Newspaper Page Text
THE RIVER PRESS
Wednesday, February 2, 1881. R C. WILLIAMS, ... - - - EDITOR A PARTY of capitalists in Chicago have offered, it is said, to construct a telegraph line from Chicago to New York. CABINET making in Washington circles continues with unabated energy and the same uncertainty. The slate still shows a predom inance of Blaine influence, but further than that nothing can be forecasted. -- i THE snow-bound mails prevent the mak ing of much territorial news, and, in fact news of any kind. So we are driven to first principles, and content ourselves with pre senting matter of general interest and partic ular unfitness. THERE is reason for general and natural encouragement in the situation as at present indicated, and with the warm breath of the Pacific wind, and the disappearance of the snow, we may expect to see the gloomy for bodings give place to a more hopeful view of a, situation which has not at any time been hopeless. _ I THE New York merchants are opposed to the new Chinese treaty on the ground that it would give a monopoly of the opium trade to the British. This is a most absurd objec tion to a thing that has been the scandal of the world, and augurs well for the treaty it self, since if that is the best objection that can be urged against the document, its gen eral provisions must be good to a superlative degree. IT is now almost conclusively settled that the Northern Pacific will come by way of the Musselshell and Smith River to Helena. There is so much to choose in favor of this route, and so much in the Southern route that is objectionable, that there is little doubt but that the above route, or one very near it, will be selected. The two other roads on the way must come still further north, and the chance of some of them striking Benten is almost a certainty. .__ _.. ADVICES from various parts of this section report stock doing reasosably well excepting on Highwood, where; they are not so favora ble. On the Marias, while there is consider able suffering, and a scarcity of feed, there has been no great mortality among stock, and the favorable turn of the weather will prevent the disaster that was anticipr'-ed. The "Chinook" wind, which began Tuesday afternoon, has continued with such steadi ness and warmth that the entire sheet of snow is disappearing, and another day will remove the cause of apprehension of stock starving to death. The most astute weather prophets, (who have hit the weather business pretty straight thus far) predict fair weather for February, and if they had not, we may reasonably conclude that the severe weather of the past two months will not last through the entire winter. THERE is one very simple way in which Congress can confer a mighty benefit on the deserving poor and industrious people of these United States, and that is by a postal saving institution. The average losses of these people in so-called savings banks are at the rate of $10,000,000 or $12,000,000 per year, and the number of depositors who so suffer is at least 100,000. In New York City alone it is estimated that the losses during the past eight years by the failure of these institutions amounted to $5,000,000, involv ing directly some 80,000 persons. When it is remembered that the sufferers belong to the class who can least afford to spare the loss, and that the injury inflicted on their habits thereby is beyond calculation, the need for protection for them can even then be but faintly appreciated unless one has gone among them and become acquminted with their ways and modes of thought. THE most trying of all the things to be met by the people of Benton this winter is the scarcity of fuel. Wood is now selling at $15 per cord, and the quality of it is very poor, a cord lasting perhaps five or six days. Our citizens must take hold of the matter and or ganize. Fuel is pleuty and cheap at the heads of any of the numerous streams falling into the Missouri near Benton; andthe Mis souri itself will furnish an inexhaustible sur ply of good wood, which, with the exception of cottonwood, will bear transportation on the river and over the falls without injury to its fuel properties. Whyb not organize a stock company, with the purpose to supply itself with wood at coat, selling to outside par ties at the market price. Such a plan would require but little capital from each one to make it feasible, and the stockholders would effect a great saving to themselves, andre move from the town the possibility of a fuel famine in the future. THE Daily :r go appeared on Wednes day, and is a singulareffort in newspaper en :terprise. it is well filled with advertisements taken from the weekly, and has all the attri butes of agood newspaper except news. It is large enough for Chicago, but it is ques-. tionable ifi a ive column story, a ilarge in stallment of poetry, nd dull ediitorials on top-: ics which as a wholie ind te more a know-: ledge of books than of Dewspapes or of pe pie who read them, will meet with public ap proval at $26 per year. 2We have canvased this daily business pretty thoroughly among our bsiness men and others, and have found a strong feeling against being called upon to I support such an institution in a condition d like the present, and the feeling is general that c it is a public nuisance. We have been cor- t nected with the daily newspaper business all c our lives, but have never seen anything in i that line quite so unique as this. We extend 1 to our contemporary our best wishes for its a success, for the saddest thing in the life of t a newspaper man is to write the obituary of i a friend and brother in the craft. However, t sometime we may issue a daily ourselves, but c when we do we promise in advance, it will c be to make money out of it, and when there o is a want for such an enterprise, sand not for a the glory of the thing, and we will also make f of such an institution a vehicle for the carry- e ing of news. THE long continuance and severity of the cold storms, together with the prevalence of an unusual quantity of snow, has affected a the stock interests very appreciably, and has cast a feeling of gloom over the community which present appearances will not mitigate. Cattle and sheep are dying in large numbers, a from simple starvation, and the feeling among stockmen is becoming more and more 1 settled that this year will prove a disaster to the stock interests which will take the coun- t try long to recover from. The belief that a heavy percentage of loss will disastrously affect the future of the entire country we be lieve, however, to be erroneous. The stock business in Montana has been carried on in a most hap-hazard way, and nature has done her best to make it the most lucrative business in the world. For years the climate has admitted a management, or rather a want of it, that no other in the world could successfully admit. While everything ' went well and the winters did not bring an I unusual quantity of snow, there was no need of provision for the maintenance of stock, and scarcely any for care or oversight in a management; it was unnecessary to even i employ men to look after stock; and one t man could handle thousands, except in a cer- t tain season when it is necessary to collect and brand the increase. There is no business under the sun which can be carried on year by year with the little oversight which has been given to the stock business in Montana, and the present winter has demonstrated that human labor is as necessary in this as in other pursuits, to take from it the element of occasional disaster. i The results of this hap-hazard way of do- 1 ing business have been repeatedly forbeen and 1 foretold, but stockmen seemed to believe that I a condition of things like the few years past would be eternal, and only a few took pains, I by provision for future contingencies, and ' giving proper human oversight, to mitigate the severity of an untoward event, such as the present winter has brought about. 1 There must be a sweeping change made in t the whole process of managing stock, or else stockmen must be content to witness, every few years, the entire destruction of their capital. And we are certain that the superior facilities for stock-raising will bring the change, and with it destroy the uncertainty which at present hangs over the business, and result in the end greatly to the prosperity and growth of the Territory. From Alaska to the Gulf, there has been disaster. Texas and Colorado suffered ter ribly from dearth the past season, and nearly 50 per cent of the stock in that section died of starvation from that cause, (a cause which man is almost powerless to' alleviate, but which can never affect Montana.) Here the losses could have been easily prevented if owners had hired a few more men and put up a small portion of that ri ch grass that was wasting under the snow. The fact is, capitalists have been too greedy for enormous and rapid returns on the money invested. During the last decade abnormal profits have resulted from the investment of money in stock, ranging from 25 to 50 per cent. Men have investd' a hundred thousand in stock, left the whole of it in charge of a couple of men, and have gone back to the States to enjoy the enormous surplusage re sulting from this business, draining the coun try of its strength, anlid shutting out number less small holders, who would have had this land under cultivation and civilized, and who wouild not have taken the abnormal risk of losing all from want of proper provision for 'the maintenance of their stock through such a period as the present. If stockmen would either subdivide their stock, in the care of a number of men, or would e~'l it to poor men on reasonable terms, they would reap a surer profit than they can by the present management, and we believe, in the long run a larger one. Such would each be obliged to cultivate a portion of the soil, and improve a home for him self, which would be a postive gain to the whole country, and take from its most profit able source of income its present instability. ::It has ialways followed, and always will, that such abnormal profit shall be accom panied with a corresponding risk. Sheep are standing the winter better than cIattle, especially where a reasonable amount of feed has been provided They are more easily handled in large bands than cattle, which in great numbers it is difficult even to iprovide for when feed has been saved. Thse i -:which were in fir health at the beginning of - the winter are appareny now ·i as good condition as ever. And where feed has not been provided there is an oersig'ht which the Switout limit. cotland has always been favorably known as a sheep and wool pro ducing country, and there is annually a fall of snow far beyond anything known in Mon tana, even at its worst. Sometimes a depth of forty feet is reached, and no winter passes in which there is not double the snow that has fallen here this winter. Perhaps the most valuable lesson of the present season is to demonstrate what this section of country is best adapted for, and that this lesson will be followed there can be no doubt. We are certain that the fine wool, which it has been demonstrated can be produced in this section, will stimulate men of capital to enter the field and perhaps result in money being withdrawn from cattle, to be placed in an industry more easily carried on and more certain of profit. Even admitting that occasionally an exceptionally severe winter like the present will increase the cost of production some what, we assert that it is positively the finest sheep country in the world, -not excepting California or Colorado. These countries are subject to almost annual drouths, more de structive than even our present winter here; and drouth is something to which Montana will never be subject, owing to its number less streams and the diversity of its mountain system, which unlike the cactus plains of the two mentioned States, leaves no part of it without its due share of precipitation. And stockmen may count on at least three winters out of four in which they will not be required to feed their sheep; a condition which no other country can show, which it does not offset by another and much worse. Horses are getting on without trouble, and we can find a crumb of solid comfort in the reflection that whatever can pass through the present season will thrive luxuriantly in an ordinary winter. We believe an additional crumb is to be found in this fact, because it will destroy that false confidence which has impelled so many into the cattle business, to the exclusion of every other industry, and by diversifying them subtract so many elements of disaster which is liable from an over-pro duction in a single direction, if not from one cause, from another. It costs but little more to raise a horse than a cow, unless is con sidered the greater capital required to enter into the business of horse raising. The na tive stock is at once hardy, strong and lithe, and a little of the Norman blood introduced into it produces the best horse for all pur poses-in the world. More attention should be given to this matter, and we believe the present winter, though it may result hard with a few who are unprepared, will do more for the benefit of the country, taken as a whole, than anything that could happened to it. No country is safe, no matter what its climate or production may be,which depends upon a single iidutry.. Ireland with her po tatoes, Francee it hlr vines, or Nebraska and Kansas with their wheat, are examples of this evil, and it would be just as sensible to stop raising potatoes in Ireland, making wine in France, or raising wheat in Kansas, on account of occasional failure, as to stop raisming stock in Montana, because a single season has subtracted a fraction of profit which previously had been abnormally large. But we can find many crumbs of comfort if we will look about us, and see, as we shall, that we are not alone this winter in losses which have resulted from exceptionally severe weather. From Florida to Washington Territory come accounts of losses which are more disastrous than ours. No part of the country seems to have been passed over. In Virginia the mercury has been as low as 22 degrees below zero, and has destroyed al most entirely the small fruit industry of the northern portion of the State, and rendered difficult the production of other crops in the South, especially of fruit. In Florida and in other Gulf States, the destruction of orange and fig orchards has been total, and cannot be repaired for many years-losses which will aggregate much heavier than our own. In Texas and Colorado cattle have suffered from the winter fully as much as here, for, although there has been a little less snow,the stock were much less able to stand the rigor of the extreme cold which has burst upon them without warning and without prepara tion. In Oregon and Washington Territory the snow fall has been wholly unprecedented, and the occasional zhinook has only sufficed to cover the country with amass of ice which leaves cattle or sheep to starve without pos sibility of relief, while here they can get some at least, and perhaps enough to prevent the loss from being total. So that the gloom which the situation is creating among our own citizens, while it is natural, should not be allowed to sway them from the path in which they have begun, but should actuate them to renewed exertions, as it certainly will teach them how to best manage a busi ness begun on the false assumption that their prosperity was a matter of indefinite ex tension, subject to no reverse. Their losses will be soon rewardbd if they do not abandon the field, for in no other channel could they be so soon overcome, while no other business ithey may enter will be so free from the same cause of loss they would fleefrom here. : It iswell just here to view the nature and Sres.u.rces of. our country in other matters be sides stockraising, nd ifit can: be considered iapart from thcis industry we will find great cause for encourageemet. wThe capacity of wheat and oats will only be required once in several years. It has been the experience of the entire country west of the Missouri and the country immediately contiguous to the Mississippi that agriculture and civilization have removed the great drouthsto which they were formerly subject. Whether this pro ceeds from the conservation of moisture by vegetation, or from a gradual change in the climate from more remote causes, or whether the conditions did not always exist for suc cessful cereal production unknown to the pioneers and travelers who first represented what are now luxuriant sections as an un productive desert, certain it is that wheat, oats and most root crops will grow luxuriant ly in the whole of the plateau of Northern Montana. The elevation above tide water is not great, and the mountains in this plateau. are not of such magnitude that they precipi tate all the moisture of the atmosphere on their side to the dearth of the valleys, as is the case with Southern Montana where the ranges are high and the valleys are narrow. In this section there is neither mountain nor valley, and in clayey soils, through which water does not easily percolate, it. has been demonstrated through three successive sea that bountiful crops can be secured without artifical aid in so far as water is concerned. Crops have been raised for the past three years, in much less favorable situations than this. Even up to the very walls of the Rocky Mountains from the South Fork of Sun River to the Missouri, crops seldom require irriga tion, and probably would be as certain any where in this region as in Nebraska. Com mon observation will show this. We have repeatedly seen oats growing wild along the road between Benton and Sun River, where they had been dropped by passing freighters, and have been told by station keepers that it was common, and that they would mature where protected from cattle. And even .if experiment did not prove it, the fact that grass grows so luxuriantly is proof sufficient that any of the genus will do well. The fact is that nothing has been tried and the capacity of the country is unknown, and we believe that as the lands become crowded it will be seen there is but little of it that will not pro duce its quota. On the whole there is little real reason for the feeling of despondency that is visible among our citizens, when everything is con sidered, for there are many compensations .which will result that will repay every one to persevere, and while there is certain to be some loss, which may be as high as 40 per cent. it will be found to be greatly less than is imagined at present, for the darkest color ing is always given to adversity by those who are afflicted. Greece anal Turkey. Arbitration between Turkey and Greece was no sooner agreed to by the six great powers of Europe than it was discovered that arbitration would not work at all. Greece didn't want it, and Turkey didn't want it. The French minister at Constantinople told the Sultan that Europe was willing to arbitrate, without consulting the ambassadors of the other governments, therefore the Ital ian and Russian ambassadors regret that the French ambassador was so "fresh," and ex press the mournful belief that, as the Sultan learned of the arbitration scheme from one ambassador instead of six, the cake is dough, the cat is out of the bag, arbitration must be abandoned, and direct negotiations between Greece and Turkey tried. The Greeks thirst for war. They insist that the Territory south of the Salambrias and Kalamas rivers shall be theirs. Turkey must yield at once, or blood will flow. The ment does not dare be conservative, though several foreign ministers at Athens are try ing to hold back the premier. It is believed that there would be a revolution if the king and cabinet evaded the popular demand. That Turkey must lose the territory in dis pute, and so suffer a considerable diminution of its already contracted European domain, seems inevitable. War between Greece and Turkey can be prevented only by the vigo rous action of the six powers, and their agreement to maintain the present situation is not likely. If Greece and Turkey fight, the latter must necessarily get the worst of it because, as General Ignatieff says, the great powers will not see Greece get seriously beaten. Greece will either beat Turkey, or will itself get beaten till England and Russia, allies for once, and other governments prob ably, interfere in its behalf. In either case Turkey will get the worst of it, for the Sul tan has no friend when Lord Beaconsfield is out of office. If war ensues, Greece will get by it not only what it now claims, but what it claimed at Berlin, the whole of Thessaly, Epirus, and Crete. Yet the Sultan can not yield except to force without practically ab dicating all his sovereignty in Europe. To that complexion must it come at last, but the Sultan can not be expected to abandon Con stantinople till resistance is hopeless. This suggests the most serious phase of the matter. The more Greece extends its domains the more the future ownership of Constantinople becomes a live issue in European diplomnacy. No government is quite willing anjry other government should have it, and a war between Turkey and Greece rendersa general European war over the ":'sick man's " estate quite possible. Ju •arnalisute iKu.ek. It has been remarked that very few who . :get into journalism start out with such intn. Stton.- They drift in accidentallyand are pro. rmnted as thaey develop capacity. Money wealthy parents and influence are no sort of service in getting a young man a place on a newspaper. There is no business that is so entirely independent of all these considera tions as this. A wealthy father can easily get his son a location to read law or medicine or push him forward in almost any other walk of life he may select ; but he is utterly powerless to do anything for him in a journ alistic way. To be sure, he may buy a news paper, and set up his hopeful in that manner, but unless there is something in the youth called journalistic knack, a natural knowl edge of what to write and how to write it, he will be a failure in that line, and all the money and influence of wealthy and per haps powerful relatives will count him noth ing. Some fond parents educate their sons with especial view to making journalists out of them, but it is rare that we hear of these young men after a few years. Meanwhile some scrub, born among the hills, having nothing but a common school education, and the knowledge scraped up in a country print. ing office, will advance to a front rank in the profession. He has the journalistic knack, and forces recognition because he has it. He gets a place, not because he has wealthy par ents to influence the proprietors of leading newspapers, but because he knows what to write and how to write it, and the editors take it because it is what they want. His articles go in because they supply a demand, while perhaps the elaborate essays from the pen of a man educated on two continents with an especial view to journalism are cast into the waste basket. Strength of the Irish League. LThe American.] The strength of the Land League in its control of the Irish people is admitted now even by those who wish to believe that it is a system of terrorism by which the people have been dragooned into compliance. It is the London Times' Dublin correspondent who pronounces that a new government has been set up in Ireland, with the full and united support of the people, who leave the ordina ry method of obtaining redress to find it in the unauthorized and even illegal courts of the Land League. The story of the struggle of Mr. Bence Jones, of Cork county, to get his cattle over to Bristol, is a fine illustration of the situation. Fortunately we have two versions of it ; that of "terrorism" as given by Mr. Jones himself, who thinks he has been a model landlord, and that his laborers would stay with him, and his tenants pay the old rents, if it were not for fear of the League. But the Times' correspondent tells a different story. He finds a general exas peration of public feeling against Mr. Jones throughout the neighborhood. The steam. ship companies of Cork and Dublin dare not take his cattle on board, for fear of losing all their customers; only the efforts of thet Spolice can get them forwarded by rail; and only by sending them the length of the island to Belfast, can he get them transported to England. If this state of things continue, "the land lords must go." No arrangement for the se curity of private rights can be maintained to the permanent destruction of the public peace. Whatever rights England may have given the landlords, it was always assumed that these are to be consistent with the main tenance of public order. Indeed, the land lords were sent into Ireland to bind it closer t to England's~rule, just as the Irish establish ed church was created for the same purpose. Both have managed to deepen and intensify the alienation. The church, for that reason, has been abolished. Landlordism must fol low. It is only a question of terms. RIVER SBLACKSMITH SHOP Cor. Power and Franklin Streets, Li T. BENTONq • MIONTANAe r - Horse, Mule&OxShoeing A SPECIALTY. y r WAGON REPAIRING, )- I have employed the best wood workmen in the Terri tory, and can guarantee good work and eutire e satisfaction. SBlackSithiin 1in all its Branches. ; RUFUS PAYNE, . Proprietor. G0 OOD WORK AT REASONABLE PRICES. J. C. GUTHRIE, Front Street, one door above Murphy, Neel & Co.'s ts New Store, FORT BENTON, M. T. Bread,.Cakes ad Pastry e IN EVERY VARIETY. Orders promptly filled and delivered to any part of the o Town. We make a Spcialty'of W AEaDDING CAeKE Ant:i Party Orders.