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iBTiNs Kanb Pond 

S. 1879. A.M. (SOB.) 1911 




A i 


foix • Bonxm • Chicago • 






My muther 
Margaret Ann Fannon Osborn 




Author of "The kudxma \juA" 

• -4 



AU righU r$nrv€d 


bt the macmillan company 

Set up and electrotyped. Published May, 19x9. 

•• • » 








I Wolves — Human and Othebwise . . . 1 

n What's in Your Nam]& or Ujnb? ... 15 

in ]N'atural Born Rebels 22 

rV Poverty that Cramps and then Ex- 
pands THE Soul 37 

V Wild Boyhood Dreams Fill Mt Mind and 

I Act Upon Them 48 

VI Swept Into the Human Maelstrom of 

Chioaoo 60 

Vn I Drive a Coal Waoon — Pile Lumber — 
Capture a Murderer and Dock Wallop 


Ylll Married on Credit I Give Mt Bride a 
Five Cent Bouquet and We Take a 
Wedding Trip on a Street Car ... 81 

IX I Undertake the Study of Iron Ore and 

Engage in Exploration and Prospecting 89 

X My First Trip Into the Trackless Wilds 

OF Unexplored Canada 94 

XI Charmed by the Beauty of Sault De 
Saints Marie and Fascinated by its En- 
virons I Choose tt as a Home for Life 102 

Xn I Am> Used as a Political Fulcrum by 
Jay Hubbell to Pry Out Sam Stephen- 
son 118 

Alll The Sacrifice op General Alger to Ap- 
pease Political Blood Howlers . • . 121 



XIY My Assogution with Hazen S. Finqbee 
Plunges Me Into Politics Deeper than 
Ever 127 

XV I Become a Candidate poe Goveknob to 

Succeed Hazen S. Pinqbee .... 137 

X\l The Poetry, Charm, Eomance and Use- 
fulness OF Iron Ore 145 

XVn Iron Ore Bacteria 163 

XYin Beading the Story of the Stones as 
Printed on the Pages op the Earth's 
Surface 159 

XIX Great Lean Outcropping of Iron Orb 
Unseen Under the Very Eyes of the 
World 165 

XX Into the Heart op the Arctic Lapland 
Where the Mysteries are Attuned to 
THE Muffled Footfalls op Silence . . 174 

XXI Deposits op Iron Ore and Beds of Coal 

Under the Shadow of the Pole . . 184 

XXTT A Starvation Hike to Hunt for a Hid- 
den Eange op Iron Ore 190 

XXni Fatherly Attitude op John W. Gates 

AND John J. Mitchell 202 

XXIV Eating Moose Meat from One Year's End 
TO Another at the Moose Mountain 
Camp 210 

XXV Sir Donald Mann Proposes to Use 
Double-Bitted Axes as Weapons in a 
Duel with a Russun Count .... 215 

XXVI World Workers in Iron in all Ages . . 223 

XXVn Concentration op Lean Ores in the 
United States — Sideritb — Magnetite 
— Hematite 233 

XX V 111 Accidental Fortunes prom Ibon Obe . . 244 













Mbsaba Banqe in Minnesota, the Gbeat* 
EST Ibon Ore District the World Has 
Ever Known 249 

Consideration of Charles Evans Hughes, 
WooDRow Wilson and Others in Search- 
iNQ for a Successor to James B. Anqsll 
AT THE University of Michigan . . . 267 

Tom May's Kerry Philosophy a Social 
Thermometer 265 

I Am Elected Governor of Michigan . 268 

I Start a Fight Against the Saloon 
THAT Keeps Up to the End .... 276 

Fighting for the Life of Michigan 
Against the Human Bloodsuckers that 
Subsist on Society Everywhere . . 280 

My Part in the Presidentul Campaign 
OF 1912 289 

Off for Madagascar, Asia and Africa for 
A Long Tour in the Unusual Parts of 
THE Earth 293 

Some Eeferences to Burma^ Oeylon, 
Cochin-china, Turkestan, Persu . . 298 

I Discover Another Great Iron Ore 
Eanoe THAT Will Some Day Help to 
Supply the World 306 

Many People of Michigan Again Urge Mb 
TO Take Up the Gonfalon for Better 
Things in the State ^ 307 

In Conclusion . • » k I « « « « 311 


My Mother, Margaret Ann Fannon Osbom • Frontispiece 


Plorence, Wisconsin, 40 years ago 98 

Where Lake Superior Breaks Through La Sault de 
Sainte Marie 108 

Author in typical Primeval Jungle on the Hudson Bay 
Height of Land 162 

Alfred Noble Promontory — Lake Superior • . • . 168 

XTptumed tree where iron ore was first discovered on 
Lake Superior at Negaunee 246 

Tom May's Sketch of Deerfoot showing how a tender- 
foot hung a Buck 278 

A Press Cartoon, 1910 284 

Afield with Tiglath Pilezer Bones No. 11 306 

I made a sun dial at Camp in Windigo Land on a 
sawed stump and Emerson Hough inspects it . • . 306 

My father — George Augustus Osbom 314 


Cellini states that all men of whatsoever quality they 
be, who have done anything of excellence, or which 
may properly resemble excellence, ought, if they are per- 
sons of truth and honesty, to describe their life with 
their own hands ; but they ought not to attempt so fine 
an enterprise until they have passed the age of forty. 
And so, he says, in a work like this there will always 
be found occasion for natural bragging. 

Guizot wrote the history of France after undertaking 
to tell it to his grandchildren as they sat about his 

When my friend, Emerson Hough, added his urging 
to that of my children and grandchildren, I first gave a 
serious thought to it. My father had a great prejudice 
against autobiographies. This he communicated to me 

I am not abnormally modest, I think, but I rebelled 
at the idea of writing about myself. It staged my ego 
too prominently. 

" The fact is,** said Mr. Hough, " you unconsciously 
possess such a Oargantuan ego that you think you must 
conceal it by a false show of modesty. If you were 
really modest, you would not think of your ego, but 
would as willingly write of yourself as of another.'* 

Others supported him. And even with it all I feel 
like explaining the reason why I consented to try. 


I confess I am glad to have my Maroo Polo and 
Abbe Hue and my Stephenson and Roosevelt and Sid- 
ney. And I would set great store by it if I had a life of 
my own grandfather. 

Probably the decision to set down what follows grew 
from the belief that the opportunities of life in America 
are as numerous as they ever were. If I^ as an average 
American, and that is all I claim to be or wish to be, 
can have done the things that engaged my existence, 
others may also have enlivened hope. 

With gratefulness to God for His mercy and protec- 
tion and providence and for all the wondrous blessings 
I have enjoyed, I submit, as incomplete, a sketch of 
some of the work of my life. 

I view the future for my country, my family, my 
friends and myself cheerfully and hopefully, in the li^t 
of Gkxl's love and His merciful direction. 

Chase S. OsBOBir. 
Sault de Sainte Marie, Michigan^ 
December, 1918, 



^^fW^ HOSE awful wolves ! ! I " 

I My wife exclaimed, as a long, low, blood- 

-*■ freezing howl sifted to our ears with the pine- 
needle, wind rhythms. It came from a mile north on 
the course of a late fall gale. Our baby, a girlie a year 
old, slept like a little hairless savage in a padded, corn- 
can box. The wolf howl did not reach the tiny ears. 
We were in the back room of a rakish, one-story shack. 
There were three such rooms, just little cages partitioned 
with rough ceiling boards, with broken tongues and 
warped edges, making cracks that prevented anything 
like eye privacy. As for hearing, our ears were not shut 
off at all. I used the front end of the building as a 
printing office. It contained an old Washington hand 
lever-press and a new Taylor cylinder, painted as flor- 
idly as a German reception room. There were two job 
presses, a Peerless and a Universal — both new — a 
paper cutter, imposing stone, type cases, small piles of 
print and job papers, a big box stove, and the usual ath- 
letic towel, ethiopic with ink. The smell that came 
from the room needed no ambergris as a matrix, but was 
like wild roses in the nostrils of a young, country news- 
paper man. 



The blood-searching howl was repeated in greater vol- 
ume — four wolves this time. It was getting late in 
the little mining town, but drunken shouts and the crack 
of a shot could now and then be heard. 

" We can't live here, Chase," my wife said. ^^ Even 
if we can, it is no place for the baby." 

" You are right," I replied. " Just give me a little 
time to clean this place up and make it a fit place for 
decent people. If I fail, we will go back to Milwaukee 
or some other place where outlaws are not the law." 

This took place at Florence, Wisconsin, in the heart of 
the Menominee iron range, one of the Lake Superior 
iron ore districts. Conditions here were similar to 
those of every new range. There is always an outlaw 
headquarters in all new regions remote from disciplined 
centers. Florence, at this period of the early eighties, 
was a metropolis of vice. There was gambling on the 
main streets, outdoors in clement weather and un- 
screened indoors when driven in by cold and storm. 
Prostitution was just as bold. Its red passion garbings 
paraded every prominent place in town. A mile out of 
town, Mudge's stockade was the central supply station. 
It was the prison used by the nerviest white slavers that 
ever dealt in women. A big log camp with frame gables 
held a bar and dance hall and stalls on the first floor. 
On the second floor were rooms about the size of those 
in a Tokio Yoshiwara. A third-floor attic contained 
dungeons and two trap doors. In the cellar were dark 
cells and a secret passage, well timbered with cedar, 
leading to where the hill on which the stockade was 
located broke down into a dense swamp. Surrounding 
this camp of death, and worse, were sharp pointed pali- 
sades, ten feet high, of the kind used against the Indians 
to inclose pioneer blockhouses. There were loopholes. 


Two passages led through the stockade. One was wide 
enough to admit a team. This was fastened with horn- 
beam cross bars. The other entrance was narrower and 
for commoner use. It was protected by a solid sliding 
gate of ironwood. On either side of this gate^ inside, 
two big, gaunt, terrifying timber wolves were chained. 
It was the howls of these four wolves we had heard. 
This stockade was a wholesale warehouse of women. 
There were several in the Lake Superior iron country 
in the early days, but I think this one at Florence was 
the most notorious and the worst. It was built by " Old 
Man '' Mudge. He was a white-livered, sepulchral in- 
dividual who wore a cotton tie, a Prince Albert coat and 
a plug hat ; even wore this outfit when he fed the wolves. 
Mudge worked as a preacher through northern Indi- 
ana and Ohio and the scoundrel used his clerical make- 
up to fine advantage. He had a ready tongue and 
roped in girl after girl. Not much attention was paid 
in those days to pimping and procuring. Whenever a 
murder grew out of his acts, the old fox would so in- 
volve his trail that, if it led anywhere at all, a church 
was at the end of it, and that would throw off the sleuth. 

Old Mudge ruined his daughter Mina, and she was 
^^ keeper '^ of the place. Mina Mudge was a stunning 
woman. Her concentrated depravity, for she too had 
a child and brought it up in infamy, was glossed over 
by a fine animal figure, a rubescent complexion, semi- 
pug nose, lurking gray eyes, sensual lips and sharpish 
chin. Her lips were the clew to passion, and eyes and 
chin betokened the cruelty of a she hyena. Girls were 
wheedled or beaten into submission, and nearly always 
when she sold them she had them broken to the business. 

Two days before, in the evening, a shrinking, girlish 
young woman was found just outside our door by my 


wife. She cowered and shivered and looked wild-eyed. 
It took some time to coax her in. After warmth and 
food) she told her story. Old Mudge had found her on 
a farm in Ohio. An orphan, she was sort of bound 
out, and her life was one of work and little else. 
Rather attractive, she was spied by the old serpent, and 
taken north " to a good home." In her heart the girl 
was good and she was brave. Mina Mudge starved 
her, beat her, tied her ankles and wrists with thongs 
and, to break her in with terror, fastened her just out 
of the reach of the wolves. It was night, and the girl 
grew cold with exposure and fear. Her wrists and 
ankles shrunk some, and she wriggled out of the cut- 
ting thongs. Then she fled to the swamp and hid until 
hunger forced her to search for food. We took as good 
care of her as our means aiforded and planned her com- 
plete rescue. The day we heard the wolves howling, 
as mentioned in the beginning of the chapter, the girl 
disappeared. It was years later before I knew what 
had befallen her. Mudge's gang had located and 
trapped her. They forcibly kidnaped her and carried 
her to the wolf stockade. There she was given no 
chance again to escape. Her spirit was broken. She 
was sold to a brothel-keeper in Ontonagon County, 
Michigan, and was murdered by him one night in a 
ranch near to the Lake Superior shore. Murders often 
occurred, but those guilty were seldom punished. 
When this girl so mysteriously disappeared from our 
house, I was suspicious. I went to the sheriflF, an Irish 
saloon-keeper, but could not get him to act He was 
either a member of the gang or honestly afraid. 

The Mudge gang was organized over a territory in- 
cluding the region for five hundred miles south of Lake 
Superior from Canada to Minnesota. "Old Man" 


Madge was as much of a genius in some directions as 
he was a devil in others. Compared with him^ Machia- 
velli was a saint. They did not confine themselves to 
woman stealing. They would run off witnesses when 
arrests occurred near the law-and-order line. If they 
could not get rid of them any other way, the witnesses 
were killed. Any man who showed an inclination to 
oppose the gang was either intimidated or murdered. 
Within their own ranks a rebel never got away alive. 
Mudge tolerated no rivals. No sea pirate was ever 
more bloodthirsty or vengeful. The most notorious 
murder he was responsible for was that of Dan Dunn, 
at Trout Lake. Dunn was just as bad a man as Mudge, 
and not so much of a sneak about it. That was really 
how Mudge came to get him. 

Such were conditions in the iron country when I 
arrived. The picture cannot be overdrawn. I had 
gone there upon a telegram sent by Hiram D. Fisher, 
discoverer of the Florence mine, to Colonel J. A. Wat- 
rous of Milwaukee, asking him to " send up a young 
fellow not afraid to run a newspaper." It was a weekly 
publication. The owner and editor, a man of culture 
and courage, too old and too fine for the rough pioneer- 
ing and outlaws, had just "disappeared." The gang 
was against all newspapers and dead against any that 
tried to improve conditions or oppose them in any way. 
Just a little time before they had burned the Manis- 
tique Pioneer office and had tried desperately but un- 
successfully to assassinate its brave editor, the late 
Major Clarke, a veteran of the Civil War. All along 
the line they had terrorized editors if possible. So the 
first night after I arrived they shot out my windows 
and shot a leg off one of the job presses, just to show 
me what thej would -do to me if I wasn't " good." 


A short time before that the gang had gotten down 
on Captain William E. Dickinson, superintendent of the 
Conmionwealth mine, two miles from Florence. Cap- 
tain Dickinson had come there from the New York mine 
in one of the older Lake Superior districts. He was 
fearless and a man of order and high ideals. With a 
fine family of young children, he felt the necessity of 
improving conditions. Successful in his previous en- 
vironment, he did not apprehend serious trouble. But 
he did not correctly take the measure of the desperate 
characters who made up the Mudge gang. Hardly had 
he started to move against them before they stole his 
little son Willie. They sent him word that if he fought 
them they would kill the child. It was a knife in his 
heart, the wound of which finally carried him to his 
grave. Captain Dickinson spent money, followed 
clews, sent spies to join the gang and gave up every 
thought except the recovery of his little son. It is 
nearly forty years ago now. Captain Dickinson has 
gone to his final reward. Where Willie Dickinson is 
or what became of him or whether he is dead or alive, 
is a mystery to this day. It is the most piteous tragedy 
of scores enacted by the iron pirates. 

Something had to be done. I began a study of the 
situation in detail. The, encouraging fact was de- 
veloped that the law-abiding citizens outnumbered the 
outlaws. A majority of them were timid and could 
not be depended upon to act, but we could be certain 
that not many of them would openly join the leeches. 
Many men with families deplored conditions but feared 
that a war on the toughs would hurt business. Hasn't 
it been always so? Then to my amazement and cha- 
grin, for I was only twenty-three years old and to a 
degree unsophisticated, I uncovered the fact that that 


Borgia of a Mina Mudge had something on half or more 
of the merchants, who thought easily or made that ex- 
cuse to their conscience, that they had to be good fel- 
lows and go to her place with the miners and woodsmen 
in order to get business. The outlaws were able to keep 
close tab on the plans of any who threatened them 
through these dwellers in the twilight zone of morals. 
As soon as I could be certain of some backing, I at- 
tacked Mudge and his gang in my little paper. It was 
a thunderer there though, no matter what its size. I 
charged crimes home and named those who were guilty 
or probably so, whenever I had facts or tangible sus- 
picions. The time must have been just ripe for it for 
some astounding things occurred. Some of those 
against whom I made charges came to see me; not all 
peaceably. But from some of them I obtained denials 
of participation, and one or two gave to me invaluable 
inside information. Consequently I was informed in 
advance when my office was to be wrecked, and when 
I was to be gotten rid of. I built a little conning place 
of glass and kept some one on watch there every day- 
light moment. Also I bought Winchesters for all the 
office force, and for a long time every type stand was 
a gun rack for a repeating rifle. At night I took extra 
care and kept watch. A couple of faithful dogs with 
plenty of bulldog blood guarded the office, and were 
much better for the purpose than Mudge's wolves, but 
did not make as terrifying a setting in the mind of a 

I found a fighting preacher at the little mission 
church in Florence in the person of Harlan Page Cory, 
a yoimg Presbyterian just suited to the work to be done 
and entirely unafraid. An tmdersheriff named Char- 
ley Noyes, from the Androscoggin country, was found 


to be clean and brave and dependable. Bill Noyes, 
his brother, was a six footer plus, and the best shot and 
dry ground trailer anywhere around. He was not 
afraid of a mad catamount, and his morals had sprouted 
in the Green Mountains where Ethan Allen got his. 
Bill was eager to help clean up. 

A little concave-chested hardware man named Rolb- 
stell, with whiskers like a deer mouse and a voice like 
a consumptive cuckoo, was found, when the meter was 
applied to him, to be as full of good points as a box 
of tacks. There was no law against shining deer in 
those days ; anyhow not in Florence. Rolbstell built a 
scaffold one day, twenty feet up in a birch that leaned 
over a connecting gut of Spread Eagle Lake, where a 
fine runway crossed. The first dark, soft night that 
came he climbed up there with a bull's-eye lamp cocked 
over his left eye. He nearly went to sleep before he 
heard anything. Then he suddenly came to and saw a 
pair of silvery eyes and let go at them. Forgetting in 
his state of mind where he was, he stepped off the scaf- 
fold just as if he had been on the solid ground and down 
he went. That is where Rolbstell made his reputation. 
He lit astride of a two-hundred-pound buck that he had 
wounded and which was floundering in about four feet 
of water. Of course, he lost his gun in the descent. 
Pulling out his tomahawk, he nearly chopped the buck's 
head off before he succeeded in killing him. Rolbstell 
had plenty of that intestinal courage that was the fas- 
cination of Tsin, who built the Great Wall and meas- 
ured all men bv it. So he became a leader, if not the 
leader, in the new movement. 

With these and others assured, we called a meeting 
and orjsranizod the Citizen Ro<nilators. The meeting 
was such a hummer and so many joined that the sheriff 


and district attorney had a street duel the next day, 
growing out of a row that was caused by each trying 
to shift blame upon the other. I had publicly charged 
them both with being controlled by the Mudge gang. 
The district attorney shot the sheriff through the lungs. 
A lot of the sheriff's friends got a rope ready to hang 
the lawyer, who really was one of the worst of citi- 
zens, while the sheriff had told several that he intended 
to join the Regulators. Meanwhile the sheriff lived 
long enough for the mob to cool off. The preacher and 
I decided that we must get rid of all crooked and cow- 
ardly officials. 

I started to Milwaukee and Madison to enlist influ- 
ence and see the governor, in order to have the district 
attorney removed and a man appointed who would en- 
force the law. All the way to Milwaukee I was har- 
assed by telegrams for my arrest. The gang tried to 
capture me at the train, but I learned of their plans~in 
time to elude them. Then we had a wild race through 
the woods to the Michigan line. If they had caught me 
in Wisconsin they were going to finish me in some way. 
The pursuit kept up almost to Iron Mountain, which 
was nearly as bad as Florence at the time. I dodged 
them but was afraid to stop at Iron Mountain because 
the local authorities there were believed to be under 
the control of the Mudge outlaws. It was night. I 
had expected to take an evening train. Prevented from 
doing this, I ran two miles through the woods to Com- 
monwealth. There one of my faithful printers, an 
Irish lad named Billy Doyle, had a team in waiting. 
Hastily climbing into the buckboard and taking the 
lines, I lashed the horses into a gallop. Over my shoul- 
ders I could see the gang coming on foot, on horse and 
in rigs. I had a Colt's revolver and could shoot it quite 


well enougL Billy had thrown in a Winchester. I 
made up my mind they would not take me in Wisconsin 
without a fight. We madly galloped over the corduroy 
roads in the dark. That it was night and the pursuers 
were unorganized was all that saved me. We crossed 
the line. On the outskirts of Iron Mountain I gave 
the reins to Billy and jumped out and went on alone. 
Safely making a detour of the town, I took the rail- 
road track and hiked southwards towards law and order. 
I was in Michigan. Between Keel Ridge and Quin- 
nesec three men stepped out of the gloom and leveled 
guns at my head. I obeyed their order to hold up my 
hands and they took me back to Iron Mountain by main 
force, and not a sign of legal warrant. They were 
Mudge agents. It was after midnight. I made a big 
roar as soon as I got where anybody could hear. In 
spite of the racket I made they took me to a place 
which was not the jail and locked me in a room. Be- 
fore they got me confined I managed to send word to 
Cook and Flannigan, whose firm of attorneys at Norway 
was the ablest on the Range. The late Hon. A. C. Cook 
got to me and secured my release. To this day I do 
not know how he did it. Perhaps his partner, R. C. 
Flannigan, now a prominent mining country judge, and 
a good one, could tell if he wished to. I continued on 
my way. Efforts were made to stop me at Marinette 
and Green Bay. These were unsuccessful. Finally 
I got to Milwaukee where I had any ntimber of strong 
friends. Lemuel Ellsworth had just become chief of 
police, and the present Milwaukee chief, John T. Jans- 
sen, was on the detective staff. I went to the central 
station to call upon them, as they were old friends of 
mine during my police reporter days. The chief 
handed me a telegram to read. It was for my arrest. 


They had sent it to the wrong place. I told my story. 
AH of us knew the chief affectionately as Lem. He 

" Glad to see you, Chase. Now, let's do something to 
those hell-hounds. I will wire I have you and ask 
them to send for you with a strong guard. This will 
possibly bring a crowd of them down, and I will throw 
them all into the bull pen." 

" Of course I can't wait to do that," I replied, for 
I had to accomplish my bigger mission and return as 
quickly as possible. 

During the afternoon I received a telegram signed 
" H. P. Cory." It read : " Don't come back. They 
are going to kill you if you do." 

I knew it as a fake at once, for that preacher would 
have had me come back and be killed rather than have 
me run away from the fine fight I had started. I felt 
the same way. It was only wisdom to be apprehensive 
enough to be on the alert, as the gang had not hesitated 
to resort to murder in the dark before. 

I saw ru^ed Jeremiah M. Husk, then governor of 
Wisconsin, and secured the appointment of a clean, but 
rather gentle lawyer named Howard E. Thompson as 
district attorney, to succeed the Mudge gang lawyer, 
who, although possessed of a kind of brute bravery, got 
out of the way. Before he had downed the sheriff that 
oflScer had bowled him over, after being shot through the 
body himself, and stood over him, futilely snapping a 
revolver, all the loads of which had been discharged, in 
a frantic attempt to kill. Then the sheriff fell into the 
pool of blood that had trickled around his feet and the 
lawyer bad man was run off. 

Governor Rusk gave me every encouragment 

" Go after them, boy," he said, " and if you need 


help just say the word. I'll back you with the troops 
if it is necessary." 

I made my way back north about as rapidly as I had 
fled. The gang was in a panic when they saw me and 
heard of the support the governor had fortified me with. 
I had it told to them in as amplified and impressive 
a manner as possible and then I played it up in my 
paper with all my might and type. The gang was on 
the run from that time, but it was not beaten yet. 
Dives and relays were started along the border so that 
the outlaws could jump from one State to the other 

Ckudius B. Grant was a circuit judge in the adjacent 
region of Michigan. He became a terror to the bad 
men and women and clearly showed what a man 
rightly constituted can do with the law in his own hands. 
He was waging a solitary war against the gang, and 
sheriffs and prosecuting attorneys who were their tools. 
Finally he made it so hot for them on his side, and we 
so reciprocated on our side that the bad people began 
to look for other and less troublesome pastures. They 
fled to Seney, Trout Lake, Ewen, Sidnaw, Hurley and 
other points in the Lake Superior country out of 
Grant's jurisdiction, and out of our reach, where they 
operated for some years without molestation. There 
was a temporary renascence of outlawry in Judge 
Grant's district because the gang had gotten rid of 
him by designedly electing him to the Supreme Court 
of Michigan. But it did not last long. Civilization 
must have something more than that kind of outlawry 
to subsist upon, and civilization was growing a good 
deal like a weed. 

All of this was not achieved as easily as it has been 
briefly written. There were many clashes and excit- 


ing performances. Both sides were high handed. 
Shootings occurred by day and night, and the fight was 
a real battle. 

At first the gang had nearly all the law officers on 
its side. By degrees we changed this. The average 
feUow in office is quick to try to pick the winning side. 
These trimmers, usually so despicable, were a real help 
to us because they trimmed gradually to our side. 

Mudge withdrew his worst operations to more remote 
spots in the woods. The Eegulators determined to 
clean all of them out. The law was too slow under the 
conditions that existed and the punishments inadequate. 
At the time there was really no law against white slav- 
ery and procuring. 

Pat McHugh, a bully and retired prize fighter, was 
Mudge's head man. Nearly everybody was afraid of 
him. He had even been knovm to fight in the day- 
time with his backers at hand, and he was fairly quick 
with a gun, but could not fan. On a day agreed upon 
the Regulators, armed with Winchester rifles, Colt re- 
volvers and blaokanake whips, started on a rodeo. They 
drove the toughs off the streets. Those who did not 
move quickly enough were lashed smartly with the 
blaeksuakes. Theirs had been a reign of terror long 
enough. It was our turn. They showed as many tem- 
peraments as one could find among any men and women. 
Some were whimpering cowards. Others were sullen. 
The women were most bold and loudest in profanity 
and vulgarity. A woman has capacity to be the very 
best and the very worst. McHugh was one of the first 
to run. He hid in the swamp stockade with half a 
dozen others of the gang. The Regulators rode down 
against them. They opened a hot fire with Winchester 
repeaters. The Regulators replied and charged. It 


fell to Bill Noyes to capture Pat McHugh. The bully 
had often boasted what he would do to Bill if he ever 
got a chance. Now he fled into the swamp, revolver 
in hand. Bill saw him and ran after him. They 
dodged from tree to tree, Indian fashion, exchanging 
shots from time to time. Bill was too good a woods- 
man for McHugh. He loaded his gun as l^e ran and 
soon had a drop on the leader of the outfit. McHugh 
fell on his knees and begged for mercy. Bill spared 
him. He said to me only a short time ago : 

" Chase, I reckon I oughta killed that red-handed 
devil that day I got him in the swamp, but I'm kinda 
glad I didn't, 'cause it goes agin the grain with me to 
kill anything I can't eat." 

After that we burned a number of stockades and 
soon had the community so fit to live in that I spent 
four happy years there. And my wife, who had given 
up a good home to share her lot with a young reporter, 
was contented, and our girlie grew fat and crowed when 
her first brother was born in the little boarded rooms 
full of cracks, in the rear of the one-story, country 
printing office. 

What became of Mudge will never be told. Only a 
half dozen Begulators ever knew. 


what's in TOUB name OB MINE? 

THE name Osbom, Osborne, Osburn, Osbem, Os- 
beom, et cetera, has an interesting genesis, true 
of the origin of most family names, with source 
variations dependent upon what name system, Teutonic 
or other, is consulted. Leo's " Essay on Anglo-Saxon 
Names," published in 1841, appears to be as thorough 
as any and has become an authority. "Bearo" or 
" hem," betokens, as gathered from Kemble's " Char- 
ters," a fruitful, productive wood, yielding beechnuts, 
acorns and other mast, wild pears, crabapples, paw- 
paws, persimmons, and other wild fruits of the forest. 
The word " beran," meaning to yield, to produce fruit, 
evolves into bear, barren, boren, here, barley. Beam, 
a child, the fruit of the body, and bearo, bero, byro, 
the fruit wood, are similar derivatives. 

These things I am setting down, not because of any 
especial name vanity, but for the reason that these 
references suggest the manner of the making and the 
giving of all family names, the reader's as well as mine 
and all others. Also the growth system of our language 
is indicated by the way family names have started and 
by their methods of change in obedience to the influence 
of thought and time. 

Ferguson, in his " Surnames as a Science " builds 
my name of the Old North " As " or the Anglo-Saxon 

" Os," implicative of the deity and " beom," meaning 




bear. He says the name is Norse and means " The Di- 
vine Bear" or "Godbear." Lower's "Patronymica 
Britannica," published 1860, says that Osborn, Os- 
borne, Osbem, Osbemns and so forth are variations of 
a very common baptismal name. Several persons bear- 
ing these names are referred to in Domesday as tenants 
in chief in different counties of England. 

William Arthur, father of Chester A. Arthur, brought 
out a name hunt book in 1857, in which he says Osborn 
is Saxon, from hus, house, and beam, a child, hence a 
family child or perhaps an adopted child. 

Bowditch's "Suffolk Surnames," Boston, 1861, 
makes very free with Arthur's offerings, as Arthur had 
done with other name sleuths, and says Osborn means 
** housechild." 

Bardsley's " English Surnames," says that " Os " as 
a root word carrying the significance of deity has made 
for itself a firm place among English names, as proven 
by Osborn, Oswald, Oswin, Osmond, Osmer, Osgot, 
Osgood, Oslac (Asluck, Hasluck, etc.). 

Edmunds, in " Traces of History in Names of 
Places," says Osborn means " brave bear." 

Sophy Moody, in "What is Your Name?" has it 
that Osborn means " a chief appointed by tHe gods." 

" Gentry, Family Names," Philadelphia, 1892, gives 
" Os " as hero and " beom " as chief, general, prince, 
king, hence hero king, or something akin to it. 

In "Homes of Family Names in Great Britain," 
Guppy, 1890, 1 find the claim that my name was borne 
by farmers or yeoman attached to the soil in England 
before the Norman Conquest. According to Guppy, 
it was confined south of a line joining the Humber and 
the Mersey, and its principal area of distribution is in 
the form of a belt crossing Central England from East 


Anglia to the borders of Wales. Though well repre- 
sented also in the southwest of England, especially in 
Somerset and Cornwall, it is rare or absent in the other 
south coast counties excepting Sussex. Osborne is 
common in England and Osbom is uncommon in com- 
parison, although the latter is sprinkled through Bed- 
fordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, 
Derbyshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Lin- 
colnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Somersetshire, 
Suffolk, Sussex, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. 

A book with author's name not given, " The Norman 
People and their existing descendents in the British 
Dominions and the United States," London, 1874, con- 
tains a dictionary of 3000 Norman names. I gather 
here that our family descends from a Kentish branch 
of the family of Eitz-Osbeme, seated in that county 
early in the reign of Henry VI, where Thomas Osbeme 
appeared to a writ of quo warranto for the Abbey of 
Dartford. The family had come from Essex and Suf- 
folk, where the name is traced to Thomas Fitz-Osbeme, 
1227-1240, who granted lands to Holy Trinity. His 
grandfather, Richard Eitz-Osberne or Fitz-Osbert, held 
a fief from Earl Bigot in 1165 and was ancestor of the 
Lords Fitz-Osbeme summoned by writ in 1312. Fitz- 
Letard Osbem came to England in 1066 and held lands 
from Odo, of Bayeux in 1086. 

" The Battle of Abbey Eoll with some account of the 
Norman Lineages,'^ by the Duchess of Cleveland, has 
many references to the Osboms. 

"Dugdale Baronage of England, or an Historical 
Account of the Lives and Most Memorable Actions of 
our English Nobility in the Saxon Times to the Norman 
Conquest, and from thence of Those who had Their 
Rise before the end of Henry Ill's Reign," genealog- 


ical tables, etc., 3 volumes, by the author of " Monasti- 
eon Aiigelieanum," published 1675, is a notable work 
and a chief authority for that time in what it purports 
to cover. Planche, in " The Conqueror and His Com- 
panions," visits it liberally, as do other writers dealing 
with that era. 

In Lower's " English Surnames " I found a story of 
the Osbom name which, whether true or false, mirrors 
the times and depicts the light regard mediaeval mon- 
archs had for the lands and property of the people that 
were vested in the crown. Walter, a Norman knight 
and' a great favorite of King William the First, playing 
at chess with his Sire on a summer evening on the banks 
of the River Ouse, won all he played for. The King 
said he had nothing more to play for and was about to 
quit the game. 

" Sire," said Walter, " here is land." 

" There is so," replied King William, " and I will 
further play with thee. If thou beatest me this game 
also, thine is all this land on this side the bourne (river) 
which thou canst see as thou sittest." 

Walter won. 

King William clapped him on the shoulder and de- 
clared : 

" The lands are yours. Henceforth shall you be a 
lord, and have the name ' Ouseboume.' " And thence 
sprang the family of Osbom. 

The family name is treated in Burke's " General 
Armory" and especially in Burke's "Vicissitudes of 

In the Church of Dives, Normandy, is a roll of the 
" Companions of William in the Conquest of England 
in 1066." It gives Osbern d'Arquess, Osbern du Ber- 


nib, Osbem d'Eu, Osbem Giffard, Osbern Pastforiere, 
Osbom du Quesnai, Osborn du Soussai, and Osbern de 
Wauci. I have thought that the word Osborn in this 
roll was synonymous with Chieftain; at least to desig- 
nate feudal retainers of the Conqueror from the parts 
of Normandy mentioned. 

Undoubtedly William Eitz-Osbem was the nearest 
personal friend of William the Conqueror. J. R. 
Planche, in " The Conqueror and His Companions," 
says he was and also that Osbem was the chief officer 
of the household. He fought in all the battles in Nor- 
mandy during the twenty years which immediately pre- 
ceded the invasion of England, from that of Val-es- 
Dunes, in 1047, to that of Varaville, in 1060, and took 
part in the expedition against Conan, in Brittany, and 
in the invasion of Maine in 1063. Osbem is men- 
tioned in the accounts of the siege of Domfront in 1054, 
when he was sent to demand an explanation from Geof- 
frey Martel of his conduct in marching into Normandy 
and seizing Alencon. I shall now quote a few pages 
from Planche's story of this Osbern, mostly because of 
its rather odd sidelight upon a most important event in 

*^ Osbern seems to have resembled the Conqueror, his mas- 
ter> in character, combining great valor with readiness of 
wit and astuteness of policy. We have seen him entering 
the hall of the palace at Rouen humming a tune and rous- 
ing the moody Duke from his silent and sullen consideration 
of the news from England by bidding him bestir himself 
and take vengeance upon Harold, who had been disloyal to 
him ; to call together all he could call, cross the Channel and 
wrest the crown from the perjured usurper. The Duke 
called his retainer ' Osbem of the Bold Heart.' 

''At the large assembly of the whole baronage of Nor- 


mandy at LUIebonne to consider the question of fighting 
Harold^ the audacity and cunning of Osbern displayed it- 
self in an amazing effrontery that saved the day for the 
Oonqueror. The barons were irresolute and even rebellious. 
Puzzled and ill at ease the council finally turned to the 
wily Dapifer Osbern and asked him to be their spokesman; 
to say to their lord that they not only feared the sea but 
were not bound to serve him beyond it. No such decision 
did Osbern voice. Upon the exact contrary, to the amaze- 
ment and confusion of the nobles, he told the Duke that 
they were loyal to a man and eager to serve him; that he 
who should bring twenty men would bring forty; that he 
who was bound to serve with one hundred would bring two 
hundred, and that the one assigned five hundred would 
bring a thousand and so on down the line he represented 
that all the barons would double their quota, thus insuring 
success. As for himself, Osbern promised to furnish sixty 
ships with full crews of fighting men. At first the barons 
were crazed with indignation, but stupefied and bewildered. 
Out of the wild disorder thus created, one of them was sud- 
denly stricken with the idea that if all would do as Osbern 
had unwarrantedly promised the campaign could not faiL 
And one by one they consented." 

Taylor's list of William the Conqueror's ships puts 
Osbern at the head and agrees with Wace that he fur- 
nished sixty ships and crews. The record reads: 
"Habuit a Willielmo Dapifero, filio Osbemi LX 

At another time Wace tells of Osbem's chiding the 
Conqueror before a battle, demanding less delay and 
indecision. He commanded the men from Boulogne 
and Paix, rode a horse covered from head to tail with 
fine woven iron chain armor. Even though Osbern was 
the only companion of the Conqueror who ever dared 
to cross him or bluntly advise him, he was much loved 
and was granted lands, position and honor in England 
by William after the Conquest, and he and his family 


have never since been separated from the history of 

The Norse Osboms were also an interesting people. 
Our family has always clung to the idea that it had a 
Scandinavian origin, easily tracing the name histori- 
cally to participants in the Norse invasion of England. 



OSBORN is the English corruption for polar bear 
or godbear in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, 
whether spelled Isbjom, Esbjeme or otherwise. 
Our family story, is that our ancestor was one of two 
jarls, who got into England at the invasion of 800. 
The other was promptly killed, and sometimes I 
fear I have made certain persons wish both had 
been. George the Settler brought one wing of our 
family to America and others came during the Huge- 
not hegira to Massachusetts. The fact that there was 
much titled nobility in the family did not keep some 
of my forbears from being rebels. They fought with 
Cromwell in the Black Watch and with the Irish kings. 
Eor so long had they lived in the British Isles that they 
were scattered throughout England, Ireland, Scotland 
and Wales. To this day a royal chateau on the Isle of 
Wight bears our family name and the favorite yacht 
of King Edward VII bore it also. A lot of us must 
have been naturally democratic despite those of the 
family who courted royal favor. Every movement of 
reform from the time of King John and the affair at 
Eunnymede and on through the religious wars has been 
participated in by my kinsfolk. The American Revo- 
lution found most of the family in New Jersey and 
New York. As usual, a split occurred. Some became 
rebels under Washington and others were Tories ; later 



these mostly went back to England or moved to Canada. 
To make a distinction the rebels dropped the final " e *' 
and spelled their name " Osborn/^ The Tories re- 
tained the " e " and so ashamed were they of my grand- 
sires that many of them made even greater changes in 
spelling, such as Osbourne, and even Gisborne. Some 
of the Oisbornes got as far away from us as they easily 
could by going to New Zealand, where they founded a 
flourishing town. During a visit to Gisborne I had 
many talks about our common ancestors with my dis- 
tant relatives, and much wholesome laughter. 

My twice great grandfather, John Osbom, was a 
revolutionary chaplain and an uncle was a captain. 
Several others served as privates. The record of all 
is good without being especially dramatic. 

My grandfather, Isaac Osborn, was born in a fishing 
village on the northwest coast of Long Island, in 1795. 
He carried a musket as a private in the War of 1812, 
and was slightly wounded at Lundy Lane. In 1818 
he was married to Sarah Pardee at Guilford, Connecti- 
cut One of my grandmother's uncles had a private 
French school at New Haven, in the vicinity of where 
Yale College was afterward located. The fact that she 
was a refined young woman only made her more eager 
to help make powder and mold bullets during the War 
of 1812. The same heroic tendency inspired to abet 
my grandfather in his pioneering dreams. Finally 
they started to cross the Alleghenies with an ox team. 
Following the trail of westward emigration my grand- 
father located on the Ohio River at Madison, Indiana. 
He had been a fisherman and it was not such a big 
change to become a riverman. It was not long before 
he owned a flat boat and soon afterwards we find him 
trading as far down river as New Orleans. He would 


steer his laden boats down the current and sell his 


cargo and also his scows wherever the best trade could 
be made. Then he would return home overland. 

There came a day when he did not return. Grand- 
mother told me when I was a little boy that grand- 
father had a fleet of five flat boats on his last trip^ laden 
with a miscellaneous assortment of hogs, cattle, wheats 
com, maple sugar, furs, beans, and so forth. He ex- 
pected to realize between four and five thousand dol- 
lars for his outfit. He was last heard of after selling 
out at New Orleans and starting for home. Years 
afterward a lot of skeletons were found in a hole in a 
cellar underneath a tavern that was a kind of a back- 
woods^ halfway house, near where Memphis now stands, 
where river traders horsebacking north were accommo- 
dated. It turned out to be a worse murder trap than 
the Benders had in Kansas. So far as ever could be 
learned my grandfather was one of the many murdered 
at that place. He had had all of his capital invested 
in the outfit. It left my grandmother almost destitute. 
She just waited long enough for my father, George Au- 
gustus Osbom, to be bom, a posthumous child, Febru- 
ary 28, 1828, and then moved up to Cincinnati and, as 
she was fitted for the profession, became a school teacher 
tmtil she married Amos Davis as her second husband. 

My father was twelve years old at the time. He had 
learned to chew tobacco and swear on the river levee 
by the time he was three years old. I remember now 
with what needless chagrin he would discuss his boy- 
hood with me — after he had become a man of as much 
probity of character as I have ever known, and a total 
abstainer from all forms of tobacco and liquor. He 
rebelled at once against the new step-daddy and very 
soon afterward ran away from home. By the time he 


was eighteen he had acquired quite some education, and 
owned a little water-power saw mill in the backwoods 
of Ohio, where only the best walnut logs were ripped 
up, the rest going into rails or wood or brush fires. 

Amos Davis was a leading spiritualist, and was said 
to have possessed the most numerous library of books 
upon spiritualism west of the Allegheny Mountains. 
My father, who had become a Wesleyan, grew to hate his 
stepfather, and in seeking afterwards for a reason was 
inclined to attribute this to the spiritualism excitant 
He confessed to me that he burned his stepfather's 
books every chance he got, and was encouraged to do so 
by his Wesleyan Sunday school teacher, which glimpses 
the pioneer Buckeye intolerance of the day. In this 
way, to my deep regret, most of the great Davis library 
disappeared. I inherited a few of the books, and 
strange enough are they. One is an "Epic of the 
Starry Heavens,'' presxuned to have been written by dis- 
embodied poets, but proving that a poet can be no worse 
while in the body. Another is a mysterious work de- 
voted to the subject of " Spiritual Transference of 
Thought," and even of more substantial things. As a 
boy I used to devour this ghost book until I could not 
sleep of nights. But none of it would my father have. 

He sawed walnut lumber, built houses, himted cata- 
mounts, deer, coons and squirrels, wrestled and studied 
medicine with an old doctor of the horse-syringe school. 
It was while in the backwoods of Piqua County, Ohio, 
at the village of Circleville, that he met and married 
Margaret Ann Fannon, my sainted mother. She was 
the most superb woman I have ever known, and I try 
to think of her apart from being my mother so that 
I can be certain she was most wonderful as all mothers 
are wonderful. I do not know much about her family 


because both of her parents died of a mysterious sickness 
within two days, when my mother was a babe in arms. 
The disease was called ^' milk sickness." Nobody knew 
anything about it or how to cure it, nor do they to this 
time. During a critical epoch in Ohio and Indiana 
hundreds of pioneers died from it. It was more deadly 
than the Indians and beside it ^' fever and agur " were 
just nothing at all. It was supposed to be caused by 
poisoned milk because it occurred at a certain time 
when the cows ranged in the woods and pastured, feed- 
ing upon many strange herbs. Dr. Victor Vaughan, 
dean of the medical school of the University of Mich- 
igan, than whom there is not a more earnest devotee 
of medical research in the world, writes to me that the 
" milk sickness " so-called of the pioneer days in the 
Ohio and Wabash basin, was and is yet a medical mys- 
tery. Happily it disappeared when the land was cul- 

My mother was born at Circleville, Piqua County, 
Ohio, April 30, 1827. She was of immediate Prot- 
estant Irish descent, although her grandfather on her 
mother's side was a McGrath and a great grandfather 
was a McKenna. When her parents died, leaving her a 
homeless, helpless baby, a big-hearted neighboring fam- 
ily named Hoblett took her to " raise." The Hobletts 
had numerous children of their own but, as it was with 
most of the pioneers, there was plenty of room around 
the warm hearth stone of their hearts. Children were 
always being desolated by one tragedy or another and 
in belief that theirs might be next, a feeling developed 
that insurance for the future could only be had by acts 
of kindness on all sides. It is not a bad investment 
to-day and can be depended upon right now to pay royal 
dividends of happiness. 



The Hobletts saw to it that the eagerness my mother 
showed for learning did not go unappeased. They 
gave her as good a chance as their own youngsters had, 
and she took advantage of it, with the result that, al- 
though schools were crude and teachers equally so, my 
mother had a better education in her girlhood than most 
young women of the time. This she improved every 
day of her long and useful life. Of course she could 
cook, and knit, and weave, and on a pinch she was a 
good rifle shot, albeit she did not like wantonly to kill 
things. In this sentiment as in all things she was 
truly womanly. 

The supernal matrix of life has an instinctive re- 
spect for all sentient things. 

One evening in the Autumn a fat young buck joined 
the homestead herd of cattle that was foraging near the 
log cabin. There was no one at home except my mother. 
The deer would make the very best jerked venison for 
winter use. My mother took the big rifle down from 
its deer horn rack, softly opened the little window 
enough to admit the barrel, poked it through and shot 
the deer. I think this story fevered my boyish blood 
more than any other. 

My mother was almost twenty years old when she was 
married to my father. This occurred in April, 1847. 
My father was twenty-four. It was getting to be too 
tame around Circleville for my father, so they soon 
made up their minds to trek to Indiana. Their first 
child, Eugene, was bom in Ohio and then the little 
family in 1848 started off through the woods for the 
West. From that moment their lives were filled with 
work and unrest. They entered government land in 
Blackford County, Indiana, and fought malaria there. 
It was deadly. Two children died its victims. Other 




little ones came to take their plaoe. Three more were 
bom in Blackford, two daughters and a son — Emma, 
Georgiana and Stephen Pardee, named for my paternal 
grandmother's brother, who had entered lands in what 
is now the heart of Chicago. On the land occupied 
there by my parents oil and gas wells of great value 
were found later. In 1858 they moved to Huntington 
County, Indiana, where prospects for health and life 
seemed better. My father had become a doctor and my 
mother had been studying medicine with him. They 
had some practice but not enough to aflFord a living. 
To eke out, my father kept a little store, bought walnut 
timber, which was coming to have a small market value, 
and industriously traded. 

Exciting times had brewed. Even before leaving 
Ohio my father had become a devoted abolitionist and 
was so earnest that he often aided negroes running away 
to Canada by driving Allen's " underground " railway, 
an inclosed night wagon that was used for spiriting 
negroes northward. In the " Tippecanoe and Tyler 
too," logKjabin campaign he had marched and carried 
a torch and a coon-skin banner and had riotously sung 
songs, and even tried to vote although he was only a 
slip of a boy. His open endeavor to vote before of age 
was a joke in the neighborhood for years. All this in- 
sured that he would have part in the inflammatory 
drama that was enacted in Indiana just before and dur- 
ing the war. No one who is not familiar with those 
border social conflagrations can understand them at alL 
Bitterness was not common in the far South until actual 
war was translated there. Nor did the furnace of pas- 
sions reach such a great incandescence farther north. 
It was where the north and south came together along 
that line of frictional contact run by Mason and Dixon, 


that the feeling assumed a fierce rancor that made for 
monomania and homicidal obsession. There were more 
Copperheads than Union men in our part of Hunting- 
ton County, but they came very far from having their 
own way. A ITnion flag was hoisted at the log school 
house, and a bloody fight in which bowie knives and 
rifles were used came off when the Copperheads tried to 
pull it down but failed. The Southern sympathizers 
wore butternuts as insignias of their sentiments. Their 
women were especially violent. More than once a riot 
broke out on Sunday at the services in the log meeting 
house. Men would generally go for the open, but the 
women would pull each other over the benches, tear and 
scratch and pummel and drag each other around by the 

It is difficult to adjust the mind to a realization that 
these things happened such a short time ago. We have 
made advances on our way but the trail we must travel 
is still a long one and so often very dim. 

In such an atmosphere I was born January 22, 1860, 
in Huntington County, Indiana, in a little log house 
of two rooms with one real glass window and two others 
of greased paper. Wabash, in an enjoining coimty 
fourteen miles away, was our big town. It had a pop- 
ulation of over two hundred. There were meeting 
houses at iEtna, Lagro, Dora and New Holland, all 
near by, and about equidistant in various directions. 
Not far away were the Wabash, the Salimonie and the 
Mississiniwa rivers, beautiful streams full of channel 
cats and silver bass, now stealing quietly along some 
bepoolcd dark bank only to burst over a limestone ledge 
with golden transparency and jolly gurglings, just like 
the complexion and laughter of a Hoosier girl. 

Judging from what I have been told by my parents 


and sisters and older brothers, I was one of those puny 
babies that modem eugenics would condemn to infantile 
death, indeed a peaceful issue of life compared with 
ruiming the gauntlet of American politics and business, 
but not nearly so enjoyable. I could digest nothing and 
had, among other things, a bloody flux that drained my 
body of almost the last vital spark. But my mother 
was in advance of her time in baby raising. She made 
gruel for me of the germ scrapings near the cob of green 
sweet com. This, with the delicate pulp just inside 
the skin of the grape, supplied nutrition. Outdoors in 
the air night and day, with rides on old " Snip,'' held on 
a pillow, and walks in the same fashion won me strength 
slowly. Once they lost me off a pillow. It took a fight 
every minute for three years to save my life. Even 
then the first words I spoke as a babe were " Solly me '' 
— sorry me. 

My earliest recollection is of seeing soldiers in blue 
uniforms and of telling a lie to my mother. There is 
no connection between them. My mother to get rid of 
me and amuse me made a fishing outfit for me by tying 
a thread to a gad on which she fastened a pin hook 
baited with a little piece of plantain leaf. With this 
she said I might go to a little nearby ditch and fish for 
frogs. I do not even know whether there were frogs 
or fish but I think none. However I returned with a 
famous story. I told my mother that I caught so many 
frogs that I could not carry them and that then I 
stopped catching frogs and caught fish and also caught 
so many of them that I could not carry them. She did 
not ask me why I had not brought all I could carry, 
but with much sober concern quietly took me by the 
hand and carrying a large, homemade bag in the other, 
started down to the ditch. My alarm was terrible. I 


had not looked ahead at all and^ as I was not yet four 
years old, this did not betoken abnormal stupidity. 
On the way I tried to convince my mother that the 
frogs and iish might all have jumped back in; that in 
fact most of them had before I left She asked me 
why I didn't bring home such as were left. After much 
deep thought I replied that they were jumping aroimd 
so fast and were so slick that I couldn't pick them up. 
On we went to the scene of the big catch. My mother 
looked the ground over and we marched back even more 
soberly than our going. When we got to the house she 
talked to me about the sin of lying. Then she made a 
lather of soft soap and thoroughly washed out my 
mouth. I thought it the nastiest dose I had ever taken, 
although children of that time and in that part of In- 
diana were dosed all the time with all sorts of hor- 
rible stuff. After soaping my mouth my mother made 
me kneel at her knee and ask God to forgive me. That 
touched my little heart, and made an impression, with 
many tears, that is as vivid now as it was at the moment. 
My father enlisted for the war. He was promised 
an assistant surgeon's position. On his way on horse- 
back to Indianapolis the be&st stumbled and dragged my 
father for a long distance through the woods. His head 
was hurt, several ribs were broken, his spine was in- 
jured and there were internal bruises. After that he 
was an invalid for the remainder of his life. He was 
six feet tall, weighed two hundred pounds, and had been 
a powerful man. His life had been filled with energy 
that drove him to many deeds. Once he had gone for 
a time, west of Iowa, among the Indians then wild, for 
study and exploration. On his way home from the trip 
he had been the house guest of Joseph Smith, the Mor- 
mon prophet at Nauvoo. Father told me that eight 


women sat at the table with the prophet and himself, 
and he understood all of them were wives. Joseph 
Smith was gentle in his household, father said, and al- 
though he greatly detested Mormonism, he always spoke 
kindly of Smith and regretted his assassination. 

Two more children were bom in Huntington County 
— Horace Edwin in 1862 and Charles Russell in 1864. 
My mother began to take the lead as a doctor. She had 
learned much from my father. Both had strong intel- 
lects. My father was impetuous and extreme. My 
mother was calm and lovely. Both had by now de- 
veloped lofty characters. In 1857 my father had gone 
to Cleveland to study hydropathy at a sanitarium. The 
great water cure discoveries of Vincenz Priessnitz were 
taking hold of America, fostered by such English and 
American hydropathic propagandists as Gully and 
Shew. Heavy dosing was the order of the day until the 
average patient measured his prospects for recovery 
by the quantity of nauseous drugs he swallowed. To 
pretend to cure anybody of anything with just simple 
pure water seemed a grotesquery if not an insanity. 
But my parents were courageous and would not fool 
anybody even with a placebo. They compounded their 
own prescriptions and carried their own medicine as 
did most practitioners of the time. 

The older children were growing up. Grandmother 
had been a school teacher. My parents realized the ad- 
vantages of schooling. The opportunities in the back* 
woods were slight So they decided to move by wagon 
to LaFayette. I had passed my sixth year, had helped 
to carry in wild turkeys my older brotiier Eugene had 
shot just back of our brush fence, and had heard the 
story in eager tones of the bear tracks in our deadening. 
I had tried to ride a bull calf with the willing help of 


my brothers and had done a lot of things that attached 
me to the place. The watermelon patch was a luscious 
place, and the melons grew almost large enough for me 
to hide behind. So I cried when they talked of moving 
away. That did not postpone proceedings. One day 
the things had all been loaded into three wagons, one of 
them covered for the family like a prairie schooner, and 
we started. We had three teams and were regarded as 
rich. I remember father and my older brothers march- 
ing beside their teams, and they would let me walk as 
far as I could. Our two dogs, Carlo and Rover, would 
dart off the road after rabbits, or bark as they treed 
black and gray squirrels. Not infrequently they 
flushed wild turkeys. The meals we had on that trek 
were taken from boxes in the wagon and cylinder re- 
ceptacles of hollow logs with the ends closed with skins. 
The elders shot game enroute, and we got fruit that was 
mostly wild. 

The rough road followed near the canal along the 
Wabash River. Everybody called it the canawl. Swift 
packets, making as much as six miles an hour, carried 
passengers and mail, and drove a swash along the banks 
that looked to my boyish eyes like a big ever-running 
water snake. We had plenty of snakes, too, and I knew 
their motion — blue racers, blacksnakes and rattlers. 
Mules and bony horses, driven tandem, plodded along 
the towpath driven by ragged, barefoot and often hat- 
less boys. It was interesting to see them pass the locks. 

One afternoon the wagons started a down-hill run to 
cross a creek that flowed into the Wabash. It was quite 
terrifying the way the wagons swayed, but the worst 
was to come. When the horses were midstream we 
heard a blood-curdling scream. The animals plunged 
nmdly and ran as hard as they could in the water as they 


were. I looked out and just ahead and off to the left 
I saw a monster coming and the horses saw it too. It 
was belching white smoke and sparks, and I was cer- 
tain we must be near the gateway of hell and that this 
was the devil about to catch us and drag us in. I had 
never seen or heard of a locomotive and had not seen 
an engine of any kind. The fear it caused in me could 
not be overdrawn. It was an old wood-burner on what 
was then the new Wabash Valley Railroad, afterwards 
the Toledo, Wabash & Western, and now the Wabash. 
The young children could not realize and the older ones 
knew better, so I had a monopoly of fright. There 
were seven of us children on this expedition, the young- 
est two years and the eldest eighteen. 

How many women to-day would dream of starting 
on a single day's railroad journey with seven children ? 
However, I think they would if they had to, because 
women to-day are confronted by more dangers than their 
mothers were. Social pitfalls are worse than ever were 
Indian ambushes, and the suffering and death they 
bring are worse than the scalping wounds, or the toma- 
hawk hacks of the gauntlet that maimed only the body 
and left the heart purer and the soul more serene than 

We were over two weeks on the road. On rainy days 
we mostly camped while the older males hunted and 
fished for the larder. There was no travel on Sunday, 
and on Monday we stopped to permit mother and the 
girls to do our washing. 

In this way we moved to LaFayette. Soon we were 
sumptuously installed in a big, three-story, frame house, 
with four acres of grounds surrounding, and bams, out- 
buildings, fruit trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. 
Contrast this with the woods and the little log house 


we had left. We children thought it was a palace and 
our father a king. Aunt Goldthwaite had come out 
some time before from Connecticut to visit us and told 
us fairy stories, just enough to make us wonder and 
credit to the fairies all the things we could not under- 
stand. My present from Aunt Goldthwaite was a toy 
watch — we called it a " dumb " watch then. No Wal- 
tham, Patek-Phillippe or Jurggeson since has been 
worth a quarter as much I Down below the hill reposed 
the city, and just then LaEayette was a sleepy place. 
Near by were neighbors. Everything was as different 
as it could be. We had a real lamp with something 
green in the oil bowl and a ground glass globe and 
shining chimney. It was kept in the parlor, that holy 
of holies of the time, and never lighted. Candles made 
our light, and father used two at a time when he read, 
and snuffed them with his fingers in a manner that fired 
all of us with emulation. 

The big house had a huge cellar. Soon there were 
mysterious goings on in it Mj eldest brother was the 
only one of the children permitted the secret. But we 
learned when the time came that father was an in- 
ventor; that he had devised one of the first stoves with 
an oven and that now he had designed a washing ma- 
chine. We did not know that nearly everybody of that 
period had invented a washing machine, so when father 
sold out his patents for what seemed a large amount of 
money we took it as a matter of course. All of us had 
had plenty to eat and good enough clothing up to that 
time. But with the sale of the patent came still better 
days. Mother had two black silk dresses and father, 
wherever he got the idea, donned a frock coat and plug 
hat. I had seen a daguerreotype of him as a youth 
with a beaver on, and I know he was familiar witii the 


advice of Polonius to Laertes. Then he went to In- 
dianapolis and entered the Indiana Medical College^ 
where he received a degree. 

Once while father was absent the household was 
aroused in the night by thunderous knocks and loud 
calls. Good old Charley Kurtz, a neighbor butcher, 
called "Old Charley '* because he had a son called 
" Young Charley," on his way home from the Odd Fel- 
lows, discovered that our house was on fire. It got a 
good start in the cellar, that was full of shavings from 
the washing machine models that were kept for kin- 
dling. It gave me one of the big scares of my young life. 
I escaped from the family circle, and in an obsession 
of excitement ran wildly about the place in my nightie. 
I was seven. There was a big patch of gooseberry 
bushes. Their thorns tore my limbs and body when I 
repeatedly ran through them as I cried out frantically 
for help. 

The last child, William Douglas, was bom in 1867, 
making ten in all with eight living — three girls and 
seven boys, with two girls and six boys living as I write 
these notes in 1916. 



EARLY in 1868 something happened to our fam- 
ily fortunes. I do not know what it was more 
than that my father lost all of his money, every 
cent. It actually took the carpets off the floors to pay 
out, and there was no hesitation about permitting them 
to be taken. It was one of those occurrences that are 
continually happening and directly or indirectly, mostly 
the latter, exert a great influence both upon individuals 
and society, serving to cure pride and remind man in a 
decisive manner of his self -insufficiency. 

All of a sudden we were as a family translated from 
luxury to necessity — from affluence to abysmal pov- 
erty. It seems to me that I must have been taken out 
of the big house while asleep. I was eight years old, 
and must have had sufficient intellect to comprehend 
things to some degree. Perhaps my senses were be- 
numbed by the shock. Anyhow all I remember is that 
I seemed to go to sleep in the big house and to awaken 
in a little frame shack, with only two rooms and a 
lean-to. The big parlor lamp was gone and so was the 
parlor and the base-burner with the red coals shining 
through the mica. Each youngster had had a horse to 
ride. They were all gone. Two old crowbaits, that 
were dying of old age and were a liability, and were 
only kept in deference to a creditable sentiment, re- 
mained. We called them " Baldy '' and " Goalie/' be- 



cause one had a white forehead and the other was coal 
hlack. The first real fight I ever had was with a boy 
who shouted after me " fiip-flop I " " flip-flop ! " " flip- 
flop 1 " as I was urging old Baldy into a sort of earth- 
quake, bone-racking trot. He was rather too big for 
me, and I got a bloody nose and a black eye. He got 
enough so that he did not yell " flip-flop ! " at me again. 

I did not understand then why my parents wished 
to keep these worthless animals and were so tender with 
them. As for myself, I was so ashamed of them and 
so angered at times that I hate a "flip-flop'' to this 
day. Also I am thankful to have a feeling grow within 
me that would not permit me to turn out a faithful old 
horse or dog to starve to death. 

The new abode is known in our family history as 
" the little brown house." And it was small. The fur- 
niture consisted of a few wooden chairs, a wooden table, 
poorly equipped beds, iron knives and forks, tin plates, 
cheap cooking utensils and one stove, a cooking stove 
with two holes and a square box oven on top at the back, 
supported by long, spider-like iron legs. Pood was 
scarce too. We children were put on a corn meal diet 
and not any too much com meal. Every Friday wais 
hog killing day at the slaughter house down on the old 
Plank Road. At such times hogs' hearts could be had 
for five cents a pound. Father and mother took ad- 
vantage of that and as a consequence we had hogs' heart 
meat once a week and no meat at all between times. I 
noticed a change in everything. The big dogs were 
gone. Only we had kept Pinkie, a little black and tan 
feist with a hole in her throat, cut by a ground hog 
she had crawled after into a den. 

Father acted strangely. He was depressed. I did 
not know that then. He hung out his doctor sign and 


one for mother, too. Also he would parade in front of 
the house with his long coat, gold-headed cane and silk 
hat, which he had managed somehow to hang onto. 
After thus showing himself he would return to the 
house, put on cotton overalls and waist, and departing 
by the rear and through the alley go to a remote part of 
town and work as a carpenter — a trade he had well 
learned as a boy. He was not strong. Soon he grew 
ill and was very sick. He could not eat. Delicacies 
were tried. 

One day I smelled what to a hungry boy was about the 
sweetest odor I could remember. It came from the 
cook stove where five cents' worth of prunes were sim- 
mering in a tin cup. They were for father and his life 
might have depended upon them for all I knew. That 
did not shield me from temptation. I made up my 
mind to steal those prunes and eat them and then run 
away to Texas. My mother must have suspected me in 
that divine way that mothers have. Anyhow she 
watched me and kept such a vigil over the prunes that 
I was foiled. 

That was my first tangible temptation, and there 
flowed from it my first crystallized ambition. I made 
up my mind then and there that when I became a man 
I would not stop in my efforts until I had all the prunes 
I wished for, even if I had to be a pirate. 

Sometimes all of us were hungry and we were ill- 
clad but cleanly. Old clothing was transformed dex- 
terously and handed down from child to child. 

We were sent to school. Other children made fun of 
us because we were poorly garbed. This made me so 
sensitive and wounded me to such an extent that I 
would not look at other children. Patty Tyner, Nigger 
Bill and a German boy named Theodore Mersch, called 


by the urchinB '^ Tater Mash," as being near the Qer- 
man pronunciation^ were particularly kind to me. 
They would back me in my fights and permitted me to 
lead them in expeditions for nuts, berries, paw paws, 
fishing, and against the '^ Micks " of the Plank Road. 

Always there seemed to be war among the boys of 
LaFayette. If some of us went to the ^^ old sycamore " 
to swim in the Wabash our enemies were nearly certain 
to come and muss our clothes, tie them in wet knots, 
and as we dragged at them with our teeth they would 
deride us with ^^ Chawed beef and roasted mutton! 
Chawed beef and roasted mutton I " 

We learned to keep a standing guard and pickets. 
If the Micks outnumbered us we would run. If there 
was a fair chance we stood our ground and fought, with 
honors about even from day to day. 

I learned to swim at the " wide water," an impoimd- 
ing reservoir used to adjust the canal levels. It looked 
bii to me .8 a boy and it was over a man's bead in 
depth. A bigger crowd than ours chased us away from 
the " old sycamore " swimming hole. We grabbed our 
clothing and ran across the Wabash bottoms to the wide 
water. I remember that I arrived bleeding and sting- 
ing from the smarting wounds of thorns and sandburrs. 
Although I could not swim or had not swum before I 
was on fire. I rushed down the steep, artificial bank 
into the wide water where it was about ten feet in 
depth. I went to the bottom. When I came up I 
struck out just as naturally as though I was a good 
swimmer, not dog fashion, but a full sweeping stroke. 
It was not long before I developed into a good swimmer. 

One day Nigger Bill showed me how to cure warts. 
He was the son of Reverend Maveety, who preached on 
Sunday and wielded a whitewash brush week days. 


His mother knew how to ^^ Eunjer " he said and was 
sister of a hoodoo (voo-doo) queen. I was deeply im- 
pressed and told my mother. She ordered me to keep 
away from the negro boy and told me the rules he gave 
me were foolish. 

I still had faith in jNfigger Bill. A block from our 
house lived the Pumells. They had a nice little girl 
named Laura, about my age. She had more warts on 
her hands than a Texan toad and was quite proud of 
them. I got her to let me try to take off just one of 
fhem, and because we were good friends she consented. 

Nigger Bill had told me to take a piece of blue 
thread, tie it in a hard knot over the wart and then slip 
it off and bury it, repeating as I did so, 

^ Hoblin, goblin, go an' snort, 
Rot in the groun' an' kill a wart." 

As the thread rotted the wart would rot and come 
off. Mystery of mysteries, but to me perfectly natural 
then, Laura PumelPs big wart on her left hand, that 
I had tied the blue thread over, became inflamed, and 
the swelling communicated to the entire hand and arm. 
Laura was in great pain, and some thought she might 
die. I was frightened to death. After a really se- 
vere siege she recovered, minus the wart. Then I went 
and dug for the thread to see if it had rotted. Either 
I dug in the wrong place or it had disintegrated, for I 
could not find it. I was afraid to be a wart doctor 
because somebody might die before the wart came off. 
Just what happened I do not know unless I slightly cut 
or irritated the wart and it was infected by the thread. 
Warts are not nice to have but they are preferable to 
Nigger Bill's cure, in which there is the philosophy of 
the ages. 


To help out I became a rag picker, which included 
gathering old iron as well. I got to know the alleys of 
the town better than the streets. Also I carried a news- 
paper route and sold papers. It brought me into con- 
tact with all phases and strata of life, and I early came 
to know, I do not know how I knew but I did, that God 
takes especial care of boys and girls or there wouldn't 
be one on earth imcontaminated. Down in the Wabash 
bottoms I used to see men and women derelicts. In the 
summer they infested the now dry flood lands. I had 
as much abhorrence of them as of a snake. Nobody told 
me about them or the great dangers of boyhood. I just 
knew instinctively, and I think other boys do. 

Once the circulator of William S. Lingle's DcMy 
Courier asked me to carry papers in a part of the town 
where the carrier was always being licked and his papers 
destroyed. He said I would have to fight and that 
maybe as many as twenty boys would attack me at once. 
I couldn't whip twenty boys without preparedness, so 
I bought a second-hand, twenty-two caliber, seven-shot 

It was autumn. The coming January I would be 
eleven years old. Hard knocks and life in the alleys 
were developing me fast. I took the papers and started 
out really hoping to get a chance to shoot a few boys 
just to test the killing power of my gun. I had al- 
ready tried it on a cow out in the commons, and when 
she walked away seemingly unconcerned I was ready 
to take the revolver back to the second-hand man. But 
I thought I might have better luck shooting boys. At 
the comer of Thirteenth and Union streets a colored 
boy, possibly a little larger than I, came up to me in a 
bantering way and grabbed at my papers. I forgot my 
revolver and laid down my sack and waded into the 


Negro, We were rolling around on the ground and I 
was getting a little the best of liim I thought, until he 
got my left fore arm between his sharklike teeth. That 
made me desperate and caused me somehow to remember 
the gun in my pocket. I got it out and when the Negro 
boy saw it he yelled " murder '' and " help " and gave 

Then boys began to appear from everywhere, but 
mostly from behind an old bam near by and from under 
a street bridge over an open surface sewer called Pearl 
River. When I saw them I ran for my papers and 
bolted. The yelling crowd of boys pursued me. I 
thought there must be a hundred. Some were larger 
than I. As I was ascending to the sidewalk after cross- 
ing that Pearl River, a bigger boy struck me over the 
head with a broken shinny stick. Down I went. I had 
already been hit several times by rocks and clubs but I 
was not hurt. Now was the time to use the revolver. 
I pulled it out and shot all seven shots slam into that 
crowd. Really I expected to kill seven boys at least and 
maybe more. There was a scattering in all directions 
and it wasn't long before a policeman had me. I don't 
know where he came from. There weren't many in La- 
Fayette those days. 

He took my gun and instead of taking me to the 
calaboose, as we called the local lockup, he took me 
home. I had not lost many papers. As soon as the 
officer turned me loose I got an older brother to go with 
me and we finished the paper delivery that night. I 
hadn't hit a boy. Just like shooting into a flock of any- 
thing without picking your bird. From that day I 
carried that route unmolested. I wouldn't advise boys 
to follow my example, even though in what I did I was 
perfectly innocent of intentional wrong doing. 


As I grew stronger I did all kinds of work. It seems 
to me now that the hardest work of my youth was cut- 
ting and shocking green corn. When I was thirteen, 
my brother Steve and I took a contract cutting corn and 
shocking it for ten cents a shock every fourteen rows 
and fourteen hills of corn. Those who know Indiana 
com along the Wabash will think of each stalk as almost 
a tree. I wielded the com cutter and Steve carried the 
big heavy bundles and shocked them. He was older 
by eight years and was equal to the work. 

When I would be awakened in the morning I would 
ache from head to toe and would be so stiff and sore I 
could have cried out with pain when I essayed to move. 
And I was too young to harden and get used to it. 

Also I learned to cradle, rake, bind, mow, stack hay 
and grain, load hay, rive clapboards, split rails and 
chop cord wood. I still enjoy swinging an ax just as I 
liked it best of all as a boy. Many hardships have been 
my lot by land and sea, if one calls enjoyable, exacting 
adventures hardships, but not one caused me as much 
suflFering as com cutting in the Indiana maize forest 

I went to Sunday school. My mother was a Metho- 
dist and my father a Wesleyan, between which denomi- 
nations there is little difference. At Christmas time 
I managed to get to six Sunday schools. It required 
no end of scheming, but I really received gifts one 
Christmas from six different trees. It was not right I 
now know but I thought no wrong of it then. In fact, 
I thought a boy who went to only one Sunday school 
at Christmas time was downright shiftless. 

Two things I best remember that I heard in church 
while a boy. One was the temperance examples told by 
Francis Murphy. The other is a picture of a devout 
Sunday school superintendent of the Ninth Street M. E. 



Church of LaFayette, named J. Q. A. Perrin, as I slyly 
glanced at him while he repeated the childhood prayer : 

Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep, 

And if I die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take. 

This I ask for Jesus' sake. 

The above is not the way Billy Sunday words and spells 
it but it is the way Mr. Perrin recited it, and it is the 
way I have repeated it every night of my life since I 
was nine, with the alteration since I have had a wife and 
children to "our" instead of "my." It is a selfish 
little prayer but one does not have to stop with it. 

The pangs of poverty and attendant humiliation 
ground into me more and more. I did not have as good 
clothing as had the other boys that I thought I would 
like to consort with, and many fisticuif s grew out of the 
scorn and derision of those who assumed to look down 
upon me. I did not win all these by any means, but all 
of them gave me a kind of confidence in myself. I got 
hold of several dime novels and read also the Jack 
Harkaway adventures, and a lot of stuff about Jesse 
James and his brother Frank, who were just beginning 
to limn on the lurid horizon of boys' brains. I also 
read the more wholesome " Ashore and Afloat " books 
by William Taylor Adams, who signed himself Oliver 
Optic. History began to unfold to me interesting pages, 
and I found ornithology, entomology, botany and astron- 
omy fascinating. Not that I went very far with any 
of them; only I liked them better than mathematics. 
Zoological and biological things were entertainment and 
mathematics were study. About the very first book I 
read was a brave little tome called "Little Prudy's 


Captain Horace/' by Sophie May, one of the Little 
Prudy series of delightful books for children. I was 
nine years of age when I got it off a Baptist Sunday 
school Christmas tree. 

The year before three impressive little books fell into 
my hands. They were the " Burial of the Firstborn," 
by Joseph Alden ; " The Little Brown Jug," by Mrs. 
C. M. Edwards, and " Not a Minute to Spare," by S. C. 
I read all these before I was nine. Really I seemed to 
partially understand in " Not a Minute to Spare " Tup- 
per's line — " now is the constant syllable ticking from 
the clock of Time." 

At least forever after the tick-tocks said to me, 
^* Never return, never return " ! 

So early does the mind of the average child begin to 
function. In fact, I read just about everything I could 
lay my hands on, including all the doctor books I could 
find around the house. 

At an early age, too early, I had read Gray's " Anat- 
omy," Dalton's physiology, Thomas on "Diseases of 
Women and Children," pages of Dunglison's medical 
dictionary. Gully's and also Shew's hydropathy. 

Fine reading for a youth of ten to twelve I and it 
made me knowing beyond my years. I would gather a 
crowd of boys on the curbstone on dark nights and be- 
fore a Rembrandt fire in the gutter, with its vivid chiar- 
oscuro, I would tell them the secrets of these doctor 
books in low tones. 

The greatest horror of impression would be made by 
the descriptions of awful diseases that befel men and 
women who were not good. 

Nearly all of us had read " Robinson Crusoe " and 
" Swiss Family Robinson." 

We would tell riddles and ghost stories also until all 



of us were of a shiver. Then there were famous nights 
when we played ** Blank Lie Low" and hunted coon 
and 'possums, and, best of all, camping on the banks 
of the Wabash all night keeping up a fire big enough 
for a lion country, while those of us who were bigger 
baited and ran "trot" lines. We used liver for bait 
and sometimes we had a thousand hooks out. 

They were fine fish, those channel cats (siluridae), 
but they would sort of gurgle and squawk when we slit 
them just through the skin behind their horns, and 
then holding them between the fingers of the left hand 
would pull off the skin with pincers in the right hand. 

The niggers used to say that the catfish were trying to 
tell what they would do to us when they were men and 
we were catfish, and their strange metempsychosis folk 
lore made a deep impression. 

We boys thought we could see the catfish squirm, like 
eels and frog meat do when first put into a hot frying 
pan. This the niggers said was nothing to the way bad 
boys would squirm in hell. 

All through the dimmest social fabric there seemed 
to run the certainty that good is rewarded and bad is 
punished, which must have been one way the Creator 
has of manifesting a fundamental truth. 

Boys were wild and adventurous but they were not 
nasty or impure, and if there was a degenerate unfor- 
tunate he soon come to be marked and shunned. 

I wish to believe thiat that is the way of boys to-day. 




MY parents would teach us American history 
traditionally and they were both well informed. 
As my father loved or hated so did I come to 
do. He could not, without rage, think of Simon Girty, 
who, as an English agent in Canada, had aroused the 
border Indians, and was charged with paying them fifty 
cents for the scalp of an American white woman and 
seventy-five cents to a dollar for the scalp of a man, but 
only twenty-five cents for a child or a gray-haired scalp. 
Some of our relatives had met this fate and it has left 
a bitterness that even I have to struggle against to this 

Next to the bloody Girty my father hated Aaron Burr 
and so did I. He was wont to say that Jeff Davis was 
a gentleman beside Burr and his tool Blennerhassett, 
and that Benedict Arnold had not been worse. His 
condemnation of Henry Clay was because Clay had been 
Burr's attorney. Father was intolerant of anybody who 
would hire out his talents to criminals. He loved Alex- 
ander Hamilton as the greatest American, and always 
put Washington as secondary to Hamilton. To his 
mind Lee and Stonewall Jackson and, Albert Sydney 
Johnston were misguided good men, and of the three 
he placed Albert Sydney Johnston first. He told me 
stories of Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton and Davy Crock- 




ett and their contemporaries until I forthwith got an 
old bored-out army musket and hid it under the shed, 
as against the time when I would become an Indian 
fighter. Soon I was able to grind down a corneutter 
blade into the most savage-looking bowie knife I have 
ever seen. 

These preparations were soon followed by a decision 
to run away, which was promptly acted upon. My first 
adventure of this kind was when I was ten years of age. 
With an older boy named John Godfrey, son of a bel- 
ligerent Methodist preacher named Samuel Godfrey, 
the best silver bass fisherman on the Wabash " riffles,*' 
I started out. We got nearly fifty miles away before 
our parents caught us. 

Without discouragement I kept at running away two 
or three times a year until I succeeded. Once I got 
clear away on a raft and with the two other boys fioated 
down the Wabash to the Ohio and quite a distance 
into the Mississippi. We were gone several months and 
had enough adventure to fill a book. 

My longest runaway absence was when I went into 
the wild Michigan lumber woods in Newaygo County 
near the present village of Hungerf ord. I spent a win- 
ter in the camps as a cookee and chore boy. In the 
spring I worked in a saw mill and shingle mill. That 
winter I got a terrible thrashing. There was a boast- 
ful fellow in camp named Jason Grimsby. No one 
knew whether he would fight, but from his tell he could 
lick his weight in wild cats and then some. 

Some of the woodsmen had families in near about 
shacks and there were several boys of about my age. 
We made up our minds that Jason was a coward. Our 
plan to try him out was to waylay him at night and 
while not hurting him, we were to leap on him and ton- 


sle him about pretty lively. Qood idea, but it didn't 
work, and to this day we have no correct measure of 
Jason although he got one of me. 

I was a sort of leader. Perhaps I was the biggest 
boy. Anyhow Jason came beating it along a trail 
swinging a candle lantern and whistling. I made a 
jump for him. There were five of us boys, two on one 
side of the trail and three on the other. 

All I know is that every one of them ran away and 
Jason mopped up the earth with me. The lantern went 
out at once and it took Jason some time in the dark to 
tell when he had pounded me enough. I tried to accuse 
him of attacking me, but while my attitude confused 
him a little, it did no good. From that time to this 
I have depended more upon myself than others and have 
more carefully considered undertakings. 

I went back to Indiana with quite a sum of money 
saved up, amounting to near one hundred dollars. I 
had walked most of the way to Michigan, and I earned 
good wages in savings by walking the most of the way 
back, over two hundred miles. 

At thirteen I was in the LaFayette high school de- 
spite the fact that my runaway trips had broken into my 
schooling. I cannot remember that I was more than an 
ordinary student. 

When I was fourteen I was admitted to Purdue Uni- 
versity at its opening. There was not much organiza- 
tion or grading or I surely could not have been ad- 
mitted. The institution had been endowed by John 
Purdue under certain conditions, one of which was, I 
believe, that it must be open for students by a certain 
time. In order to save itself the university v^as opened 
hurriedly and perhaps without much previous prepara- 
tion. I spent three years at Purdue. They were years 


of mingled happiness and bitterness. I seemed to get 
along with my work all right but, struggle as I did, I 
never seemed to have enough clothing to prevent richer 
boys from making fun of me. Shortridge was presi- 
dent, and before I left he was succeeded by White, a 
strong man. The university was coeducational from 
the beginning and it grew rapidly. 

The boy that I most disliked in school was Jim Reidy, 
son of a banker and rich. He was bigger and older 
than I, quite a flashy fellow, whose sole accomplishment 
was to write a good hand. That fellow goaded me to 
desperation. He would call attention in a loud voice 
to the fact that I wore no undergarments and often no 
socks, and that my shoes were cowhide. 

He was a handsome young animal, and I couldn't lick 
him as I found out. Secretly I half admired him, al- 
together envied him and often came near to a deter- 
mination to murder him. Beidy married a charming 
co-ed and became a partner in his father's banking busi- 
ness. They expanded into a string of banks. A panic 
struck them; there were irregularities and Jim was 
sent to the penitentiary. I did not learn of this for a 
long time. I was governor of Michigan when I did find 
it out and I was not only sorry for Reidy but at once 
endeavored to do what I could for him. 

One of my best friends at Purdue was Orth Stein, 
son of Judge Stein, a prominent lawyer and worthy 
citizen of LaFayette. Orth was tall, anaemic and some- 
what effeminate. He was such a good boy that mothers 
commonly pointed him out to their sons as a model. 
And he had a good, double-barreled shotgun that he 
would loan. That endeared him to me more than any- 
thing else, I think. You cannot always tell about a 
(good boy. Before they hung Orth he murdered several 


people, including a woman* It was the whiskey and 
prostitution route. 

Harvey W. Wiley, foremost American food expert, 
was then professor of chemistry at Purdue. He also 
drilled the college cadets and was a pitcher in the base- 
ball team. It was permitted at this time to give the 
ball a kind of underhand throw. Dr. Wiley's fame was 
made one day when he knocked a cigar down the throat 
of Johnny Harper, the catcher. Baseball nowadays 
with an unmasked, unprotected catcher behind the bat 
with a cigar in his mouth would be the quintessence of 

There was hazing of a rough kind, such as putting a 
freshman on a straw stack in the night and setting it 
on fire so that he had to jump through the flames. An- 
other stunt was to make the candidate walk a plank 
blindfolded into a deep hole in the Wabash. Some- 
times we tied his hands behind his back. The victim 
was always rescued but often he was first nearly 
drowned. Boys were not much good who did not go in 
for these things and it is a fact that the roughest and 
wildest boys have done the most in life. 

They were always fair and square, were not bullies 
and adhered to certain unwritten laws of young buck 
chivalry. Indiana was full of such youtlis, and I hope 
the country is still developing them. All of the college 
pranks were played, and the Greek letter fraternities 
had quite a vogue. It was just before I left Purdue 
that President White started his fight against them, 
singling out the Sigma Chi as the one to make the test 
upon. His defeat disappointed him and checkered a 
life of great usefulness. 

Professor Hussey taught zoology. He asked fop 
specimens. It took a great effort on my part to gather 



all the bones of a horse skeleton in the river bottoms 
and pile them in the class room. The specimen was 
too new and really I can smell it yet Professor Hussey 
was fine usually but he lost his temper. I confessed to 
the act. He came near to where I sat and glowering 
down upon me growled : 

" Osbom, do you know how near a fool you are V^ I 
replied, " Two feet." 

It was not an original retort, I am certain, but it 
nearly ran me out of college. Altogether an act upon 
iny part to be condemned, the psychology of it was that 
its very boldness gave me greater confidence in myself, 
a trait I was deficient in to the extent that I was bash- 
ful, sensitive and terribly ill at ease in company. 

One night at the end of my third year,, I attended a 
commencement reception at President White's house. 
Several of the young men actually wore evening dress 
suits. I had never seen one before and the mental 
effect they had on me was as strange as it was ludicrous. 
All along I had been struggling to get far enough into 
style to wear an undershirt, and here were these claw 
hammer coats. The case was hopeless; the odds were 
too terrible to struggle against. Then and there I 
vowed to leave school for good, and I did. I was seven- 

My father no longer worked at carpentering. The 
unusual medical skill of both my parents insured them 
from being in poverty very long. So far on the up- 
grade had they gone that father was able to buy a tract 
of forty-seven acres of land about three miles from La- 
Fayette. It was a network of swampy pond holes, with 
a planched growth of sassafras, hazel, ash, water elm 
and briars with numerous enough rattlesnakes, black 
snakes and blue racers. My brothers and I were given 


the job of clearing that land. No work was better for 
us. We straightened a sluggish creek and laid tile in 
every direction. The timber was cut into cordwood and 
rails, with now and then a linn or an oak sawlog. 

Working at many things during my hungry youth I 
had learned to set type, put a job on a press, make 
rollers, pull a Washington and turn the old man-power 
cylinders. Also I had crudely written some for the 
papers and really began to gather news items at ten. 
But I had not formed a definite desire to do newspaper 
work. Only it was true of me that accidentally or 
otherwise I had done more work around newspaper 
outfits, and had learned more about them than about 
anything else. 

An event occurred before I was eighteen that caused 
me to leave Indiana in deep disgust, mostly with my- 
self. Quite ar notorious bully named Ed Rawles, a 
young fighting widower, was the high cockalorum, as 
he claimed, of the Hebron district, about seven miles 
from LaFayette. If he didnH like a young fellow he 
would scare him away by bluffing or licking him. He 
tabooed me and sent me word not to come again into his 
neighborhood under penalty of a thrashing at his hands. 
My older brother told me not to go. He said Rawles 
would maul me all to pieces, and I really thought he 
would myself, but I wasnH going to be scared out. The 
very next time there were any doings at Hebron church, 
I went. Bawles was in a seat in front of me. It was 
in the evening. He leaned over and called me a vile 
name in a loud whisper and said he was going to ^^ lick 
the stuffin' out of me'* after church. I didn't wait 
until after church, but waded into Mr. Eawles then 
and thera I struck him in the face, and before he 


could recover from the surprise and the blow, I climbed 
over the seat and gaffled him. We had a fine fight. 
He would jam in between the seats. I was thinner and 
had him at a disadvantage. Naturally the church was 
in an uproar in a moment. Women and girls screamed, 
but there weren't many fainting Hoosier women those 

Men got to us and pulled us out into the aisle. Then 
it seemed to me the tide of battle turned. I had been 
having all the best of the mix-up among the seats. Now 
a half dozen were holding me and it seemed to me that 
no one was holding Rawles. He pounded away at me 
and my arms were pinioned. When they thought I had 
enough, for I was blind and delirious with fighting rage, 
they faced me about and threw me out of church. 

I ran as fast as I could go to " Doc " Coleman's, the 
nearest farmer I knew, and tried to borrow his shotgun 
in order to go back and get even. Of course he refused 

Next day I was arrested. It seems that I was not 
only guilty of assault and battery but of church dese- 
cration, a much worse crime. Colonel Dick DeHart, a 
famous soldier and criminal lawyer and afterwards an 
able judge for years, defended me without charge and 
I was acquitted. 

But from that moment I was a marked youth. Par- 
ents forbade their daughters to speak to me and ordered 
their sons to shun me. I was the most depraved youth 
in Indiana according to their ideas. It did not matter 
what reputation Rawles had, nor did it count that I 
ended his days as a bully. I had but one destiny and 
that included both penitentiary and hanging. In fact, 
80 persistent was the opinion that thirty-five years later, 


when I had gone to Indiana as a gaest of that State as 
Governor of Michigan, a fine old gentleman named 
Kantz, of German extraction, exclaimed : 

" Ist dis der real Chase Osbom ? Vat, ain't you 
hung yet?" 

The girls and boys did not all taboo me by any means 
but my social relations were, to say the least, clandes- 
tine, so I packed my " turkey." 

While on the farm engaged in the work of clearing 
I had time to read, to go to the country parties and 
spelling schools and debates, in all of which I seemed to 
take an average part. Opportunities came to go har- 
vesting with better wages and to follow the threshing 
machine that did the work for many farmers. There 
was much interchange and exchange of work. At 
threshing and harvest time women, old and young, 
showed their best at cooking and housekeeping. The 
tables bent with wholesome, well-cooked food — turkey, 
chicken, beef, mutton, pork, potatoes and many other 
vegetables, big bowls of steaming gravy, pies and cakes 
of many varieties, preserves, spiced fruit and pickles. 
They were wonderful feeding days and for feasting even 
exceeded Christmas time. 

I learned when very young to cut bands and several 
times nearly cut the feeder's hands, but luckily did not. 
As I grew older I learned to rig up the horse power, 
pitch from the stack onto the feeding table and also to 
feed the machine, which required the greatest degree of 
expertness of all. 

Binding in the wheat field behind a reaper — they 
were a new thing and there were only a few in our part ; 
cradling, raking and binding also. Excellence marked 
women and men. To be a good cook and housekeeper 
and economical made a woman famous, and the young 


woman thus distinguished married early. Young men 
were told to observe a girl peeling apples or potatoes. 
If she pared them thickly and wastefully avoid her as 
a wasteful wench, but if the parings were thin it was 
evidence of care and thrift. 

Men who excelled in chopping, cradling, binding, or 
in anything were known all over wide communities and 
were pointed out It all made for wholesome ideals. 

There were a good many chances to dicker and use 
one's wits. One winter evening walking along a frozen 
dirt road that ran at right angles to the pike that had 
been recently built to the Tippecanoe battleground, 
where General Harrison beat the Prophet, I saw a queer- 
looking animal in a bleak field of dry and rustling com 
stalks. It was yellow and had long, matted hair, and 
at the distance it was, might have been a big goat or 
almost anything. When I came up to where the man 
of the place was feeding the hogs I asked him what it 
was. He said it was a mule and as he didn't like mnles 
nohow he would sell it. To my consternation he made 
me a price of two dollars on it. I was not sharp at 
trading but I asked him what was the matter with the 

"Boy," he said, "so far's health is consamed that 
critter be a well one an' kin eat glass." 

Then I asked the age I " Dummed if I know," he 
replied, " and it don't make no difference nohow kase 
nobody never seen a dead mule." 

I bought the mule. 

When I entered the field to inspect my purchase the 
thing came at me with mouth open, teeth gleaming and 
issuing fiery snorts altogether like a ferocious fiend. 
I have been in close quarters since with grizzly bears 
and lions, but nothing has ever come so near to getting 


me, to the best of my belief, as that mule did, I barely 
made the rail fence and fell over it as though thrown 
by a cyclone. 

The former owner of the beast was doubled up with 
raucous laughter. I felt cheap and some mad. When 
I asked him what he meant by unloading that thing on 
me he offered to buy the mule back for a dollar. 

I refused. The thought came to me that I might also 
sell him " as he ran," as I had bought him, and there 
seemed to be nothing wrong about trying. 

In fact, I did not think of ethics at all. The only 
thing that I really wondered about was whether it was 
a mule or something else. I had heard repeatedly that 
there are nine kinds of meat in a turtle and I really 
thought the mule might have nine kinds of animals in 
him. He roared like a lion, opened his jaws like an 
alligator, showed his teeth like a dragon and charged 
with lowered head like a billy goat. 

I went on to town. Next day I looked up a Jew 
jimk dealer. We knew him as the ragman. I told 
him I had a mule for sale for twenty-five dollars. It 
seemed to me that his eyes gleamed at the chance he 
foresaw to beat me. My eyes could have gleamed also 
because I made up my mind to sell that mule for two 
dollars if I couldn't get more. 

He started for the country with me at once. When 
we reached the field of cornstalks the mule was browsing 
about a hundred yards from the fence. It was a frosty 
morning. The sun glinted from the rufous side of the 
beast. He didn't look badly at all. What I feared was 
that the Jew would try to inspect him. To my sur- 
prise and deep relief he did not. We had been hauled 
out by a poor, old, gray rack o' bones that was ready 
to cave in at any time, and the junk dealer knew it. 


Evidently he was bound to buy that mule without ex- 
citing me as to his intentions. His first offer was five 
dollars. I was anxious to take it but the lap gods held 
me off. We dickered rapidly for a short time and I 
sold the wild red mule to him for eleven dollars. 

He went to the farmer who owned the field and asked 
if the mule belonged to me to sell, and that farmer 
looked as innocent as a poisonous toad stool to a mush- 
room hunter as he told him it did. 

Then the Jew paid me eleven dollars out of a very 
greasy wallet. The farmer and I stood where we could 
watch the new owner take over his property. We had 
a roaring laugh and then a fright, because it looked at 
one time as though the mule would catch the Jew and 
eat him. 

The ragman was more persistent than I had been. 
He detected power in that mule which if harnessed 
would pull his junk wagon many a mile. But no use. 
He finally came to me and demanded his money back. 

I followed the example of the farmer and offered him 
six dollars. At the same time I suggested to him that 
he might get help and catch the beast, or failing that he 
could sell him " as he ran." That ended the mule trade 
so far as I was concerned. 



I STARTED to walk to Chicago, along the Lake 
Erie and Western railroad tracks. The exact 
reason I started to walk was because the train 
crew pulled me out of a box car and bade me do so. 
Tramps were everywhere and had become such a men- 
ace as to forfeit all sympathy. I had spent nearly all 
my money on clothing and did not have any to spare for 
railroad fare. At that time the fares were so high that 
a tolerable walker could make good wages afoot. It 
was autumn. The golden pawpaws burst as they fell 
to the ground. Wrinkled persimmons hung on the 
trees. Pheasants were in full plumage and the quail 
and prairie chickens were strong of flight. Wild ducks 
and geese were winging south. Apples and turnips and 
cabbages were buried in pyramidal heaps in the field. 
Corn husking was occupying the men folks, and the 
women were about through " putting up " canned stuff 
for the winter. 

I was leaving all these Hoosier things forever. But 
I did not know it then; I did not even recognize my 
own feelings as they surged within me. Only one thing 
was clear. I was going to Chicago where so many 
Hoosier lads had gone before and have gone since, only 
to be swallowed remorselessly. 

At that age of limited experience I did not know the 




great cities devour boys and girls as a more avid Mino- 
taur than the Cretan monster in the Labyrinth that 
Daedalus built^ that ate the seven maidens and seven 
youths sent by Athens as an annual tribute, until The- 
seus killed the demon. 

What a lot of Theseuses we need nowadays to himt 
down the modern monster Minotau:**s. 

One night I slept a while in a straw stack. First I 
dug a hole in the stack and crawling in I pulled the 
straw in after me. Just as I got comfortably warm 
and asleep, the farmer's dog treed me, and I was driven 
forth. Next I crawled into a corn shock where I was 
very cold and did not sleep much. It took me three 
days and nights to get to Chicago, only one hundred 
and thirty miles from LaFayette. Part of the way I 
managed to cover in freight trains, but I walked more 
than half the distance. 

There was a railroad station at the foot of Lake 
Street, I think, with dismal, unpainted, wooden sheds 
and many rookeries about. Across from the station 
were saloon dives, cheap hotels, restaurants and barber 
shops. My first impressions of Chicago were very dis- 
appointing and I fear they have not improved much yet. 

I had just fifteen cents. About nine o'clock in the 
morning I arrived. 

Entering a barber shop I asked if I might wash. 
The boss said I could. When I thanked him as I 
started to leave the shop the barber stopped me and 
said I owed him fifteen cents. It was every cent I had 
in the \i^orld but I paid and then plunged into the 
human jungle. 

I have seen the highways and byways of the earth 
since and have confronted many exacting conditions, but 
I never again have had such heart sinkings as I had 


that morning. To have no breakfast was not such a 
serious thing for a strong boy. 

Alone in the middle of the Sahara I have felt nearer 
to friends and love and sympathy than I felt after the 
barber took my last cent. Some one to turn to was 
what I hungered for more than food. 

Where to go or which way to turn seemed to make 
no difference. Rivers of people swept by in ceaseless^ 
rapid flow. There was the sullen roar of the city like 
a Niagara of fierce sorrow. It seemed to me that all 
the faces I saw were hungry and hard. 

I had heard of the Y. M. C. A., rather a new thing 
then, and made my way to its rooms. But they stared 
at me and spoke in a manner so short and feelingless 
that I almost fled from the room. 

It seemed as though the Y. M. C. A. was run for boys 
who had a home^ and not for the strange and homeless. 

Of course I felt hard^ unjustly so no doubt, and I was 
terrified by my own thoughts, which were that I hoped 
the place would bum down. 

What a trivial cause to start such a low trend I I 
soon tired and wandered about cold and rather despair- 
ingly. Soon again I was at the depot. 

A man with a big valise hailed me and gave me the 
bag to carry. It was big and heavy but I was strong. 
When I got it to the dollar-a-day hotel he sought he 
gave me five cents. I could have blessed him, but I 
only hurried away and found a place where I got a big 
bowl of soup and bread for the money I had earned. 

I haunted the railroad station and for several days 
carried quite a number of bags and parcels and earned 
twenty-five cents a day. 

At night I slept in the depot and was seldom mo- 
lested. To me it was a cheerful room at night, as the 


coal stove with open door cast a bituminous glow which 
made fine shadows that I was too big now to be afraid 
of. Sometimes I had bad dreams, and once I awoke in 
a cold sweat because I was chased by " Ni^er Henry," 
who lived in a cave up Tenth Street " holler " at La- 
Fayette, hissed on by " Crazy Cyrus," who lived out 
by Reynold's pasture, and wrung his hands and gawped 
" bloodle-doodle." 

Between errands for passengers I hunted for a job. 
Finally a cheap sort of hotel boarding house on Wa- 
bash Avenue near Polk Street took me as assistant 
porter. The work was to do anything I was told to do 
by anybody. When nothing more definite was in sight 
I was to scrub the stairs and fioor and wash the win- 
dows. I got my board and was promised three dollars a 
week. My shoes were wearing out and I had no over- 

Trips downtown afoot through the snow and slush 
breasting the lake winds not warmly clad are the fea- 
tures I best remember of that experience. 

I could not get my pay so I began to hunt for an- 
other job. A fifteen-cent restaurant on Clark Street 
offered me two dollars a week and board as a potato 
peeler. I had to work in a grimy basement but I liked 
it because when the first week was up I got my pay and 
I could see new shoes ahead. The cook made soup of 
the potato peelings which was strained and sent up on 
a dumb waiter. 

I worked here for some weeks. There were many 
swift changes in the staff and soon I found myself sec- 
ond cook. Then I went upstairs as a waiter at two 
dollars and fifty cents a week, because the business could 
not afford a second cook. 

It was while waiting on the table that I met a Trtb- 


une reporter^ who came to eat our best fifteen-cent meals 
in the city. We became friends and he found work for 
me with his paper. 

The Times was the big paper of Chicago, but the 
Tribune had started upon the growth that landed it at 
the top. I really ran errands at first for the city editor. 
Sometimes he gave me unimportant assignments. 
Gradually he gave me more to do and I learned a great 
deal. Of course, I felt at home around a newspaper 
on account of the experience I had had at LaFayette. 

Hard times grew harder. It was the early summer 
of 1879 that the Tribune cut things to the marrow. 
I was one of the first to go because I could be easiest 
spared. For my work on the Tribune I had been paid 
five dollars a week, perhaps really more than I earned. 
I lived on less than two dollars a week for food and 
saved enough to improve the quality and character of 
my clothing. 

The streets were filled with workless men and to get 
a job of any kind seemed hopeless. So I made up my 
mind to go to Milwaukee and farther north if neces- 
sary. The trains were closely watched and I suppose 
I was not a clever hobo, so I walked most of the eighty- 
five miles to Milwaukee. Naturally I saw and fell in 
with many tramps and learned their ways. It was a 
shock to my youthful ideals and sympathy to learn that 
most of these gentry would not work if they could get 
out of it. It was always a satisfactory day when they 
had bummed their grub without turning over a hand. 
Few of them were inclined to be criminals. 

In fact, they were drifting derelicts on their way to 
the hopeless, helpless, social sea of Sargasso which en- 
gulfs the inert human debris just as the flotsam of the 
ocean is caught. Nor did I then recognize the type at 


all except as something not to tie up to permanently. 

It was only in after years that I came to realize that 
these deficients are the certain product of a social usury 
of yesterday and continued to-day with slight abate- 
ment Theirs is a disease of the overworked world. 

Milwaukee offered nothing. It was winter. I 
walked on north through Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and 
Green Bay. 

A farmer living near Fond du Lac, to whom I ap- 
plied for work, said he would give me a job if I could 
hold it down. It consisted of being a valet to a man- 
eating stallion. I fought that horse for a week with 
everything that I could use and not kill him, and I 
would have finished the vicious brute if I had dared. 
After having my clothing partially bitten off me and 
suffering from not a few nips that reached my flesh, I 
gave up the job. It is really the only time in my life 
that I have admitted defeat, and I have longed for an- 
other chance at that horse but in vain. 

On toward the pole star I plugged away. At Osh- 
kosh I was seized with neuralgia from exposure and 
underfeeding. It made me jump, I tell you. Some 
good people took me to their home for a few days and 
then I went on. 

The Chicago & Northwestern was building its Me- 
nominee Range extension. I worked in the construc- 
tion gang near where Hermansville was afterwards 
located. The force was reduced and I found myself 
among those laid off at the northernmost limits of set- 
tlement No use to go farther, so I began to retrace 

There were tracks of bear, lynx and wolves, and the 
latter sounded their coursing tongues every night 
Every hunting dream that had tenanted my mind as a 


boy was revived as I saw deep-worn deer runway after 

Strange how the red deer followed the same paths in 
their food migrations for centuries. Indians built deer 
fences and killed thousands along them, only taking skin 
and saddle. Civilization was even more ruthless. It 
is pathetic to observe the deer habits now. They try 
to migrate as in the olden days, but so restricted and 
cut up is the zone of wild life that it is more like a 
city Zoo. Qame sanctuaries must be established. 

Things raced through my mind in a disconnected way. 
I wondered where I might get a start in life and how ; 
a real one. Then back to the scenes and adventures of 
early boyhood my mind would travel. I contrasted the 
big forests with the Wea Plains, the Wabash bottoms 
and the borderland of the Grand Prairie in Indiana. 

I sat on a log to rest and heard the drumming of a 
pheasant. They call it a partridge north; the ruffed 
grouse. It made me think somehow or other of a June 
afternoon long ago when a mower had cut three legs off 
my double-nosed pointer pup as he lay in the grass, 
panting from his intense work. I had been training 
him on young prairie chickens that kind of just fluffed 
up out of the grass when I flushed them. I was a big 
boy, but I cried in secret when I shot the beautiful 
pointer to put him out of misery. He had been pre- 
sented to me by a man whose two children I had pulled 
out of a burning shed. When I was asked what I would 
like to have as a reward, poor as I was, I said a bird 
dog. One morning while going out to train the pnppy 
I saw a black cat, and shot it as it was stealing up on 
some young quail. Nigger Bill had told me it was 
certain bad luck to kill a cat and worst of all to kill a 
black one, but I didn't believe him, because after many 


struggles in which I was considerably scratched up I 
had cut a cat's head off and no bad luck seemed to fol- 

Now I believed it and as I sat on the log^ with head 
full of disconnected thoughts, remembered that Nigger 
Bill had said that to kill a cat meant bad luck for seven 
years. I had two more years to go. Then I fell to 
thinking of signs and made up my mind to be very care- 
ful for, I argued, even if there's nothing to them, it 
won't hurt to avoid them. 

And that is the reason why signs are bad. Those 
who are unobserving and careless are always the ones 
who trespass most in the field of superstition with the 
consequences only those things that would naturally 
happen such persons. 

My thoughts covered a wide horizon as I tramped 
along day by day. Finally after the usual experiences 
of himger and weariness I again reached Milwaukee. 
I had not been depressed a moment since the morning 
in Chicago when I was penniless and friendless in that 
awful mire of men. The limitless forests of the north 
that spread out under the boreal aurora with their bear, 
wolves and wild cat things were kinder than the big 
hungry city with its human wolves that are worse. 




MY first job in Milwaukee was driving a coal 
wagon for H. B. Pearson. He was an alder- 
man and a prosperous coal dealer on West 
Water Street. In my memory he dwells as one of the 
best men in the world, just because he had a kind word 
and a bread-getting place for me. It was the early part 
of the spring of 1880. I was twenty years old and big 
and strong enough to do anything. 

Spring came with a rush that soon put the coal 
wagon out of business, but not before I learned a good 
deal about the streets and lay of the city. Right away 
I asked why none of the streets crossed the river straight 
and why all of them bore different names after cross- 
ing. Mr. Pearson patiently told me the reasons and 
said that they were the same that kept Milwaukee back, 
and from being a bigger place than Chicago. When 
the town was first started local rivalries, that have killed 
more towns than any other cause, were a conflagration 
in Milwaukee. Three towns separated by the Kinni- 
Einnick and Milwaukee rivers strove against one an- 
other. They were Juneautown, Walkertown and Kil- 
boume City, and so bitter were they that bridges were 
not built and there were many fights and much bad 
blood. Men build cities even more than nature. The 

fact that Milwaukee is a city at all with the bad start 



it got proves that it has better natural advantages than 

By the time the coal wagon had to go the season of 
navigation had opened, and lumber hookers were com* 
ing in with their green cargoes. Mr. Pearson helped 
me to get a job piling lumber in Durr & Rugee's lumber 
yard on the south side. It was hard work and by quit- 
ting time I was always tired, but not so much so that 
I could not do night work on Gregory Hurson's Good- 
rich docks. 

I got ninety cents a day in the lumber yard and 
twenty cents an hour for dock-walloping, plus kicks and 
curses at the latter. 

An attic over Godfrey & CrandalFs job printing shop 
on Michigan Street furnished a place to sleep on a pallet 
on the floor. It was always a soft pallet after I got 
through dock walloping at ten or eleven o'clock. Some- 
times I worked until midnight loading or unloading 
vessels, and the work was quite certain to be had every 

Real trouble soon brewed at the lumber yard. I was 
the only American on the job. All the others were 
Poles and the foreman was Polish. They conspired 
against me and gave me the worst end of it, or I thought 
they did, when it came to unloading a schooner. I 
noticed that two Poles were assigned to take away from 
one man over the rail. I had to do that job alone, and 
there were other signs that I was not welcome among 
them. Since that time I have been treated better in 
Poland that I was by the Polacks in Durr & Rugee's 
yard. Things were coming to a pass where there had 
to be a show down, and then I was certain I would have 
to go. My employers, no matter how fair, could not 
keep me as agaisist jail the balance of the gang. 


There was a turn of good luck, if ever there is such a 
thing, and I think there is hecause so many things hap- 
pen in a person's life that cannot be traced to their cause 
source within the individual. 

Two young fellows from Louisville named Baher and 
Gesswein had started an evening newspaper called the 
Signal. It is now the Milwaukee Journal, with many 
hiatuses between. George Yenowine was also one of 
the unlucky Kentuckians. They got into debt to God- 
frey & Crandall, the printers, in whose attic I had my 
abode, and lost their struggling property for printing 

Hampton Leedom, a sturdy man of middle age, with 
hunchback, red visage and kind heart, kept the books 
for Godfrey & Crandall and for some others. He, 
too, often worked at night and I became acquainted 
with him and he took an interest in me that I shall never 
forget. It was Mr. Leedom who told me about the Sig- 
nal and its troubles. I told him about the newspaper 
and printer's work I had done, and he promised to keep 
a look out for me for a job. 

Before taking the coal wagon I had been to every 
printer and publisher in Milwaukee. I could not hang 
around long because I had not done better up to that 
time than to work from hand to mouth, and there did 
not seem to be a job in prospect anyhow. One night 
Hampton Leedom advised me not to go to the lumber 
yard next day because he had been telling George 
Godfrey, of Godfrey & Crandall, about me. I took his 

Mr. Godfrey was a slight, swart man who had char- 
acter and ability. He looked over his spectacles at me 
and appeared cross but he was not. I had heard a good 
deal about him. He was a greenbacker, and from what 


I had heard of greenbackers from my father, I had a 
great prejudice against them and could not understand 
how a man could be one and a respectable citizen at the 
same time. That George Godfrey could be gave me a 
measure of his versatility. 

He also printed the Milwaukee Commercial Letter, 
which was edited by Mr. Friese, commercial editor of 
the Sentinel. Mr. Godfrey told me he was anxious to 
get circulation for the Signal, an ambition quite com- 
mon to publishers at all times. He said he did not wish 
to keep the paper but could not dispose of it to advan- 
tage without building it up some. I thought it queer 
that he should tell me these things and concluded it must 
be because I came from LaFayette, where he had a 
brother, the Methodist preacher. It was not this at 
all as I came to know. He was just one of those open 
men who think aloud and consequently never lie. 

I got a job soliciting subscriptions. The Signal was 
Milwaukee's first two-cent paper. The working peo- 
ple had never been canvassed, I think, for they seemed 
eager to try the daily at ten cents a week. I secured 
as many as fifty subscribers in a day at Bay View, 
where lived the rolling mill employees and other better 
paid, skilled workmen. 

My success made me quite famous in the office. 
Hampton Leedom told me I ought to shuck my Hoosier 
togs as not being suited to my new stratum in the world. 
He gave me a credit with F. P. Gluck, tailor, and I 
used it to obtain my first made-to-order suit. 

My big cowboy hat went into the discard with the 
old clothes for all of which I got one dollar and eighty 
cents, at a West Water Street den of three-ball finance. 

Mr. Godfrey was running the paper in quite a popu- 
lar way. He took a good deal of advice from Eobert 


Schilling, whose socialist paper, Der Deutsche Re- 
former, was printed at Godfrey k Crandall's. Schill- 
ing was a strong, earnest, honest propagandist. 

A newspaper man named C. C. Bowsfield came along 
and made an offer for the Signal. He got it and 
changed the name to the Chronicle. 

Becatise I knew how to handle the carrier boys, as 
demonstrated one turbulent evening, Bowsfield made me 
city circulator. I got the routes arranged and made a 
pretty good start with street sales and newsdealers, be- 
fore I was transferred to the editorial department 
This was what I had been praying for. Not that the 
writing end of the paper was very formidable, because 
it was not, but it was on the way for me. 

Bowsfield chewed a toothpick and looked wise and im- 
portant as owner and editor, and I was certain he felt 
just as he looked. 

Darwin Pavey, assistant to Bowsfield, was between 
six and seven feet tall, very skeletony and always looked 
hungry as his big, gray eyes wandered about his food- 
less environs. It seemed to me that he was always writ- 
ing puffs for the Newhall House that never got onto the 
advertising books. This was proved right by finding 
out that he got his dinner at that hotel witliout other 
pay. They even permitted him to carry fruit and stuff 
away from the table. Now and then he would bait me 
with a taste of these titbits. 

It was great to watch him pick his teeth with a wire 
he carried to clean his pipe. I thought that I would 
strive to become a great editor like Mr. Pavey and also 
pick my teeth with a pipe wire after enjoying a sump- 
tuous dinner at a two-dollar hotel. 

The Chronicle did not prosper any better than the 
Signal. Bowsfield got now blood and some money into 


it by interesting Frank A. Flower. I never had known 
such a man as Flower. He seemed to me to be a walk- 
ing dictionary. But he could not supply the nourish- 
ment the Chronicle needed. 

My salary was supposed to be seven dollars a week. 
I had been getting enough of this barely to live up to 
tHe point it stopped altogether. My last week on the 
paper is memorable for several reasons. I had been 
sent to pawn Mrs. Flower's ear rings in order to pay 
the printers. 

We were all in terrible shape. I had gone from liv- 
ing on fifteen cents a day to a generous free-lunch saloon 
on East Water Street, across from the city hall, to which 
I was introduced by George C. Youngs, a printer friend. 

Every day, nearly, I scooped our rival, the Evening 
Wisconsin. The very police seemed to be won by the 
struggle I was making and everybody helped out with 
exclusive news. 

Walter Gardner, city editor of the Wisconsin, sent 
for me. I went with quaking knees, caused as much by 
lack of food as by awe and desire to get a job on the 
richest paper in town. Not in all my life before or 
since have I wanted anything so much. Mr. Gardner 
asked me how I would like to work on the Wisconsin. 
I replied with profound insincerity : 

" Oh ! I don't know." 

Manifestly he was surprised. 

" What 1 " he exclaimed. " Don't you realize that 
you are a real newspaper man the minute you come over 

I bantered him with the query : " Is that why they 
call it the Evening Granny? '' 

Gardner was said to be a college man. They were 
rare in newspaper offices then. He had a reputation 


and was superior, but he had but a dim sense of humor. 
I could see that he was struggling between a desire to 
kick me out and a kind of admiration of my audacity. 
If he had known how high my gulp was he would have 
hired me on the spot. Perhaps he did know somewhat. 
Anyhow he offered me ten dollars a week. I am afraid 
now that I tried to give him the impression that my 
wages were more than that on the Chronicle, but such a 
preposterous idea could not have lodged in his sober 

We had more conversation. I told him that on the 
Chronicle I was the whole thing, which now was the 
truth, with the exception that the paper never would 
have come out if it had not been for Julia O'Brien, a 
type sticker, and Dick Bavis, the foreman. 

They kept the crew going with such pawnshop money 
as I could raise for Bowsfield and Plower, who were 
afraid they would be caught at it and so sent me. 

Finally, Gardner offered me twelve dollars a week 
and the haggling stopped instantly. It was big wages 
even in Chicago, and unusually good for Milwaukee. 
I had not been on the Wisconsin long before Mr. Gard- 
ner and I clashed. He ordered me to write in his style, 
which I could not do, and for that matter nobody could 
except himself. He said he would fire me, which was 
a bluff. It sent me with my trouble to Uncle Billy 
Cramer, senior of Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, owners of 
the Wisconsin and also of a big job and ready print 
business that made them rich. 

Uncle Billy was as deaf as a big collection of adders 
and nearly blind also. His other senses were unim- 
paired and the story of his marriage some time after this 
incident was a raw morsel among the boys. 

I think my nerve in bracing him personally appealed 


to him* Anyhow, Mr. Gardner went on an extended 
leave for his health, and upon returning became an edi- 
torial writer. 

The Chronicle had been unloaded on Tom and Jim 
Somers, democratic lawyers who wanted an organ. 
They got one. Frank Flower came over on the '' Wis- 
conse *' to take Gardner's place as city editor. The old 
paper took on more life than a doped race horse. 

I was permitted to run an astounding scandal of the 
county farm, involving the big German chairman of the 
county board of supervisors and a crippled moron girL 

The county chairman threatened to kill me on sight. 
A. H. Schattenberg, clerk of the school board, warned 
me of my danger and, as it was against the law to carry 
concealed weapons he gave me a hatchet to defend my- 
self with. I wore it openly in a belt, and Judge Mal- 
lory, of the Municipal Court, said it was all right. 
Julius Meiswinkel, clerk of the court, and Alvin Wie- 
bers, his assistant, gave me a di^y signed permit to carry 
a hatchet until I elected to bury it. 

This began to make me a marked reporter. Also I 
never walked. During the time I was in Milwaukee 
I always ran wherever I went. Oftentimes I beat other 
reporters who went in cabs and besides I saved the cab 

The libeled person took a new tack. He had Uncle 
Billy arrested for criminal libel and had me arrested on 
the same charge. It was the first time on record that 
an attempt was made to fasten such responsibility onto 
an employee. John J. Orton, the regular Cramer, 
Aikens & Cramer attorney, and W. H. Ebbitts, a noted 
criminal lawyer of the time, defended us. We were put 
in jail for a short time for the dramatic effect. 

On the very same day a German youth named Her- 


man Hilden murdered his stepfather. The Chicago 
Tribune got the thing mixed. It carried a Milwaukee 
dispatch to the effect that I was arrested for murder and 
Hilden for criminal libel. As the Tribune had a large 
circulation at LaFayette my bad reputation thereabouts 
was further fortified. 

We had the goods, so nothing came of our prosecution 
except an uplift of my local reputation. The Chicago 
Tribune asked me to take charge of its Milwaukee bu- 
reau, which I did. Also I got quite a string of outside 
papers and began to make money as I looked at things. 

The Chicago Times' man in Milwaukee — both Trib- 
une and Times had Milwaukee bureaus then — was a 
booze fighter for fair, and I had the good luck to pro- 
tect him in his job for quite a long time. 

One day Herman Hilden broke jail with other pris- 
oners. John Rugee, of Durr & Rugee, had become sher- 
iff. Fat office those times. He offered a reward of 
three hundred dollars for Hilden. A clever girl friend 
of mine, a telegraph operator at Appleton, reported to 
me that she thought she had spotted Hilden. I followed 
up the clew, located him and told the Milwaukee sher- 
iff. I waived all claim to the reward, but saw that the 
girl got her share. 

My position in the matter, which seemed to me was a 
simple one and right, made me a very lion for a time. 
Sheriff Rugee gave a big dinner for me and presented 
me with a huge, gold-headed cane which quite floored 
me. I did not any more know what to do with that 
cane than I would with an elephant's trunk, if one had 
been tied to me. Its destiny was to be broken over a 
dog that snapped at our first baby. At the Bugee din- 
ner it was discovered that less than a year before I had 
been a lumber piler in his yard, and it made quite a hit. 


Soon afterwards a big wholesale Jew clothing honse 
was burned. John Black, assistant fire chief, told me 
the owners had done it. He took me from floor to floor 
and showed me piles of kerosened clothing that had not 
completely burned. It was a great story and when I 
told Frank Flower all about it he let it go. Of course, 
it created a tremendous sensation, which was felt in the 
oflSce as well as outside. The owners started a libel 
suit. It looked like a bad fight, and while we of the 
city staff were hot for it, our wealthy bosses were not 
so keen. 

Two days later occurred Milwaukee's greatest trag- 
edy, the burning of the Newhall House and one hundred 
and eleven persons. This swept the boards of the pub- 
lic mind clear of everything, including our threatened 
libel suit. 

Parenthetically, the insurance on the clothing stock 
was never paid. 

The night the Newhall House burned I was in that 
fated fire trap until after midnight, looking up inside 
stuff about the failure of Dixon & Co., grocers. I can 
see Tom Thumb yet as he reached up his cue to his eyes 
while playing billiards. After watching him for some 
time I left. All the way home, for now I was married, 
I had one of those feelings that are unexplainable. 
Gamblers call them hunches. Spiritualists call them 
warnings. I was certain that some big thing was about 
to happen. It was the first time I had sensed anything 
like it enough to be impressed. The Newhall House 
was a fire trap. Everybody predicted it would bum. 
I had been in it for some hours just before and wander- 
ing through its narrow hallways, had dwelt upon the 
fire butts and dried and wrinkled reels of rotten hose. 
Maybe that had a lot to do with my feelings. 


I lived on 21st Street on the West side near Grand 
Avenue, and had reached the corner of 18th Street on 
that stately thoroughfare. About I faced and started 
downtown. Just as I got to 16th Street a fire alarm 
sounded, quickly followed by a general alarm. It was 
January. I ran as swiftly as I could go and just 
reached the scene in time to witness the ineffaceable 
spectacle of the jumping of waitress girls from their 
sixth-story attic rooms into the alley below. Some of 
the guests leaped into the telegraph wires and broke 
their fall. My old employer. Uncle Billy Cramer, lived 
at the Newhall. I soon discovered, to my gladness, that 
he had been led out quite safely. 

Tom Thumb received injuries from which he subse- 
quently died. Billy Dodsworth, of the American Ex- 
press Company, arrived just in time to see two of his 
best friends, Mr. and Mrs. Joslyn, jump to death. Mr. 
Joslyn was prominent on 'change. With his wife he oc- 
cupied the third floor comer rooms of Broadway and 
Michigan. Mr. Dodsworth had influenced them to put 
up a private fire escape, but in their panic they forgot 
it. I have had and have witnessed a good many tragic 
things in my life but nothing so appalling as the New- 
hall holocaust. The men I saw dying at the siege of 
Constantinople had a chance and were not caught like 
rats in a trap. 

Jesse James was operating up in Wisconsin then, and 
the Williams Brothers, of Dunn County, were supposed 
to be a part of his gang. Every detective or would-be 
Vidocq in the West and a lot from the East had lurid 
dreams of rounding up the James outfit or some of it. 
Old Bill Beck, who had a piece of his jaw shot off, leav- 
ing an ugly, facial scar, was the first chief of police I 
knew in Milwaukee. He was a war time, secret service 


detective and typical. Under his direction quite a de- 
tective force incubated. Some of them were too funny 
for anything even then, but Janssen and Kiemer^ Billy 
McManus, John Hannifin, and Smith and Sheehan did 
good work from the first. John A. Hinsey had charge 
of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Kailroad de- 
tectives with headquarters in Milwaukee. That was 
before the offices were moved to Chicago. Alexander 
Mitchell and S. S. Merrill were directing the master- 
ful contest waged against the Chicago & Northwestern 
for control in the new Northwest. William C. Van- 
Home was general superintendent and was making his 
record as a lieutenant that resulted in his being drafted 
by the Canadian Pacific promoters. Fred Underwood, 
afterwards president of the Erie, was a brakeman. 
His home was out at Wauwatosa, where his father was a 
dignified minister of the gospel. Tom Shaughnessy, 
afterwards Lord Shaughnessy, was dealing out candles 
and wicking as a clerk in the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad storehouse, and his father was a faith- 
ful, Third Ward policeman, with a brogue like over- 
cooked mush. 

James J. Hill and Donald Smith, the latter after- 
wards Lord Strathcona, were beginning to appear in 
the horizon of the Northwest. The United States had 
just failed to see and take advantage of a chance to pur- 
chase nearly a million square miles of Hudson Bay Ter- 
ritory, which would have given us an unbroken domain 
to the North Pole, including the now famous hard wheat 
belt of the North. 

The vast Northwest had begun to sizzle as the fires of 
settlement and commercial desires moved up to it. One 
could tell the story on and on for they were making men 
in Milwaukee then. 


Well, as I was saying, all the sleuths were after Jesse 
James. A deputy sheriff named Jim Greding had 
more imagination and less sense than any one person I 
ever saw. He thought he was a detective. Laboring 
under that delusion he did more odd things than could 
be told in a tome. Once he came to me and told me in 
a whisper that would burst the listening ear of Diony- 
sius in the latomia of Syracuse, that he had located his 
quarry. I followed him over to Grand Avenue. He 
stealthily approached the salesroom of the Singer Sew- 
ing Machine, where an inoffensive citizen named Beach 
was planning further raids on the Wheeler & Wilson. 

" That's him 1" said Jim. 

It was hard to keep my face straight, but I sicked 
Jim on until Beach nearly broke every bone in his 
body. This didn't feaze him, for one day a rube named 
William Kuhl came to town and Jim at once marked 
him for the desperado Lon Williams. He really got 
£uhl into the coop and finding a scar on his toe that 
tallied with Williams, they spirited him to Dunn 
County for final identification, which was so success* 
ful that it proved conclusively who he was not 

But Jim had us all fooled for a while. I had myself 
locked up with the pseudo Lon, and so eager was I to 
believe Kuhl to be a villain for the story there was in it, 
that I had no difficulty in doing so. It was a great les- 
son to me. 

I learned how easily one can be misled in the direction 
he would like to proceed. 




THE best act of my life was performed in Milwau- 
kee when I fell in love and married. I do not 
know how any one could be more deeply in love 
than I was^ unless I am now^ and I think I am. My 
sweetheart was seventeen and I was twenty. I was 
refused a marriage license on this account. The mo- 
ment we became of age I secured the license and we were 
married by the Reverend F. L. Stein, pastor of the 
Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, in the par- 
lors of his parsonage, Saturday evening, May 7, 1881. 

I gave my bride a five cent bouquet from the German 
market, paid the preacher two dollars down and three 
dollars on the installment plan and paid Gluck, the 
tailor, for my wedding suit in the same way. 

We joyously took our bridal tour on one of Washing- 
ton Becker's street cars drawn by horses, and spent the 
evening with Observer Mueller of the United States 
Weather Bureau and Mrs. Mueller. 

If any bridegroom was ever happier before or since 
it is because of his greater capacity for emotion. I had 
wedded the most beautiful and the bravest girl in the 
world, and I know this now better than I thought it 
then. There never has been a time in African jungle 
or any other place demanding courage, when my wife 
has not been the braver of the two. 



I made many friends, and one of the dear ones, Col- 
onel J. A. Watrous, was directly responsible for my go- 
ing to Florence as told in a previous chapter. My char- 
acter began to take form in Northern Wisconsin. I 
wished to provide for my wife and family and be a good 
husband and citizen. That was an undertaking big 
enough. Conditions at once compelled me to make a 
decision between the outlaws and the little Presbyterian 
Church. At that time I did not formally join the 
church, but I did enlist for the aims of the church. It 
is nearly true but not quite exactly the case that it was 
put up to me to be a horse thief or a Presbyterian, and 
I chose to be the latter. 

At Florence I had my first real initiation into the 
politics of the times. Hiram Damon Fisher, a good- 
hearted, canny Green Mormtaineer, born at Vergennes, 
Vermont, was the big man of the place in everything. 
He was the discoverer of the adjacent iron mine that 
made the town possible. 

Mr. Fisher had " entered " from the Grovemment most 
of the environal land to the extent of thousands of acres. 
His plan was to secure the minutes (descriptions) and 
take them to the capitalists to be purchased from the 
public domain at one dollar and twenty-five cents an 
acre. Generally one quarter interest, but sometimes 
only one-eighth and infrequently three-eighths would be 
given the cruiser, or whatever person supplied the 
chance. In this manner much of the best of the valu- 
able public domain fell into a few hands. 

All sorts of things had fallen to the lot of the father 
of Florence before he got his start. He was a sailor 
on Lake Winnebago and Fox River, connecting that 
water with Green Bay, where his finer character was 
shown by saying " jeeswax" instead of the profanity 


that was more plentifully charged with hsemoglobin. 

Book peddling carried him into insurance, and while 
thus engaged he met Emily, the beautiful daughter of 
Joseph Keyes, one of the pioneers of Wisconsin. 

Boss Keyes, a son of Joseph, was a political power 
and for a long period dominated in Wisconsin. 

Joseph Keyes came to be registrar of the United 
States land office at Menasha. Young Fisher got into 
the atmosphere of the office instinctively, as well as into 
the good graces of the majestic daughter. 

He camped at the Keyes. Woods cruisers would 
come in with the information gathered aft^r long and 
adventurous trips. Oftentimes they were only con- 
cerned with certain specified parcels of land, but in 
going to or from that location they would incidentally 
gather much information about timber, rocks, soil, fur, 
game, Indians and what not. Very often they would 
race with other woodsmen for some rich stake, nearly 
always pine timber. Thrilling canoe trips in summer 
and great hikes on snow shoes trailing toboggans in 
winter were common. 

The time Charley LaSalle lost his trapping "pard- 
ner" up on Lac Vieux Desert in the middle of the 
winter and froze the corpse until spring, when he pain- 
fully and laboriously trudged out with it for some hun- 
dreds of miles, was a chiefer tale, and the fellow who 
did not know all about it was the worst of lob-gobs — 

When these couriers du hois were at the land office, 
and some of them were there every day, Damon Fisher 
would cultivate them. A drink here, or a plug of to- 
bacco or a present of a pipe and the jolly young Yankee 
was their bosom friend. 

Then they would tell him everything, even the se- 


crets they hoped to capitalize in the nebulous some day. 
In this manner he learned of places where the compass 
would turn a complete circle because the magnetic at- 
traction was so strong. 

Every little while a cruiser from the Lake Superior 
region would fish out of his pockets a specimen. Nearly 
all of them knew iron ore when they saw it. They were 
not very good judges of percentages of metallic iron, 
but that was relatively unimportant. Sometimes they 
would have jasper and at other times lean magnetite, 
resembling what they had known as loadstone. 

One day a cruiser showed Fisher a small piece of 
sparkling specular hematite. That settled it. He had 
married Miss Keyes, but that did not prevent his de- 
cision. The woods were a terra incognita to him, so 
he interested George Keyes, who was a cousin of his 
wife, and a good woodsman named Nelson Halsey. 

This trio made trip after trip up into the wilds. 
They could go as far as Green Bay by rail, and then 
they had to attack the brush. Each man carried a pack. 
They took a light cotton tent, one blanket apiece, frying 
pan, tin tea pail, three tin cups, knives and forks some- 
times, plenty of flour and pork, tea and salt. No sugar; 
no luxuries. Their food range was as important as a 
seafighter's coaling radius is. 

Tea, grillades and galette for breakfast and supper, 
and cold dough-god for lunch made up the woods fare 
of all who deserved the name of cruiser. It was wear- 
ing upon the young prospector's bank account, which 
had not been a big one to start with. 

There was a lonely wife and baby in a little cottage 
in Menasha. Fisher just would not give up. He ex- 
hausted his means so completely that he would borrow 
five dollars to buy flour with, and when pressed would 


borrow of another in order to pay the original loan. 

In this way of high finance he kept himself and his 
little crew in the woods. But there must be success or 
an end to it all. Anybody who ever had confidence in 
him had lost it. 

So it came to the third mid-summer's prospecting. 
Halsey and Keyes were looking for a comer in order to 
locate themselves. They were in a dense cedar swamp 
between two small lakes. Fisher wandered about quite 
aimlessly and got away from his men. Coming to the 
edge of the swamp he climbed a hill, so that he might 
get a birds'eye view of the country if possible. But it 
was too thickly timbered at the hilltop. Then he hal- 
looed to his men. No answer. 

" Lost I by jeeswax/' he soliloquized. 

He sat down and took out his small exploring pick. 
Sticking it in the ground at haphazard, as one would 
idly play mumbletypeg alone, he pulled it out and be- 
hold I The point was red. 

He had stuck it into hematite just beneath the leaf- 
inold. Feverishly he scraped away the leaves and plied 
the little pick. There was iron ore. 

Restoring the original appearance Fisher's next task 
was to find his men or have them find him. The work 
of anxious months was at an end. 

Thus was discovered the Menominee Iron Range. 

Not even telling Halsey and Keyes when they came 
together, Fisher started for Menasha just as soon as 
he was certain of the section his find was on. The land 
was entered. More weary years ensued before John 
H. Van Dyke and Albert Conro of Milwaukee, and A, 
C. Brown of Marinette, and Henry Patton of Menasha 
and other rich bankers were interested. 

The railroad followed, and then development and 


riches. To secure all this Fisher had to give up to 
capital three-fourths of his discovery. 

Two lakes may be seen from the denuded crest of 
Florence Mine hill. The one to the southwest is called 
Keyes and the nearer one, which is southeast, is called 
Fisher. On the banks of the latter, in a beautiful lo- 
cation, is the mining village of Florence, named for 
Mrs. N. P. Hulst, of Milwaukee. 

It was Mr. Fisher who came to have a drag on the 
town weekly, as a quite common result of loaning to it 
small sums of money. I went north in response to a 
wire from him to Colonel Watrous. The Colonel, a 
most generous and brave man, saw me climbing the 
stairs of the Wisconsin building with a series of jumps. 
Peck's Sun was on one floor and the Sunday Telegraph, 
published by Calkins & Watrous, on another. 

He asked me if I would like to go into business for 

I answered, *^ You bet ! '' without a moment's thought 
of capital. 

That was four o'clock, p. m. I left on the six o'clock 
train, two hours later, and did not return. Mr. Fisher 
asked me how much money I had. I told him eighty 
dollars. He asked me how much I could raise. I told 
him all that was necessary. 

** Where ? " he queried. 

" You," I replied. 

" All right," he said. 

I signed notes for two thousand, five hundred dol- 
lars, at ten per cent., all to be paid in a year. 

It took sixty dollars of my eighty dollars to bring 
up my wife and babe and our scant household truck. 
I did not know there was a great depression in iron, 
and that the mine was idle. A small force was working 


two miles away at Commonwealth. There was some 
lumbering. Over the Michigan line there was a good 
deal of exploring in the region of Tobin Lake, and along 
the Paint and Iron rivers, where the towns of Crystal 
Falls and Iron River were just starting. Small mines 
had opened at the Delphic and Mastodon locations. 

Edward Breitung, of Negaunee, was doing some work 
at the lower Pine River falls, and Angus Smith, of 
Milwaukee, had an exploring crew on the Menominee, 
near Bad Water Indian village. The Lake Elwood sec- 
tion, between Spread Eagle and Pine River, was also 
attracting attention. Norway, Quinnesec and Iron 
Mountain were flourishing new towns. Keel Ridge 
mine had caved in and killed a number of men, the 
first big tragedy of the range. 

The Breens and others had done some work in the 
vicinity of Waucedah, which had been abandoned as 
beyond the extension of the productive iron formation. 
There was much excitement in the Metropolitan and 
Felch mountain regions and the Chicago & Northwest- 
ern built a branch in from Narenta, but the ore bodies 
turned out to be a shallow blanket, and large sums of 
money were lost. 

To say that I worked night and day is the only de- 
scription of my activity. I loved the wild new country. 
It brought into play everything that a soul and mind 
and body possesses. Nearly all the pioneers were 
young. The pace demanded youth. Jim Knight had a 
paper at Norway. I think they called it the Chronicle 
then ; now his paper is the Current. Boulders Bennett 
was a feature of it. 

Jim Russell, then a bellicose tyro, since become an 
able and dignified penologist, had just joined A. P. 
Swineford in the Marquette Mining Journal. George 


Newett, always a man and now famous for his tilt with 
Colonel Roosevelt, ran the Iron Agitator — now Iron 
Ore, at Ishpeming. 0. 6. Griffey was plugging away 
with the Negaunee Iron Herald. 

A j&ne fellow named Devereux seemed out of the 
world with the Portage Lake Mining Gazette at Hough- 
ton, and he gave it a tone that was high and distinctive. 

Fred McKenzie was at Calumet, where he had a pos- 
ter affair much like his own pudgy self. Alfred Meads, 
father of them all and a credit to everything he con- 
tacted, was the pioneer publisher of the Ontonagon 

Colonel Van Duzer, a veteran of Sherman's army, 
published the Eacandba Iron Port, and the way the 
splendid old hero "marched to the sea" every issue 
was good for contemplation. 

I have mentioned this press personnel because these 
men had more to do with developing the social and civic 
structure in their respective communities, that were in 
turn interwoven, than all the acquisitors whatsoever. 
Every one of them waged a battle for equality and de- 
cency every minute and it was a prideful thing to know 

The Mining Journal, of Marquette, and the Oreen 
Bay Advocate just about controlled things in the new 
field I had entered. It was my business to drive them 
out, which I did. I could do it only by appealing to 
local loyalty and meeting their competition. I started 
departments in my paper for Iron River and Crystal 
Falls and at last, when forced, I printed papers for these 
towns, that were set up and run off at Florence. 



MY newspaper work and its involvements did not 
give me enough to do so I began a systematic 
study of iron ore exploration in all of its prac- 
tical and scientific phases, an enjoyable lifers work 
which I still keep up and which has attracted me to 
every country in the world. Woodcraft and surveying 
are as necessary as anything else in a new country. 
The government survey of Northern Michigan and 
Wisconsin was made between 1850 and 1860. Mostly 
it was well done but not always. Townships six miles 
square were measured off north and south from an ar^ 
bitrary base line and east and west from a range or 
meridian line. These townships were subdivided into 
thirty-six sections one mile square, and the sections were 
quartered; later to be divided into forty-acre lots by 
county surveyors. The section comers and the points 
midway between them, quarter stakes, were marked. 
Great care was given to marking the section comer. 
Whether the monument was a cedar stake, or of some- 
thing else, charcoal was buried at its base. Then bear- 
ing or witness trees, four when possible, were gouged 
with the legend of the location. Accurate location by 
distance and direction was made on the field notes. Ob- 
servations of topography and geology were also written 
on the field notes, making them very valuable. The 



government survey by the United States is a creditable 
public achievement. 

It was impossible to survey the magnetic fields in the 
region of Lake Superior with an ordinary compass. 
Necessity thus led to the contrivance of Burt's solar 
compass which has been developed now into the dial 
compass, a still more useful instrument. 

It was a memorable day when Mr. Fisher, at my re- 
quest, took me into the woods and showed me for the 
first time an unmarred section comer and three wit- 
ness trees. Another lesson was to walk along the section 
line two thousand paces to the next comer, locating the 
quarter stake enroute. I held a compass straight in 
front of my body, waist high, as I took sights along the 

At noon we had a bouillon made of a pileated wood- 
pecker. I had never before seen this beautiful bird. 
Mr. Fisher called it a wood cock and informed me that 
it was a fine game bird. It is just as good to eat as 
any woodpecker and no better. They are rapidly dis- 
appearing and are even more scarce than their southern 
rival, the ivory bill. I have never permitted the killing 
of one since that day except for alleged scientific pur- 
poses, and not many with that now poor excuse. 

By evening Mr. Fisher said he could teach me no 
more ; that all the rest of it would' have to come by the 
experience that would attend keeping at it. 

The Gogebic and Mesaba ranges and their extensions 
were little known and undeveloped. Charles Wright, 
geologist, had made what is yet the best map of the Me- 
nominee range. 

The Brotherton boys, of Escanaba, doing the practical 
work, and John M. Longyear, the clerical, for the Lake 
Superior Ship Canal Railway & Iron Company, had 


made valuable land grant selections along what has been 
developed since as the Gogebic range. While doing this 
work Mr. Longyear laid the foundation for his great 
fortune by securing money backing and taking up lands 
adjoining, utilizing the Brotherton information for the 
purpose and obtaining a quarter interest in everything 
thus entered. 

The entire Lake Superior country was overrun by 
agents of rapacious interests of one kind or another. 
Homesteaders were struggling for a share with no inten- 
tion of making a home. Unearned land grants were 
being fought for. It was a Golconda and greed was 
after the diamonds. Beneath it all was a current flow- 
ing that was certain to purify everything. One had but 
to glance below the murky surface of the present. 

Before I left Florence N. 1). Moore and others were 
working in the Gogebic region and with the coming of 
the railroad the Colby mine was opened. 

My first year at Florence witnessed the payment for 
the little paper. Three years more of work there 
brought more than a living so that when I sold out early 
in 1887 I had nearly ten thousand dollars and the world 
by the tail. 

Mr. Fisher, egged on by Boss Keyes and a natural 
tendency, took part in all the politics from the township 
" corkis '^ to the state convention. In fact, he was the 
political entity of the county and aspired to go to the 
legislature some day. In order to facilitate this and de- 
fine more clearly his realm, he had Florence County 
cut out of Marinette and erected. 

When there was any kind of a convention he would 
send for me and we would together write out a list of 
names of delegates, issue their credentials and sign 
them, and that was all there was to it I have no idea 


that I would have been consulted if it bad not been 
necessary to have some one sign as secretary of the con- 
vention that was never held. 

At first I thought it was a trifle irregular, but as I 
did not know anything about the proper form, a brief 
conversation with the well-intending local boss caused 
me to have no qualms ; and, in fact, I am certain that 
Mr. Fisher was conscientious in also believing it to 
be all right. They all did that way, he told me. The 
candidature for congress of Mr. Isaac Stephenson, a 
Nova Scotian lumberman at Marinette, reputed to be 
nearly a millionaire at a time when those common- 
places were uncommon, was announced. His district 
was the Ninth Wisconsin. Sounds like a military com- 
pany, does it not ? It included Florence County. We 
were entitled to two delegates and whom else could we 
appoint but ourselves? There was no other thought 
in our minds even if others might have had them. 

Soon after our popular selection as delegates a most 
confounding thing occurred that stumped me com- 
pletely for a while. Mr. A. C. Brown, of Marinette, 
a lumbering partner of Mr. Stephenson, came to Flor- 
ence and actually called on me. I was boyishly glad to 
be recognized by Mr. Brown, who really was a fine 
gentleman and rich. My legs were almost removed 
from perpendicular connection with my body when he 
pulled out a fifty dollar bill and handed it to me. I 
had never seen one before and my first idea was that it 
might be a millionaire's calling card, indicating his 
status, and only to be taken and returned. So I took it 
and searched it minutely and then offered to give it 
back. He waved it aside with an imperious smile, as if 
to convey that he had more of them than could be loaded 
into one of his Brule River batteaux. 


" But what is it for ? " I asked. 

He seemed stuck for a second and then replied, " For 
subscription to the Mining News/' 

And I thought it was ; cross my heart So I ran over 
in my mind how long Mr. Brown would have paid in 
advance at two dollars and fifty cents a year, or whether 
he might not wish it to be divided among names he 
would furnish? 

It made no difference to him, he said, and after 
visiting a while he got up to go, remarking that he would 
see me at the convention where we would be certain 
to land Stephenson all right. 

I was also certain, because Boss Keves was for Ste- 
phenson ; A. 0. Brown was for Stephenson ; Stephenson 
was for Stephenson; Mr. Fisher was for Stephenson, 
and whom else could I be for, and I did not know the 
other fellow if there was one. 

There was no need of scattering money all over the 
district the way they did, except for the observation of 
the same good form that makes a fellow set 'em up again 
who has had a drink with some one buying for a bar- 
room crowd. And yet the money smoothed the way to 
Congress for Uncle Ike just as he iced logging roads, 
or as a ship's ways are greased before launching. 

Before I left Florence a revolution against the pre- 
vailing political methods occurred and conventions and 
caucuses were really held, but a few interested persons 
pulled the strings and manipulated things just the same. 




ISOLD out to advantage at Florence and moved 
back to Milwaukee and took a position as city 
editor of the Sentinel. Together with Harry My- 
rick, Mel Hoyt, Henry Legler, Sandy Dingwall, Curt 
Treat and Will Anderson, all newspaper men, I started 
a trade paper called the Miner and Manufacturer, which 
we had King & Fowle print. 

The Gfogebic range was booming. Milwaukee went 
iron mad. Iron mine stocks were traded in by the pub- 
lic speculatively for the first time in America in 1887. 
As usual fortunes were made and lost, and the start 
was made of many spectacular careers, such as that of 
Ferdinand Schlesinger, that took even banks up and 

I had a few stocks and sold them, but did not buy any 
nor speculate. It got to be noised around that I was 
an expert iron ore man. This was based on the fact 
that I had been underground in nearly every mine and 
exploration in the Lake Sui)erior ranges, and had writ- 
ten mining dope that was given wide publicity. I did 
not intend to pose as an expert. In fact, iron ore ex- 
ploration was then done by guess and b^gosh by the best 
of them. No one person seemed to be able to see much 
farther into the ground than another. 

Anyhow^ I was consulted and I think I was honest 



^ One day a man came to me and told me a syndicate of 
Milwaukee and Chicago men had been formed to make 
some examinations of the Echo Lake region of Canada, 
and he asked me if I would take charge of them. I 
had no more idea where Echo Lake was than the man 
in the moon. We did not discuss that, but came to 
terms upon the general proposition, and I engaged to go. 
My pay was five hundred dollars a month and expenses, 
and I was to have a quarter interest in anything I found 
worth taking hold of. If I had asked any less during 
that boom they would not have thought me an expert 
at all, and as it was they thought I was too cheap, as I 
afterwards learned. As for myself, I was in much 
doubt of my ability to earn my wages. But I did and 

Four active years in the woods of the Menominee 
range, during which I had repeatedly visited and stud- 
ied explorations and formations from one end of the 
range to the other, had given me something. The 
woods had loaned to me some of their secret craft, and 
the lakes and rivers had yielded experience in rowing, 
paddling, poling and sailing. 

I was somewhat equipped for work in the wild coun- 
try that my quest was partially to introduce me to. I 
had walked from Lac Vieux Desert to Lake Superior 
and had interested Milwaukee acquaintances in entering 
several thousands of acres of copper lands, covered with 
good hardwood and scattering pine between the Black 
and Presque Isle rivers. On that cruise I had a pack 
of eighty pounds and wore my improper footwear down 
to sore and bleeding feet. 

The geography of Echo Lake locates that beautiful 
mountain-shored basin in Canada, between Sault Ste. 
Marie and the mouth of St. Mary's Straits. Its inlet 


comes down from between the Garden and the Abina- 
dong and its outlet debouches into Big Lake Qeorge, on 
the old channel east of Sugar Island, called a long time 
ago St. George's Island. I was instructed to start in 
there and follow up any leads I might get as to iron 
ore and likely formations. No railroad reached Sault 
Ste. Marie. To reach that classic town, older than 
Plymouth Rock settlement, one took stage in wintet and 
boat in summer. It was to me a passage into paradise. 
I had never breathed such air nor drunk such water. 
Pure as nature was the entire Northland. 

At Crystal Falls I had known a temperamental pigmy 
named Fay G. Clark, who was known as Racketty Clark 
by his woods acquaintances. I asked a Canadian 
French woodsman one day why they called him " Rack- 
etty," and he knew : 

" Cause she hant pak rite in her *ead, maybe." 

Racketty had gone into the Sault country the year 
before and finding that nearly every Indian had speci- 
mens of iron ore he sent out wild stories that were taken 
hold of at once that wildest year. He wrote interest- 
ingly and convincingly to one who wished to be con- 

I searched him out and found him the evening I ar- 
rived at the Sault eating a big brook trout at Mother 
Churchill's restaurant He told me at once about kill- 
ing the trout at the Little Rapids just below the Sault. 
It weighed more than five pounds according to his tell, 
and he could not decide which was the better; such a 
trout or the iridescent,, sweet and hardmeated whitefish, 
that the Indian descendants of the old Bawittiwiniwags 
scooped out of the rapids. 

Now and then a bone would shuck out of the comer 
of Racketty's mouth, which was a perfect boning ma- 


chine. He told me much about the Sault as he ate and 
ate: about Gizhe Manido and how that Indian deity 
had pursued the great beaver, father of all the beavers, 
first out of his dam at the Little Sapids and then out 
of his main dam at the big Sault, destroying them par- 
tially and thus forming St Mary's Falls. 

When he finished I engaged him to go into the Cana- 
dian wilderness with me. I directed him procure as 
good an Indian as he could find and one just as old as 
he could be and handle himself. It was desirable to 
have as much cumulative redman lore as one individual 
could hold. 

We spent the entire summer along the massive ranges 
that lie between the Georgian Bay arm of Lake Huron 
and Batchewanna Bay, Lake Superior. I found a 
strong iron formation clear across. Now and then it 
was cut off by extensive igneous flows. It was easy to 
connect roughly the sedimentary zones containing fer- 
ruginous quartzite, marble, limestone and porphyry 
with boundaries of pegmatite, granite gneiss, syenite, 
norite, diorite, diabase, basalt and other fire rocks. 

Quite often we found good fioat ore, mostly a semi- 
specular hard hematite. I thought it ought to outcrop, 
but could not find where. Up and down mountains, 
through swamps of spruce and tamarac, along stream 
valleys and around lakes, tramping and eating our gril- 
lades and galette as we drank copiously of bitter boiled 
tea, we spent a wonderful season until the snow came 
and drove us out, because one cannot prospect the sur- 
face when the snow covers everything. 

I carried a pack that weighed something over ninety 
pounds at the start; the Indian's weighed exactly one 
hundred and eight pounds and Racketty's sixty-five 
pounds. We used from Minabog's first because it was 


heaviest. Our packs were not bags but pack sheets of 
awning cloth made up with tump line or misery strap 
in Ojibway Indian fashion. 

We carried no tent, so that we could increase our sup- 
ply of pork and flour to the limit, and nothing else but 
salt and tea. No firearm, not even a revolver, was per- 
mitted to take the place of grub. A trolling hook and 
line that we whirled and threw from the bank of a lake 
almost always won a walleyed pike. Many of the 
streams had brook trout. We cooked the fish by run- 
ning a stick through the body from mouth to tail and 
placing it perpendicularly before the fire, giving it a 
twist now and then to expose all sides. If the fish had 
scales they would easily come off with the skin when 
cooked. As for the viscera it dried up in a ball and 
practically fell out when the fish was opened. 

For fruit we had nothing except a few wintergreen 
berries that are horribly lacking in acid, until other ber- 
ries would ripen. Then our craving for something sour 
would be satisfied with luscious shadberries and blue- 
berries such as do not grow elsewhere. Sometimes 
we mixed the plentiful Labrador tea (ledum palustre) 
with our tea to make it go farther and once a week we 
made tea of the tender tips of the spruce, a perfect 
antiscorbutic. Best of all, late in the season, were the 
high bush cranberries (vibumam opulus or guelder 
rose) that were very sour and juicy and clung to the 
bush tenaciously. 

At night if it were clear we would not bother with a 
covering, but would roll up in our blankets and perhaps 
pull over a pack sheet, ample and practically water- 
proof. Flour mixed with water into a stiff dough and 
fried in hot pork grease makes dough gods very accept- 
able to woodsmen when eaten hot, but deadly enough to 

C 11 


any one not living in the open and not working hard. 
I think they even hurt the ironclad cruiser in the long 
run. The same dough baked in the frying pan makes a 
nourishing^ unleavened galette. 

On these rations I lived for many years during the 
season between the going and the coming of the snow, 
one year walking and packing two thousand two hun- 
dred miles and several times exceeding one thousand 
eight hundred miles. 

The most interesting particular region we searched 
was the valley of the Abinadong^ a tributary of the hurt- 
ling Mississauga. These streams on the Great Lakes' 
side of the height of land are wicked in their fury to 
get down to their vent and their erosive power is enor- 
mous. They rush madly through the firmest dykes, 
cutting contracted canals, forming polished gorges, and 
forever roaring and shouting when they are not tickling 
pebbles into song as they loiter on some nearly level 
stretch. The Mississauga is such a typical river. Not 
so rough, in its moods as the Abinadong. Its valley is 
less rocky. There are sandy savannas. 

Low, elmwooded islands are quite numerous. They 
possess good soil and vegetation grows lush. Some- 
times brakes as high as one's head would be encoun- 
tered, and beds of delicate, black-stalked maiden hair 
ferns higher than our knees. In June the banks were 
lined with Indian roses, making a canoe promenade of 
pink. A little later these were succeeded by the plenti- 
ful white blossoms of the northern wild clematis, the 
fastest growing climbing plant in this region. 

Nowhere before or since have I seen so much wild 
life. Moose would stare as dully at one as oxen, and 
red deer knew no fear. Babbits and squirrels would 
play about our feet and were a nuisance because they 


would steal our dough gods at every camp. Oaribou 
were not really wild. Wolves and foxes would scuttle 
away^ but bears showed neither sign of fear nor much 
concern about man things. 

The pileated woodpecker was our barometer. His 
rain call never misses. Once I heard a pileated wood- 
pecker and a raven talking to one another. It did not 
take much imagination to conclude that they were argu- 
ing about the weather. Anyhow the pileated kept on 
shrieking his raucous zee — cruck, zee — cruck, but 
the raven did not join in until a day later. It rained. 

The pileated woodpecker is the wisest bird in this 
part of the world. It will even come to man to be 
saved. Justice Steere, of the Michigan Supreme Court, 
relates that once when he was in a forest a large hawk 
assailed a pileated woodpecker. The bird of the royal 
red crest flew to the jurist and was saved. 

Otter, beaver, mink, marten and fisher were much 
more numerous along the Abinadong than is usual. It 
appeared that this tranquil valley was a perfect game 
sanctuary. That is just what it was. I had much 
difficulty in inducing Minabog to ascend the river at all. 
When we came to the mouth he said, " No go up." And 
he stuck to it until I threatened to desert him. This 
brought him to time and caused him to tell me the secret 
of the river. 

It is the land of the Windigo; belongs to it as its 
home. No human ever trespasses. Hundreds of years 
ago, according to tradition, the Ojibways tried repeat- 
edly to trap along the river. Some of them never re- 
turned ; others came back and were mad murderers and 
cannibals and had to be killed by the tribe. Then the 
Abinadong was given over to the ghosts that lived along 
it No Ojibway can tell you just what a Windigo is. 


John Tanner, who lived with them thirty years, never 
found out exactly; nor did the observing and accurate 
Alexander Henry, nor Schoolcraft, 

The Windigo is not the devil and is only an evil spirit 
when his hunting ground is invaded or he is molested in 
some other way. He has power to turn men into eaters 
of human flesh and is quite ad subtle as the werwulf or 
the loup garou. The most horrible thing he does is 
to eat away the base of the tongue or the inside of the 
eyeball or the lining of the upper nose and inner ear, to 
an extent not to be fatal, but worse. Among the Chip- 
pewas the fear of the Windigo is supreme. That is why 
the Abinadong is a paradise of wild life to this mo- 
ment. It is the home of the ghastly Windigo and I 
hope it will be forever, because I imagine tibe whole 
thing is a story devised by the vTise old fathers of the 
redmen so that a place would be preserved where game, 
so necessary to them, might propagate in perfect safety. 
White men ought to set up several Windigo places as 
game sanctuaries. 

I reported nothing of value to the syndicate that em- 
ployed me. It was a disappointment. It seems that 
I was expected to find something whether there was any- 
thing or not Such was the speculative excitement that 
a good story could have been capitalized to big advan- 
tage. Next year they sent in another person who sup- 
plied the desired report, upon which more than a quar- 
ter of a million dollars were expended and lost 




THE Sault country fascinated me as it had many 
another and always will continue to do. Mazy 
summers of life and pure joy. Winters of stim- 
ulating majesty by which men, women and children are 
made robust or driven away ; no colorless middle ground. 

Mel Hoyt had recently graduated from the University 
of Wisconsin as a lawyer, but had taken up newspaper 
work and was already compelling. His rapier mind 
was reaching and strong. I told him the story of the 
north. He was as enthusiastic as Tom Moore was when 
he mused the Hyperboreans. And parenthetically 
Moore was an instinctive poet. He only knew the 
Greek legend of the peopled north and was not aware 
that moderns have proved the North Pole to have been 
habitable, and not imlikely to have been the incunabu- 
lum of the human race,, at least as the race is now known. 

Mel and I bought the Sault News, a struggling, 
under-dog, weekly paper in 1887. I had enough money 
to make the deal a cash one and as I had formed the 
attachment for my partner that has only grown richer 
between us all our lives, it was a keen delight to carry 
him for his share. We went at the thing hammer and 
tongs, and it was not long before we had our paper on 
a paying basis and our competitor on the run. The 



Sault was booming. Goose pastures were being sub- 
divided. The whistle of the work train on the coming 
railroads could be heard. The trail to Hudson Bay, 
which had been one of the passages to and from the big 
world, would be side-tracked. French habitants were 
made over from muskrat hunters to millionaires in a 
day, in their minds. Many a palace with pink body 
and blue trimmings was started and some were built. 
An artificial atmosphere contaminated the Northwest 
wind for a while and then blew away, taking on its 
wings some of the adventurers and undesirables. Good 
people found their way and started legitimately to build 
a city in one of the most attractive locations on earth. 

Our ambitions took fire with the others. We took 
in Sandy Dingwall as a third partner and planned as 
avidly as the best or worst. Sandy had been a clerk 
in the Wisconsin Fire and Marine Bank, of Milwaukee, 
for which George Smith laid the foundation and Alex- 
ander Mitchell, David Ferguson and John Johnston 
erected the superstructure. The Northwest was a New 
Scotland imtil the Germans and Scandinavians came to 

The Sault grew amtil its country trousers did not 
reach its ankles. It had to have a new suit cut by up- 
to-date tailors. That meant city organization. We 
were tremendously interested and took a very active 
part. There were ordinances to print and other fat 
takes, and it was our business to get them. I am posi- 
tive that not one of us had an ethical thought. We 
were young fellows with eager hopes and no tangible 
ideals. My own boyhood and young manhood makes 
me think tiiat vital youth is a thinly disguised barba- 
rian, or was in my time. 

Election day came. The village had been democratic 


if it could be said that there were partisan conditions. 
Eeally the Trempes, or the Ryans or the Browns, or an 
arrangement between them, usually controlled things. 
A short time before they had been shocked by Charley 
Chapman, a newcomer, who had been made village presi- 
dent without asking permission of the old regime. In 
the ancient days that were declining a few barrels of 
pork and some of whiskey carried every election. 

At the first city election in the Sault there was a 
crazy quilt of corruption, and not a soul raised a warn- 
ing or even an objecting hand. Political morals were 
as unknown as if the country had never been discov- 
ered. I saw the unclean hand ungloved, hard and bold, 
for the second time. Uncle Ike and A. C. Brown had 
exhibited a marked refinement compared with the meth- 
ods in the Sault. I do not suppose that worse ever ex- 
isted — the darkest practices before the dawn of re- 

Political lines were drawn taut Otto Fowle, a 
banker, had been nominated for Mayor by the Repub- 
lican local leaders, among whom William Chandler, 
Joseph H. Steere, George Kemp and Charley Spalding 
were prominent. There was no clash between the old 
•and the new among the Republicans. The Democrats 
were not so lucky apparently. Billy Cady, also a 
banker, was nominated by the Democrats controlled by 
the new element. 

Hoyt, Dingwall and I were as busy as three live 
young fellows could be. The open sewers ran whiskey, 
and drunken Indians staggered through the knee-deep 
spring slush in all directions. It might have been safe 
for a woman to have appeared on the street, but not one 
did. By ten o'clock we discovered that the Democrats 
were paying a dollar apiece for votes in addition to 


free whiskey. At once the leaders on our side armed 
their workers with a good many more dollar bills than' 
the voting population of the town numbered, because the 
votes were coming in from Sugar Island, Sault Town- 
ship, the Canadian Sault and even from the Indian 
Mission on Waiskai Bay and as far as Whitefish Point. 
It was not a question of morals with anybody concerned ; 
the problem to be solved was whether they could get to 
this purchasable human commodity and had enough 
money to get it away from the other side. Nobody went 
into an alley or behind a barn unless it was to keep the 
other side from penetrating whatever strategy there was. 

Fist fights were going on all day, and as my partners 
and I rushed from one polling place to another, we 
could not avoid them nor did we try to do so. Finally 
the day wore through. Soon the polls would close. 
The fight was furious. At the Fourth Ward polls oc- 
curred the astounding thing of the day, even as I now 
view that oUapodrida of strange experiences, proving 
that a condition is a condition and that morals have no 
stable standards and are really a matter of inner growth. 
Very evidently the leaders had either no inner growth 
or nothing else to go by, and everybody else was in the 
same boat. 

About ten minutes before the polls closed, a thrifty 
citizen drove up with a team bearing twelve drunken 
Indians, an even dozen. Mike O'Day began to negoti- 
ate for them at once for the Democrats. A Republican 
pushed him aside and they roughed it a little, when, 
realizing how short the time was to buy those votes and 
get them in, they got to work again. It became a mat- 
ter of open bidding as in a slave mart or auction of any 
kind. Dollar by dollar they raised each other. O^Day 
bid twelve dollars a head. Both leaders knew the eleo- 


tion was close. The Republican raised his bid to four- 
teen dollars. It was more than O'Day had. The 
Democrats were all in. The Republicans got the votes 
— twelve — count them — at fourteen dollars each, 
open auction. 

Otto Fowle was elected by seven majority. 

Will you say that public morals have not improved 
since then? Improved is not. meanirgful enough. 
There has been a complete transformation, except in 
cities like Detroit, where the so-called good citizen is too 
of ten a silk-stocking derelict on election day. And my 
morals have improved. I thought of nothing wrong 
when I took part in that unclean election, and I wish 
to be charitable with those who may not have had a 
chance to see and know better and who still besmirch 
the ballot. About that Sault election even the preachers 
knew everything and said nothing, and the candidates 
were Honorable men. Not a word was said before or 
soon after about the influence of money and whiskey and 
pork and their use. It was not long before the scales 
fell from my eyes and I saw the heinousness of it. 

To atone is one of the reasons I have fought for clean 
politics and honest government ever since. 

A number of candidates appeared for the Sault post- 
office after Cleveland's defeat. There was a good deal 
of friction. The office was offered to me as a compro- 
mise, but I declined. However, while I was upon an 
expedition in the woods I was appointed. About the 
same time the business bubble burst. Hoyt, Dingwall 
and I jeffed to see who would keep the Sault News. 
We had made up our minds that there was not room 
enough for three in the business. Mr. Hoyt was a 
strong man and until very lately was the successful ed- 
itor and publisher of the MUwavJeee Daily News and 


one of the able men of the Nation. Mr. Dingwall be- 
came a millionaire play manager in New York, of 
which he gave signs when as a boy he had the dramatic 
column in the Milwaukee Sentinel. I lost, as we 
thought, as it fell to me to keep the paper and remain 
in the Sault, where my life has been so satisfactory and 
my friendships so happy among a people with no supe- 
riors, that it turned out that I won richly. 

Before our debacle I had made plans for systematic 
exploration in Canada and had started the work. To 
the North from the Sault is a beautiful sky line of un- 
broken hills. Sometimes they wear a rich blue haze. 
At other times they are dressed in the gorgeous reds and 
golds of autumn. In the summer these hills are green 
and in the winter pure white. They are the oldest 
things in the world if geological chronology means any- 
thing. Stretching away from Cape Canso to Queen 
Charlotte Sound without a fracture they are more the 
back bone of the North American continent than are the 
Eockies. Between them and the North Pole there was 
nothing of man in those days and there is not much yet. 

Behind those hills lay the greatest and least known 
wilderness in the world. It drew me like a human 

Something lost behind the mountains; ^^ lost and wait- 
ing for you, go ! " 

If I had not gone something in me would have busted ; 
now I don't mean burst — something ruder than that. 
I knew that such little exploration as had been done 
followed the rivers. Along the rivers were trails and 
canoe routes. Fish lived in the waters ; fur lived on the 
fish ; Indians subsisted by the fish and fur, and the Hud- 
son Bay Company exploited the Indians. Hence the 
one way of things along the streams. Drainage of this 


half the continent was south from the height of land 
to the hasin of the Great Lakes, and North from the 
same great divide to Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean. 
Almost no attention had been given to minerals. Pine 
was coming in, and furs had been the golden fleece for 
i two centuries and fleece is right. 

My idea was to conduct reconnoissances across the 
country. This meant packing supplies on the back al- 
most altogether and hard work. It also meant seeing 
coimtry that even the Indians had not seen. I was 
eager to pay the toll. It was something of the spirit 
that had driven and coaxed my grandfather across the 

While I was in the wilderness the Saidt News was 
expected to subsist my family. It was my permanent 
dock where I tied up my hope of sustenance and it did 
not f aiL Critical conditions arose ; most of them dur- 
ing my four-year term as postmaster. As I anticipated 
would be the case, a good many older citizens resented 
my selection. I was too new. Then, as postmaster, I 
was consulted by the state and national party machine. 
This also brought its conflicts and embarrassments and 
• compelled me to attend at times very closely to my knit- 

Booms bring to towns a regular riffraff of things, 
more good than bad, no doubt, but it takes only one 
rotten apple in a barrel to foul all the rest, and a whole 
barrel of good apples will not cure a rotten one; just 
got to throw it out. I undertook the throwing out game 
and took on no end of tough enemies. 

Two factions fought over variant plans for the water 
power development. One was for the old LaCrosse and 
Milwaukee Cargill-EUiott crowd and the other favored 
certain big promises made by Alexander Hamilton 



Gunn, for an alleged English syndicate. The enter- 
prising townspeople had already gone dowji into their 
own pockets for a bonus of one hundred thousand dol- 
lars to start the thing and they were pyrographically 

As usual in such things, politics poked in through the 
doorway of a desired franchise. I took sides with the 
tangible proposition made by Cargill and his associ- 
ates. A popular local manufacturer named Lewis A. 
Hall; of Bay Mills, ten miles up the shore, became in- 
terested. In order to influence the council, ground was 
broken for the huge, paper-making plant, which after- 
wards became the Niagara Pulp & Paper Company at 
Niagara Falls. 

The segregated judgment of Ihe people is ever a prob- 
lem. In sufficient mass with adequate interest involv- 
ing almost life or death, the people invariably go right; 
in local cases, wherein momentary passion obscures, they 
are just as apt or apter to go wrong. 

After a bitter recriminatory contest the Sault re- 
jected the bird in the hand for one that was said to be 
in the bush, but was never seen. It plunged the town 
into commercial gloom sooner or later, thus compelling 
a penance of years for the mistake. 

During this fight another opposition paper was es- 
tablished, making three in the field — too many. I had 
been roasted until I was getting hardened to it, and 
had been hung and burned in effigy, all in the way of 
supplying me with experience that would entitle me 
some day to join the veterans' corps of those who become 
immune to such shafts. My continual war against 
the gamblers, tough saloons and West End prostitutes 
always made it possible for my enemies to mobilize a 
strong force against me. At least once they started to 


march to my home to mob me. The common knowl- 
edge that I had a half a dozen rifles and could and prob- 
ably would shoot; made the gang listen to those who 
advised giving me a wide berth. A coterie of citizens, 
respectable enough outwardly, but willing to lie in with 
the worst element to achieve a result, organized for the 
purpose and boasted that they would drive me out of 

I have had two such fights in Sault Ste. Marie, run- 
ning over several years. My frequent absence from 
home seemed to make it easier for my enemies to undo 
me. Sometimes, when I would return they would have 
a warrant awaiting me and would serve it on a Saturday 
night so as to keep me in jail at least over Sunday. 
Always some good friend would find out their plan 
and would have everything ready to circumvent it suc- 
cessfully. The favorite charge brought against me was 
criminal libel. I have defended nineteen libel suits 
and have been successful every time, because I tried to 
be in the right and was able to assemble a sufficient de- 
fense. Even now I cross my fingers and touch wood. 

Once while I was postmaster my enemies charged me 
with overcharging an ignorant foreigner for a money 
order. Inasmuch as I had never issued a money order 
in my life, it was easy to disprove this. In fact, my 
enemies have generally, in their blind bitterness, over- 
done their attacks. 

Such a life of civic and social warfare made for me 
many golden friends as well as unpleasant enmities. . I 
learned that character may be good enough to be malice 
and slander bomb proof, and I tried to build such a one. 

" If you don^t do it you can^t be caught," was my 


That was a selfish thought at first and only gave way 
with years and growth to my guide of later years : 

" Eight because of Eight'^ 

I will not try to convey the impossible idea that I was 
always right, because I was not I was forever doing 
something and I made mistakes, but I never committed 
another criminal act aft^ the Indian vote buying, re- 
lated in a previous chapter. Perhaps I might go fur- 
ther and state that I have always tried to do right and 
hope that fifty-one per cent, of my acts have been of that 
character. At least I learned that life cannot be a bluff 
or a four flush, actions must square with words, and 
habits and associations must harmonize with aspirations. 
The hour never appealed to me and only those who know 
me least would designate me as an opportunist. 

My Uncle William Osbom was one of the best men 
in the world. He said to me once : 

"Nephew, where does the trail of life you are on 
lead to ? Every man's life is a trail ; it is as long as he 
lives. There are many blind bypaths leading off. 
Some of them go nowhere ; others lead to quagmires and 
precipices. The chart of the trail is the bible; the 
lights on the way are Christian efforts. If you get off 
the trail go back to the last point you were certain of 
and start again. Don't be afraid to back up when you 
are wrong and don't be afraid to go ahead when you 
are right. Carry your own load and help those who are 
not as strong as you are to bear their burdens. Show 
your colors. If you are not with a church you are 
against it, or worse yet, an agnostic, living in the twi- 
light zone of individual cowardice. The average trail 
is three score and ten years long. Yours and every 
man's will land him safe if he uses his conscience as a 


guide and his better desires as a staflF. Where are you 
going to fetch up at seventy ? Bead ^ Pilgrim^s Prog- 
ress/ '' 

My uncle's sermonette made the deepest impression 
on me of any advice I ever received. " Where are you 
going to fetch up at seventy? '' 

So the halfway houses have not held me very long 
and the jack o' lanterns have not dangerously enticed me 
off the main trail yet. For this I am thankful to God 
as the way to go has been very dim at times and hard 
to follow, and there have been rocks in the way and I 
have stumbled. But I always got up, put my jaws to- 
gether, smiled to myself and went on. If I were asked 
the secret of success and happiness I would say applied 
energy and poised growth. 



ONE day WiUiam Chandler, of the Sault, came 
into my office. He loved politics and no sooner 
had Joe Steere landed in the Sault to recover 
from an attack of Lenawee enteric, than he was placed 
on the circuit bench to succeed Judge Goodwin. 

The Chandler and Open families were mixed up with 
mine back in the old Ohio days. I had gone to school 
with Mrs. Chandler at Purdue, and had been taught 
by her very superior mother. Mr. Chandler asked me 
if I would like to go to Congress. I was only a little 
past thirty and had not thought of any office, let alone 
Congress. I had been in so many fights that my opin- 
ion was that I could not have been elected dog catcher, 
and I told Chandler so. He scarcely listened to me. 

Ours was the twelfth district. It had been formed 
geographically in various ways. Just then it com- 
prised the entire Upper Peninsula or about one-third the 
area of the entire State, divided into fifteen counties, 
and had a population of about two hundred fifty thou- 
sand. From Canada to the Montreal River east and 
west, and from the mouth of the Menominee to Kewee- 
naw Point north and south, inclosed a formidable re- 
gion. Its interests were lumbering, iron ore mining 
and copper mining. Now agriculture, then just begin- 
ning to be seriously considered, forms an important pur- 



suit^ with prospects of ultimately yielding more than 
all the others. 

There were lines of political cleavage between the 
various interests. Sam Stephenson^ of Menominee, was 
our representative. He was a brother of Uncle Ike, 
and their fraternal ambitions could not be carried in 
the same basket, as one lived in Michigan and the other 
in Wisconsin, separated by the Menominee River. It 
was good for them to be so near together, because they 
each nourished a proper desire not to be outstripped by 
the other and they could keep tab on each other. They 
were wholesome men of their type and period. Only 
one way was there to get anything and that was to buy 
it. Hence their life could be summed up: get money 
and buy what you want They were honest according 
to prevailing standards, generous when they could see 
what they were getting for their giving, profane in lan- 
guage, chin likely to be a nicotine delta, canny in a 
trade, forceful in business, crude and rude and uncouth 
in matters, manners and education, endued with homely 
horse sense and enough courage. They were both rich 
and getting richer sawing pine lumber and selling it. 

I have never been able to determine the place of such 
men. Mostly I have thought they performed a needful 
function and occupied a legitimate sphere. They got 
their timber from the Government directlv or otherwise 
at small cost, almost nothing. They cut it ruthlessly 
and the waste was scattered everywhere they lumbered, 
and allowed to bum and destroy great, uncut forests 
and even villages and lives, as witness Feshtigo and 
many other places. 

There was a need for economical house material all 
over the growing nation. It was thus adequately sup- 
plied. One cannot have his cake and eat it too ; nor can 


he have trees and wheat in the same field. Greater care 
and selection in Imnbering would have increased the 
cost of home building during a critical period, and 
f would have delayed farm development. Consequently, 

I do not join with those who curse the Stephensons and 
their congeners. 

Sam Stephenson had just bought a seat in the House 
of Representatives, just as he would purchase a plug of 
tobacco or a bottle of bone liniment. It did not mat- 
ter to him whether Henry W. Seymour, of the Sault, 
had occupied it only a brief few months since the un- 
timely death of Representative Seth Moffatt, of Trav- 
erse City. It just "belonged to the feller that could 
git it," was the way Sam sized it up, so he turned his 
labial nozzle on Mr. Seymour and injected a stream 
of tobacco juice in his eye, after the manner of squids. 

When that benign gentleman got through rubbing his 
eyes he could not find his seat in Congress. It was not, 
a gentlemanly thing to do perhaps, but Sawlog Sam got 
what he was after, which is the object in life a great 
many have. 

Now it appears that Mr. Seymour got in because Mr, 
Chandler and other friends were able to tie the tails of 
the copper and iron and sawlog cats together, and throw 
them over the district political clothesline. Down in 
Chippewa County we were in the minority and flocked 
with nobody. Our only hope was in a scrap by the 

Jay Hubbell, of Houghton, who was called "Two 
per cent." because of his dextrous assessment of post- 
masters for campaign purposes while in the House of 
Representatives and chairman of the Congressional 
Campaign Committee, hated Sam Stephenson plenty. 
I do not know the origin of the feud, or whether it et- 


tended beyond political boundaries or not. Hubbell 
was a strong man^ educated as a laii^er, resourceful and 
the foxiest politician in the district. 

I did not know that he had ever heard my name. 
But he had, and just as horsemen have their eye out for 
likely colts, he had his at the political periscope. Down 
he came to the Sault and deposited a bug in Mr. Chan- 
dler's ear, where it was to abide until it could be trans- 
ferred to mine. I wore no ear laps in the summer and 
they got me. 

Mr. Hubbell had no use for me. He did not tell me 
so; nor did he exactly tell Chandler that he had not 
But he was not delicate about admitting to the latter 
what he kept from me, and that was his master hunger 
just then was to beat Sam Stephenson. The scheme was 
to have favorite sons in enough counties to split things 
up, and thus make Stephenson's renomination impossi- 
ble. I was to carry my home county of Chippewa and 
possibly Mackinac and Luce, and even might keep things 
stirred up in Schoolcraft. Carl Sheldon was brought 
out in Houghton County. John Q. Adams, of Negau- 
nee, and Colonel C. Y. Osbum, of Marquette, were can- 
didates in Marquette, the heart of the iron region. 

Trouble enough I made for all hands. I did not 
know that my part was to be only that of a tool. So I 
went at the thing slambang. I was familiar with the 
campaigns of Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln. 
Their districts were not wilder nor larger than the one 
I had to cover. In fact, bears and wolves and wildcats 
were thicker in our part of Michigan than they were in 
Kentucky in Henry Clay's time. Schoolhouses were as 
far apart. Trusty rifles hung on many-pointed antlers, 
and there were thousands of Indians who only went on 
whiskey war paths. 


I determined to campaign every school district in the 
Upper Peninsula. How else could I win without 
money to buy my way ? It was the first campaign of 
the kind ever conducted in this way in our part of the 
State. My knowledge of hunting and woodcraft and 
my life on the Menominee range gave me certain advan- 
tagesy and I made the most of them I could. 

Quite quickly my candidature developed from an in- 
cident to a menace. At first Uncle Sam gave no sign 
of knowing of it; then he roundly haw-hawed and then 
he sent out agents and money in plenty to head me off. 
I really liked the people, especially those in. remote set- 
tlements, and some of them liked me. The old system 
obtained. Caucuses began to be held and I was suc- 
cessful in more townships and counties than anybody 
had estimated. Sometimes when our side won, the 
more bitter and resourceful would send contesting dele- 
gations* This was particularly true in Delta and Iron 
counties. Every political trick known, running the 
gamut of money, Imlldozing, cajolery, lying and prom- 
ises, was resorted to. Our side might have been as 
guilty as the other if we had been supplied with the 
same weapons. We did not use money because we had 
none to use. 

Jay Hubbell and his schemes were lost sight of in the 
curiosity that was aroused by the queer campaign I was 
making. I walked and worked night and day, attended 
Bodals in churches for which Uncle Sam had donated 
the principal part of the building fund ; went to coun- 
try dances and called at hundreds of houses where a 
candidate had never been before. Came the Congres- 
sional Convention. It was held at Ironwood, a victory 
for me because Gogebic County was for me and the 
local atmosphere would be favorable. I had carried. 


or claimed to have carried, eight of the fifteen counties 
and had that many delegations on hand. That did not 
give me a majority hecause the larger counties, such as 
Houghton, !Mjarquette and Menominee, were against me 
and had candidates of their own. It was while the 
convention was being organized that I discovered the 
real part that I had been expected to play. The old 
bosses, such as Hubbell, Duncan, Famell, Maitland, 
Walters and others, were willing to beat Uncle Samuel, 
but they did not want me by a jugful. In fact, if it 
came to a show down between Stephenson and me, they 
would have been for gruff old Uncle Sawlog, who at 
worst was one of them in being a part of the " inter- 
ests," only then they did not call them that. I had 
more votes than any other candidate and was permitted 
to organize the convention, or at least to think that I did. 
Voting started. Once I came within four of the nomi- 
nation. That was my high water mark. 

Report was made to my floor managers that Johi^ 
Duncan, of Houghton, really preferred Uncle Sam to 
Carl Sheldon, their home candidate. In fact, the fight 
was not the field against Stephenson any more than it 
was the field against me. I was consulted and decided 
that the Duncan report bore earmarks of truth. We 
threw my support solidly to Sheldon, and he was chosen. 
I had gone into the hall at the rear and stood behind 
Sheldon, who was seated in a chair. When the lid blew 
off, as Sheldon was nominated, I gave a big, bursting, 
boyish yell of victory and grabbed Sheldon's hat, as I 
thought. Waving it in the air I somehow got sight of 
it. Not a hat at all, but a wig. His toupee had burst 
its shoe wax moorings. Snatched as baldheaded as a 
billiard ball, there he sat in a gold-mouthed, glowering 
rage, caring nothing about his honor and only seeking 


the return of his thatch, which I had waved aloft like 
the banner of the beard of the prophet at Goek Tepee. 

We had nominated a man not only with solid gold 
teeth, like the Sultan of Johore, though not set with dia- 
monds, but one who wore a wig. I was responsible for 
this. Would the common people stand for it ? 

Our district was as strongly Eepublican as though it 
had been politically pock-marked. There was no doubt 
of Sheldon's election if he could be kept at home. He 
was. It transpired that he had no such native ability 
as Stephenson and was not as effective as a representa- 

As for myself, I became a political factor, not by vir- 
tue of either ambition or design, but only because I al- 
ways went with all my might at whatever my hands 
found to do, and this had not been an exception. 

There are no bitternesses quite equal to local ones, no 
matter whether political, religious or of other kinds. 
They come near to one; there is immediate friction 
which is aggravated by being seen as well as felt. The 
source is always within striking distance and that makes 
for frequent striking and multiplied inflammation. 
One has to learn to joust and like it; to hit hard and 
also take blows and to discharge the whole matter as 
soon as it is over. Not adopting such a philosophy the 
participant is either knocked down and thrown into the 
discard, or is made into a grouch, whose very temper 
becomes his undoing. *^Be just as good an anvil as 
you are a hammer," was the tabloided advice given to 
me when a boy, by a veteran of many a battle, who had 
not a mean wrinkle in his heart and then of course not 
in his face. 

It was a good thing for me that I learned this, because 
I have been pounded incessantly from youth until the 


present, and really I think I have improved all the time 
in every way. While leaving me very far from the 
unattainable on earth goal of human perfection^ I have 
enjoyed going on the way. 



THE Hispano-American War broke. I was in 
Spain when the Maine was blown up. Proceed- 
ing almost directly to Egypt I found there John 
Hay and Dr. James B. Angell. I was not of their 
party^ but went to Damascus at the same time that they 
did and also up the Nile. When I returned to Cairo 
I found a letter from General Alger asking me to re- 
turn home and on the way to obtain, if possible, certain 
information in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and paiv 
ticularly in England. Our Government had reports 
from its officials upon phases of conditions in those coun- 
tries and wished the views of others and facts they might 
gather to use in checking up. 

I found everywhere I went in Italy a profound and 
natural sympathy for Spain. In Germany I found the 
people and many officials friendly to the United States. 
In Spain I was to ascertain what might be their ability 
to sustain the war^ and reported great internal weakness, 
both of physical power and political harmony. Her 
colonies had drained Spain of her honor and her young 
manhood until to lose them was welcomed. Their gov- 
ernment had been used as a means to political debt pay- 
ing, and the feeling was that nobody higher up went to 
the colonies except to feather his nest. 

I did witness a funny incident in Huelva. A story 



teller was entertaining a big crowd talking about the 
war. He told them that America was about the size of 
Andalusia and that the people were all shopkeepers; 
rich, dishonest, cowardly and soft-handed. One big 
warship they had, he said, and upon it they would sail 
forth to battle with the Spanish navy. In just a little 
bit their blood would flow like the juice of a crushed 
grape, and the war would be over, and Spain would have 
America in her possession again as she did before it 
was stolen from her. The crowd cheered this recital 
with sharpened screams. 

My surprise was complete in England. So far as I 
could determine the government was diplomatically 
friendly, but the people sympathized with Spain. I 
talked with hundreds of them of all strata. We had 
no friends among them so far as I could find. On the 
English steamer, upon which I returned to America, I 
canvassed every passenger and did not find one friend. 
They hoped the Yankees' swelled heads would be re- 
duced and freely predicted final victory on the sea for 
the Spaniards. 

Proceeding at once to Lansing I offered my services 
to Governor Pingree. He tendered me commissions at 
three different times and on one occasion he was sup- 
ported by General E. M. Irish in urging me to accept. I 
had received some military training in the College Ca- 
dets at Purdue under Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, as captain, 
and I was eager to go to war. Just as I was about to 
accept a conmiission, William Jennings Bryan became 
a colonel. Thereupon several of my friends, who by 
ridicule and otherwise had been endeavoring to dissuade 
me from going, remarked with disgust that every cheap 
politician in the country was grandstanding the war. 
Somehow or other that shot struck home; not that I 


thought of Mr. Bryan as a cheap politician, but I knew 
the place ofPered to me was earnestly sought by several 
better equipped than I was, and it began to impress me. 
So I refused the commission, but offered to enlist as a 
private. The Governor, who was a practical soldier, 
told me the time might come when I could do that with 
propriety, but that just now I could render better serv- 
ice at home. As a result, I became active in organiz- 
ing and assisted in raising two companies, the officers 
of which the Governor consulted with me about before 
he named them. 

Quickly the war was over. There had not been a bat- 
tle severe enough to attract public attention from the 
minor discomforts of war : sickness in camp and quality 
of food. Some one found a can of Chicago corned beef 
that emitted gas when it was punctured for opening. It 
was one of the few cans that did not stand the sub- 
tropics. A round robin was hatched in Cuba. Once 
started there was an epidemic of criticism. There had 
to be a scapegoat of the administration. General Alger, 
of Michigan, was Secretary of War. He was a Civil 
War veteran with a brilliant record, had subscribed 
thousands to the McKinley campaign fund when Mark 
Hanna was raising it, and was really possessed of solid 
ability and sound sense. Although he wrought himself 
into a sick bed and continued to work when unfit and 
endangering his life as much as upon a battlefield, the 
storm settled upon him. Every result of the ante- 
bellimi carelessness, inefficiency, insufficiency and unpre- 
paredness was charged up to him. 

One day soon after the last private staggered off the 
transports at Montauk Point, I received a telegram from 
the Secretary of War asking me to come to Patterson, 
New Jersey, where he was to spend a week-end at the 


home of Vice-President Hobart. I proceeded there at 
once. General Henry M. Duffield, of Detroit, had been 
summoned also. He was not only a friend but an inti- 
mate political adviser of General Alger, and a depend- 
able, influential and intellectual gentleman. It did not 
take us long to ascertain that President McKinley had 
yielded to the pressure and had made up his mind to 
dump his Secretary of War as a sacrifice. He had 
asked Vice-President Hobart to break the news to Gen- 
eral Alger, and that was the object of the week-end con- 
ference. When Hobart told Secretary Alger the lay 
of the land, the General's care at losing his place in the 
cabinet was as nothing compared with his personal dis- 
appointment in McKinley. It was the only time I ever 
heard General Alger swear and it was rather pleasant 
to listen to him as he relieved his feelings. 

" Why, it was as late as Thursday that the President 
put his arms around me and told me not to pay any 
attention to the attacks of the press," he said, sadly and 

Continuing, General Alger said the President told 
him of his confidence and admiration. 

"When I offered to resign, which I did in good 
heart," said Secretary Alger, " the President would not 
hear of it, and professed to be pained and embarrassed 
by the idea and asked me as a favor to say no more about 
it and not to think of leaving the cabinet." 

Vice-President Hobart told me that the President 
had made up his mind some time before that he would 
have to feed General Alger to the clamorers, egged on 
in doing so by Senator Hanna and all the administra- 
tion advisers, but that it was only on the previous Thurs- 
day that he had asked Hobart to get Alger out smoothly 
— the same day the President had caressingly assured 


the (General of his confidence, affection and support. 

Of course, Vice-President Hobart told General Alger 
all the facts. It made him so angry that he decided not 
to resign, but instead to make all the trouble he could. 
General Duffield and I permitted time enough to elapse 
to cool General Alger^s fighting blood, and then we ad- 
vised him to resign, and to return to Michigan where the 
people loved him and trusted him, and we predicted that 
they would vindicate him by sending him to the United 
States Senate. Always amenable to reason. General 
Alger looked at the matter as we did and decided to re- 

I asked him what, in his opinion, caused the bitter 
attacks of the New York papers to center upon himself, 
when the editors certainly possessed the knowledge that 
he was not to blame for the natural hurts of years of 
loose departmental administration, and poverty of imag- 
ination and anticipation. General Alger replied that 
he was certain about what caused it. Bids for trans- 
porting to Spain the Spanish soldiers captured during 
the war were asked for. The shipping trusts submitted 
exorbitant figures. A Spanish steamship company pro- 
posed to do the job for much less and got the contract, 
in spite of threats made by the robbers. Thereupon 
certain of the New York press discovered that General 
Alger could not be controlled and at the same time de- 
cided that he was not competent, and would have to go. 
It was the McKinley campaign fund talking and its 
speech was effective. Nor did it matter whether such a 
trifling thing occurred as the destruction of a man's 

Upon my return to Michigan I saw Governor Pin- 
gree and Secretary Stone and others, and arrangements 
were begun for the big homecoming reception of Gen- 


eral Alger, that was soon given to him by Detroit. 
Nothing could have been easier. General Alger was 
Michigan's most loved citizen. They sensed the im- 
justness of his treatment and resented, as a quickly gen- 
erous people would do. 

Then followed the working out of the plans to send 
General Alger to the Senate. He sent for me and re- 
quested me to be his campaign manager. There were 
many reasons why I could not do so; chiefly I knew 
that it would be necessary to use all the Pingree organ- 
ization that existed, and I did not control it. General 
Alger would not hear to my objections. My appeal 
was then to Henry B. Ledyard. When I told Mr. Led- 
yard my reasons, and informed him that in my opinion 
William Judson, of Washtenaw, would be the best man 
that could be obtained, he agreed with me, and got Gen- 
eral Alger to consent. Judson conducted a shrewd 
campaign against the McMillan-Ferry combination and 
was able to defeat D. M. Ferry, though not easily. 



IT was the age superlative of riding on people's necks. 
The strong rode the shoulders of the weak night 
and day, and the rich seemed only to regard the 
poor as beasts of burden. !N'or did it matter, as in mule 
packing and horse use, whether the collar galled, or the 
girth fit, or the saddle was on right, or the pack was 
properly cinched or whether the work animals were 
properly watered and fed or given rest or taken to a 
blacksmith or veterinary or turned out to pasture. 
They just threw the diamond hitch on man and never 
took off the load. There were more men than mules, 
and they were easier to get; the supply was unending. 
Social reformers were anarchists. A disciple of Karl 
Marx and Rudolph Engels was crazy. Any one who 
agreed with Henry George was a moron. Herr Most 
and Emma Goldman should be hung. 

^Nevertheless, things could not always go on as they 
were. No thought to speak of had been even given to 
the idea that the despotism of wealth should ever be 
benevolent. God works in a mysterious way ; yesterday, 
to-day, forever. Man with brief authority and enlarged 
stomach, containing all the coarser passions and desires, 
has deluded himself with the conceit that he was doing 

things^ when all the time he was contributing to the 



plan of Providence. Man has exactly the same relation- 
ship to the vast thing defined as Universal life, as the 
microscopic cells of the human body have to the life of 
that body. He is a microcosm of the macrocosm. 

He is a cell and his intracellular and intercellular 
activities cause him only to be conscious of action. 
There is no such thing as inertia or he would know that. 
There is no such thing even as physical death : it is only 
disintegration in order that more perfect reintegration 
may occur. How wondrous the periodic law, the ele- 
ments of Mendeleeff, the triads of Dobereiner and the 
octaves of Newlands — business of the three entities: 
matter, energy and ether, and business going on all the 
time and, aided by oppression and repression making 
for localized power, men popped up everywhere who rep- 
resented something that just would not be poohed aside 
and so had to be reckoned with. 

Hazen S. Fingree was one of this sort. He was an 
extraordinary ordinary man. Out of the Green Moun- 
tains he came, a shoemaker. Grandfather in Revolu- 
tionary War, father in Mexican War, and he a private 
in the Civil War. Fighters. In Detroit he became 
(fuite rich manufacturing shoes. They ran him for 
mayor. No one knew him as a great humanist ; he did 
not even know it himself. Elder Blades told him about 
it, and John Atkinson told him more. Charley Joslyn 
was one of his young adherents who showed symptoms 
of humanity that might develop, if he were permitted to 
run free and unhaltered. 

When Fingree began to find out how things were in a 
social and political way, he began to raise the dickens. 
This marked him as a troublemaker and undesirable by 
the machine. James McMillan was a United States 
Senator of Michigan, and chairman of the Republican 


State Central Committee. He was a rich, Scotch Ca- 
nadian, whose money had been gleaned from public land 
grants, and playing the game as honestly as it was 
played in that time by the big fellows and those who 
parroted them. Anything was legitimate during that 
epoch, that would not land a man in the penitentiary, 
and the function of lawyers was to steer their clients 
so that they could do business and keep out of jail — 
but do business. Senator Stockbridge had died in office 
with the peaceful consciousness that he had had Schuyler 
Olds pay for all he got. John Patton had been ap- 
pointed by good Governor Rich to the vacancy, and, 
being in advance of his time in morals and ethics, he had 
to be displaced, because his fellow citizen, Blodgett, a 
lumber king, decided to buy the place for Julius C. Bur- 
rows. The railroads, and principally the specially 
chartered Michigan Central, at the head of which, under 
the Vanderbilts, was the master mind of Henry B. 
Ledyard, exercised a large political influence in the 
State, often secondary, however, to the McMillan in- 
fluence. Mr. Ledyard and Mr. McMillan were too 
strong individually, and had too many clashing inter- 
ests, always to work in harmony. 

Oeneral Russell A. Alger, with a disposition as sweet 
as a good woman's, brave when he knew where and 
how to strike, cherishing a high desire to be right and 
do right, clean as a man could be and be in big busi- 
ness in those days, was a friend and ally of Ledyard 
and also was Tom Piatt's agent in Michigan. 

This is a partial mirror of political conditions when 
Hazen S. Pingree began to horn down the shelves of the 
china shop. There had not been a big man in the pub- 
lic life of Michigan since the passing of Zach Chandler. 
Big occasions make big men; just mean money grab- 


bing does not. The Pingree crowd, and it was as crazy 
a crowd finally of irresponsibles as ever was permitted 
to gather around a man whose greatest weakness was his 
inability to judge men, could not work with any ex- 
istent political entity. So it worked alone. Pingree 
wished to be governor. It was natural for a lot of 
reasons that he should. Many of the sycophants nearest 
to him wanted to use him as such. Others who believed 
in him were certain he had a mission. Such modernists 
as Captain Gray, of Glasgow, and William T. Stead 
spurred him honestly. And the " Old Man '* himself 
had his fighting blood at boiling point. 

Every newspaper in Detroit was against him. He 
had to put up bulletins in the city hall in order to se- 
cure any kind of publicity. Not one of the papers could 
be induced to mention him for governor. Among the 
old liners he was either a rattlesnake or crazy. Al- 
bert Pack finally lined up with him. Pack was to suc- 
ceed Burrows as United States Senator if things came 
out right. Pingree started on a tour of the State with 
O. C. Tompkins, who later, as warden of Marquette 
Prison, shot off some fingers of Holzhay, the Gogebic 
bandit. Very few outside of Detroit had any crystal- 
lized convictions about the man. Perry Powers, of 
Cadillac, while president of the Michigan Press Asso- 
ciation, had made a fight for my appointment as state 
game and fish warden by Governor Rich, which I had 
clinched by waylaying the Governor between three and 
four o'clock one morning. This had introduced me 
into state politics. Consequently I knew Mayor Pin- 
gree, and I had some idea of what he was up against. 
When he came to the Sault to see me I at once enlisted 
in his cause, and agreed to bring him out for governor 
in the Satdt News, which I did. It took some scoring, 


but he finally won. I was continued in the office I held ; 
in fact my term was for four years, and I had two more 
to serve when Governor Pingree was inaugurated. He 
began many reforms and had a knock down and drag 
out fight every minute with the legislature, while it was 
in session. The notorious " Immortal Nineteen " lined 
up against him in the senate and headed him off at 
every turn. 

So it went for two years. When he came up for re- 
nomination we hoped to get him through on a truce. 
Prospects were not good. I went to Washington and 
had a number of sessions about the matter with Senator 
McMillan, during which I made the discovery that there 
was no reason to be afraid of a United States Senator; 
that even the strongest of them are not supermen. 

Decision was made that Governor Pingree had so 
intrenched himself that he could not be successfully 
opposed without more of a fight than was worth while. 
I had a good many reasons for desiring to be a factor 
in the second Pingree convention. Principally I de- 
sired to secure the nomination of Horace M. Oren, of 
my home town, for attorney general. The idea was put 
into my head by Fred A. Maynard, whose time had come 
to retire from that office, which he had ably filled. 
There was no fight on Pingree, but there was plenty of 
opposition to everybody else. 

I succeeded in organizing and controlling the conven- 
tion, and our slate went through, of course including 
Oren. I did not know then that the attorney general 
has a fat lot of state law business to give out, with the 
consent of the Governor. It was, and still can be, one 
of the most productive sources of graft. 

Eli Sutton, who was very close to Governor Pingree, 
seemed to have his ear and his confidence to a greater 


extent than anybody else. Others of the kitchen cabinet 
were Bill Judson, of Washtenaw, Sybrant Wesselius, John 
Atkinscm, Arthur Marsh and Charley Joslyn. Now and 
then Oren and I would be invited to the " meetings," 
but I was not often taken into the inner circle. 
Whether it was because they were going to "bunk'' 
the Old Man or do some dirty work, I do not know, but 
they were careful. Personally, I do not think a single 
one of the intimates of Governor Pingree was dishonest 
intentionally. Some of them had supported him on 
principle and others, who were outside the political 
breastworks, picked him as a hundred to one shot. The 
kitchen cabinet was in disagreement. Wesselius seemed 
to lead one wing and Eli Sutton the other. Sutton 
won out. 

Wesselius was commissioner of railroads ; a big, able, 
unpoised man. To my surprise that place, about the 
best in the gift of the Governor, was offered to me. I 
did not want it. But I had come to know and love and 
trust General Alger. So I asked his advice. He was 
emphatic in telling me to take it. There was some de- 
lay, not serious, in my confirmation. Then the office 
was turned over to me. When I walked through the 
door I thought that about all the equipment I had for 
the job was acquired when I was one of the Chicago & 
Northwestern construction gang. Mr. Wesselius and 
his friend, Fred Britton, one of the best of Michigan 
newspaper men, were the only occupants of the office, 
and I was alone, so simple may be the investiture of 
authority. Some commonplaces were exchanged during 
which I observed that I hoped to administer the office in 
the interests of all the people, but with no unfairness or 
injustice to the railroads, whereupon Wesselius snorted : 

" Young feller, you pray to God and ask him to look 


out for you and the people ; the railroads will look out 
for themselves." 

Now I was commissioner of railroads of the State of 
Michigan, with more authority, positive and negative^ 
if exercised, than any one man should ever have. 

As long as I occupied the office Governor Pingree 
never crossed its threshold. He sent for me the first 
day and told me that he had promised that Senator 
Frank Westover, of Bay City, an able man, should be 
appointed deputy commissioner. That was exactly the 
time for a show down as to whether I was commissioner 
of railroads or a dummy for the Governor, or much 
worse perhaps, for some of his advisers. I told him 
that I did not know Mr. Westover, that I had nothing 
against him, that I did not wish to thwart him as gov- 
ernor and even would help him carry out his promises 
when I could adjust actions to public interests. Then 
I told him I would resign, that there would be no feel- 
ing and that he could appoint Mr. Westover as com- 

Secretly I think he liked my straight talk and re- 
spected me, but outwardly he sniffed and snuffed air 
through one side of his nose, and we never became inti- 
mate. I did not know then, nor until long afterwards, 
that I had been appointed really because General Alger 
had asked Governor Pingree to do so, and Mr. Ledyard 
had asked General Alger. Not another request was 
made of me by the Governor, nor did General Alger or 
Mr. Ledyard ever ask a favor that had any bearing on 
my official acts. 

Governor Pingree had Ealph Stone as private sec- 
retary. Then the position of secretary carried the title 
of major. He was even then, though a young man, pos- 
sessed of superior Bitainments of heart and mind. 


While with the Michigan Trust Company at Grand 
Rapids, Major Stone acquired valuable business experi- 
ence to supplement his academic law training at the 
University of Michigan. At the 'Varsity he had been 
an independent and a leader among the "non-frats." 
This was due to a deeply set humanity, probably in- 
herited from a sensitively organized father, who at that 
time was a Unitarian preacher in New Jersey. Be- 
tween Major Stone and the purely political crowd there 
was always friction. The secretary was constant in his 
endeavors to protect his chief from the wolves. More 
than once he tore up wild speech manuscripts that had 
been supplied the governor, and wrote addresses to re- 
place them. Very much credit for the many concrete 
achievements of Governor Pingree's administration be- 
longs to Ralph Stone. I always found it a satisfaction 
to cooperate with him, and early I was impressed with 
his clean and clear and courageous thought processes, 
his poise and good judgment, and his common sense 
and kindliness. He had deeply at heart the welfare of 
the masses with no desire to make political capital of 
his sentiments. And yet, when he sought employment 
after leaving the executive ofSce, he found that capital 
regarded him as a dangerous socialist, if not an an- 
archist. This made his ladder climb to the presidency 
of the Det^roit Trust Company a trial of his manhood 
and principles. Ralph Stone was one of the first to 
demonstrate the reasonable and human tendency in 
modem business. 

Governor Pingree made enemies in phalanxes. They 
dogged him everywhere, as always is the case when men 
in public or private who are worth while, assail the 
established order, no matter how bad the established 
order may be. Pingree fought back bravely. The 


Detroit Free Press, which has had a history of malig- 
nancy unsurpassed since the days it hounded Lincoln, 
and was the organ in London of the rebel Knights of the 
Golden Circle, set its spies on his track and after all of 
those who were a part of his administration. 

As is often the case, internal conditions proved fatal 
when external attacks are easily resisted. There was 
crookedness in the Governor's oflScial family. Probably 
the acts were not more dishonest than many past prac- 
tices, but always higher standards are being erected by 
which public acts are judged, and no one had done more 
than Governor Pingree to improve conditions in this 

One evening I received a hasty summons to come to 
the Executive Chambers. Assembled was every friend 
of the administration that could be reached. The mil- 
itary scandals had been unearthed. Then occurred a 
demonstration of the wonderful, though blind, personal 
loyalty of Governor Pingree. He would not believe a 
single charge made. It was the work of his personal 
enemies who, because they could not " get the old man," 
were determined to ruin any or all who were his friends. 
And in this view he persisted to the last, finally pardon- 
ing those who pleaded guilty so as to give him an op- 
portunity to do so, rather than to trust their fate to a 
succeeding governor. 

While the grand jury was in session, nearly all the 
Governor's appointive heads of departments took to the 
woods. No one molested me, because there was nothing 
that could be tortured into a dereliction. They hounded 
me though, and I enjoyed it, because I have never 
feared that a clear case could be made out against a 
man unless he had left himself open somewhere, either 
by carelessness or dishonesty. In every way I had 


taken my public work seriously and had tried to do more 
than the law required me to do. It was not enough for 
me to do what the law specified. I tried to carry out 
anything and everything within my power in the in- 
terest of the public, that the law did not forbid. Very 
little time elapsed before I discovered that the strong 
have a way of sending special representatives to a state 
capitol, and that the weak and unorganized are not rep- 
resented at all, unless public officials constitute of them- 
selves their especial guardians. That was my view of 
public duty. 

One of the first things I had to decide was whether 
I would accept passes and permit my subordinates to 
use them also. In the past it had been the practice of 
all public officials I knew anything about, who could 
get passes, to take them, use them and charge up their 
railroad fare to the State just as though they had paid 
it. There was no commoner graft, and while petty in 
one, it amounted to a big total when all did it. There 
was no law then against accepting a pass on anything. 
It was easy to determine that the passes were sent to me 
as commissioner of railroads, and not personally. So 
to each railroad and other transportation company that 
sent a pass, I wrote the following : 

" Received as a courtesy extended to the State of 
Michigan, to be used as such." 

And of course I did not charge, or permit to be 
charged by subordinates, to the State, any railroad fares. 
The saving thus made was considerable in four years, 
but it was much greater in principle, because it was an 
index of that right performance, which made it im- 
possible for the many who subsequently delved into my 
record to " get anything on me." 




AS the Pingree second term waned the question of 
a successor to him began to seize all concerned. 
The political pendulum had been pushed by 
Governor Pingree as far as it would go in the reform 
direction and was already starting on a reverse oscil- 
lation. The McMillan machine had received a jolt that 
made it rickety. The railroads, between which and the 
McMillan bund there had been a partial truce, always 
sufficient in effect before the election of Governor Pin- 
gree to protect the transportation interests in the legis- 
lature and control the appointment of the railroad com- 
missioner, had been badly shaken up. At the same 
time, the Pingree organization had been flawed by the 
state militia exposures. It is always the case that polit- 
ical chaos produces numerous candidates. The mixed 
conditions during the last year of the second term of 
Governor Pingree did not prove an exception to this. 
Probably the McMillan machine showed the most vi- 
tality and best cohesiveness. While it failed to beat 
Alger with Ferry it easily defeated Albert Pack for 
United States Senator with Julius Caesar Burrows. 

Senator Stockbridge, who died in office, was succeeded 
by John Patton, of Grand Rapids. Governor Rich 
often showed signs of independence, and this appoint- 
ment of Mr. Patton was an instance. When the brief 



term served by Senator Patton expired, his place was 
taken by J. C. Burrows, of Kalamazoo. This result 
was a perfect mirror of existing political conditions. 
John Patton was a citizen of unusual strength. He was 
a lawyer, a man of culture and force, independent and 
courageous, desired only the best and acted upon well 
considered convictions. Naturally, he could not be 
handled willy nilly. The politicians and interests had 
no manlier of use for him because they could not use 
him. Politics appeared to be a question of profit of 
some kind for nearly everybody. Some one more bid- 
able than John Patton was wanted in the national 
Senate. Mr. Burrows, then for some time in the House 
of Representatives, was selected as the man. Delos 
Blodgett, a wealthy lumberman of Grand Rapids, for- 
got the amenities that are supposed to subsist between 
fellow citizens, in the desire that submerged him to 
have some one who would vote right on the lumber 
tariff and other things. Mr. Blodgett sought and ob- 
tained the McMillan vehicle, which was not difficult, 
because James McMillan, the senior senator, did not 
look pleasantly upon a junior senator of superior cul- 
ture, who would not play second fiddle to him. The 
machine worked so well that Mr. Patton got the guil- 
lotine expeditiously. It worked quite as well against 
Albert Pack, who had lined up with the Pingree forces 
and tried with their aid to beat Senator Burrows, after 
his first term. I had impotently supported both Patton 
and Pack. 

With these scalps in their belt the McMillanites quite 
confidently trotted out D. M. Perry, of Detroit, as a 
successor to Pingree. Aaron T. Bliss, of Saginaw, had 
the Alger-Ledyard railroad support. I was offered the 
support of one wing of the Pingree following, including 


that <rf Justus S. Steams, of Ludington, then secre- 
tary of state. It was not long after he had urged me 
to become a candidate for governor and had pledged 
his support to me, before he decided, as was his right, 
that he would be a candidate himself. This was the 
result of influence upon him by the Pingree wing that 
was not for me. It was the mercenary gang, and was 
stronger than the other following. Nevertheless, inas- 
much as I had made my announcement, I stuck to my 

James O'Donnell, of Jackson, a newspaper man of 
standing and ability, who had been in the house of rep- 
resentatives and also had been a candidate for governor 
several times before, announced himself. 

Lastly, the commissioner of insurance under Gov- 
ernor Pingree, Milo D. Campbell, of Coldwater, be- 
came a candidate. This made six candidates for gov- 
ernor to succeed Pingree. Three of them, Bliss, Ferry 
and Stearns were by reputation multi-millionaires. 
The other three, O'Donnell, Campbell and myself were 
comparatively poor men. I was youngest of all and, 
as I view things now, I was not qualified to be governor, 
although I am, even after sixteen years, unconvinced 
that I was not as well equipped as any of the others, 
which is not an immodest tribute to myself. 

There ensued the wildest use of money in politics 
that had ever occurred in the State. Such a fight as 
Ferry, Bliss and Steams put up had never been wit- 
nessed before. The serpent of corruption made a slimy 
trail all over the State, and debauched and debauchers 
could be tracked by the spoor of dollars. When the 
thing got hot, delegates were offered three thousand 
dollars for a single vote, and perhaps more. Friends 
of mine witnessed an offer of two thousand, five hundred 



dollars to a delegate favorable to me, and saw him 
refuse in anger. That honest man is Gilman M. Dame, 
since then for a time chairman of the Eepublican state 
central committee of Michigan. That act explains the 
origin of my friendship for him that began then and 
has subsisted without a break to the present time. 

I made a red-hot personal canvass as far and as fast 
as I could go. With no money to spend I was not 
tempted to spend any. O'Donnell and Campbell were 
in the same moneyless boat so far as concerned ability 
to compete with Ferry, Bliss and Stearns. My stock 
in trade was my political and administrative record up 
to date. As state game and fish warden I had done my 
best at every turn and had really gotten results. As 
commissioner of railroads I had enforced two-cent pas- 
senger fare laws for the first time in the history of the 
State; had climg to a policy of grade separation con- 
sistently and doggedly, only to see it die when I went 
out of office and remain unresurrected to this time — 
and had done all the law required and quite a good 
deal more. 

My grade separation work had just been tragically 
emphasized by an accident at Flint, in which Major 
Buckingham, Mrs. Applegate and Mrs. Humphrey had 
been killed. Application had been made for a certain 
grade crossing at Flint. The hearing was attended by 
a large number of citizens of that town, including 
Major Buckingham. That gallant gentleman had 
abused me roundly when I decided against those who 
desired the unopposed request. Special legislation was 
sought and obtained, reversing my decision in effect. 
The grade crossing was put in, and within a short time 
afterwards Major Buckingham and his guests were 
killed upon it 


The grade crossing policy caused more friction than 
anything else during my administration of the railroad 
commissioner's department. It was an active era of 
electric road construction. Very frequently indeed 
there was trouble over crossings between steam and 
electric roads. I was called upon almost continuously 
to grant hearings, at which appeared the best lawyers 
of the State and many capitalists. One incident dis- 
covered to me how the situation might be made extraor- 
dinarily profitable by one so inclined. 

I had made a decision requiring six grade separations 
to cost ten thousand dollars each, a total of sixty thou- 
sand dollars. The electric road builder who would 
have to do this work called upon me in my office 
early one forenoon, before the separation orders had 
been issued. After preliminaries he said he had come 
to "lose thirty thousand dollars under the carpet of 
my office.'* 

For just a moment I really did not understand him, 
but in the next half second it flashed to my mind that he 
was trying to bribe me. It was probably the play for 
me, according to the story books, to be insulted and 
knock my tempter down and throw him out, or do some 
such dramatic stunt. But I only saw the humor of the 
thing and told him that if the money was lost under the 
carpet, the janitor would find it after a while and return 
it, but he would lose his interest. 

Disgusted with what he appeared to think was my 
stupidity, he soon departed. 

It was the only time in my life that I have been 
offered a bribe. He was going to split fifty-fifty with 
me and not separate the grades. A lot of money to me 
was thirty thousand dollars, but it required no acces- 
sion of honesty to refuse it; in fact it was not even a 


temptation, and I did not seem to get for myself from it 
any real measure of my true character. 

The charm of the governorship campaign was the 
attitude towards me of certain personal friends and 
particularly of my home town and county, and the 
entire Upper Peninsula. I had every Upper Peninsula 
county behind me except Luce. The two delegates from 
Luce County were controlled for Steams by Con Dan- 
aher, a fellow lumberman. In the Lower Peninsula 
I did not have much support, but it was more than 
enough to offset the loss of Luce. 

The convention deadlocked, but not for long. The 
Ferry forces decided early that they were beaten. They 
caucused. Their leaders saw they might dictate the 
nomination by throwing to O'Donnell or to me. In a 
vote between us I lost by two. If the Ferry delegates 
had come to me I would in all probability have been 
nominated, because I had a large second choice fol- 
lowing, that would have come to me on the break that 
followed. Power above man pilots destiny. Bliss was 

I have always thought that James O'Donnell joked 
himself away from serious consideration. He was a 
fine man. In public he was a monologist, and came to 
be regarded as a funny entertainer. This threw a 
curtain over his solider merits. Ecclesiastes : " I)ead 
flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth 
a stinking savor; so doth a little folly him that is in 
reputation for wisdom and honor.'' 

Defeat for nomination as governor at the Grand 
Rapids convention did not in the least discourage me. 
On the contrary it opened my eyes. The three con- 
testing millionaires had spent three quarters of a mil- 
lion dollars. Disgust was written as large in the State 


as shame had been. It is as though the individual is 
a phagocyte and sustains the same relation to the great 
body politique as that bacillus does to the human body. 
When a sickness threatens death they are stimulated 
as never before to work to save it. 

I shared in the common desire for better and cleaner 
things. This was intense enough within me to cause 
me to decide that I would get out of politics and remain 
out until I could participate as an independent. 

There were only two ways then, and that is all there 
are now, by which a man could become a candidate. 
One was as the creature of interested persons, and the 
other was upon one's own initiative as an independent. 
In fact, the latter way offered the only possible chance 
for freedom in public service. I could not see how a 
poor man could be wholly independent under our polit- 
ical systems and conditions iihen, and cannot now. The 
thing then for me to do, I decided, was to make enough 
money to be independent and to make it by methods so 
honest that I could not reproach myself, or be assailed 
by an opponent or an enemy. It took me twelve years 
to do it. 

My next decision was to reenter politics, or at least 
to offer to serve, and particularly to expose and oppose 
all forms of political corrupt practice. My happiness 
was not to be found in holding office, but in work of any 
kind and in any and all directions, so far as my power 
went, that would help mankind. Nor could I convince 
myself that I was unselfish, because I soon found that 
there is more joy in offering to serve and in conscien- 
tiously doing one's best when opportunity comes. I 
was after that sweetness. 

Upon all sides I saw the hardness and the misery 
and the discontent of wealth. Strong men would phle- 


botomize everybody they could, and then in an angaish 
of remorse, seek happiness as professional philanthro- 
pists through channels of belated restoration, only to 
gather disappointment and increased bitterness. 

Somewhere between too much and too little is the 
economic Utopia that Solomon quotes Agur, the son of 
Jakeh, as praying for when he asks : " Give me neither 
poverty nor riches." 

That also became my prayer. I was thus, I think, 
prevented from having an incurable case of money 
grubbing. When my possessions got to the fairly cer- 
tain value of two hundred fifty thousand dollars, I di- 
verted all my strength to public service in any way that 
gave me a chance. 




FOR a period of years Indian after Indian brought 
me samples of ore: iron, copper, nickel, silver, 
gold. I paid no attention to any but iron. It 
is as staple as wheat. During the period of no snow 
I searched the wilderness of the North from one rock 
zone to another, and always and ever east to west across 
the continental formation. In the winter I traveled. 
My idea was to know my own country first hand. I 
found it did not cost any more to travel than to remain 
stationary. In fact I was able, by increased knowl- 
edge, to earn more by traveling than if I had stayed at 
home. It appeared to be just as easy in traveling to 
have my wife with me, as to leave her alone at home, 
and we were both benefited, and it made us more con- 
tented and happy. Searching for further justification 
for travel, I happened to hit upon the rather lugubrious 
fact that the world does very well without all of us, 
so far as we know, after death, and if so, it, or any 
portion of it, ought to spare us handily during life. 

Very early I discovered that in order to get the most 
good from travel, it was necessary to have clear-cut ob- 
jects and purposes. So I decided to visit all the places 
in the world, if possible, where iron ore is produced in 
commercial quantities. A big undertaking. Natu- 
rally that involved a study of other lands, their resources 



and geology. Even that was not enough, so I added the 
study of government, and particularly the methods of 
Colonial government adopted by those powers chiefly 
engaged in colonizing the world : Great Britain, France, 
Russia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Holland. 
At one time or another, those peoples, possibly except- 
ing Teuton and Slav, have ruled the earth. 

From the study of modern government it was an easy 
step to interest in the history of the yesterdays, and in 
dramatic personages such as Tsin, Akbar, Attila, Alaric, 
Timur Leng, Qenghiz Khan, Alexander, Xenophon, 
Cyrus, Xerxes, Napoleon and other first-class map- 
makers of the world. As a result I found myself travel- 
ing and studying the world in the winter and threading 
a frackless wilderness in the summer. It was an ideal 
and also a selfish life, which I was determined to desert 
as soon as I had visited every country in the world that 
had its own autonomy, and every suzerain state and 
colony of any importance. This my wife and I com- 
pleted to our satisfaction in 1913, after more than 
thirty years of travel. Before we left our own country, 
we went into every State and to Alaska and also visited 
our insular possessions as rapidly as they were secured 
by the United States. 

There is a romance about iron that has always fas- 
cinated me and it holds me yet as a magnet attracts. 
I wonder if the courageous men who seek it in the 
bowels of the earth realize their big part in the life of 
the world ? Do the brave, bare bodies, that reflect the 
furnace light and the gloating glow of the smelter, do 
their work because of a subtle subconsciousness of the 
fact that the wheels of the world and civilization would 
stop if they stopped? 

Iron ore and steel are of greater importance than 



wheat, because there are many good substitutes for 
wheat There is none for iron ore. It has a glory of 
usefulness all its own. Those who are associated with 
its production should know of the dignity of their call- 
ing; should realize it and then their hearts and souls 
would fill their big bodies until brawn and spirit are 
one, as an instrument of the joy of existence in the keen 
sense of service. There would be a brotherhood of iron 
that could not know strife if the totality of performance 
could be shown to the eyes of all those who inhabit the 
world of steel. Nor would its boundaries be smaller 
than those of the earth, for it would tie together the best 
developed American iron worker and the lowliest 

If the miner who blasts or shovels or trams a pound 
of iron ore could follow it to its destinations and uses, 
he would at once conclude that he is one of the most 
valuable and important factors of society. This is the 
truth. The same is true of the furnaceman and the 
foundryman, the worker in the steel mill, and the 
artisan of keen eye and trained hand who fashions the 
products of iron ore with mind and heart. True also 
of the master captains, who have organized the armies 
of the age of steel and iron, and who are really learning 
that their industrial soldiers give up their lives even 
more bravely upon the battlefields of constantly applied 
human effort, than those who rend each other at the can- 
non's mouth. 

From this realization it is only a step further to the 
practical conviction that they are entitled to even more 
consideration; to continuous employment (what kind 
of an army would it be that did not keep its soldiers 
constantly, but depended upon picking them up, belter 
skelter, when needed), to a minimum wage, to old age 


insurance and pensions, to adequate compensation for 
injury and death resulting from the risks of their work, 
to sanitary housing and moral environments. Menaces 
such as saloons are being removed. All of these things 
are of the moment. At first they were adopted because 
it is good business. Already they are reaching the 
deeper and finer source of their cause in the hearts and 
souls of mankind; in taking intimately home of the 
law of laws: I am my brother's keeper. And this 
must comprehend social kindnesses as well as economic 

When industry was young, master and servant com- 
posed the family. There was friendship and acquaint- 
ance and sympathy. When growth reached such^ an 
extent that the master could not know his many servants 
and feel for them deeply, labor troubles began to beget. 
With the advent of artificial masters, corporations bom 
by the law, marblesque and lacking human responsi- 
bility, the hiatus between master and servant widened 
almost unbridgeably. The cure is coming; is on the 
way; has already arrived sporadically, in the re-human- 
izing of industry. 

Only can this finally be achieved by the master 
thinking as the servant thinks, and the servant thinking 
as the master thinks. There will then be no master and 
servant as now defined. Rather there will be such a 
mutualization as will make for leader and led; for 
helper and helped. 

Famished are the masses for want of human recog- 
nition and consideration. They unconsciously resent 
arrogance and overlordship with its coldness and auto- 
cracy; even the benevolent despotism of money. In 
America this is more true than it is in other countries. 

Hunger for freedom, for equality, for opportunity. 


for escape £rom the oppression of false human pride has 
milked the best of the earth into our national paiL 
Here they swiftly obtain and ravenously cherish the 
wholesome idea that one man is as good as another. To 
believe that way; aye, to feel it in their heart of hearts, 
is why they have come here from the valleys and moun- 
tains of the earth. 

Then when they see Old Man Slobson's son Andy 
throwing on dog, chest swelled, elephantiasis of the cra- 
nium, hard of voice and glassy of eye, bossing them 
around like dogs, running over their children in his 
automobile and running over them in his manner, the 
very devil in them is aroused. Tbey have known Old 
Man Slobson since boyhood; worked underground and 
on the surface with him, and they know that Andy is no 
better than they are. 

But he is stronger, he can drive them; yes, and he 
can also enrage them. The artificial master without 
heart or conscience has set Andy up over them to grind 
their bodies and their souls. As an emolient to passion 
they do build libraries and clubs and schools, and gym- 
nasia and such things, and these are all very well, but 
they mean nothing at all in the way of removing the 
sharp instruments, pride and power, tiiat are digging 
away at the tender spots in labor's manhood. 

Everything physical may be supplied to those who 
work under bosses, good wages enough and all, and they 
will remain discontented and rebellious until the human 
touches are supplied: love, fraternity, association, kind 
words and deeds from the heart and not from the pocket 
book ; real interest transcending commercial concern. 

There never has been labor trouble where there has 
been personal understanding, personal acquaintance, and 
personal friendship, regard and respect between em- 


ployer and employee. I know, because I have been an 
employee with pick and ax and barrow and shovel, and 
many a time I have felt like smashing the head of an 
arrogant boss, not because I was hungry, but because I 
was not treated as considerately as I would have been if 
I had been a brute. 

I guess we got off the iron ore trail, but not far, for 
it leads into the hearts and minds of men, as well as into 
their arms and backs and purses. 

There is war, that leveler of society ; the great master 
surgeon of nations, operating upon the earth as the in- 
dividual surgeon operates on the body. The knife is 
guided by the same unerring hand, directed by the All- 
seeing eye, and as the layman cannot see and know the 
mysteries of the hospital operating room, just so we 
cannot comprehend the purposes of the Great Surgeon 
of the universe. 

Into cannon and into the surgeon's knife enter iron 
ore. The bellowing death of one and the delicate life- 
saving of the other, involves the use of steel. They 
were a lump of iron ore yesterday. Great locomotives 
made from iron rush over rails of iron ore, performing 
missions of peace and war. Harvest fields are gambo- 
gian in their ripeness and renitent until the reaping 
machines come. Then they lie down peacefully with 
that child of iron ore. 

When the Crusader dreamed and gave his life to 
recover the land of Christ, the sword that gleamed with 
the glory of heaven and the zeal of deep desire was a 
thing of iron ore. The bread we eat is baked in pans 
made from iron ore, in ovens made from iron ore. 
Our span of life is ticked off by springs of iron ore in 
clock and watch. 

Huge pumping engines, made from iron ore, handle 


water through pipes of iron ore for all the purposes of 
life. Ocean steamships^ made of iron ore, throb with a 
life that is more than artificial. Giant cranes, made 
from iron ore, move about in Gargantuan majesty. 
One can look nowhere and think nowhere without en- 
countering manifestations of iron ore dug out of the 
earth and handled purposefully by real men. There 
is iron ore in our blood and body. 

It is the age of iron ore. Let those who produce it 
hold up their heads with dignity and walk erect among 
men. They give to it their lives that it may serve man- 
kind. No wonder the sewing machine and the auto- 
mobile and the locomotive and the ship and all the 
things made from iron ore are so human. They are 
human, in that they have cost myriads of lives while 

A workman's average working life is twenty years. 
Many labor for a longer time, but few are at their 
best for even twenty years. A prize fighter's life is ten 
years. The same forces are employed by the prize 
fighter and the skilled mechanic. Of course the latter 
applies them to higher purpose. He hammers some- 
thing into useful shape, while the pugilist is hammering 
something into useless shape. 

The heart beats seventy times a minute; forty-two 
hundred times an hour; one hundred thousand times a 
day; sixteen million times a year, and as many times 
sixteen millions as a person lives years. Each time the 
heart beats it lifts nearly a half pound of blood, and all 
of the twenty to thirty pounds of blood in the body are 
forced through the heart and lungs every minute. Each 
heart beat represents a punctuation of death. Just as 
the tick-tock of a clock tells off a measure of time that 
will never be again for you and me, so does each heart 


beat reduce, the total heart beats. The moment a child 
is born it begins to draw upon its bank account of ex- 
pectant heart beats and expend them. A third of life is 
utilized in preparation for that portion of the span that 
is useful in a creative sense. 

Every time an iron worker, or any other, lifts his 
hand or bends his back, just as many heart beats as oc- 
cur during the time required for these physical demon- 
strations are expended, and the worker has given of his 
life in the proportion that they bear to all of the heart 
beats he will be vouchsafed. 

In this way may be had some idea of exactly how 
men and women give their lives in labor. It may be 
imagined, if not yet quite proven, that their lives enter 
into their productions affecting the character or quality 
of the article that is made. It is well known that the 
work of prisoners never makes for perfection. The 
more deeply one is in love with his work the better the 
product, and the happier the performance. All great 
inventions have resulted from freedom of effort ap- 
plied with love. 

When we think in this way we are not unreasonable 
if we think we can detect man's life in all those things 
that are commonly called artificial, just as we may so 
plainly see God in everything. 

In order to do the best work it follows that the worker 
must love to work and be loyal to self and to employer, 
whether the employer is yourself or some other. This 
feeling is possible in any degree of purity only when the 
spirit of the worker is permitted to flow freely, without 
being dammed by resentment and bitterness. 



THE origin of iron ore is a mystery just as all 
things are a mystery, unless one has faith enough 
to find the cosmic cause in God. Iron is present 
in some form in almost everything. Economic geolo- 
gists know a good deal about how it has been gathered 
and deposited as it is found in the earth. Also there 
is a good deal yet that they do not know, which makes 
their work all tie more interesting. 

Iron present in solution in the subterranean hydro- 
sphere has been deposited upon impervious basements. 
Sometimes there have been lithospheric and atmospherie 
actions causing mechanico-chemical alterations that have 
won the iron ore. 

The most interesting and most modem discovery is 
that iron ore is made by bugs. European physicists 
have known for some time of the existence of what is 
called iron ore bacteria. Now the fact is commonly 
accepted in America. 

E. C. Harder and R. T. Chamberlain, well-known 
American geologists, mining engineers and investi- 
gators, attribute the great iron ore deposits in the Ita- 
bira district of Minas G^raes, Brazil, to iron ore bac- 

With great respect for the basic flow theories of Van 
Hise and Leith, and equal regard for the similar ideas 



of igneous influence held by T. C. Chamberlin and 
Salisbury, they did not find sufficient evidence of vol- 
canic intrusions in Brazil and were compelled to look 
further for a source. Referring to the Itabira forma- 
tion Harder and Chamberlain say in the Journal of 
Geology, Vol. XXIII, Part I, No. 4, May-June ; Part 
II, No. 5, July-August, 1915 : 

"The Batatal schist represents a slackening of sedimen- 
tation from the rapid deposition which characterized the 
laying down of the sands composing the Oanaga quartzite. 
This slackening of clastic sedimentation continued until 
the close of the Batatal epoch, when very little clastic 
material was being washed into the sea in the region con- 
sidered. The land presiunably had become so low as to yield 
very little mechanical sediment, and with the lowering of 
the land surface there was probably combined a gradual re- 
treat of the shore line. Simultaneous with the great di- 
minution of mechanical sediment deposited in the area 
under consideration, there commenced a precipitation of 
ferric hydroxide from solution, materials in solution being 
probably carried beyond the border of the region of clastic 
sedimentation. This precipitation may have been due^ 
either to purely chemical reactions taking place in the sea, 
or perhaps to the operation of the well known iron bacteria, 
which cause the deposition of ferric hydroxide from waters 
containing ferrous carbonate in solution. These iron bac- 
teria are said to possess the peculiar property of utilizing 
as food, the carbon dioxide locked up in very dilute solu- 
tions of ferrous carbonate. Ferric hydroxide is left behind 
and is deposited as a sediment. . . . Not haying much con- 
fidence in the hypothesis that the iron oxide was precipi- 
tated directly from sea water by ordinary chemical means, 
we prefer to turn to the iron ha^teria as perhaps forming 
a better working hypothesis. . . . Xt is now known that 
much of the bog iron ore being formed in lagoons at the 
present time is the result of the activity of a certain group 
of bacteria known as the iron bacteria. The iron bacteria 
include many individual species, of which the thread bac- 


teria Ohlamydothrix, Gallionella, Spirophylliun, Crenothriz, 
and Olonothrixy and the coccus form SideT0cai)6a have per- 
haps been most carefully studied." 

Van Hise and Leith do not claim that all iron ores are 
deposited or concentrated by fire action. They only 
suggest that the great iron ore bodies in the Michigan 
and Minnesota ranges of the Lake Superior region have 
come from associated basaltic lavas, either from the 
magmatic waters or from chemical reactions between the 
hot basic lavas and the ancient sea waters. 

Iron bacteria live in either standing or running clear 
waters that contain iron compounds. Turbid waters^ 
and those containing much organic matter, do not offer 
them asylum. So active are iron bacteria in making for 
conditions that leave ferric hydroxide behind, that water 
pipes of cities where the water contains ferrous car- 
bonate have been known to be completely closed by them. 

Sheaths of dead iron bacteria have been found in 
multitudes in limonite deposits. Enormous deposits of 
several kinds of iron ore are known to result from the 
work of iron bacteria. It is believed that the vast 
Brazilian deposits, among the most extensive known, 
were formed with comparative rapidity. Winogradsky 
offers a chemical formula in explanation of the methods 
of iron bacteria. Little enough is yet known about 
them. It is not beyond reason that they are at the very 
threshold of life origin, and work as mitosis and metab- 
olism, one set of bacteria performing anabolism, and 
another katabolism — one building as the other tears 
down. So much for the bugs that make iron ore. They 
are closely akin to the enzymes that seem to be every- 
where and in everything. 

What mostly is of importance is that iron ore exists 


and that it is distributed all over the earth with fine 
reference to economic convenience. Another thing is 
known to be a fact and that is that James J. Hill's 
statement that there would be an exhaustion of l^e 
world's supply of iron ore within a few years, is inac- 
curate. There is enough iron ore known of to supply 
the world for centuries, and not a tithe probably of what 
exists has been discovered. 

The fascinating truth that iron bacteria are manu- 
facturing new deposits all of the time is not of great 
importance in bearing upon supply, for while it is be- 
lieved that ore bodies are created with greater rapidity 
than was formerly thought, it cannot be hoped that na- 
ture is now keeping up with man's demands. 

It is interesting to contemplate that the greatest oper- 
ated deposits of iron ore in the world are located in 
arctic and sub-arctic regions, or in zones where nearly 
half the year is winter, as in the Lake Superior country. 
This may be partially accounted for by the potentiality 
of and volume of conunercial activity in the colder re- 
gions, for there are extensive iron ore formations in the 
tropics and sub-tropics. 

Kemember also that iron bacteria live in clear water 
and are not at home in impure water. In the colder 
regions water is most likely to be pure ; in hotter zones 
it is most apt to be impure. 

Along the isothermal of half a growing year and 
half a resting year life is intense, as the period of 
inertia is perfect rest. Consequently here Nature 
seems to do more work than in the tropics, and of a bet- 
ter quality. This is proven by the extreme tilthfulness 
of certain sections of the Lake Superior region and of 

There are several kinds of iron ore if consideration is 


given to close technical classification. For the practical 
purposes of the explorer and prospector it is almost 
enough to know iron stone from other stones. Next he 
learns that magnetic ore or magnetite attracts the com- 
pass needle and that hematite ore does not. By ^^ heft- 
ing " it in his hand and by scrutinizing the texture he 
can give a close guess to its percentage of metallic iron 
content; can come quite close to it by weighing it in 
the air and in the water, so as to learn the relative spe- 
cific gravity of the specimen under examination. If 
there is much sulphur it is indicated by a showing of 
iron pyrites. 

Phosphorus is a disturbing component and can only 
be determined by analysis. Titanium is worst of all 
and cannot be detected without an analysis. It is al- 
most never formidably present in hematite. Upon be- 
ing powdered, hematite shows reddish, hence its name. 
Magnetite powder black and limonite, yellow. It is 
not important to recognize martite independently. In 
America better ores rendered siderite valueless for a 
time, although it is profitably mined in Austria and also 
in Canada. 

Once it was supposed that all iron ore deposits of 
sufficient size to be commercially valuable, showed an 
outcropping somewhere. This idea has been abandoned 
for the more accurate one that all iron ore formations, 
near enough to the surface to contain reachable enrich- 
ments, show somewhere upon the surface. Where they 
dip below the top of the ground they may be traced 
accurately nearly always by the use of dial compass and 
dipping needle; preferably the former. All magnetic 
ore formations are easily mapped. Zones of hematite, 
taconite, siderite, itabarite and some others, can be de- 
pended upon to have formational attraction that can be 


utilized very satisfactorily in mapping. Limouite, mar- 
tite and kindred bog ores, may possess no associated 
magnetism and consequently, if covered by much over- 
burden, their discovery is accidental, through the chan- 
nels of excavations and erosion artificial and natural. 
Where igneous flows intrude sedimentary rocks, the 
iron hunter looks with greatest care. 



IN general iron ore reconnoissances where much ter- 
ritory must be covered and frequent long marches 
made, little attention is paid to anything but out- 
cropping rocks. In this way alone it is possible almost 
beyond a doubt easily to determine whether a region 
contains an iron ore formation. This statement is pred- 
icated upon the fact of a reasonable frequency of rock 
exposures. In a land of tundra, and stream and glacial 
drift, more care must be exercised. 

Such a section is not attractive to the ordinary pros- 
pector. Sometimes it is the case that glaciers have cut 
off and picked up extensive iron ore lenses and trans- 
ported them for hundreds of miles. When the travel 
has been for a long distance, the ore is lost amidst the 
other glacial cargo or dissipated by water action upon 
lateral or terminal moraines. 

It may be possible that in some instances the ore 
may be carried for only a short distance and dumped in 
large pockets. Some keen geological observers contend 
that the iron ores of Michigan and Minnesota have been 
carried from the Lake Superior north shore in Canada 
in this manner. Interesting speculation if nothing 

When an iron ore region is f ound, more careful work 



is necessary in order to define the length, width and di- 
rection of the iron formation. Still more care must 
be given in order to find the richer concentrations that 
do not extrude obviously. 

To learn the boundaries of the iron formation^ the 
territory may be cut into sections, roughly mapped and 
then gone over expeditiously with eye for outcrops, and 
the dial compass and dipping needle for under-ground 

The search for " shipping " ore, that is ore that can 
be marketed to a profit, is most compelling, and in its 
prosecution hundreds of millions of dollars have been 
expended. The prospector does much preliminary 
work, which is sometimes rewarded. He follows every 
creek and even searches the river shores and especially 
at gorges, where rock formations are exposed. Ravines, 
gullies between hills, and every depression that is 
touched by running water may yield rich returns in 
knowledge. Cavities left by the overturned stumps of 
trees and the material clinging to their roots, may give 
up secrets never told before. A windfall in a forest 
in an iron ore country may expose as mudi ledge and 
fomation as could otherwii be done by the expenditure 
of thousands of dollars. Classification and study of the 
pebbles in a stream bed should not be neglected. 

I think the greatest charm of prospecting is not the 
hope of finding wealth ; it is the life in the clean, unhurt 
out-of-doors. Gt)d is in the lakes and streams, in the 
sky and stars, in the hills and valleys, in the throat of 
birds and even in the ululations of wolf, owl and frog, 
in everything, of everything — Everything. 

Time after time I have come upon a little lake set as 
a jewel in the hills that adorn nature's wedding ring 
to heaven, the circle of the horizon. No human eyes, 



perhaps not even those of the &liHiam4iaiuiting ahori^ 
inal north man, had ever beheld it. 

Then always I would kneel down on the escarpment 
and whisper a word of praise to God, or I would raise 
my eyes to heaven, drop my tump line to my chest, lift 
my hat and let my soul pour out in mute and helpless 
thanksgiving. I wish I could tell just how I felt at 
such times ; better yet, I wish every one might feel the 
same thing. No poet^s ecstasy or musician's rhapsody 
could be half so sweet, it seems to me, unless they are 
much the same. 

Lying at night on the rocks with only the starry 
heavens above me I seemed sometimes to hear with 
Pythagoras the music of the spheres. 

Prospecting in the north country is hard or easy, de- 
pending upon the prospector, his thoughts, his desires, 
his heart, his whole being. If he is so constituted that 
he can see and feel the divinely raptured solitudes, his 
life will be biggened and he will develop within him- 
self those rich tilings of spirit, that are worth more than 
even all the iron ore in the world ; also he may find the 
iron ore. 

I do not think I have reminded you, as having a bear- 
ing upon the selfish side of the proposition, that the iron 
ore of the world is worth more in dollars and cents than 
the combined value of all the diamonds, gold and silver. 
After manufacture, it possesses a greater money value 
than all the wheat in the world. But it is so big and 
common and near that it is not appreciated particularly 
any more than are pure air and sunlight. 

I am writing these things down because of my pre- 
viously stated belief that more iron ore exists and will 
be discovered in the future, than has been found in the 
past. North of us lies the vastest unexplored territory 


in the world. I refer to the Dominion of Canada. It 
is rich, and where it is untouched by man, it is clean. 
There is not a drop of unwholesome water nor any 
poisonous insects nor reptiles between Lake Superior 
and the aurora borealis. In summer there are mosqui- 
toes, black flies and noseeums, but these are only trifles 
to the real man. Even the poor Indian and Esquimo 
become immime to them, and then why should not the 
white man with his alleged superiority, if he really has 
the goods. To young men of courage and resource the 
limitless North offers the cleanest fight in the world, 
and if you win, the fruits of victory are plenteous and 

This cannot be said of Michigan, Wisconsin and Min- 
nesota, where exist the largest and richest iron ore 
deposits in the world, and where much ore will be found 
that is not known of now, because the possible districts 
are nearly all held by private owners. The great iron 
and copper companies have had visions, and have bought 
extensive holdings wherever there is a chance that values 
exist. I suppose there are two sides to this state of 
affairs, but I must confess that I think it is all wrong. 

Even the limibermen, who bought the public domain 
for a dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, reserve the 
mineral rights when they sell. Undeveloped wealth 
of this kind has been easy to hold so far. Frequently 
it has paid no tax at all and it never has paid enough. 
In Minnesota, before the Mesaba Range was discovered 
and even afterwards before the range had been mapped 
with any accuracy, lumbermen cut off pine and then 
abandoned their timber lands to the State. In quite a 
few instances valuable iron ore has been discovered 
upon these lands, from which the State receives a very 
considerable income in royalties. 

Author in typical primeval jungle on the Hudson Bay height 
of land 


When the United States Gtevemment survey was 
made in the Lake Superior country, any mineral values 
that were in evidence along the survey lines were faith- 
fully reported. There was not much value then to 
tempt them not to do so, because the country was new 
and without transportation facilities and generally un- 

Since that time a great deal of important geological 
work has been done by the Government, and by the 
States of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and 
others. This work has had particular economical pur- 

Such distinguished names as Douglas Houghton, 
Brooks and PumpeUy, Charles Wright, Irving, Smythe, 
Lane, Winchell, Chamberlain, Seaman, Van Hise, 
Leith, Hotchkiss, Merriam, Allen, Coleman, Miller and 
others are familiar to those who are interested. At a 
time when most of these men could have turned their 
knowledge into money, they have been ethical to an 
extent that is most praiseworthy. I do not know one of 
these who took advantage of his chance to make a profit ; 
not a single quack among them. 

Dr. B. C. Allen was the state geologist while I was 
governor of Michigan. I asked him why he did not 
endeavor to trace the Gogebic Range across the Wis- 
consin boundary southward. To the west across the 
Montreal Biver, the Gogebic Range takes the name of 
the Penoka. It has not yet been very productive of 
commercial ore bodies. I thought that to the south or 
southwest of Sunday Lake and Wakefield there might 
be values. Dr. Allen had been thinking along the same 
line and had even done a little work. He went into the 
field work there more eagerly. 

Soon he was approached by Chicago land owners 


who had the title to a wide area under ezamination. 
Dr. Allen came to me at once and asked me to advise 
him what to do. He greatly wished to see such drill- 
ing done as would expose the formation, but he did not 
wish to engage in private work for others while em- 
ployed by the State ; nor did he desire directly or indi- 
rectly to give data that belonged to all the people of the 
State to these few persons, in advance of his reports, 
which would convey the knowledge to the public. 

I told him to talk the matter over with the land 
owners and see if he could not get them to do drilling 
that would be of value to both the public and them- 
selves. He succeeded in this. 

The same question must have c6me to other state 
geologists many times. Their uniform attitude of un- 
selfishness and fidelity has impressed me deeply, and 
has helped me to higher planes of thought. Their fine 
character has not been known or appreciated by the 
public at large. 



THEBE is not in the whole world a shore line 
more interesting than that of the north coast of 
Lake Superior. Black and brown and green 
and gray and red cliffs guard there with as much im- 
portance aa though they were true continental shelves. 
At intervals crowning peaks, like Cape Choyye and 
Noble Promontory, stand up like titanic watch towers. 
Choyye and Oarganiua, as they are called commonly 
by llie few fishermen and Indians alongshore, supply a 
clew to the classical types of men who gave them name. 
Choyye was Capuchin, and the other was Babelais' 
monster. Behind Gargantua is Pantagruel, never men- 
tioned by the habitants. Just above they are better ac- 
quainted with Menebozho and his wife and two dogs. 
Never passes an Indian, whether Majinutin, Wauboosch 
or Nishishinawog or Bill Waiskai's grandfather, who 
does not place tobacco on the stone lap of the Indian 
god, next in power to Kitchee Manido. I have seen 
them do it ; sometimes hungrily and regretfully, because 
tobacco is tobacco among them. But if perchance co- 
incidence would note some evidence of the pleasure of 
the Chippewa Sphinx, such as the lessening of a gale, 
or the arrival of a breeze after days of doldrums, the 
stoical visage of the devotee becomes almost a «nm'liT^g 



The waters of Lake Superior are the coldest and the 
purest in the world, not even excepting Lake Baikal, in 
Siberia, and in their clearness, that must be seen to be 
realized, they offer the greatest possible contrast to the 
murky, sickening, hot infusorial waters of Victoria Ny- 
anza, the only body of fresh water that rivals it in size 
and that only in surface area. 

Eivers and creeks hurtle down from the height of 
land, which is from seventy-five to one hundred and 
fifty miles northward, as though glad to escape from the 
salt demons of Hudson Bay and Arctic Ocean. These 
rivers supply natural hatcheries for brook trout. This 
has given Superior, from Nepigon to Batchewaung, a 
bepurpled reputation among sportsmen everywhere. 
In the streams and along the rocks the trout fishing is 
unsurpassed. Perhaps the rock fishing offers the best 
sport. Little jagged bays filled with talus make shad- 
owy places where the shy fishes may hide. Benches of 
rock drop off into many crystal fathoms, and in their 
blackened cracks lurk old speckled kings that rise to flies 
eagerly, and would rather fight than eat. Olivines and 
epidotes make floors of verde antique, and pegmatite 
shows red as blood above and also beneath the waters. 
Columnar basalts, some lying like corded wood and 
others erect as the Giant's Causeway, occupy what were 
once crevasses in the granite gneiss and syenite before 
the molten lava filled the world-making mold. Beach 
line upon beach line, terraced, mark the recession of 
the contents of the earth's greatest basin of sweet water. 
Underneath the boulders of these beaches icy cold 
streamlets, from some spring or nearby rocky pool, flow 
into the lake with much gurgling glee. Sometimes these 
unseen laughing waters are boisterous, and one is called 
Noisy Eiver. The last ice belt disturbed many of the 


ancient beaches and pushed the boulders into heaps, at 
right angles to the lake, like so many lateral moraines, 
which they are not. 

There is not a house along hundreds of miles of 
shore. It is a wild bright land in the summer; death 
on all sides in the winter. Rock-embraced harbors are 
at intervals of twelve to twenty miles. Moose and car- 
ibou and red deer, bear and wolves and wolverines, 
beaver, otter and sable are in the hinterland, and birds 
and hares and little red squirrels and a few singing 
gophers. Summer companions are black flies and 
mosquitoes and midgets. Banksian pine on the slopes, 
spruce and balsam in the valleys, high bush cranberries, 
sand cherries, blue berries and Indian plums (shad 
bush berry), white birch, mountain ash, pinus strobus, 
tamarack, black currants, red raspberries, pin cherries, 
skunk berries, juniper, yew, seven bark wood and a lot 
more vegetation grows, and berries ripen in the fleeting 
period between snow and snow. 

It is a wild race between summer life and winter 
death. Ice does not thaw in the woodland lakes until 
June. Tripe de roche decorates the barren rocky 
tumuli and is sought by caribou, and when famine 
shows its bony clutches man also uses this rock tripe 
lichen for food. 

Some day no traveled person will be content until he 
has seen the north shore of Lake Superior. Now only 
a few fish boats ply there, and to visit the region, one 
must either take these or fit out an Indian Mackinac 
boat and crew, or have his own yacht. Inaccessible as 
it is, the north shore is visited by a good many each 
season, and sometimes thousands go to the often-crowded 
Nepigon. The beat stretch is the long one between 
Nepigon Bay and Bachewaung Bay. An ideal way is 


to coast along the shore in a Mackinac boat^ camping 
and fishing at the mouths of the many rivers, or where 
attractive coves lure one. 

Bock fishing is the most luxurious and artistic way to 
take trout. The rod must have plenty of backbone. 
A two and a half to a four ounce rod will give satisfac- 
tion on a stream, but off the rocks of Lake Superior a 
rod weighing from five to six ounces is better. Seated 
in an Indian boat of good size and plenty of free board, 
because summer squalls are fierce and sudden, with one 
Indian to row, and a parmacheenee belle leader and 
Montreal dropper, the gods of joy are awake. The In- 
dian, a Chippewa and probably from the tribe at Bache- 
waung, rows slowly and you cast towards the rocks. 
The water is as clear as plate glass and you can see the 
fish; see them dart into dark places under the rocks 
when they are frightened, and also see them plainly 
enough when they tower toward the surface, not unlike 
a swallow sweeping in midair, as they rise to the fly, 
swooping off if unhooked, or making such a gamy 
fight if caught. Artfulness is necessary, and one must 
be prepared to make a cast t)f forty to sixty feet and 
drop his flies as lightly as falling moth wings that do 
not splash. 

I have traversed every foot of the Lake Superior 
shore clear around. Bock study on the north shore is 
more interesting than fishing. I am going to tell you 
of two interesting shore exposures. If you are young 
and ambitious perhaps you will look them up and trace 
out their meaning. I know of only three other persons^ 
one of them Justice Joseph Hall Steere, of the Supreme 
Court of Michigan, who know them by name, and they 
have their information from me. This, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that these rocks have been seen by thou- 


sands. Dozens of times I have rowed past them with 
the late Alfred Noble, who was an engineer of the 
Pennsylvania tunnels and subways at New York, and 
who was largely responsible for the decision to make the 
Panama Canal a lock canal and not a sea level canal. 
Mr. Noble was one of the most able of Americans. He 
was a charming camp mate and most observant. Time 
after time we visited one of these rocks together be- 
cause it is on a famous fishing stretch, and he often 
went to it alone and with others, but he never recog- 
nized it. Each season I was determined to tell him, 
and then I would be tempted to wait and permit him to 
have the satisfaction of discovery. I went off to Africa 
and Madagascar for a couple of years, and while I was 
away Mr. Noble took the long rest. 

Those who fish the north shore know Brule Harbor 
and Indian Harbor as well as they know their own back 
yard, if they* possess a back yard. Just below BrulS 
Harbor debouches Old Woman's River in a bay, the 
bottom of which is covered with small boulders toward 
Brule, and sand carried out by the river on the other 
side. The boulder patch offers fine trout up to four 
poimds and on the other side of the sand, where the 
cliff rocks begin, and where for years lay the wreck 
of the Oolspie, a well-known tragedy of the shore, 
trout of five and six pounds may be killed. Noble 
Promontory, with a simian's fac6 when caught in right 
alignment, exults the landscape. About halfway to 
Indian Harbor is majestic Cape Choyye, and the fish- 
ing all the way is omsurpassed. There is not a harbor, 
even for small boats, between Brule and Indian Harbor. 
Just after leaving Choyye, bound down, quite a deep 
bay sets in. On the lower side a well defined sand spit, 
covered with stunted birch and conifers, makes a con- 


trast to the miles of frowning headlands on either side. 
At the bottom of this bay, just above a shelving beach 
where Justice Steere and I were once wrecked by a tidal 
wave, a little river flows in. It is the outlet of a chain 
of pretty lakelets. Exactly opposite the mouth of this 
stream, and concealing it from the view of a person 
rowing by, is a big, picturesque red rock. It is simply 
called the "redrock" and is a landmark. Standing 
more than a hundred feet high and some hundreds long 
and wide, it is as interesting as a Magna Mater when 
you recognize it as hematite iron ore. That it is very 
lean, so far as percentage of metallic iron content is 
concerned, is true, which does not detract from its inter- 
est and even value too, when considered as evidence. 

As one faces down stream on the right wall of the 
creek, a short distance from this hematite exposure, one 
can see a big showing of carbonate of iron — siderite. 
The district near these has not been carefully examined. 
For years I have hoped to find time to do so, and only 
tell of it now as my contribution in part payment for 
what I have learned from unselfish geologists and sur- 
veyors. Somewhere not far distant should be found 
valuable deposits of iron ore, so convenient for trans- 
portation as to be imusually desirable. 

Proceed with me down shore to Indian Harbor, on 
around the point and among the islands, whose water- 
worn caverns contain agates, chlorastrolites, thompson- 
ites, calcites and amethysts to be had for the gathering, 
to Gargantua. One passes within a foot of Menebozho 
and his wife and dogs if he cares to. Sail on past the 
hidden harbor that marks Gargantua, the entrance to 
which is closed by an island like a cork in the neck of a 
bottle. There is a lighthouse on the island. A couple 
of miles below the lighthouse one comes to a red shore 


line. It is prominent for a mile or more perhapcu I 
have never measured the distance. All these reddish 
" rocks " are lean hematite ore. If they were to be 
fonnd on the American side it would cause a sensation, 
and long ago they would have been owned by trusts. 

I cannot easily account for the reason why these 
really wonderful outcrops are not known. I took Kirk 
Alexander and Tom May, of Detroit, to see the big red 
rock first described and told them about it, and showed 
them the siderite in the creek. Only Justice Steere has 
been with me when I visited the meaningful iron ore 
shore line below Gargantua. Once he sailed past it 
with Michel Cadotte, a north shore guide and now in the 
Happy Hunting Grounds. 

Michel said, ^^ See rocks, not rocks, different from 

He tried to tell the Justice something but did not 
succeed, and it was my pleasure to impart the secret to 
hiuL It is not unreasonable to expect that there are 
richer concentrations near in a region of such extensive 
lean ore exposures. 

An iron formation skirts the Lake Superior north 
shore for hundreds of miles. iN'ot much work has been 
done along it because it is in Canada, where the mining 
laws act as both guardian and deterrent. Also interest 
in this field has been small because upon the American 
side there has been enough ore to supply the demand; 
ore of fine quality and attractive economic location. 

Two shipping mines on the north shore, the Helen 
and Magpie, near Michipicoten, have proved valuable. 
Quite a little is known about the Antikokan range in the 
Port Arthur district, and enough exploratory work has 
been done at different places to warrant the belief that 
the north shore will be highly productive. 


Another iron ore region of the north shore that is lit- 
tle known comparatively, lies adjacent to the Pukoso 
River, a half dajr^s row above the Michipicoten. A lit- 
tle work has been done along the Pukoso by Indians, 
trappers and lumberjacks, which is as good as saying 
that not much has been accomplished. There is an ex- 
tensive formation here of banded magnetite. Some of 
the bands are quite wide and rich. One day these ores 
will be won by electric concentration as at Moose Moun- 
tain, Dunderland and Lulea. Here the land may be 
staked. Most of the few claims that were taken along 
the Pukoso have been forfeited because of failure to ful- 
fill the requirements of the Canadian Mining laws. 

Even more attractive than the Pukoso country is the 
hinterland at Otter Head and above and below. I have 
seen good-looking surface showings over quite a wide 
stretch of country in this region, and believe confidently 
that the future will reveal iron ore and other mineral 

And so on I could tell such a long story of the attrac- 
tions and prospects of the Canadian north shore. It is 
a way that every age has, wherein young men contem- 
poraries sigh and state that there are not as many op- 
portunities now as when their fathers were boys. For- 
ever will this be true. The young man alert with in- 
dustry and ambition will have more chances than he can 
take advantage of; the other kind would not know it or 
avail himself if he were thrown among a million oppor- 
tunities. I would not urge the young man to money 
grub who is not compelled to; rather let him give of 
himself to society in some useful way as Theodore Roose- 
velt has done. All of us cannot be Roosevelts, but all 
of us can do our best, which will be something anyhow. 

To the young man who has not and must have, in 


order to steam himself up, the north is calling; the west 
is beckoning ; the soil is coaxing. Everywhere masters 
are in search of trustworthy, energetic, loyal youth. 
Never was there such an era of plenty to be plucked by 
all who will bestir themselves out of the common ruts of 
sloth and indolence. What a measure of boys I have 
gotten when I have had haK a hundred of them in the 
wilderness with me, and have offered a reward to all 
who would beat me to the bathing place in the morning. 
Out of fifty not more than one or two would race with 
me to the creek or lake near camp. When we had to 
break the ice in the late autumn in order to bathe fre- 
quently not one boy in a hundred would do it For 
near forty years now I have lived in the robust north 
and in winter I have taken a run naked and rolled in 
the snow every morning before breakfast, when in the 
woods, say at four o^clock. In all that time I have 
known of only one young man who would follow my ex- 
ample, without being ridiculed into it or compelled in 
some way. 

There are only two driving forces: one is necessity 
and the other is love, and the latter is best. One may 
have love of work without necessity, and the effort is 
noble that is thus made. Kecessily and love together 
beget twice-born offspring. 






ONE winter near the close of the last century, I 
found myself alone in Europe engaged in visit- 
ing iron ore fields. I started in the United 
Kingdom and then proceeded to Spain, where I found 
the old Bilbao district of consuming interest. I did not 
tarry long in Italy but proceeded into Gfermany and on 
into Eussia, and over the Urals. Doubling bade I went 
into Finland at Helsingfors. North tOsUleaborg I 
found good enough railroad conveniences, with women 
for sleeping car attendants. At Uleaborg I decided to 
travel on north to Tornea, at the head of the Gulf of 
Bothnia, and around the gulf to Lulea in Sweden. As 
usual, not two persons told me the same distance. The 
map route measured about three hundred miles, but 
there was no road, and all the way until we reached 
Haparanda a direct course would be impossible. My 
destination was the Gellivare, Kirunavaara and Luosa- 
vaara iron ^s^ricts in Lapland, all within the Arctic 
zone. It would have been easier and quicker to have 
doubled back to Abo, thence to have gone across the Bal- 
tic through the beautiful Aaland Islands to Stockholm, 
and north through Upsala to Lulea and Gellivare by 
rail. But I had a chance to go among the Lapps and 
traverse an Arctic region that is visited almost never 



in the winter, and seldom enough in the summer. It 
was middle February. The weather was below zero all 
the time, and some of the time far below. There was 
plenty of snow. I engaged several Lapps and enough 
reindeer to draw me and them, having at the time 
no idea how many would be required. To my com- 
plete surprise I learned that men, women and children 
would all go with me. It was interesting. Rarely 
will Lapp families permit themselves to be sepa- 
rated. When they get down to brass tacks the women 
are the rulers. I made all of my arrangements with a 
squat, fat, little head man or chief, but I noticed that 
he engaged in frequent consultations with his wife. 
The greater number of them are Lutherans and good 
and kindly, but an exceedingly independent people. 
Resembling the Esquimo in physique they possess a bet- 
ter intellect, and temperamentally are more like the Ka- 
chins of Upper Burma or the Thibetans. I am just 
about six feet tall. There was not a Lapp in my party 
that could not walk erect under my arm extended hori- 

Men, women and children are fat iChd greasy, and as 
they seldom bathe they are, in a sense, dirty. Such 
habits of life as they have could not endure in a land 
less clean and wholesome. In all Lapland there is not 
an unclean thing except the Lapps, and really I soon 
forgot to think of them as being dirty, even with the 
contrast they made to the sweet air and the immaculate 
snow. As a people they are rich and independent. 
Their government is tribal, and to a considerable extent 
it is communal. 

There had been a famine in the north Baltic and 
Bothnian regions, and zealous persons, who too often 
make it their profession, had been collecting money 


from liberal countries for their relief. None of this 
was desired by the Lapps or accepted by them. There 
was no poverty among them, and while their standards 
of living are not high, they never are in want of neces- 
saries. Property is not held in common exactly, but 
may be used in common in case of need. I saw one 
chief Lapp of whom it was said that he owned twenty 
thousand reindeer. He was a Lapp millionaire but did 
not conduct a reindeer trust. 

Wealth in Lapland is measured in reindeer. They 
are everything, and when compared with gold they take 
on a warmth of value that is appealing. The Lapp 
drinks the milk of the reindeer, eats its flesh, makes 
clothing of its skin; weapons, implements, furniture 
and harness of its bone. He even uses its hair for many 
purposes and the sinews and viscera are very valuable. 
Fancy being able to do this with a chunk of gold. A 
drink of milk of gold would be a mockery, and if you 
do not believe it just take a swallow of the delusive 
German goldwasser beverage. The yellow metal is only 
a convenience. It has no real value and is only a meas- 
ure of or representative of value. It is a necessity, no 
doubt, but it is also concentrated selfishness, and give* 
people an incurable disease that permits a few to con- 
trol the wealth of the world to an extent greater than is 
for the good of mankind. Robinson Crusoe could do 
nothing with gold, but he could have done famously 
with a reindeer. 

The Lapps almost worship them, but do not treat them 
with the demonstrations of endearment that a Bedouin 
lavishes upon his she camel, only because that is not 
their nature. In the winter they feed their working 
reindeer on rock lichens or reindeer moss. They are 
kept in the lowlands and valleys in the winter. Dur- 


ing the short season of summer they are herded at an 
elevation that insures cool^ if not cold weather and even 
snow, for they die off if subjected to warmth. In this 
respect they are like the llama that will not thrive in 
most of the Andean lands below an altitude of two or 
three thousand feet. The Lapps themselves fare better 
in the highlands in summer and there they go. 

Christmas is their great feast day. It is also their 
funeral season. They bury their dead once a year. 
Preserved in snow and ice during the year, corpses are 
disinterred from their frigid temporary mausoleum at 
Christmas and given a ceremonial, final burial. 

A reindeer sledge is quite exactly like a Hoosier hog 
trough. It is hollowed out of a log about four feet, 
sometimes four and a half feet, long and rounding, log- 
shaped on the bottom. This causes the thing to roll 
over if given any kind of a chance. To acquire the 
art of riding in one is a similar experience to learning 
to ride a bicycle, and something like learning to swim. 
A six-foot body crumpled into a four-foot sledge and 
calked with furs is at first a clumsy arrangement, but 
it is possible for it, as I found, to become a part of 
the sledge when the feat of balancing comes to one. It 
does come, for all of a sudden your mental gyroscope is 
automatic, and you do not know how you have done it. 

A sledge may be drawn by one, two or three reindeer 
with spare and bare animals trotting behind or along- 
side. There was never less than two hitched to my 
sledge. This was done by fastening a reindeer thong, 
a Boer would call it a riem, to the bow of the sledge, 
passing it between the legs of the reindeer and tying it 
to a hames at the breast of the base of the neck and 
below. These hames were made of reindeer ribs and 
fitted snugly. They never seemed to gall. The second 


reindeer was attached tandem by fastening the single 
tug to the first one, just behind the hames. And so on 
the third would be tandem also. Headmen at ceremo- 
nies sometimes have fifty or even more reindeer in a 
tandem team, and then it is not imcommon for several 
sledges to be tied together^ one behind the other. 

The food and its preparation was very interesting. 
The headman had several pots of iron and tin. Pot 
hooks of bone and bone spoons were common to all. 
Quite a few of them^ both women and men, carried 
crude, home-made knives; there were also skinning 
knives of bone. My headman had a little, solid silver, 
home-made pipe, not much bigger than the Japanese use. 
He kept this going with a mixture of coffee and tobacco. 
Everybody smoked, mostly bone pipes, if they had the 
"makings." These pipes, and particularly the silver 
ones, would get very hot, but the Lapps seemingly were 
unmindful of this. The chiefs cooking was all done in 
pots. Fuel had to be carried and was scant. 

Some of the others cooked, or rather heated their 
meat, by placing hot stones in birch-bark buckets con- 
taining water. No stop of any kind was made without 
boiling the coffee pot. It was carried by hand, and as 
its contents were water and milk and coffee, it was han- 
dled carefully. For seasoning the coffee the Lapps use 
salt and pepper instead of sugar; not much salt, but 
plenty of pepper. All hands drank out of the coffee 
pot, using it as a loving cup. There was always plenty 
of hair in the coffee. This kept it from slopping out 
as it was carried, and also compelled one to strain it 
through his teeth in order to drink with comfort. Tlie 
Paraguayans have a better way in taking their yerba 
mat6. They suck it through a stem to which a little 
woven wicker sieve is attached. 


We also had raw, frozen fish for a delicacy. The 
raw fish made me sick finally and I gave it up, since 
which time I have been unfriendly even to sardellen 
and kindred preparations. I do not like to be finicky 
about eating, because I have always thought that it is a 
measure of mental breadth and elasticity. Notwith- 
standing, I do not like raw fish. Bah I 

For bread we had imleavened cakes made from flour 
and the ground bark of the dwarfed popple and birch. 
I thought I could tell the popple cakes from the birchen 
cakes by their greater bitterness. These cakes had been 
baked for a long time ; weeks, months or years before, I 
do not know which. 

At night they would erect skin tepees if it was stormy ; 
in fact, almost always we put them up. If the wind 
blew hard, snow would be piled around the bottom. I 
have only occupied an igloo a few times, but I have an 
idea that they are warmer than the reindeer skin house 
used by the Lapp. Sometimes I tried to sleep in my 
sledge, but I would get cramps and would have to dig 
out and stretch. During the day I often walked for a 
change. Always while so doing I would be chagrined 
because I had to make an extra effort to keep up with 
the stride of the reindeer, and the goose waddle of the 
Lapps. There were seventeen in the party, including 
me. The Lapps were of all sizes and sexes. There 
was no s6x false delicacy, but social morals are rigidly 

The snow-covered wastes were like almost level plains 
and the hardened surface made walking easy. We had 
fourteen sledges and ninety-one reindeer. Some of the 
animals were too young to work and some of them were 
used only as milk cows. Forage made up the most of 
the cargo. Fuel too. We had no vegetables of any 


kind. The Lapps and Eskimos seem to be immune to 
scorbutica! attacks. 

We met with no unsxirmountable obstructions. Mak- 
ing short cuts across fjords brought us up against wind- 
rows of ice and snow sometimes which forced detours, 
or made negotiation more or less exacting. The weather 
much of the time was clear and cold, and in morning 
and evening and at night the air would contain fine ice 
particles. I had seen the same conditions in the Lake 
Superior and Hudson Bay regions. We were follow- 
ing the Arctic Circle at about 66° north, varying. Our 
course was at first north, then northwest, then west and 
then south. In the middle of the day the sun was 
warm and dazzling, and I had to protect my eyes from 
snow blindness. The Lapps were not bothered with 

We had a few pairs of skis, but had no use for them 
until we reached a Lapp town or winter encampment 
between Haukipudas and Pudasjarvi. They were pre- 
paring for a big hunt on skis for wolverines, the great 
enemy of the young reindeer and the subject of intense 
dislike by the Lapps. If I could have done so, and I 
could not, I would not have told them that they call 
the people Wolverines where I lived. Probably they 
would have dumped me in a snow cave and speared me 
with a dull bone spear and left me. 

I wonder why they call Michigan folk Wolverines? 
They are not gluttons, and that animal was never nu- 
merous in the State. 

My party joined the wolverine hunt. A great cir- 
cle was formed and the contraction of it was achieved 
in good order, with much guttural yelling. A lot of 
wolverines were rounded up, some of which escaped the 
steel and also bone pointed spears. Twenty-nine were 


killed. This was enough to warrant a celebration and 
feast. Much peppered coffee was drunk and reindeer 
meat consumed. There were ski races, reindeer races 
and spear-throwing contests. 

It was good to note the complete absence of alcoholics. 
Not even the headmen had guns or pistols. I noticed 
that a good many of the Lapps from farther north had 
a dangerous-looking weapon made from a stone tied with 
a thong like a sling. The rock was not supposed to 
leave the sling when thrown. They use it in capturing 
ptarmigan and for several hunting purposes. 

I could not tell very nearly how far we traveled each 
day. Some days we seemed to make good marches and 
upon others we would not go as far. I think the least 
distance covered in a day was ten miles and the great- 
est probably thirty, with an average perhaps of sixteen. 
We did not go into Haukipudas where I had expected to 
check up. There were several camps en route but they 
were movable and temporary. I managed to recognize 
Simo and also Kemi and I estimated that we should 
soon arrive in Tornea. In this I was mistaken, and the 
first thing I knew we had passed it and arrived in Ha- 
paranda, from which point there is a marked road to 
Lulea by way of Nederkalix and Tornea. 

Tornea is at the mouth of the Tome Elf, which flows 
out of the arctic lake Tome Trask, and I had hoped to 
see it. At Tornea our road, much of it so drifted as to 
be totally unrecognizable, intersected a road between 
Lulea and Gellivare. 

We had crossed a number of rivers, called johL in 
Finland and elf in Swedish. They are considerable 
streams, as the Bothnian drainage basin extends eight- 
tenths of the way to the Arctic Ocean, leaving only a 
comparatively narrow strip between the height of land 





and the ocean. There are low mountains between the 
rivers, and thinly interspersed are fringes of scra^y, 
dwarfed trees, mostly birches, none of them exceeding 
a height of ten or twelve feet. Their crooked, gnarled, 
scarred boles suggested gnomes or little, old, dried-up 
Japanese men and the dwarfed trees they delight in ctd- 

I did not see much evidence of life, but there was 
more than I expected to find inland. There are Arctic 
hares, foxes, wolverines, polar bear (not many), wild 
reindeer or caribou, ptarmigan and two large gallinae, 
something like blackgame. The bigger one of these 
edible game birds weighs ten to twelve pounds. They 
are not plentiful. 

The only hardship I suffered worth considering was 
the food, and I think that I would not have minded that 
much if I had not been made sick by the raw fish. At 
first I did not know a word of Lappish, and not one of 
my Lapps knew a word of English. It took forty-one 
days to make the trip. Every day I learned several 
words, and it was not long before I could get along very 
well. One also becomes an expert pantomimist. 

I was glad to reach Lulea. After an inspection of 
the successful electrical concentration works, that refine 
the Gellivare magnetite, I was ready to proceed to the 
source of the ore at Malmberg, near Gellivare. A rail- 
road built to haul this iron ore to the sea offered a very 
good passenger service. I think it was the first rail- 
road to be built in the Arctic zone anywhere in the 

At Gellivare I found the manager of the mines a most 
engaging and hospitable gentleman, who had visited the 
Michigan iron mines. He was gracious in every way 
and made my visit to Gellivare pleasant and memorable. 



I studied the ore and iron formations there for a few 
days and went on to Kirunavaara and Luosavaara« 
The railroad was being continued by the Swedish gov- 
ernment to these great ore fields, and in conjunction 
with J^orway across the Riksgransen to an Arctic open 
seaport, now called Narvik, on Ofoten Fjord. 

Before leaving for Kirunavaara I climbed the Dun- 
dret, a famous mountain near Gellivare, to see the mid- 
night sun. It is scarcely worth while to do this if one 
is to remain long in the " Land of the Midnight Sun," 
because no special trip is necessary to see it 

I stopped for a day at Boden, where I witnessed the 
work of construction upon quite a formidable fort Swe- 
den was building to protect that portion of the boundary, 
and especially the new railroad, from the dreaded Rus- 
sians, Wherever I went in Northern Sweden I found 
a shadowy fear of the beards claws, and well-informed 
Swedes seemed to be certain that in the long run the 
new Arctic railroad would fall into the hands of the 

In the more populous portions of Sweden the polit- 
ical topic most discussed was the strained relations be- 
tween Norway and Sweden. There was more agitation 
in Norway over this than in Sweden. It was freely 
predicted that Norway would secede from the Scandi- 
navian Union with Sweden, and that perhaps there 
would be war. Upon my return to the United States I 
was roundly abused by Swedish-American newspapers 
for a statement of my belief that the Union would not 
endure much longer. The only thing that prevented 
actual hostilities when the break came was the courage 
and preparedness of Norway, the Norse reputation for 
valor, and the conviction on the part of Sweden that 
Norway could neither be conquered nor coerced. 

. I 



CROSSING the Arctic Circle anywhere the route 
on north is a bleak one in the winter. Snow 
fields, bare, cold, gaunt, rocky ridges, almost n6 
sign of vegetation or animal life, make a region that 
would repel anything almost but selfish or needful men. 
Infrequently I saw Lapp winter camps. It is a lone- 
some world. All visitors to the far north notice the 
oppressive stillness : " the muffled footfalls of silence," 
as quiet as a noise too great to hear. 

The Kirunavaara-Luosavaara iron ore fields contain 
the most extensive deposits of magnetite known in the 
world. It may be that they possess a greater tonnage 
than any, even more than the Mesaba of Minnesota, or 
the Itabira, of Minas Geraes, Brazil. They are located 
in the northwest part of Swedish Lapland, well within 
the Arctic Circle, and not far from the boundary be- 
tween Norway and Sweden. 

The region had not been thoroughly explored when I 
visited it in the last decade of eighteen hundred, but 
enough was known to warrant expensive measures to get 
the ore into the markets of the world. Since the first 
attack upon it much more has been learned, until there 
remains no doubt that there is a most remarkable ton- 
nage. The ore is a magnetite. It runs as high as 



sixty-nine per cent, in metallic iron. I was assured that 
cargoes averaging as high as that could be shipped. 

Some of it is low enough in phosphorus to make it a 
Bessemer ore, which process is impossible to ore con- 
taining more than one-thousandth of one per cent, of 
phosphorus to one per cent, of metallic iron, unless, of 
course, that ore higher than that in phosphorus is mixed 
with an ore much lower in phosphorus. 

Sulphur in the Kirunavaara ore varies. The per- 
centage is always rather high, but not enough to be pro- 
hibitive of treatment. The most objectionable ingredi- 
ent of the ore is titanium, which is present to as great 
a degree as one per cent. 

It was generally considered among metallurgists that 
so much titanium as that rendered ore unfit for use and 
valueless. They had as yet discovered no way to flux 
titaniferous ore. It would become sticky and mushy 
and would not flow freely. 

Inability to handle such ore, because of lack of knowl- 
edge, caused a condemnatory report to be made upon 
the titaniferous iron ore range north of Port Arthur in 
Canada, that has kept that region undeveloped to this 
day. It nearly operated in the same way with the 
Kirunavaara field. 

Now methods are employed that do away with the 
objections to the presence of titanium up to one per 
cent, or even in greater quantities. 

At the time of my visit the Kirunavaara range had 
been traced for sixty miles. Where the railroad touched 
the range and the first mining was begun, practically 
an uninterrupted outcrop of iron ore extended for more 
than five miles. Some places it was seven hundred feet 
above the surface. At one point it dipped under a small 
lake and had been cut with a diamond drill operated 


upon the ice. Even with the lower wages prevailing, the 
cost of getting out the ore was greater than upon any 
of the American ranges. Coal was a problem and I 
was told that a cargo of iron ore had been sent to Can- 
ada in exchange for a return cargo of coal. Since that 
time, John M. Longyear, of Michigan, has opened coal 
measures upon Spitzbergen, and the fuel question has 
been solved in a measure. 

From Eirunavaara to the ocean at Narvik the rail- 
road is a series of snow sheds and tunnels, requiring 
superior courage and engineering in construction. Nar- 
vik was just being built. The ore docks, pockets and 
trestles were of steel and plans for an important port 
had been made. 

Since then, I am informed, that as much as fifteen 
million tons have been shipped from Narvik in a year, 
more than half of it going to Essen, Germany, where the 
great Krupp iron works are located. 

At Narvik I visited the cod fisheries among the Ofo- 
ten or Lofoden Islands and formed a new aversion to 
that efficacious remedy codliver oil. Also I saw the 
famous maelstrom, caused, as is well known, by the tidal 
waters choking between rocky islands. A portion of 
the wild ocean is forced through with roars and hisses 
and churning and foam. Sometimes the maelstrom re- 
minds one of the great tidal bores that are to be seen 
in some of the rivers on the China coast. The twisting, 
charging, convulsive waters eddy and swirl, and require 
little imagination to look wicked and justify the demon 
stories told in Norse by Skald and Saga, from primitive 
times down to the present. They could easily have 
wrecked the Viking ships, which were not ships at all 
but only big, clumsy, mostly open boats, very similar to 


the little traders and fisher craft that dodge in and out 
along the rocky, saw-edged coast to-day. 

I found good coastwise steamers and had a comforta- 
ble and pleasurable trip to Tromsoe and Hammerfest. 
It was not so easy to get to North Cape and over to 
Spitzbergen, about four hundred and fifty miles from 
the mainland. 

West Spitzbergen area about fifteen thousand square 
miles ; North East Land, about four thousand, and Edge 
Island, about two thousand five hundred square miles, 
form the No Man's Land group, known as Spitzbergen. 
They are between seventy-six and eighty-one north lati- 
tudes. West Spitzbergen is nothing more than a rock- 
girt ice house. A central plateau of ice forces glaciers 
down to the sea through giant rifts. All around the 
coastal belt one may hear roaring, splashing, rumbling, 
cracking, as the huge ends of ice rivers break off into the 
sea, fractured by their own ponderousness, and float 
off as icebergs. Tourists generally visit the west coast 
where a hotel has been built in connection with a weekly, 
in summer, steamer service. 

The Dutch are credited with the discovery of Spitz- 
bergen in 1596, but no nation claims it. If anything 
it is American, because an American company, led by 
John M. Longyear, of Michigan, is mining and ship- 
ping coal from there. They have a shaft down through 
frozen material more than one thousand two hundred 
feet, the deepest ice shaft in the world. It is reported 
that these mines have recently been sold to Bussia for 
thirty million dollars. 

Many interesting fossils have been exhumed, mostly 
of a tropical nature, proving the polar regions once to 
have been warm before the tilting ice cap and precession 


of the equinoxes caused an axial shift Huge palm 
fronds have been dug out and vast quantities of im- 
bedded fossil coprolites have been encountered. In 
summer the sun glare and reflected heat on the interior 
ice fields is trying. Over one hundred species of au- 
tochthonous flowering plants and ferns have been classi- 

Rabot and Sir Martin Conway have done some ex- 
ploration, but really little is known about Spitzbergen. 

By the time of my return down the Norse coast the 
headlands, black-bordered shore and shadowy fjords 
were compelling, and kept one's senses alert and emo- 
tions stirred. I could easily see how the hardy folk 
were content to remain the thralls of such environment. 
Every color that sky and sea could assume was present; 
the fjords were Rembrandtian bins of gloom with all 
arrangements of chiaroscuro from arrows of sunlight 
to pitchy dungeon depths of darkness. 

Over the cliffs poured silvery streamlets fed by melt- 
ing snow, making a black and white barred coast line 
and even suggesting troops of white horse cavalry con- 
cealed over the top of the escarpment, with only their 
straggling white tails hanging in view over and down. 

The deep green of spear-topped tannenbaum amidst 
snow formed a fairy background. Altogether the scen- 
ery in April and May along the north coast of Norway 
is indescribably fascinating and beautiful. 

Flocks of water fowl took wing, fishes broke through 
the water to the surface, the clumsy eider duck quacked 
to its nesting mate, and spring in gnomeland was in the 

On the way down the coast I found Throndjem and 
its ancient cathedral and hall of the Vikings worth some 


I worked my way inland to the famous older iron 
fields of Sweden^ and finally arrived at Stockholm after 
a fine canal trip. 

One must be charmed with Stockholm with its sing- 
ing Malar and its intrusive water roads^ so much 
sweeter than those of Venice, if not quite so romantic 
and colorful. 

In these days the Swedes give one the superficial im- 
pression of being sensualists, living only to eat and 
drink and unrein their passions. There was a deeper 
side than that in evidence at the smorgos board and the 
puntsch table, that told of more serious things and higher 

The culture that starts at XJpsala may be traced in its 
admirable diffusion if one takes the trouble to do so. 

The Swedes are democratic, but not so much so as the 
Norwegians, who have no superiors as a worthy and 
fine people. 




IN" the course of my years of summer explorations in 
Canada I heard repeatedly of an iron dam on the 
Vermillion River, north of Georgian Bay. Grad- 
ually I worked in that direction. A Mr. MacCharles, 
who had been employed by me temporarily to do some 
work for my newspaper at the Sault, had gone to Sud- 
bury in 1889. The nickel deposits had been attracting 
attention to the Sudbury district. Rumors of gold had 
sent prospectors as far afield as they could get into the 
wilderness and feed themselves. 

Gold will cause more excitement and turn more people 
crazy than anything else in the world, not even except- 
ing diamonds. This has been true of man since Jason 
and his argonauts went in search of the golden fleece. 
There is always a pot of gold for somebody at the foot 
of a rainbow, and the rainbow chasing for gold has 
caused war and woe, sickness and sorrow, heartache and 
horror, hardness and hunger among men, from the be- 
ginning to this day of engulfing strife in Europe. 

There is gold in the Vermillion River valley of Can- 
ada. It is strewn in fine particles through the sand 
everywhere, but nowhere has it paid for its winning 
and perhaps never will. Searchers for the mysterious 
" mother lode " that is supposed to be the source of all 


placer gold, have not been successful in the Vermillion 

MacCharles wore a tarn o'shanter on his head, whis- 
kers on his chiu; a Scotch haggis dialect in his throat 
and had brains. From time to time he kept me in- 
formed as to the gold and nickel activities around Sud- 
bury. I as repeatedly told him that I was not inter- 
ested in gold and nickel, but would sit up and take notice 
if he had any iron ore clews. The fact that I could be 
interested in iron ore and not in gold, nickel or copper 
was too peculiar for his thought processes to follow. 
Nevertheless he was persistently in touch with me and 
one day told me about an iron dam on the Vermillion 
River up behind Sudbury, well towards the Height of 
Land. I had heard of something of the kind before but 
had gotten no details ; in fact, had not previously arrived 
at a point where I was prepared to look into the thing. 
Now I was ready. 

I went to Sudbury. It was October. The Vermil- 
lion was too low to permit of ascending it in canoes. 
I got a couple of men who told me they had gold claims 
near a certain falls on the river, where I had been told 
were the exposures of lean iron ore. They did not know 
iron ore when they saw it, but said that the rock at the 
falls in question was black and heavy, and where worn 
by ice and water showed a polish like steel. These men 
had never gone up river except when the stage of water 
permitted canoeing. However, they claimed to be 
woodsmen, and I was told they were reliable. Just at 
this juncture I made the only mistake of the kind that 
I have ever made. 

An arrangement was entered into by which they were 
to pack for me and show me the falls of the iron dam. 
I directed them to outfit for a trip of a month, which 


ihey said thej could and would do, and I trusted them 
and did not check over the supplies. This was an in- 
excusable omission that had a justifiable; if uncomfort- 
able sequel. 

In the office of the Balmoral Hotel at Sudbury there 
hung a rough and ready Canadian Pacific Railway ad- 
vertising map. I glanced at it rather carelessly, but 
noted with some particularity the general course of the 
Vermillion River. It was not a very purposive map, 
but it was the only one I had seen. In fact, the region 
north of Sudbury had only been surveyed for a few 
miles, and that work had been done since the nickel ex- 

We started north, three of us. A short cut took us in 
a day to the Vermillion at Indian Dump. Crossing 
here we plunged into the trackless wilderness, and within 
three days more were beyond all signs of human life. 
I had figured that with any kind of luck at all we ought 
to have arrived at the iron falls in five days. 

On the eighth day out I became convinced, from sev- 
eral apparent signs, that my men were lost so far as get- 
ting to our objective was concerned. When I put the 
matter to them fiatly they admitted it. 

They discovered to me the more embarrassing situa- 
tion that our grub was running short Then fer the 
first time to my chagrin I realized my carelessness. 
These men had been accustomed to traveling with ca- 
noes ; they were not old packers and woodsmen as I had 
been told, and were really tenderfeet away from a river 
that would float a canoe. Instead of taking flour and 
pork and tea, they had loaded up with a lot of impossi- 
ble canned stuff, and even had some loaves of bread and 

It was necessary at once to go on short rations, and 


might have been the part of wisdom to have turned back. 
I had never done such a thing as turn back, and it did 
not even occur to me. The men said they could locate 
themselves if they could get to the Vermillion. That 
seemed easy. We were west of that river. I took a 
course a little north of east and held to it, except where 
detours were forced by lakes, miry swamps and now 
and then a talus-footed range of low, rocky moimtains. 

On the third day after I became the guide we arrived 
at a stream that they said was the Vermillion. Further- 
more they agreed that we were below the iron dam, 
which they thought we could reach in one day's march 
upstream. We checked over our grub carefully and 
found it distressingly low. I was carrying the cover- 
ing for all of us, three blankets and a light shed tent 
done up in a pack sheet, with a tump line or misery 
strap, which will cut your hair better than the average 
barber if you wear it outside your hat. 

Without delay we proceeded upstream and, to my en- 
thusiastic delight, we came within a few hours to a falls 
and series of rapids that proved to be the ones I sought. 
At a point quite a distance before reaching the falls, I 
came upon iron-bearing rock of fine texture resembling 
an olivine gabbro, and nearby I saw outcroppings of 
lean, magnetic ore. 

We camped at the iron dam that night As soon as 
day broke next morning I began clambering over the 
rocks. With my little hand pick I freshly fractured 
hundreds of projections. All of the exposures on both 
sides of the river were of lean magnetite, carrying about 
thirty per cent, of metallic iron. 

At one place I found a large boulder of rich iron ore 
in the dry river bed. Samples from it analyzed later 
gave seventy per cent, metallic iron. 


I climbed the hills near by, traversed the ravines and 
dug under every fallen tree and upturned stump I saw. 
At one stump I dug out a small, rough-edged chunk of 
magnetic iron ore, showing by its unworn edges that the 
solid ledge was most likely near at hand. 

Grub was nearly gone, but I slept two nights at the 
iron dam. If one had been nervous I think he niust 
have been lulled to sleep by the music of the falling 
waters, as they broke over the magnetic dyke abruptly, 
or sang from cascades or parted bubblingly around dor- 
nicks into vitreous pools. 

I needed no lullaby, and even did not awaken when a 
moose walked over my protruding limbs in front of our 
little shed tent. The nights were frosty, and some snow 
fell from time to time. 

There was enough snow the second morning to exhibit 
the tracks of a big bull moose that actually strode over 
us during the night. Nearby the majestic animal 
homed several twining maples and must have cracked 
brush and made a lot of noise, but I slept on uncon- 
scious of it all. 

I had not learned very much more than that an at- 
tractive and hopeful iron formation existed here and 
then the low grub supply forced me to fly. All the 
packs were lighter. The grub was nearly ^ne so that 
the men could take a portion of my load. I took the 
lead. We struck out on a bee line for the C. P. R. 
Railroad track. 

Anxious about food and feeling the full force of cha- 
grin on account of my own carelessness, I tried to go 
as rapidly as possible. Our short rations had begun to 
tell on us, and I think we were all nervous, which made 
it worse. We had no firearm or fishing tackle. 

That night we ate the last of our supplies. A greasy 


soup and thin really seemed to do us more harm than 

Next morning I rigged a noose of fine string on a pole 
about twelve feet long and gave it to Dunk, the younger 
man, to carry. He was instructed to slyly pass the loop 
over the head of a spruce hen, if we saw any of those 
beautiful and toothsome Canadian grouse. Unlike the 
ruffed grouse, they have dark plumage and dark meat 
and are stupidly unafraid of man, especially where they 
have not been hunted. 

About ten o'clock all of us saw one at about the same 
time. Chuck and I performed in front of it so as to 
engage its attention. It was perched on the limb of a 
banksian pine about nine feet from the ground, and sat 
near the bole. Dunk got the tree trunk between himself 
and the bird. Projecting the noose end of his pole 
very, very slowly and carefully up he passed the loop 
over the bird's head, gave a yank and we had our break- 
fast. One was not enough to satisfy us but it helped 
out wonderfully. There were more but all of them 
perched too high. During the day Dunk gaffled two 
more so that it looked as though we would not starve. 

Next day we saw a lot of spruce hens. Nearly al- 
ways they were on the ground, and when they flushed 
would fly up too high to reach with our snaffle pole. 
The only way to get them was to throw a missile. 

Chuck killed three in three throws with a club and 
then he started to boast. He said that when he was a 
boy he could beat any Indian throwing a tomahawk. 
Just about as he had satisfied his own ears with self- 
sung song of prowess, we came upon several spruce hens. 

Before when Chuck had thrown so successfully he 
had muttered after each victory, " God loves his own." 
It was not so much reverence as it might have been, for 


now he gave sucli an exhibition of bad throwing and 
profanity as would make one's hair curl. The tantaliz- 
ing grouse just ran and dodged. He never did make it 
fly. Sometimes Chuck would get up to within four or 
five feet of it and then he would throw over its head. 
Finally I killed it with my hand pick as it ran by me 
within a couple of feet. This gave us four and we lived 
on them that day. 

The third day after our grub was gone we saw noth- 
ing to eat and ate nothing. By evening we were a lit- 
tle weak, but I think if we had not been nervous the ex- 
perience would not have been disagreeable. I had been 
caught out once before without food, but in an excusa- 
ble way. However, I remembered that I was so shaky 
that I missed a perfectly easy shot at a deer just because 
I wanted it so badly. Chuck and Dunk were becom- 
ing disagreeable ; not so much to me as to each other. 

Just after dark I was certain that I heard the sound 
of an ax. The men could not hear it. I lined it up 
carefully with my compass. Next morning I started in 
the direction of the sound of the ax I had heard the eve- 
ning before. At first Chuck and Dunk would not fol- 
low me, but as I strode on without stopping a moment 
to coax or parley, they came along, now angry at my 
seeming indifference. A little after eight o'clock we 
came to an old lumber camp and found two men in it. 
At first they objected to dividing their supplies with us. 
I told them our story and wound up by the calm but 
determined statement that we were hungry rfnd des- 
perate and three to two, and would have food if we had 
to fight for it. This, with the promise I made to re- 
place the grub we ate and took, made them assume a 
different attitude. We ate our fill and rested a day. 

The camp was one of the best I ever saw. It had bean 


used very little and why it was abandoned I did not 
know, because there was fine standing white pine in the 
vicinity and very little evidence of cutting. The cruis- 
ers told us that their principals expected this pine to be 
placed upon the market at public auction soon^ and they 
were to be prepared to bid on it intelligently. 

There was not a nail or piece of iron in the entire 
camp. Even the hinges were birchen. Peeled pine 
logs, clean and beautiful, made the walls. A scoop-roof 
made by adzing logs imtil they are hollow and theix 
laying them like tile, thus, ''^l^^^ , makes a better 
covering than the clapboard roof of the South or the 
cedar shake roof of the North. 

In the center of the camp was an oblong mound of 
earth ten by sixteen feet in size. The dirt was held in 
place by side logs staked. Overhead a hole in the roof, 
fitted with a hanging, inside, shake chimney, carried off 
the smoke. This arrangement is called a " camboose," 
but why not a fourneau, by the Canadian French, I do 
not know. In .some parts it is called a ^^ caboose," but 
in this part of Canada it is a ^^ camboose," and a camp 
fitted with one is known as a ^^ camboose camp," and is 
popular because of ventilation and consequent health- 

Ordinary lumber camps are not much better than 
black holes of Calcutta, and the Canadian lumberjack 
was hard to wean away from the camboose. The cook 
prepared his meals by it as before an open fire, and 
baked the sweetest and best bread in baking kettles that 
he buried in the hot coals and ashes. I can taste it as 
I write. At night the men would sleep in a circle on 
the hewn log floor, with their feet towards the warm 
camboose and their heads away, and their torrents of 
stinking breath passing up the hanging wooden chim- 

.. I 


nej. With such a place to sleep and plenty of beans 
cooked in the ashes, and fat pork and thick black strap 
molasses, the Canadian lumberjack of yesterday was a 
master workman in the woods. 

As soon. as I got to Sudbury I engaged two reliable 
packers and sent with them back to the camp probably 
ten times as much grub as the cruisers had supplied me, 
for grub and life are the same in the big woods. Chuck 
went with them. 

It was a kind of fool experience, the whole thing, but 
it did serve to establish for me a credit in the woods of 
that country that stood me in good service several times 
in the future. 

It was too late to do anything mbre that fall, so my 
wife and I went oif to the South Seas, Samoa, Tahiti, 
Fiji, New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia and up through 
Torres Straits to New Guinea and on to the Dutch Is- 
lands, the Philippines, China and Japan. This took 
us until late in the following summer. 

Home again I organized a party, and inaugu- 
rated a thorough surface search and survey of the re- 
gion north of the Sudbury nickel zone, from Wahna- 
pitae Lake on the east to, and even beyond, the Ahnap- 
ing chain of lakes on the west and well over the height 
of land to the north. This work and the activities flow- 
ing from it consumed several seasons. 

As soon as I had made enough headway to be certain 
that it was warranted, I decided to have a careful mag- 
netic survey made of the region. In order to have this 
done to the very best advantage, I went to Dr. Charles 
R. Van Hise, then at the head of the Department of 
Geology of the University of Wisconsin, and until his 
recent untimely death president of that great institu- 
tion of catholic learning. 


So far as I knew then and believe now, Dr. Van Hise 
was in a class by himseK as an economic geologist. In 
fact, he had done much to help to create tiiat branch of 
geology in America. He advised me to engage Ken- 
neth Leith, one of his assistants and now Dr. YanHise's 
successor in the department of geology at Wisconsin. 

Leith at once organized his crews, and I think while 
employed by me he did the first dial compass surveying 
and mapping ever carried on in Canada. Not much, if 
any, had been done in America. So thorough was he 
and so competent were his young college assistants, that 
the magnetic iron ore formation was mapped in a com- 
plete, highly satisfactory and practical manner. Dr. 
VanHise was the consultant in this work. It did not 
extend the boundaries of the possible ore zone much 
differently from my own first rough work, so far as 
staking claims went, but it proved up and made every- 
thing more certain- 

During a considerable period my time was entirely 
taken up in securing title to the ore lands and in financ- 
ing the enterprise. The most embarrassing condition 
was caused by the fact that a portion of the region adja- 
cent to the Vermillion River had been run over by gold 
prospectors who had staked a lot of claims, some over- 
lapping others and making for a confusion that de- 
n^anded care in unraveling. 

All of these werd revived, so far as possible, with the 
idea that the claimants would get something out of them, 
and especially as against a Yankee contestant. 

My policy rather took the wind out of their sails. 
I could find only a few who had performed the require- 
ments of law and had acquired a title. But whenever 
anybody claimed anything and was not disputed by 
other prospectors, I would purchase his alleged right. 


If I found a claimholder who really had any rights 
my practice was such as to cause him to doubt my san- 
ity. Having given the claims up long before because of 
insufficient gold values, the prospector would be con- 
scious of no value so far as his knowledge was concerned. 
Consequently, he would be very apt to feel that if he 
could get one hundred, five hundred or one thousand 
dollars for nothing he would be just that much to the 
good. Imagine then his surprise when I would settle 
with him for from double to twenty times what he asked. 

My reasons for doing this were twofold: conscience 
and policy. I was willing to pay for values that I 
knew of, that the other party was ignorant of, ^ecause I 
thought it was right, and also because I expected that 
whoever developed the properties would have their way 
made easier and clearer, than if the local wooaspeople 
were squeezed to the lowest cent that would be likely to 
cause them to think they had been robbed. 
I, But I nearly ruined my reputation for sound judg- 

ment. It was necessary to have a good many of the 
lands cleared of all possible lispendens at Toronto. My 
legal work was well done by Hearst & McKay and by 
Hearst, McKay & Darling, of Sault Ste. Marie, On- 
tario. Mr. Hearst became premier of Ontario, and Mr. 
McKay became an able and respected Canadian judge. 
It was apparently the policy of every Canadian law 
firm to have one member a conservative and the other a 

I had heard that nothing could be obtained at the 
governmental departments at Toronto without paying 
for it ; that from top to bottom there had to be bribery. 
I saw nothing of the kind during years of experience 
and I do not believe a word of it. The fees of Hearst 
& McKay were reasonable, and they told me that they 


never thought of paying any " grease " money or per- 
mitting graft In legislative circles there was and is the 
same turpitude that discolored some American public 
characters and acts, and especially was this true there 
and here in matters involving land grants and the pub- 
lic domain. My business relations in Canada, cover- 
ing a long period and comprehending considerable trans- 
actions, were always agreeable. 

Where I slept in the little open shed tent, and was 
unawakened by the moose that nearly stepped on me, 
there is now a flourishing mining town reached by a 
branch of a transcontinental railroad. They did not 
develop there without much hard and enjoyable work. 




AT one time I owned the entire Moose Mountain 
iron range with all of its immense values. Of 
course I could do nothing with it without finan- 
cial help. I did not have much trouble arranging for 

One of the first men I went to see was the late John 
W. Gates. My idea was to go to men who had made 
their wealth in iron, who knew the business and would 
understand all the risks involved. Mr. Gates knew 
enough about me readily to grant me an interview. I 
told him that I had discovered a new iron range in the 
wilds of Canada. We talked a while in the forenoon 
and he asked me to return in the afternoon. When I 
went back he told me that he had decided to become in- 

I learned years afterwards that during the limcheon 
hour he had wired to the late Joseph Sellwood, of Du- 
luth, asking if I knew what I was talking about when I 
talked iron ore. Mr. Sellwood was one of tlie most suc- 
cessful of the early practical school of Lake Superior 
iron men. His reply to Mr. Gates, with whom he had 
been associated for a long time, was : " You can go 
sled length on Osborn." 

I did not realize then that I was so favorably regarded 
by those whose political trails I had not seriously 



crossed. I had heard a great deal about John W. Gates^ 
and all of it was not favorable. My opinion is that he 
was much maligned, as men in big business were wont 
to be during a certain period of industrial, and conse- 
quent political unrest. All of my memories of Mr. 
Gates possess a kindly tone. The picture I like best to 
recall is that of one I saw on a day when he arose in his 
office and started out to lunch. His son, the late 
Charles G. Gates, noticed that his father's shoe lace was 

" Wait a moment, father," requested the young man. 

As the father halted and stood, the son knelt at his 
feet and tied his shoe. Nothing much could have been 
wrong with a father and a son between whom there 
was such a tender tie. And both were fat. 

Another clearly open window to the character of John 
W. Gates is his action during the iron panic winter of 
1903-4. The Hlinois Steel Company shut down its 
plants at Chicago and nearly twenty thousand workers 
were thrown out of employment. Mr. Gates was a di- 
rector. He opposed closing down. At the same time 
he controlled the Consolidated Steel & Wire Works at 
Joliet. He kept these going and carried nearly ten 
thousand workmen through a critically hungry period. 

All this was creditable to him as an economic human- 
ist. The way that he secured enough business so that 
he could pull through was an unusual tribute to his 
business perspicacity and perhaps nerve. He went to 
England and saw the late Joseph Chamberlain. 

Wlien Mr. Gates explained that the object of his visit 
was to sell him steel products of the very kind that Mr. 
Chamberlain was manufacturing at Birmingham, the 
great colonial secretary of the empire was at first 
amused, and then was insulted or pretended to be. Chi- 


cago insistence would not be thwarted. Mr. Gates de- 
clared that he could sell to Mr. Chamberlain better goods 
at a lower price than the latter's cost. This interested 
the Birmingham iron master. He went into details, 
and the result was a big order for the Joliet mills at a 
critical time. While at Birmingham, Mr. Chamberlain 
took Mr. Gates through his steel plants. When they 
finished he asked Mr. Gates what he thought of them. 
Blunt enough usually and outspoken as an avalanche, 
Mr. Gates posed cautiously. 

"You really do not wish me to tell you honestly 
what I think, do you ? " 

" Indeed, it will be a favor to me," replied the big 

" Well, I'd junk the whole outfit and wreck the build- 
ings," was the explosive reply. 

Mr. Chamberlain was visibly shocked, but he smiled 
and asked, " What then ? " 

" Then I would engage John W. Garrett, of Joliet, 
Illinois, United States of America, to build you a real 
works with modern machinery and structural conven- 

Joseph Chamberlain took the advice. Mr. Garrett 
thoroughly rebuilt the Birmingham plant, and the un- 
dertaking was speedily justified by the increased earn- 
ings that resulted from the reduced cost of an increased 
and improved production. 

We organized the Moose Mountain Mining Company, 
Limited. Among those who took stock, in addition to the 
quarter interest that Mr. Gates signed for, was Mr. John 
J. Mitchell, president of the Illinois Trust and Savings 
Bank of Chicago ; James C. Hutchins, attorney for Mr. 
Mitchell's bank; Mr. John Lambert, a business associ- 
ate of Mr. Gates ; Blair & Co., New York bankers, and 


Joseph W. Sellwood. The agreement we had made ob- 
ligated them to give me one-fourth of the stock of the 
company free of carrying charges of all kinds. On my 
part I was to secure to the company at actual cost all of 
the Moose Mountain iron ore lands. There were con- 
ditions and requirements relating to financing and de- 
veloping the properties. 

I was made president and treasurer of the company. 
Just as soon as I was given my quarter interest, I di- 
vided it with a Chicago promoter who had agreed to 
finance me at Moose Mountain, but had failed to live 
up to his agreement. As I looked at it he had done his 
best and so I treated him just as if he had been worthy. 

It turned out to be the most unwarranted business act 
of my life as I view it now, because this man sent word 
to me to " go to hell " when it was supposed I was dying. 

I had injured my spine by a fall in the woods. A 
dead tree trunk lying across a rocky ravine gave way 
as I walked over it I fell nearly twenty feet and 
alighted upon the coccyx on a sharp, jagged rock. This 
endangered my life. When it was supposed and com- 
monly reported that I would not recover, a good many 
interesting things occurred that emphasize the folly of 
jumping on a man, or consigning him to the eternal 
bow-wows just because he is going to die. At least wait 
imtil he is dead. 

A tailor at Sault Ste. Marie told a lawyer that he had 
informed me about Moose Mountain, and later claimed 
he had introduced to me a man who had discovered the 
iron ore and showed it to me. This entitled him to a 
share or a conunission according to his view, and it 
might have if there had been a vestige of truth in what 
he said. Eager to earn a fee and perhaps figuring that 
my family would settle the claim in order to save me 


from annoyance while ill, and that if I died it surely 
would be easy to make the false claim stick, a lawyer 
took the case. 

There is no law against champerty in Michigan. I 
was told about the case and insisted that it be held up 
until I was well enough to fight it. That it was a purely 
fabricated affair for purpose of robbery could easily be 
proven. Never thinking that the person with whom I 
had divided my interest without the cost to him of a 
penny, would feel otherwise than a deep sense of pleas- 
ure at the opportunity to be of assistance, I directed my 
secretary to write him fully as to the details and ask 
him to look after matters until I recovered. This man 
also thought I was done for undoubtedly, because he 
sent me word that I could go to hell; that he was not 
taking on any law suits that he could duck and so on. 

Of coui*se I was not told this until after some months 
when I had recovered my health sufficiently to resume 
worL Then the case was speedily taken into court. 
They sued for fifty thousand dollars ; finally they offered 
to settle for various sums down to one thousand dollars. 

Judge Joseph H. Steere then presided as circuit 
judge where the case was brought. He was my intimate 
personal friend and business associate. Consequently 
he asked that another judge should hear the case, and it 
came up before the late Judge Streeter of Houghton 
County. Evidently the tailor's lawyer had been fooled, 
for as soon as a portion of the testimony was in he threw 
up his hands and the case was dismissed. 

Enough of it was heard to prove clearly that the story 
was a stupid lie. The claimant said that he had intro- 
duced a woodsman to me and that this woodsman had 
shown me the Moose Mountain properties. I proved 
that the woodsman they produced had never been to 


Moose Mountain, even at the time of the trial, and that 
he had been employed by me to do certain work three 
years before the tailor claimed he had introduced him 
to me. It was also clearly proven and made of official 
record that I had made the discovery of the Moose 
Mountain Iron Eange, the greatest iron ore district in 
Canada. After the case ended so flatly, the tailor 
moved away from Sault Ste. Marie. 

Later, when I was a candidate for Governor, the pub- 
lisher of a paper at Escanaba, Michigan, used this case 
as a basis for printing libelous statements about me. I 
had him arrested for criminal libel and he was con- 
victed. When he published the libel I really believe he 
thought that he was in the right, because I had known 
him well and was aware of his high character, his cour- 
age and his desire to serve the public unflinchingly. Of 
course such things travel far, so that a man's only fun- 
damental protection is his own knowledge of himself 
and within himself of what he really is, for " as a man 
thinketh in his heart so is he.'' 

I would not have had the publisher arrested and 
punished if I had not been convinced that it was a pub- 
lic duty. Public opinion and the libel laws are the 
only censors of a free press, and their invocation is the 
only agency of determining the course of the press be- 
tween freedom and license. 

At various times I was given chances to sell out my 
interest at Moose Mountain and I was anxious to do 80« 
There was no stock on the market, it has never been 
listed, and there was no certain way of measuring its 
value. Pittsburg parties offered me as much money 
as I thought I ever wanted, although the sum was not 
large as rich men compare and understand amounts. I 
was eager to sell for a good many reasons. Chiefly I 


did not enjoy being tied down. We were on the eve 
of active mining and I did not and do not claim to be a 
practical mining man. It was my duty, as I looked 
upon it, to inform my associates of the offer, although 
there was no agreement that required such a proceeding. 

I went to Chicago and told Mr. Gates and Mr. 
Mitchell. These men were older than I and had the 
largest interest in Moose Mountain. More than kindly 
in their manner towards me they assumed a fatherly at- 
titude that I shall always remember with gratitude. It 
was in Mr. Gates' office. He and Mr. Mitchell each put 
a hand on my shoulders and said : 

"Don't sell now. It isn't enough. We will give 
you more than your offer. But if we did you might not 
feel kindly toward us in the long future. You would 
believe that we had taken an advantage of you, and we 
now feel ourselves that we would be doing so if we 
bought your interest, or permitted you to sell it, for the 
amount of your offer. Also, we need you with us for 
a time.'' 

At that very moment Mr. Gates and Mr. Mitchell 
and our New York partners were negotiating with 
McKenzie and Mann, of the Canadian Northern, to take 
an interest in Moose Mountain and build a railroad into 
it. I did not know of this. They could just as well 
have made a few hundred thousands out of my interest 
as not. But that was not the way of John W. Gates, 
and it is not the way of that prince of business men, 
John J. Mitchell, one of the first bankers of America. 

I had already seen President Shaughnessy, of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway, about building in from Sud- 
bury, and he had ordered a survey made and the branch 
line was actually printed upon their maps. But their 
freight rate on the ore was nearly double that of the 


Canadian Northern. Also I had had a number of the 
best mining men of Lake Superior visit Moose Moun- 
tain with me, including Messrs. Helberg, Sutherland, 
Walter Fitch, and also Professor Seaman, of the Michi- 
gan College of Mines department of geology. All of 
them were enthusiastic. Doctor Miller, Ontario Pro- 
vincial geologist and Doctor Coleman, of the department 
of geology of Toronto University, were among the many 
distinguished Canadian mining men and geologists who 
visited my camp. 



ALL of US had moose meat throughout the year. 
The unwritten law of the unsurveyed country 
did not make a closed season. The only demand 
upon us was that nothing should be wasted, and that 
nothing should be killed that was not used for food or 
fur. Black bears were a nuisance. As camp robbers 
they became unbelievably bold. So we had traps out 
for them all the time. A French youth was our most 
expert bear trapper. He used pens, deadfalls, pits, 
steel traps, hooks on trees and sharpened spikes so 
driven into the open end of a pork barrel, that the bear 
could crawl in and lick the honey or maple sugar or 
burnt molasses bait on the bottom of the barrel, but 
could not crawl out. When the bear would start to 
back out the spikes would run into him and very soon 
Jacques would have a frantic bear cavorting around 
with a barrel on the forward two-thirds of his body, 
that held to him, and muffled his growls and roars. It 
was not very humane and I ordered them to kill a bear 
as soon as they caught him in a barreL I am afraid 
that always they did not obey this. 

We also had in our crew an American boy named 
Harold, about the same age as Jacques. They did not 
get along well together and several times they clashed, 
only to a draw. Jacques insisted on flying a Canadian 



English beaver flag over the camp, and Harold would 
haul it down and run up the Stars and Stripes. Then 
there would be a fight and no flag at all for some time, 
when Harold would run up Old Glory and Jacques 
would pull it down, and another drawn scrap would 
be pulled off. 

Finally one day Jacques turned up missing. There 
was no one at the camp except the two boys. All hands 
had gone out to celebrate Dominion Day, July 1, or 
for some other reason. Harold searched for Jacques 
just as faithfully as though they were bosom friends. 
Finally he heard cries for help and discovered Jacques 
fast in a steel bear trap. The boy's hand was caught 
and his fingers crushed. He had stoically suffered and 
had hallooed for help, but now that Harold was there 
he would not ask any favors. He afterwards said that 
he thought, as a matter of course, that Harold would 
release him at once. The Yankee boy had no such idea. 
He made the French youth promise to be good and allow 
the American flag to fly over the camp. When he had 
settled everything he got a birch lever, and pressing 
down the huge springs that clamp the ponderous jaws of 
the bear trap together, he released his rival. There was 
great friendship between them forever afterwards, and 
the way Harold took care of Jacques' maimed hand was 
good to see. 

The boys at camp, as boys in the woods always do 
for entertainment and relief, and by boys I mean all 
hands young and old, played harmless, though some- 
times disagreeable, tricks upon every visitor that they 
dare4 subject to their fun. A prominent Chicago doc- 
tor was a guest. He shot a young moose. It was late 
in August and the two-year-old bull was fat and juicy 
and just the thing for camp. But it was too good a 


chance for the boys to have some fan for them to over- 
look. So they sent word to Sudbury and had the 
doctor arrested by fake constables, not only at Sudbury 
but at several towns between there and the American 
border. Even after the August moose-slayer had gotten 
out of Canada they had a telegram for his arrest sent 
to the American Sault. By this time it had gotten on 
his nerves, as he had spent nearly two hundred dollars 
in fees, tips, bribes, eats and drinks, and had obtained 
the impression that the Canadians are the biggest lot 
of crooks in the world. To escape further persecution 
he hid in a cellar, and left town towards Chicago on a 
freight train. 

It was a long time before he discovered that he had 
not seen a bona-fide Canadian constable, which did not 
prevent him from continuing the story he had been 
telling x)f how he had escaped from the Northwest 
Mounted Police, when he had not been within a thou- 
sand miles of where that fine body of men operate. 

Upon an afternoon in early November Donald Mann's 
private car was sidetracked at Sudbury. He had not 
then given into the British exchequer enough to have 
been made a knight, so he was just plain Dan Mann, a 
big, wholesome, industrious, brave, enjoyable person. 
I met him at the railroad and took him to Moose 

By this time I had gouged a road into the wilderness 
and had taken in drills, boiler and other machinery. 
The road was not a Via Appia by any means. It clam- 
bered over rocky kopjes and ascended a great norite 
dyke, that may form the northern rim of a huge volcanic 
crater that, according to the conjecture of some, includes 
the entire Sudbury nickel formation. 

This wall of rock gave us a wonderful view that 


strained the vision to the sky line. Not a soul lived, 
or ever was, where the sweep of eye ranged from hill 
to valley and lake. Pointed conifers looked like so 
many green serpent tongues or earth spearmen march- 
ing up to attack the hosts of Jove. Winding over 
plains and across muskeg marshes, where the corduroy 
floated like pontoons and the horses should have been 
shod with driving calks, the blind worm trail drew us 
on. My companion speculated upon the agricultural 
and timber value of the region, and has had his roseate 
prophecies already justified. We crossed several creeks 
and rivers and came to a long, flat stretch of gold-bear- 
ing sands carried down by the old ice, and by the west 
branch of the Vermillion. 

Upon this peneplain grew banksian pine and blue 
berries and trailing arbutus. At early springtime the 
air is laden with the smell of heavy sugars of blos- 
soms. I never pass a sandy stretch similar to this 
one that I do not especially marvel at the chemistry of 
nature, and ask where does the floweret growing in the 
white sand obtain its sensuous breath of sweetest garden 
love, rare enough to make the wild rose marry the wood 
violet if God's nature police would permit. 

I told Mr. Mann about a close call I had one early 
morning in this garden of epigsea. I had left camp 
long before daylight. Just when the sun made the iri- 
descent dew drops clinging to the arbutus sepals look 
like little fairy soap bubbles, I entered this dryadic 
stretch. I drank the morning fragrance in all its moist 
freshness. It seemed to me that I could taste it and I 
believe I did. 

All at once my senses refused to function, or else 
everything took on such a dead average of delight that 
I could neither distinguish nor record it. Greedy for 


more of the nectar I got down upon my hands and knees, 
and crawled among the lush flowers, sniffing and sniffing 
deep rhinal drafts from the acres of pink and white 
emarginate clusters that carpeted the earth. Pine 
needles bore up the hairy vines and waxen leaves, and 
I did not make a sound. 

What is it tells us of the presence of the unseen ? A 
subtle something registers mysteriously and is vaguely 
communicated to our senses, whereupon we uncon- 
sciously look up and around. This happened to me 
while, like Nebuchadnezzar, I was on all fours. 

Horror! an Indian stood with leveled rifle pointing 
at me. 

I gave a whoop and he gave one too. 

Then he started to run away. I ordered him to 
stop and he obeyed. He managed to make me under- 
stand that he had taken me for a bear, and that he 
would have shot before only I kept on moving, and he 
waited for a standing shot to make it sure. Wlien he 
saw me as a man he was greatly frightened because of 
the Indian superstition that a bear, and also some other 
animals, may turn into a man. 

The bear is nearly always an Indian avatar. Nor 
was the Indian aware of the presence of a white man 
in that country. It was a close call indeed. I was 
glad. The Indian was glad. I gave him all of the 
tobacco I had and we parted good friends. Some time 
later I saw him on the Abitibi. 



I ENJOYED Dan Mann all the time. He was as 
open as a full moon and looked as honest. Our 
first night together in the big woods was spent 
like boys who had not seen each other for a long time. 
That was tlie way it was with us, for we had never seen 
each other before except that all real men are always 
boys and very much alike; it is only when there is 
something tlie matter with men that they are queer and 
different. We talked nearly all night. He told me 
quite fully the remarkable story of his life — his inter- 
esting association with McKenzie, their very modem 
financiering and much of the business minutiae^ the 
mastery of which is by some standards of judging 
supposed to make men great 

Both McKenzie and Mann had started as poor boys 
in Canada. Mann did not go to school. He had to 
work or starve. In the winter he went to the woods as 
a lumberjack. One winter he spent in Cheboygan 
County, Michigan, making ties. He became a fine ax- 
man and expert in swinging a broad ax. 

From the woods and the ranks of a common section 
laborer he developed in early middle life to be a wizard 
of industry, and a transcontinental railroad builder. 
The McKenzie and Mann policy, by which they con- 



structed disconnected portions of railroads across the 
country^ and obtained many small land grants and bo- 
nuses without attracting the opposition of the powerful 
Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk giants^ is a story 
unexcelled of clever business and political strategy. 
When they got ready they just connected a lot of blind 
termini and lo! a transcontinental fabric. When it 
was too late the enemy awakened. There is room for 
all of them. 

I think it was our second night together in the woods 
when I asked him about a duel he had in China, ac- 
cording to a story told me in Tien Tsin by Captain 
Rich^ then American railroad engineer for the Chinese 

"It was such a fool thing," he said, "and I was 
scared to death and could not see any humor in it then. 
A lot of us had gone to China to obtain railroad fran- 
chises. The railroad building world was represented: 
Americans^ British, Germans, Belgians, French, Rus- 
sians and so forth, in Shanghai. We were the only Ca- 
nadians and the foreigners never knew whether to class 
us with the British or the Americans. The Chinese 
government had decided to build railroads. They were 
determined thus to connect Pekin with Canton, via 
Hankow on the Yangtse. Captain Rich of Minneapolis 
had charge of things for Li Hung Chang, who was then 
at his zenith of power, the old rascal. There was much 
delay. We were making our headquarters at Shanghai. 

" Some of us combined our interests and finally there 
were several pools working, one against the other. In 
the evening we would gather at a place on Bubbling 
Well Road, which as you know runs back from the bund 
to the country near Uie International Institute. 

" Here we would play a stiff game of poker, drink 


Scotch whiskey and josh each other. I had it in my 
head all the time that a Russian, with a title, who was 
always eager to sit in, was crooked. I watched him. 
One night, near twelve o'clock, when several were 
woozy with booze, and several were not who pretended 
to be, I caught Mr. Russian holding out cards. He 
wasn't as big as the Slav average, and when I slapped 
him for calling me a liar he nearly went down. There 
was some commotion, which soon passed over, and I 
went to my room in the Astor House. Hotels all over 
the world were named in those days for the old lower 
Broadway Astor House of the forties. 

" Next day I received a challenge to fight It made 
me nervous enough. Not being what is called a natural 
born gentleman, I was all the more anxious to conduct 
myself becomingly. I had never had a pistol or a 
sword in my hands, and I felt squeamish in my abdo- 
men whenever I thought about it. Nothing to do but 
to go to a Shanghai friend. He asked me what weapons 
I knew how to use and told me it was my privilege to 
choose. I told him I had never had any practice with 
anything except a pick, shovel and ax. 

<^My friend advised me to select double-bitted axes 
as weapons. 

'^I knew I could easily cut the Russian's head off 
with an ax and I fancy he thought so too, because his 
agent said they would not even consider a fight with such 
weapons ; that they were vulgar and did not come within 
the code duello. 

^^ My friend told him that in Canada the ax was a 
weapon of chivalry; that it was classical to speak of 
burying or digging up the hatchet, meaning a small 
ax, and that it was the sword that was vulgar, citing 
that they used it to cut corn with and butcher hogs. 


" There was much parleying. We stuck for the ax 
and the duel was ofiP. As the Russian backed off I got 
very blood-thirsty, and pictured myself constantly as 
swinging at his neck just at the collar button with a 
five-pound, double-edged ax. Perhaps he had a wart 
on his nec^ If so I would split it clean through the 

Ooing over Moose Mountain lands seemed to be a 
more or less perfunctory work for Mr. Mann« He was 
large and heavy, and had been riding in a private car 
too much for the good of his wind. I showed him the 
biggest outcrop, a veritable mountain of ore it looked^ 
and took him to several exposures I had stripped, and 
also showed him many diamond drill cores. 

" What's the use ? " he puffed. " That first big show- 
ing is enough and to spare if we can agree on a price, 
and all the rest is velvet." 

I did not know that a visitor from Paris that I had 
entertained at Moose Mountain for some days, and 
who seemed deeply interested, was really an expert for 
McKenzie and Mann. 

They wanted the property for financing purposes. 
With it they could make a strong showing of the wealth 
surely existent in the unknown domain. Cobalt was 
just beginning to make known its fabulous riches in 
silver. It would be easy to make an exhibit that would 
enable them to obtain all the money they desired. 

In this way I sold my Moose Mountain interests for 
enough to insure a modest independence, and to per- 
mit me to live such life of study and readiness for 
public service as I might choose. 

McEenzie and Mann built many miles of railroad by 
way of connecting their transcontinental links, and in 
doing so they opened this great mining region. A 


branch to Key Inlet^ on Georgian Bay, gave them a 
harbor and place for ore docks and water shipment. 

Mr. Mann volunteered to name for me the town that 
would grow at Moose Mountain. Mr. Sellwood de- 
sired the honor. I did not know this. To me it was a 
small niatter indeed. When Mr. Sellwood broached it 
to Mr. Mann^ the latter remembered his promise to 

"That^s nothing," said the former, "let's play a 
game of seven-up. You represent Osbom. If I win 
the town will be given my name; if you win, call it 

Sellwood won and I am glad of it. He has a good 
many monuments and deserves them all. 

My first thought when I received the money from 
Moose Mountain, was of my wife. She had stood by 
valiantly from twelve dollars a week and wolves, until 
now we had quite enough to enjoy life with; not that 
life had not been enjoyable all the time, because it had 

I made and carried out plans to help all our relatives 
who needed help. This included the happy privilege 
of insuring the comfort of my mother for the remainder 
of her wonderful life of suffering and service. I also 
made provision for continuing the care of two brothers, 
who were entirely dependent upon me because of com- 
plete invalidism. 

There was neither disinclination to do these things, 
nor self-praise for the performance. It seemed to me 
to be a clear and pleasing duty. I had been blessed 
with means and health and they had not. Perhaps 
God had given me some for them and made me a 
trustee. I thought He had, and that I owed it to themu 
Then, too, I could not tell why I was not in their place 



and they in mine^ so I was determined to treat them as 
I would have wished to have been treated if our condi- 
tions had been reversed. 

My youngest brother William^ possessing an alert and 
acute intellect, has been completely bedridden for years 
and has suffered severe pain. Throughout all of it, and 
the prospects no better for as long as he lives, he has 
been a cheerful Christian with the best personal phi- 
losophy I have ever known about. 

From time to time I have given things to my home 
town, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, which has always 
shown me a sympathy and friendship and support that 
would be a suflScient reward for any man, no matter if 
his deserts were easily much greater than mine; and 
an inspiration as well. In return for its attitude I 
loved the town and all its people, and nurtured always 
in my heart a desire to do things for it. I could not 
give it much, but I could do what lay within my power 
to show my appreciation. Early in my travels I began 
to select curios for the fine Melville museum in the 
high school. Once in Japan I procured the first stone 
torii ever sent to America and also several Shinto me- 
morial lanterns. These artistic things are in the gov- 
ernment park at the Sault. 

In Bucharest I saw a bronze lupa di Boma, the she 
wolf that gave mothering care to Bomulus and Bemus. 
It was given by the city of Rome to the city of Bucharest 
to commemorate the conquest of the Dacians by Trojan. 
I had a duplicate cast at Naples, which now occupies a 
place in the city hall grounds. It symbolizes the tender 
relation between animals and mankind, and their inter- 
dependence. Italians at Sault Ste. Marie at once par- 
ticularly sensed its classical bearing. A miniature rep- 



lica of this wolf in gold was recently given to Mrs. 
Woodrow Wilson by the city of Eome. 

When Etienne Brule came to Sault Ste. Marie in 
1618, he found the majestic river bank flanked by great 
elms, indigenous here. Long ago almost all of these 
paid tribute to the axmen, who might easily have spared 
these noble trees, but did not. To restore them, and 
also cure a treeless city, I gave a thousand young elms. 
Several hundred are growing finely and in a few years 
will change and improve the appearance of the town. 

As a tired boy in Milwaukee I often slept on Sunday 
morning, in a room near St. James Episcopal Church, 
until the chimes of St James would awaken me. Then 
I would lie and listen, and half awake I would dream 
things. My room was in a cheap tenement, back on 
Clyboume Street. St. James is on stately Grand 

It was then the church of Alexander Mitchell and 
other millionaires. Across from it was the Mitchell 
mansion, and near to it on the east was the rich home 
of James Kneeland, with well-kept grounds and swans, 
and ducks with red mandibles, floating in a miniature 
mirror lake. It was then all another world, and I felt 
awed by it. This did not curb my dreams. Some day 
I would give chimes to some town, and they would be 
heard by other poor boys whose hearts would be made 
glad and light by the songs of the bells. 

Better chimes than those and better played, and more 
and larger bells — eleven in all — hang in St. James, 
of Sault Ste. Marie. That is how I, a Presbyterian, 
came to give the bells to an Episcopal church. Not 
more grand would they peal forth for any name or 

222 THE lEON HUif TER 

How are we moved about like checkers on the board 
of life. My dear friend, the rector of St. James of 
Sault Ste. Marie when the bells were hung, is now, as 
I write, the rector of St James of Milwaukee. But 
the pride and power of yesterday are gone for St. James 
of Milwaukee, and it is a better and more useful church. 
I love it for those chimes of long ago. 




THERE is no way of telling much about the be- 
ginning of the age of iron. Kitchen middens 
and heaps of flint chips tell the story of the 
service of bones and stones all over the world where 
primitive man has left his wild kindergarten marks. 
Copper implements were nsed at a very early time, and 
there were copper shops at many places about Lake Su- 
perior where the native metal was beaten into knives, 
spoons, pans, pots and other utensils. One of the 
largest single discoveries of prehistoric copper imple- 
ments was made at Sault Ste. Marie, at a place once an 
island in St. Mary's River, but now an esker-like ridge 
of stream-washed gravel and boulders that marks the 
topography of the town from west to east. I have my 
modest home on this old ridge. Such finds as this one 
of well-made articles that seemed to be harder than the 
native metal have given rise to the common but er- 
roneous belief that the ancients knew how to temper 

i copper, an art lost to this age. The outer surface of the 

beaten copper is somewhat harder from pounding and 

i water and air hardening. 

But almost never is anything of iron found with the 
stones or the bones or the copper. This is not because 
iron was not wrought, but because it is more perishable 
when exposed to oxygen, either in the air or water, even 



than wood under some conditions. There is reason to 
believe that iron-making was the first work in metals 
done by mankind, because the art is advanced beyond 
any other among the wholly uncivilized tribes of Africa 
and in other parts of the world where primitive man ex- 
ists to-day. 

From Somaliland to Zululand in Africa I found iron 
hoes and iron assegai points common among the wild 
natives. The making of these gave employment to con- 
siderable numbers of persons. There was a distinct 
class of iron workers in every tribe of any size, except 
among such lowly ones as the pigmy Dokos or others 
of their undeveloped kind. The art was handed down 
from father to son, and while methods were similar, 
there was variety in them and also a difference in skilL 
They smelted ores, and do so yet, except where scraps 
of iron can be procured. Some workers used stones for 
hammers and bark-tied, hardened wood for tongs; 
others had iron hammers and tongs quite well fashioned. 
Stone anvils are used, and the smith usually sits at his 
work. Sometimes hollowed sticks of wood were used 
to hold the cold end of the piece of iron that was being 
wrought. Bellows are most often made of the hide of 
an ox or some other animal, often of goat skins. In one 
comer of the bag thus formed is a wooden pipe about a 
yard long and bound in air tight with rawhide thongs. 
The other end of the skin bag is fastened to pieces of 
flattened wood forming a mouth that shuts quite tight 
when the bellows is being operated. This was done by 
hand, the smith's assistant holding on to rawhide 
handles above and below on the wooden jaws. A stone 
weight on the wooden pipe holds the bellows down quite 
firmly. Two bellows are used. By working them al- 
ternately a steady blast of air of considerable force ii 


secured. A clay tunnel connects the wooden pipe outlet 
of the bellows with a charcoal fire built in a rude forge 
in the ground. 

For smelting iron ore a larger number of bellows were 
employed. Very often I found abandoned ant houses 
utilized for a furnace and the natives even drive out 
the ants and use their formidable formicaries not only 
for furnaces, but also for grain bins and even for human 

Their native hoes contained good enough iron so that 
a gun maker at Birmingham made an Enfield rifle out 
of some that Livingstone sent to England. 

Abbe Rochon, of France, member of the Academies 
of Sciences of Paris and Petersburgh, Astronomer of 
the Marine, Keeper of the King^s Philosophical Cabinet, 
Inspector of Machines, Money, etc., was in Madagascar 
in 1768. Referring to iron ore he says : " Iron mines 
of an excell«it quality are dispersed in great profusion 
all over the island, and very near to the surface of the 
earth. The Malegaches break and pound the ore and 
place it between four stones lined with potter's clay; 
they then employ a double wooden pump, instead of a 
pair of bellows, to give the fire more strength (blast) ; 
and in the space of an hour the mineral is in a state of 
fusion. The iron produced by this operation is soft 
and malleable : no better is known in the world.'' 

Abbe Rochon was a wide traveler as an official and 
scientific observer. In his opinion the ancient Malag- 
asy iron furnace was peculiar to that people. Inci- 
dentally he also tells an interesting story about an ad- 
venturer in Madagascar who buncoed Benjamin Frank- 
lin. Poor Richard gave Benjowski letters of recom- 
mendation which he used in America to organize an ill- 
fated expedition for the seizure of Madagascar. Ben- 


jow8ki was killed by French marines. I was interested 
in seeing the spot where he came to grief. 

All African travelers report seeing iron ore and iron 
workers, so it is certain that it is distributed all over 
that continent. I found big outcroppings of iron ore 
near to both coal and limestone. Blue hematite speci- 
mens that I brought out and had analyzed turned out 
to be of fine Bessemer quality. There is no iron manu- 
facturing in Africa except the rude native operations, 
but it is entirely possible and even probable that Africa 
will supply the world with steel, as it surely can do. 
Even now there is a considerable shipment to America 
and Europe of chrome iron ore from the mines near 
Selukwe in Southern Rhodesia. The only other large 
production of chrome iron ore is from the French mines 
in New Caledonia. 

In every one of the eighteen provinces of China as 
well as in Manchuria there are deposits of iron ore. 
I have visited many of these. Some of them have 
been worked for centuries in a small and clumsy man- 
ner, not much better than the Africans did. Lack of 
pumping facilities kept them on the surface, but even 
if pumps had been available they would not have been 
used on account of feng shui: their fear of offending 
the earth demons. Both men and women work as 
miners. The men are paid an equivalent of four to 
five cents in our money and the women two to six cents 
for a day of eight hours. In addition some rice and a 
vegetable called miso are served. 

A little while before he died Li Hung Chang estab- 
lished a steel plant near HankoW, the first one in China. 
It was a kind of junk affair at first, but has been im- 

Iron working in China is an ancient art and at some 


periods reached a high state of perfection. In Chinese 
collections I saw fine coats of mail for man and horse 
made of delicate woven wire^ so as to be lights elastic 
and effective; also lances^ ahields, chains^ traps and 
other things made before guns came into use. 

There are great iron ore deposits and coal measures 
in Shansiy Chi-li, Shantung and Yunnan. In fact, 
there is more or less iron ore in all of the Chinese 
provinces. The iron district in Shansi and extending 
beyond is one of the largest in the world and will some 
day be a source of world's supply. At the present time 
very little is being done. I visited a number of surface 
workings in Shansi^ where the methods are crude in- 
deed^ although they do produce an engraving steel of 
unexampled hardness. A great many persons were 
employed in iron ore mining and in iron making. 
Their condition of life is very miserable and their pay 
is less than two cents a day in our values. Ignorance 
and superstition seem to be instruments of conservation 
in China, just as avarice is the cause of feverish destruc- 
tion in our coimtry. Some day the world will turn to 
China for iron and coal and the vast untouched quan- 
tities there of these twin necessities will be appreciated. 
During 1916, 1917 and 1918 Japan has made large 
loans to the Northern Chinese government, taking as 
security vast mineral concessions comprehending all of 
China's known iron ore fields. It is even charged that 
Japan took advantage of the world's engrossment in 
war to exploit China. If the Northern forces are vic- 
torious in the civil war in China, a final title may be 
obtained by Japan. But if the Southern armies win, 
Japan will get nothing; nor is she likely to profit by 
a compromise that seems probable between Canton and 
Pekin. Japan's attempt is a gamble in iron ore. 


I spent 8e?eral numihs f ollowing the tracks of Abbe 
Hqc in China, and the trails of Marco Polo not only in 
China^ but in other countries of Asia. Polo began his 
travels in 1260. In that age his tours were a source of 
world wonder. He brou^t back to Europe informa- 
tion of incalculable value about the work of mankind 
in the Orient where in every channel of activity there 
was higher development Men in the Orient were 
thinking better and working with their hands better 
than the people of the West. Europe was just b^in- 
ning to see the dawn of a new day after centuries of 
decadence and obliteration. A great many pronounced 
Polo an impostor and discredited his reports. Others 
believed in him and through these Europe was to have 
the benefit of Polo's travels and learning. It is aston- 
ishing how many of the modem arts in their develop- 
ment in the western world can be traced to a period 
coeval with the post-Polo era. Before that the use of 
coal was scarcely known^ if at all, in Europe. Iron 
making was nearly as primitive as it is in the wilds of 
Africa to-day. In China, Persia, Arabia, Turkey and 
India Polo learned by hearsay or actual contact and ob- 
servation of vast deposits of iron ore and of most won- 
derful handicraft in steel of the finest texture. Con- 
cerning these things in the kingdom of Kerman, then 
recently conquered by the Tartars, Polo reported 
" plenty of veins of steel and ondanique ; the people are 
skillful in making steel harness of war, swords, bows, 
quivers, arms of every kind, bridle bits, spurs, needles, 
etc.'' The " steel " mines referred to are probably the 
Parpa iron mines on the road from Kerman to Shiraz, 
called even to-day M'aden-i-fulad (steel mine) ; they are 
idle now. I saw old Kerman weapons, daggers, knives, 
stirrups and other things made from steel, of exquisite 


workmanship and more than justifying all of Polo's 

It is not quite certain what is meant by Polo's " ondan- 
ique." Eamusio, of Venice, often asked Persian mer- 
chants who visited him about it. They agreed in stat- 
ing that it was a kind of steel of such surpassing 
excellence and value that in the ancient days a man 
who possessed a mirror or a sword of andanic or ondan- 
ique regarded it as he would a precious jewel. 

The Bword blades of India had a great fame all over 
the East and I heard them referred to as having been 
made by workmen now extinct, with whose passing also 
was lost an irrecoverable art. At Teheran I learned 
that Indian blades and considerable fine Indian steel 
had been imported until quite recent times. 

Ctesias mentions two wonderful Indian swords that 
he got from the King of Persia and his mother. It is 
not unlikely that this fine Indian steel is the ferrum 
candidum of which the Malli and Oxydrac* sent one 
hundred talents weight as a present to Alexander the 
Great. Indian iron and steel are mentioned in the 
Periplus as imports into the Abyssinian ports and to 
this day may be seen fine steel spear heads and imple- 
ments at Dire Doua and Addis Abeba, perhaps relics 
of those ancient imports. 

Ferrum Indicum appears among the Oriental prod- 
ucts subject to duty in the Eoman tariffs of Marcus 
Aurelius and Commodus. Salmasius notes that among 
the rare Greek chemical writings there is a metallur^ 
gical paper " On the Tempering of Indian Steel." 

Edrisi mentions that excellent iron was produced in 
the ** cold mountains " northwest of Jiruft. In the 
Jihan N^uma, or Great Turkish Geography, is the state- 
ment that the ^^ steel " mines of Miriz, on the borders 


of Kerman, were famous. Teixeira substantiates this. 
Says Edrisi : ^^ The Hindus excel in the manufacture 
of iron and in the preparation of those ingredients 
along with which it is fused to obtain that kind of soft 
iron which is usually styled Indian steel. They also 
have workshops wherein are forged the most famous 
sabers in the world. It is impossible to find anything to 
surpass the edge you get from Indian steel." 

Arabic literature contains many references to the 
fame of the sword blades of India. Even the ancient 
poets sang of them as may be read about in Freytag's 
translation of Hamasa's collection of old Arab verse. 
Timur used Indian blades, and had for his own use 
a Hindu sword of matchless fineness. In the accounts 
of the Mohammedan conquest of India and on down 
through the reigns of Akbar, Shah Jahan and other 
Mughals, the Hindu disbelievers' execution is referred 
to as being sent to Jihannam with the well-watered 
blade of the Hindu sword. The sword is consequently 
personified as a " Hindu of Good Family," according 
to the idea that a dead Hindu recalcitrant was the only 
good Hindu, the origin no doubt of the American phrase 
as applied to the American aborigine, ^^ A good Indian 
is a dead Indian." 

Throughout the Malay Archipelago I found primitive 
iron furnaces such as were used thousands of years ago 
in Arabia and India, suggesting that they were per- 
haps inducted by Arab traders. In Madagascar I saw 
a different type of furnace that seemed to have been 
originated by the Malagasy. Indeed work in iron has 
been a dignified art and distinctive industry all over 
the world for multiplied centuries. 

Chardin says of the steel of Persia : " They combine 
it with Indian steel which is more tractable and held in 


greater estimation," Dupre, a hundred years ago, 
writes that he had thought that the famous Persian 
sahers were made from ore from certain mines in E[hor- 
asan, hut that he had discovered himself in error in that 
there are " no mines of steel " in that province, and 
that he had learned of the use of steel disks imported 
from Lahore. 

Kenrick suggests that the " bright iron " mentioned 
by Ezekiel in chapter xxvii as among the wares of 
Tyre, must have been Indian steel, because mentioned 
in connection with calamus and cassia and other exports 
from India. 

Pottinger enumerates steel among the imports from 
India into Eerman. Elphinstone the Accurate, in his 
Caubul, tells how much Indian steel is prized in Af- 
ghanistan, but that the best swords are made in Persia 
and in Syria. In his " History of India " he calls at- 
tention to the fact that the ancients sought steel in India 
and that the oldest known Persian poem contains praise 
of it; that it continues to be the material used in the 
scintillating scimitars of Damascus and Ehorasan. 

An old Indian officer in the British service found no 
common knowledge of steel-making among the people. 
He tried to tell a native, who claimed that steel ore 
and iron ore were separate and distinct materials, how 
steel was manufactured. The Indian was disgusted 
and displayed his feelings plainly by exclaiming: 
" You would have me believe that if I put an ass in the 
furnace it will come forth a horse." 

Paulus Jovius in the sixteenth century speaks of 
the high repute of Kerman scimitars and lance points. 
The blades were eagerly sought by the Turks. Such 
was their unusual reputation for quality that it was a 
common boast that with one blow a Kerman sword 


would cleave a European metal helmet without turning 
the edge. 

Undoubtedly the art of fabricating fine steel and of 
generally utilizing iron ore was known at the very dawn 
of history and is even prehistoric. The world has 
shifted its skill to the Occident. Volumes are required 
to tell the story of iron ore and its manufacture in 
Europe, where the Germans, Swedes and English have 
rivaled each other in methods and production. Now 
the great industry has crossed the Atlantic to find its 
highest development in both quality and volume. The 
United States leads the world in iron ore production 
and in its manufacture. It is an enviable position, 
with many interclashing responsibilities. The largest 
business organization in the world is devoted to the 
iron industry. As one stands illumined by the furnace 
incandescence in some vast modem forge of Vulcan, 
with its wearing human machinery and its ponderous 
but delicately adjusted cranes, dippers, cars and rolls, 
aU moving as perfectly as watch wheels at the magic 
touch of subtle electric currents, he cannot escape the 
wish that man's relation to man might be as perfectly 
and happily arranged. 





AT some of the great open pit mines in the Mesaba 
district of Minnesota, sixty per cent, iron ore 
has been mined and loaded on the cars for less 
than five cents a ton, even charging to cost account the 
outlay for removing forty to sixty feet of overburden 
that covered the ore lense. When this is taken into 
consideration and also the added fact that thei:e are 
adequate high grade ore reserves developed and unde- 
veloped to supply the world for a hundred years and 
longer, it is almost amazing that lean ores can be profit- 
ably used in America. And yet they are. The high 
grade iron ores known outside of the United States are 
of uncertain volume, and those in the Scandinavian 
arctics and in Brazil and China are not advantageously 
located. Consequently what are regarded in this coun- 
try as lean ores are esteemed of great value in other iron- 
making coimtries. 

I visited the magnetic concentrating plants in Lulea 
and Dunderland and foimd them producing a high- 
grade ore by concentrating processes that are successful. 
Far more unusual and interesting is the successful use 
of lean ores in America, where the high-grade ores are 
not only plenteous but are located perfectly for both 
economic mining and transportation. On the Meno- 
minee Kange at Iron Mountain, near my old home at 



Florence, an ore running about thirty per cent, in 
metallic iron has been profitably produced at the Pewa- 
bic mine. This ore is low in phosphorus and high in 
silica and is an ideal mixing material with Mesaba 
ores. On a Minnesota range thirty-five per cent ores 
are raised to fifty-eight per cent, by washing. The 
clumsy " grizzlies " used in this process are most ef- 
fective. At Duluth, Hayden, Stone & Company and 
their associates have a large experimental plant where 
magnetic ores containing thirty per cent, of metal are 
enriched to sixty-two and one-half per cent, by an in- 
genious electrical treatment perfected by a Hoosier. 
They treat one hundred tons of rocklike material a day, 
which is finallv transformed into a rich sinter that is in 
demand. This method alone will make it possible to 
utilize millions upon millions of tons of lean magnetite 
that belts Lake Superior like a containing encasement. 
The only place in North America that siderite is con- 
centrated is at the Magpie Mine on the Lake Superior 
north shore in Canada, above Sault Ste. Marie. The 
siderite deposits there are very extensive. They are 
located in a wilderness abounding in caribou, moose, 
bear and wolves and other wildest animals, where I ex- 
plored for several years. A formidable plant has been 
erected for the treatment of these ores by a method 
adopted from Austria, where siderite was largely and 
successfully refined before the war. The operations 
have been of especial interest to American miners of 
iron ore and metallurgists. Although new and most 
unusual in this country, the Magpie siderite operation 
presents no complications and is in fact simple. The 
roasting is done in regular cement kilns eight feet in di- 
ameter, one hundred twenty-five feet long, inclined one- 
half inch per foot and rotated once in two minutes. 


The ore is crushed to about three inches and fed into the 
upper end of this kiln. The lower end of the kiln is 
fired with powdered coal, pulverized so that ninety per 
cent, will pass a two hundred mesh screen. A single 
piece of ore remains in the kibi about three hours ; that 
is, that is the length of time it takes for the ore to 
work its way from the intake to the discharge end. 

Ordinary siderite, without any sulphur present in 
the form of pyrites, requires very little heat for driving 
off the CO2 gas and changing the ore into hematite. 
This is an index of Nature's method. Magpie ore how- 
ever contains about one per cent, sulphur and eight i)er 
cent. lime. As the lime has a strong affinity for the 
sulphur, it requires a finishing temperature of about 
1100 degrees Centigrade to dead roast the ore, that is 
to eliminate all the sulphur. At the Helen Mine in the 
same district there is a siderite which runs somewhat 
higher in sulphur than above. They experimented 
with this at the Magpie and found that a rotary kiln 
will not satisfactorily handle the ore containing over 
two per cent in sulphur. The roasting drives off the 
volatile and at the same time reduces the sulphur to a 
point suitable for the blast furnace. 

The siderite, together vnth the other carbonates, oc- 
curs as a band standing nearly vertical and striking 
northeast and southwest. This band is broken by fold- 
ing and faults at several points. The width of the 
siderite being mined varies from twenty-eight feet to 
sixty-two feet, the average width being about forty-two 
feet. The carbonate deposit, as a whole, is a sedi- 
mentary bed lying between a series of acid and basic 
flaws and tuffs of volcanic origin. The wall rock on the 
south is talcose schist with well defined schistosity, while 
on the north it is an ellipsoidal basalt showing very 


little schistosity. The contacts are not well defined 
and are not clean, so that much care is necessary in 
mining to make sure that no ore is left on the waU and 
that no rock is broken into the stopes. Underground 
the schist on the south wall has very much the appear- 
ance of the ore, but the drill cuttings from the holes 
give a good indication of when the wall is reached. 
The body being mined has an approximate length of 
1350 feet. The carbonate band is very much longer 
than this but narrows down on either end so that it is 
not found profitable to mine the ore except in this area. 

In roasting the siderite at the Magpie tliere is a loss 
in volatile of about thirty per cent, by weight, so that 
nearly three tons of ore have to be mined to produce two 
tons of finished material. Taking this into considera- 
tion, together with the fact that the actual roasting op- 
eration costs are considerable, it was necessary to devise 
a very cheap mining system in order to make the opera- 
tion as a whole commercially successful. Several min- 
ing methods were studied and approximate costs 
worked out, but before any method was definitely chosen, 
it was decided to sink the shaft and open up drifts 
on two main haulage levels to definitely determine 
the nature of the ground and the material to be 

The shaft was therefore started on the north side of 
the ore body about sixty feet from the north contact 
of the ore. The shaft is twenty-four feet by eight feet 
in the rough, and is timbered with twelve inch by 
twelve inch sets, so that the inside dimensions are 
twenty-two feet by six feet. It is divided into four 
compartments, two skip compartments for balanced 
Kimberly skips, one cage compartment and one ladder 
and pipe way. The shaft was sunk two hundred and 


five feet to the second level. It was decided to use 
eighty-foot levels and to leave a forty-five foot floor 
pillar to surface. A crosscut was run on each level 
from the shaft to the south contact of the ore, and drifts 
started from here in either direction, these drifts follow- 
ing the south contact as nearly as possible. The nature 
of the ore passed through in these drifts was closely ob- 
served and samples taken and analyses made for each 
ten-foot section of the drifts. No timber was necessary 
in any of the drifts, but it was noted that the ore showed 
a great number of slips or cleavage planes. These 
slips have no general direction but intersect each other 
at all angles and are extremely smooth. In scaling a 
new drift, large wedge-shape pieces will fall out from 
the first blow of the scaling bar, but when a drift is once 
thoroughly scaled, very little material loosens from later 
blasting. On account of this feature of the ore, it was 
necessary to determine on a method of mining which 
would always keep the miners close to the back and 
under cover. It was therefore decided to use the sub- 
level stoping system in mining this deposit. 

The ore body was blocked off into three stopes longi- 
tudinally, divided opposite the shaft by a fifty-foot 
shaft pillar, and four himdred feet west of the shaft by 
a diabase dyke, one hundred feet wide, which cuts the 
body at right angles. This gives three stopes on each 
level, approximately four hundred feet long. To de- 
velop these stopes, a raise is put up at each end of the 
block and a sublevel run to connect the raises. The first 
sub is eighteen feet above the level. The other sublevels 
are twenty-three feet from floor to floor. On the upper 
levels, three subs are used between levels, but below the 
second level four subs are used, making the distance 
between levels one hundred and three feet. After the 


stopes have been developed in this manner^ the raise at 
the end of the block nearest the shaft is made into a 
permanent ladder and pipe way. Air lines are run 
along the floor of the subs to the far end, and mining 
commenced. Machines are set to work breaking down 
around the raise at the far end of the block and this 
opening is enlarged until the stope is completely cut 
off. The first sub is then drawn back about fifty to 
sixty feet By keeping the first sub back this distance, 
the muck does not run into the face. This also gives 
the men working on this sub a chance to hand blast a 
proportion of the larger pieces which break from the 
upper benches. Most of these drop so that they can be 
reached from the first sub. Those dropping in the open 
stope have to be blasted as they come down into the 

After the stope has been cut off from wall to wall, 
section cutting is done on each sub. At first it was the 
intention to carry the subs step fashion with the upper 
subs overhanging the lower ones, but the ground was 
found to be so full of cleavage planes that these over- 
hanging benches fell when blasting out the section cut, 
so that now all the subs, except the bottom ones, are 
carried back together, the face of the stope being ver- 
tical In section cutting the stope, the machine is set 
up in the sub and an eight-foot bench blasted off. This 
requires five holes, two in front and three behind. 
These holes are about seven feet deep and break to the 
bottom. Very little mucking is necessary for the next 
set-up and little scaling as the back is only eight feet 
high. This section cut is carried from wall to wall 
and the stope holes are drilled in the bench below from 
the same set-ups. The back holes are drilled with 
stopers after the section cut has been completed. The 


whole face of the stope is then blasted off with a battery 
shot. Very little powder is required, either in the seo- 
tion cut or in the stope blast, as there is always an open 
face to break to. When a stope on one level has been 
drawn back to the starting raise, the chutes are taken 
out, rails and pipe lines removed and the main level 
used as a sub. In this way all mucking is avoided. 
The ore remaining in the bottom of one level, which 
will not run out of the chutes, is dropped to the level 
below. On the bottom sub no back holes are used, ex- 
cept in the comers of the stope, as this sub is carried 
higher than the rest, thus leaving a thinner space be- 
tween it and the second sub. The rail and pipe lines, 
removed from the level which is drawn back, are used 
on the lower level in the development work, so that very 
few new pipes or rails are required. 

On the main haulage level, crosscuts are run off the 
main drift at twenty-five feet intervals. Raises are put 
up from these crosscuts so that the raises are spaccid 
about twenty-five feet center to center each way. These 
raises extend only to the first sub. Ordinary round 
timber chutes are used in these raises, with three inch 
round birch stoppers. A large amount of blasting is 
necessary in the chutes at times on account of the 
benches coming down in large pieces, but otherwise no 
trouble is experienced in loading cars. All tramming 
is done by hand, two-ton cars being used on a grade 
of one per cent, in favor of the loads. They have done 
away with cross switches for spotting cars at the shaft. 
In place of them they use a truck running on rails in a 
shallow pit transversely across the station and about 
twelve feet back from it. Cars can be run onto this track 
from any track and spotted for either skip track or the 
cage track as may be required. All out-bound loaded 


cars come up the main crosscut on the one track. The 
lead for No. 1 skip lies with this main line. Cars to 
dump in No. 1 skip come up the main, cross the mack- 
inaw onto this lead and dump directly in the skip. 
Returning they are backed onto the mackinaw, which is 
then spotted for the return track, through a spring 
switch out onto the main line and back in again for 
loading. This spring switch is the only real switch on 
the level. 

Under ordinary conditions, trammers dump their 
own cars, but when for any reason it is necessary to 
speed up the hoisting, a gang of dumpers (two men), 
are put on at the shaft. Trammers coming out leave 
their cars on the main line and go back with an 
empty from the return track. The gang at the shaft 
handles cars on the mackinaw, dumps them and shoves 
them down the return track. Working in this way, 
four hundred to four hundred and fifty skips can easily 
be sent up in a shaft. 

The siderite, as a whole, in the Magpie ore body is 
the usual light colored ore with a slightly pink tinge 
due to the manganese carbonate rhodochrosite, but on 
either side of the diabase dyke, cutting the body, the 
siderite is changed to a dense black ore much re- 
sembling fine grained magnetite. In the white siderite, 
the volatile runs about thirty-two per cent., but this 
volatile gradually decreases near the dyke until it is. as 
low as twelve per cent. The carbonate here contains 
considerable magnetite and the iron content of the ore is 
higher than in the light colored ore. The black ore is 
exceptionally hard, so hard in fact that a three and one- 
fourth-inch piston drill will drill only from five to six 
feet of hole per shift. The character of the ore changes 
gradually as the distance from the dyke increases, so 


that at about one hundred feet from the dyke the siderite 
is all white. 

The ore is hoisted with two balanced Kimberly skips^ 
which have a capacity of two tons each, and dump 
directly into the crusher. The hoist consists of a six 
foot drum, coned at each end and geared to 150 H.P. 
wound motor, three phase, induction motor. This 
motor is remotely controlled and automatically protected 
against overloading. It is only, of course, when hoist- 
ing from the bottom level that the cone on the drum is 
of any use, but the motor has no difficulty in starting a 
loaded skip from any of the intermediate levels, even 
though no chair is used and the full load is hanging 
on the rope at the start. The full load speed of the 
motor gives a rope speed of seven hundred fifty feet per 

The signal to hoist the skip is given to the hoistman 
by a bell which can be rung from one level — namely 
the one from which the most tramming is being done at 
that time. A skip-tender is stationed there and the 
other levels ring to him when they want the skip, or 
when they have finished dumping their car, and he re- 
lays the signal to the hoist man. 

The crusherman feeding the No. 8 crusher also has 
a switch by which he can ring the hoistman in case 
trouble with the crusher occurs and he wants to stop the 
skip before it dumps. This switch also gives the same 
signal to the skip tender, so that he knows that the skip 
has been stopped at the crusher. This stopping for a 
minute or two is fairly frequent, as a big chunk of ore 
often has to be broken with a hammer before it will go 
into the crusher. 

The skips dump into a No. 8 gyratory crusher, which 
breaks the ore to about six-inch ring. The black ore 


from near the diabase dyke is exceptionally hard^ so 
bard tbat in fact the cast iron spider, which is prac- 
tically always supplied with these machines, was not 
strong enough to withstand the strain and had to be re- 
placed by a cast steel one. Below the iNTo. 8 crusher, 
the ore passes over a set of grizzly bars and then to two 
No. 6 gyratory crushers. These are set to about three 
inch, and from these the ore is carried on a twenty-four 
inch conveyor belt to the storage bins in the roast plant. 

The roasting kilns are eight feet by one hundred 
twenty-five feet long and lined with nine-inch hard fire 
brick. The fuel used is powdered slack coal which 
gives a temperature of about 1100 degrees Centigrade 
for about twenty feet in the kiln. This is not hot 
enough to make the ore sticky and is sufficient to drive 
off the CO2 and nearly eliminate the sulphur. 

After passing through the roasting kilns, both the 
light and dark colored ores have the same appearance 
and are not distinguishable in any way. The finished 
ore is nearly black in color, and comes out of the kilns 
in a very porous condition, in rounded lumps about two 
inches in diameter, the large pieces breaking up when 
passing through the kiln. This finished product has 
the following composition and is admirably suited for 
the blast furnace both on account of its physical condi- 
tion and its chemical composition: 

Fe 50.00 

Phos 013 

Silica 9.60 

Manganese 2.75 

Alumina 1.24 

Lime 7.69 

Magnesia 7.75 

Sulphur 196 

Loss on Ign. .000 


So here an elaborate and relatively costly mining and 
roasting system enriches from thirty to fifty per cent, 
an ore never before used in America, and it is done 
profitably. I have gone into rather technical details 
because the entire operation is a unique innovation in 
America. It will be at once concluded that American 
ore reserves will be sufficient for many centuries. In- 
asmuch as the late James J. Hill predicted exhaustion 
in a couple of decades, this furnishes a satisfying: con- 
tra8t. ^erica manufactures nearly three quadra of 
the steel and iron used by the world. That this will 
continue almost without limit as to time and always 
disproportionately increasing in favor of this country 
does not admit of reasonable doubt. 



THE tale of how fortunes were made by many men 
in the Lake Superior iron ore ranges is a story 
of fortuitous happenings. An iron ore forma- 
tion surrounds Lake Superior north and south. The 
first discoveries were made in Michigan. Later the 
Mesaba and other ranges opened in Minnesota placed 
that State in the leading place in iron ore production 
in the world. Abnost without exception the iron dis- 
tricts were in regions covered by great forests of virgin 
white pine — ptniLs strohus. These trees in instances 
grew to great proportions. Some of them measured 
more than six feet in diameter at the baso. So light 
and perfect in texture were these big trees that they 
were called cork pine. Driving streams threaded the 
pineries on their way to the Great Lakes. These sup- 
plied transportation to navigable waters for the logs. 
Naturally these forests early attracted the attention of 
lumbermen. When the pineries in Maine began to be 
exhausted, hardy Yankees of character and courage 
from the Androscoggin came to Michigan after their 
idea of a golden fleece. They " took up " vast tracts 
of land from the Government along the Saginaw, the 
Tittabawassee, the Shiawassee and other Lower Penin- 
sula rivers. Most always these lands were " entered " 
at a dollar and a quarter an acre. Bolder spirits forged 
to the northward into the valleys of the Tahquamenon 



and the Menominee, and on westward to the Wisconsin 
River country and then into Minnesota. When the tim- 
ber came into the market it was logged, floated down 
stream to sawmills and cut into lumber. Only the very 
choicest, and that nearest streams making a short haul, 
was cut at first. Piles of skidded logs were left in the 
woods amidst the resinous tops and limbs. Fire would 
get into the waste jimgles and cause direful loss of life 
as well as of property. Hundreds of lumber towns 
have been wiped out and thousands of lives sacrificed 
on the pyres of carelessness. Even to this day death- 
breeding forest fires occur in Michigan, Wisconsin and 
Minnesota. Just as soon as the pine was cut off, the 
lumbermen would let the scarfed lands " go back " for 
taxes, recognizing no other values. Some of these lands 
are now most fertile farms. On others iron ore was 
found. When the land was originally purchased the 
buyer had nothing in view but the timber. If iron ore 
was known to exist in a certain region, some wiser land 
owners would hold on to their possessions and pay the 
low taxes. Others would not. Almost never did they 
do anything to develop the lands. Prospectors would 
come along and ask for an option to explore on a lease 
and royalty basis. They would develop a mine and the 
land owner would have a fortune he had not turned his 
hand over to earn. In many cases before or after the 
timber was cut the owners of land when making trans- 
fers would '^ reserve " the mineral rights on a gambla 
These reservations have never been taxed and are still 
permitted to be made according to law. Not infre- 
quently the original owners would have died and their 
heirs would be surprised to have a request come to them 
for an option to explore on lands now owned by others 
and to which they had no idea they had any claim. The 


lap gods jiist dug into the earth for them and filled their 
pockets with dollars. A great many rich iron mines 
in Michigan and Minnesota are on lands once purchased 
from the Government for pine timber. Perhaps the 
Wellington Burt fortune, of Saginaw, is a typical in- 
stance of how the economic symplegides opened to 
people who were blind so far as iron ore was concerned. 
There are dozens of other cases just like the Burt one, 
and some of them have an annual income amounting to 
upwards of a million dollars from accidental royalties. 
Government Idnd grants, honest and dishonest, 
earned and unearned, conveyed billions of dollars worth 
of iron ore from the public to private owners. Notable 
examples are the Lake Superior Ship Canal Railway 
and Iron Company, the Great Northern Grant, and 
there were many more. Perhaps the accumulation of 
the pyramidal Longyear fortune is as legitimate a case 
as any. John M. Longyear was e^ bright, rather physi- 
cally weak young man of alert vision and fine character. 
He was sent to Marquette, on Lake Superior, as the 
agent of the Lake Superior Ship Canal Railway and 
Iron Company. This company in selecting the lands 
allotted in its grant engaged the services of the three 
Brotherton " boys '' of Escanaba. They were the very 
best land lookers and iron hunters in all the Lake Su- 
perior region. Upon their reports all the Canal Com- 
pany's lands were chosen. These had to be alternate 
sections. Mr. Longyear had all the information sup-^ 
plied by the data gathered by the Brother tons# He se- 
cured financial backers and bought the lands lying be- 
tween the Canal Company's property. It just so hap- 
pened that most of the mines found turned out to be 
on the Longyear lands. The fortune that was won in 
this W9,y runs into the multiplied millions. 



The story of the big Chapin mine on the Menominee 
Bange presents facets of exquisite humor and at the 
same time illustrates how little significance was at- 
tached by owners to early land holdings. The Chapins 
lived at Niles, Michigan. They entered the Chapin 
Mine forty at a dollar and a quarter an acre, equaling 
fifty dollars. A wedding occurred in the family. To 
the officiating preacher was given a deed for the forty 
acres in question. The guileless dominie did not even 
record the deed and paid no attention to it whatever. 
A few years later the big mine was found. It has pro- 
duced ore worth more than twenty million dollars and 
still has rich reserves. A wide-awake young lawyer 
heard of the preacher and investigated the story. He 
had a hard time finding the minister, but finally trailed 
him to the Pacific Coast in an obscure little town. 
Suit against the Chapins was begun. After hanging 
fire in the courts for a more or less tedious time, a 
compromise was made with the preacher for a cash con- 
sideration of two hundred thousand dollars. This was 
divided evenly with the lawyer and the Chapin mine 
lawsuit was heard of no more. 

Just a little time ago a title to a valuable mine was 
traced to a Kussian servant maid who had returned to 
Warsaw. The able young lawyer who ferreted it out 
was sent to Europe by a big mining company. He 
found the girl, with the assistance of a kindly priest, 
paid her well, got her relinquishment and came home. 
The company gave the lawyer a check for twenty-five 
thousand dollars, paid all of his expenses and gave him 
a high place in their law department. This recital re- 
fers to Raymond Empson, attorney, of Gladstone, Michi- 
gan, and to the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, of which 
William G. Mather, of Cleveland, Ohio, is president. 


In all of the dealings there was only one desire upper- 
most in the mind of Mr. Mather and his managing 
vice-presidenty M. M. Duncan, and that was to give the 
poor girl her just consideration and to treat the young 
lawyer fairly. This is coming to be the policy of 
modem business and it will go a long way to retard 
bolshevism. I could go on almost endlessly writing of 
the romances of iron ore. Stewart Edward White 
charmingly tells the story of white pine in his popular 
'^ Blazed Trail." There are a thousand blazed trails 
in the adventures of the iron ore hunters. 



VERY early in its development I visited the 
Mesaba range many times. 
At the commencement of every epoch of great 
importance, or rather while the parts are being mar- 
shalled for the making of history, many of the more 
minute things are lost sight of, and thus the era starts 
blunted and its history is incomplete. So it is with the 
discovery of iron ore in Minnesota, and more particu- 
larly that portion known as the Mesaba range, the most 
productive iron ore region ever known in the world. 

The original discoverers of iron ore in Minnesota are 
unknown. The Sioux Indians knew about the ore ma- 
terial and associated rocks but did not know what they 
were or how to use the raw material. In this they were 
more backward than African aborigines. In the writ- 
ten relations of the Jesuit Fathers, who were the first 
missionaries to these red men, allusion is made as early 
as 1660 to the existence of economic minerals in the 
Lake Superior country. Writings by LaGard in 1686, 
by Pierre Boucher in 1640, Fathers Raymbault and 
Jogues in 1641 and Claude AUouez in 1666, tell of the 
finding of considerable quantities of iron ore in the 
several localities that are now defined as the mineral 
ranges of the Lake Superior basin. In 1668 Father 
Jacques Marquette traversed the northern wilderness 



and paid particular attention to its economic gieology. 
To the unremitting interest of this venerahle priest, the 
Lake Superior country owes the debt due for its primal 
and practical discovery. 

The first references to the Mesaba district found in 
literature concern the parts of the district immediately 
adjacent to the canoe routes offered by the rivers Mis- 
sissippi, Prairie, Swan, St Louis, Pike and smaller 
streams. The first official description was given by 
Major Z. M. Pike in 1810, and the veteran explorer, 
Henry R Schoolcraft was there in 1832. In 1841 J. 
N. Nicollet published a map of the hydrographic basin 
of the upper Mississippi, on which the Mesaba range, 
called ^^ Missabay Heights," was for the first time de- 
lineated, by hachures, although very imperfectly. In 
1866 Colonel Charles Whittlesey reported on explora- 
tions made in northern Minnesota during the years 
1848, 1849 and 1864, mentioning Pokegama Falls, near 
Grand Rapids. Mesaba, which is spelled in half a 
dozen different ways, to suit the fancy of the speller, is 
the Chippewa word for giant, and the name was given 
the granite range of hills to the north of Hibbing. The 
early explorers used the word Mesaba to cover the ter- 
ritory now embraced in the regions known as the Mesaba 
and Vermillion ranges. In 1868, Henry H. Eames, the 
first state geologist of Minnesota, reported the finding 
of iron ore at Embarrass Lake near Biwabik. In a sec- 
ond report, published in the same year, Mr. Eames was 
more explicit, and referring to the general elevated area 
of the northern part of the State including the Mesaba 
Range, said : 

*^ In this region are found also immense bodies of the 
ores of iron, both magnetic and hematite." From this 
time on desultory exploratory work was done along 


nearly the entire length of the range from Bangea 12 to 
LaPrairie Eiver. There is considerable doubt as to 
who was the first actual explorer to penetrate the wilds 
of the Mesaba Bange, but from all that can be gathered 
it would seem that the honor belongs to Peter Mitchell. 
The first examination of this range by a mining expert 
with particular reference to the occurrence of iron ore 
in merchantable deposits was made in 1875 by Pro- 
fessor A. H. Chester, of Hamilton College, New York. 
In this report, published in 1884, may be found this ref- 
erence to an earlier occupation of the land : 

"In the northwest quarter of section 20, in towoship 60, 
north of range 12, west, the most important of the work- 
ings of Mr. Peter Mitchell, the first explorer of the range, 
was found. This was a pit six feet in depth, and from it 
was said to have been obtained the best ore he brought back. 
This old pit was cleaned and sunk to a depth of eleven and 
two-tenths feet.'' 

Professor Chester is generally given the credit of hav- 
ing been the first explorer on the range, but we have his 
own words that Mr. Mitchell was ahead of him, possi- 
bly two or three years. Between the time of Professor 
Chester's examination of the range and the publication 
of his report nine years later. Professor M. H. Win- 
chell, state geologist, noted the range in two of his re- 
ports, mentioning the existence of iron ore on the east 
end. Up to that time, while it was readily conceded 
that iron ore existed there, it was not generally believed 
that the ore was of a merchantable grade or in sufficient 
quantity to warrant development. In fact, well up to 
1890 the range had been looked over by numerous min- 
ing experts sent in there by the larger interests, and 
the reports were not favorable. The portion of the 


range examined particularly by them was the extreme 
easLn end, whe^ exposui^ of magnetic iron are nu- 
merous, but even up to the present time no body of ore 
of workable dimensions has been located at tiiat point. 
The fact that the range had been turned down by the 
several mining experts did not deter the hardy pioneer 
explorers, to whose faith and purpose are due the de- 
velopment of the Mesaba. They believed that rich iron 
ore in paying quantities was to be found in the district 
and they continued working diligently, breasting the 
imtold hardships that meet the pioneer in a wild coun- 
try. The more persistent of the early explorers were 
the Merritts — Lon Merritt, Alfred Merritt, L. J. Mer- 
ritt, C. C. Merritt, T. K Merritt, A. R Merritt, J. E. 
Merritt, and W. J. Merritt — of Duluth, and their faith 
in the range was the first to be rewarded. On Novem- 
ber 16, 1890, a crew working for them, under charge of 
Captain J. A. Nichols, struck iron ore in a homestead 
claim embracing the northwest quarter of section 3, 58- 
18, just north of what is now known as the Mountain 
Iron mine. The Merritts were not discouraged by the 
adverse reports made by the experts and the numerous 
failures of other explorers. The Mesaba was an at- 
tractive and promising field, and their faith in it was 
never shaken, even though their money was spent and 
two years of the hardest kind of labor remained unre- 
warded. All who applaud the pioneer are glad to know 
that these pioneers who were so unresting in their search 
for iron ore have been richly repaid and that those who 
remain of the family are enjoying lives of ease due to 
the early toil that tried their fiber. 

The next discovery of importance on the range was 
the Biwabik property, by John McCaskill, an explorer, 
who found ir?n ore clin^ng to the roots of an upSimed 


trea The Merritts explored the tract. It is interest- 
ing to note that the first two iron mines discovered have 
proven the largest shippers from the range. The output 
of the Biwahik mine up to the close of navigation in 
1917 was 4,053,731 tons, while the Mountain Iron mine 
had made in the same period the stupendous production 
of 7,254,201 tons. With the discovery of these mines 
it may be said that the range was fairly recognized as a 
mining district of commercial importance, and there 
followed a rush of explorers to the scene of action. 
Finds of large bodies of ore followed, and mining towns 
sprung up all along to give attention to the needs of the 
throngs of people that flocked in. 

It is generally believed that Frank Hibbing, of 
Duluth, was the first explorer to shoulder his packsack 
and push his way through the trackless wilderness to 
the point where now stands the modem city of Hib- 
bing — called the "Gem of the Mesaba," but E. J. 
Longyear preceded Hibbing to the territory by at least 
a year. Mr. Longyear cut a road into what is now the 
Hibbing district and it was he who broke the seal that 
bound the hidden wealth that has been brought to light 
since that time. Frank Hibbing was really more of a 
prospector than Longyear. He located a number of 
promising prospects and acquired interests in lands 
along the range. Mr. Hibbing was a man without 
means, but so encouraging were his reports that he soon 
interested A. J. Trimble, then fresh from many suc- 
cessful ventures on the Gogebic range, in Michigan, 
with him, and the Lake Superior Iron Company was 
formed. John M. Longyear, of Marquette, and E. M. 
Bennett, of Minneapolis, secured options to explore 
Mesaba Eange lands and sent E. J. Longyear with an 
exploration outfit to give the lands a test. Mr. Long- 


/ear was then fresh from the Michigan College of Mines, 
and was one of the first class that graduated from that 
splendid institution. In the summer of 1891 Mr. Long- 
year arrived at Swan River, on the line of the old Du- 
luth and Winnipeg Railroad, now the Great Northern, 
which was the nearest railroad point to the land he in-- 
tended to explore. He followed the old Wright and 
Davis tote road to a point about a mile and one quarter 
west of what is now Nashwauk, and from there began 
cutting a I'oad through to what is now Hibbing. Having 
made a passable road, Mr. Longyear established an ex- 
ploring camp one-half a mile north of the present Ma- 
honing mine, and the old camps are still there, a mute 
reminder of the earliest work on that end of the range. 
Mr. Longyear prosecuted exploratory work with a dia- 
mond drill without finding ore in paying quantities until 
February, 1892, when he found a large body of ore in the 
northeast quarter of section 22, 58-20. The body of 
ore, said to measure eight million tons, remains unde- 
veloped. A few years ago it became the property of the 
old Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines Company 
and was taken into the holdings of the United States 
Steel Corporation upon its organization. Mr. Long- 
year's next find was the Pillsbury mine. This was the 
first iron mine opened in the Hibbing district, though it 
did not make a shipment until 1898. The first mine to 
ship ore from the district was the Sellers, in the spring 
of 1894. The next mine to be opened in the district 
was the Burt, followed closely by the Hull, Rust, Sellers 
and Day mines, in which Hibbing and Trimble were in- 
terested, and then the great Mahoning. 

The finding of the great Mesaba beds of iron ore 
opened the eyes of the eastern furnace men, and they 
met and formed an organization to locate iron proper- 


ties on this range. W. C. Agnew was chosen as the 
most suitable man to conduct the work. Mr. Agnew 
accepted the proposition and arrived with a working 
crew in the summer of 1893. He started exploratory 
work on lands where the Mahoning mine was found, one 
mile west of Hibbing. Mr. Agnew discovered this mine 
and superintended its development. The Mahoning 
presents the largest single body of iron ore ever discov- 
ered in the world. Imagine an elliptical opening in the 
earth half a mile long, a quarter of a mile wide and 
nearly two hundred feet deep, and you will have some 
idea of what the great Mahoning open pit presents to- 
day — more than forty acres of solid iron ore exposed to 
view. There yet remains eighty acres of ore uncovered. 
The first shipment from the Mahoning was made in 
1895, and up to the close of navigation, 1917, the total 
output was 4,791,651. The possible year's shipment 
out of this mine is to be limited only by the capacity 
of the railroads for carrying away the product. 

After the first excitement of mine discovering sub- 
sided somewhat, a financial depression occurred and ex- 
ploratory work nearly ceased xmtil better times re- 
curred. But at no time was the range and its immense 
possibilities lost sight of by the financial interests of 
the country. In 1900 there was a revival of exploratory 
work, and from that time on there has been a steady 
increase in ore development and the end is not in sight. 
After the organization of the United States Steel Cor- 
poration, there was a rush of independent mining men 
to the Mesaba to secure holdings before everything fell 
under the control of the big organization. The result is 
that while the Minnesota Iron Company, a subsidiary 
branch of the Steel Trust, owns heavily of the iron prop- 
erties^ the tonnage of independent concerns holding in- 


terests in that district is probably greater than that of 
the trast. The independent mines include among others 
the Stevenson and Jordan, owned and operated by Cor- 
rigan, McKinney & Company ; the Laura and the Wini- 
fred, by the Winifred Iron Mining Company; the 
Albany, IJtica and Elizabeth, by the Crete Mining 
Company; the Longyear, Columbia, Leetonia, Pearce, 
Morrow and Croxton, by the Sellwood-Drake-Bartow in- 
terests; and the Agnew, Shenango, Kinney, Sharon, 
Grant, Leonard and Susquehanna mines, all in opera- 
tion. So it will be seen that the Steel Trust has very 
healthy competition. 

Up to the close of navigation 1918, to which period 
production is usually tabulated, because almost all of 
the ore is shipped by way of Lake Superior, the Mesaba 
Range had sent forward a total of 486,319,826 tons. 

The production of all the Lake Superior districts in 
1918 was 63,164,341 tons, of which 43,359,107 tons 
came from the Mesaba and other Minnesota ranges. 

It is estimated that by the end of the season of 1920 
the first billion tons of iron ore will have been produced 
by the Lake Superior district. 



PUBLIC work came tmexpectedly for me to do, 
just as it will come to all who will try to fit 
themselves and be willing. In 1908 I was 
tendered by Governor Warner an appointment upon the 
Board of Eegents of the University of Michigan, to suc- 
ceed the late Peter White, of Marquette. Eeally to de- 
serve to be a regent of the university and to do the work 
measurably well is, to my way of thinking, the greatest 
honor to be had in Michigan. 

Any old dub may be a governor or a United States 
senator, and several have been, but generally the regents 
have been high grade, well-equipped men. Almost al- 
ways they have been chosen from the alumni of the 

Consequently I assumed my new duties with proper 
humility and not without misgivings. Where I lived 
as a boy in Indiana, such is the prestige of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, that a house where dwelt a man 
who had graduated at Ann Arbor was pointed out to all 
as a famous landmark. With such a man for president 
as the late James Burrill Angell, there was not much 

for a board to do but back him up. But he was grow- 



ing old and wished to retire and was entitled to consid- 

To find a successor to this wonderful man was to be a 
task that devolved upon the regents. Dr. Angell was 
the mort ocmstractively aggressive man in his inimitable 
way that I have* ever known, and yet to all he was one, 
of the sweetest and most peaceful of human beings. 
He had a way of having others do the fighting. A wiz^ 
ard could not have measured men better. This one was 
selected for the very thing he could do best and that one 
for the same reason. When he had made his assign- 
ments, he would look on with the face of a calm god and 
rarely did his man fail him. Best of all, the person 
selected for an especial work seldom realized it ; almost 
always he would think that he had originated the matter 
in hand. Dr. Angell never took off for a moment his 
armor of benignity, but behind it always there was the 
force of a big man. It was because of his remarkable 
method of using men and delegating work, that he was 
able to remain efficient to an age much greater than most 
men are permitted to retain their faculties, or even life 

During the winter after he was eightynseven years old 
he had a severe sickness, largely caused by his insistence 
upon acknowledging in long hand hundreds of loving 
letters received upon his birthday. His relatives were 
summoned and all concerned expected the long calL 
On the nights of February 29 and March 1 it was 
thought that he would not see the morning. 

I was in the office of University Secretary Shirley 
Smith at about half past ten o'clock the forenoon of 
March 2. A telephone call came from Dr. Angell's 
brother. Secretary Smith's face was long and mourn- 
ful, then it lighted up with both gladness and humor. 



Instead of the dreaded news, the brother asked the 
secretary if Dr. Peterson, of the medical college hospi- 
tal, would not loan a wheeled chair for the use of Dr. 
AngelL It transpired that just when they thought he 
was nearest death he rallied, raised himself in bed, and 
complained of being hungry. He was given a break- 
fast of coffee, toast, a cereal and an egg, which he actu- 
ally enjoyed. Then he insisted upon getting up into a 
wheeled chair. A few weeks later he peacefully crossed 
the threshold of eternity. 

He had nourished his vital forces all of his life upon 
kindliness of heart, tranquillity of spirit and life in an 
atmosphere of youth. Once he told me that to live 
long one must be temperate and keep his heart youthful 
and alert. "No wonder he was so much of a factor in 
causing the University of Michigan to become one of the 
greatest of the higher educational institutions of the 
world. He was loved by everybody and most so by the 

It was this great man that a worthy successor had to 
be secured for. There were many applicants. Of 
course, not one of them applied directly, like a hungry 
man in search of a job. Some of them were just as 
eager, no doubt, but all went through the form of being 
proposed by their friends. Many of those who were 
urged in greatest volume were the most unlikely and 

Serious consideration was given to the name of the 
then Qovemor of Kew York, Charles Evans Hughes. 
Mr. Hughes had been a member of the Cornell faculty 
and was looked upon, not only as a big man, but as one 
who was also an educator. The two qualifications do 
not necessarily dove-taiL 

The place of president of the University of Michigan 



was tentatively offered to him by a committee of regents 
appointed for the purpose. Governor Hughes com- 
posed the usual gracious^ and often meaningless, phrases 
of regret, and gave as his reason that he had a life's 
work of reform in the political arena of New York 
State. Otherwise he would have been made happy by 
taking up the direction of the parent of all popular uni- 

Within a few weeks he permitted himself to be side- 
tracked, even shelved, so far as political reform activi- 
ties were concerned, by an appointment to the United 
States Supreme Court. In the light of what he had 
uttered in such a Parsif allian spirit, I was shocked, and 
in my eyes Mr. Hughes has worn a broken halo ever 

Some one proposed the name of David Jayne Hill, 
United States Ambassador to Germany. He looked like 
ideal timber. I went to Berlin to look him over. It is 
proper, I think, to state that I paid my own expenses. 
Accuracy, at the expense of elegance, requires me to 
record that I reported to the board of regents that Mr. 
Hill had taken on too much weight of all kinds. 

One of the most interesting candidates, for we were 
caused to think, at least I was, that he solicited the posi- 
tion, was Woodrow Wilson. At the very first most of 
the regents jumped at the shining lure of surface bril- 
liance. I do not mean to state that Mr. Wilson is not 
a profound scholar; only that more than most men of 
erudition he possesses an exterior luminescence that is 
distinctive. More sober consideration threw another 
light upon the retiring president of Princeton. There 
was a consensus of opinion that he had done good work 
at Princeton, but that whether he had done more good 


than harm was a question that could not be so easily 

He had gone to Princeton with the unanimous support 
of the managers of that collie, and left it with scarcely 
a friend among them. Practically, it seems, he was 
dismissed. His gratuitous quarrel with Grover Cleve- 
land was analyzed, and a decision was come to that Dr. 
Wilson was tactless. 

The University of Michigan depends for its financial 
life upon the people, and the Legislature of a Bepublican 
state. It has always had the respect, affection and gen- 
erous consideration of its State. How long would it 
take a southern Democrat of Mr. Wilson's peculiar type 
to destroy the delicate relations that subsist between 
them ? That was the danger that lurked in him. Good 
enough, the people have said, to be a two-term President 
of the United States, but the regents did not decide that 
he was good enough to be president of the University of 

It was a happy solution of the problem to select Dr. 
Harry B. Hutchins, dean of the University of Michigan 
Law College, to be president I opposed his appoint- 
ment for an unlimited term. In fact, I was not very 
enthusiastic about Dr. Hutchins, and I proposed that 
the place be given him for three years, in order that the 
board might have time to look around without the dis- 
agreeable and hurtful consequences of not having a 

Some of the regents, who knew him better than I did, 
proposed that I be appointed a committee of one to in- 
terview Dr. Hutchins and come to terms with him. 
This they did, with the suspicious twinkle in their eyes 
of a ruminating rhinoceros. They expected fire- 


works. If they could have been within hearing of the 
session between Dr. Hutchins and myself they would 
have considered themselves enjoyably justified. I 
found the Dean a much bigger and stronger man than 
I had supposed him to be. In fact, he rapidly devel- 
oped presidential size, in my estimation, as we sat vis-a- 
vis and fought back and forth. We shouted at each 
other and pounded the desk that was between us. Fi- 
nally I said to him : 

" For goodness' sake, don't act like you are behaving; 
you remind me too much of myself ! " 

This, he has said since, uncovered his humorous 
senses, and we soon had a rational discussion. At first 
he felt it as a reflection upon him to be offered a limited 
term. I told him just why we had insisted upon a 
definite period and I placed the good of the university 
above everything. The people of the nation only gave 
their President a limited term, and why should he, in 
the face of such an ezalted example, object to being 
placed upon the same footing? That was not what 
appealed to him. It was the good of the university 
that won his willingness to do anything that would con- 
tribute to such an object. I suggested increasing the 
term to five years, and we agreed, whereupon the board 
of regents ratified the decision, and Dr. Harry B. 
Hutchins became president of the University of Michi- 

It is only due him to state that his work as the head 
of the university has more than justified the expecta- 
tions of his chiefest admirers. 

While I was a regent, a kind of thing came up that 
must arise continually in the life of every university. 
Professor R. M. Wenley's philosophical lectures had 
taken such a wide and free and bold scope, as to attract a 


great deal of attention which was not confined to 
university circles^ but pervaded the State and farther. 
He was admired as a man of profound thought 
and high courage by those who were big enough and 
sufiSciently fair to see him as he is and measure his 

Those who did not like his methods, and some of the 
faculty who were unquestionably jealous of him, formed 
a potential opposition to him that took form in a deter- 
mination to drive him out of the university. One day 
Wenley delivered a lecture so Christless and so heart- 
less and so platonic in their estimation as to stir his 
enemies to extreme action. They interviewed a regent 
who came to me with the matter. This regent was one 
of the oldest and best men on the board and an alumnus. 
He was all wrought up and managed to communicate 
his f eeUngs to me. 

I agreed to support a resolution dismissing Professor 
Wenley from tiie faculty. We had votes enough 
pledged to pass it. But before it was voted upon all 
of us came to our senses. The truth seemed to stalk 
before me unguided, as the truth needs no guide. It 
seemed to say: "What right have you to do this 
thing? Is this a university or a penal institution? 
Will you strive to give wings to thought and then kill it 
when it tries to fly? How are you going to combat 
error if it is not exposed ? Do you not know that the 
fearless teacher presents every facet of the intellect in 
action ? Ne:xt time you oppress an intellectual process 
it may be the death of a great truth. Where are you 
going to draw the line inside the demarcation of com- 
plete freedom of thought and speech ? If the truth can- 
not withstand the competition of error it becomes error, 
and error becomes truth." 


Then the disgraceful resolution that I had helped to 
father I helped to kilL 

Wenley still shakes things up^ and I have come to 
have a large respect for his work without yielding an 
iota of my Presbyterianism. 

TOM may's ksbby phllosophy a sooial thbbmombteb 

I DO not know when I began to learn that the only 
warrant for a public career is a desire bom of 
a wilUngness to serve ; to give back to society some 
of self in payment for the great benefits social order 
grants to the individual ; or when I had my first realiza- 
tion that a republic cannot endure, and civil and reli- 
gious liberty will not have a collective instrument of 
protection unless men and women offer themselves 

In my early forenoon of life I saw only the selfish 
side and purpose of both private and public activity. 
To win was the thing; to take; no thought of paying 

One night I was guiding Tom May, my cartoonist 
friend, through a Lake Superior jungle to our hunting 
camp. It was more than a quarter of a century ago. 
He had learned something that I had not even thought 
of, although we were bom the same year — 1860. 

"Hold on there, old man," he called from behind. 
" This isn't a Marathon, is it ? " 

I replied that it was already so dark I could see the 
compass needle with difficulty and that we must strike 
the trail a mile farther on if we were to have com- 
fortable going after the night cover all settled down. 

Swish ! Tom gave a yell. 

" I suppose that brush would have cut off my head 



if you hadn't held it back; as it was it only snipped off 
my nose and one ear and took a chunk out of my game 
eye, blast it ! *' 

" But, Tom, I have told you a thousand times, which 
should be nearly enough for an Irishman, to walk far 
enough behind so that the switches won't hit you." 

" That's all right and whan I do, you get out of sight 
and a wolf bites me trousers. Gimme the switch ivery 

Tom always dropped into the soft, sweet, Irish 
brogue that his soul loved whenever he was not at a 

On the trail we took our time and visited. Tom said 
he wondered why rich men did not remember while 
going through life that there are no pockets in shrouds. 

^^ And they just take and take and grab and scoop and 
grub to get it, only to hope to square things when they 
are on their death beds by giving it away. They can't 
do it. Tickets to heaven are not on sale at a box office, 
and there are no special reservations for millionaires. 
And most people are learning that God's books are kept 
day by day just like the street car companies'. Five- 
cent fares make big totals. Little daily deeds count up 
big in life's long run. The fellow who gives most is 
going to get most in the end, not the fellow who takes 
the most from others without any thought of paying 
back, or dividing until the fine old gent with the scythe 
and long whiskers gets his big spectacles focused on 

Thus we strolled to camp as Tom preached in big- 
hearted, Kerry style. It made a deep impression upon 
me. At another time some years later, obedient to the 
woods' muse, he said : 

^^ Notice our friends Oamaygie and Bockef eUer are 


having a goose race giving away money. Andy is a 
shade the more anxious and has a wild Scotch glare 
under the brush that grows over his eyes. Ye see he 
has a Homestead riot and dead children and women 
and frinzied men tr ampin' on his soul. Rocky hasn't 
anything like that. Maybe he will be able to make a 
long drive through the pearly gates, but I'll bet Andy 
will slice or top the pill." 

All of this indicated the coming of a new era in pub- 
lic thought. There was a hunger for heart and soul 
growth. We had only stomach growth up to then or 
not much more, and we, as a nation and as a people, it 
would seem, were hunchbacked in front. 

Demagogues were vying with honest men in their 
eagerness to make hay. There was a grasshopper 
plague of fake reformers in every State and some of 
them drew the eye of the nation. It was difficult always 
to pick out the spurious. In fact, I doubt if a 
good many of the political disciples of the new era 
could tell just how much they were for self and how 
much for what they advocated. Men were reformers, 
insurgents and progressive until they got into office, and 
were active enough to attract the attention of the fat 
boys. Only then they dried up like a desert spring or 
became conservative. 



THE BE was much dissatisfaction with the state 
of public affairs in Michigan. Higher ideals of 
government began to be asserted in many places. 
A man^ perhaps worthy enough, but who was regarded 
as being very ordinary, had been elected Governor for a 
third term. The State was bankrupt. 

At least one of the state institutions, Jackson prison, 
was notorious for its mismanagement and worse. The 
state treasurer. Glazier, was discovered short several 
hundred thousand dollars in his accounts. He had been 
closely identified with Warner, personally and polit- 
ically, and had carried large deposits in the bank in 
which Warner was a stockholder and officer. The 
warden of Jackson prison, Armstrong, had been con- 
victed of crookedness in prison affairs and sentenced to 
a term of confinement. The air was filled with dis- 
trust. Charges and rumors pursued each other in the 
public mind. Consequently when the Warner admin- 
istration proposed to perpetuate itself by the nomina- 
tion and election of Patrick H. Kelley, who was Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, there was an upheaval of opposition. 
This took form in several counter movements. 

A number of my friends lurged me to become a can- 
didate for Governor. They called attention to the con- 
dition of affairs only too apparent in the State. Fur- 
thermore they stated that the Upper Peninsula had 



never been given a governor. ITaturallj^ they reminded 
me of my experience in state affairs. I was not per- 
mitted to forget what they had often heard me say, 
that I thought every citizen was obligated to serve his 
country at any time he was needed^ in peace or war, 
and should hold himseU in readiness to do so, and 
should freely and frequently offer. I had not thought 
of being a candidate but it was not difficult to persuade 
me to be. Perhaps the one thing that had most to do 
with my decision, after the duty that I held to be 
involved, was the possession of an independent tempera- 
ment, that did not seem to permit a consideration of the 
coimtless cautions that come so frequently to all per* 
sons in public place. 

It really seemed that a person so constituted might 
render valuable service at this very time. I had in 
mind a number of things that I thought ought to be 
given state attention. One of these was a workmen's 
compensation law. I was heartily in favor of woman 
suffrage, and though I could not be called a prohibition- 
ist as the term was defined then, and was not at that 
time a total abstainer, I was opposed to the saloon and 
to commercialized booze. I knew that it had the larg- 
est control of state and local politics, not only where its 
interests were involved, but extended its dictation far 
beyond in a meddlesome way just because it had the 
power. I proposed to take a shot at this social hyena 
if I got a chance, and in order to get a shot I decided 
to stalk it Moreover, I was in a position of economic 
independence, with sufficient means so that I did not 
have to depend upon a public income, nor upon persons 
who might subscribe to a campaign with the hope and 
purpose of controlling me, and yet I did not possess 
so much that my interests ramified in directions where I 


might suffer injury from those who control the money 
affairs of the country and destroy the credit of any who 
oppose them, which is a way they have if one falls into 
their power. 

I became a candidate for Governor. There were 
three other candidates : Patrick H. Kelley, of Lansing ; 
Amos Musselman, of Grand Rapids^ and Justice Robert 
M. Montgomery, of the Supreme Court of Michigan. 
At the start it looked as though Mr. Kelley would win 
easily if the Warner opposition, general as it was, was 
divided among three. The best-equipped candidate of 
all, in some respects, was Justice Montgomery. He was 
a distinguished member of Michigan's highest court 
and had friends in every part of the State. He had 
the backing of the Supreme Court, which at that time 
did not hesitate to sit into the game of politics, and it 
knew how with the best of them. 

There is a constitutional provision in Michigan pro- 
hibiting a circuit judge from being a candidate for a 
political office while on the bench and for one year after 
retiring from such service. I did not believe that Mr. 
Montgomery had considered whether it was right for 
him, as a member of a court whose duty it was to en- 
force this law, to do that which was a violation of the 
very principle he was obligated to compel others to ob- 
serve (nor did Mr. Hughes search his soul deeply in 
this regard). I was certain he had no moral right to 
be a candidate and I even questioned his legal right. 
Against the counsel of all my close advisers, I addressed 
an open letter to him setting forth the claim that legiti- 
mately and ethically he had no right to be a candidate 
and ending by demanding his withdrawal I was de- 
termined at the outset to be open and aboveboard in all 
of my actions and utterances as a candidate, wherever 


the welfare of the State was conoemed. My state* 
ment caused a sensation in political circles. It made 
the friends of Justice Montgomery very angry, and they 
were swift to call attention to the act as proof of my 
backwoods' crudeness and my unfitness to be Governor 
of a great state. Also for a time. Justice Montgomery 
was as angry as his friends. Finally, his high sense of 
honor, his keen, intellectual appreciation of the justness 
of my position, and his ethical standards caused him to 
view the situation differently. He was big enough 
finally to achieve self-mastery. He sent me word, in 
fact told me personally, that if I would let up on the 
matter he would retire from the field if a graceful way 
was presented. At once, I took the matter up with the 
real friends of the Justice. The result was that he re- 
tired from the gubernatorial contest and accepted a place 
on the newly erected intermediary court at Washington. 

This left three candidates. The nomination of Mr. 
Eelley was freely predicted. He was a cheery, genial, 
lovable person, who carried the serious things of life 
lightly and radiated good-fellowship. As a political 
campaigner he was supposed to be invincible. His 
friends said hopefully and wamingly : " Just wait un- 
til he gets that man Osbom on the platform and watch 
Kelley clean up on hinu" 

I quite agreed with them that Mr. Eelley might do 
things to me, but even in secret I was not afraid. I 
had gone into the fight hammer and tongs, and had made 
up my mind to ^ve as hard thrusts as I could and take 
smilingly all the enemy gave to me. While yet a boy 
I had been taught that in life a man must be just as 
good as an anvil as he is as a hammer ; take blows as well 
as give them. 

There were the usual Lincoln Club, Chandler Club, 


McKinley Club and Washington Birthday political ban- 
quets that are quite peculiar to Michigan where they 
have been developed to the nth potency. Musselman did 
not seem to be much in evidence at these feasts. Kelley 
and I were invited to all of them. At first the attrac- 
tion was what Eelley might do to me. Afterwards 
the curiosity centered about what I might say about the 
Wamer-Kelley machine. I had to hook Kelley up to 
the Warner odium, which was not hard to do, because 
his generous disposition had influenced him good- 
naturedly to tag along after Warner. 

There was a great deal of distrust felt between the 
two peninsulas of Michigan. The people of the Lower 
Peninsula thought of the Upper Peninsula as being 
controlled by a coterie of mining autocrats who were 
political despots, possessed of a determination to dodge 
their taxes and duties and milk the State of its rich re- 
sources with no return, or as little as possible. The 
Upper Peninsula, and especially the people of the min- 
ing regions, regarded their Lower Peninsula fellow- 
citizens as being a lot of hayseeds and rubes, who were 
not fit for free government and impossible of compre- 
hending the merits of the northern portion of the State. 
My opponents used this prejudice and fanned it per- 
sistently. The population of the State was about two 
and a half million people in the Lower Peninsula, two- 
thirds of the area, and about three hundred thousand in 
the Upper Peninsula. The northern section was over- 
whelmingly ilepublican, and had been known, espe- 
cially when General Alger was beaten in the lower sec- 
tion, to reverse the Democratic decision below the 
straits. Such fealty had its reward from the Bepub- 
lican managers just to the extent that was thought neo- 


essary to keep it in line. It had never been accorded a 
Governor and many wise ones predicted that it never 
would. I do not think there was a time during the 
campaign when my best friends in the Upper Peninsula 
thought I could win. I did not worry about that, nor 
was I deeply concerned about the issue of the contest. 

I decided that the battle ground was the Lower Penin- 
sula and there I went, going from county to county, 
most of the time by automobile. I did not make a 
speech in the Upper Peninsula. I enjoyed the cam- 
paign. It was hard, but it gave me a chance to see and 
talk to the people which I did with earnest bluntness 
and direct conviction. I visited every county in the 
Lower Peninsula and made speeches in all of them, 
often ten or fifteen in a day, many of course being only 
a few minutes in length, and many of greater lengtL 
When the campaign was at its height as many as thirty 
automobiles would follow me through the county, as 
upon a triumphal tour. Bands, banners and enthusi- 
asm made an atmosphere, and the audiences were certain 
to be good. For the most part I did not talk politics. 
It was safe to assume that the voters understood. They 
did. I promised to clean out the Warner gang that had 
wrecked and disgraced Michigan. That seemed to be 
what they wanted. 

Just before election day Amos Musselman encouraged 
the editor of the Escanaba Journal to make an attack 
upon my honesty. Thousands of copies of the paper 
were circulated over the State. The enemy saw that 
the libel was reprinted wherever possible. They hoped 
that it was too late for me to defend myself. I had the 
editor arrested at once and started suit against Mussel- 
man and others. I felt within myself that if the peo- 


pie could be fooled by an eleventh-hour move of this 
kind, there was no way to prevent it. Knowing my in- 
nocence I trusted to the good sense of the voters. At 
the primaries, I was successful by the following vote: 
Osbom, 88,270; Kelley, 52,837; Musselman, 50,721. 
My vote in the Lower Peninsula was the big surprise 
to the dopesters. Below the straits it was 69,479 and 
18,791 above. 

As soon as the matters could be forced to an issue, the 
editor who had libeled me was convicted, and Mussel- 
man, in humiliation, made public admission that he had 
done wrong, and the case against him was dropped. As 
showing his fairness ai^d good citizenship and his real- 
ization of his responsibilities as a publisher, I may say 
here that in 1918 when I w^s a candidate for the nomi- 
nation of United States Senator, this editor was one of 
my strongest supporters. -^^ 

The state campaign that foUotved was not as much 
of a contest as the primary had beem, but it was a ^ht 
The late Lawton T. Hemans, of liigham County, was 
nominated by the Democrats. Henaans was a strong 
nuuL He had been a candidate fon* Gbvemor before 
and was well known and respected. \As a lawyer and 
local historian, he had covered much on Michigan cred- 
itably. It was a mid-year campaign, beitween the presi- 
dential contests. There was nothing to^ prevent inter- 
est from centering upon a state campai^^ 

Bepublican dissatisfaction and insurgency were in the 
air. The Taft administration program of V>lunders was 
just becoming known. Only seven States iV^ *^® Union 
were carried by the Bepublicans. I receivea^ one of the 
largest majorities given a Bepublican Gro^^^^o^ ^^t 
year, 1910. The vote on election day wfU Osbom 


202,803; Hemans, 169,770, or a plurality for me of 

During the campaign the Democrats had combed my 
record with particular care, but found nothing they 
could use. 




AFTER election in the autumn of 1910 1 retired to 
Deerfoot Lodge where Justice Steere, the Hon- 
orable Roys J. Cram and I have kept open house 
during the deer season for nearly a quarter of a century. 
It is a beautiful spot in a primeval forest of maple, 
birch and beech. Pine plains furnish a change in one 
direction, and deep swamps flank the hardwood and give 
lair for bear and wolf and lynx. Shadowy hemlodos, 
with limbs bedecked with old man's beard, like Spanish 
moss, and red-berried yew shintangle as carpet make a 
wild garden where the fawns hide in spring, and bucks 
snort, paw and horn trees in autumn. 

Here I wrote my inaugural message on some rough 
scraps of paper; no library but my thoughts, and no 
reference book but my heart. Deerfoot was then only 
a modest log shack of one room, where friends came and 
rolled in on the floor, and roughed it in a way to take 
'l5ie city stiffness out of body and spirit. Here I wrote 
down briefly my views upon the liquor question for my 
message as follows : 

Temperance is a matter of personal discipline and is 
more of a moral and social problem than political. The 
regulation of the liquor traffic is largely a political func- 
tion. The upheaval and interest in Michigan and over the 

countiy along these lines are, in my opinion, aimed more 



at the liquor traffic than at the temperate use of alcoholic 
beverages. It appears that temperance is handicapped un- 
less those who believe even in rationalism become excited 
and militant. The saloon of to-day is a social saprophyte. 
Always it has been a breeding place of lawlessness and a 
culture ground of vice. So arrogant had it become that 
government by saloon and rule by brewery was the practical 
condition. The candidate who did not bow to the joint 
keeper and the local official who did not recognize the po- 
litical power of alcohol, as manifested through low grog- 
geries, were in for a fight all of the time to save their 
political lives. Breweries were not contented with a dis- 
tribution to such saloons as might naturally exist. So they 
entered upon an artificial policy of starting saloons at all 
convenient places where the consumption of their product 
would be increased. There is intense competition between 
brewers for the installation and control of saloons. Con- 
ditions became intolerable. The people broke out in con- 
tagious rebellion, all invoked by the exaggerated commer- 
cializing of alcohoL 

A desire for better conditions exists in the heart of every 
good citizen. The average man does not wish to be fanat- 
ical or intolerant. He does not wish to apply sumptuary 
laws that abridge personal liberty beyond the point of pub- 
lic good. But government by saloon and brewery must go 
and artificial stimulation of the traffic in beer and whiskey 
must be discontinued. In a degree it is true that the sa- 
loon is the poor man's club. But the rich man's club af- 
fects only the more or less useless few, while the poor man's 
club, if low in character and degenerating in influence, in- 
jures the useful many. Society can stand crumbling at 
the top, for that is the natural spot of decay, but it cannot 
survive necrosis of its foundation masses. The local option 
policy is good and out of it can come improving condi- 
tions. In bonmiuilities where saloons exist there shotild not 
be more than one to a thousand population, and breweries 
should be divorced from their ownership. The license should 
be higher but more attention should be paid to the character 
of the saloonkeeper and the conduct of the saloon than to 
the amount of the license. I would suggest a law provid- 


ing for fuller state supenrision of saloons. The State dis- 
pensary system is ideal, but proved a failure in South 
Carolina. In Russia, where alcohol is a government mo- 
nopoly, the dispensary system is fairly commendable. In 
Pennsylvania the courts regulate the liquor traffic, give and 
revoke licenses. In Canada the hotel system prevails. 

I would like to see the question studied for Michigan by 
an honorary commission to be composed of some of the most 
noble, courageous and unselfish citizens of the State. 

This is an age of stimulation. The physical tensity of 
our civilization makes for it. The quantities consumed in 
this country alone of alcohol in various forms, opium, co- 
caine, tea, coffee and tobacco are startling and transfix 
with horror when contemplated, commanding the interest of 
every person concerned in the welfare of society. Over 
stimulation is the source of disease, pauperism and crime. 
In the long run these conditions can be corrected only by 
going to the foundation of things. Man must not drive 
man so hard. Conditions of life for the masses must be bet- 
ter. Eest for the weary, food for the underfed, entertain- 
ment and respite for those whose monotony of life is caused 
by over-work must be provided and finer human fellowship 
must come to prevail. 

While these ideals are working out, proclaiming the com- 
ing some day, of the sux)erman, the State must see that 
selfish and careless individuals do not over capitalize the 
appetites of man. Wholesome regulation cannot grow out 
of fanatical intolerance or exaggerated extremity. Op- 
pressive rule by majority is only another form of the appli- 
cation of might. The greatest good to the greatest number 
should be succeeded by the aim to accomplish the greatest 
average good for alL This will, I believe, be your inspira- 
tion for suggested corrective legislation. 

I had stalked within range of the most deadly thing 
I knew of and was to take this shot at it No recent 
Michigan governor had referred to it The subject was 
politically taboo. I knew that it would bring to me 
all the trouble the whiskey makers and whiskey sellers 


could oppose me with. There was no halfway realiza- 
tion of it upon my part. 

The effect of this and other things I proposed to at- 
tempt to do was to arrive at the decision that I would 
not be a candidate for a second term. All of my ad- 
visers endeavored to dissuade me from making such an 
announcement, and especially at the outset. But I 
could not be deterred by their convincing arguments 
that it was not good politics. I was not playing poli- 
tics, had not been and did not intend to start. That 
was the trouble with everything in public Michigan. 
Everybody had been playing politics every minute until 
things had reached an impossible mess. The one thing 
I hoped to convey to the public was that I had no per- 
sonal political object in view as a result of any act; 
nothing but the public good. It seemed to me that the 
only way to start fair was to make an honest one-term 
decision, announce it and stick to it. Down deep within 
my being I knew the danger to my plans that lurked in 
a desire for a second term. 

So insidious are the operations of desire that it may 
almost be said of it when it exists that no act of a man's 
life is independent of it He may be as honest as is hu- 
manly possible and as unconscious, but his acts will be 
influenced. So I burned all bridges behind me and felt 
better when I had done so. There was very much to 
do, and I did not wish the handicap of trimming or 
playing politics for a second ternu 





THE first of January, 1911, I was inaiigurated as 
Governor of Michigan. In order to devote every 
energy to the program of accomplishment I had 
outlined, I had determined that I would leave the office 
at the close of ipy two-year term and would not be a 
candidate for reelection. There was much to do and 
I realized that I would have strong opposition to the 
passage of the measures I advocated. The political or- 
ganizations of Detroit were powerful at the state capi- 
tal. Detroit control had passed long before into the 
hands of a local Tammany that would stop at nothing* 
The organization, imwritten, but understood, included 
men in both the Bepublican and Democratic parties, 
grading up from convicts to semi-respectables and con- 
nected with men on both sides occupying positions of 
trust and prominence, but ready at all times to profit 
by their political relationship to this tong, and just as 
ready to be parties to questionable political practices 
that they might not think of resorting to if proposed in 
their professions. This gang was "The Vote Swap- 
pers' League," named such by E. G. Pipp, manager at 
that time of the Detroit News. Most of the men had 
double standards of practice; one for politics and an- 
other for business. Most of those who aided the crooked 



leagae in the work were well known. The Bepublicans 
were even worse than their Democrat partners, because 
they presumed to hold their heads a little higher, cloak 
themselves in a bespotted mantle of respectability and 
patronize the town clubs and the golf links, and even go 
so far as to identify themselves with a church if it 
served a purpose. These fine bucktails divided the of- 
fices among their faithful, controlled the Council, 
boasted of their standing in the several judicial strata 
and most thoroughly removed the political viscera from 
any reformer or citizens' movement that started any 
Taiping revolution. I had to decide whether I would 
serve Michigan or the Vote Swappers' League. I chose 
the flag of Michigan. The word was passed to the De- 
troit gang that I could not be controlled. This started 
a war upon me that has gone the length of bitterness. 

The fight was staged first in the Legislature. I f oimd 
myself as Governor at first unable to secure a majority 
for anything for which any credit or responsibility at- 
tached to the Governor's office. Gradually the legisla- 
tive opposition wore down. Finally I had a certain 
majority in the House and soon after in the Senate. 
The failures in legislation were few and only of meas- 
ures that required a two-thirds majority. 

A multitude of things came up in the executive office. 
I had succeeded an administration unfriendly to me, 
and things were not made easy for me, which did not 
alarm or dissuade me. I had been accustomed to long 
hours and there was keen delight in putting them in 

The very day I was inaugurated a plot was discov- 
ered to blow up Jackson prison with dynamite. The 
warden was new and there was much nervousness. De- 
pendable guards were not known from the ones in league 


with the oonvicts. I counseled with Warden Russell^ 
of Marquette prison, and Warden Fuller, of the Ionia 
Reformatory, both officials of long experience and high 
ability. I succeeded in getting a line on the bad men 
in Jackson. I had them brought to the executive office 
one at a time and between two and four o'clock in the 
morning, so that absolute secrecy might be secured. I 
succeeded in obtaining enough information to locate 
and remove quantities of high explosives, and to break 
up the convict gang, distributing the members among 
other prisons. While at this task I learned many other 
incidental facts. My greatest surprise was caused and 
my indignation was particularly aroused by the indis- 
putable knowledge that a traffic in pardons and paroles 
was going on. I forced at once the resignation of the 
Board of Pardons and a new Board was appointed. I 
appointed a complete, new bi-partisan Prison Board of 
big men. 

I learned that one of the Tax Commissioners of the 
State was also the retained attorney of a big manufac- 
turer of automobiles. Of course the lawyer could not 
serve two masters for conflicting interests. I asked him 
to resign and he did so. Another Tax Conmiissioner 
gave very little time to the work and his performance 
was very unsatisfactory. In fact, tiie Conunission was 
in a rut. I asked this man to resign. The epidemic 
phrase was ^^ Oo to hell." This fellow applied it and I 
removed him. This removal made completely new 
Ihree important boards. I cleaned out every vestige of 
the old administration that seemed to be necessary to 
wholesome state administration. In doing so I only 
kept faith with the people. It was what I had prom- 
ised them I would do. 

When I became Qovemor a deficit existed in the 


state treasury of about a million dollars. I was deter- 
mined to wipe this out. Many economies were inau- 
gurated in the management of state institutions. In 
this work I was aided by every institutional superin- 
tendent in Michigan and by all the appointive heads of 
departments. It was easy to save the State's money if 
one managed with anything like the same care with 
which private business is conducted. 

The new constitution of Michigan gives the Governor 
unusual fiscal authority. In fact, it imposes in him the 
power and responsibility practically of financial man- 
ager. The Governor can veto all or any part of an ap- 
propriation bill. I carefully went over every bill with 
thode interested in it As a result I cut out nearly 
enough to pay the state indebtedness. This financial 
use of the veto constitutes a precedent. 

But it was in saving through economies introduced 
everywhere that the big results were obtained. At the 
conclusion of my administration the State was out of 
debt and the treasury contained a surplus of more than 
two million dollars. This was adiieved and at the same 
time more money was appropriated for good roads than 
the estimate and more for the state university than ever 
before. The tax rate was also reduced. Also this sav- 
ing improved the conditions at all state institutions, be- 
cause the very care that made economy possible nat- 
urally conduced to improvements in every detail of serv- 

The regular session of the Legislature adjourned. 

Early in 1912 I called a special session and followed 
it immediately with a second special session. Under 
the Michigan constitution the Governor is empowered 
to summon the Legislature in extraordinary session. 
At such only those measures submitted in message by 


the Governor may be considered. The effect is to com- 
pel legislative concentration and to focus the eyes of the 
public upon important measures. At a regular session 
there is pulling and hauling and trading and confusion, 
until the public is lost in a muddle of vexatious circum- 
stances and the legislators are nearly as badly off. 

Very near to my heart I had the matter of a work- 
men's compensation law. I had given the subject con- 
siderable study in Germany and England and had talked 
it over often with my intimate associates and many 
others. The Legislature in regular session had em- 
powered the Governor to appoint a commission to study 
the question and draft a form of a bill embodying a suit- 
able law. The commission appointed, serving without 
pay, had given earnest attention to the important sub- 
ject and had submitted a report of indubitable value. 
To obtain action upon this was my chief first purpose 
for a special session. Also I wished to utilize this meri- 
torious measure to further define and stiffen partisan 
lines in the Legislature, so that I might feed in good 
measures that otherwise would not carry. The work- 
ingmen's compensation act passed. The Legislature 
empowered the Governor to appoint an Industrial Acci- 
dent Board to administer the law. The success of the 
new law might largely depend upon the practical f oun- 
dation laid for it in its earliest application and inter- 
pretation. I secured for the board the only two mem- 
bers of the commission that framed the law who could be 
secured for state service. By virtue of the understand- 
ing and administration of this law by the first board, it 
came to be recognized as one of the best compensation 
enactments in America. It has been copied by many 
other States. Gradually it will undoubtedly be brought 
nearer to perfection. 

A press cartoon. 1910 



Police Commissioner Croul^ of Detroit^ an o£Sicial of 
rare courage and capacity^ had told me that of some sev- 
enteen hundred saloons in Detroit quite twelve hundred 
were owned by brewers and distillers. It was their 
practice to start a booze joint on every likely corner 
they could obtain and especially near factory doors. 
Brewery-owned saloons were the worst of all. I saw to 
it that a bill was introduced making it illegal for brew- 
ers and distillers to own or encourage saloons. Forth- 
with fell upon me the liquor people. The Eoyal Ark, 
an association of saloon keepers in Detroit, endeavored 
to intimidate members of the Legislature. Conditions 
of much bitterness arose. But the bill became a law. 

I found the Michigan Bonding Company to be the 
most hurtful and the boldest source of evil in the State. 
It was organized under a law that gave it the practical 
control of all the saloons in the State. ' If a saloon 
keeper did not obey its behests, his bonds were refused. 
It charged big fees and was strong financially. It had 
one or more agents in every county and cleverly selected 
them from among the best-equipped attorneys. By 
means of a retainer it secured the services of lawyers 
who would not naturally line up with it. Thus 
equipped, the Michigan Bonding Company became a 
dangerous entity. Of it men were afraid. It was the 
core organization around which was built the opposition 
to woman suffrage, prohibition and all related reforms. 
I asked the Legislature to repeal the law giving it exist- 
ence and I made a fight against it that was nearly suc- 

The fight at Lansing while these bills were pending 
became a vicious one, with enough bad feeling and per- 
sonal passion almost to obscure reason for a time. I 
received as many as ten letters in one day threatening 


my life. To these cowardly messages I paid no atten- 
tion. They only indicated the feeling that existed 
among the whiskeyites. Dynamite was placed under 
my house but it did not explode. My residence was on 
fire twice mysteriously. One of these fires occurred at 
two o'clock in the morning. I was attacked on all sides. 
Throughout all the conflict I did not worry nor lose 
sleep. My wife stood it bravely but confesses now she 
was deeply worried and wearied. But only words of 
cheer and courage came from her then. As for mysdf , 
I thought I was right and I think so now when the em- 
bers of thought are colorless from fire. Perhaps I took 
on some of the spirit of the crusader. At least I placed 
my trust in God and calmly asked divine approval and 

Those who were advocating woman suffrage were not 
united. Some of them^ including most of the women 
propagandists who came to Lansing, were fearful that a 
measure submitting the question to the people could not 
pass the Legislature and that its failure would prove a 
setbacL A^ter discussing the matter with Bepresenta- 
tive Charles Flowers, a veteran partisan of the cause, 
and with several others, I decided to present the ques- 
tion. It carried nicely. Later, when it was submitted 
for popular consideration, it undoubtedly carried in the 
State. However, the liquor interests succeeded in ob- 
scuring and invalidating the result Its next submis- 
sion was in the spring, when the country vote is light as 
compared with that of the cities, and suffrage was then 
unquestionably defeated. 

When the returns of the vote began to indicate that 
the measure had passed at the first plebiscite, those op- 
posed held back the reports from polling precincts that 
they controlled, giving the impression that whatever to- 


tals were necessary to accomplish the defeat of the 
women would be supplied. There were signs of a 
sharp practice that was used by the vicious elements to 
obtain a momentary end. Apparently the only ade- 
quate redress for such is an aroused public that will 
finally act so decisively as to brook no resistance or 

I do not say that all of those who oppose votes for 
women are vicious, but I do say that wherever I have 
been familiar with conditions^ the management of the 
campaign against suffrage has been controlled either 
above the surface or below it by those who are inclined 
to lawlessness and who make it their instinctive busi- 
ness to fight anything that tends to improve the public 
tone or widen the zone of influence of those who would 
be most likely, in the nature of things, to endeavor to 
cure those evils that are eating cancerously at the foun- 
dations of the human family. 

Women are the matrix of the race. They occupy a 
sphere that man, a mere fertilizing agent, never enters. 
Consequently woman knows instinctively when her own 
is imperiled. Fundamentally this is tiie raison d'etre 
of the woman movement. All talk of liberty and equal 
ity is incidental. IS'ature, always operating to xnake 
life dominant over death, and in ways often most ob- 
scure and indirect so far as man's vision and compre- 
hension are concerned, is the author of the activity that 
has for its purpose the bringing to bear of the powers 
of woman directly against the jeopardy of her children. 
The tendency may be delayed or misdirected but it 
cannot be defeated, any more than the precession of the 
equinoxes can be controlled by human agencies. 

My messages to the Legislature, in special sessions, 
are a true guide to my state of mind, my thought proc- 


esses and convictions at that time. I had not yet con- 
vinciBd myself that there could not be some compromise 
with alcohol. I hoped that if there was any good in it 
that it might be separated from the much that was bad, 
and the desirable retained and the objectionable re- 
jected. I had visions of state control that would be 
mote successful than the dispensary experience by the 
State of South Carolina. It was my nebulous hope that 
the whiskey traffic might be completely taken out of 
trade whereby man's degeneracy was made a source of 
profit It was a passing dream in which I saw pure 
whiskey, beers and wines served at cost in temperate 
quantiti;s in clean environment to those who mi^t be 
cheered but not poisoned. 

But I was nearing the time when I became convinced 
that life and alcohol cannot exist together any more 
rationally than life and death. I saw the constant 
struggle of nature against death and all of the agencies 
of decay ; the finely maintained equilibrium of wild ani- 
naal and vegetable life ; the self -pruning processes of 
primeval forests and many of the visible efforts of the 
war of life against death. Because of the limited visual 
powers of man, there are more invisible activities than 
those that we can see. But there are also many that we 
are slow to see because we do not wish to see. So I saw 
in the world's growing social array against alcohol sim* 
ply & great movement of life against death. As such it 
will succeed in spite of man's blindness and opposition, 
just because of the world-old truth that man is ever the 
weak proponent and Qod is forever the mighty dispo- 

Michigan voted in favor of state-wide prohibition at 
the election of November, 1916, and in favor of woman 
suffrage in 1918. 




THE second year of my service as Governor was a 
year of presidential campaign. A successor to 
Mr. Taf t was to be selected. Early it became ap- 
parent that there was great dissatisfaction with Presi- 
dent Taft. "No matter what merit he might have, and 
forgetful of his great public services in the past, it was 
plain that a majority of his party would not and did not 
approve or trust him politically. They could no longer 
see good in him or in anything he proposed. Because 
it was a Taft proposition, the proposed Treaty of Cana- 
dian Reciprocity, a measure of great merit, was bitterly 
opposed. I was, I think, the only governor in the 
United States who supported that treaty, at home and at 
Washington. It was passed with difficulty, after long 
hearings and delays that aided in perverting the Cana- 
dian view and supplying fuel for its subsequent repudia- 
tion across the border. 

Always in public life and in politics I have clung to 
certain ideals of citizenship and its responsibilities. 
Like millions of others I have looked upon Theodore 
Eoosevelt as personifying most nearly these mind and 
heart types. He was human and made errors, but he 
was heartful and earnest, courageous and honest. He 
worked at the job of being a citizen when with another 
temperament he might have been a loafer, because he 
never had to work for bread, that great industrial 



incentive. Always active and giving of himself , spend- 
ing and being spent^ he has the highest batting average 
of public service in the modem history of the nation* 
And as such things are usually interpreted his work has 
been unselfish. In a higher way of thou^t his labors 
have been the essence of worthy selfishness for social and 
individual welfare including himself. 

First with all good citizens comes the good of the 
nation ; then the good of those agencies that contribute to 
the nation ; then the man : Country^ party, individuaL 

I cared only in this way. It seined to me that the 
Republican party had attracted to itself the greater vol- 
ume of genius for government. As is always true in a 
successful party the bad entered with the good. Virtue 
in party should be and always will be at friction with 
vice in party. Those who, as participants in or agents 
for intrenched privilege, believe in government by the 
few wiU be naturally opposed by those who believe in 
government by all for alL 

Mr. Taft might be nominated by force, but he would 
be defeated. The midyear's elections foreshadowed 
that certain result. What was the party to do if it 
would achieve the success within itself that would pre- 
serve in control its best element, and continue it in 
governmental power and direction ? A candidate other 
than Mr. Taft must be found. This thought was 
one common to many earnest minds. The field to select 
from was not large. But there were some good, earnest, 
courageous public men, and more were being created 
out of an atmosphere growing from an aroused public 
conscience. Of these the first and greatest and clearest 
and most consistent and courageous was Theodore Roose- 
velt. His own idea, as he had told me and all who 
talked with him, was to be ready to serve in peace or 


war at any time his country^ that had so honored and 
trusted him^ demanded. But he would not be a can- 
didate. He must be drafted and the call must be un- 

Now it is one thing for a king to call and another 
thing for a people. There may be ever so much ma- 
terial for a chorus^ but it is always scattered, untrained 
and imdirected. A big Boosevelt movement began all 
over the land. He was unmoved by it. In fact it was 
so intangible as to be difficult of measurement* No one 
man or men started it. But it was still in no form to 
carry convictions of duty and sacrifice to Oyster Bay. 

Alexander Bevell headed the Boosevelt movement in 
Chicago. Edwin W. Sims was associated with him. 
Mr. Sims was from Michigan. Perhaps that is why he 
came to me. 

" There is only one way that I can think of that will 
formulate this Boosevelt movement so that it will com- 
pel him to be a candidate; that is to call a conference 
of Bepublican governors and pass resolutions urging 
Colonel Boosevelt to come out and do his duty." 

It was the idea of Mr. Sims. It appealed to me. I 
signed a call for a meeting of the governors. There 
were not many Bepublican governors, only nine or ten. 
The States had fallen like bean-poles before the anti- 
Taft hurricane. There were eight governors at the 
meeting. Seven of them signed the call eagerly. Th^ 
message was carried to Oyster Bay. Colonel Boosevelt 
became a candidate. The steam-roller national con- 
vention in Chicago nominated Taft Then came the 
revolt The followers of Boosevelt entered upon the 
formation of a new party. This I opposed. At the 
first meeting in Michigan I succeeded in preventing 
the formation of a progressive party. Thcnre was no 


progressive principle that I did not and do not believe 
in and advocate. The thing was to decide what instru- 
mentality would most quickly secure the adoption and 
application o£ progressive reforms in government. I 
am firmly convinced that the great majority of the Re- 
publican party was progressive and is so to-day. The 
only thing to do as I saw it^ was to remain in the parly 
and wrest control from the leaders who were abusing it. 
This had already been done in Michigan and other 
States, and it seemed particularly unwise to desert and 
leave behind all the good work that had been done up to 
date. Suffering from a broken foot, I had managed 
to attend the Lansing meeting, though on crutches. An 
inflammation in the injured member prevented me from 
attending the convention at Jackson where Senator 
Dixon, of Montana, swept men off their feet who had 
promised me not to secede, and the Progressives in 
Michigan were organized. 

Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson ran. I made it plain 
that I would remain in the Republican party and would 
vote for Roosevelt as a Republican, and I advised other 
Republicans to do the same. I was at Deerfoot Lodge 
when I got the news that Colonel Roosevelt was shot. 
In a flash I reviewed the early part I had played in 
getting him into the fight. A decision to go and help 
him now that he was hors du combat was acted upon at 
once. I tendered my services and asked to be sent 
wherever the conmiittee had difficulty in getting or keep- 
ing speakers. After several speeches in Chicago, St. 
Louis and other places in Missouri, I was sent to Okla- 
homa. My progress in Oklahoma was such that Wil- 
liam Jennings Bryan was sent to follow me. I closed 
the campaign in Indiana, too far away to enable me to 
reach Sault Ste. Marie in time to vote. 



MY term of office as Governor was nearing a 
close. There had been a fight for some good 
cause every day and I had enjoyed every mo- 
ment of it. It was touching to me to witness the evi- 
dence of regard so plainly shown by good men of all 
parties. It made me forget there had been any such 
thing as opposition or bitterness. I felt that I was 
over-appreciated and too well paid. The University of 
Michigan and Olivet College and also Alma College, had 
conferred upon me the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Laws. I wasf the first governor of Michigan to be thus 
honored ; not the first to deserve but the first to receive. 
Olivet and Alma are splendid denominational colleges. 
Their recognition of me could not be interpreted as po- 
litical by my most bitter enemy. 

At the end I was given a dinner at Hotel Downey, 
Lansing. Bepublicans, Progressives, Socialists and 
Democrats came to do me honor. It was a thank God 
thing and I was overcome. The Democratic Governor 
incoming was present and said he would model his ad- 
ministration after mine. I had inducted him into of- 
fice with all kindness, respect and assistance. The 
speeches at the dinner were of such graciousness as few 
men live to hear. Reviewing my work as Governor, 
one of the great dailies of Michigan said editorially : 

'* Throughout its course, the Osbom administration 



hBB been free from the touch of scandaL To be sure it 
has not been untroubled, but those troubles have been 
of the clean sort, in which men could oppose each other 
with honest differences of opinion and without shame. 
They have been storms rather than embarrassments* 
But the fact is the troubles of his administration have 
been brief in duration and inconsequential in effect 
and may be easily forgotten. 

" Some of the things Governor Osbom set out to do 
two years ago have been accomplished. In other things 
disappointment has been his portion. But in success 
or disappointment, he displayed in all his official acts 
and life a spirit which made the fortune of the hour 
seem a matter of small moment. He met his every de- 
feat with an attitude that commanded the admiration 
which usually is the tribute to success alone. In 
friendly or in hostile sympathy with his administration 
as one may be, yet the name of Osbom cannot be de- 
nied place beside that of Blair, the war Governor, and 
of Fingree, the first insurgent, in the roll of Michigan 

" Beflect now on the two years of Osbom's governor- 
ship, and consider not only the immediate results of 
it, but the impulse it has given to a finer, stronger con- 
ception of government by the people of this State of 
ours. The injury that Osbom has done is solely to 
Chase S. Osbom's political aspirations — if any he has. 
The good that Chase S. Osbom has wrought is the in- 
alienable possession of the State.'' 

The House of Bepresentatives passed resolutions offi- 
cially commending my work. 

My brief exaugural address was well received by the 
Legislature and by the public. I was deeply content 


There was much I wished to do. I had not finished 
the earth in travel and study. There remained por- 
tions of Africa and all of Madagascar. My wife and 
I left at once for the East and across the seas. We 
stopped en route in Washington, where I addressed the 
Michigan Society, upon the invitation of Judge Mont- 
gomery, with whom I had sometime clashed, hut who is 
so big that he has forgotten it and forgiven me. At 
the State Department I could get almost no information 
about Madagascar. This made me decide to proceed 
to France. Madagascar is a French Colony. France 
took possession of it one year before the United States 
acquired the Philippines. It furnishes a splendid op- 
portunity of comparing the methods and colonial poten- 
tiality of the two nations. 

We took passage on the French liner La Touraine, 
with the same captain who had sent the Titanic a wire- 
less warning of the iceberg, that was unheeded. 

Either at the wharf at Havre, or on the train between 
there and Paris, our trunks and bags were broken into 
and robbed. I mention this because we have only suf- 
fered from such depredations while traveling in France, 
Italy and Spain. 

One gets the idea that the average of honesty is low 
among the European Latins. I say European Latins 
because we have found the South .Ainerican Latin peo- 
ples as honest as any others in the world. We have 
been warned in every South American country to be- 
ware of thieves while traveling, just as the American 
traveling public encounters ^^ beware " signs in depots 
and hotels, at home and on ocean steamers. In thou- 
sands of miles of travel in South America I have never 
lost an article, and I grew to be less watchful there 
than in most countries. Friends living in South Amer- 


ica uniformly tell me that petty larceny and sneak thiev- 
ing are uncommon there, which accords with my ex- 

Ambassador Herrick was very kind to us in Paris. 
He saw that I had access to all official sources of in- 
formation. I was also permitted a more intimate 
knowledge of Dr. Alfred Gh*andidiery the famous biolo- 
gist, and his work. Grandidier is an authority upon 
nearly every branch of scientific knowledge pertaining 
to Madagascar. When he completes the volumes he is 
writing they will form an exhaustive treatise upon that 
big and interesting island. 

We sailed from Marseilles on a stormy day. The 
Mediterranean was the roughest I had ever seen it and 
it grew worse. Off Crete we nearly foundered. The 
storm continued for four days. For two days it was a 
hurricane and during thirty-six hours our ship just 
headed into it^ and the log did not record a single knot 
of progress. Mrs. Osbom remained in our stateroom 
because it was too rough to dress. She was compelled 
to live in the upper berth on account of the depth of 
water in the room. Other women were hysterical, and 
men were down on their knees in prayer, just as they 
always rush to God in danger and helplessness and so 
often forget Him at other times. No one was permitted 
on deck. Even the captain wrung his hands. He had 
ordered me below a number of times. Finally learning 
that I was working with the deck hands helping to rig 
the auxiliary steering gear and doing other things, he 
made me a member of the crew. During all of it my 
brave wife was as calm as could be, and only asked me 
to tell her and give her enough time to put on a life 
preserver, if it became necessary. Many passengers, 
both women and men, wore life belts for two days. 


We had seen trying storms in the Cape Horn region, 
in the China Sea, in the l^orth Atlantic and North Pa- 
cific and in Biscay and the Indian Ocean, but nothing 
worse than this. The fearful thing on the Mediter- 
ranean in a bad gale is lack of sea room, which is the 
great menace also on Lake Superior and the other great 
lakes of the world. I have seen Lake Titicaca so storm- 
swept that hundreds of balsas were destroyed. Fancy a 
storm on the roof of the world in a lake more than two 
miles up in the clouds. One really feels as if he mi^t 
be washed into illimitable space. 

It was our fourth trip to Egypt, but neither my wife 
nor myself had seen the Sahara as it must be seen to 
be comprehended. In order to do so I organized a cara- 
van for the purpose of journeying over the sands that 
are finer than when they reposed, unmoved, on the vast 
floor of the ancient ocean that once existed over the 
Bedouin domain. We planned to go some hundreds 
miles and also visit the Fayoum Oasis^ either outward 
bound or upon our return. 

We have the slides to contend with at the Panama 
Canal. At the Suez, dredges are kept at work con- 
stantly by the boiling, slipping, flowing ooze that comes 
in at the bottom and sides. Compared with the Panama 
Canal the Suez is not much of an engineering product ; 
nor when compared with the St. Mary's Falls locks, at 
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where the lock problem 
was solved for Panama and for the world. 




I IT Madagascar I was made an honorary member of 
the Academie Malgache. There are only half a 
dozen honorary members, including the President 
of France. 

The French authorities jealously guard the rare fos- 
sils that have been found in Madagascar, where so much 
of the flora and fauna, ancient and modem, belongs 
alone to Madagascar. 

They were very courteous to me. I was lucky 
enough to discover a perfect specimen of the egg of the 
JEpyornis Titans, the greatest of the extinct prodigious 
birds, and was permitted to remove it from the country 
in order that I might present it to the University of 
Michigan. Also I obtained bones of the jEpyomis, 
flying and amphibious lemurs, and a complete skeleton 
of the pigmy hippopotamus, a rare fossil. I shot a 
large modem hippo in Africa to contrast the lilliputian 
with. They now form a striking contrast in the mu- 
seum of the University of Michigan. 

The Colonial geologist and mineralogist aided me in 
obtaining a complete collection of the minerals and 
rocks of Madagascar for the Michigan College of Mines. 

English missionaries have done a praiseworthy work 
in Madagascar. They went there nearly a hundred 
years ago. Now out of a population of between three 



and four millions, there are more than five hundred 
thousand enrolled Christians. 

At Fort Dauphin we found an American Swedish 
Lutheran mission establishment of cheerful, wholesome, 
self-sacrificing missionaries doing fine work. No one 
could have been extended more consideration and kind- 
ness than we were given by all the missionaries. The 
most unusual Consul Porter, British official representa- 
tive, stationed at Antananarivo, could not have done 
more for his King than he and his charming family 
did for us. 

The United States Consul to Madagascar, a high- 
grade Negro, Mr. James G. Carter, at Tamatave, was 
thoughtful, polite and efficient. The color line is not 
drawn officially or socially and Yankee Consul Carter 
was having the time of his life. 

Madagascar is apart from routes of common travel. 
It is never visited by the tourist class and has not been 

here because I am at work upon a more elaborate manu- 
script concerning it, which I hope to complete for pub- 

In Ceylon we visited the Anuradhpura district where 
extensive ruins dating from the golden days of 
Buddhism are being uncovered and preserved. It is a 
fever stricken region. Not unlikely this caused the 
decay of the strong peoples that competed successfully 
in their time in all the activities of the known world. 
They were at their best about 300 b. c. One has only 
to go to Ceylon and read the Eamayana to have both 
regard and respect for the ancient Cingalese. 

We reached Burma in time to participate in the hun- 
dredth anniversary of the arrival of the American Bap- 
tist missionary Adoniram Judson. He really opened 


Burma. The British followed, as they have been often 
guided by the blazed trails made in remote portions of 
the world by Alnerican missionaries. 

No river trip in the world surpasses in interest that 
of the Irawaddy. When we were at Bhamo the Tibe- 
tans, Chinese and English were guarding their frontier 
and frequent clashes came. 

The most productive ruby mines in the world are 
along the Irawaddy. American drillers have developed 
rich oil fields just as they have done at Baku. Man- 
dalay had the plague and three hundred a day were 
dying from it when we were there. 

Fascinating indeed is Old Pagan, once the mightiest 
seat of Buddhism and still showing eight thousand pa- 
godas and dagobas. When Oenghiz Khan appeared be- 
fore it in the thirteenth century, there were standing 
thirteen thousand temples of Buddha. The King tore 
down five thousand to obtain material for use in 
strengthening his fortifications. The Great Khan cap- 
tured and sacked the city despite all this and a brave 

Our English word "pagan" comes from here just 
as our word " meander '' is from the tortuous river that 
laves the ruined foundation of Diana's ancient Ephesus. 

In Siam we found an American, Jens Westengaard, 
of Chicago, living in a palace as adviser to the King, 
and ranking only next below the sacred white elephant. 
The story of Westengaard and his splendid work in 
Siam, and his potential life throughout is dramatic and 
exhausts the imagination. He is indeed a creditable 

Cochin-China, French China, is well administered. 
Saigon is a miniature Paris. The French manage their 
colonies with sympathy, understanding, real interest and 


strive for unalloyed justice. The colonial work of the 
highest and most unselfish character in the world is that 
done by our country in the Philippines. Next comes 

In Persia we encountered the failure of Morgan 
Shuster. If he had been permitted to carry out his 
plans, Shuster might have done wonders for Persia. 
But it was not in the cards. England and Russia were 
as determined upon the ravishment of Persia as the 
latter has been of Turkestan, and the former of India. 
Mr. Shuster's absolute tactlessness, and complete failure 
to grasp the situation, only hastened the clenching of 
the iron bands. 

All of the countries engaged in the great European 
holocaust have at one time or another despoiled and op- 
pressed weaker peoples of the world. One of the most 
guilty is Belgium. Her Congo brutalities curdled the 
blood of all who knew them. Do nations reap as they 
sow ? Like individuals ? I think so. 

In Turkestan and throughout the " sealed dominions 
of the Czar '^ we found, as all must find who go or read, 
much to engross one and arouse conjecture and imagina- 
tive thought. Old Maracanda and Merv, and the val- 
ley of the Granicus, where Clitus saved Alexander's 
life, only to be stabbed to death by him in a drunken 
fit a short time afterwards. Alexander did not die of 
a broken heart because of no more worlds to conquer. 
There were plenty. He died of remorse, at thirty-three, 
because he had, while drunk, murdered his favorite 
general and best beloved friend Clitus, to whom he owed 
his life. There is much evidence that in a fit of sorrow 
over his crime he committed suicide. No, Alexander 
did not die for want of worlds to master. He died be- 
cause he failed to conquer himself. 


The country is bleak along the Ferso-Turkestan 
frontier and much of it a desert. At oases there were 
nomadic peoples, with home-woven, camel's-hair tents 
and garments, and many camels, sheep, goats and asses. 

Most of the shore line of the Aral and Caspian Sea 
is forbidding, gray and ashen as death. Baku is a 
busy, but not an attractive city. Krasnovodsk, Enzeli 
and Resht are as nearly impossible as human hives can 
be. Resht is a disease-breeding mudhole, considerably 
below the level of the Caspian. Kiva and Bokhara are 
just as they were in Biblical times. 

Once in Transcaucasia all is different. The val- 
leys contain a people that have spirit. Russia is build- 
ing throughout with unusual activity, and the work is 
done to last. Just as much life as in the most exciting 
boom days of Oklahoma, and in addition everything is 
done with a view to permanency. 

Tashkent, in Turkestan, is quite a modem city. Ti- 
flis in Transcaucasia, is much more so. Between them 
the space is unfinished. At Oeok Tepee, where Sko- 
beleff captured the beards of the prophet, horsetail battle 
flags mark the final conquest. 

In Siberia there is a great development going on. In 
many ways Siberia is the hope of Russia. Men and 
women of independent thought and courage were exiled 
there. Often when their term of exile had finished they 
remained in their new abode. George Eennan's picture 
of Siberia is tmjust, unkind and untrue. I have been 
three times across the remarkable domain that the robber 
Yermak gave to his Czar, and have tried to know Si- 
beria fairly. It is not as cold as Saskatchewan either 
in summer or winter, and always they raise more wheat 
than the railroad can haul. Irkutsk is really the lit- 
erary and modern art center of Russia, because toler- 


ance in Bussia for the humanities first began there- 

Siberian and Bussian towns generally are not over- 
churched. They are classified practically as one church, 
two church and three church towns and so on. If a 
community can support one church that is all it is 
permitted, until it grows to a point where, without great 
difficulty, it can support two. I am inclined to think 
that religion in Bussia is less an economic burden than 
in any other country in the world. There seems to be a 
gradual rapprochement of the Greek and Episcopal 
churches. Their amalgamation would be a good thing 
for them and for the world no doubt. 

It was the early part of the year 1914. Everywhere 
we saw Bussian soldiers moving towards the Austrian 
and German borders. There is an old Bengali saying 
that when soldiers are on the move watch for trouble. 
We had been away from newspapers for many weeks. 
Nevertheless I concluded that war was going on or 
about to start. In a few weeks it burst on Europe like 
an elemental demon, leading hosts of vampires and 

Babindranath Tagore, of whom we saw much and 
delightfully while in Calcutta, had in conversation pre- 
dicted, like a prophet of old, that the world would 
quake with wholesale murder and India would be 
avenged. He could not have dreamed it would be so 

I was in his home when the money of the Nobel 
prize for literature was handed to him. He cared 
deeply for the generous recognition of the East by the 
West, but there is no East or West in the world of love 
and art. But he cared most because he could further 
endow his boys' school at Bolpur, where he is training 


young men who will carry on the dream of his life. 
That is the restoration of the pure ancient Brahmanism, 
the first monotheistic religion the world knows anything 
about. It has degenerated into a depraved animistic 

To call Tagore a Hindu, as is commonly done, is to 
call Bergson a disciple of Nietzsche. 

Through home missionary organizations called 
Brahmo Samaj, they are endeavoring to convert the bull 
kissing Hindus. 

I told Tagore what he was teaching is really Christian- 
ity. He agreed with me, but added that it was better 
policy to name it Neo-Brahmanism. 

It is the spiritual hope of India. 



WHILE following a Sakalava native trail in 
Madagascar^ just like a Kaffir path in Af rica, 
I came to a stretch where the dust of the path 
was red. Searching on either side I found bowlders of 
hematite iron ore. These I traced to a ridge of which 
they were the talus. I traced this hogback for forty 
miles and came to neither end. In many places along 
it I found rich iron ore. 

Specimens I procured showed a metallic iron con- 
tent of sixty-four per cent, and nine-thousandths of one 
per cent, of phosphorus. The analyses were made by 
a chemist in the laboratory of one of the great iron mines 
of Lake Superior. 

It is a new range of iron ore that has never been seen 
to be recognized by any other than myself. There it 
lies to supply mankind when busier and nearer deposits 
are exhausted. It is located almost as conveniently to 
the markets of the world as the Chilian deposits, back 
of Coquimbo^ that Mr. Schwab is developing, and per- 
haps more so than the Minas Oeraes district of Brazil, 
where American capital is interested. 

This new range is in a country where the government 
is stable and just, and taxation is low. There is an 
unlimited supply of native, low-cost labor. At present 
the lands are wild ; that is they are owned by the gov- 



ennnent and may be bought for a few cents an acre. 

I feel that I am quite within the limits of reason when 
I state that this new iron range is likely to produce 
as much high grade Bessemer ore as some of the world's 
greatest iron regions. I am making further investiga- 
tions. After completing this work I shall inform the 
world of the location of this discovery. 

It goes to prove further the statement of Professor C. 
K. Leith, of the University of Wisconsin, made in his 
paper on the " Conservation of Iron Ore," at the New 
York meeting, February, 1916, of the American Insti- 
tute of Mining Engineers, to the effect that there is no 
danger of immediate exhaustion of the iron ore reserves 
of the world. 

When the late James J. Hill was trading on his Min- 
nesota iron lands, he was quoted as making a statement 
that the iron ore of the world would be exhausted in 
twenty years. It caused much comment. Mr. Hill de- 
nied making the statement. It bulled the iron ore land 
market for a time, and increased the standard of meas- 
urement of values of iron ore in the ground which had 
been entirely too low. It was during the period of low 
values and restricted demand that Mr. Carnegie and Mr. 
Rockefeller secured their great Lake Superior holdings* 





WE had been in the almost unknown world for 
upwards of two years. Much of the time we 
were beyond reach of civilized communica- 
tion* Some of the time I was where no white man had 
trodden before. Now in the spring of 1914 we were 
entering the alive world again. At Baku on the Cas- 
pian Sea I received cablegrams from several citizens 
of Michigan asking me to be again a candidate for Gov- 
ernor of Michigan. When I arrived at Paris on the 
way home I found a mass of cablegrams and letters 
asking me to make the race. It was all much opposed 
to my inclination. Nothing except a sense of duty 
could influence me to consent. I was poisoned with 
malaria and had been bitten by the tsetse flies and was 
not in good health. That I should make the matter 
one demanding full and very earnest consideration was 
the advice given to me by Ambassador Herrick. He 
was the first American I had seen in more than a 
year. He said I owed it to my State and to the party 
to enter the contest. 

In Paris at the time were several prominent Midiigan 
men for whose character and judgment I had great re- 
spect. They repeatedly urged me to be a candidate 
as a matter of duty. On the way across the Atlantic 

on the Imperator, I discussed the details of the situa- 



tion several times with J. Sloat Fassett. He was a 
conservative and I a progressive Republican; Fassett 
a " standpatter ^^ and I an " insurgent" But I found 
him always very big and generous and gracious in his 
personal views and statements. Looking to the welfare 
of the party in the nation he urged it as my duty to 
become a candidate. 

Very clearly in my mind was the wish that I would 
not find conditions such as to force me to enter the 
contest. This was my state of feeling when I landed 
at New York. Equally plain was the determination on 
my part to do my duty if I could come to see it clearly, 
and to come to know the way was my daily prayer. 

At New York a Michigan delegation met me and 
urged me to become a candidate. I had said that I 
could imagine no conditions that would make it neces- 
sary for me to do so. And I deferred a decision. On 
my way home to Sault Ste. Marie I was asked to stop at 
Lansing where a reception and banquet had been ar- 
ranged in my honor. At Lansing the situation was 
made very plain. There seemed to be a real demand 
for my services as a candidate. My physician told me 
it would kill me to go into a campaign in the then con- 
dition of my health. I told him kill or no kill, I would 
run. It was late. Other candidates had been at work 
for months. I went from county to county speaking 
from ten to twenty times a day. Great crowds came to 
hear me and to welcome me home. I told them the 
heart's truth about everything. Every day and often 
at night I suffered intense pain, but the pain seemed to 
be a pleasure when borne for a good cause. I enjoyed 
the campaign and once in it I tried to justify the work 
of my friends by putting every pound of strength I had 
into the fight. It was fine. 


I won the nomination for Qovemor, but was defeated 
for election. 

I was very happy. To me the interpretation was that 
I had strength enough to make the fight^ defeat certain 
agencies and sow seed for public ripening and whole- 
some harvest by and by, but not enough to go on with 
lifers battles until I had rested, recuperated and driven 
out the jungle poisons that gripped me. Now I was 
freed so as to be allowed to do this. 

Wars are not always won by single battles, any more 
than life's work is done by lone achievements. One 
very often wins when he appears at the time to lose. In 
the essences the thing is to offer to serve. There is a 
heavy load to carry; perhaps a public burden. You 
offer eagerly, willingly to take it up and bear it. The 
task is given to another. Therein is the responsibility ; 
the exaction. The only thing you, who have been re- 
jected at the time, must do, is to be ready to offer 
freely and unselfishly again to serve. 

That the public was slow to believe what was charged 
against my opponent is to the credit of the people ; to 
their fairness and sense of justice. They really thought, 
or a great many did, that the stories were libels and 
pure campaign fiction. Now they know better. I have 
ever found the public ready to be more than generous 
and just. Like the wholesome individual, all it wishes 
is to see the right way and it will take it. 

Soon after this election occurred, in the fall of 1914, 
I was invited to speak at many important places in 
Michigan and elsewhere. Everywhere, including Lans- 
ing, I was greeted by larger and kindlier audiences than 
I ever had spoken to before. It was as if it had begun 
to dawn upon the public that I had tried to render a 
service and they sought to give me belated appreciation. 


That was Tmnecessary, because Michigan has given 
me many honors and always has recognized xoe beyond 
my deserts. 

Shortly after I went into Johns Hopkins Hospital 
at Baltimore, interluding treatment there wiUi quail 
himting and pruning pecan trees in southern Georgia 
where I belong to a litfle dub of close, fine friends and 
where also we have a bungalow. Much benefit came to 
me in a physical sense. Then Mrs. Osbom and I 
started for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, via the Pan- 
ama Canal. On the steamer, in California and every- 
where I appeared, I was treated with that generous con- 
sideration and kindliness that only the truly inde- 
pendent and spirited American citizenry knows how to 
show. I was especially pleased with my reception when 
I spoke at the University of Missouri ; the University 
Club of Chicago; The National Geographic Society at 
Washington; and the Chicago Geographic Socid;y. 

When the dissolving ice and snow permitted I again 
buried myself in the wilds. At Duck Island, in the St. 
Mary's River, I discovered what all those to whom the 
matter has been presented, agree is the solution of the 
mystery of luminosity in fireflies and other animal life. 
It is produced by enzymes, is one hundred per cent, 
in efficiency as compared with fifteen per cent, for 
electricity. It is entirely possible that enzymic light 
may be developed to be of practical service to mankind 
and commercially valuable. ^ 

I am studying the aurora borealis and the aurora 
Australis. To several scientists I have submitted my 
discoveries and theories concerning the auroras and 
they have been interested and encouraging. 



I HAD been widely mentioned for the presidency. 
The Chicago Evening Post and other prominent 
high-grade newspapers presented my name for 
consideration. There was more evidence of comforting 
confidence and encouraging belief in me given by a 
public wider than my charming circle of personal 
friends. In the autumn of 1918 I became a candidate 
in the primaries for the Bepublican nomination for 
United States Senator from Michigan. My war work 
had taken every moment of my time. I had held over 
four hundred war meetings, without other compensation 
than the deep satisfaction one has in actively manifest- 
ing a desire to serve. I received nearly fifty thousand 
votea, but was defeated. The younger men to whom I 
most appealed were off to the war : almost two hundred 
thousand of them. I felt my defeat not at all, because 
I had only offered to try to carry a big, spinous load for 
Michiigan.. They gave it to another. 

The reaction of America to the conditions created by 
the world's war followed quickly a first dim sensing and 
t^en a clear perception that the permanence of the social 
structure builded here by the people for themselves 
was seriously imperiled. No matter what designation 
of word or phrase was used to etch this in the composite 
ndnd there was a feeling, all of a sudden, that safety 
and insurance of independent government demanded 



our participation in the war. To Liost people making 
the world " safe for democracy " meant next to nothing 
tangible. They instinctively felt that the success of the 
attempt to impose the German system upon us meant the 
death of cherished ideals and fragrant hopes. It did 
not matter to them whether our government is more or 
less efficient than an autocracy: it is their government, 
is what they wish and make of it good or bad, and there 
is deep confidence that in time it will be perfect enough 
for mundane purposes if the people are not molested in 
progress by the iron hand of a selfishness so singularly 
personified as to be impossible of coming imder their 
control. Many even realized that in the German Em- 
pire was an efficiency that permitted a scientific exploi- 
tation of the people to the last degree; even compre- 
hending meticulous human care in order to conserve and 
selfishly utilize their man power. And at the same 
time they also knew that in the United States there are 
strata beginning with the economic enslavement of cer- 
tain workers and ending in irresponsible and lightly 
bound economic social groups. Perhaps our masses 
could not have made an analysis and framed a deduction. 
Their intuition springing from fountains of self-pres- 
ervation bid them unite against the Germans with co- 
herent effectiveness. At the bottom of it all the masses 
in our country feel in terms varying from the nebulous 
to the concrete that this is their country and that they 
are responsible for it and that it can only endure if they 
protect it against foes from without or within. This is 
the guaranty of intelligent popular will where any of 
the genius of government is possessed. It will be our 
protection from the plague of bolshevism and even de- 
mands that all parties demonstrate an ability to conduct 
the affairs of government sanely if they are to be 


trusted with it for any long period. Somehow the sense 
of order and proportion attends this sense of possession. 
The people see about them in the universe the applica- 
tion of the laws of order in the diurnal procession, the 
coming and going of the months, the rising and setting 
of the sun, the recurrence of moon and stars. Perhaps 
they could not discourse philosophically upon these beau- 
tiful phenomena, but they have deeply ingrained the 
lessons they teach. One average man said to me that 
the socialists are like a man who is hungry for an 
apple pie : he has all the materials of flour, shortening, 
apples, spices, sugar and the fire and a hunger, but he 
cannot make an apple pie. How true it is. To be able 
to distinguish those who can perform the services of 
government safely is the first requisite of a free people 
and popular government. Uncle Sam is an icono- 
graphic individual made up of all his hundred million 
parts ; and there are more parts than this, though not all 
visible, in the individual unit. Some of the hundred 
million of Uncle Sam are souls, some are brains, others 
are lofty urges and sentimental desires; some are legs 
and arms and spine and heart and soul and liver and 
spleen and so on ; some are eczema and psoriasis ; some 
just waste material. To a degree the individual may 
elect his part and his function ; all cannot, because some 
are hopeless, inert derelicts, operating negatively as 
more or less dangerous ferments. But after all the 
wholesome parts will protect, defend and keep the body 
of the nation alive, just as the phagocytes and their aids 
expel pathogenic germs in the individual and cure dis- 
ease. In the individual there is a time limit fixed 
beyond which there can be only disintegration with no 
hope of tangible physical renewal. In the national en- 
tity there is complete renewal every thirty-seven years, 


which is the average of longevity among our people. In 
that lies the great hope; the death of the aged; the 
birth of the new essence. The babe cries lustily at birth 
as the old man moans his departure. We do not know 
much about what becomes of us, nor does it matter 
much to us while in this sphere. It is comforting to 
know that theologians and scientists are one in pro- 
clainung immortality. Thomas Crowder Chamberlin^ 
head of the department of geology at the University of 
Chicago, chief among the cosmic philosophers of the 
world, in the closing paragraph of his recent book upon 
the " Origin of the Earth " says : 

" It is our (Professor Chamberlin^s) personal view that what 
we regard as merely material is at the same time spiritual, 
that what we try to reduce to the mechanistic is at the same 
time volitional, but whether this be so or not, the emergence 
of what we call the living from the inorganic, and the 
emergence of what we call tiie psychic from the physiologic, 
were at once the transcendent and the transcendental fea- 
tures of the earth's evolution." 

This is beautiful. It is an admission by a great 
scientist of the insufficiency of the human mind. Many 
other intellectuals are brave enough and fair enough and 
sufficiently without the dominating ego to agree with 
Professor Chamberlin. Thus are the profound minds 
grouping to convey the final fact that where man ends 
God begins. Subsumed with religion it creates a per- 
fumed hope. And yet man is so human and cowardly 
at timea and superselfish. While the war was going on 
mankind rushed towards God as in the resurgent days 
of the Crusades; peace has come and will man forget 
God when he is not terrified by necessity for higher 
help ? It has been ever so. 

To justify the war we must rebuild the world; nor 

Hy father 
George AuguBtuB Osbom 


muat we bide the fact from view tkat man's aelfislmesfi^ 
man's inhumanity, man's intoleranee have created the 
eonditions that have sprung all the wars forever and 
ever. Is it unkind or unjust or unfair to recall that 
within the brief cycle of a century Great Britain, Bus- 
sia, France and Italy, not to forget our part too, have 
seized nearly two^thirds of the surface of the earth? 
Subject peoples in India, Burma, Trans-Caspia, Africa, 
Madagascar and ekewhere numbering a billion souls 
have been wrung for head taxes. Just a little time ago 
Great Britain, at the time of the Sepoy uprising, loaded 
live Indians into cannon and shot them out for schreck- 
lichkeit. More recently we gave the Moros the water 
oTire for the same example. Within a half dozen years 
the inhuman atrocities in tiie Belgian Congo perpetrated 
by the Belgian Government, with no madness of war 
to cause insane acts, shocked the world. Now it would 
do no good to call attention to these better forgotten 
blood marks were it not necessary to determine whether 
an indictment of a present people can be made for the 
crimes of their progenitors. We of to-day cannot be 
to blame unless we condone and continue the sins of 
yesterday. Consequently upon this very day w© are 
called upon practically to decide whether we will per- 
mit to continue the era of intolerance and antagonism 
or supplant ijl; with a period of tolerance, justice, coop- 
eration and sincere goodwill. Platitudes will not be 
sufficient for the stomach of our people no matter how 
musical they may sound to the senses. There must be 
a clear admission that the human derelicts of to-day are 
the blighted usufruct of the injustice of yesterday ; the 
economic unfairness. 

No brighter ray illumes the world's political firma- 
ment than our policy in the Philippines. We really 


seem to have done more in two decades to advance a 
less apt people there than the British have achieved in 
India during more than a century. It is not intended 
that these comparisons shall be odious, for we have done 
better with our suzerain peoples than with many of our 
citizens at home. It is surely demanded that we shall 
do more than talk our best ; we must do our best ; not in 
spots; everywhere. 

After all there is progress, even if the world does 
fall over the edge of the precipice every so often and 
flounder in what appears to be abysmal despair. It is 
not satisfying to survey the social growth by decades, 
but if we will begin with the Java man and his Neander- 
thal contemporary and carry our vision on to the Cro- 
magnon and the Vazimba and then on to Lloyd George, 
Clemenceau, Wilson and Roosevelt, we can have some 
food of assurance that the growth tendency will con- 
tinue until we shall have to scratch more deeply to un- 
cover the carnivorous cave dweller. It took eras for the 
eohippus to become a horse and the dodo to become an 
aeroplane. Perhaps our greatest concern comes from 
a tendency to regard ourselves and our times too seri- 
ously. If I were to endeavor to coagulate wisdom into a 
short sentence it would be : Do your best and do not 
quarrel with Providence. 

The dearest hope of mankind lies beyond the horizon 
of the present. We shall attain it.