Puslapio vaizdai

substances is less than half of one per cent. of the whole (0.473), according to the analysis made by Dr. Joseph Jones, and that of Professor Hilgard, of the University of Mississippi, gives a smaller percentage still (0.120) of gypsum-the only impurity he found in the specimens submitted. Commercially, it compares favorably with the best Liverpool salt, being clear, white, and dry, while it is claimed that it is ten per cent. heavier than the same bulk of the English article.

It was a novel, and, withal, pleasurable, experience to go down the shaft upon the 'cage," which had just brought up a load of the crystalline masses for the crusher. The transition in a few moments from the heat and glare above ground to the subterranean gloom and coolness, had a flavor of enchantment in it which was not at all impaired by the scene which greeted our eyes when they became a little accustomed to the dim light of these lower regions. The feeble rays of a few candles here and there, where the miners were at work, seemed to illuminate but a few yards about them, though reflected back from walls white as alabaster, and gleaming with crystals. The rest of the gallery was intensified darkness, through which we stumbled as best we might from one beacon to another, which alone indicated its direction and extent. The voices of the workmen, chatting in negro dialect or Acadian French, sounded strange and inharmonious. Salt to right of us, salt to left of us, above and beneath,-salt everywhere; we stooped under arches and pendants of it, stumbled over bowlders of it, and walked shoe-deep in salt sand; and had we come suddenly upon the figure of Lot's wife, it would have seemed most fit and appropriate.

Relics of equal antiquity, however, and even of a prehistoric period, are not uncommon on the island, and Dr. McIlhenny, who leads the scientific thought of its inhabitants, has collected a number of fossil and other specimens which utterly mystify the theories of visiting geologists. Petite Anse seems in its geology and archæology, as in some other respects, quite independent of the canons to which the larger world is subject. Thus, while the highest hills show beds of pebbles of various sorts, and different forms of coral, the children make quite a frolic of hunting for mastodon bones in the bed of a stream which flows through the low-lying parts of the island! Similar remains are frequently encountered under fifteen feet of earth, just above the salt, and at the same depth, and in close proximity to these, have VOL. XXII.-44.


PETITE ANSE AMATEUR, JUNE, 1879. THE PETITE ANSE circulation is rapidly ex

AMATEUR tending over the country,

while advertisers are

Is published, ewned, and printed by school-boys, crowding our pages. Our and the articles which evenings are occupied in appear are the efforts of

children whose ages range scanning exchanges and From 7 to 13. The object in answering the daily of the paper is principal

ly for self-improvement, increasing correspondas typography is now a once. Every moment of branch of study in the

PetiteAnse Grammar the daytime is in demand; School. It is issued ev-and if type-setting, comery month, and a yearly

subscription price of 50 position, and other matcents is charged. Yearly tere connected with the advertisements are inserted at the rate of $1 50 per square; 96 50 per column, and $12 per page.

D.D. AVERY, JR., J. A. MolLHENNY, Editors and Proprietors, to whom all communications should be addressed EDITORIAL MENTION. at NEW IBERIA, LA. PETITE ANSE ISLAND, JUNE, 1870.

AMATEUR do not call on us, then kite-flying, fishing, swimming, or baseball is the order.


THE papabette return from their southern fight to feed on our prairies, on which they will fation and afford good sport for gentlemen of the gun and enjoyment for those who love good eating.

WHAT WE DO. Our friends will be delighted to hear of our continued success. The FAC-SIMILE OF A PAGE OF THE SMALLEST NEWSPAPER IN THE WORLD. (EXACT SIZE.)

been found fragments of pottery, and baskets of wild cane, in perfect preservation, and of the same pattern as those in use among the Têche Indians of the present day. Part of a stone mortar was found near the baskets, and now lies in the yard in front of the Avery house; evidently it had been brought from elsewhere, as there is no stone of the same kind anywhere else on the island. An old kiln has also been discovered, with perfect specimens of pottery yet remaining in it, and flint arrow and lance heads are picked up constantly in cultivating the cane-fields.

The human occupation of the island, as far as anything definite is known, began with John Hayes, who was born October 5, 1776; settled on Petite Anse Island, January 15, 1791, and removed thence to Petite Anse Prairie, May 13, 1869, having been a resident of the island on the plantation sold to D. D. Avery over seventy-eight years. Mr. Hayes died July 15, 1869, when he was over ninety-two years of age. He found the whole place a dense forest, abounding in game, but no Indians nor any sign of them, nor could he ever induce one of them to come upon the island, owing to a tradition which had been handed down to them of some great calamity which had formerly befallen their race there.

After the heat and burden of the day, it was pleasant to assemble around the long dining-table, spread with the delicacies of the Creole cuisine and no less bountiful in the feast of reason and flow of soul. The fish of the

court bouillon had been that morning enticed from the bayou by old "Uncle Bill," yclept the Ancient Mariner, while the jombaleyeh of snowy rice, seasoned to perfection, and the figs, freshly gathered from the trees in the garden, imparted a local flavor to the repast. Pleasanter still was the interval before the lamps were lit, when the household broke up into knots and groups upon the long galérie, where the awnings were drawn up to admit the sea-breeze, or out under the trees upon the lawn to see the sunset, or perhaps to watch the dark storm-clouds rolling up from the horizon, and streaking the vast level tract seaward with vivid contrasts of shadow and sunlight, ever changing and finally disappearing from view as a gray curtain of rain fell over the brilliant panorama. Then, as the brief twilight waned and gave place to the soft splendor of mellow moonlight, and the tinkle of the piano within doors sounded invitation to the groups upon the lawn, the broad Mexican sombrero of "the professor" would be signaled by the outlying picket of the youngsters, and soon his ponderous basso would be booming in the evening concert by our improvised quintette on the galérie. These entertainments were further enriched toward the close of our visit by the contribution of Charley Jefferson's tenor, and thus reënforced the Petite Anse Glee Club took a fresh departure and its performances became quite ambitious. These "distractions" were diversified with much pleasant familiar chat, hunting and fishing yarns and war reminiscences by the resident gentry, all of whom were keen sportsmen, and had, moreover, burned powder at more important game than even bear and panther, while serving with Dick Taylor in the late unpleasantness.

Other intellectual and æsthetic elements were not wanting to round out the proportion of this little island-world. The "Petite Anse Amateur," which boasts the proud distinction of being the "smallest newspaper in the world," and is edited, printed, and published by the children of the Avery household, had, by last accounts, a subscription of two hundred copies, and numbered about fifty papers among its exchanges. The enterprise was undertaken at the instance of the teacher of the Petite Anse school, as an exercise in composition, and as such has proved very beneficial, and far more entertaining to its staff than compositions of the usual kind. At first, some revision of contributions by the seniors of the family was necessary; but this did not extend beyond


the indication of errors in spelling and gramNow the paper has acquired an editorial experience which enables it to stand alone. The ages of its contributors vary from seven to fifteen years, and its conduct fully justifies its motto, "Prosta ac vince."

Just before our departure, an entertainment was given under the auspices of the colored congregation of the plantation chapel. The programme was calculated to arouse expectation, and almost the entire population, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, went to witness what was announced as the


Such as never been seen before. Go and see it.
One night only. Don't fail to come and see.
may never have another opportunity.

Doors open at seven o'clock, P. M. Adam and Eve pass the scene at eight o'clock, with the serpent following at their feet.


As the performance was opportunely timed when the plantation people had just been paid off, a silver harvest of quarters rewarded the labors of the reverend showA feature of the spectacle which attested its character as a "strictly moral show" was the giving out of suitable hymns, to be sung by the congregation while the slides were being passed through the lantern. Various and curious were the exclamations of awe and wonder from the assistants, and some startling effects were produced by the occasional invasion by a colossal hand of the luminous picture-field upon the sheet. As to the singing, description is powerless to convey an impression of its swing and fervor, which sometimes promised to precipitate a revival, as some camp-meeting favorite would be given out.

If we had found difficulty in getting to Petite Anse, it was harder yet to leave, and it was only after one or two false starts that our flitting was effected. The fleeting weeks of our sojourn had been long enough for the forming of a deep-rooted attachment to the spot and its inhabitants. It was with a feeling near akin to homesickness that the stranger, who had but just now come unbidden within their gates, passed out again, "to the northward heading," and as he turned for a last lingering look at the lovely island, now but a wavy break upon the level horizon, the thought took shape that inclosed in those blue hills, if anywhere, was to be found "the salt of the earth."




John Stevens had, in 1804, built a successful screw steam vessel; and his paddle steamer of 1807-the Phoenix-was a better piece of engineering than the Clermont. John Fitch had, still earlier, used both screw and paddle. In England, Miller, and Symmington, and Lord Dundas had antedated even Fulton's earliest experiments on the Seine. Indeed, it seems not at all unlikely that Papin, just a century earlier,-in 1707,

ROBERT FULTON has never received, either in kind or in degree, the credit that is justly his due. Those members of the engineering profession who have become familiar with his work through the ordinary channels of information generally look upon him as a talented artist and fortunate amateur engineer, whose fancies led him into many strange vagaries and whose enthusi--had he been given a monopoly of steam astic advocacy of a new method of trans- navigation on the Weser or the Fulda, and portation-the success of which was already had he been joyfully hailed by the Hanoveassured by the ingenuity and skill of James rians as a public benefactor, as was Fulton, Watt, Oliver Evans, and John Fitch, and instead of being proscribed and assaulted by the really intelligent methods of those by the mob who destroyed his earlier Clerearly professional engineers, the Messrs. mont,*-might have been equally successful; Stevens-gave him an opportunity of grasp or, it may be that the Frenchman, Jouffroy, ing the prize of which Chancellor Livings- who experimented on the rivers of France ton had secured the legal control. By twenty-five years before Fulton, might, with such engineers as know only of his work similar encouragement, have gained an on the Seine and the Hudson, in the intro- equal success. duction of the steam-boat, he is not considered as an inventor, but simply as one who profited by the inventions of others, and who, taking advantage of circumstances, and gaining credit which was not, of right, wholly his own, acquired a reputation vastly out of proportion to his real merits.

The layman, judging only from the popular traditions, and the incomplete historical accounts that have come to him, supposes Robert Fulton to have been the inventor of the steam-boat, and on that ground regards him as one of the greatest mechanics and engineers that the world has yet seen.

The truth, undoubtedly, is that Fulton was not "the inventor of the steam-boat," and that the reputation acquired by his successful introduction of steam navigation is largely accidental, and is principally due to the possession, in company with Livingston, of a monopoly which drove from this most promising field those more original and more skillful engineers, Evans and the Stevenses. No one of the essential devices successfully used by Fulton in the Clermont -his first North River steam-boat-was new, and no one of them differed, to any great extent, from devices successfully adopted by earlier experimenters. Fulton's success a commercial success, purely.

there was

The essentials to Fulton's success-his steam-engine and the stanch hull of his boat-were designed by more experienced builders. The engine was sent from England by James Watt, and the hull was constructed by Charles Brown in New York.

Yet, although Fulton was not, in any true sense, "the inventor of the steam-boat," his services in the work of introducing that miracle of our modern times cannot be overestimated, and, aside from his claim as the first to grasp success among the many who were then bravely struggling to place steam-navigation on a permanent and safe basis, he is entitled to all the praise that has ever been accorded him on such different ground; although his talent as an inventor and his skill as a great mechanic and engineer were not displayed in any remarkable way in the construction of the Clermont, they were exhibited most remarkably in both earlier and later work, and were most wonderfully displayed in his methods of submarine warfare.

One of the great engineer's earliest inventions was a "diving-boat," in which, like a veritable Captain Nemo, he prowled

* "History of the Growth of the Steam-engine," pp. 223-225. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1878.


about beneath the waters of the harbor of Brest, during all the summer of 1801, coming to the surface like the gigantic balena to get breath, plunging beneath it again, rising or diving, moving forward or backward, turning and returning, and, after a time, coming above water where least expected, and sailing away like any of the commonplace craft with which the harbor was crowded. He spent, at times, several hours below the surface, and once, when a ship was placed at his disposal by Bonaparte, then First Consul, he attacked her from beneath and blew her into the air with his torpedoes.

Fulton's diving-boat, the Nautilus, and his powerful torpedoes, kept the British fleet in a state of perpetual apprehension, for it was well known that he was negotiating with the French Government for the purchase of his inventions, and had promised Napoleon "to deliver France and the whole world from British oppression."

Dissatisfied with the passive and uncertain character of torpedoes as weapons of submarine warfare, Fulton, although far more successful in their use than any inventor of his own or even of the succeeding generation, next turned his attention to the adaptation of heavy ordnance to use under water. Returning to the United States in the early part of the winter of 1806, after nearly twenty years' residence in Europe, and breaking off the fruitless negotiations with the governments of France and England in which he had sacrificed so much time during the previous five years, he presented his plans to the Government of the United States. He received much encouragement from President Jefferson, from President Madison, and from Smith, the Secretary of State and of the Navy under the two presidents.

He made some successful experiments with his torpedoes and his submarine guns, and patented many of these devices in 1813. His plans finally became well understood and were so favorably judged by the naval officers to whom they were submitted that, in 1814, he obtained a contract for the first war-steamer ever built, the Fulton the First, and it was while constructing this "steam-frigate" that he fell a victim to disease contracted by exposure during the severe weather of January, 1815, dying February 24th of that year.

While conducting the correspondence with Jefferson which resulted as just narrated, Fulton wrote the letter which follows,

describing his "method of firing guns under water." The inventor received a favorable reply from the ex-president, and this letter is one of those papers which will always possess historical interest as having formed a part of the most interesting correspondence of those eventful times.

No attempt is made to correct either the orthography or the punctuation of the author; the compositor has worked from the original rough draft made by Fulton, and the illustrations are exact reproductions of his own rough sketches.

The greatest naval engineer of our own time has wonderfully improved upon the rude methods and the comparatively feeble and inefficient apparatus of Fulton; and beside that latest and most formidable of modern engines of war which was so lately pictured in these columns, the Destroyer, of Captain Ericsson, the almost forgotten, the never well-known, devices of the artist-engineer may appear insignificant; yet, when the circumstances by which he was surrounded are remembered,—the total lack of all our modern knowledge of the technics of the profession, the absence of all those conveniences that now seem essential to good construction, the absence of all our standard forms of machinery, the inexperience of the workmen who were necessarily intrusted with the carrying out of his plans, and the positively obstructive policy of many departments of government, as well as the opposition of rival claimants of public and private countenance and assistance,—when it is realized how much of talent and how much of enterprise, energy, and persistence were demanded in the accomplishment of such tasks as Robert Fulton so splendidly and successfully undertook, it will certainly be acknowledged that he deserves all the fame that has been accorded him, either as a great mechanic or an ingenious and successful inventor.



Dear Sir: As you take a lively interest in every discovery which may be of use to America, I will communicate one I have made, and on which I have finished some very satisfactory experiments, that promise important aid in enabling us to enforce a respect for our commerce, if not a perfect

liberty of the seas; my researches on torpedoes led me to reflections on firing guns under water, and it is about a month since I commenced a suit of experiments.


A gun 2 feet long, one inch diameter, was loaded with a lead ball and one ounce of powder; I put a tin tube to the touchhole, made it water-tight, and let it under water three feet. Before it I placed a yellow pine plank, 4 inches thick, 18 inches from the muzle. on firing, the ball went through the 18 inches of water and the plank. When the gun is loaded as usual, a tompkin or plug is put in the muzle to keep the water out of the barrel, as at A. In this experiment the gun being immersed with the pressure of three feet of water on all its parts, that circumstance might be assigned as a reason for its not bursting; It then became necessary to try the effect with the muzle in water and the britch in air.

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I procured a common wine pipe and inserted the gun, loaded as before, into one end near the bottom, the muzle in the wine pipe 6 inches, the Britch out 18 inches. the pipe was then filled with water to the bunghole, having a head of water of 2 feet 3 inches above the gun, and a body of water three feet long through which the bullet had to pass, I then placed the oppoį site end of the pipe against a yellow pine post, in such manner that if the ball went through the water and pipe it should enter the post, I fired the ball passed through the three feet of water, the end of the pipe and 7 inches into the post, the cask was blown to pieces the gun not injured.


I otained a cannon, a 4 pounder for which I cast a lead ball that weighed 6 pounds two ounces the Charge 11⁄2 pounds of powder I placed it under water 4 feet fired at a target distant 12 feet the ball passed through the 12 feet of water, and a yellow pine log 15 inches thick the gun not injured."



I put an air box round the same cannon,

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except one foot of the muzle, so that the muzle might be in water the Britch in air then let it under water 4 feet and fired as before through 12 feet of water and 15 inches of yellow pine gun not injured.


I ordered a frame to be made of two pine logs each 13 inches square 45 feet long, on one end of which I placed a Columbiad carrying a ball 9 inches diameter 100 pounds weight on the other end I erected a target 6 feet square three feet thick of seasoned sound oak, braced and bolted very strong thus. The Columbiad except two feet of the muzle was in an air box, the muzle 24 feet 6 inches from the

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