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TOPEKA STATE JOURNAL, SATURDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 2, 1905.
1 if 0 I 1: nf aoa j i SI ttt CL4 KJt "W mm mm mm HE recent death of! Midshipman James; Robinson Branch, Jr., j who was one of the j -4 nrincipals in a fatal Wvs pugilistic duel at the i'i- yV I United States Naval sufficient refutation cf the assertion that the code is extinct. Drivoa from ncrth to south, from re publics to monarchies, from civil life to army camps, from civilization to semibarbarism, the so called "code of honor" which made it necessary for the simon pure "gentleman" to wipe out an insult with blood seems to have taken refuge in the Military and Naval aca demies of the United States. It is true that Paris is still the scene of an occasional farcical duel in which no one is injured and mighty satisfac tion is obtained, and that the students of German universities still swathe themselves in the leather armor that robs their midnight encounters of any danger more thrilling than a scratch of the countenance, but at "West Point and at Annapolis, where the ambitious young American is supposed to be in training to become a gentleman and an officer, the relic of barbarism seems to have taken refuge and is nourished tenderly. According to recent developments, it appears that the cadet of today must bo prepared at any moment to refer a formal challenge to ceremonious sec onds and, obedient to their opinion as to what honor demands, must face un flinchingly a fellow cadet in the time honored pugilistic battle to a finish. The scratch of a rapier is not deemed sufficient to satisfy the demands of outraged honor. Nothing will wipe out the indignity save a fight to the bitter end, even though that end prove to be very bitter indeed. "The honor of the corps" comes as S ANT cities in the United States are now engaged in making preparations for the celebration, on Jan. 6, 1906, of the two hun dredth anniversary of the birth of an Ameri can who figured more prominently in the building of the republic than any other man save Washington Dr. Ben jamin Franklin, born in Boston, Jan. 6, 1706. The briefest and most brilliant biography ever written of him contain ed only five Latin words "Eripuit coelo fulmen, seeptrumque tyrannis." "He snatched the lightning from the skies and the scepter from tyrants" is about the best that can be done for it in English. No loftier or more com prehensive tribute has been accorded any man and no one has ever risen to controvert its truthfulness. Mankind has every reason to be grateful to Dr. Franklin and to hold his name in perpetual veneration. He en larged the scope of human knowledge by revealing mysteries of nature never before understood and by applying the results to the service of man. That alone would entitle him to eternal fame. But that was only one manifestation of this many sided genius. Besides all this and infinitely more than this, he stands second only to Washington in thf.t heroic list of those who stood for those fundamental principles of liberty which culminated in the foundation of the American republic. Franklin was born a British subject in the year made famous by the winning of the battle of Rarnillies by the Duke of Marlborough, a time when every New Englander was proud of being ruled by Queen Anne. Even at that tender and irresponsible age he must have excited the admiration of those who, like President Roosevelt, were not converts to the Malthusian theory he was the ntteenth child, two more HE recent Isle of Pines incident, precipitated by the American in terests which have de veloped on the islet and manifested by a vigorous protest agtist the ratifica tion by the United States senate of i!is treaty giving the island to Cuba, has revived the public curiosity concerning this fertile spot. All the trouble seems to have arisen from the various in terpretations that have been made of the second article of the treaty be tween the Unite 3 States and Spain. The article over which so much con tention has arisen declares that "Spain cedes to the United States fhe island of Porto Kico ana other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies." The status of the United States in reference to Cuba was clearly that of trustee. In respect to Porto Rico it was unmistakably that of sov ereign. Thus far it was plain sailing. But how about the phrase "other is lands now under Spanish sovereignty In the West Indies?" The ambiguity of this expression has been the cause of great confusion. American promoters in the Isle of Fines, who very greatly desire its an nexation to the United States, did not hesitate to discover a meaning in the words of, the article which certainly never entered the minds o? the peace commissioners who formulated them. The Isle of Pines had always been re garded as a part of the province of Ha vana. Ail the maps of Cuba in which the provinces are distinguished by col ors confirm this. The island lies so near the mainland that the channel be tween might almost be crossed by an adventurous swimmer. To insist upon its separation would be like exempt ing Lor;g Island from' any conveniion In which the United States was a party concerned. The Ucitea States authorities have s . - "-. -.- If 1 1 w easily today to the lips of a cadet as it did to the worthies created by Alex andre Dumas. As late as 1901, the year in which the Booz investigation was held, more than a hundred young men wearing the spruce gray of the Mili tary academy at West Point stood at "attention" before the board of inves tigating generrds and confessed that " Ssaaa kadi zr stf-s cd mm following him. The father of these seventeen young colonists was a native of Northamptonshire who had come to the new world with the expectation of working at his trade of dyer, but there was no opportunity in Boston, then a village of 12,000 inhabitants, and he adopted the business of tallow chandler and soap boiler. Franklin could not remember when he had learned to read, but he never forgot that he had attended the Boston Grammar school two years and that he had never gone to school elsewhere. So appreciative was he of those brief two years of school life that he willed the sum of $500 to provide silver medals for distribution to deserving pupiis of the Boston public schools. Those Franklin medals are still a feature of the Boston free schools, and it is re garded as a special stroke of good for tune to be given one. How did this lad without a moment of tuition after he was ten years of age come to be the most famous Ameri can of his day? It was by the most marvelous combination of force, intel lect, character, self discipline, indus try and mother wit ever assembled in a single individual. His endowment of common sense amounted to positive genius. He had a sound mind in a sound body, and he was apparently tireless. All this must have been the lad's equipment when, at the age of ten, his father bade him put aside his books and see what he could do at minding the soap kettle and cutting candle wicks. This he did uncomplainingly for three years and then revolted. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to his brother, who was a printer and pub lisher of the New England Courant, one of the earliest papers on the American continent. It was thus that the print ing office became his school and his university. It probably did more for him in those days than Harvard or even Oxford could have done. He had a THE ONLY CHURCH never seemed disposed to favor the theory advanced by the American in terests. Those interests, however, were potent enough to get a hearing in con gress, and the Piatt amendment, which was afterward adopted as a part of the Cuban constitution, provided that "the Isle of Pines shall be omiited from the groposed constitutional boundaries of lW ia a aaaaa la t V a I J a k atti aai Wa aie mum i W : -lit. JJ- ' H,,7 -A:-wW,.f.r --'W', 1 ' iM MX rnr -.... S M ' n s - ' l the cadet who offered an insult or told a deliberate lie might expect to be chal lenged to a fistic duel to the finish. They admitted, furthermore, that no cadet had ever been able to hold out against the moral force of the aca demy's condemnation of a man who would refuse to send or to receive a challenge when a formal court of honor. A . ii a fei mn dm mum Grave of Franklin, Philadelphia consuming and insatiate thirst for knowledge which could have been pro pitiated in no other manner than by a study of men as well as books. He read every book that he could obtain and was willing to listen to any one who had any information to impart. He soon learned the art of printing as it was known in those days and began to try his hand at writing. At the age of ON THE ISLAND. Cuba, the title thereto being left to fu ture adjustment by treaty." Situated a little south of the western end of Cuba, and about the size of the state of Rhode Island, the Isle of Pines would prove to be a valuable accession to any nation interested in South American affairs. In the same longi tude as Tampa, Fla., and the same dm w "'agr mtm W'anf aJ mm u V k. mi ' -s" M VrCf--i i 1 1,1 Statue in front of 7 x Fistic Duel. AX ANNAPOUS such as now holds high jurisdiction among Uncle Sam's gentlemen pupils, had adjudged that blood alone could wipe out the insult. This court of honor is another mediaeval institution which is still in force at the national academies. Be fore the civil war the southern cadet dominated social matters at the acad sixteen he was furnishing editorials for the Courant, his brother being under an interdict for criticising the authori ties, ilis brother was an ungrateful person, for as soon as he was free he banished Benjamin from the editorial sanctum and resumed his own blunder ing pen. Young Franklin revolted again. This time he shook the dust of New Eng GATEWAY AT latitude as Tucatan, this bit of land is regarded as a strategic key to the Ca ribbean sea and the Yucatan channel, which connects this sea with the gulf of Mexico. The island is about thirty miles in length and forty in width, and at high tide is practically transformed into two land areas, the sea inundating a chain of. lagoons across the southern 1 NNfCl S -'J f-1 "Ml 5 s X- K x'---,-!. -'- j ijl James f flaBINSGSjijl II Branch J emies, as he did at Harvard, Yale and Princeton. It was in the south that the dueling code was perfected in its minutest details, and it was introduced into the national academies by the southern cadets. According to the code a challenge did not compel a man to fight. In South Carolina there was a carefully formulated code known as 1 LlR lOu qou ocn z?e QQQ oca r land from his feet and landed in Phila delphia with a dollar in his pocket. He was used to impecuniosity and did not worry over it. He soon found good em ployment and worked diligently until the governor of the province sent him to London on a matter of business which turned out to be an utter failure. Work was easy to obtain in England, and he kept at it eighteen months, then SANTA FE. part of It. The northern part, facing Cuba, is mountainous, with peaks more than 2.000 feet above the sea- In this northern part are gathered almost ail of the 3,000 inhabitants, among them about 400 Americans who have been drawn thither by the won derful fertility of the soil and the rich ness ol the natural features of the is the "Smith code" which settled many! quarrels without the principals appear ing on the field. It provided for a court of arbitration made up of three promi nent gentlemen who decided on the in sult and whether or not it necessitated the "calling out" of a man. No one ever thought of disputing the fiat of this court. This is the court of honor which still obtains at Annapolis and at West Point. There is only one appeal from its ver dict and that is to a class meeting, be fore whose ruling even the officers of the academies are alleged to bow in submission. So lofty are the standards of honor among Uncle Sam's embryo heroes that an upper class man who has been convicted of lying is not per mitted to fight, but is ostracized with out further opportunity, although a "plebe" or lower class man is allowed to retrieve his damaged reputation by the ordeal of combat. It is a fact well known and acknowledged among United States officers that this mediaeval code cannot be disregarded by any man, be he professor, officer or cadet, who ex pects to retain his connection with these government institutions. More details concerning the working of the code have become public through West Point investigations than from those at Annapolis. The recent lament able disaster at the naval school Is un doubtedly the most powerful argument for the abolishment of the code that has ever been found. The horrified public is still gasping over the knowl edge that such a calamity was possible in the light of modern civilization. It must not be too hastily concluded, how ever, that the code of honor known to the national academies will fall into immediate desuetude. The practice is too well grounded for that and too strongly fortified by the tacit approval of the academy authorities and those who have had the opportunity of wit nessing its effect upon the cadet body. 5 Frankun's Birthplacej BOSTON falling desperately ill. On his re covery he returned to the Quaker City and for twenty years followed the printing business with diligence. In a few years he became a person of importance not only in Philadelphia, but throughout the thirteen colonies. Two literary ventures in which he had engaged extended hi3 reputation very widely. He purchased the Pennsyl- land. Potatoes are raised which bring a higher price in the Havana markets than those from the United States. Tobacco grows even too luxuriantly for quality's sake. Sugar cane is culti vated at a satisfactory profit, and the pineapple, which seems to be native to the soil and once grew in such abund ance as to furnish a name to the island, is being produced in quantities for American tables. The chief industry of the Island, how ever, is citrus fruit culture, and this is almost entirely in the hands of the Americans. More than 150,000 trees have been planted, and they are now beginning to yield abundantly. Cuba has a distinct advantage over the little Island in the cultivation of pineapples for the foreign market in the fact that the fruit ripens earlier in the Cuban In terior, and the transportation problem Is less complicated. More recently the American residents of the Isle of Pines have turned their attention to vegetable growing for the winter market. Toma toes, eggplants and cucumbers are ship ped in immense quantities to the north ern markets of America. The population of the Isle of Pines is distinct from that of Cuba and seems to be a mixture of the native Indian, the invading Spaniard and the negro slave. Among the American portion of the present population there are more persons from Iowa than from any other state. Several colonies of Iowans have located on the island and many others are prepared to go there as soon as the matter of ownership is settled. These Iowa pioneers are from Spencer, Fair field, Ottumwa and Creston, and they already number upward of 200. Some time ago there was organized at Fair field a company to develop a plantation and build a town in the island, and the outcome is the health resort of Al maciges Springs, which bids fair to become exceedingly popular as a win ter home for northern invalids. Colum bia is another American town which has roseate prospects as a health center. fetal fetal afeaV (. 1 i i M m&m m Mom mtiu mm A graduate of the Naval academy who has been in private life for many years relates two instances of this for cible adjustment of class difficulties which happened during his course, and they may be taken es a fair sample of conditions as they exist today. The first occurred while the academy was located temporarily at Newport, R. I., during the civil war. Oni of the senior class men, a powerfully built chap older than most of his mates, an arro gant and irascible fellow, was on very bad terms with the lower class men. One day he was especially offensive- to a plucky little fellow of the junior class, and he was invited to settle the matter by a resort to the code. He re fused tauntingly and threatened to spank the presumptuous junior, The latter, who is today flying his rear ad miral's flag in command of ona of the American fleets, laid the matter before his class, and it was decided that a man who was more nearly a match for the aggressive senior should be chosen to maintain the juniors' honor. The lot fell to the youngster who is now Rear Admiral Lamberton. Although Lam berton was whipped, he made a gal lant stand and the class honor was maintained. The other battle was fought at-Annapolis in 1866 between a cadet officer and a first class - man who was the strong man of the academy. It was the result of a feud of long standing, the circumstances being similar to those which led up to the recent fatal en counter. The code of honor as it exists in both national academies must be re garded as being entirely distinct from hazing. In 1901 congress prohibited hazing at West Point by making it punishable with instant expulsion. Two years ago it was provided that naval cadets should be punished with un conditional expulsion for any attempt at hazing. JAMES L. TREVATHAN. mm WJu vania Gazette when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and under his editorship it became the best paper in America. His Poor Richard's Almanack, which he started when he was twenty-six and continued to publish until he was past sixty, gave him an international repu tation and was the source of great profit. By the time he reached middle life he was the best known and most important man in the colonies. At this time Franklin was an intense ly loyal British subject. He had done excellent service for the home govern ment, and he was well and favorably known in England. In the wars against the French and Indians he had been very active and had been honored with the doctorate by both Oxford. and Edin burgh. He visited Great Britain and was feted and lionized by everybody of note. He remained abroad several years and had serious thought of spend ing the remainder of his life in London. His scientific discoveries made him more prominent in European centers than he had ever been in Philadelphia, which had not yet learned how to ap preciate him. His fellow citizens were quite ready to admit his business and political sagacity, but they were not so certain of his scientific prestige. When the stamp act was first sug gested Franklin was sent to England to nip it in the bud. He did every thing he could to prevent it, even go ing before a committee of the house of commons to combat it. This mads him bad friends with the king, who manifested his displeasure by profess ing a sudden unbelief in the philoso pher's electric discoveries. This was Franklin's vulnerable point, and it cut him to the quick. Still, he bore it in silence and remained in London as the advocate of the cause of the colonies until the rupture was inevitable. Then he resolved to cast in his lot with his countrymen and landed at Philadelphia two weeks after the battle of Lexing ton. TRUMAN L. ELTON. The American residents own in fee simple considerably over half of the island. They have built houses some of them quite pretentious set out orchards and prepared the soil for cul tivation. A company from New Jer sey has expended over JIOO.OOO on a plantation, and one tract of land re cently purchased by an American brought J 80.000. Another company has invested $175,000 in a hotel and fruit farm. At present fourteen states of the Union are represented in the American colony. The southern part of the island is of coral formation and, strange as it may appear, is covered by dense forests of such valuable timber as mahogany, ebony, cedar, redwood and many other native hard woods. These rare woods have long been used with the most shameful prodigality by the natives, who did not recognize their value. The Spanish prison in which political of fenders were confined in the days when the island was used as a penal colony is finished in mahogany and ebony, over which whitewash has been daubed lib erally. Marble quarries yielding white, green and pink stone of superior quality are now being operated anrt a company has been organized to exploit the mag nesia springs which abound In the in terior. These thermal waters have long been known to the wealthy Cu bans, who have for years frequented the island in large numbers in quest of health. The water of the springs is shipped to Havana and sold in the streets and is reputed to be a specific for the form of muscular rheumatism which is so prevalent during the rainy season in the larger island. Nueva Gerona has been the seat of the island government, such as it is. Here reside the governor, the municipal judge and several assistants. There i3 also a barrack in which are quartered about thirty rural guards, who are supposed to patrol the island in the in terests of peace. RAMON SILVA. 1 H 1 r 'v i i i i mm m thm feat mm ttm