Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

. (page 76 of 76)
Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 76 of 76)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

lish the " liberty of the seas."
The government, in 1810, appropri
ated $5,000 to enable him to try
further experiments with his tor
pedo ; but a commission decided .-"
against it, and he was compelled r _.-\, _^ _ V
to abandon his scheme. Steam
navigation was a success, lie
built ferry-boats to run across the

North (Hudson) and East rivers, Xr 3! llil^^HHHBi 7lf$ -^^NislflS^ \

and built vessels for several
steamboat companies in different
parts of the United States. In
1814 he was appointed by the gov
ernment engineer to superintend
the construction of one or more
floating, batteries. He built a war
steamer (the first ever construct
ed ) , which he called the Dcmologos.
She had a speed of 2y 2 miles an FULTON S TORI-EDO.

hour, and was deemed a marvel;

she was named Fulton the First, taken to completed the task in March, 1000, and
the Brooklyn navy-yard, and there used named the instrument "Fundamental
as a receiving-ship until January, 1829, Constitutions." It provided for two or-
when she was accidentally blown up (see dors of nobility; the higher to consist of
TORPEDOES). Fulton died in New York, Feb, landgraves, or earls, the lower of caciques,
24, 1815. See STEAMBOAT, INVENTION OF. or barons. The territory was to be divid-
Fundaxnental Constitutions. The pro- ed into counties, each containing 480,000

acres, with one landgrave and two
caciques. There were also to be lords
of manors, who, like the nobles,
might hold courts and exercise judi
cial functions, but could never at
tain to a higher rank. The four
estates proprietors, earls, barons,
and commoners were to sit in one
legislative chamber. The proprietors
were always to be eight in number,
to possess the whole judicial power,
and have the supreme control of all
tribunals. The commons were to
have four members in the legislat
ure to every three of the nobility.
Every form of religion was profess
edly tolerated, but the Church of
England only was declared to be or
thodox. In the highest degree mo
narchical in its tendency, this form
FILTO.VS HiKTHi LACK. of government was distasteful to

the people ; so, after a contest of

prietors of the Carolinas, which included about twenty years between them and the
the territory of what was afterwards the proprietors, the absurd scheme was aban-
colony of Georgia, wishing to establish doned.



Funding System, EARLY. On Aug. 4,
1700, an act was adopted for funding the
public debt of the United States. Tt au-
thori/ed the President of the United
States to borrow $12,000,000, if so much
was found necessary, for discharging the
arrears of interest and the overdue in-
stalments on the foreign debt, and for pay-
ing oil the whole of that debt, could it be
effected on advantageous terms; the
money thus borrowed to be reimbursed
within fifteen years. A new loan was also
to be opened, payable in certificates of the
domestic debt, at their par value, and in
Continental bills of credit, " new tenor,"
at the rate of $100 for $1. The a-ct also
authorized an additional loan, payable in
certificates of the State debts, to the
amount of $21,500,000; but no certificates
were to be received excepting such as had
been issued for services and supplies dur
ing the war for independence. For pay
ment of the interest and principal on the
public debt the foreign debt having the
preference, and then the Continental loan
a pledge was made of the income of the
existing tonnage and import duties, after
an annual deduction of $600,000 for cur
rent expenses. The faith of the United
States was also pledged to make up all
deficiencies of interest. The proceeds of
the sales of Western lands then belonging
to, or which might belong to, the United
States, were specially and exclusively ap
propriated towards the discharge of the
principal. For superintending these loans
and for the general management of the
public debt, the old Continental system
of a loan-office commission in each State
was continued. The funding system was
very beneficial to the country. The re-
sult of its satisfactory operation on the
business of the nation was the re-estab-
lishment of commerce. See FINANCES,

Funston, FREDERICK, military officer;
born in Ohio, Nov. 9, 1805; attended the
Kansas State University, but did not
graduate; became a newspaper reporter
in Kansas City in 1890; botanist of the
United States Death Valley Expedition in
1891 ; and special commissioner of the De-
partment of Agriculture to explore Alaska,
with a view of reporting on its flora,
1893-94; joined the Cubans in 1896 and
served in their army for a year and a

half. At the beginning of the war with
Spain ho was commissioned colonel of Ilie
20th Kansas Volunteers, which he accom-
panied to the Philippines, where he subse-
quently made an exceptionally brilliant
record. On March 31, 1899, he was the
first man to enter Malolos, the Filipino in
surgents capital. On May 2, 1899, Presi-
dent McKinley promoted him to brigadier-
general in the newly organized volunteer
service, on the recommendation of Gen-


erals Otis and MacArthur, for signal skill
and gallantry in swimming across the Rio
Grande at Calumpit in the face of a heavy
fire from the insurgents, and establishing
a rope ferry by means of which the Ameri
can troops were enabled to make a cross
ing and to successfully engage the insur
gents. On May 2, 1900, while making a
personal reconnoissance up the Rio Grande
de la Pampanga he discovered a perpen
dicular ladder leading up a cliff crowned
with a dense forest. Beside the ladder
hung a rope which, when pulled, rang an
alarm bell in the woods back of the preci
pice. Deeming these appearances sus
picious, he ascended the ladder and at the
summit found many large wooden cases
filled with documents comprising a great
number of the archives of the insurgents,
including all the correspondence of Agui-
naldo from the time of his earliest com
munications with Dewey down to the flight



from Malolos, and also including Agui-
na.ldo s personal letter-book, with press
copies of his correspondence. These boxes
were hidden in a ravine, but were all re
covered and taken to Manila, where their
contents were delivered to the American
authorities. On March 23, 1901, he capt
ured AGUINALDO (q. v. ), and on the 30th
following was commissioned brigadier-
general in the regular army.

Furman, GABRIEL, lawyer; born in
Brooklyn, N. Y., Jan. 23, 1800; trans
mitted extensive antiquarian researches,
but his only published work is Notes,
Geographical and Historical, Relative to
the Town of Brooklyn. He died in Brook
lyn, N. Y., Nov. 11, 1834.

Furman, RICHARD, clergyman; born in
Esopus, N. Y., in 1755. While still a
child his father removed to South Caro
lina. He became a minister in the
Baptist Church before he was of age, and
was such an ardent patriot during the
Revolution that Lord Cornwallis offered
a reward for his capture. Mr. Furman
was a member of the first constitutional
convention of South Carolina, and presi
dent of the first convention representing
all the Baptist societies in America. Fur-
man University in South Carolina was
named in his honor. He died in Charles
ton, S. C., in 1825.

Furnas, ROBERT WILKINSON, born in
Miami county, 0., May 5, 1824; removed
to Nebraska in 1855; appointed colonel of
the 2d Nebraska Cavalry during the Civil
War; elected governor of Nebraska in
1873; president of the Nebraska His
torical Society and of the Nebraska
Pioneers Society, also grand master of
the Order of Odd Fellows and of the
Masonic Society.

Fur-trade. While the English-Ameri
can colonies remained dependents of Great
Britain, they derived very little advan
tage from the extensive fur-trade with
the Indians, for the Hudson Bay Com
pany absorbed nearly the whole of the
traffic. It was contention between the
French and English colonists for the con
trol of this trade that was a powerful ele
ment among the causes that brought on
17G2 a fur company was organized in New
Orleans for carrying on the fur-trade ex
tensively with the Western Indians. It

was started by the director-general of
Louisiana. A trading expedition was
fitted out, and under the direction of
Pierre Ligueste Laclede, the principal pro
jector of the enterprise, it went to the
Missouri region, and established its chief
depot on the site of the city of St. Louis,
which name was then given to that lo
cality. There furs were gathered from
the regions extending eastward to Mack
inaw, and westward to the Rocky Moun
tains. Their treasures went in boats down
the Mississippi to New Orleans, and thence
to Europe; or up the Illinois River, across
a portage to Lake Michigan, and by way
of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence
to Montreal and Quebec.

Early in the nineteenth century, fur-
trading posts had been established on the
Columbia River and other waters that
empty into the Pacific Ocean. In 1784
JOHN JACOB ASTOR (q. v.), an enterpris
ing young German merchant of New York,
embarked in the fur-trade. He purchased
furs in Montreal and sold them in Eng
land; after the treaty of 1795 he shipped
them to different European ports. In this
trade, chiefly, he amassed a fortune of
$250,000, when he embarked in a scheme
for making a great fur depot on the Pa
cific coast. He was then competing with
the great fur companies of the Northwest,
under a charter in the name of the
American Fur Company, for which he
furnished the entire capital. Mr. Astor
made an earnest effort to carry on the
business between the Pacific coast of
America and China, founding the town of
Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia
River. Through the bad faith of a busi
ness partner in 1813, that establishment
was sold for a nominal sum and placed
under British control. After that Mr.
Astor carried on his operations in the
region of the Rocky Mountains, with his
chief post at Mackinaw. Alaska, acquired
in 1807 by purchase, opened a new field
for the American fur-trade. The furs
from that region are mainly those of the
fur-seal ; there are also those of the
beaver, ermine, fox, otter, marten, and
other animals. From 1870 to 1800 the
monopoly of the trade was in the hands
of the Alaska Commercial Company of
San Francisco, Cal. In the latter year
the government granted the right of tak-



ing fur-seals to the North American Com
mercial Company for a yearly rental of
$60,000 and $7.62% for each seal-skin.
Canadian sealing-vessels were, for several
years, illegally engaged in the indiscrimi
nate slaughter of the seals, threatening
their extinction. In 1889 some of these
vessels were seized by United States rev
enue-cutters, thus giving rise to the Be
ring Sea controversy with Great Britain.

Fusang, or Full-Sang, the name of the
country visited by Buddhist monks in the
fifth century, supposed to be Mexico. See

Fuss and Feathers. A political nick
name applied to Gen. Winfield Scott.

Futhey, JOHN SMITH, historian; born
in Chester county, Pa., Sept. 3, 1820;

admitted to the bar in 1843, and was dis
trict attorney for five years. In 1879
he became presiding judge of the district.
He is the author of many historical works,
including Historical Collections of Chester
County; Historical Address on the One
Hundredth Anniversary of the Paoli Mas
sacre ; etc. He died in 1888.

Fyffe, JOSEPH, naval officer; born in
Urbana, 0., July 26, 1832; entered the
navy as midshipman, Sept. 9, 1847 ; served
on the Cumberland and the bomb-ship
Strom-boll in the war with Mexico; was
a volunteer in the Grinnell arctic expedi
tion of 1856; served throughout the Civil
War, taking part in the attack on Fort
Fisher, the destruction of the Confederate
blockade-runner Ranger, in the operations
near Dutch Gap Canal, etc. He died in
Pierce, Neb., Feb. 25, 1896.

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 76 of 76)