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WEBSTER'S OPINION OF THE WEST. Daniel Webster was a great man in many respects. We read his chief speeches to-day with almost as much in terest as his rapt auditors listened to them. He could breath into words the soul of undying eloquence. But even Webster, with all his inspiration, was not a prophet, and in nothing did his prognostications fail more egregiously than in his estimate of the West. Ben Perley Poore in his "Reminis cences," a book in our public library, gives us this from one of Webster's speeches in the Senate, along in the thirties. He was opposing a proposi tion to establish a mail route from In dependence, Mo., to the mouth of the Columbia, and this was the language used : "What do we want of this vast worth less area ? This region of savages and wild beasts, of deserts, of shifting sands and whirlwinds of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs? To what use could we ever hope to put these great deserts, or those endless mountain ranges, impene trable and covered to their very base with eternal snow ? What can we ever hope to do with the western coast, a coast of three thousand miles, rock bound, cheerless, uninviting and not a harbor on it? What u.^e have we for this country ?" This opinion of Webster was the gen eral opinion of the country, not only at the time these words were uttered, but as late as 1 s40 } when with little regret the 49th parallel was accepted as our northern boundary instead of 54° 40 '. Thomas H. Benton was almost the only cham pion of this region of our country. Fre mont's explorations familiarized the country with its general features, but did not materially exalt the popular esti mate of most of this region. The fertile, populous, growing States of Kansas and Nebraska are out in the heart of this desert area of shifting sands, cactus and prairie dogs. Montana is in the very heart of those "endless mountain ranges, impenetrable and covered to their very base with eternal snow." Who ever dreamed then that there was more gold and silver in those mountains than all the world had seen since it had been in habited? Who then thought that those impenetrable mountains within fifty years would be penetrated by half a dozen trans-continental railroads? In stead of being covered to their very base with eternal snows, there is on an aver age less snowfall among these Rocky Mountains than in the Granite Moun tains, where Webster was born. In those "three thousand miles of sea coast, rock bound, cheerless, uninviting, harborless," must have been included Puget Sound, better than all the harbors of the At lantic coast combined, where all the com merce of the world could find shelter and anchorage at the same time. The fact is that the United States was a series of surprises to the white set tlers. The eastern seaboard was really the poorest portion, As the country grew and the population advanced toward the interior better regions were found, until the vast valley of the Mis sissippi came to be appreciated as the garden spot of the world, combining on a continental scale a larger fertile area than the valleys of the Nile, the Danube and all the cornfields of the Old World. But still the richest portion remained in those cactus plains, those impenetrable, snow-clad mountains and that inhospit able and harborless seacoast. The gold of California made our country finan cially independent of Europe, gave im pulse to our manufacturers, enabled us to go through the great civil war and cast out without dissolution the demons of slavery and secession. The mines of gold and silver in our mountains make us as a nation the heirs of the wealth and power of the world. We talk about Columbus discovering America, why! not even a half part of the United States was ever discovered until within the last generation, and we have a suspicion that only a small part has even yet been discovered. The star of empire, like that of Bethlehem, has traveled westward till it now stands over the cradle of the infant nation that is to wrest and sway the scepter of the world._ Bex. l'EBLEV Poor tells us that ou Jan uary 8tb, the friends of President Jackson had a grand banquet in Washing ton to celebrate not only the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans, but the fact that ou that day the last installment of the public debt was paid. At the organi zation of the government under the consti tution, the public debt was $75,463,176.52. This was paid off very slowly; indeed, by 1796 it had increased to $83,762,172.09. By 1812 this had been reduced to $45,209,727.90. Then daring the war with England it was run up again to$127,334,933.74, from which point it ran down and was fully extin guished in 1835. The Mexican war created a small debt, but at no time prior to 1861 did it reach seventy millions. Our present annual surplus would pay the entire na tional debt as it stood at any time before the great war of the rebellion, with possi bly the exception of two years—1816-17. We think our City Courcil did the wisest tiling possible in granting the right of way on the liue selected for the Mon tana Central. It is better to run down straight through an alley than to cross several streets on an angle and on a level. It injures fewer persons and injures them less, as well as avoids most effectually the Ecaring of teams and the chances of col lision. _ The solid oaken outer doors of the new court house have been hung. The red pointing of the outer walls and the filling of the grounds around the front basement add much to the general appearance. SENSATIONALISM. There is such a thing as creditable newspaper enterprise that the public ap preciates, and then again there is a counterfeit of this commendable quality that aims at creating a momentary sen sation regardless of consequences. The old fable of the shepherd boy who used to cry "Wolf!" to see the commotion that it would make, might be studied to advantage by our too enterprising news gatherers. If there had been any relia ble evidence of such a premeditated crime at Anaconda as was published in the Independent , there were plenty of the best considerations why the information should have been withheld from the public instead of being magnified and spread broadcast over the land, arousing unnecessary fears at home and creating unfavorable impressions abroad. The excuse that the people of Anaconda should have corrected the false impressions before they were published is of the thinest variety. No sane person could have believed in advance that any public journal inter ested in the peace and welfare of Mon tana or its good name abroad would have made public such anarchical schemes without the most careful scrutiny and upon the most satisfactory evidence. If any public oilicer charged with the responsibility for maintaining peace and preventing crime had sus picion or information of such things, it should have been kept secret or used to thwart and prevent the crime, and not given away to be distorted and magni fied into a blood-curdling conspiracy to burn, pillage and massacre. As it turns out, and as a little ordinary discretion could have shown, it was the merest chimera ever hatched by an excited imagination out of the flimsiest sus picions. Vet it has gone forth to the world and will give the impression abroad that Montana is the refuge and barboring place of the most blood-thirsty anarchists in the country, willing over a petty grievance of wages to apply the torch to the most valuable property and shoot down whoever might interfere to stay the carnival of destruc tion and pillage. It is a libel upon the fair name and fame of the whole Terri tory. It is a libel on the workingmen in our mines and mills. It is a libel on the good citizeusof Montana to have it pub lished that such a crime could have been meditated in their midst. It is a libel on the good sense and self-interest of the dissatisfied workmen whose wages had been reduced or who had been thrown out of employment. What would they have gained by burning the Ana conda works? Hundreds of others would have been thrown out of employment, and mines would have been closed. If such a crime had been carried out and gone unpunished, every mill and mine in Montana would have been closed. Compared with the injury inflicted upon capitalists, greater and irreparable in juries would have been inflicted upon the workingmen who are represented as partners in this conspiracy. Of what possible significance would have been the possession of a few mus kets in a community where better weapons for such an occasion are in everybody's hands. We have no doubt that there are desperate, bad men in Montana, as in all other parts of the country, capable of committing crime, but we do not believe that in or out of any labor organization in Montana there are any such foolish criminals as to have seriously meditated the execution of such a wanton, suicidal crime as that published in the Independent. Mr. B. E. Fernon, of the Agricultural Bureau, in a recent address on Forestry, estimates that it will take 500,000,000 acres of forest to supply the annual de mand of this country. The work of set ting out and taking care of our forests cannot safely be put off' a single year. The forests of Germany yield a clear revenue to the government of seven million dollars, besides meeting all the wants ol the people at moderate cost and paying for their con stant, proper care. It needs forestry organization aud agitation all over the country. Would it not be a good idea for the city of Helena, in its corporate ca pacity, to acquire title to Mount Helena aud spend something to cover its sides with groves, making it a general pleasure resort for all our people ? Would not future generations hold our memories in grateful regard for so doing? Why should we not have a forestry organization in Helena ? Let us hear who will favor and help sus tain such a home institution. The Inter-Ocean of the 6th inst. is at hand with its eloquent tables of figures, giviDg the result of the election in Chicago the day before in detail. It is good read ing, the best we have seen for a long time. The total vote cast was 75,000, out of a registration of 95,000. Most of the 20,000 who abstained from voting were Democrats, but it is estimated that fully 10,000 Demo crats voted the straight Republican ticket. In 1883 Carter Harrison carried the city by a majority of 10,263. Roche received 10, 000 more votes than Harrison in 1883. The Inter-Ocean says: "Incidentally the elec tion shows that Chicago is not a Enropean colony of long-tongued socialists. It is an American city." Theevidence is conclusive. That veteran Montanian, Mr. James Fergus, one of the keenest observers and of ripest experience, says that every ranch in Montana ought to be furnished with a barometer, and that a few dollars spent in that direction would save thousands. The barometer is an unfailing prophet, and the sensitive elements are aware of the coming of a storm loDg enough in advance of its appearance to give opportunity to seek cover. When onr ranchmen learn that there is money and safety in barometers, they will not be without the daily advice of such a useful instrument. ; ; j i ' ; ! I The meaning and effect of the alien land act passed by the last Congress were evi dent enough before Senator Plomb gave his interpretation. While we would have preferred to see it limited in its application to agricultural and grazing lands, it is easy enough to recognize the fact that it may not prove an unmitigated evil as applied to our mines. There are many good rea sons why we should prefer to see all our mines owned and worked by American capital. Where owned by aliens all the profits will be carried away and spent abroad. It will not add to the wealth of this country. In the early days of railroad bnilding it was necessary to go to Europe to get the capital to build them, and mil lions were sent across the Atlantic every year in the payment of interest and divi dends. That thing has all been changed. It is easier to raise money in this country now for railroad bnilding than in Europe, and these roads are constructed by American labor, of Ameri can materials as well as by American capi tal and all the profits and benefits, both direct and indirect, go to swell the volume of wealth in this country. The drainage now is into our own reservoirs. So it will be with our mines. They will be and should be worked by and owned by Ameri cans. Those that can't be worked to profit won't be worked at all. And those that will yield a profit in the working it is better that they should be worked in such a way and by such means as to add their profits to the capital in this country. It is American capital that is building our rail roads which are giving value to our mines. Why should not American capital be en titled to gather the harvest ? As mines are generally worked, the yield of the mines pays all the cost of improvement. The advance is but little and for a short time. Where our own people get a few thousands the foreign operators make hundreds of thousands. W'e shake the trees and foreigners pick up the fruit. Is it not better that our own people should take into their own hands the more profita ble part of this business? True, if any body is to be cheated by selling worthless mines, we prefer that it should be for eigners. But foreigners are generally as shrewd at making bargains as our own people, and our own people are more apt to be losers than gainers by them. The great drawback to the development of our mines has been the cost of transportation for ma chinery and ores, but that day is past and the harvest time has come. Our hardy prospectors, instead of getting a few hun dreds or thousands out of their discoveries, may just a3 well become millionaires, and we prefer to see it so rather than to swell the fortunes of any foreigners. Ix view of the utter baselessness of the Independent's Anaconda horror, ascribing conspiracy, arson and anarchy to the work ingmen of that camp, it was believed our gravely offending contemporary would evince, in some slight degree at least, a spirit of contrition, confess something of regret for perpetrating the wretched fabri cation, and as a well warranted sequel to the performance solemnly swear off and promise that no such diabolical hoaxing of the public should again be attempted in its columns. The West Side press— Inter Mountain , Miner and Review —appear of the same opinion as entertained here, that the purported Anaconda special was bogup, manufactured to order, with nothing in the world to stand on except the innocent letter requesting the Governor's staff" officer to recall the few worthless gnns, for which the disbanded militia squad had no further use, and for which the citizens of Anaeonda with whom they were left had no room for storage and would be no longer responsible for their keeping. It is unfortunate, we think, that the commission of the fraud upon its readers should lead the Indepen dent to the further folly of attempting to extenuate or justify it, and on that line ; brazenly try to "cheek it through." The ; refusal to retract should and we believe j will be reconsidered. Graham county, Kansas, the scene of the destructive prairie fires recorded in our dispatches to-day, is in the northwestern portion of the State, in the second tier of counties from the north line and the fourth from the western boundary. It seems to have raged between the north and south forks of the Solomon. It would seem that there must have been a better growth of vegetation last year than with us and less snow and rain. The par ticular hardship is that it falls upon those just beginning and sweeps away all they have in the way of stock and improve ments. Aside from the irreparable loss of life, the sufferers are within easy access to i sources of generous supply and will not be allowed to sutler or despair. The event serves incidentally to mark the rapid ex tension of population into the remoter parts of Kansas, and further shows that it is a fruitful country that has not been closely cropped or fed off. The Winnipegers seem to be getting up on their ears over the action of the Do minion government in disallowing the con struction of another road to the boundary. They do not propose to be bound forever in servitude to the Canadian Pacific rail road, which charges snch rates ol trans portation that there is no profit in at tempting to raise anything beyond what is needed for home consumption. Every one who cultivates his land works for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. It is still worse in the country to the north and west of Manitoba. The growth of Dakota is in ' painful contrast to that north of the line and things are evidently approaching a crisis. There must be some relief or revo lution or emigration will take place. Northern California seems awaken ng to the propriety of having a boom of its own. Southern California will do for a winter boom, but Northern California is better adapted for the summer variety. The completion of the California & Oregon railroad this season will open up the north ern portion of the State and develop re ; sources that will supplement those of the ! south and make the State a pretty complete I world of itself. ; i I I j j j I i j I J Though we have not at hand the exact figures with which to illustrate the effects of registration in onr city at the late elec tion, this first experiment of the kind in the Territory is too important to pass un noticed. In spite of all the scoffing and objections, the experiment worked well and to the very general satisfaction of all good citizens of every party. The ex pense and inconvenience were slight, less than anticipated, and its benefits were all that its advocates promised. No doubt some were registered and voted who were not entitled to do so, but it is generally conceded that the greater part of the il legal vote was kept out. Xt every ward some were denied registration who under ordinary circumstances would have voted on election day. But the extent of the benefit is not to be reckoned by the num ber of these alone. A great many who would have tried and probably suc ceeded in voting under the old system were deterred from applying for registra tion. The ordinance was adopted so short a time before election that its provisions were not well understood by all, but this difficulty will not occur again. We have a registration now that will be the basis of future election lists. It will in future be understood that in voting on election day those who have not previously registered must bring the affidavits of those who have personal knowledge of what they as sert and do not swear on information or belief. In our last election the contest was not as close as it usually has been, but it has frequently heretofore been so close that the result has turned upon votes that were wholly illegal. The last election wa3 the most honest and fair that Helena has ever seen, and it is due in large measure to the registration law. Every city ought to have it. In fact, the whole Territory ought to have a registration law. •------- - ----- The sheep men of Montana will note with interest the danger that threatens them from the raise in rates of transporta tion on railroads under cover of the inter state law. The California wool growers are the first to feel the hardship as their shearing comes earlier, but our people may heed the warning and move in time to pre vent such a calamity. A large part of our sheep men live near enough to navigable rivers to be able to secure water transpor tation the whole or most of the way to market. In addition to the losses of the past winter our sheep growers are not in the condition or mood to submit to any ex orbitant rates. By concerted action they can drive to convenient points on the river where the shearing can be done and water transportation be had on the most lavora ble terms, and the wool growers should move in the matter in time to protect themselves._ The had lands of Dakota comprise only 75.000 acres, out of a total of 91,528,000 in the Territory, and even these bad lands are excellent pasture. The U. S. Surveyor General says that, owing to the absence of swamps, mountain ranges, overflowed and sandy tracts, there is a smaller proportion of waste land in Dakota that in aDy other State in the Union. Illinois has only about one-third the area of Dakota, and in 1880 she had a population of three millions. "When no more densely peopled than Illi nois, Dakota would have a population of nine millions. Or, if divided into two States each would then have a greater pop ulation than Pennsylvania at present. The story of the systematic and exten ; give stealing carried on by the conductors i and brakemen on the Pan Handle Rail road and its clever and complete exposure, reads like a page of fiction. It discloses a bad leak in our transportation service, through which hundreds of thousands of dollars disappear every year, entailing a heavy loss on the public and doing little I good even to the thieves. Honest em ployes are liable to suffer from suspicion and they are the ones as much interested as any to break up and expose these con federations of dishonest and unworthy men. _ The State of Texas alone could contain the entire population of the United States, and then not be as densely peopled as Ger I many. It could have produced all the food j crops grown in the United States in 1880 on 161,215 square miles ; could have raised the world's entire supply of cotton, 12, 000,000 bales, at one bale to the acre, on 19.000 square miles, and then, after deduct iog 50,000 square miles for desert, there would still be left an area as large as New York for a cattle range. Governor HILL vetoes the high licensç bill in New York, as was generally ex- 1 pected. He sees no good reasons why such a law should be made to apply to the Democratic cities of New York and Brook lyn and not to the other cities and the rest of the State. The average reader will agree with the Governor to a certain ex tent. It should have applied to all alike. The Pennsylvania act seems to have been mach better conceived and to avoid ex tremes and a better fate may be expected for it. __ Our sensational neighbor also explodes its wrath npon Postal Agent Cochran, whose prompt contradiction in Monday's Herald of the Anaconda canard is more than sustained and corroborated by corres pondents of the Independent's own selec tion. Every good citizen will profoundly thank Mr. Cochran for the information he felt it his duty to give the Herald, and which later in the day the Herald's special correspendent at Anaconda and the agent of the Associate Press at that place hastened to confirm. The three or four inches of snow that fell last evening was a much needed re freshment to the country. The dry, cold j winds had kept back vegetation, and the j dust was disagreeable. The sno^ fall will I settle the dust, moisten the roots of vege i tation, and if followed by warm weather and sunshine will soon give us verdure in j abundance. The snow is better than rain, for it does not beat down the earth, and it I gives time in melting for the earth to take J it all up where it fell. England and Rnseia have agreed upon a "scientific frontier" for Afghanistan. We wonder how the poor Afg bans appreciate these modern triumphs of science. It is a matter of profound rejoicing that the sealing steamer Eagle, reported lost with all on board, has arrived in harbor safe with all aboard well and a fair catch of seals.__ A distinguished English engineer has recently inspected the Panama canal work and says that it is not one-fourth complet ed, and that it will take twelve years and cost $440,000,000 to finish it. Nevada has more waste land than any other State or Territory in the Union, and yet is estimated by good authority that fully one-half of it will be reclaimed and become valuable, productive land. The coin vaults at Washington contain 2,000 tons of silver and forty-eight tons of gold. It is not an idle hoard, however, for paper representatives of this coin are out doing good service, while the coin neither rusts, wears, wastes or is lost. WE fear the increased railroad rates on lumber are going to retard bnilding this season. It is the number of houses erected and permanent residents acquired, rather than the price of lots and the number of city additions that mark the growth of a place. _ A "low down" set are the Chicago l>oodlers. Among the large number of thefts for which they stand indicted, the Mail mentions "the stealing of a thousand feet out of the bottom of an artisian well." In "cahoots" with the contractor they mulcted the county out of that many more feet than was actuelly bored. In 1833 Chicago had a population of 350, and at the election that year there were twelve votes in favor of and one against incorporation. In 1837, just fifty years ago, the vote of Chicago was 709. The South Side then con tained four times as many votes as the West Side, which now contains three fifths ot the entire city population. A holt 125 volumes of new books have been recently added to the public library, including many standard works, recent fiction, and some good reading for boys and girls. Everybody can now find something to their taste. The book auction sale dur ing the past week on Broadway has dis posed of a large quantity of standard works among our citizens, and almost every house has some treasures to show for it. _ In explanation of Republican defeat in Rhode Island the Providence Journal, the leading Republican paper in the State, de nounced the ticket as representing "nothing but Wetmore's money and Brayton's cor rupt management." This defeat is prob ably the best thing that could have hap pened to the Republicans of Rhode Island. There is no danger of little Rhody ever going over to the free trade democracy in any national contest. Ouu morning cotemperary gives up the larger part of its editorial page to apologies for and explanations of- its Sunday's sen sation—the Anaconda hoax. We regret to be obliged to say that it sadly fails to ex cuse the fraud imposed upon its readers, ana its own chosen representative, sent from Butte to investigate, but adds another witness to the correctness of the Herald's reports of yesterday. The perpetration upon the Montana public of the hideous hoax of arson and anarchy at Anaconda was an offense only second in turpitude to the crime which the lying invention suggested. The universal execration which yesterday followed the Herald's exposure of the utter falsity and groundlessness of the horrible sensa tion will doubtless teach the Independent that it cannot with safety indulge its pro clivities in that line for some time to come. The people of California seem to be hard to suit on constitutional amendments. They are changing all the time and do not try any form long enough to get familiar with it and get it judicially interpreted. The amendment to allow cities to make their own charters was certainly a novelty in legislation and looks like home rule going to seed. Perhaps we shall next hear of a provision allowing each house hold to adopt a constitution for itself. We recently noticed the surmise that it was the Manitoba in disguise that was building a line eastward from Puget Sound. Aod now it is intimated that the WashiDg ington & Idaho local liue, which is picking out a line south of Cienr d'Alene Lake, is also the Manitoba in cog. These may be nothing but suspicions, but it is possible, too, that some bright morning within a few months there may be revealed another complete trans-continental line, with all the missing links supplied. Quite a number of our resident stock owners started last Sunday to visit their ranches and ranges. They struck a bad time and are probably winding np their Easter celebration before some cabin fire, applying bottled balsam to their aching hearts. Really it is too bad, but they will better understand how to sympathize with the unsheltered stock. Our misguided contemporary does very wrong to joggle with the public. The Herald joins the thundering chorus de manding the source of the organ's an archy "special." Let the Independent at once divulge the Dame of its informant, if it had one, and clear away the suspicion, if it can, that the canard was manufactured to order in its own office. Kansas has as little waste land as Illi nois and nearly a third larger area, and when as densely peopled would support a population of over four millions. Regard ing the statement that western Kansas is an alkaline desert, State Geologist Mudge says that during fifteen years of exploration he has found but two alkaline springs and has never seen ten acres in one place in jured by it. I ; FRIGHTFUL FUIES. Destruction of a Great Mercan tile Structure and Contents. Fatalities to Firemen —A Heavy Loss. Chicago, April 13.—John J. McGrath's wall paper house, at 106 to 112 Wabash avenue, and located in a five story, marble front building, burned early this morning. The stock is an entire loss, and the bnilding is irreparably injured. Pipeman Michael Burns was standing in the fourth floor window when a sheet of flame came odt, enveloping him, when he fell into the burning mass inside. Lieut. John Heberlie was climbing a ladder to the second story, when it slipped and he fell to the side walk, crushing his skull. Captain Fred Reese had his leg broken by a falling stone The fire was discovered at No. 328. When the firemen arrived it was in the center ol the bnilding, but even before the hose could be brought to bear npon it the flames had jumped from the story above and be law and seized quickly upon every inflamma ble thing with which the floors were load ed. A second and third alarm was turned in and twenty engines were soon working upon the building. Twenty of the fire men said they had never before seen such a rapid and complete destruction of a large establishment. The fire was put out by fiye o'clock, and owing to the exertions of the firemen, very little, if any, damage was done to adjoin ing buildings. The loss is supposed to be about $200, 000 on the stock and $50,000 on the build ing. The insurance is said to be small. Later —The loss on the stock is found to be much greater than was at first sup posed and will aggregate $400,000, with only $60,000 insurance, and the loss on the building $40,000. Fully insured. PRAIRIE FIRE. Gr«at Destruction of Property and Loss of Lite. Atchison, Kas., April 12. —A special to the Champion says : The reports concern ing the destruction of life and property, caused by the great prarie fire that swept over the eastern porMon of Norton and Graham counties on Saturday last, are yet meagre and unsatisfactory, fint enough is known to appal the stoutest hearts. The fire started near Nieodemus, in Graham county. The wind, which was blowing forty miles an hour, carried the flames over and througn the dry grass at a frightful speed. A general destruction of property commenced near Roscoe, Ingraham county. Here the fire spread over the county for fully two 'and a half miles in width, and as the wind carried it north it was con stantly spreading until it was seven miles wide, where it crossed the north fork of Solomon river, three miles east of Dins more. A few houses were burned and every stable, with its stacks of hay and cribs of grain was burned, leaving hun dreds of farmers almost destitute. It is pitiful to pass over the burned district and see the thousands of burned chickens, turkeys and hundreds of hogs, with occa sional horses and numerous cattle. Almost every farmer lost from 50 to 500 bushels of corn besides a small amount of grain. It is definitely known that from 13 to 16 lives were lost in the two counties, but their names have not been learned. Four chil dren perished in one family. How tar the fire extended north from the Solomon river is not known, but it must have traveled a long distance. At the same time another fire swept down the south fork ot the Solomon river to a point near Mill brook. sweeping everything in its path and burning six persons to death—father, mother and four children—and a large number of cattle, horses, hogs and poultry. In one instance a woman prematurely gave birth to a child. When the fire was dis covered approaching her husband took her in his arms and started for plowed ground but before he reached it the woman's cloth ing was on fire. He succeeded in putting it out and saving her life. The babe, less than an hour old, was with the other mem bers of the family and was saved, but the house and other property on the farm were destroyed. Hundreds of narrow escapes could be related. Saturday was a fright ful day—one loDg to be remembered by a great number of families in Newton and Graham counties. FLORIDA FLAMES. St. Augustine Devastated tiv Fire. Boston, Mass., April 12.—A dispatch from St. Augustine, Fla., dated to-dav, says: The St. Augustine Hotel took fire at 2:30 this morning and was destroyed. The old slave market is also gone, and the I ancient cathedral is in flames. The Ed wards Hotel and a half dozen small build ings are also on fire, and it seems inevitable that tbe Florida House and opera house must go. Danger of the destruction of the whole town from tbe Plaza to the city gate is imminent. All of the seventy-six guests at the St. Augustine got out in safety, as did all the help of that house and the guests and servants of the Edwards House. St. Augustine, April 12.-3:30 a. m.— The fire has been stopped at Treasury street and the main portion of town is safe. The county court house and Tedder's museum were destroyed. Loss on the St. Augustine Hotel, $100,000 ; no insurance. Jacksonville, Fla., April 12—A fire in St. Angnstine this morning destroyed the St. Augustine Hotel, the old Spanish cathedral, the Edwards Hotel, the court bouse, Sinclair block, Chamberlain's store, Mrs. Calle's residence and Welter's Hotel. Tbe loss amounts to $250,000. Washington, April 12.—The following telegram was received at the Treasury De partment from the collector of customs at St. Augustine, Fla.: "The principal por tion of the city has been destroyed by fire. The connty coart house was also bnrned, Can I offer assistance, in the way of rooms in the post office building not occupied. It is impossible to secure rooms ontside of ihis building." Secretary Fairchild telegraphed as fol lows in reply : "Render every assistance ; to city officials in the way of providing rooms in the post office bnilding." Montana Post Offices. A revised list of all the post offices estab lished in the Territory appears on this issue of the Weekly Herald. It is of interest to a large class of readers, and will be preserved by very many who desire to keep informed of Montana's pos'al geogra phy. Not a few new offices have been cre ated during the past year. As arranged in alphabetical order, the list is of vaine to merchants and others for ready reference. REPUBLICAN BANQUET. Letter from Senator Sherman>-Re sponse of ex-Governor Wise. Philadelphia, April 11.—The sixth annual banquet of the Young Republicans of Philadelphia was given at St. George s Hall to-night and was largely attended. The following letter from Senator John Sherman was read and its sentiments re ceived with applause : Washington, Aprils, 1 n87. To Edwin S. Stuart, Esq., President Young Republicans, Philadelphia : My Dear Sir:— While I am compelled to deny myself the pleasure of dining with the Young Republican Club of Philadel phia on April 11th, I take occasion to ex press my high appreciation of the value of their services to the cause of good govern ment, in which we all are, or ought to be enlisted. As one of the seniors of the Re publican party, I may be allowed to give words of encouragement and advice to the young men who have assumed or will soon assume control of onr political organization. We certainly should feel a pride in the great measures that have been successfully executed by the Republican party ; and, although you may not have to conduct a gigantic war for the preservation of the Union, and will probably have no such difficult tasks as reconstruction and slavery to deal with, yet the work of the Republi can party is but fairly begun. That which is past is honorable; that which is to come will depend chiefly upon the vigor, integrity and patriotism of the young Republicans who, like yourselves, are now organizing to continue the work of the past. What you have to do is still further to develop and diversify American industry. It should be our aim to produce everything in this country for which the God of nature has given us raw materials or which are suited to onr soil and climate. Every measure should be supported that will tend to foster, defend and protect home industries. We should not be con tent until every channel of communicati m capable of improvement and which will yield benefits equal to their cost, shall be improved. The education of the rising generation, without respect to race, color or previous condition, ought to be a con stant object of desire. The equal enjoy ment of every political right given by the constitution should be secured by every legal and constitutional means. The shadows and prejudices of the past should lie lifted by the lights of modern civilization. The workingman in every condition and employment of life should be encouraged, protected and as sisted by every reasonable means to ad vance bis condition and to open up to him by honest labor and enterprise all avenues of wealth and honor. Our ad vers» ries may brood over the dead past and mourn the decay of confederate ideas, but the Repub licans hail with unbounded satisfaction every advance of our country in strength and power at home and abroad. Conscious that this is consistent with the full powers of State, conuty and local governments reaching to every family and homestead in the land, and with the sincere hope that your society and kindred societies through out the United States may take up the work of the Republican party aud carry it to its logical results, I am, as ever, very truly yours, JOHN SHERM AN. Ex-Governor John S. Wise, of Virginia, was the guest of the evening. In respond ing to the toast he made a vigorous at tack on the Democratic party in over hauling its record. He said the Democratic party had failed to carry out its pledges to repeal the internal revenue laws ; n had defeated the Blair educational measure, after pledging itself to its passage, and had won power by its assault on tbe surplus, and yet had piled up a larger surplus than ever. It had passed the law of inter-state commerce, so bad that its own commission is forced to suspend its operation to avoid a panic and business stampede. "The Re publican party, if it should win," he said, "must cease staking its all on New York. Virginia's Republican eleven counties with 120,000 white and but 15,000 blacks, given, on an aggregate vote of 30,000, Republican majority of over 2,000. Indiana no more has Hendrick and McDonald to lead. The one is dead, the other snubbed. West "\ ir ginia is Republican. Tennessee and North Carolina are Republican. The North Caro linians are ready to come. Let us devote one-tenth of our energy and means on them that has gone tu New York in the past, and victory is ours.'' BALLOT BOX STUFFING. An Entire Election Board Arrested. Jersey City, April 12.—The entire election board of the eighth precinct, second district, Jersey City, was arrested this afternoon lor tampering with the bal- lot box at the noon recess. A policeman saw Clerk Dolan putting the registry book into the ballot box. The book contained about thirty Democratic tickets. The tickets were folded and several dropped into the box before the clerk could be arrested. Murpny took the book out and found that about 25Û tickets had been carefully folded and placed between the leaves. A num- ber of citizens witnessed the attempt, and great excitement prevailed for a time. The officer sent for assistance and the en- tire board, together with the ballot box and registry book, were taken to the police station. Subsequently a new elec- tion board was elected in the precinct and the voting proceeded as usual. The pris- oners were arraigned, waived examination and held in $2,000 bail each to appear be- fore the grand jury. ---- RAILROAD WAR. The Ticket Boycott to be Extended. Denver, April 12.— The boycott inau gurated by the eastern lines against the D. & R. G. railroad is resisted by western roads. The news reached here yesterday that tbe Lake Shore and Michigan Central had withdrawn the Denver & Rio Grande railroad tickets from sale. This action does not seem to to effect the "scenic line" in its position, and the officials will not yield, claiming that they will stand by the lines of the Southwestern Association in regard to the commission question. They claim to have received assurances from many other boycotted lines to the effect that their infinence will be turned in favor of those lines being boycotted. The agents ot the D. & R. G. to-day were instructed to send their business over the Grand Trunk road east to Chicago. The retalia tion action of the L. S. and M. S. is not officially stated. The D. & R. G. will establish their own offices in the territory of boycotting roads. High License. Harrisburg, Fa., April 12.—The house this afternoon passed Brooks' high license bill without amendment. It provides that the license in cities of first, second, and ! third class shall be $500 ; in all other cities, ! $300 ; in boroughs, $150, and in townships $~-5. . . Albany, N. Y., April 12.—Gov. Hill ! sent to the assembly to-night a message ! vetoing the recently passed high license i bill, and on motion of Crosby, the pro | moter of the measure, it was laid on the j table.