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The Independent. (New York, N.Y.) 18??-1928, February 14, 1884, Image 12

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16 (208) T H E IN [February 11, 1884. N O T ICES. Ail c omm unications for the Editorial, Literary News, and Miscellaneous Columns of this Journal should be addressed to TUe E d itor ol T h e In d e ­ p e n d e n t . P .-O . B o x 27 8 7 . S'?f~ All comm unications for the Commercial Depart­ m e n t to the Commercial Editor, a n d all business com­ m u n ications from subscribers and advertisers to T h e In d e p e n d e n t , B o x 2 7 8 7 . B®1\* R emittances should be m ade payable to T he I NDEPENDENT. BVgi'-No notice can be taken of a n onymous c o m m u ­ nications. W hatever is intended for insertion m u s t be authenticated by the name and address of the w riter; not necessarily for publication, b u t as a guaranty oi good faith. Bl?\ We do not hold ourselves r e s p o n s ive for any views o r opinions expressed in the communications of our correspondents. B3?\ P ersons desiring the return of their m anu­ scripts, if not accepted, should send a stamped and directed envelope. Wo cannot, however, even in that case, hold ourselves responsible for their return. Authors should preserve a copy. F o r S u b s c r i p t i o n T e r m s s e e P a g e 3 1 . tljc Jnkjptat. 251 Broadway, opp.City Hall Park. N E W Y O R K , F e b r u a r y 1 4 t h , 1 8 8 4 . CONTENTS. Pages. P o e m ; — Afterwards, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps , T h rough the Darkness, Louise Chandler Moulton ; Hymn, 1'hotnas Hill, D.D .............. 1 The Democratic System of College Government. Charles F. Thw ina ....................................................• 1 A Christian Alliance the Dem and of Our Times. Bishop A . Cleveland Coxe, D.D ........................ 1,2 The F o u r th Centenary oi the Colum b ian Discov­ ery of America. B. F. Dc Costa, D.D .............. 2, 3 A Reminiscence. Benson J. Lossing, D.D 3,4 The Three Years’ L im itation. The Rev. T. J . Lan­ sing ...................................................................... 4,5 Boston M onday Lectureship. One H u n d red a nd Sixty-third Lecture. Joseph Cook ................... 5—7 D e p a r t m e n t s : — Biblical Research—Stichome- try, J . Rendel Harris ; Flue Arts—The \Wa­ ter Color Exhibition, I; S a n itary-E lisha H a rris, M.D., and H is Sanitary Service; Personalities; Pebbles; Science; W ashing­ ton Notes; School and College; Music 7— 10 L i t e r a t u r e : — Recent New Testament Expo­ sition; Minor Notices; Literary Notes; Hooks of the Week....................................................... 1 1 ,1 3 R e l i g i o u s I n t e l l i g e n c e : — Foes of the Mormon Creed and System, 7'he Rev. D. L. Leonard; Miscellaneous ..................................................... 14 M i s s i o n s ...................................................................................................... 14 T h e S u n d a y - s c h o o l .................................................................... 15 N e w s o f t h e W e e k ......................................................................... 15 E d i t o r i a l s : — The Cruel Fate oi Madagascar; Telegraph Monopoly; What is the Question? Marriage and Divorce ....................................... 1 6 , 17 E d i t o r i a l N o t e s ..................................................................................17— 19 F i n a n c i a l , C o m m e r c i a l , E t o ................................................. 20—23 I n s u r a n c e .................. , . .............................................................................2 3 ,2 4 O l d ^ n d Y oung : —My Valentine (poem), Maud Lincoln; Feeny Fogarty’s Wake, Frederick D. Storey; A Leap Year Valentine (poem), Josephine Pollard; Emmeline, Fannie M. Johnson ..................................................................................................26—29 P u z z l e d o m ................................................................................................ 29 S e l e c t i o n s ................................................................................................ 29 F a r m a n d G a r d e n ...................... *— . 30 THE CRUEL FATE OF MADAGAS­ CAR. I f might makes right the French have a very strong case against Madagascar. Nothing is surer, except the villainous character of the invasion, than that theMala- gassy are completely at the mercy of the conscienceless foe. French gunboats are amusing themselves by visiting defenseless harbors and bombarding towns which re­ fuse to betray the Queen’s Government; and so long as they are careful to observe the rights of the British subjects they well know that there is nobody to call them to account for their acts. No man with a spark of Christian manhood in him can look upon the condition of the Malagassy without being drawn toward them by the profoundest sympathy. The story of their manly struggles for social, moral, religious, political and commercial improvement is one of the most encouraging in the history of savage tribes. They have shown their capacity for self-government, and the prom­ ise of being equal to all the demands of civilization. They have fairly earned the right to independent existence. They ask nothing more. Who can maintain that they ask too much? Last year the Government of Madagascar sent an embassage to our own and other Christian Powers. In France these respect­ ful embassadors met with threat and insulc. In America and England they told the story of their wrongs to sympathetic ears, and everybody who saw and heard them, or heard their modest, manly statement, felt or rather knew that Madagascar was being grievously wronged; and it was hoped and generally believed that England would interfere to save their country from the rapacity of France. It must now ap­ pear to the Malagassy Government a very hopeless task, a vain appeal, which it un­ dertook in sending out its representatives. Not a gun. not a dollar, not even a remon­ strance was offered to help them. What resource was left? The poor one of appeal to the strength of their people. It is piti­ ful to read of the desperate efforts they made to rally an army, and to provide from such means as they had, and with such skill as they could command, sufficient arms. They made mitrailleuses out of gun barrels; they tried to make effective guns of old muskets; and though those who were called to see an exhibition of the results were pleased with the ingenuity displayed, they could not deny to themselves that these arms furnished but a poor equipment against the splendid weapons of the more highly civilized invaders. IIow vain is all the resistance that so small a nation can make against so strong a power as France the Malagassy have speedily learned. Since they cannot hope tint their cause, just and urgent as it is admitted to be, will bring them any as­ sistance whatever, they must prepare them­ selves to submit. Accordingly, they made overtures to the French Commissioner, M. Baudais, and the French Admiral. What did they offer? They offered to grant all the conditions which the French had asked at the outset. They offered to rec­ ognize the French protectorate over North­ ern Madagascar—a claim which France could not establish before any disinterested jury on the globe; to admit the right of French citizens to own and rent land, and consent to revision of the treaty of 1868 as proposed by the French; and to pay the indemnity of $200,000 already claimed, be­ sides a farther war indemnity and losses suffered on account of hostilities. If it be conceded that the French had even a shadowy right over a part of the Northern coast, and that French citizens were at disadvantage in Madagascar, such terms would seem too severe to be exacted of the conquered. As a proposiiion from the conquered they must be regarded as liberal in the extreme. It is an offer to surrender a large and valuable portion of ihe island and to pay indemnities which must tax the resources of the Government heavily for years. Did the French Com­ missioner at once accept these terms? Nay; verily the capacity of the Fench to levy blackmail has not yet been fully recognized. M. Baudais told the Peace Embassadors that they must add the following to their proposition: “ 1. Recognition by the Hovas ol the general rig h t of F rance over all M adagascar. “ 2. Interdiction to the Hovas to p u t them ­ selves u n d e r any protectorate but th a t of F rance.” In avarice this fairly matches the story of Baba Abdallah in the “ ArabianNights.” It is idle to look for the faintest evidence of justice, moderation or mercy in it. It is a simple proposal to rob the Malagassy of their independence, their country, their money and their property. The oue condi­ tion which remains unasked so far is that the people become slaves of the conquerors. The Hovas have taken the matter under advisement. This may postpone the day of doom; but it is hard to see how they can do otherwise than submit at the last. Only the interference of England can save them. The British residents, who have lost so much by the war, bitterly condemn the ap­ parent indifference of Earl Granville; but the Government is adhering to what it calls a “ policy”, and this makes it deaf to some of the loudest appeals that ever came from the helpless oppressed. There ought to be a medium between the reckless intermed­ dling of a Beaconsfield and the rigid non­ intervention of a Gladstone. It is useless to try to disguise the results of French supremacy in Madagascar. It means that the British planters and traders must leave, and that British influence must come to an end. This is the significance of the second of the French conditions. It means, in the second place, that the English missionaries, who have made the Hovas what they are, must cease their noble work or turn it over to the Jesuits. It means, in the third place, the downfall of the system of education which has been laboriously built up. It means, fourthly, that the slave trade will be revived, it has already received an impetus, and that the trade in rum, which the late queen tried to break up, will flourish again. It means, fifthly, the decay of the civilization and religion which it has cost so much in life and treasure to establish, and the downfall of the little na­ tion which has been so full of promise and encouragement,. Is there any word that can measure the enormity of the evil which France is about to perpetrate on the harmless, prosperous Malagassy? TELEGRAPH MONOPOLY. T h e fact that the telegraphic business of this country is in the hands of a monop­ oly, and that, so far as private competition is concerned, it is likely to stay there, and that the Western Union Telegraph Com­ pany is that monopoly, must be evident to any one who has given any attention to the subject. The business itself is not a luxury or a special accommodation to a few persons, but rather a prime necessity to the general public, and, with the lapse of every year, increasing in its importance. It will be more than doubled iu twenty years, and go on increasing from year to year with the growth of the country and the demand of the people for telegraphic accommodation. Mr. Norvin Green, the President of the Western Union, in a com­ paratively recent report on the affairs of that company, said: “ The same r a te of increase for the next five years will produce gross revenues of thirty-one and a h a lf m illions, and n e t profits of sixteen millions per annum . B u t as the grow th of the oompany has been in an increasing r a tio—each five years show ing a larger percentage of in­ crease th a n the preceding five years—we may reasonably expect a still greater ratio of growth, and, therefore, even larger figures for the year ending in 1887 th a n those above presented, enorm ous as they may appear.” We have no doubt that Mr. Green is cor­ rect in his anticipation of the future growth of telegraphy, whether correct or not in Expecting that the Western Union will maintain its present ascendency as a great monopoly in the transaction of this increas­ ing business. The latter is the vital ques­ tion which concerns the whole people of the United States. This company was organized in 1858 with a capital stock of but $385,700; and now its share capital, on which it pays an annual dividend of six per cent, out of the net profits of the business, amounts to the huge sum of $80,000,000. How has this vast share capital been gained in less than twenty-five years? Does the increase rep­ resent actual capital paid in by the stock­ holders and actually invested in the busi­ ness? Far otherwise. It is well known that the managers of the company have from time to time resorted to a series of tricks and “ watering” processes, by which other companies have been absorbed and amalgamated with it, and ceased to be competitors, and which are the sources of far the larger part of this inciease of this share capital. Those who have studied the subject, on the basis of carefully com­ puted figures, have come to the conclusion that about $20,000,000 would be a very lib­ eral allowance for the capital actually in­ vested in the business, leaving $60,000,000 to be the product of purely fictitious crea­ tion, and really having no existence at all except on tbe books of the company and in the shares of a limited number of stock­ holders v ho have managed to absorb nearly all the stock, and in this way place the affairs of the company under their supreme con­ trol. The nominal amount of the stock is the ostensible excuse for a rate of charges that will enable the company to pay a yearly dividend of six per cent. This would not be unfair to the people, provided the nomi­ nal amount represented the real capital in­ vested. Such, however, is not the fact. The real capital is only about one-fourth of the nominal capital; and hence the people, in telegraphic rates, are paying more than twenty per cent, on the actual capital. And for them there is no relief under the general law of competition. This stupendous mo­ nopoly, with ils more than 374,000 miles of wire, its more than 12,000 offices, its 90,' 000 names on its pay-roll, its $17,114,165 of receipts for the last year, and its constant increase, has gone beyond the reach of suc­ cessful competition by the organization of other private companies. They cannot compete with it. It can either crush them out by its own greater strength, or buy them out. The settled policy of the company is to have no competition. The telegraph business of the country belongs to it; and no competitor must dispute or resist its ascendency. The Western Union means to absorb the business upon its own terms, and it has hitherto succeeded in this pur­ pose. This state of facts suggests and empha­ sizes the necessity that Congress should in­ terpose its power, not to regulate telegraphy as a branch of inter-state commerce by fix­ ing a rate of charges, and not to buy out the Western Union, but to make the system a part of its postal service, and, for this purpose, to build and establish telegraph lines, and cor duct the business under the auspices and by the agents of the Govern­ ment, and that, too, at reasonable rates con­ sidered with reference to the cost. This would be a kind of competition that the Wes­ tern Union could uot resist nor break down; and, as we have no doubt, it would in a few years so commend itself to the people by its advantages as to command universal ap­ proval. The result would be a better and more general accommodation of the people at Jess cost. The system could easily be made to pay its own expenses, and lienee would not add a dollar to the general ex­ penses of the Government to be defrayed by taxation. English postal tclegiaplry is self-supporting, and the same would be true in this country, if not at first, in a very short time. WHAT IS THE QUESTION? T h e question of caste has not got stale yet, and will not for some years to come. It is involved in the discussion about the relation between the American Home Mis­ sionary Society and the American Mission­ ary Association, the two active societies by wffiich especially the Congregational churches are trying to evangelize the United States. What the question in dis­ cussion is exactly, we stated as follows: “ Shall the American Home Missionary Society enter the territory occupied by the American M issionary Association, a n d found churches for the w h ite people, or shall the same Association which has fostered the churches for the colored people also s u p p o rt those whose m embership is white?” We cannot put it more clearly than we did a fortnight ago. It is nothing else than this, whether on certain territory, in which there is a very large ignorant and despised black population, there shall be one society for white people and another for black people. We said emphatically No. The Advance, which antagonizes us, says this is not the question at all; but it fails to tell us what the question really is. We wish it would tell. To the best of our apprehen­ sion what it would like to discuss is: Whether the dear “ old and honored Home Missionary Society should be ordered out of auy part of this good land.” Well, let this be the question. To it we answer Yes, most certainly. That society, and every other society, should be “ or­ dered out” of any locality where it is not needed, or wdiere its presence* would damage or compromise Christianity. It should, for example, be “ ordered out ” of the territory extending for a quarter of a mile just around the First Congregational church, of Chicago, 111. It is not -wanted there; any effort by that society to organ­ ize a church there would be divisive, an in­ jury to the cause of Christ, just because that field is already occupied. For the same reason it must be “ ordered out ” of Old Hadley, Mass. The churches occupying the field would properly resent its coming there. And equally it must be “ ordered out ”—The Advance’s phrase—of any otfaer place, big or little, where other Christian agencies can do the work better. There is no Abraxas sacrosanctity about the letters A. II. M. S. which should force it where it is not needed. Its officers understand this perfectly. They are content with the conclusions of the Conference Committee which their owu society asked for. It is

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