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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, November 10, 1906, Image 18

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1906-11-10/ed-1/seq-18/

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Something About the Present
Supply of Buildings.
10 tup nitv nwrodhh to
io i nc 011 i uvcnouiLii
Conclusion Said to Be Reached That
It is Not.
Additions Being Made to the Struc
tures Both In Residence and
Business Sections.
There is said to be no phase of the realty
markot that is of more interest Just now
than that of the supply of houses and
apartments, and the relation of that sup
r?l v tn t ha rlomanH A ort.u t rr* rt r? v noitnla
lire Interested In knowing the actual facts
About such a condition, and as there Is no
definite way In which such information can
be secured, it is left to Inquirers to get it
as best they can. If there was only some
method of finding out with accuracy exact
It how many vacant houses and suites in
npartment houses there are In the city then
It might be possible to proceed with some
sort of deflniteness with plans for adding
to their number.
There is no such method. Some people
rely on what they see as they pass along
the streets of the city. They get some no
tion, or think they do, of the condition of
things by noticing the signs of "To let"
displayed on the houses. At times It seems
to th.-m that they see more of such signs
tbau they do at other times.
As to Vacant Houses.
fuoh is the Impression at tlie present time
of ? man who Is an investor esneclnHv in
apartment house property. He has been
about the city during the past few days,
and he thinks that he does not remember
to have seen as many signs "For rent" nt
tarhed to bouses as he noticed during the
trip. That is, of course, merely a oomparl
lie ocra <111vi Willi Wlia.1 nft TPC
olWts to have seen, perhaps last year or
the .year before, and for that reason it
lacks that quality of accuracy which ia de
sirable in such a connection.
StiH it is worth something even if it is
no more than an Impression, and there
Is no one who has the right to deny
or set it aside except so far as it contra
dicts a similar impression acquired in the
same way. Against such a view or idea
oi :nc mamet may t>e placed the testimony
of the rent sheets in the offices of real es
tate brokers, which show that there are
no more houses or apartments for rent at
this time than was the case at the saiqe pe
riod last year.
No More Than UsuaL
In fact, the men who handle this class
_. r.vtn..vj avis iuc uwu?ra say mat the
rental season, which Is now coming to an
end. has been a very good one. and that the
demand, which has been large, has been
supplied, and, while there are still houses
and suites in apartment houses for rent,
Mtill the number of such vacancies Is no
larger than Is customary at this season of
the year.
Thai la 1~- -- ' ? "
? - .... B.^uaiiuu* as 1U1 lis Villi D6
summed up with the mrans of Information
at hand. There are also other Indications
of the condition, and one Is that the building
of apartment houses has Dractically come
to an end, for the reason that It is Impos
sible to get loans on that class of prop
erty. it seems that the trust companies
and individuals who furnish capital for such
purposes have come to the conclusion that
there are enough of such buildings, and
their action in refusing to make any more
loans is sufficiently uniform to put a stop
to building operations of that character.
Market for Houses.
It may be taken for granted from this
< Ircumstance that there Is something more
than a mere Impression on the part of the
people who loan money that the city Is
overbuilt, as far as anartmpnt " ?
concerned. On the other hand, no such
check has been given to the building of
houses, and It is said that loans can be
secured on that class of property so that
those who need money for such a purpose
are able to secure It. .?
Of course. It may be said in regard to
this that, as there Is no other method
open to the companies and others having
money to loan for building purposes of
placing their funds except by loans on
houses, but it Is not likelv that tVunr
continue to place such loans if there was
not a good prospect of the borrowers being
able to find a market for their houses and
thus be in a position to pay oft their loans.
Inquiries From Home Buyers.
It may be Inferred from this latter con
lderalion that the market for houses la
a g<><>d one. and there are people who want
to buy them as well as to rent them, and
the operations that are now being financed
are to meet a legitimate demand. This fact
may be laid against the Impression of th?
present situation as stated, and In that way
perhaps a broader view of the market can
Le hud than in any other manner.
Further information as to the state of the
market can be secured from real estate
brokers who hear what people have to say
who come Into their offices asking about
property. It la said that the Inquiry from
home buyers continues to bo good and that
the number of such inquiries reaches such
proportions as to be fairly astonishing at
times. Of course It is not meant to be in
ferred either by the brokers who talk thla
way or by others giving currency to such
views that there Is a boom on, for such Is
*-"i ??v ' xucio iO| uy nx;?ci, o gwuu,
healthy demand for property.
In trying to meet this demand houses are
being built and It Is probable that they will
continue to be built as long as such a state
of things Is revealed by the current busi
Decrease in Official Figures.
While the record of the bulMlng inspect
or's office for the month Just closed shows
tliat current building has fallen off in vol
ume as compared with the previous month,
till the fact remains that there is a good
deal going on. It Is llksljr that such will
7th Street Northwest. Between Kilboi
continue to be the case for a year or two
yet, as it will take that time before all the
large undertakings now under way are com
The number of such enterprises la un
usually large, so that with the falling off in
the amount or general building the work
on the large structures that are being erect
ed here by the government Is going to keep
current operations up to and perhaps above
the normal point.
An Unusual Activity.
It is not surprising that a halt should
come Jn building operations in this city, for
during th? past year or so the volume of
such work reached proportions never be
fore attained here. In that oarticular this
eity shared In the general conditions
throughout the country, and now that the
returhs show a falling off In other places In
the amount of new building, It would- be
unexpected if Washington should be an ex
ception to the general rule.
The cost of building has undoubtedly had
some influence in bringing about this slack
ening up in activity, but It may be said
that the cause in general lies in the great
amount that has been done in a compara
tively short time, so that It may be con
cluded that the present is a sort of breath
ing spell to enable the market to fiU Its
lungs for another spurt.
Residence of Mr. Keep.
During the week a permit was issued for
for Mr. F. A. Keep at 22S1 R street north
west. The location, on tho north side of R
street overlooking Sheridan Circle, Is an at
tractive one, and the house, which is to be
a large one, has been designed In the
Georgian style by Wyeth & Cresson, archi
tects. The material used in the exterior
will be brick of a light shade and white
limestone. The house will be three stories
in height, and will contain about eighteen
On the basement floor there will be a
cmrtlflno- rr\r\m t H H f r? Vi on lann^rv
other service rooms. The main floor will
contain the drawing, dining and reception
rooms, with a large stair hall and grand
staircase. The second floor will have a
morning room and two large bed rooms,
and on the top floor will be four guest
rooms and the servant rooms. The con
tract for construction has been awarded
to John McGregor.
General Building Conditions.
The upturn hns come, building operations
in the principal cities for October showing
a gain over the corresponding month a year
ago. According to official reports to Con
struction News, permits were taken out in
thirty-eight of the lea-ding cities during Oc
tober for 12,iV4(5 buildings. Involving a total
cost of J42.074.817, against 11.380 buildings
at an estimated cost of $40,082.970 for the
same period a year ago, an increase of 1,106
buildings and $1,391,847, or 3 per cent.
The most conspicuous features of the sit
uation are the heavy decrease in New York
nttv nn,l iV.f. In V.?
Pacific coast cities. The prosperous cities
of the middle states continue to make a
very satisfactory showing. In New York
city permits were taken out this October
for 343 buildings, to cost $4,419,93ft, against
289 buildings, involving $9,030,190, an In
crease of fifty-four buildings and a decrease
of $5,210,235, or 52 per cent.
The coast cities are making a remarkable
showing and it is to be regretted that the
figures for Spokane are missing. The con
dition on the coast is abundantly illus
trated by the figures for Seattle, where
during the month just closed permits were
taken out for 832 buildings, involving a to
tal cost of $1,929,879, against 686 buildings
involving an aggregate cost or <3.344 ror
the corresponding month a year ago, an In
crease of 419 per cent.
Tacoma shows an Increase of 170 pep
cent, Portland 124, and Los Angeles 38. Of
the thirty-eight cities there were gains in
twenty-three and losses in fifteen. Chicago,
which for a month or two prior to October
showed a falling off because of the tre
mendous activity a year ago, is again on
the right side, the increase being 6 per
A View of the Market.
The Moore & Hill Company reports "the
first ten days of November, In point of
UU3Uit?B, as iuiiuiis uiv ucai m uo iuoiui/
of that corporation. Included tn the sales
is that of the Wlnton and Stanley apart
ment houses on Columbia Heights. The
realty transactions have been confined to
no particular class of property, the buying
having been quite general, home* and in
vestments having the'call in even propor
tion. New houses or those erected during
the past season, and especially those In
the outlying sections, including Columbia
Heights and Bioomlngdale, make up a con
siderable part of the sales.
"The demand for Investment property. &
noticeable feature of the year, continues,
ready sales being made of good renting
houses and fiats and of property promising
future speculation. The class buying these
properties is made up of those in all walks
of life, not a few of the buyers being gov
ernment clerks who are placing their sav
ings in productive realty.
"The sale of houses on what Is often
termed the 'easy-payment plan" is growing,
the number of those who have been ten
ants who are making application for prop
erties and buying them being steadily on
the Increase."
& Street Ho
lrne and Lamont Streets.
Inquiry Made for Property in
Business Sections.
Far-Siglited Men Who Anticipate Fu
tare Developments.
Enlargement of the Commercial Area
of the City is What is
A feature of the market that is not
without Interest is the Inquiry being made
for property in the business sections of the
uij. ah duiuo tdoca aucu lll(4Ull'ie9 lULVe HI**
ready resulted In the Investment of money.
The use of that word in this connection is
fully warranted by what is understood to
be the attitude of those who buy property
of the sort in question and who are in
search of similar holdings.
It is Investment buying not perhaps in
the full sense of that term. This remains
true even whpn It is knnwn tWat thora ia
! an expectation on the part of those who
are now in the market that there is to be
an appreciation in values perhaps in the
near future. It may also be noted that
much of the demand is from people who
are either not residents of the city or who
have not been hero very long.
A 4.4 iV. T?--i
auti^i^auug iuc xuiuic.
It appears that on men of this class the
possibilities of the future of this city
make such an impression that they want
to get for themselves some of the advan
tages which they foresee in the development
which is to come. It ia probable that the
Influence of the change In the steam rail
road depot* of the city is one consideration
which is uppermost in the minds of those
who are looking at property In the city
with the view of making a profitable in
vestment or speculation.
Much of the present interest which Is di
i rected toward what may be looked upon as
business property may be attributed to the
supposed effect of the location of the union
depot and the centering there of the great
railway passenger traffic which comes into
this city. This is shown by the good deal
of current business of this class of prop
erty as well as also the lnauiries that are
being made.
Some of the Current Gossip.
It is supposed that new centers are going
to be made and that property hitherto
looked upon as unavailable for business
purposes is to be brought Into use. Ex
actly how this Is to be done and why re
mains aa yet a good deal of a mystery
even to those who are somewhat familiar
with realty matters in this city.
In order, perhaps, to anticipate what is
going to happen and also to get in line
with future changes, a good deal of prop
erty In the section directly west of the
union depot and continuing as far as 15th
street, with a varying breadth, has already
changed hands. Options have also been
secured. It 1s In that section that much of
the .property is located about which In
quiries are coming from supposed investors
and buyers.
Talk of Improvements.
Recent purchases, for example, along G
street, with the added statement that oth
ers are in contemplation, have given rise to
talk about some extensive improvements
on the part of purchasers If they succed
In getting any considerable holdings. This
is perhaps the latest development In this
line. There Is, however, nothing very defi
nite, and it may be that the undertakings
thus generally referred to may never ma
There are those who think that all this
Is perfectly natural and Is only carry
ing out what Is Inevitable?namely, the
broadening and enlarging of the business
territory of the city. It is believed by
those who hold this view that the present
retail district of the city is too limited and
that its extension along side streets and
also parallel streets is to be expected and
rawest, Looking West From 13th and
something that Is sure to occur in the near
Prices of property, they argue, have some
influence on such a movement, and, of
course, the scale of rentals and tho com
petition of new territory has also that ef
fect. It is not meant, of course, that there
is to be any shifting of centers of business
activities, but only an enlarging and an
extending: of the bounds of such sections.
An interesting feature of the real estata
market in several of the large cities of the
country is the desire to get rid of ground
rents. In Pittsburg, says the Press of that
city, this peculiar phase of land ownership
has never cut much of a. figure, as there
never have been many of these rents in
force in this section. There are, however,
still a few on some of the down-town ave
nues and within the past fifteen years a
good many have been extinguished.
Real estate deaiers everywhere light shy
of them as much as possible, and it Is al
most impossible to find an eastern trust
company that will accept a mortgage on a
property on which there is a ground rent,
since the existence of this rent puts ths
trust company in second place in the mat
ter of realizing on the property.
In Philadelphia and Baltimore ground
rents are still numerous, and It was this
fact that seriously handicapped the prog
ress of rebuilding Baltimore after the fire.
In fact, they did very materially aid In
preventing the widening of many of the
streets in the burned district. In Philadel
phia last week there was an unusually
large sale of ground rents at auction, a dis
tinct feature being the high prices secured
for them, although they were already re
deemable. One of them furnishing an an
nual rental of $24 on a principal of $400
was sold for $650, at which price It yields
3 G9-100 per cent. Others sold at about par.
That any sold at a premium is unusual.
The principal can be paid off at any time.
In which case the premium paid would be
Origin of Ground Bents.
But it often happens that when property
carrying a ground rent la wanted very
badly a big premium is asked; and it is re
called that when Diamond street. In this
city, was being Improved the syndicate
having the matter in hand paid stiff pre
miums for certain ground rents, which they
wanted to extinguish.
These sales call attention once more to
one of the ancient ways the venerated
fathers of Pennsylvania had of investing
their funds?the sale of real estate, reserv
ing a ground rent or annual payment to the
holder of the same, "his heirs or assigns
fnrpvpr " Thpv wprp tt>nHf navahlo In v?H.
ous ways?Spanish pistoles, Indian arrows,
annually, or the greatest number in Span
ish milled dollars?then in high repute as a
medium of circulation.
Many deeds also stipulated these Spanish
dollars shall weigh "17 dwt. 6 gr. of line
silver." The yearly charge was computed
at the rate of 6 per cent.
Law Against Them.
In some of the old sections of Philadel
phia it is the exception when a house has
not a ground rent upon it. They have
proved an otratacle to sales, and in making
mortgages upon property, as is well known,
and as early as 1850 there was legislation
nn thA RiihWt Tn thp ant nf IftriA Anrll 99
P. h. 541), is found the provision:
"From and after the passage of this act
whenever a deed or other Instrument of
writing conveying realty shall be made
wherein shall be contained a reservation of
ground rent to become perpetual upon fail
ure of the purchaser to comply with the
conditions therein contained, no such cove
nant or condition shall be so construed as
to make the said ground rent a perpetual
incumbrance, but it shall be lawful for the
purchaser thereof at any time after said
ground rent shall have fallen due to pay
the full amount of same, and such payment
shall be a complete discharge from the in
cumbrance aforesaid."
Groun'd rents were also drawn in which a
term of years was given, generally ten,
during which the ground rent could be paid
off and extinguished, but if option was not
exercised it became irredeemable.
Old Gold Dollars.
For many years current funds were ac
cepted for payment without regard to the
specially named coin. During the civil war,
however, holders looked into their securi
ties, ana as silver was at a high premium,
demanded payment in whatever was named
in the ground rent deed. The Spanish
milled dollars, of any weight, full or light,
at that time were not to be obtained at any
price. Suits were brought, and the courts
decided that, where the special money
named in the deeds could not be obtained,
they should be paid in gold. After this
was done gold was quoted as high as 200,
and as late as 1877 it was still at a frac
tional premium.
After the resumption of specie payments
current funds were again accepted until
the depreciation of silver occurred, when
Spanish milled dollars suddenly appeared
In the hands of brokers and were offeredt
as low as 00 per cent of their face value.
Then the spirit of retaliation occurred to
many owners oi properties Duraened Oy ir
redeemable ground rents. They bought tha
depreciated dollars and offered them at the
Interest periods. They were refused, but
the tender was sustained by courts and
eminent lawyers. When such payment was
made those who received them were com
pelled to sell to brokers at from 45 per cent
to 95 per cent discount.
More Legislation.
In 1885 further legislation was passed
making It impossible to create an lrredeem
able ground rent By act of 1883, June 5M,
P. It. 161, It is provided:
"From and after the passage of this act
no Irredeemable or non-extlngulshable
ground rent shall be charged upon or re
served out of any land within this com
monwealth, nor shall any omission to pro
vide for the redemption of any ground rent
or rent charge, etc., in any deed hereafter
to be made charging or reserving ground
rent be in any wise construed or interpreted
to make auch ground rent irredeemable or
prevent the extinguishment thereof."
Such legal action, however, would not be
retroactive, and old ground rents continued
to advance in value until In some instances
they changed hands (either aa an Invest
ment or to extinguish them) at 100 per
cent premium, mailing me principal return
to the holder double the amount reserved
when the ground rent was created and In
terest only 9 per cent
Interfered With Sales.
Small around rents of this class often In
0 Streets.
terfered with sales of large properties. One
fell through for the reason that the holder
of an irredeemable ground rent of $12 per
annum, principal $200. refused to accept
wren tt.OOfr to extinguish it. On being urgad
to do so, and told he could invest the sum
and rwcaive four times the income, his an
swer was: "It has been held In my family
for generations, and I do not wish to dis
turb my investments."
A number of well-known estates held In
trust by Philadelphia companies consist
rery largely of ground, rente- In one, as
soon as any principal is ready for reinvest
ground rents. The Income, of course, is
very small, but all risk is practically elim
inated, as a ground rent of this kind covers
the house upon the ground and all in it,
and in event of a default in annual or semi
annual payment can toe levied on in the
same manner as for rent.
They now sell upon about a 4 per cent
basis when the property is well situated
and no drawbacks exist. During all these
years ground rents also existed which were
redeemable; that Is. they could be extin
guished at any time by paying principal
which had been reserved, and accrued
ground rent to date, a deed being drawn
and recorded, as in real estate. These
ground rents were 6 per cent, and for many
years sold below par. In most cases they
. were well sccured. but the length of thne
they would remain was uncertain.
wun lectures by Commander Robert E.
Peary, 0. S. N.. who recently established
a new "farthest north" record, and by Dr.
F. A. Cook of Brooklyn, who accomplished
the ascent of Mt. McKinley, the highest
mountain in North America, as promised
features, the National Geographic Society
? "" jooucw iu> inugiaui ul us wiuici icciuro
course of 1906-07. Dates for the Peary and
Cook addresses will be announced as soon
as arrangements can be made suitable to
each of the two explorers. The society will
continue Its plan of gving one series of
popular lectures, the general subject this
year being "Pan-America." and a scientific
course, the former to be held in National
Rifles' Armory, 920 G street northwest, and
the latter in the home of the society, Hub
bard Memorial Hall, 16th and M streets
Opened Last Night.
Besides the Peary and Cook addresses, the
public course, beginning with a lecture last
night by John Barrett, U. 8. minister to
Colombia, includes the following:
November 9? Colombia?? Land of Great
Possibilities." By John Barrett, U. S. min
ister to Colombia. Illustrated.
November 16?"Digging the Ditch." By
Dr. Willis Fletcher Johnson, associate ed
itor of the New York Tribune and author of
"Four Centuries of the Panama Canal."
November 30?"Beautiful Ecuador." By
Joseph W. Lee, U. S. minister to Ecuador.
December 7?"The New China." By John
W. Foster, formerly Secretary of State and
chairman of the Chinese delegation to The
December 14?"Russia and the Duma."
By Mr. William E. Curtis. Illustrated.
December 21?"Our Immigrants; Where
They Come From, What They Are. and
What They Do After They Get Here." By
F. P. Sargent, commissioner general of Im
migration. Illustrated.
January 4?"Camping Expeditions In the
lanauuui nucxies. o> nr. txowara uu
January 18?"The Gulanas." By Prof.
Angelo Heilprln of Tale University. Illus
January 23?"Bolivia?a Countrv Without
a Debt." By the Bolivian minister, Senor
F. Calderon. Illustrated.
February 1?"The Pacific Coast." By
George C. Perkins, United States senator
from California.
February 8?"An American In Cuba." By
Mr. Walter D. Wilcox. Illustrated.
ITohrntiru 1 "Tan Yoara n f Pnl a r
or, What We Know and What We Want to
Know." By Mr. Herbert L. Bridgman, sec
retary of the Peary Arctic Club. Illus
March 1?"Santo Domingo and Haiti." By
Rear Admiral Chester, United States navy.
March 15?"The Regeneration of Korea."
By George Ken-nan. Illustrated.
March 23?"Queer Methods of Travel In
Curious Corners of the World." By O. P.
Austin, chief bureau of statistics. Illus
March 29?"Mexico?the Treasure House of
thie World." Illustrated.
April 5?"A Popular Explanation of Earth
quakes and Volcanoes." By Dr. G. K. Gil
bert of the United States geological survey.
April 12?"Captain John Smith and Old
Jamestown." By W. W. Ellsworth, sec
retary of the Century Company.
Scientific Course.
November 10?"Prosperous Porto Rico."
By William P. Willoughby, treasurer of
Porto Rico.
November 23?"The Great New Lake In
Southern California Made by the Colorado
Rhrer." By Dr. A. P. Davis, assistant chief
engineer. United States reclamation ser
vice. Illustrated.
December 10?"Agricultural Progress In
the United 8tates." By Willett M. Hays,
assistant secretary of agriculture. Illus
December 17?"Enterprising Slam." By
Henry S. Kerr of New York. Illustrated.
December 28?"Acclimatizing- Fisheries: or.
Transplanting Fishes from the Atlantic to
the Pacific, and Vice Versa, etc." By Dr.
Hugh M. Smith, deputy commissioner, bu
reau of fisheries. Illustrated.
January 11?Annual meeting. "Aboriginal
Agriculture in Guatemala." By O. F. Cook
of the United States Department of Agri
culture. Illustrated.
January 1ft?"The United States Forest
Service." By GlfEord Pinchot, forester.
January 22?"The Coal Lands of th?
United States Public Domain." By M.
R. Clmpbell of the United States geological
survey. Illustrated.
February 9?"A Visit to Sumatra." By
George H. Peters of the United States
naval observatory. Illustrated.
February 18?"Reclaiming the Desert."
By C. J. Blanchard of the United States
reclamation service. Illustrated.
February 22?"Reclaiming the Swamp
Lands of the United States." By- H.
M. Wilson of the United States geological
survey. Illustrated.
March 8?"Twenty Tears in Beirut and
Damascus; or, The Syjria of Today." By
Rev. F. E. Hoskina. Illustrated.
March 22?"Utilizing the Surface Waters
of the United States for Power." By
H. A. Pressey, C. E. Illustrated.
April 6?"The South Sea Islanders." By
A. B. Alexander of the United States bu
reau of fisheries. Illustrated.
April 19?"The Bureau of American Re
publics." By W. C. Fox, director of the bu
reau of American republics.
The annual banquet of the society will be
held in December at the New Wlllnrrt
Offices Estimated at $500,000 Pass to
A telegram from Albany says: Patronage,
estimated at $300,000 a year, will pass from
the control of the republican party in the
election of the democratic candidates to the
offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of
state, controller, state treasurer, attorney
general and state engineer and surveyor.
With the exception of the democratic ad
ministration of the office of the attorney
general under John Cuneen in 1903 and
1904, the departments of the state presided
over by those elective officers have been
under republican domination for the last
thirteen years. The subordinate state offices
have been republican since 1883.
Gov.-elect Charles E. Hushes will have
a number of important appointments to
make during his gubernatorial incumbency,
but his power of appointment, with few ex
ceptions, will be applied with gradual
process, whereas the control of the offices
to which democrats have been elected be
comes effective at once. The appointments
by the "governor will be made not at one
time, but at various periods during his ad
Owing to the statement that the govern
ment is about to enter Into a contract with
the Midvale Steel Company of Pennsylvania
a?Kn1?T O 1AA O AAA
iw oixppijr iuua ux aiuiui ytaic, ouw
employes of the Ternl Steel Works, Italy,
have gone on strike. The local authorities
countenance the strike on the pretext of
supporting national Industrie*.
John W. Foster Appointed a
Deleaate From China.
Next International Cnnf#?re?<v? P,*nwt.
ed to Meet in May.
Flay Upon the Vanity of American
Inventors?Rich Harvest Said to
Have Been Garnered.
Written for The St?r and the Chicago Record
The Official Gazette at Peking, which, by
the way, is the oldest newspaper In the
world, having been printed for more than
8,000 consecutive years, with scarcely an
Interruption, frequently contains news of
iu<i likvvik 01 ine united states,
although Its circulation on this side of the
Pacific Is limited to the Chinese legation
In Washington and the various Chinese
consulates throughout the United States. It
publishes all the edicts of the emperor and
empress, the orders and regulations of the
court, and reports the movements of promi
nent officials of the government and the
social festivities about the Forbidden city
very much as The Star hand:<es social and
official occurrences at the American court.
A recent njimber of the Official Oaiette
contains an edict of the empress dowager
and the emperor appointing Mr. John W.
Foster of Washington, formerly Secretary
of State, ambassador to several foreign
capitals, member of various International
tribunals and a citizen of no mean city,
delegate from the empire of China to the
approaching International conference at
The Hague. It appears that Mr. Foster
was nominated for this distinguished honor
in a memorial addressed to the throne by
Mr. Wang Tah-slch. Chinese minister at
London, according to the usual custom In
such matters. The memoral was considered
by the cabinet at Peking, the recommenda
tion was adopted and submitted to their
majesties, who were graciously pleased to
make the appointment, and the following
announcement was published in the Official
Official Announcement.
"The board of foreign affairs, to which
was referred on the eleventh day of the
third month, in the thirty-second year of
Kwang-hsu, by Imperial command, pre
sented by Wang Tah-sich, envoy extraor
amary ana minister plenipotentiary to
Great Britain, proposing the name of John
W. Foster, counsel of the legation at Wash
ington. for appointment as a delegate to the
approaching International conference at The
Hague, respectfully submits the following
"The convention for the pacific settle
ment of International disputes signed at
The Hague was on the twelfth day of the
sixth month last presented by this board
to the throne for ratification, wj that China
might become a party to the convention,
and a copy of the convention as ratified
has been duly deposited with the govern
ment of the Netherlands in accordance with
the stipulations thereof.
"A conference having been called for the
coming summer or autumn, it is important
that delegates to this conference should be
persons of known competency in questions
of international law, and the highest moral
reputation. Now Minister Wang has pro
posed the name of John W. Foster for ap
pointment as a representative of China at
the conference. Mr. Foster is an authority
on international law, and as counsel of the
legation at Washington has repeatedly ren
dered signal services to the Imperial gov
ernment. It Is. therefore, recommended
that John W. Foster be appointed a dele
gate for China to the conference at The
Hague, so as to secure his valuable as
sistance. Upon the approval of this rec
ommendation the board will officially notify
the ministers to the United States and to
The Netherlands, and instruct either of
them to inform Mr. Foster that he should
act accordingly.
"This report on the appointment of a rep
resentative to the International conference
at The Hague is respectfully submitted to
the empress dowager and the emperor for
their majesties" consideration on this twen
ty-first day of the third month. In the
second year of Kwang-hsu.
thirty-second year of JCwang-hsu.
month, In the thirty-second year of Kwang
hBu. Imperial sanction was given to the
above representation."
Mr. Foster's associate will probably be
Mr. LU, the present minister of China to
The Netherlands, who served in the same
capacity at tho late meeting of that tribu
nal. Mr. L,u is regarded as a very able
man, and la an especially fine scholar in
French. Dr. Andrew D. White, late Ameri
can ambassador to Berlin, in his book of
reminiscences recently published refers to
him in a very complimentary manner, and
says that he made the beet speech of any
foreigner who appeared before the tribunal
of The Hague at its recent meeting.
The Haene Conference.
The next international conference ia ex
pected to be held in May, 1907, although
no official announcement has yet been made.
It would have been held last summer, but
was postponed at the request of Secretary
Root for fear it might conflict with the
meeting of the international conference at
Rio de Janeiro. The Chinese government
Is deeply Interested in the proceedings of
the next conference because it will consider
jnany important questions suggested by the
war between Russia and Japan, which was
fought on Chinese territory. It is expected
Chat the tribunal, representing all the civil
ized nations of the world, will adopt some
kind of & code to govern similar situations
In the future, to define the rights and limit
the authority ot belligerents who occupy
neutral ground. It will doubtless determine
also to what extent euch belligerents can
use neutrals within their lines, and to what
extent neutrals may assist the belligerents.
A new definition of neutrality Is very much
needed and there Is an Imperative necessity
for an international law Drotectinar the
non-oontraband property of neutrals during
war. The experience of the United States,
Great Britain and other countries during the
recent war in the east requires this.
Gen. Poster has been counsel of the
Chinese legation In Washington for twenty
years, except during several Intervals when
he was Secretary of State under the Harri
son administration or has been engaged in
diplomatic negotiations In behalf of his own
government. He was the adviser of the Chi
nese commissioners in their negotiations for
peace after the war with Japan in 3895,
and his services were ?o satisfactory to both
-sides that he was afterward entertained
and honored at Tokio by the Japanese quite
as much as by the Chinese at Peking.
Shortly after, and several times since, the
Chinese government has Invited him to
come to Peking as Its official adviser, and
has offered htm a most tempting salary as
U T? la ft#
lira icuiuuciauuu. n la tuc vunvivuuu ui
the diplomatic oolony In China that if Mr.
Foster had accepted the invitation of the
emperor In 1896 the Boxer troubles would
have been prevented and the war between
Russia and Japan would never have oc
curred. That war was the direct result
of the intervention of Russia in the affairs
and relations of China and Japan. This
would never have happened, nor would
the Boxer outbreak have occurred if there
had been a strong and wise man at the
ilea.a ui uw lureiKii ucimniuciu ai jtcaius.
French Swindling Scheme.
There Is a concern In Paris that needs the
attention of the French government, and
it would do no harm If the Secretary of
State at Washington were to jog our able
and enterprising ambassador to Prance con
cerning the matter, for, in all probability,
he knows nothing about It. For many yearc
a gang of swindlers at Madrid has been
acquiring large sums of American mone>
by appealing to the avarice of some of our
citizens and telling them that It has
been appointed guardian of a very wealth>
heiress and executor of a very large ee
tate In Spain. The heiress wants to go to
the fnlted States and the est?*<? U all tl?4
up because there Is no one to pay the fees.
If the person addressed will send over
money to pay her steamship fare and buy
her a few necessities for traveling the chiltl
will sail immediately for the United States;
and, as soon as the probate fees are paid,
the American addressed will he allowed t*?
take possession of the property. Nobody
would believe the number of fools who
have been caught in that trap, ami hav<?
sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to
Spuln, in order to secure control of an es
tate they never heard of before and tho
possession of a child that is of no relation
to them and in whom they can have no
other Interest except that Inspired by their
The French swindlers appeal to the van
ity of their victims and flatter them until
their folly pays the penalty. For many
years similar gangs have operated in the
I'nlted States and have plucked thousands
of geese in Europe by offering them honor
ary degrees, from Imaginary universities.
They would take the register of the Church
of Kngland, for example, and o?nd circu
lars to all of the clergymen whose names
appear in that directory, informing them
that their fame has reached the ITnlted
States and that some imaginary university
with a high-sounding name has conferred
upon them titles of doctor of divinity. Cer
tificates thereof inscribed upon parchment
are awaiting tlieir orders and will be for
warded upon the receipt of the usual fee
of a hundred or fifty debars, according to
circumstances. Similar circulars were sent
to men whose names appear In the lists of
lawyers and doctors and the other lrarm-il
professions, many of whom promptly swal
low the halt, forward the money and re
ceive diplomas which authorixe them to
wear titles and add strings of letters after
their names. This species of swindling ha?
been pretty well crushed out by the strenu
ous efforts of American educational asso
ciations, although occasionally we hear of
a new case In Boston or Phllnilelnhia. or
Chicago, which have been the favorite
fields of operation.
Bait for Inventors.
The Paris swindle la conducted in a slmU
lar manner. Its headquarters are at No. 11
Boulevard St. Martin, where the manager!
take the lists of patents granted by tha
United States as publish?d In the Patent
Office Gazette every week and address l
circular to each inventor whose name U
given, advising him that his fame ha*
reached the ears of the governing board
of "The Academy," who have e'ected him
a member of that body, and bemuse ol
the value and Importance of his invention
have conferr?-d upon him "The Great GoU
Medal" and "The Award of the Strut-*-1???
Diploma" and "Tim Title of Member of th?
"This honorable tltlo will be of no ex
pense to you," continue! the circular, "bul
If you are desirous to receive the medal
and diploma you would have to send us a
post money order of |10, or two pounds
sterling, to cover admission taxes, freight,
etc., etc., and we Rhall send both well pack
ed and free of charge to your address.
Trusting that our invitation will be favor
ably received, we are at your disposition
for all further Information, and remain, sir,
your obedient servant.
"H. E. BOKTTCHER. Director."
aii. owinner aiso oners to send (elided
duplicates of tho medal for $3 each anil
engraved printer's blocks for Its repro
duction for $8 a pair. Large gilded wooden
models to bo used on signboards are fur
nished for $10 a pair and the cross or
insignia for mcmlwrs, suspended upon ?
tri-colored silk ribbon, to bo worn around
the .neck, for $3.
Many Americans Caught.
No one knows how many innocent Amer
icans have been caught In this trap, but
the number is legion. The swindlers in
close with their circulars copies of letters
received from Englishmen and Americans
in different parts of the United States
who acknowledge the receipt of the medalu
and diplomas and express their apprecia
tion of tlje honor. It would not be fair to
publish their names. Sometimes, how
ever, they get a different kind of a letter.
Occasionally some American, who Is too
smart to be caught and sees the humor
In the scheme, declines the honor like a
gentleman up at Ottumwa, Iowa, Mr. Ira
D. Smeller, who has Invented and pat
ented an apparatus to spray cattle and
hogs with chemicals to heal sores anil kill
insects. Finding his name among the list
of patentees, the "director" sent him tho
usual notllieation of his election as a mem
ber of "The Academy" and of the aw?r<l
of a gold medal and diploma. Yuu can
imagtfie the surprise of Monsieur ?oettcher
when he received the following reply:
"Dear Sir?Our language contains no
words adequate to express my great ap
preciation of the distinguished honor con
ferred. upon mo by your world-renownei
academy. But. being only a humble citi
zen, without ambition, ancestry or wealth,
I do not feel equal to living up to so great
a title. I know of only two Inventors In
our country who could support the dig
nity. I withdraw In favor of either one of
them, leaving It entirely to the eminent
members of your academy to make the
choice. The name of one of them is Theo
dore Roosevelt, Inventor of "The Big Stick.'
The other la William Jennings Bryan, In
ventor of the free silver remedy for all
Industrial and commercial complaints, and
a new patent medicine known as Govern
ment Ownership' which will cure all the
troubles caused by the trusts. I suggest,
however, that Instead of a gold medal you
send him a silver medal, size, 10 to 1."
There is no way to panlsh these swindlers
because they do as they agree and send
the medals and diplomas described in their
wiicijifiiiiucin-c, ntucu tiro worm fxacny
as much as they would be If they were con
ferred by the humblest justice of the peace
In the humblest village in America.
Postal Ruling Affecting Publishers of
v. Periodicals.
An order has been issued by Mr. Edwin C.
Madden, third assistant postmaster general,
directing postmasters to notify publishers
of periodicals within their respective Juris
dictions that he has ruled that blank cou
pons and order forms in advertisements
are not permissible parts of a periodical to
be carried at newspaper rates. The order
"The practice has grown of placing in con
nection with advertisements in periodicals
(magazines) a coupon or order form to be
filled out and used In sending a messago
back to the advertiser; or a coupon wholly
in prim, nuv rdjuiniig iu uc iuicu uui uui
still for the purpose of return as a message
or evidence of some kind to tho advertiser,
or advertisements themselves to fc? detached
In their entirety and used for that purpose.
"The law provides for the Insertion of the
advertisements only and requires that they
be permanently attached. There is no au
thority for the Inclusion of coupons or order
forms or the like concerning the advertise
ments or of advertisements to be detached,
i The periodical Itself, entitled to the second
class ratest Is by law made subject to the
higher rate to which any matter not of that
class inclosed with it Is subject. (See sec
tion 465, P. Li. & R.)
"Blank coupons and other forms to be
filled out are not permissible parts of a pe
riodical, for sheets or portions of sheets,
whether large or small, designed to serve
as the means of future correspondence be
tween the reader and advertiser are not
advertisements, but writing paper fur
nished the reader for his convenience. As
such they constitute merchandise and are
subject to the rate of one cent an ounce
or fraction thereof. Printed coupons pro
viding no space for signature or insertion,
and advertisements Intended to be detached,
are third-class matter and are subject to
the rate of one cent for each two ounces or "
fraction thereof. It Is unlawful and detri
mental to the postal revenue to place such
higher class matter In periodicals and trans
mit the same in the malls at the second
class rate. The fact that such articles
serve the conveniences of advertisers or
others gives no warrant for waiving the
lawful postage charge on them or on any
ptrriuuifai wiui wuivu vuv w? u?v?vi ?/
"However, In view of Its prevalence and
the desire to avoid unnecessary hardship.
Inconvenience and loss to publishers and ad
vertisers, and that It has grown up through
a misapprehension of the limits of the pub
lisher's privilege, the practice will not be
Interfered with before March 4. 1907, on
which date the next session of Congress
expires by limitation. It Is possible that by
that time Congress will have so changed
llie 91ULULCO iu (cmvivu w mic ecwiiu-uiaoa
of mail matter as to make express pro
vision for the treatment of detachable cou
pons or the like. i
"Postmaster* will Immediately notify pub
lishers of periodicals within their respective
urisdictiona of this ruling in order that
they may have ample time to adjust their
business to the conditions."

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