form Siderocapsa have per-haps been most carefully studied."
Van Hise and Leith do not claim that all iron ores are deposited or concentrated by fire action. They only suggest that the great iron ore bodies in the Michigan and Minnesota ranges of the Lake Superior region have come from associated basaltic lavas, either from the magmatic waters or from chemical reactions between the hot basic lavas and the ancient sea waters.
Iron bacteria live in either standing or running clear waters that contain iron compounds. Turbid waters, and those containing much organic matter, do not offer them asylum. So active are iron bacteria in making for conditions that leave ferric hydroxide behind, that water pipes of cities where the water contains ferrous carbonate have been known to be completely closed by them.
Sheaths of dead iron bacteria have been found in multitudes in limonite deposits. Enormous deposits of several kinds of iron ore are known to result from the work of iron bacteria. It is believed that the vast Brazilian deposits, among the most extensive known, were formed with comparative rapidity. Winogradsky offers a chemical formula in explanation of the methods of iron bacteria. Little enough is yet known about them. It is not beyond reason that they are at the very threshold of life origin, and work as mitosis and metabolism, one set of bacteria performing anabolism, and another catabolism--one building as the other tears down. So much for the bugs that make iron ore. They are closely akin to the enzymes that seem to be everywhere and in everything.
What mostly is of importance is that iron ore exists and that it is distributed all over the earth with fine reference to economic convenience. Another thing is known to be a fact and that is that James J. Hill's statement that there would be an exhaustion of the world's supply of iron ore within a few years, is inaccurate. There is enough iron ore known of to supply the world for centuries, and not a tithe probably of what exists has been discovered.
The fascinating truth that iron bacteria are manufacturing new deposits all of the time is not of great importance in bearing upon supply, for while it is believed that ore bodies are created with greater rapidity than was formerly thought, it cannot be hoped that nature is now keeping up with man's demands.
It is interesting to contemplate that the greatest operated deposits of iron ore in the world are located in arctic and sub-arctic regions, or in zones where nearly half the year is winter, as in the Lake Superior country. This may be partially accounted for by the potentiality of and volume of commercial activity in the colder regions, for there are extensive iron ore formations in the tropics and sub-tropics.
Remember also that iron bacteria live in clear water and are not at home in impure water. In the colder regions water is most likely to be pure ; in hotter zones it is most apt to be impure.
Along the isothermal of half a growing year and half a resting year life is intense, as the period of inertia is perfect rest. Consequently here Nature seems to do more work than in the tropics, and of a better quality. This is proven by the extreme tilthfulness of certain sections of the Lake Superior region and of Siberia. There are several kinds of iron ore if consideration is given to close technical classification. For the practical purposes of the explorer and prospector it is almost enough to know iron stone from other stones. Next he learns that magnetic ore or magnetite attracts the compass needle and that hematite ore does not. By ?hefting" it in his hand and by scrutinizing the texture he can give a close guess to its percentage of metallic iron content; can come quite close to it by weighing it in the air and in the water, so as to learn the relative specific gravity of the specimen under examination. If there is much sulphur it is indicated by a showing of iron pyrites.
Phosphorus is a disturbing component and can only be determined by analysis. Titanium is worst of all and cannot be detected without an analysis. It is almost never formidably present in hematite. Upon being powdered, hematite shows reddish, hence its name. Magnetite powder black and limonite, yellow. It is not important to recognize martite independently. In America better ores rendered siderite valueless for a time, although it is profitably mined in Austria and also in Canada.
Once it was supposed that all iron ore deposits of sufficient size to be commercially valuable, showed an outcropping somewhere. This idea has been abandoned for the more accurate one that all iron ore formations, near enough to the surface to contain reachable enrichments, show somewhere upon the surface. Where they dip below the top of the ground they may be traced accurately nearly always by the use of dial compass and dipping needle; preferably the former. All magnetic ore formations are easily mapped. Zones of hematite, taconite, siderite, itabarite and some others, can be de- pended upon to have formatioual attraction that can be utilized very satisfactorily in mapping. Limonite, martite and kindred bog ores, may possess no associated magnetism and consequently, if covered by much overburden, their discovery is accidental, through the channels of excavations and erosion artificial and natural.
Where igneous flows intrude sedimentary rocks, the iron hunter looks with greatest care.
READING THE STORY OF STONES AS PRINTED ON THE PAGES OF THE EARTH?S SURFACES
IN general iron ore reconnoissances where much territory must be covered and frequent long marches made little attention is paid to anything but out- cropping rocks. In this way alone it is possible almost beyond a doubt easily to determine whether a region contains an iron ore formation. This statement is predicated upon the fact of a reasonable frequency of rock exposures. In a land of tundra, and stream and glacial drift, more care must be exercised.
Such a section is not attractive to the ordinary prospector. Sometimes it is the case that glaciers have cut off and picked up extensive iron ore lenses and trans- ported them for hundreds of miles. When the travel has been for a long distance, the ore is lost amidst the other glacial cargo or dissipated by water action upon lateral or terminal moraines.
It may be possible that in some instances the ore may be carried for only a short distance and dumped in large pockets. Some keen geological observers contend that the iron ores of Michigan and Minnesota have been carried from the Lake Superior north shore in Canada in this manner. Interesting speculation if nothing more.
When an iron ore region is found, more careful work is necessary in order to define the length, width and direction of the iron formation. Still more care must be given in order to find the richer concentrations that do not extrude obviously.
To learn the boundaries of the iron formation, the territory may be cut into sections, roughly mapped and then gone over expeditiously with eye for outcrops, and the dial compass and dipping needle for under-ground evidence.
The search for "shipping? ore, that is ore that can be marketed to a profit, is most compelling, and in its prosecution hundreds of millions of dollars have been expended. The prospector does much preliminary work, which is sometimes rewarded. He follows every creek and even searches the river shores and especially at gorges, where rock formations are exposed. Ravines, gullies between hills, and every depression that is touched by running water may yield rich returns in knowledge. Cavities left by the overturned stumps of trees and the material clinging to their roots, may give up secrets never told before. A windfall in a forest in an iron ore country may expose as much ledge and formation as could otherwise be done by the expenditure of thousands of dollars. Classification and study of the pebbles in a stream bed should not be neglected.
I think the greatest charm of prospecting is not the hope of finding wealth; it is the life in the clean, unhurt out-of-doors. God is in the lakes and streams, in the sky and stars, in the hills and valleys, in the throat of birds and even in the ululations of wolf, owl and frog, in everything, of everything--Everything.
Time after time I have come upon a little lake set as a jewel in the hills that adorn nature's wedding ring to heaven, the circle of the horizon. No human eyes. perhaps not even those of the stream-haunting aboriginal north man, had ever beheld it.
Then always I would kneel down on the escarpment and whisper a word of praise to God, or I would raise my eyes to heaven, drop my tump line to my chest, lift my hat and let my soul pour out in mute and helpless thanksgiving. I wish I could tell just how I felt at such times; better yet, I wish every one might feel the same thing. No poet's ecstasy or musician's rhapsody could be half so sweet, it seems to me, unless they are much the same.
Lying at night on the rocks with only the starry heavens above me I seemed sometimes to hear with Pythagoras the music of the spheres.
Prospecting in the north country is hard or easy, de- pending upon the prospector, his thoughts, his desires, his heart, his whole being. If he is so constituted that he can see and feel the divinely raptured solitudes, his life will be biggened and he will develop within himself those rich things of spirit, that are worth more than even all the iron ore in the world; also he may find the iron ore.
I do not think I have reminded you, as having a bearing upon the selfish side of the proposition, that the iron ore of the world is worth more in dollars and cents than the combined value of all the diamonds, gold and silver. After manufacture, it possesses a greater money value than all the wheat in the world. But it is so big and common and near that it is not appreciated particularly any more than are pure air and sunlight.
I am writing these things down because of my previously stated belief that more iron ore exists and will be discovered in the future, than has been found in the past. North of us lies the vastest unexplored territory in the world. I refer to the Dominion of Canada. It is rich, and where it is untouched by man, it is clean. There is not a drop of unwholesome water nor any poisonous insects nor reptiles between Lake Superior and the aurora borealis. In summer there are mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums, but these are only trifles to the real man. Even the poor Indian and Esquimo become immune to them, and then why should not the white man with his alleged superiority, if he really has the goods. To young men of courage and resource the limitless North offers the cleanest fight in the world, and if you win, the fruits of victory are plenteous and satisfying.
This cannot be said of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, where exist the largest and richest iron ore deposits in the world, and where much ore will be found that is not known of now, because the possible districts are nearly all held by private owners. The great iron and copper companies have had visions, and have bought extensive holdings wherever there is a chance that values exist I suppose there are two sides to this state of affairs, but I must confess that I think it is all wrong.
Even the lumbermen, who bought the public domain for a dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, reserve the mineral rights when they sell. Undeveloped wealth of this kind has been easy to hold so far. Frequently it has paid no tax at all and it never has paid enough. In Minnesota, before the Mesaba Range was discovered and even afterwards before the range had been mapped with any accuracy, lumbermen cut off pine and then abandoned their timber lands to the State. In quite a few instances valuable iron ore has been discovered upon these lands, from which the State receives a very considerable income in royalties.
When the United States Government survey was made in the Lake Superior country, any mineral values that were in evidence along the survey lines were faithfully reported. There was not much value then to tempt them not to do so because the country was new and without transportation facilities and generally undeveloped.
Since that time a great deal of important geological work has been done by the Government, and by the States of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and others. This work has had particular economical puposes. Such distinguished names as Douglas Houghton, Brooks and Pumpelly, Charles Wright, Irving, Smythe, Lane, Winchell, Chamberlain, Seaman, Van Hise, Leith, Hotchkiss, Merriam, Allen, Coleman, Miller and others are familiar to those who are interested. At a time when most of these men could have turned their knowledge into money, they have been ethical to an extent that is most praiseworthy. I do not know one of these who took advantage of his chance to make a profit ; not a single quack among them.
Dr. R.C. Allen was the state geologist while I was governor of Michigan. I asked him why he did not endeavor to trace the Gogebic Range across the Wisconsin boundary southward. To the west across the Montreal River, the Gogebic Range takes the name of the Penoka. It has not yet been very productive of commercial ore bodies. I thought that to the south or southwest of Sunday Lake and Wakefield there might be values. Dr. Allen had been thinking along the same line and had even done a little work. He went into the field work there more eagerly.
Soon he was approached by Chicago land owners who had the title to a wide area under examination. Dr. Allen came to me at once and asked me to advise him what to da He greatly wished to see such drilling done as would expose the formation, but he did not wish to engage in private work for others while employed by the State; nor did he desire directly or indirectly to give data that belonged to all the people of the State to these few persons, in advance of his reports, which would convey the knowledge to the public
I told him to talk the matter over with the land owners and see if he could not get them to do drilling that would be of value to both the public and themselves. He succeeded in this.
The same question must have come to other state geologists many times. Their uniform attitude of unselfishness and fidelity has impressed me deeply, and has helped me to higher planes of thought Their fine character has not been known or appreciated by the public at large.
GREAT LEAN OUTCROPPING OF IRON ORE UNSEEN UNDER THE VERY EYES OF THE WORLD
There is not in the whole world a shore line more interesting than that of the north coast of Lake Superior. Black and brown and green and gray and red cliffs guard there with as much importance as though they were true continental shelves. At intervals crowning peaks, like Cape Choyye and Noble Promontory, stand up like titanic watch towers. Choyye and Gargantua, as they are called commonly by the few fishermen and Indians alongshore, supply a clew to the classical types of men who gave them name. Choyye was Capuchin, and the other was Rabelais' monster. Behind Gargantua is Pantagruel, never mentioned by the habitants. Just above they are better acquainted with Menebozho and his wife and two dogs. Never passes an Indian, whether Majinutin, Wauboosch or Nishishinawog or Bill Waiskai's grandfather, who does not place tobacco on the stone lap of the Indian god, next in power to Kitchee Manido. I have seen them do it ; sometimes hungrily and regretfully, because tobacco is tobacco among them. But if perchance coincidence would note some evidence of the pleasure of the Chippewa Sphinx, such as the lessening of a gale, or the arrival of a breeze after days of doldrums, the stoical visage of the devotee becomes almost a smiling mask. The waters of Lake Superior are the coldest and the purest in the world, not even excepting Lake Baikal in Siberia, and in their clearness, that must be seen to be realized, they offer the greatest possible contrast to the murky, sickening, hot infusorial waters of Victoria Nyanza, the only body of fresh water that rivals it in size and that only in surface area.
Rivers and creeks hurtle down from the height of land, which is from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty miles northward, as though glad to escape from the salt demons of Hudson Bay and Arctic Ocean. These rivers supply natural hatcheries for brook trout. This has given Superior, from Nepigon to Batchewaung, a bepurpled reputation among sportsmen everywhere. In the streams and along the rocks the trout fishing is unsurpassed. Perhaps the rock fishing offers the best sport. Little jagged bays filled with talus make shadowy places where the shy fishes may hide. Benches of rock drop off into many crystal fathoms, and in their blackened cracks lurk old speckled kings that rise to flies eagerly, and would rather fight than eat. Olivines and epidotes make floors of verde antique, and pegmatite shows red as blood above and also beneath the waters. Columnar basalts, some lying like corded wood and others erect as the Giant's Causeway, occupy what were once crevasses in the granite gneiss and syenite before the molten lava filled the world-making mold. Beach line upon beach line, terraced, mark the recession of the contents of the earth's greatest basin of sweet water. Underneath the boulders of these beaches icy cold streamlets, from some spring or nearby rocky pool, flow into the lake with much gurgling glee. Sometimes these imseen laughing waters are boisterous, and one is called Noisy River. The last ice belt disturbed many of the ancient beaches and pushed the boulders into heaps at right angles to the lake, like so many lateral moraines, which they are not.
There is not a house along hundreds of miles of shore. It is a wild bright land in the summer; death on all sides in the winter. Rock-embraced harbors are at intervals of twelve to twenty miles. Moose and caribou and red deer, bear and wolves and wolverines, beaver, otter and sable are in the hinterland, and birds and hares and little red squirrels and a few singing gophers. Summer companions are black flies and mosquitoes and midgets. Banksian pine on the slopes, spruce and balsam in the valleys, high bush cranberries, sand cherries, blue berries and Indian plums (shad bush berry), white birch, mountain ash, pinus strobus, tamarack, black currants, red raspberries, pin cherries, skunk berries, juniper, yew, seven bark wood and a lot more vegetation grows, and berries ripen in the fleeting period between snow and snow.
It is a wild race between summer life and winter death. Ice does not thaw in the woodland lakes until June. Tripe de roche decorates the barren rocky tumuli and is sought by caribou, and when famine shows its bony clutches man also uses this rock tripe lichen for food.
Some day no traveled person will be content until he has seen the north shore of Lake Superior. Now only a few fish boats ply there, and to visit the region, one must either take these or fit out an Indian Mackinac boat and crew, or have his own yacht. Inaccessible as it is, the north shore is visited by a good many each season, and sometimes thousands go to the often-crowded Nepigon. The best stretch is the long one between Nepigon Bay and Bachewaung Bay. An ideal way is to coast along the shore in a Mackinac boat, camping and fishing at the mouths of the many rivers, or where attractive coves lure one.
Rock fishing is the most luxurious and artistic way to take trout The rod must have plenty of backbone. A two and a half to a four ounce rod will give satisfaction on a stream, but off the rocks of Lake Superior a rod weighing from five to six ounces is better. Seated in an Indian boat of good size and plenty of free board, because summer squalls are fierce and sudden, with one Indian to row, and a parmacheenee belle leader and Montreal dropper, the gods of joy are awake. The Indian, a Chippewa and probably from the tribe at Bachewaung, rows slowly and you cast towards the rocks. The water is as clear as plate glass and you can see the fish; see them dart into dark places under the rocks when they are frightened, and also see them plainly enough when they tower toward the surface, not unlike a swallow sweeping in midair, as they rise to the fly, swooping off if unhooked, or making such a gamy fight if caught. Artfulness is necessary, and one must be prepared to make a cast of forty to sixty feet and drop his flies as lightly as falling moth wings that do not splash.
I have traversed every foot of the Lake Superior shore clear around. Rock study on the north shore is more interesting than fishing. I am going to tell you of two interesting shore exposures. If you are young and ambitious perhaps you will look them up and trace out their meaning. I know of only three other persons, one of them Justice Joseph Hall Steere, of the Supreme Court of Michigan, who know them by name, and they have their information from me. This, notwithstanding the fact that these rocks have been seen by thousands. Dozens of times I have rowed past them with the late Alfred Noble, who was an engineer of the Pennsylvania tunnels and subways at New York, and who was largely responsible for the decision to make the Panama Canal a lock canal and not a sea level canal was one of the most able of Americans. He was a charming camp mate and most observant. Time after time we visited one of these rocks together be- cause it is on a famous fishing stretch, and he often went to it alone and with others, but he never recognized it. Each season I was determined to tell him, and then I would be tempted to wait and permit him to have the satisfaction of discovery. I went off to Africa and Madagascar for a couple of years, and while I was away Mr. Noble took the long rest.
Those who fish the north shore know Brule Harbor and Indian Harbor as well as they know their own back yard, if ihey possess a back yard. Just below Brule Harbor debouches Old Woman's River in a bay, the bottom of which is covered with small boulders toward Brule, and sand carried out by the river on the other side. The boulder patch offers fine trout up to four pounds and on the other side of the sand, where the cliff rocks begin, and where for years lay the wreck of the Golspie, a well-known tragedy of the shore, trout of five and six pounds may be killed. Noble Promontory, with a simian's face when caught in right alignment, exults the landscape. About halfway to Indian Harbor is majestic Cape Choyye, and the fishing all the way is unsurpassed. There is not a harbor, even for small boats, between Brule and Indian Harbor. Just after leaving Choyye, bound down, quite a deep bay sets in. On the lower side a well defined sand spit, covered with stunted birch and conifers, makes a contrast to the miles of frowing headlands on wither side. At the bottom of this bay, just about a shelving beach where Justice Steeere and I were once wrecked by a tidal wave, a little river flows in. It is the outlet of a chain of petty lake lets. Exactly opposite the mouth of this stream, and concealing it from the view of a person rowing by, is a big, picturesque red rock. It is simply called the ?redrock? and is a landmark. Standing more than a hundred feet high and some hundreds long and wide, it is as interesting as a Magna Mater when you recognize it a hematite iron ore. That is is very lean so far a percentage of metallic iron content is concerned, is true, which does no detract from its interest and even value too, when considered as evidence.
As one faces down stream on the right wall of the creek, a short distance from this hematite exposure, one can see a big showing of carbonate of iron ? siderite. The district near these has not been carefully examined. For years I have hoped to find time to do so, and only tell of it now as my contribution in part payment for what I have learned from unselfish geologists and sur- veyors. Somewhere not far distant should be found valuable deposits of iron ore, so convenient for trans- portation as to be unusually desirable.
Proceed with me down shore to Indian Harbor, on around the point and among the islands, whose water- worn caverns contain agates, chlorastrolites, thompsonites, calcites and amethysts to be had for the gathering, to Gargantua. One passes within a foot of Menebozho and his wife and dogs if he cares to. Sail on past the hidden harbor that marks Gargantua, the entrance to which is closed by an island like a cork in the neck of a bottle. There is a lighthouse on the island. A couple of miles below the lighthouse one comes to a red shore line. It is prominent for a mile or more perhaps. I have never measured the distance. All these reddish "rocks? are lean hematite ore. If they were to be found on the American side it would cause a sensation, and long ago they would have been owned by trusts.
I cannot easily account for the reason why these really wonderful outcrops are not known. I took Kirk Alexander and Tom May, of Detroit, to see the big red rock first described and told them about it, and showed them the siderite in the creek. Only Justice Steere has been with me when I visited the meaningful iron ore shore line below Gargantua. Once he sailed past it with Michel Cadotte, a north shore guide and now in the Happy Hunting Grounds.
Michel said, " See rocks, not rocks, different from rocks.''
He tried to tell the Justice something but did not succeed, and it was my pleasure to impart the secret to him. It is not unreasonable to expect that there are richer concentrations near in a region of such extensive lean ore exposures.
An iron formation skirts the Lake Superior north shore for hundreds of miles. Not much work has been done along it because it is in Canada, where the mining laws act as both guardian and deterrent. Also interest in this field has been small because upon the American side there has been enough ore to supply the demand; ore of fine quality and attractive economic location. Two shipping mines on the north shore, the Helen and Magpie, near Michipicoten, have proved valuable. Quite a little is known about the Antikokan range in the Port Arthur district, and enough exploratory work has been done at different places to warrant the belief that the north shore will be highly productive.
Another iron ore region of the north shore that is little known comparatively, lies adjacent to the Pukoso River, a half day's row above the Michipicoten. A little work has been done along the Pukoso by Indians, trappers and lumberjacks, which is as good as saying that not much has been accomplished. There is an extensive formation here of banded magnetite. Some of the bands are quite wide and rich. One day these ores will be won by electric concentration as at Moose Mountain, Dunderland and Lulea. Here the land may be staked. Most of the few claims that were taken along the Pukoso have been forfeited because of failure to fulfill the requirements of the Canadian Mining laws.
Even more attractive than the Pukoso country is the hinterland at Otter Head and above and below. I have seen good-looking surface showings over quite a wide stretch of country in this region, and believe confidently that the future will reveal iron ore and other mineral values.
And so on I could tell such a long story of the attractions and prospects of the Canadian north shore. It is a way that every age has, wherein young men contemporaries sigh and state that there are not as many opportunities now as when their fathers were boys. Forever will this be true. The young man alert with industry and ambition will have more chances than he can take advantage of; the other kind would not know it or avail himself if he were thrown among a million opportunities. I would not urge the young man to money grub who is not compelled to; rather let him give of himself to society in some useful way as Theodore Roosevelt has done. All of us cannot be Roosevelts, but all of us can do our best, which will be something anyhow.
To the young man who has not and must have, in order to steam himself up, the north is calling; the west is beckoning; the soil is coaxing. Everywhere masters are in search of trustworthy, energetic, loyal youth. Never was there such an era of plenty to be plucked by all who will bestir themselves out of the common ruts of sloth and indolence. What a measure of boys I have gotten when I have had half a hundred of them in the wilderness with me, and have offered a reward to all who would beat me to the bathing place in the morning. Out of fifty not more than one or two would race with me to the creek or lake near camp. When we had to break the ice in the late autumn in order to bathe frequently not one boy in a hundred would do it. For near forty years now I have lived in the robust north and in winter I have taken a run naked and rolled in the snow every morning before breakfast, when in the woods, say at four o'clock. In all that time I have known of only one young man who would follow my ex- ample, without being ridiculed into it or compelled in some way.
There are only two driving forces: one is necessity and the other is love, and the latter is best. One may have love of work without necessity, and the effort is noble that is thus made. Necessity and love together beget twice-born offspring.
INTO THE HEART OF THE ARCTIC LAPLAND WHERE THE MYSTERIES ARE ATTUNED TO THE MUFFLED FOOTFALLS OF SILENCE
ONE winter near the close of the last century, I found myself alone in Europe engaged in visiting iron ore fields. I started in the United Kingdom and then proceeded to Spain, where I found the old Bilbao district of consuming interest. I did not tarry long in Italy but proceeded into Germany and on into Russia, and over the Urals. Doubling back I went into Finland at Helsingfors. North to Uleaborg I found good enough railroad conveniences, with women for sleeping car attendants. At Uleaborg I decided to travel on north to Tornea, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, and around the gulf to Lulea in Sweden. As usual, not two persons told me the same distance. The map route measured about three hundred miles, but there was no road, and all the way until we reached Haparanda a direct course would be impossible. My destination was the Gellivare, Kirunavaara and Luosavaara iron districts in Lapland, all within the Arctic zone. It would have been easier and quicker to have doubled back to Abo, thence to have gone across the Baltic through the beautiful Aaland Islands to Stockholm, and north through Upsala to Lulea and Gellivare by rail. But I had a chance to go among the Lapps and traverse an Arctic region that is visited almost never in the winter, and seldom enough in the summer. It was middle February. The weather was below zero all the time, and some of the time far below. There was plenty of snow. I engaged several Lapps and enough reindeer to draw me and them, having at the time no idea how many would be required. To my complete surprise I learned that men, women and children would all go with me. It was interesting. Rarely will Lapp families permit themselves to be separated. When they get down to brass tacks the women are the rulers. I made all of my arrangements with a squat, fat, little head man or chief, but I noticed that he engaged in frequent consultations with his wife. The greater number of them are Lutherans and good and kindly, but an exceedingly independent people. Resembling the Esquimo in physique they possess a better intellect, and temperamentally are more like the Kachins of Upper Burma or the Thibetans. I am just about six feet tall. There was not a Lapp in my party that could not walk erect under my arm extended horizontally.
Men, women and children are fat and greasy, and as they seldom bathe they are, in a sense, dirty. Such habits of life as they have could not endure in a land less clean. and wholesome. In all Lapland there is not an unclean thing except the Lapps, and really I soon forgot to think of them as being dirty, even with the contrast they made to the sweet air and the immaculate snow. As a people they are rich and independent. Their government is tribal, and to a considerable extent it is communal.
There had been a famine in the north Baltic and Bothnian regions, and zealous persons, who too often make it their profession, had been collecting money from liberal countries for their relief. None of this was desired by the Lapps or accepted by them. There was no poverty among them, and while their standards of living are not high they never are in want of necessaries. Property is not held in common exactly, but may be used in common in case of need. I saw one chief Lapp of whom it was said that he owned twenty thousand reindeer. He was a Lapp millionaire but did not conduct a reindeer trust.
Wealth in Lapland is measured in reindeer. They are everything, and when compared with gold they take on a warmth of value that is appealing. The Lapp drinks the milk of the reindeer, eats its flesh, makes clothing of its skin; weapons, implements, furniture and harness of its bone. He even uses its hair for many purposes and the sinews and viscera are very valuable. Fancy being able to do this with a chunk of gold. A drink of milk of gold would be a mockery, and if you do not believe it just take a swallow of the delusive German goldwasser beverage. The yellow metal is only a convenience. It has no real value and is only a measure of or representative of value. It is a necessity, no doubt, but it is also concentrated selfishness, and gives people an incurable disease that permits a few to control the wealth of the world to an extent greater than is for the good of mankind. Robinson Crusoe could do nothing with gold, but he could have done famously with a reindeer.
The Lapps almost worship them, but do not treat them with the demonstrations of endearment that a Bedouin lavishes upon his she camel, only because that is not their nature. In the winter they feed their working reindeer on rock lichens or reindeer moss. They are kept in the lowlands and valleys in the winter. During the short season of summer they are herded at an elevation that insures cool, if not cold weather and even snow, for they die off if subjected to warmth. In this respect they are like the llama that will not thrive in most of the Andean lands below an altitude of two or three thousand feet. The Lapps themselves fare better in the highlands in summer and there they go.
Christmas is their great feast day. It is also their funeral season. They bury their dead once a year. Preserved in snow and ice during the year, corpses are disinterred from their frigid temporary mausoleum at Christmas and given a ceremonial, final burial.
A reindeer sledge is quite exactly like a Hoosier hog trough. It is hollowed out of a log about four feet, sometimes four and a half feet, long and rounding, log- shaped on the bottom. This causes the thing to roll over if given any kind of a chance. To acquire the art of riding in one is a similar experience to learning to ride a bicycle, and something like learning to swim. A six-foot body crumpled into a four-foot sledge and calked with furs is at first a clumsy arrangement, but it is possible for it, as I found, to become a part of the sledge when the feat of balancing comes to one. It does come, for all of a sudden your mental gyroscope is automatic, and you do not know how you have done it.
A sledge may be drawn by one, two or three reindeer with spare and bare animals trotting behind or alongside. There was never less than two hitched to my sledge. This was done by fastening a reindeer thong, a Boer would call it a riem, to the bow of the sledge, passing it between the legs of the reindeer and tying it to a hames at the breast of the base of the neck and below. These hames were made of reindeer ribs and fitted snugly. They never seemed to gall. The second reindeer was attached tandem by fastening the single tug to the first one just behind the hames. And so on the third would be tandem also. Headmen at ceremonies sometimes have fifty or even more reindeer in a tandem team, and then it is not uncommon for several sledges to be tied together, one behind the other.
The food and its preparation was very interesting. The headman had several pots of iron and tin. Pot hooks of bone and bone spoons were common to all. Quite a few of them, both women and men, carried crude, home-made knives; there were also skinning knives of bone. My headman had a little, solid silver, home-made pipe, not much bigger than the Japanese use. He kept this going with a mixture of coffee and tobacco. Everybody smoked, mostly bone pipes, if they had the "makings." These pipes, and particularly the silver ones, would get very hot, but the Lapps seemingly were unmindful of this. The chiefs cooking was all done in pots. Fuel had to be carried and was scant.
Some of the others cooked, or rather heated their meat, by placing hot stones in birch-bark buckets containing water. No stop of any kind was made without boiling the coffee pot. It was carried by hand, and as its contents were water and milk and coffee, it was handled carefully. For seasoning the coffee the Lapps use salt and pepper instead of sugar; not much salt, but plenty of pepper. All hands drank out of the coffee pot, using it as a loving cup. There was always plenty of hair in the coffee. This kept it from slopping out as it was carried, and also compelled one to strain it through his teeth in order to drink with comfort. The Paraguayans have a better way in taking their yerba mate. They suck it through a stem to which a little woven wicker sieve is attached.
We also had raw, frozen fish for a delicacy. The raw fish made me sick finally and I gave it up, since which time I have been unfriendly even to sardellen and kindred preparations. I do not like to be finicky about eating, because I have always thought that it is a measure of mental breadth and elasticity. Notwithstanding, I do not like raw fish. Bah !
For bread we had unleavened cakes made from flour and the ground bark of the dwarfed popple and birch. I thought I could tell the popple cakes from the birchen cakes by their greater bitterness. These cakes had been baked for a long time; weeks, months or years before, I do not know which.
At night they would erect skin tepees if it was stormy ; in fact, almost always we put them up. If the wind blew hard, snow would be piled around the bottom. I have only occupied an igloo a few times, but I have an idea that they are warmer than the reindeer skin house used by the Lapp. Sometimes I tried to sleep in my sledge, but I would get cramps and would have to dig out and stretch. During the day I often walked for a change. Always while so doing I would be chagrined because I had to make an extra effort to keep up with the stride of the reindeer, and the goose waddle of the Lapps. There were seventeen in the party, including me. The Lapps were of all sizes and sexes. There was no sex false delicacy, but social morals are rigidly observed.
The snow-covered wastes were like almost level plains and the hardened surface made walking easy. We had fourteen sledges and ninety-one reindeer. Some of the animals were too young to work and some of them were used only as milk cows. Forage made up the most of the cargo. Fuel too. We had no vegetables of any kind. The Lapps and Eskimos seem to be immune to scorbutical attacks.
We met with no unsurmountable obstructions. Making short cuts across fjords brought us up against windrows of ice and snow sometimes which forced detours, or made negotiation more or less exacting. The weather much of the time was clear and cold, and in morning and evening and at night the air would contain fine ice particles. I had seen the same conditions in the Lake Superior and Hudson Bay regions. We were following the Arctic Circle at about 66Â° north, varying. Our course was at first north, then northwest, then west and then south. In the middle of the day the sun was warm and dazzling, and I had to protect my eyes from snow blindness. The Lapps were not bothered with anything.
We had a few pairs of skis, but had no use for them until we reached a Lapp town or winter encampment between Haukipudas and Pudasjarvi. They were preparing for a big hunt on skis for wolverines, the great enemy of the young reindeer and the subject of intense dislike by the Lapps. If I could have done so, and I could not, J would not have told them that they call the people Wolverines where I lived. Probably they would have dumped me in a snow cave and speared me with a dull bone spear and left me.
I wonder why they call Michigan folk Wolverines? They are not gluttons, and that animal was never numerous in the State.
My party joined the wolverine hunt. A great circle was formed and the contraction of it was achieved in good order, with much guttural yelling. A lot of wolverines were rounded up, some of which escaped the steel and also bone pointed spears. Twenty-nine were killed. This was enough to warrant a celebration and feast Much peppered coffee was drunk and reindeer meat consumed. There were ski races, reindeer races and spear-throwing contests.
It was good to note the complete absence of alcoholics. Not even the headmen had guns or pistols. I noticed that a good many of the Lapps from farther north had a dangerous-looking weapon made from a stone tied with a thong like a sling. The rock was not supposed to leave the sling when thrown. They use it in capturing ptarmigan and for several hunting purposes.
I could not tell very nearly how far we traveled each day. Some days we seemed to make good marches and upon others we would not go as far. I think the least distance covered in a day was ten miles and the greatest probably thirty, with an average perhaps of sixteen. We did not go into Haukipudas where I had expected to check up. There were several camps en route but they were movable and temporary. I managed to recognize Simo and also Kemi and I estimated that we should soon arrive in Tornea. In this I was mistaken, and the first thing I knew we had passed it and arrived in Haparanda, from which point there is a marked road to Lulea by way of Nederkalix and Tornea.
Tornea is at the mouth of the Tome Elf, which flows out of the arctic lake Torne Trask, and I had hoped to see it At Tornea our road, much of it so drifted as to be totally unrecognizable, intersected a road between Lulea and Gellivare.
We had crossed a number of rivers, called johi in Finland and elf in Swedish. They are considerable streams, as the Bothnian drainage basin extends eight- tenths of the way to the Arctic Ocean, leaving only a comparatively narrow strip between the height of land and the ocean. There are low mountains between the rivers, and thinly interspersed are fringes of scraggly, dwarfed trees, mostly birches, none of them exceeding a height of ten or twelve feet. Their crooked, gnarled, scarred boles suggested gnomes or little, old, dried-up Japanese men and the dwarfed trees they delight in cultivating.
I did not see much evidence of life, but there was more than I expected to find inland. There are Arctic hares, foxes, wolverines, polar bear (not many), wild reindeer or caribou, ptarmigan and two large gallinae, something like blackgame. The bigger one of these edible game birds weighs ten to twelve pounds. They are not plentiful.
The only hardship I suffered worth considering was the food, and I think that I would not have minded that much if I had not been made sick by the raw fish. At first I did not know a word of Lappish, and not one of my Lapps knew a word of English. It took forty-one days to make the trip. Every day I learned several words, and it was not long before I could get along very well. One also becomes an expert pantomimist.
I was glad to reach Lulea. After an inspection of the successful electrical concentration works, that refine the Gellivare magnetite, I was ready to proceed to the source of the ore at Malmberg, near Gellivare. A railroad built to haul this iron ore to the sea offered a very good passenger service. I think it was the first railroad to be built in the Arctic zone anywhere in the world.
At Gellivare I found the manager of the mines a most engaging and hospitable gentleman, who had visited the Michigan iron mines. He was gracious in every way and made my visit to Gellivare pleasant and memorable. I studied the ore and iron formations there for a few days and went on to Kirunavaara and Luosavaara. The railroad was being continued by the Swedish government to these great ore fields, and in conjunction with Norway across the Riksgransen to an Arctic open seaport, now called Narvik, on Ofoten Fjord.
Before leaving for Kirunavaara I climbed the Dundret, a famous mountain near Gellivare, to see the mid- night sun. It is scarcely worth while to do this if one is to remain long in the "Land of the Midnight Sun,'' because no special trip is necessary to see it.
I stopped for a day at Boden, where I witnessed the work of construction upon quite a formidable fort Sweden was building to protect that portion of the boundary, and especially the new railroad, from the dreaded Russians. Wherever I went in Northern Sweden I found a shadowy fear of the bear's claws, and well-informed Swedes seemed to be certain that in the long run the new Arctic railroad would fall into the hands of the Russians.
In the more populous portions of Sweden the political topic most discussed was the strained relations between Norway and Sweden. There was more agitation in Norway over this than in Sweden. It was freely predicted that Norway would secede from the Scandinavian Union with Sweden, and that perhaps there would be war. Upon my return to the United States I was roundly abused by Swedish-American newspapers for a statement of my belief that the Union would not endure much longer. The only thing that prevented actual hostilities when the break came was the courage and preparedness of Norway, the Norse reputation for valor, and the conviction on the part of Sweden that Norway could neither be conquered nor coerced.
DEPOSITS OF IRON ORE AND BEDS OF COAL UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE POLE
the Arctic Circle anywhere the route on north is a bleak one in the winter. Snow fields, bare, cold, gaunt, rocky ridges, almost no sign of vegetation or animal life, make a region that would repel anything almost but selfish or needful men. Infrequently I saw Lapp winter camps. It is a lonesome world. All visitors to the far north notice the oppressive stillness: "the muffled footfalls of silence," as quiet as a noise too great to hear.
The Kirunavaara-Luosavaara iron ore fields contain the most extensive deposits of magnetite known in the world. It may be that they possess a greater tonnage than any, even more than the Mesaba of Minnesota, or the Itabira, of Minas Geraes, Brazil. They are located in the northwest part of Swedish Lapland, well within the Arctic Circle, and not far from the boundary between Norway and Sweden.
The region had not been thoroughly explored when I visited it in the last decade of eighteen hundred, but enough was known to warrant expensive measures to get the ore into the markets of the world. Since the first attack upon it much more has been learned, until there remains no doubt that there is a most remarkable tonnage. The ore is a magnetite. It runs as high as sixty-nine per cent, in metallic iron. I was assured that cargoes averaging as high as that could be shipped.
Some of it is low enough in phosphorus to make it a Bessemer ore, which process is impossible to ore containing more than one-thousandth of one per cent, of phosphorus to one per cent, of metallic iron, unless, of course, that ore higher than that in phosphorus is mixed with an ore much lower in phosphorus. Sulphur in the Kirunavaara ore varies. The percentage is always rather high, but not enough to be prohibitive of treatment. The most objectionable ingredient of the ore is titanium, which is present to as great a degree as one per cent.
It was generally considered among metallurgists that so much titanium as that rendered ore unfit for use and valueless. They had as yet discovered no way to flux titaniferous ore. It would become sticky and mushy and would not flow freely.
Inability to handle such ore, because of lack of knowledge, caused a condemnatory report to be made upon the titaniferous iron ore range north of Port Arthur in Canada, that has kept that region undeveloped to this day. It nearly operated in the same way with the Kirunavaara field.
Now methods are employed that do away with the objections to the presence of titanium up to one per cent, or even in greater quantities.
At the time of my visit the Kirunavaara range had been traced for sixty miles. Where the railroad touched the range and the first mining was begun, practically an uninterrupted outcrop of iron ore extended for more than five miles. Some places it was seven hundred feet above the surface. At one point it dipped under a small lake and had been cut with a diamond drill operated Even with the lower wages prevailing, the cost of getting out the ore was greater than upon any of the American ranges. Coal was a problem and I was told that a cargo of iron ore had been sent to Canada in exchange for a return cargo of coal. Since that time, John H. Longyear, of Michigan, has opened coal measures upon Spitzbergen, and the fuel question has been solved in a measure.
From Kininavaara to the ocean at Narvik the railroad is a series of snow sheds and tunnels, requiring superior courage and engineering in construction. Narvik was just being built. The ore docks, pockets and tarries were of steel and plans for an important port had been made.
Since then, I am informed, that as much as fifteen million tons have been shipped from Narvik in a year, more than half of it going to Essen, Germany, where the great Krupp iron works are located.
At Narvik I visited the cod fisheries among the Ofoteci or Lofoden Islands and formed a new aversion to that efficacious remedy codliver oil. Also I saw the famous maelstrom, caused, as is well known, by the tidal waters choking between rocky islands. A portion of the wild ocean is forced through with roars and hisses and churning and foam. Sometimes the maelstrom reminds one of the great tidal bores that are to be seen in some of the rivers on the China coast. The twisting, charging, convulsive waters eddy and swirl, and require little imagination to look wicked and justify the demon stories told in Norse by Skald and Saga, from primitive times down to the present. They could easily have wrecked the Viking ships, which were not ships at all but only big, clumsy, mostly open boats, very similar to the little traders and fisher craft that dodge in and out along the rocky, saw-edged coast today.
I found good coastwise steamers and had a comfortable and pleasurable trip to Tromsoe and Hammerfest. It was not so easy to get to North Cape and over to Spitzbergen, about four hundred and fifty miles from the mainland.
West Spitzbergen area about fifteen thousand square miles ; North East Land, about four thousand, and Edge Island, about two thousand five hundred square miles, form the No Man's Land group, known as Spitzbergen, They are between seventy-six and eighty-one north latitudes. West Spitzbergen is nothing more than a rock- girt ice house. A central plateau of ice forces glaciers down to the sea through giant rifts. All around the coastal belt one may hear roaring, splashing, rumbling, cracking, as the huge ends of ice rivers break off into the sea, fractured by their own ponderousness, and float off as icebergs. Tourists generally visit the west coast where a hotel has been built in connection with a weekly, in summer, steamer service.
The Dutch are credited with the discovery of Spitzbergen in 1596, but no nation claims it. If anything it is American, because an American company, led by John M. Longyear, of Michigan, is mining and shipping coal from there. They have a shaft down through frozen material more than one thousand two hundred feet, the deepest ice shaft in the world. It is reported that these mines have recently been sold to Russia for thirty million dollars.
Many interesting fossils have been exhumed, mostly of a tropical nature, proving the polar regions once to have been warm before the tilting ice cap and precession of the equinoxes caused an axial shift. Huge palm fronds have been dug out and vast quantities of imbedded fossil coprolites have been encountered. In summer the sun glare and reflected heat on the interior ice fields is trying. Over one hundred species of au- tochthonous flowering plants and ferns have been classified.
Rabot and Sir Martin Conway have done some exploration, but really little is known about Spitzbergen.
By the time of my return down the Norse coast the headlands black-bordered shore and shadowy fjords were compelling, and kept one's senses alert and emotions stirred. I could easily see how the hardy folk were content to remain the thralls of such environment. Every color that sky and sea could assume was present; the fjords were Rembrandtian bins of gloom with all arrangements of chiaroscuro from arrows of sunlight to pitchy dungeon depths of darkness.
Over the cliffs poured silvery streamlets fed by melting snow, making a black and white barred coast line and even suggesting troops of white horse cavalry concealed over the top of the escarpment, with only their straggling white tails hanging in view over and down.
The deep green of spear-topped tannenbaum amidst snow formed a fairy background. Altogether the scenery in April and May along the north coast of Norway is indescribably fascinating and beautiful.
Flocks of water fowl took wing, fishes broke through the water to the surface, the clumsy eider duck quacked to its nesting mate, and spring in gnomeland was in the nostrils.
On the way down the coast I found Throndjem and its ancient cathedral and hall of the Vikings worth some hours.
I worked my way inland to the famous older iron fields of Sweden, and finally arrived at Stockholm after a fine canal trip.
One must be charmed with Stockholm with its singing Malar and its intrusive water roads, so much sweeter than those of Venice, if not quite so romantic and colorful.
In these days the Swedes give one the superficial impression of being sensualists, living only to eat and drink and unrein their passions. There was a deeper side than that in evidence at the smorgos board and the puntsch table, that told of more serious things and higher ideals.
The culture that starts at Upsala may be traced in its admirable diffusion if one takes the trouble to do so. The Swedes are democratic, but not so much so as the Norwegians, who have no superiors as a worthy and fine people.
A STARVATION HIKE TO HUNT FOR A HIDDEN RANGE OF IRON ORE
In the course of my years of summer explorations in Canada I heard repeatedly of an iron dam on the Vermillion River, north of Georgian Bay. Gradually I worked in that direction. A Mr. MacCharles, who had been employed by me temporarily to do some work for my newspaper at the Sault, had gone to Sudbury in 1889. The nickel deposits had been attracting attention to the Sudbury district. Rumors of gold had sent prospectors as far afield as they could get into the wilderness and feed themselves.
Gold will cause more excitement and turn more people crazy than anything else in the world, not even excepting diamonds. This has been true of man since Jason and his argonauts went in search of the golden fleece.
There is always a pot of gold for somebody at the foot of a rainbow, and the rainbow chasing for gold has caused war and woe, sickness and sorrow, heartache and horror, hardness and hunger among men, from the beginning to this day of engulfing strife in Europe.
There is gold in the Vermillion River valley of Canada. It is strewn in fine particles through the sand everywhere, but nowhere has it paid for its winning and perhaps never will. Searchers for the mysterious "mother lode" that is supposed to be the source of all A placer gold, have not been successful in the Vermillion country.
MacCharles wore a tam o'shanter on his head, whiskers on his chin, a Scotch haggis dialect in his throat and had brains. From time to time he kept me in- formed as to the gold and nickel activities around Sudbury. I as repeatedly told him that I was not interested in gold and nickel, but would sit up and take notice if he had any iron ore clews. The fact that I could be interested in iron ore and not in gold, nickel or copper was too peculiar for his thought processes to follow. Nevertheless he was persistently in touch with me and one day told me about an iron dam on the Vermillion River up behind Sudbury, well towards the Height of Land. I had heard of something of the kind before but had gotten no details; in fact, had not previously arrived at a point where I was prepared to look into the thing. Now I was ready.
I went to Sudbury. It was October. The Vermillion was too low to permit of ascending it in canoes. I got a couple of men who told me they had gold claims near a certain falls on the river, where I had been told were the exposures of lean iron ore. They did not know iron ore when they saw it, but said that the rock at the falls in question was black and heavy, and where worn by ice and water showed a polish like steel. These men had never gone up river except when the stage of water permitted canoeing. However, they claimed to be woodsmen, and I was told they were reliable. Just at this juncture I made the only mistake of the kind that I have ever made.
An arrangement was entered into by which they were to pack for me and show me the falls of the iron dam. I directed them to outfit for a trip of a month, which they said they could and would do, and I trusted them and did not check over the supplies. This was an in- excusable omission that had a justifiable, if uncomfortable sequel.
In the office of the Balmoral Hotel at Sudbury there hung a rough and ready Canadian Pacific Railway advertising map. I glanced at it rather carelessly, but noted with some particularity the general course of the Vermillion River. It was not a very purposive map, but it was the only one I had seen. In fact, the region north of Sudbury had only been surveyed for a few miles, and that work had been done since the nickel excitement.
We started north, three of us. A short cut took us in a day to the Vermillion at Indian Dump. Crossing here we plunged into the trackless wilderness, and within three days more were beyond all signs of human life. I had figured that with any kind of luck at all we ought to have arrived at the iron falls in five days.
On the eighth day out I became convinced, from several apparent signs, that my men were lost so far as getting to our objective was concerned. When I put the matter to them flatly they admitted it.
They discovered to me the more embarrassing situation that our grub was running short. Then for the first time to my chagrin I realized my carelessness. These men had been accustomed to traveling with canoes; they were not old packers and woodsmen as I had been told, and were really tenderfeet away from a river that would float a canoe. Instead of taking flour and pork and tea, they had loaded up with a lot of impossible canned stuff, and even had some loaves of bread and crackers.
It was necessary at once to go on short rations, and might have been the part of wisdom to have turned back. I had never done such a thing as turn back, and it did not even occur to me. The men said they could locate themselves if they could get to the Vermillion. That seemed easy. We were west of that river. I took a course a little north of east and held to it, except where detours were forced by lakes, miry swamps and now and then a talus-footed range of low, rocky mountains.
On the third day after I became the guide we arrived at a stream that they said was the Vermillion. Further- more they agreed that we were below the iron dam, which they thought we could reach in one day's march upstream. We checked over our grub carefully and found it distressingly low. I was carrying the covering for all of us, three blankets and a light shed tent done up in a pack sheet, with a tump line or misery strap, which will cut your hair better than the average barber if you wear it outside your hat.
Without delay we proceeded upstream and, to my enthusiastic delight, we came within a few hours to a falls and series of rapids that proved to be the ones I sought. At a point quite a distance before reaching the falls, I came upon iron-bearing rock of fine texture resembling an olivine gabbro, and nearby I saw outcroppings of lean, magnetic ore.
We camped at the iron dam that night. As soon as day broke next morning I began clambering over the rocks. With my little hand pick I freshly fractured hundreds of projections. All of the exposures on both sides of the river were of lean magnetite, carrying about thirty per cent, of metallic iron.
At one place I found a large boulder of rich iron ore in the dry river bed. Samples from it analyzed later gave seventy per cent, metallic iron.
I climbed the hills near by, traversed the ravines and dug under every fallen tree and upturned stump I saw. At one stump I dug out a small, rough-edged chunk of magnetic iron ore, showing by its unworn edges that the solid ledge was most likely near at hand.
Grub was nearly gone, but I slept two nights at the iron dam. If one had been nervous I think he must have been lulled to sleep by the music of the falling waters, as they broke over the magnetic dyke abruptly, or sang from cascades or parted bubblingly around dornicks into vitreous pools.
I needed no lullaby, and even did not awaken when a moose walked over my protruding limbs in front of our little shed tent. The nights were frosty, and some snow fell from time to time.
There was enough snow the second morning to exhibit the tracks of a big bull moose that actually strode over us during the night. Nearby the majestic animal homed several twining maples and must have cracked brush and made a lot of noise, but I slept on unconscious of it all.
I had not learned very much more than that an attractive and hopeful iron formation existed here and then the low grub supply forced me to fly. All the packs were lighter. The grub was nearly gone so that the men could take a portion of my load. I took the lead. We struck out on a bee line for the C. P. R. Railroad track. Anxious about food and feeling the full force of cha- grin on account of my own carelessness, I tried to go as rapidly as possible. Our short rations had begun to tell on us, and I think we were all nervous, which made it worse. We had no firearm or fishing tackle.
That night we ate the last of our supplies. A greasy soup and thin really seemed to do us more harm than good
Next morning I rigged a noose of fine string on a pole about twelve feet long and gare it to Dunk, the younger man, to carry. He was instructed to slyly pass the loop over the head of a spruce hen, if we saw any of those beautiful and toothsome Canadian grouse. Unlike the ruffed grouse, they have dark plumage and dark meat and are stupidly unafraid of man, especially where they have not been hunted.
About ten o'clock all of us saw one at about the same time. Chuck and I performed in front of it so as to engage its attention. It was perched on the limb of a banksian pine about nine feet from the ground, and sat near the bole. Dunk got the tree trunk between himself and the bird. Projecting the noose end of his pole very, very slowly and carefully up he passed the loop over the bird's head, gave a yank and we had our break- fast. One was not enough to satisfy us but it helped out wonderfully. There were more but all of them perched too high. During the day Dunk gaffled two more so that it looked as though we would not starve. Next day we saw a lot of spruce hens. Nearly always they were on the ground, and when they flushed would fly up too high to reach with our snaffle pole. The only way to get them was to throw a missile.
Chuck killed three in three throws with a club and then he started to boast. He said that when he was a boy be could beat any Indian throwing a tomahawk. Just about as he had satisfied his own ears with self- sung song of prowess, we came upon several spruce hens.
Before when Chuck had thrown so successfully he had muttered after each victory, "God loves his own." It was not so much reverence as it might have been, for he gave such an exhibition of bad throwing and profanity as would make one's hair curl. The tantalizing grouse just ran and dodged. He never did make it fly. Sometimes Chuck would get up to within four or five feet of it and then he would throw over its head* Finally I killed it with my hand pick as it ran by me within a couple of feet. This gave us four and we lived on them that day.
The third day after our grub was gone we saw nothing to eat and ate nothing. By evening we were a lit- tle weak but I think if we had not been nervous the experience would not have been disagreeable. I had been caught out once before without food but in an excusable way. However, I remembered that I was so shaky that I missed a perfectly easy shot at a deer just because I wanted it so badly. Chuck and Dunk were becoming disagreeable; not so much to me as to each other.
Just after dark I was certain that I heard the sound of an ax. The men could not hear it. I lined it up carefully with my compass. Next morning I started in the direction of the sound of the ax I had heard the evening before. At first Chuck and Dunk would not follow me, but as I strode on without stopping a moment to coax or parley, they came along, now angry at my seeming indifference. A little after eight o'clock we came to an old lumber camp and found two men in it. At first they objected to dividing their supplies with us. I told them our story and wound up by the calm but determined statement that we were hungry and desperate and three to two, and would have food if we had. to fight for it. This, with the promise I made to replace the grub we ate and took, made them assume a different attitude. We ate our fill and rested a day.
The camp was one of the best I ever saw. It had been used very little and why it was abandoned I did not know, because there was fine standing white pine in the vicinity and very little evidence of cutting. The cruisers told us that their principals expected this pine to be placed upon the market at public auction soon, and they were to be prepared to bid on it intelligently.
There was not a nail or piece of iron in the entire camp. Even thp hinges were birchen. Peeled pine logs, clean and beautiful, made the walls. A scoop-roof made by adzing logs until they are hollow and then laying them like tile, thus,
makes a better covering than the clapboard roof of the South or the cedar shake roof of the North.
In the center of the camp was an oblong mound of earth ten by sixteen feet in size. The dirt was held in place by side logs staked. Overhead a hole in the roof, fitted with a hanging, inside, shake chimney, carried off the smoke. This arrangement is called a "camboose," but why not a fourneau, by the Canadian French, I do not know. In some parts it is called a ?caboose? but in this part of Canada it is a ?camboose," and a camp fitted with one is known as a ?camboose camp,'' and is popular because of ventilation and consequent healthfulness.
Ordinary lumber camps are not much better than black holes of Calcutta, and the Canadian lumberjack was hard to wean away from the camboose. The cook prepared his meals by it as before an open fire, and baked the sweetest and best bread in baking kettles that he buried in the hot coals and ashes. I can taste it as I write. At night the men would sleep in a circle on the hewn log floor, with their feet towards the warm camboose and their heads away, and their torrents of stinking breath passing up the hanging wooden chimney. With such a place to sleep and plenty of hems cooked in the ashes and fat pork and thick black strap molasses, the Canadian lumberjack of yesterday was a master workman in the woods.
As soon as I got to Sudbury I engaged two reliable packers and sent with them back to the camp probably ten times as much grub as the cruisers had supplied me, for grub and life are the same in the big woods. Chuck went with them.
It was a kind of fool experience, the whole thing, but it did serve to establish for me a credit in the woods of that country that stood me in good service several times in the future.
It was too late to do anything more that fall, so my wife and I went off to the South Seas, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia and up through Torres Straits to New Guinea and on to the Dutch Islands, the Philippines, China and Japan. This took us until late in the following summer.
Home again I organized a party and inaugurated a thorough surface search and survey of the region north of the Sudbury nickel zone, from Wahnapitae Lake on the east to, and even beyond, the Ahnaping chain of lakes on the west and well over the height of land to the north. This work and the activities flowing from it consumed several seasons.
As soon as I had made enough headway to be certain that it was warranted, I decided to have a careful manetic survey made of the region. In order to have this done to the very best advantage, I went to Dr. Carles R. Van Hise, then at the head of the Department of Geology of the University of Wisconsin, and until his recent untimely death president of that great institution of cathlic learning.
So far as I knew then and believe now, Dr. Van Hise was in a class by himself as an econimic geologist. In fact, he had done much to help to create that branch of geology in America. He advised me to engage Kenneth Leith, one of his assistants and now Dr. Hise?s successor in the department of geology at Wisconsin.
Leith at once organized his crews, and I think while employed by me he did the first dial compass surveying and mapping ever carried on in Canada. Not much, if any, had been done in America. So thorough was he and so competent were his young college assistants, that the magnetic iron ore formation was mapped in a complete, highly satisfactory and practical manner. Dr. VanHise was the consultant in this work. It did not extend the boundaries of the possible ore zone much differently from my own first rough work, so far as staking claims went, but it proved up and made everything more certain.
During a considerable period my time was entirely taken up in securing title to the ore lands and in financing the enterprise. The most embarrassing condition was caused by the fact that a portion of the region adjacent to the Vermillion River had been run over by gold prospectors who had staked a lot of claims, some overlapping others and making for a confusion that demanded care in unraveling.
All of these were revived, so far as possible, with the idea that the claimants would get something out of them, and especially as against a Yankee contestant.
My policy rather took the wind out of their sails. I could find only a few who had performed the requirements of law and had acquired a title. But whenever anybody claimed anything and was not disputed by other prospectors, I would purchase his alleged right.
If I found a claimholder who really had any rights my practice was such as to cause him to doubt my sanity. Having given the claims up long before because of insufficient gold values, the prospector would be conscious of no value so far as his knowledge was concerned. Consequently, he would be very apt to feel that if he could get one hundred, five hundred or one thousand dollars for nothing he would be just that much to the good. Imagine then his surprise when I would settle with him for from double to twenty times what he asked.
My reasons for doing this were twofold: conscience and policy. I was willing to pay for values that I knew of, that the other party was ignorant of, because I thought it was right, and also because I expected that whoever developed the properties would have their way made easier and dearer, than if the local woodspeople were squeezed to the lowest cent that would be likely to cause them to think they had been robbed.
But I nearly ruined my reputation for sound judgment. It was necessary to have a good many of the lauds cleared of all possible lispendens at Toronto. My legal work was well done by Hearst & McKay and by Hearst, McKay & Darling, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Mr. Hearst became premier of Ontario, and Mr. McKay became an able and respected Canadian judge. It was apparently the policy of every Canadian law firm to have one member a conservative and the other a liberal.
I had heard that nothing could be obtained at the governmental departments at Toronto without paying for it; that from top to bottom there had to be bribery. I saw nothing of the kind during years of experience and I do not believe a word of it. The fees of Hearst & McKay were reasonable, and they told me that they never thought of paying any "grease" money or permitting graft In legislative circles there was and is the same turpitude that discolored some American public characters and acts, and especially was this true there and here in matters involving land grants and the public domain. My business relations in Canada, covering a long period and comprehending considerable transactions, were always agreeable.
Where I slept in the little open shed tent, and was unawakened by the moose that nearly stepped on me, there is now a flourishing mining town reached by a branch of a transcontinental railroad. They did not develop there without much hard and enjoyable work.
FATHERLY ATTITUDE OF JOHN W. GATES AND JOHN J. MITCHELL
AT one time I owned the entire Moose Mountain iron range with all of its immense values. Of course I could do nothing with it without financial help. I did not have much trouble arranging for this.
One of the first men I went to see was the late John W. Gates. My idea was to go to men who had made their wealth in iron, who knew the business and would understand all the risks involved. Mr. Gates knew enough about me readily to grant me an interview. I told him that I had discovered a new iron range in the wilds of Canada. We talked a while in the forenoon and he asked me to return in the afternoon. When I went back he told me that he had decided to become interested.
I learned years afterwards that during the luncheon hour he had wired to the late Joseph Sellwood, of Duluth, asking if I knew what I was talking about when I talked iron ore. Mr. Sellwood was one of the most successful of the early practical school of Lake Superior iron men. His reply to Mr. Gates, with whom he had been associated for a long time, was : "You can go sled length on Osborn."
I did not realize then that I was so favorably regarded by those whose political trails I had not seriously crossed. I had heard a great deal about John W. Gates, and all of it was not favorable. My opinion is that he was much maligned, as men in big business were wont to be during a certain period of industrial, and consequent political unrest All of my memories of Mr. Gates possess a kindly tone. The picture I like best to recall is that of one I saw on a day when he arose in his office and started out to lunch. His son, the late Charles G. Gates, noticed that his father's shoe lace was unfastened.
"Wait a moment, father," requested the young man. As the father halted and stood, the son knelt at his feet and tied his shoe. Nothing much could have been wrong with a father and a son between whom there was such a tender tie. And both were fat.
Another clearly open window to the character of John W. Gates is his action during the iron panic winter of 1903-4. The Illinois Steel Company shut down its plants at Chicago and nearly twenty thousand workers were thrown out of employment. Mr. Gates was a director. He opposed closing down. At the same time he controlled the Consolidated Steel & Wire Works at Joliet. He kept these going and carried nearly ten thousand workmen through a critically hungry period
All this was creditable to him as an economic humanist. The way that be secured enough business so that he could pull through was an unusual tribute to his business perspicacity and perhaps nerve. He went to England and saw the late Joseph Chamberlain.
When Mr. Gates explained that the object of his visit was to sell him steel products of the very kind that Mr. Chamberlain was manufacturing at Birmingham, the great colonial secretary of the empire was at first amused, and then was insulted or pretended to be. Chicago insistence would not be thwarted. Mr. Gates declared that he could sell to Mr. Chamberlain better goods at a lower price than the latter's cost. This interested the Birmingham iron master. He went into details and the result was a big order for the Joliet mills at a critical time. While at Birmingham, Mr. Chamberlain took Mr. Gates through his steel plants. When they finished he asked Mr. Gates what he thought of them. Blunt enough usually and outspoken as an avalanche Mr. Gates posed cautiously.
"You really do not wish me to tell you honestly what I think, do you ?
" Indeed, it will be a favor to me,? replied the big Englishman.
?Well, I'd junk the whole outfit and wreck the buildings," was the explosive reply.
Mr. Chamberlain was visibly shocked, but he smiled and asked, "What then ?"
"Then I would engage John W. Garrett, of Joliet, Illinois, United States of America, to build you a real works with modern machinery and structural conveniences."
Joseph Chamberlain took the advice. Mr. Garrett thoroughly rebuilt the Birmingham plant, and the undertaking was speedily justified by the increased earnings that resulted from the reduced cost of an increased and improved production.
We organized the Moose Mountain Mining Company, Limited. Among those who took stock, in addition to the quarter interest that Mr. Gates signed for, was Mr. John J. Mitchell, president of the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank of Chicago; James C. Hutchins, attorney for Mr. Mitchell's bank; Mr. John Lambert, a business associate of Mr. Gates; Blair & Co., New York bankers, and Joseph W. Sellwood. The agreement we had made obligated them to give me one-fourth of the stock of the company free of carrying charges of all kinds. On my part I was to secure to the company at actual cost all of the Moose Mountain iron ore lands. There were conditions and requirements relating to financing and developing the properties.
I was made president and treasurer of the company. Just as soon as I was given my quarter interest, I divided it with a Chicago promoter who had agreed to finance me at Moose Mountain, but had failed to live up to his agreement. As I looked at it he had done his best and so I treated him just as if he had been worthy. It turned out to be the most unwarranted business act of my life as I view it now, because this man sent word to me to "go to hell" when it was supposed I was dying.
I had injured my spine by a fall in the woods. A dead tree trunk lying across a rocky ravine gave way as I walked over it. I fell nearly twenty feet and alighted upon the coccyx on a sharp, jagged rock. This endangered my life. When it was supposed and commonly reported that I would not recover, a good many interesting things occurred that emphasize the folly of jumping on a man, or consigning him to the eternal bow-wows just because he is going to die. At least wait until he is dead.
A tailor at Sault Ste. Marie told a lawyer that he had informed me about Moose Mountain, and later claimed he had introduced to me a man who had discovered the iron ore and showed it to me. This entitled him to a share or a commission according to his view, and it might have if there had been a vestige of truth in what he said. Eager to earn a fee and perhaps figuring that my family would settle the claim in order to save me from annoyance while ill, and that if I died it surely would be easy to make the false claim stick a lawyer took the case.
There is no law against champerty in Michigan. I was told about the case and insisted that it be held up until I was well enough to fiight it. That it was a purely fabricated affair for purpose of robbery could easily be proven. Never thinking that the person with whom I had divided my interest without the cost to him of a penny, would feel otherwise than a deep sense of pleas- ure at the opportunity to be of assistance, I directed my secretary to write him f idly as to the details and ask him to look after matters until I recovered. This man also thought I was done for undoubtedly, because he sent me word that I could go to hell; that he was not taking on any law suits that he could duck and so on.
Of course I was not told this until after some months when I had recovered my health sufficiently to resume work. Then the case was speedily taken into court. They sued for fifty thousand dollars; finally they offered to settle for various sums down to one thousand dollars.
Judge Joseph H. Steere then presided as circuit judge where the case was brought. He was my intimate personal friend and business associate. Consequently he asked that another judge should hear the case, and it came up before the late Judge Streeter of Houghton County. Evidently the tailor's lawyer had been fooled, for as soon as a portion of the testimony was in he threw up his hands and the case was dismissed.
Enough of it was heard to prove dearly that the story was a stupid lie. The claimant said that he had introduced a woodsman to me and that this woodsman had shown me the Moose Mountain properties. I proved that the woodsman they produced had never been to Moose Mountain, even at the time of the trial, and that he had been employed by me to do certain work three years before the tailor claimed he had introduced him to me. It was also clearly proven and made of official record that I had made the discovery of the Moose Mountain Iron Range, the greatest iron ore district in Canada. After the case ended so flatly, the tailor moved away from Sault Ste. Marie.
Later, when I was a candidate for Governor, the publisher of a paper at Escanaba, Michigan, used this case as a basis for printing libelous statements about me. I had him arrested for criminal libel and he was convicted. When he published the libel I really believe he thought that he was in the right, because I had known him well and was aware of his high character, his courage and his desire to serve the public unflinchingly. Of course such things travel far, so that a man's only fundamental protection is his own knowledge of himself and within himself of what he really is, for ?as a man thinketh in his heart so is he."
I would not have had the publisher arrested and punished if I had not been convinced that it was a public duty. Public opinion and the libel laws are the only censors of a free press, and their invocation is the only agency of determining the course of the press between freedom and license.
At various times I was given chances to sell out my interest at Moose Mountain and I was anxious to do so. There was no stock on the market, it has never been listed, and there was no certain way of measuring its value. Pittsburg parties offered me as much money as I thought I ever wanted, although the sum was not large as rich men compare and understand amounts. I was eager to sell for a good many reasons. Chiefly I did not enjoy being tied down. We were on the eve of active mining and I did not and do not claim to be a practical mining man. It was my duty, as I looked upon it, to inform my associates of the offer, although there was no agreement that required such a proceeding.
I went to Chicago and told Mr. Gates and Mr. Mitchell. These men were older than I and had the largest interest in Moose Mountain. More than kindly in their manner towards me they assumed a fatherly attitude that I shall always remember with gratitude. It was in Mr. Gates' office. He and Mr. Mitchell each put a hand on my shoulders and said:
"Don't sell now. It isn't enough. We will give you more than your offer. But if we did you might not feel kindly toward us in the long future. You would believe that we had taken an advantage of you, and we now feel ourselves that we would be doing so if we bought your interest, or permitted you to sell it, for the amount of your offer. Also, we need you with us for a time."
At that very moment Mr. Gates and Mr. Mitchell and our New York partners were negotiating with McKenzie and Mann, of the Canadian Northern, to take an interest in Moose Mountain and build a railroad into it. I did not know of this. They could just as well have made a few hundred thousands out of my interest as not. But that was not the way of John W. Gates, and it is not the way of that prince of business men, John J. Mitchell, one of the first bankers of America.
I had already seen President Shaughnessy, of the Canadian Pacific Railway, about building in from Sudbury, and he had ordered a survey made and the branch line was actually printed upon their maps. But their freight rate on the ore was nearly double that of the Canadian Northern. Also I had had a number of the best mining men of Lake Superior visit Moose Mountain with me, including Messrs. Helberg, Sutherland, Walter Fitch, and also Professor Seaman, of the Michigan College of Mines department of geology. All of them were enthusiastic. Doctor Miller, Ontario Provincial geologist and Doctor Coleman, of the department of geology of Toronto University, were among the many distinguished Canadian mining men and geologists who visited my camp.
EATING MOOSE MEET FROM ONE YEAR?S END TO ANOTHER AT THE MOOSE MOUNTAIN CAMP
All of us had moose meat throughout the year. The unwritten law of the unsurveyed country did not make a closed season. The only demand upon us was that nothing should be wasted, and that nothing should be killed that was not used for food or fur. Black bears were a nuisance. As camp robbers they became unbelievably bold. So we had traps out for them all the time. A French youth was our most expert bear trapper. He used pens, deadfalls, pits, steel traps, hooks on trees and sharpened spikes so driven into the open end of a pork barrel, that the bear could crawl in and lick the honey or maple sugar or burnt molasses bait on the bottom of the barrel, but could not crawl out. When the bear would start to back out the spikes would run into him and very soon Jacques would have a frantic bear cavorting around with a barrel on the forward two-thirds of his body, that held to him, and muffled his growls and roars. It was not very humane and I ordered them to kill a bear as soon as they caught him in a barrel. I am afraid that always they did not obey this.
We also had in our crew an American boy named Harold, about the same age as Jacques. They did not get along well together and several times they clashed, only to a draw. Jacques insisted on flying a Canadian English beaver flag over the camp, and Harold would haul it down and run up the Stars and Stripes. Then there would be a fight and no flag at all for some time when Harold would run up Old Glory and Jacques would pull it down, and another drawn scrap would be pulled off.
Finally one day Jacques turned up missing. There was no one at the camp except the two boys. All hands had gone out to celebrate Dominion Day, July 1, or for some other reason. Harold searched for Jacques just as faithfully as thou they were bosom friends. Finally he heard cries for help and discovered Jacques fast in a steel bear trap. The boy's hand was caught and his fingers crushed. He had stoically suffered and had hallooed for help, but now that Harold was there he would not ask any favors. He afterwards said that he thought, as a matter of course, that Harold would release him at once. The Yankee boy had no such idea. He made the French youth promise to be good and allow the American flag to fly over the camp. When he had settled everything he got a birch lever, and pressing down the huge springs that clamp the ponderous jaws of the bear trap together, he released his rival. There was great friendship between them forever afterwards, and the way Harold took care of Jacques' maimed hand was good to see.
The boys at camp, as boys in the woods always do for entertainment and relief, and by boys I mean all hands young and old, played harmless, though sometimes disagreeable, tricks upon every visitor that they dared subject to their fun. A prominent Chicago doctor was a guest. He shot a young moose. It was late in August and the two-year-old bull was fat and juicy and just the thing for camp. But it was too good a chance for the boys to have some fun for them to overlook. So they sent word to Sudbury and had the doctor arrested by fake constables, not only at Sudbury but at several towns between there and the American border. Even after the August moose-slayer had gotten out of Canada they had a telegram for his arrest sent to the American Sault. By this time it had gotten on his nerves, as he had spent nearly two hundred dollars in fees, tips, bribes, eats and drinks, and had obtained the impression that the Canadians are the biggest lot of crooks in the world. To escape further persecution he hid in a cellar, and left town towards Chicago on a freight train.
It was a long time before he discovered that he had not seen a bona-fide Canadian constable, which did not prevent him from continuing the story he had been telling of how he had escaped from the Northwest Mounted Police, when he had not been within a thousand miles of where that fine body of men operate. Upon an afternoon in early November Donald Mann's private car was sidetracked at Sudbury. He had not then given into the British exchequer enough to have been made a knight, so he was just plain Dan Mann, a big, wholesome, industrious, brave, enjoyable person. I met him at the railroad and took him to Moose Mountain.
By this time I had gouged a road into the wilderness and had taken in drills, boiler and other machinery. The road was not a Via Appia by any means. It clambered over rocky kopjes and ascended a great norite dyke, that may form the northern rim of a huge volcanic crater that, according to the conjecture of some, includes the entire Sudbury nickel formation.
This wall of rock gave us a wonderful view that strained the vision to the sky line. Not a soul lived, or ever was, where the sweep of eye ranged from hill to valley and lake. Pointed conifers looked like so many green serpent tongues or earth spearmen marching up to attack the hosts of Jove. Winding over plains and across muskeg marshes, where the corduroy floated like pontoons and the horses should have been shod with driving calks, the blind worm trail drew us on. My companion speculated upon the agricultural and timber value of the region, and has had his roseate prophecies already justified. We crossed several creeks and rivers and came to a long, flat stretch of gold-bearing sands carried down by the old ice, and by the west branch of the Vermillion.
Upon this peneplain grew banksian pine and blue berries and trailing arbutus. At early springtime the air is laden with the smell of heavy sugars of blosoms. I never pass a sandy stretch similar to this one that I do not especially marvel at the chemistry of nature, and ask where does the floweret growing in the white sand obtain its sensuous breath of sweetest garden love, rare enough to make the wild rose marry the wood violet if God's nature police would permit.
I told Mr. Mann about a close call I had one early morning in this garden of epigtea. I had left camp long before daylight. Just when the sun made the iridescent dew drops clinging to the arbutus sepals look like little fairy soap bubbles, I entered this dryadic stretch. I drank the morning fragrance in all its moist freshness. It seemed to me that I could taste it and I believe I did.
All at once my senses refused to function, or else everything took on such a dead average of delight that I could neither distinguish nor record it. Greedy for more of the nectar I got down upon my hands and knees, and crawled among the Insh flowers, sniffing and sniffing deep rhinal drafts from the acres of pink and white emarginate clusters that carpeted the earth. Pine needles bore up the hairy vines and waxen leaves, and I did not make a sound.
What is it tells ns of the presence of the unseen? A subtle something registers mysteriously and is vaguely communicated to our senses, whereupon we unconsciously look up and around. This happened to me while, like Nebuchadnezzar, I was on all fours.
Horror! an Indian stood with leveled rifle pointing at me.
I gave a whoop and he gave one too.
Then he started to run away. I ordered him to stop and he obeyed. He managed to make me understand that he had taken me for a bear, and that he would have shot before only I kept on moving, and he waited for a standing shot to make it sure. When he saw me as a man he was greatly frightened because of the Indian superstition that a bear, and also some other animals, may turn into a man.
The bear is nearly always an Indian avatar. Nor was the Indian aware of the presence of a white man in that country. It was a close call indeed. I was glad. The Indian was glad. I gave him all of the tobacco I had and we parted good friends. Some time later I saw him on the Abitibi.
SIR DONALD MANN PROPOSES TO USE DOUBLT-BITTED AXES AS WEAPONS IN A DUEL WITH A RUSSIAN COUNT
I ENJOYED Dan Mann all the time. He was as open as a full moon and looked as honest. Our first night together in the big woods was spent like boys who had not seen each other for a long time. That was the way it was with us, for we had never seen each other before except that all real men are always boys and very much alike; it is only when there is something the matter with men that they are queer and different. We talked nearly all night. He told me quite fully the remarkable story of his life--his interesting association with McKenzie, their very modem financiering and much of the business minutiae, the mastery of which is by some standards of judging supposed to make men great.
Both McKenzie and Mann had started as poor boys in Canada. Mann did not go to school. He had to work or starve. In the winter he went to the woods as a lumberjack. One winter he spent in Cheboygan County, Michigan, making ties. He became a fine axman and expert in swinging a broad ax.
From the woods and the ranks of a common section laborer he developed in early middle life to be a wizard of industry, and a transcontinental railroad builder. The McKenzie and Mann policy, by which they constructed disconnected portions of railroads across the country, and obtained many small land grants and bonuses without attracting the opposition of the powerful Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk giants, is a story unexcelled of clever business and political strategy. When they got ready they just connected a lot of blind termini and lo! a transcontinental fabric. When it was too late the enemy awakened. There is room for all of them.
I think it was our second night together in the woods when I asked him about a duel he had Lo China, according to a story told me in Tien Tsin by Captain Rich, then American railroad engineer for the Chinese government.
"It was such a fool thing," he said, "and I was scared to death and could not see any humor in it then. A lot of us had gone to China to obtain railroad franchises. The railroad building world was represented: Americans, British, Germans, Belgians, French, Russians and so forth, in Shanghai. We were the only Canadians and the foreigners never knew whether to class us with the British or the Americans. The Chinese government had decided to build railroads. They were determined thus to connect Pekin with Canton, via Hankow on the Yangtse. Captain Rich of Minneapolis had charge of things for Li Hung Chang, who was then at his zenith of power, the old rascal. There was much delay. We were making our headquarters at Shanghai.
"Some of us combined our interests and finally there were several pools working, one against the other. In the evening we would gather at a place on Bubbling Well Road, which as you know runs back from the bund to the country near the International Institute.
"Here we would play a stiff game of poker, drink Scotch whiskey and josh each other. I had it in my head all the time that a Russian, with a title, who was always eager to sit in, was crooked. I watched him. One night, near twelve o'clock, when several were woozy with booze, and several were not who pretended to be, I caught Mr. Russian holding out cards. Ho wasn't as big as the Slav average, and when I slapped him for calling me a liar he nearly went down. There was some commotion, which soon passed over, and I went to my room in the Astor House. Hotels all over the world were named in those days for the old lower Broadway Astor House of the forties.
"Next day I received a challenge to fight It made me nervous enough. Not being what is called a natural born gentleman, I was all the more anxious to conduct myself becomingly. I had never had a pistol or a sword in my hands, and I felt squeamish in my abdomen whenever I thought about it. Nothing to do but to go to a Shanghai friend. He asked me what weapons I knew how to use and told me it was my privilege to choose. I told him I had never had any practice with anything except a pick, shovel and ax.
?My friend advised me to select double-bitted axes as weapons."
I knew I could easily cut the Russian's head off with an ax and I fancy he thought so too, because his agent said they would not even consider a fight with such weapons; that they were vulgar and did not come within the code duello.
"My friend told him that in Canada the ax was a weapon of chivalry; that it was classical to speak of burying or digging up the hatchet, meaning a small ax, and that it was the sword that was vulgar, citing that they used it to cut corn with and butcher hogs.
"There was much parleying. We stuck for the ay and the duel was off. As the Russian backed off I got very blood-thirsty, and pictured myself constantly as swinging at his neck just at the collar button with a five-pound, double-edged ax. Perhaps he had a wart on his neck. If so I would split it clean through the center." Going over Moose Mountain lands seemed lands be a more or less perfunctory work for Mr. Mann. He was large and heavy, and had been riding in a private oar too much for the good of his wind. I showed him the biggest outcrop, a veritable mountain of ore it looked, and took him to several exposures I had stripped, and also showed him many diamond drill cores.
"What's the use ? " he puffed. " That first big showing is enough and to spare if we can agree on a price and all the rest is velvet."
I did not know that a visitor from Paris that I had entertained at Moose Mountain for some days, and who seemed deeply interested, was really an expert for McKenzie and Mann.
They wanted the property for financing purposes. With it they could make a strong showing of the wealth surely existent in the unknown domain. Cobalt was just beginning to make known its fabulous rich in silver. It would be easy to make an exhibit that would enable them to obtain all the money they desired.
In this way I sold my Moose Mountain interests for enough to insure a modest independence, and to permit me to live such life of study and readiness for public service as I might choose. McKenzie and Mann built many miles of railroad by way of connecting their transcontinental links, and in doing so they opened this great mining region. A branch to Key Inlet, on Georgian Bay, gave them a harbor and place for ore docks and water shipment.
Mr. Mann volunteered to name for me the town that would grow at Moose Mountain. Mr. Sellwood desired the honor. I did not know this. To me it was a small matter indeed. When Mr. Sellwood broached it to Mr. Mann, the latter remembered his promise to me.
"That's nothing? said the former, "let's play a game of seven-up. You represent Osborn. If I win the town will be given my name; if you win, call it Osborn."
Sellwood won and I am glad of it. He has a good many monuments and deserves them all.
My first thought when I received the money from Moose Mountain, was of my wife. She had stood by valiantly from twelve dollars a week and wolves, until now we had quite enough to enjoy life with; not that life had not been enjoyable all the time, because it had been.
I made and carried out plans to help all our relatives who needed help. This included the happy privilege of insuring the comfort of my mother for the remainder of her wonderful life of suffering and service. I also made provision for continuing the care of two brothers, who were entirely dependent upon me because of complete invalidism.
There was neither disinclination to do these things, nor self-praise for the performance. It seemed to me to be a clear and pleasing duty. I had been blessed with means and health and they had not Perhaps God had given me some for them and made me a trustee. I thought He had, and that I owed it to them. Then, too, I could not tell why I was not in their place and they in mine, so I was determined to treat them as I would have wished to have been treated if our conditions had been reversed.
My youngest brother William, possessing an alert and acute intellect, has been completely bedridden for years and has suffered severe pain. Throughout all of it, and the prospects no better for as long as he lives, he has been a cheerful Christian with the best personal philosophy I have ever known about.
From time to time I have given things to my home town, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, which has always shown me a sympathy and friendship and support that would be a sufficient reward for any man, no matter if his deserts were easily much greater than mine; and an inspiration as well. In return for its attitude I loved the town and all its people, and nurtured always in my heart a desire to do things for it. I could not give it much, but I could do what lay within my power to show my appreciation. Early in my travels I began to select curios for the fine Melville museum in the high school. Once in Japan I procured the first stone torii ever sent to America and also several Shinto memorial lanterns. These artistic things are in the government park at the Sault
In Bucharest I saw a bronze lupa di Roma, the she wolf that gave mothering care to Romulus and Remus. It was given by the city of Rome to the city of Bucharest to commemorate the conquest of the Dacians by Trojan. I had a duplicate cast at Naples, which now occupies a place in the city hall grounds. It symbolizes the tender relation between animals and mankind, and their inter- dependence. Italians at Sault Ste. Marie at once particularly sensed its classical bearing. A miniature replica of this wolf in gold was recently given to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson by the city of Rome.
When Etienne Brule came to Sault Ste. Marie in 1618, he found the majestic river bank flanked by great elms, indigenous here. Long ago almost all of these paid tribute to the axmen, who might easily have spared these noble trees, but did not. To restore them, and also cure a treeless city, I gave a thousand young elms. Several hundred are growing finely and in a few years will change and improve the appearance of the town. As a tired boy in Milwaukee I often slept on Sunday morning, in a room near St. James Episcopal Church, until the chimes of St. James would awaken me. Then I would lie and listen, and half awake I would dream things. My room was in a cheap tenement, back on Clybourne Street. St. James is on stately Grand Avenue. It was then the church of Alexander Mitchell and other millionaires. Across from it was the Mitchell mansion, and near to it on the east was the rich home of James Kneeland, with well-kept grounds and swans, and ducks with red mandibles, floating in a miniature mirror lake. It was then all another world, and I felt awed by it. This did not curb my dreams. Some day I would give chimes to some town, and they would be heard by other poor boys whose hearts would be made glad and light by the songs of the bells.
Better chimes than those and better played, and more and larger bells--eleven in all--hang in St. James, of Sault Ste. Marie. That is how I, a Presbyterian, came to give the bells to an Episcopal church. Not more grand would they peal forth for any name or creed.
How are we moved the board like checkers on the board of life. My dear friend, the rector of St. James of Sault Ste. Marie when the bells were hung, is now, as I write, the rector of St James of Milwaukee. But the pride and power of yesterday are gone for St. James of Milwaukee, and it is a better and more useful church. I love it for those chimes of long ago
WORLD WORKERS IN IRON IN ALL AGES
THERE is no way of telling much about the beginning of the age of iron. Kitchen middens and heaps of flint chips tell the story of the service of bones and stones all over the world where primitive man has left his wild kindergarten marks. Copper implements were used at a very early time, and there were copper shops at many places about Lake Superior where the native metal was beaten into kniyes, spoons, pans, pots and other utensils. One of the largest single discoveries of prehistoric copper implements was made at Sault Ste. Marie, at a place once an island in St. Mary's River, but now an esker-like ridge of stream-washed gravel and boulders that marks the topography of the town from west to east. I have my modest home on this old ridge. Such finds as this one of well-made articles that seemed to be harder than the native metal have given rise to the common but erroneous belief that the ancients knew how to temper copper, an art lost to this age. The outer surface of the beaten copper is somewhat harder from pounding and water and air hardening.
But almost never is anything of iron found with the stones or the bones or the copper. This is not because iron was not wrought, but because it is more perishable when exposed to oxygen, either in the air or water, even than wood under some conditions. There is reason to believe that iron-making was the first work in metals done by mankind, because the art is advanced beyond any other among the wholly uncivilized tribes of Africa and in other parts of the world where primitive man exists today.
From Somaliland to Zululand in Africa I found iron hoes and iron assgai points common among the wild natives. The making of these gave employment to considerable numbers of persons. There was a distinct class of iron workers in every tribe of any size, except among such lowly ones as the pigmy Dokos or others of their undeveloped kind. The art was handed down from father to son, and while methods were similar, there was variety in them and also a difference in skill They smelted ores, and do so yet, except where scraps of iron can be procured. Some workers used stones for hammers and bark-tied, hardened wood for tongs; others had iron hammers and tongs quite well fashioned. Stone anvils are used, and the smith usually sits at his work. Sometimes hollowed sticks of wood were used to hold the cold end of the piece of iron that was being wrought Bellows are most often made of the hide of an ox or some other animal, often of goat skins. In one comer of the bag thus formed is a wooden pipe about a yard long and bound in air tight with rawhide thongs. The other end of the skin bag is fastened to pieces of flattened wood forming a mouth that shuts quite tight when the bellows is being operated. This was done by hand, the smith's assistant holding on to rawhide handles above and below on the wooden jaws. A stone weight on the wooden pipe holds the bellows down quite firmly. Two bellows are used. By working them alternately a steady blast of air of considerable force is secured. A clay tunnel connects the wooden pipe outlet of the bellows with a charcoal fire built in a rude forge in the ground.
For smelting iron ore a larger number of bellows were employed. Very often I found abandoned ant houses utilized for a furnace and the natives even drive out the ants and use their formidable formicaries not only for furnaces, but also for grain bins and even for human dwellings.
Their native hoes contained good enough iron so that a gun maker at Birmingham made an Enfield rifle out of some that Livingstone sent to England.
Abbe Rochon, of France, member of the Academies of Sciences of Paris and Petersburgh, Astronomer of the Marine, Keeper of the King's Philosophical Cabinet, Inspector of Machines, Money, etc., was in Madagascar in 1768. Referring to iron ore he says: " Iron mines of an excellent quality are dispersed in great profusion all over the island, and very near to the surface of the earth. The Malegaches break and pound the ore and place it between four stones lined with potter's clay; they then employ a double wooden pump, instead of a pair of bellows, to give the fire more strength (blast); and in the space of an hour the mineral is in a state of fusion. The iron produced by this operation is soft and malleable: no better is known in the world."
Abbe Rochon was a wide traveler as an official and scientific observer. In his opinion the ancient Malagasy iron furnace was peculiar to that people. Incidentally he also tells an interesting story about an adventurer in Madagascar who bimcoed Benjamin Franklin. Poor Richard gave Benjowski letters of recommendation which he used in America to organize an ill- fated expedition for the seizure of Madagascar. Benjowski was killed by French marines. I was interested in seeing the spot where he came to grief.
All African travelers report seeing iron ore and iron workers, so it is certain that it is distributed all over that continent I found big outcroppings of iron ore near to both coal and limestone. Blue hematite specimens that I brought out and had analyzed turned out to be of Bessemer quality. There is no iron manufacturing in Africa except the rude native operations, but it is entirely possible and even probable that Africa will supply the world with steel, as it surely can do. Even now there is a considerable shipment to America and Europe of chrome iron ore from the mines near Selukwe in Southern Rhodesia. The only other large production of chrome iron ore is from the French mines in New Caledonia.
In every one of the eighteen provinces of China as well as in Manchuria there are deposits of iron ore. I have visited many of these. Some of them have been worked for centuries in a small and clumsy manner, not much better than the Africans did. Lack of pumping facilities kept them on the surface, but even if pumps had been available they would not have been used on account of feng shui: their fear of offending the earth demons. Both men and women work as miners. The men are paid an equivalent of four to five cents in our money and the women two to six cents for a day of eight hours. In addition some rice and a vegetable called miso are served.
A little while before he died Li Hung Chang established a steel plant near Hankow, the first one in China. It was a kind of junk affair at first, but has been improved.
Iron working in China is an ancient art and at some periods reached a high state of perfection. In Chinese collections I saw fine coats of mail for man and horse made of delicate woven wire, so as to be light, elastic and effective; also lances, shields, chains, traps and other things made before guns came into use.
There are great iron ore deposits and coal measures in Shansi, Chi-li, Shantung and Yunnan. In fact, there is more or less iron ore in all of the Chinese provinces. The iron district in Shansi and extending beyond is one of the largest in the world and will some day be a source of world's supply. At the present time very little is being done. I visited a number of surface workings in Shansi, where the methods are crude indeed, although they do produce an engraving steel of unexampled hardness. A great many persons were employed in iron ore mining and in iron making. Their condition of life is very miserable and their pay is less than two cents a day in our values. Ignorance and superstition seem to be instruments of conservation in China, just as avarice is the cause of feverish destruction in our country. Some day the world will turn to China for iron and coal and the vast untouched quantities there of these twin necessities will be appreciated. During 1916, 1917 and 1918 Japan has made large loans to the Northern Chinese government, taking as security vast mineral concessions comprehending all of China's known iron ore fields. It is even charged that Japan took advantage of the world's engrossment in war to exploit China. If the Northern forces are victorious in the civil war in China, a final title may be obtained by Japan. But if the Southern armies win, Japan will get nothing; nor is she likely to profit by a compromise that seems probable between Canton and Pekin. Japan's attempt is a gamble in iron ore.
I spent several months following the tracks of Abbe Hue in China, and the trails of Marco Polo not only in China, but in other countries of Asia. Polo began his travels in 1260. In that age his tours were a source of world wonder. He brought back to Europe information of incalculable value about the work of mankind in the Orient where in every channel of activity there was higher development. Men in the Orient were thinking better and working with their hands better than the people of the West. Europe was just beginning to see the dawn of a new day after centuries of decadence and obliteration. A great many pronounced Polo an impostor and discredited his reports. Others believed in him and through these Europe was to have the benefit of Polo's travels and learning. It is astonishing how many of the modem arts in their development in the western world can be traced to a period coeval with the post-Polo era. Before that the use of coal was scarcely known, if at all, in Europe. Iron making was nearly as primitive as it is in the wilds of Africa to-day. In China, Persia, Arabia, Turkey and India Polo learned by hearsay or actual contact and observation of vast deposits of iron ore and of most wonderful handicraft in steel of the finest texture. Concerning these things in the kingdom of Kerman, then recently conquered by the Tartars, Polo reported "plenty of veins of steel and ondanique; the people are skillful in making steel harness of war, swords, bows, quivers, arms of every kind, bridle bits, spurs, needles, etc." The "steel" mines referred to are probably the Parpa iron mines on the road from Kerman to Shiraz, called even to-day M'aden-i-fulad (steel mine); they are idle now. I saw old Kerman weapons, daggers, knives, stirrups and other things made from steel, of exquisite workmanship and more than justifying all of Polo's praise.
It is not quite certain what is meant by Polo's "ondanique." Ramusio, of Venice, often asked Persian merchants who visited him about it. They agreed in stating that it was a kind of steel of such surpassing excellence and value that in the ancient days a man who possessed a mirror or a sword of andanic or ondanique regarded it as he would a precious jewel.
The sword blades of India had a great fame all over the East and I heard them referred to as having been made by workmen now extinct, with whose passing also was lost an irrecoverable art. At Teheran I learned that Indian blades and considerable fine Indian steel had been imported until quite recent times.
Ctesias mentions two wonderful Indian swords that he got from the King of Persia and his mother. It is not unlikely that this fine Indian steel is the ferrum candidum of which the Malli and Oxydracsae sent one hundred talents weight as a present to Alexander the Great. Indian iron and steel are mentioned in the Periplus as imports into the Abyssinian ports and to this day may be seen fine steel spear heads and imple- ments at Dire Doua and Addis Abeba, perhaps relics of those ancient imports.
Ferrum Indicum appears among the Oriental products subject to duty in the Roman tariffs of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Salmasius notes that among the rare Greek chemical writings there is a metallurgical paper "On the Tempering of Indian Steel."
Edrisi mentions that excellent iron was produced in the "cold mountains" northwest of Jiruft. In the Jihan Numa, or Great Turkish Geography, is the statement that the ?steel " mines of Miriz, on the borders of Kerman were famous. Teixeira Bubstantiates this. Says Edrisi: ?The Hindus excel in the manufacture of iron and in the preparation of those ingredients along with which it is fused to obtain that kind of soft iron which is usually styled Indian steel. They also have workshops wherein are forged the most famous sabers in the world. It is impossible to find anything to surpass the edge you get from Indian steel."
Arabic literature contains many references to the fame of the sword blades of India. Even the ancient poets sang of them as may be read about in Freytag's translation of Hamasa's collection of old Arab verse. Timur used Indian blades, and had for his own use a Hindu sword of matchless fineness. In the accounts of the Mohammedan conquest of India and on down through the reigns of Akbar, Shah Jahan and other Mughals, the Hindu disbelievers' execution is referred to as being sent to Jihannam with the well-watered blade of the Hindu sword. The sword is consequently personified as a " Hindu of Good Family? according to the idea that a dead Hindu recalcitrant was the only good Hindu, the origin no doubt of the American phrase as applied to the American aborigine, ?A good Indian is a dead Indian."
Throughout the Malay Archipelago I found primitive iron furnaces such as were used thousands of years ago in Arabia and India, suggesting that they were perhaps inducted by Arab traders. In Madagascar I saw a different type of furnace that seemed to have been originated by the Malagasy. Indeed work in iron has been a dignified art and distinctive industry all over the world for multiplied centuries.
Chardin says of the steel of Persia : "They combine it with Indian steel which is more tractable and held in greater estimation." Dupre, a hundred years ago, writes that he had thought that the famous Persian sabers were made from ore from certain mines in Khorasan, but that he had discovered himself in error in that there are ?no mines of steel" in that province and that he had learned of the use of steel disks imported from Lahore.
Kenrick suggests that the ?bright iron " mentioned by Ezekiel in chapter XXVII as among the wares of Tyre must have been Indian steel, because mentioned in connection with calamus and cassia and other exports from India.
Pottinger enumerates steel among the imports from India into Kerman. Elphinstone the Accurate, in his Caubul, tells how much Indian steel is prized in Af-hanistan, but that the best swords are made in Persia and in Syria. In his " History of India " he calls attention to the fact that the ancients sought steel in India and that the oldest known Persian poem contains praise of it; that it continued to be the material used in the scintillating scimitars of Damascus and Khorasan.
An old Indian officer in the British service found no common knowledge of steel-making among the people. He tried to tell a native, who claimed that steel ore and iron ore were separate and distinct materials, how steel was manufactured. The Indian was disgusted and displayed his feelings plainly by exclaiming: " You would have me believe that if I put an ass in the furnace it will come forth a horse."
Paulus Jovius in the sixteenth century speaks of the high repute of Kerman scimitars and lance points. The blades were eagerly sought by the Turks. Such was their unusual reputation for quality that it was a common boast that with one blow a Kerman sword would cleave a European metal helmet without turning the edge. Undoubtedly the art of fabricating fine steel and of generally utilizing iron ore was known at the very dawn of history and is even prehistoric. The world has shifted its skill to the Occident. Volumes are required to tell the story of iron ore and its manufacture in Europe where the Germans, Swedes and English have rivaled each other in methods and production. Now the great industry has crossed the Atlantic to find its highest development in both quality and volume. The United States leads the world in iron ore production and in its manufacture. It is an enviable position, with many interclashing responsibilities. The largest business organization in the world is devoted to the iron industry. As one stands illumined by the furnace incandescence in some vast modem forge of Vulcan, with its wearing human machinery and its ponderous but delicately adjusted cranes, dippers, cars and rolls, all moving as perfectly as watch wheels at the magic touch of subtle electric currents, he cannot escape the wish that man's relation to man might be as perfectly I and happily arranged.
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