Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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m-ans mist of the oleic aci i (q. v.) which is present is expelled. The solid residue is
then to be repeatedly cry stall i/.cd fiom alcohol, and afterward from ether till the fusing-
p.->int b -comes constant at 159 J . If the final solution is allowed to cool slowly, the acid
is deposited in beautiful, colorless, transparent rhombic plates. After fusion, it cools
into a wax-like, glistening, crystalline mass, devoid of taste or smell. It is insoluble in
water, on which it floats, but dissolves in alcohol and ether, its solution reddening
litmus powerfully. When heated above its fu-ing-point, it becomes decomposed into
palmitic acid (Cj a H 3I O,HO), p-dmiion (CejIIosOa). and an oily hydro-carbon. Stcarie
iici 1 forms both normal and acid s.dts. The only normal stearates which are soluble in
water are the stearates of the alkalies, whose solutions arc frothy ai.d formal lather, but
on the addition of an excess of water, separate into an acid salt which is deposited in
siiky crystalline plates, and the free alkali which remains in solution. The stearates of
!he alkalies are also soluble in alcohol. Chloride of sodium (common salt) lias the prop-
erty of separating the alkaline stearates from their solution. The stearates of the alka-
I'v- are the principal constituents of the different kinds of soap. The oilier stearates are
insoluble. Siearate of lead, which is one of the constituents of lead plaster, is readily
formed by mixing solutions of stearate of soda and acetate of lead, when the stearate of
lead falls as a heavy amorphous precipitate, sparingly soluble in alcohol or ether, but
dissolving freely in oil of turpentine.

The biiMtc avid exiracted from the oil of the seeds of bassia Ittifolia, a tree growing
in the Himalayas, and the stearophtcnic. acid obtained from the berries of monospermum
coccnlu-i, are identical with stearic acid.

The use of stearic acid in the manufacture of caudles is described under the head
CANDI..K. See also On s.

STEARNS, a co. in central Minnesota, having the Mississippi river for its e. bound-
ary; drained by Sank river and Sank lake, with small lakes and streams; 1300
sq'.m. ; pop. 'SO, 21,956 14.825 of American birth, 2 colored. It is intersected !>
St. Paul and Pacific railroad in the n.e. It> surface is hilly in the w., and" well
wooded wiUi forests of maple, ash, oak, elm, etc. The soi: is adapted to the production
of grain, tobacco, wool, and dairy products. Live stock is extensively raised, aud the

Stearns. Qf\A


manufactures include carriages, wagons, agricultural implements, furniture, ale, beer,
and flour. Co. seat, St. Cloud.

STEARNS, WILLIAM AUGUSTUS, D.D.. I,I,.D., 1805-76; b. Mass.; graduated at Har-
vard college, 1827; studied ihoology at Audover seminary; ordained pastor of a Con-
gregalional church, Cambridgeport, 1881; became president of Amlierst college,
1854, retaining the office till his death. He published Infant Church Membership; Life
and Select Discourses of Samuel II. Stearns; besides Sermons and Addresses, and arti-
cles in the Bibliotheca Sacra, Biblical Repository, and New Englander. His son, long a
merchant in Bombay, made a large gift iu money for the beautiful chapel of Amherst


STE ATITE, or SOAP-STONE, a mineral principally composed of silica and magnesia,
with more or less alumina and water. It is found massive, or sometimes assuming the
forms of the crystals of other minerals which it has replaced. It is plentiful in many
parts of the world, and is found in various parts of Britain. It is generally white, reddi.-h
white, or yellow. It is soft and greasy to the touch, easily cut, but broken with diffi-
culty. It is used in the manufacture of porcelain. It writes readily on glass, and is
used by glaziers for marking plates of glass before they are cut with the diamond.
Tailors use it for marking cloth before they cut it. It is used by shoemakers, to give
unctuosity to the heels of stockings, that new boots may more easily be tried on. It is
sold for such purposes under the names of Brianfon chalk, French chalk, and Venice
talc. It readily absorbs oil or grease, and is used in powder for extracting spots of
them from silken and woolen stuffs. It is the basis of rouge (q.v.). It is used for imitat-
ing engraved stones, being easily cut, and after ward .hardened by heat; after which, it
may be colored by metallic solutions. The agalntatolite or figure-stone of China is a kind
of steatite, containing a little potash. Exquisite specimens of Chinese workmanship in
this material are now familiar to every one. The earth eaten by the savages of the bunks
of the Orinoco and of New Caledonia is a kind of soft steatite.

STE'DINGK, CURT BOGISLAUS Louis CHRISTOPHER, Count von, b. Pomerania i
1746; d. Stockholm; graduate of the university of Upsala, 1768; a soldier in the army
fought against Prussia; subsequently became lieut.col. of the royal Swedish regiment if
the French army. He was an intimate friend of count Fessen, and sailed with him i|
D'Estaing's fleet on the-expedition to the West Indies, 1778, and as a volunteer in tin
American revolution. He distinguished himself as commander of a brigade at Granada and
Savannah, 1779; was severely wounded at the latter. He was a member of the order of
the Cincinnati; ambassador to St. Petersburg, 1790; delegate from Sweden to the peace
conference at Paris, 1814.

STEDMAN, EDMUND CLARENCE, b. Conn., 1833; studied at Yale college; entered
the profession of journalism in 1852 ns editor of the Norwich, Conn., Tribune; but the
following year edited the Winsted, Conn., Herald. In 1855 he went to New York, and
soon began contributing poems to the N. Y. Tribune. At the outbreak of the rebel-
lion, he was sent to the front by the N. Y. World as war-correspondent, continuing until
1863. He contributed to the Atlantic Monthly and other leading magazines; in the
meantime studied law, and in 1863 was private secretary to attorney-general Bates in
Washington. In 1865 he entered into business in New York as a stock-broker, in which
he continues. He has published Alice of Monmouth and other Poems; 1 he Blameless
Prince and other Poems; and much fugitive poetiy.

STEED'MAN. CHARLES, b. S.C., 1811 ; was midshipman in the navy, 1828; lieut., 1841 ;
commander, 1855; capt.,1862; commodore, 1866; rear-admiral, 1871. He served in the
bombardment of Vera Cruz; commanded brig Dolphin in Paraguay expedition, 1859-60;
commanded the Bienville at Port Royal, 1861; silenced the batteries of St. John's bluff,
Fla., 1862; commanded sloop-of-war Ticonderoga in both attacks on fort Fisher; com-
manding navy-yard, Boston, 1870-71.

STEEDMAN, JAMES BARRETT, b. Penn., 1818; in 1837 was engaged in the con-
struction of the Wabash canal in Ohio; in 1849 organized an expedition to California
but soon returned to Ohio. He was printer to congress, 1856-60. When the war broke
out he was commissioned col. of volunteers, was present at Philippi, in Kentucky, at
Perryville, Chickamauga, in Sherman's campaign of the Atlanta, and in the battle of
Nashville. He resigned in 1866. then holding the rank of ma j. gen. Under Johnson's
administration he was collector of internal revenue at New Orleans.


STEELBOW, in Scotch law, means goods, such as corn, cattle, straw, and implements
of husbandry, delivered by the landlord to his tenant, by means of which the latter is
enabled to stock and labor the farm, and in consideration of which he becomes bound
to return articles equal in quantity and quality at the expiration of the lease.

STEELE, a co. in s.e. Minnesota, drained by Straight. Lester, and Cannon rivers;
432 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 12,460 8,576 of American birth, 32 colored. The surface is undu-
lating ami diversified by lakes and small streams, and the country is well supplied with
timber. The soil of the prairies has an underlying stratum of limestone" and is very

Q()K Stearns.


fertile; producing grain, potatoes, hops, and dairy products. It is intersected by the
Winomv ami. St. Peter, and the Milwaukee and St. Paul railroads. Co. seat, Owatouna.

STEELE, FUEDEIUCK, 1819-68, b. N. Y. ; graduated at West Point in 1843; served
In the war with Mexico; and was stationed in California from 1849-55. He was then
ordered to the western frontier, and at the beginning of the civil war was in Missouri
as maj. of the llth infantry. In Sept., 1861, he was appointed col., and at the battles
of Dug Spring and Wilson's creek commanded a brigade. In 1862 he was promoted to
brig gen. of volunteers, and later assigned to the 13th army corps as maj. gen. of volun-
teers. He was in command in the Yazoo expedition and also at the capture of Arkan-
sas Post. lie was engaged in the Vicksburg campaign, and commanded the 15th corps
at the capture of Little Rock. In 1864 lie was in command of the department of Arkan-
sas, and aided gen. Cauby in the reduction of Mobile. In 1865 he was placed in coru-
jnand of the department of Columbia; in 1866 made col. of the 20th infantry, and was
Lrevetted for his services during the war, maj.geu. of the U. S. army.

STEELE, Sir RICHARD, was born in Dublin in the year 1671. His father, who held the
)ffice of secretary to the duke of Ormond, was of an English family, but his mother was
'dish; and the son appears to have inherited from her the impulsive ardor, tenderness,
bright fancy, and reckless profusion immcmorially ascribed to the Irish national charac-
ter. 'He was educated at the Charter-house school, along with his illustrious friend
Addison, and from thence was removed to Morton college, Oxford. Leaving college
without taking a degree, he enlisted in the horse guards, for which imprudence he was
disinherited by a rich relation of his mother, who had named him as heir to an estate in
Wexford. In the army, he rose to the rank of capt., but was gay, thoughtless, and
dissipated always sinning and repenting, as he himself confesses. To impose a check
on his irregularities, he wrote a religious treatise, Ihe C/rrixtian Hero, published in 1710,
the design of which was to show that no principles but those of religion are suflicient to
make a great man. This public profession of seriousness had little effect on the volatile
captain, and he next took to writing comedies. In 1702, he produced The Funeral, or
Griff a la Mode; in 1703, 27ie Tender Husband; and in 1704, The Lying Lover the last
a decided failure. About the same time, he obtained some fortune by marrying a West
Indian lad}', who survived the marriage only a few months; and in 1706, he got the
appointment of gazetteer, with a salary "of 300 per annum, and also the post of gentle-
man usher to prince George which added another 100 to his income. In the following
year (.Sept. 9, 1707), he married a Welsh lady, Mary Scurlock, who figures conspicuously
in his correspondence as the "Dearest being on earth," "Dear Prue," and "Dear wife,"
to whom he addressed some 400 letters admiring, apologetic, and passionate. A course
of extravagance town and country houses, horses and chariots soon involved the pair
in difficulties. Mrs. Steele had a fortune of 400 a year, and was thrifty; but the lady'g
mother had a life-interest in the estate, and was hard and uncongenial. Addison gave a
loan of 1000, which was repaid within a twelvemonth; but he made other advances,
secured by a bond on house and furniture. He put the bond in execution, told the house
grid furniture, and remitted the surplus to his imprudent friend. For this seeming
harshness Addison has been blamed; but it rests on good authority that the sufferer
himself entertained no such feeling, he regarded the incident as a warning meant to do
him service, anel he met his friend again with his wonted composure and gaiety. In
1709, Steele commenced The Tatler, a periodical published thrice a week, containing
short essays on life and manners, town gossip or tattle, anel articles of foreign and
dorm-atic news, for which Steele's appointment of gazetteer furnished him with peculiar
facilities. Addison joined cordially in this publication, and still more effectively in its
successor, The Spectator, a daily literary journal of a higher tone and character, which
was continued with unexampled success through 635 numbers. A third miscellany of
the same kioel. The Guardian, was extended to 175 numbers. Steele afterward attempted
other periodicals, as The Later,, The Reader, etc., but these were short-lived. Kis fame
reals on his essays in the Tatitr, Spectator, and Guardian, to which he contributed
respectively 188, 2*0, and 82 papers. In the keen political strife of that venal age, Steele
fought courageously and honestly for the Hanover succession anel whig principles. He
Vwt his office of gazetteer, and was expelled the house of commons, for writing a
pamphlet called The Crisis, in which he warned the nation that the Protestant cause wa
in danger. But when queen Anne died, and the whiirs were again triumphant, Steele
participated in the royal favor. He obtained an appointment in the king's household,
was elected M.P. for Borough bridge, anel received the honor of knighthood. In 1717,
Steele was nominated one of the commissioners for the forfeited estates in Scotland, and
he' seems to have made four annual \isits to Edinburgh on the business of this commis-
sion. He was led into a controversy with Addison, a few weeks before the death of the
latter, on the once famous peerage bill a proposal by ministers for restraining the king
from any new creation of peers, except upon the extinction of an old family. On thii
question Steele took the side of the crown, and fairly beat his opponent in argument
and in temp'er, besides enjoying the triumph of seeing the bill thrown out. The friends,
alas! met no more. The survivor struggled on among the controversies, embarrass-
ments, and lawsuits; he was patentee of P'rury Lane theater; and in 1722. he produced
bis admirable and successful comedy of Tlu Con*ciut Lover*. His health now rapidly

Steell. CQ6


failed. His wife had died in 1718, but he had children to solace his decline. The last
three years of his life were spent in retirement in Wales, and there liis checkered exis-
tence came to a close: he died at Llangunnor, near Carmarthen, on Sept. 21, 1729.

The essays of Steele eclipsed his dramas. His Bic/cerstajf, the S^jcctator dub, alle-
gories, and short tales have the true, ever-living, dramatic spirit. In taste and delicate
humor, he was greatly interior to Addison; but in invention and insight into human
character and motives, he was fully his equal. He knew the world better, and he sym-
pathized with almost every phase of life and character except meanness and cruelty.
He seems to have considered it to be his special mission to reform the minor vices and
absurdities of English society. If his satire had been more keen and trenchant, or his
moral lessons more formal and didactic, he could not have succeeded as lie did; his
essays were just adapted to the times they insinuated morality and benevolence, and
supplied innocent enjoyment mingled with instruction. The lively, natural writer and
companion is never lost in the teacher, nor the gay captain of horse wholly absorbed in
the author.

STEELL, Sir JOHN, I?. 8. A., an eminent Scottish sculptor, the son of a carver and
gilder in Edinburgh, was b. at Aberdeen in 18U4. He received his education as an artist
at the Edinburgh academy, and afterward at Rome. On returning thence in 1830, he
executed a colossal group of "Alexander and Bucephalus," which was instantly recog
nized as a work of great merit. The promise of this early work he has since amply
fulfilled; and is now admitted to stand in the front rank of hi3 profession. His chief
works are in Edinburgh: the colossal figure of the queen crowning the front of the
royal institution, which procured him the honorary appointment of sculptor to her
majesty in Scotland; the statue of Scott in the Scott monument, a commission which
was won in competition; the equestrian statue of the duke of Wellington (1852); statues
of prof. Wilson and Allan Ramsay (1865); and the equestrian statue of prince Albert,,
at the inauguration of which in 1876 Steell was knighted.

STEEL TOYS. This is a manufacturing term much used in Birmingham, London,
and elsewhere. It has a somewhat different meaning to that which would at first sight
be given to it. Steel toys are small articles, such as cork-screws, buckles, boot-hooks,
and a great variety of similar objects, when made of polished steel. Birmingham anj
Sheffield are the chief seats of this industry, which employs a large number of operatives
and considerable capital.


STEEN, JAN, a celebrated Dutch painter, was b. in 1626, or according to others i:i
1636, at Leyden, where his father was a brewer. He showed an early predilection for
art, which led to his being apprenticed to a German painter, Nicholas Knupfer oL
Utrecht. Subsequently he became a pupil of Van Goyen. whose daughter Margaret hj
married. Very soon his repute became established. As he worked, however, in a slo\v
and elaborate manner, his gains were insufficient, and he started a brewery at Delft.
This enterprise promised fairly; but, according to tradition, he was -by no means of
steady business habits, and so bemused himself with his own beer that very soon ha
brewed no more of it. Little that is certain appears to be known regarding the subse-
quent life of Steen, but numerous unauthenticated anecdotes are in vogue, which, if it
could be shown that they were true, would prove him to be a wretched drunkard; but
a late biographer, Van Westerheene, throws considerable doubt on the accuracy of tlu
popular impression. Steen died in 1879 or 1689, leaving his family in very dcstitutj

As an artist of the Dutch school he ranks high ; and his works are now much valued.
In humor and spirit they are scarcely surpassed, and their coloring is clear, fresh, and
delicate. At times he attempted historical subjects, but his success in these was not
great. It was in homely and domestic scenes that his genius truly exhibited itself; anj
In this field he has scarcely since been quite equaled.

STEEPLE, the tower and spire, lantern, or other superstructure attached to a church.
These are usually of stone, but in some cases are carried up from the floor in massivo
wooden framing.

STEEPLE-CHASE. This singular "term is used to designate a kind of horse-race, run
not on a prepared course, but across fields, hedges, ditches, and obstacles of every kind
that may happen to be in the way. The name and practice are said to have both
originated in a party of unsuccessful fox-hunters, on their return home, agreeing to try
a race toward the steeple of a village church, the first who could touch the church with
his whip to be the winner. This kind of sport soon became popular; and matches were
made and sweepstakes entered into the require men IB of the course being simply two
flagslaffs placed about 2 m. apart, from one of which the competitors started, made their
way to the other, and returned to the starting-point. Each rider was allowed to go and
come as he chose, but the country was often selected on account of its difficulty; high
and strong fences, deep and broad ditches, and sometimes even swollen rivers having lobe
crossed and recrossed. Then came the more regular steeple-chase of modern times over
a course marked out by flags, between which the rider must pass in order to win the
race. This improvement was introduced about the end of last century, and no



further change took place till 1841, when handicapping began. Tliis consisfs in the
weighting of horses according to their supposed merits, without reference to age. size, or
sex. The lirst handicap steeple-chase was run at Newport- Pagnell on April 20, 1841,
and the sport has since become more and more popular in England, most of tiie spring
and autumn meetings having their steeple chases, for valuable stakes. Great crowds of
people always attend, the very danger of the sport seeming to increase its attractiveness.
Serious accidents are not uu frequent; and great courage, coolness, resolution, and judg-
ment are requisite on the part of the rider in a stteple-chase. The name is also applied
to similar races for men.

STEERAGE, in a vessel, is the lowest class of accommodation for passengers.

STEERING is the act of directing the ship's course by means of the helm (q.v.). It is
bad steering when the ship's head is allowed to oscillate first on one side then on the
other of the course she has to pursue. By such steering the distance to be traversed is
increased, and a greater resistance is encountered, the sea being struck more obliquely.

STEERING APPARATUS, in antiquity, was always of one or usually two long
na.'s, the rudder and helm having probably been invented by the Scandinavians, as aU
the words descriptive of their parts are old components of our language. A rudder with.
tiller is found on a seal as early as 1226, but no preventive tackle appear ever to be shown.
The enormous length necessary for a tiller in a large ship causes the first improvement.
the steering-wheel. This is a fixed windlass, on ttie barrel of which wind and unwind
ropes carried over compound pulleys to the ends of the tiller, and to eyeholts in the side.
The length of rope wound on the barrel will usually be somewhat over three times the
angle traversed by the tiller, or between four and live turns to put the helm hard either
way, from mid-ship. The next impiovement was to suspend the rudder, not by pintles
/m the stern-post, but by a pivot at the bottom, leaving nearly a third on one side of the
Axis, as a counterpoise the balance-rudder. This, very valuable on a screw ship, was
needlessly powerful when under sail, and the counterpoise side was therefore made
movable, and locked stiff when necessary the compound balance-rudder. Still, the
angle traversed being enlarged, the " work" of a steering- wheel was enormous, and in a
aea a ponderous system of braces and preventer-tackle was necessary. About 1863 was
introduced into the British navy the steam or hydraulic steering apparatus. The
Minotaur had needed, to set her helm over 23 D , 18 men at the wheels, 60 men at the
relieving tackles, and 1 minutes. To complete a circle required 7& minutes. A balance-
rudder would probably have increased the arc traversed to 40. Fitted with the steam
apparatus 2 men at the wheel set the rudder 35 in 16 seconds, making the circle in 5$
minutes. It is now usual to have a small auxiliary engine, an auxiliary wheel irr case
of accident, and for the old tiller is now substituted a yoke. There are many varieties
of modern yoke wheels, both horizontal and vertical, working by pistons, by a ratchet,
or by contrary-screws with levers. Steamboat rudders have long been worked from the
house by the pilot-, but the trouble of applying machinery to chains necessarily so long
has always lain in the slack and the shock. The latest invention consists in attaching
to each chain a piston which may receive steam on either side, one moving forward as
the other moves aft, preventing all slack, and cushioning enough to deaden the shock
almost entirely.

STEEVEXS, GEOKGE, 1786-1800; b. England; educated at Eton, and King's col-
lege, Cambridge, became a draughtsman and an accomplished Shakespearian scholar,
and published Twenty of the Plays of Shakespeare, being tlie ichole number printed in
Quarto durinr/ his Lifetime, in 4 vols. (1766). He was associated with Dr. Johnson in
1773 in the preparation of an annotated edition; and with Isaac Reed he published a
revised edition (1785-93); the accepted standard for nearly 50 veal's. He assisted in the
preparation of the BiograpJiia, Dramatica, and Nichot's Biographical Anecdotes of
lLjarth; and contributed to Johnson's Lives of the Poets; Dodsley's Annual Register;
and other works. His library, containing 1943 lots, was sold in 1800 for 2,740 15s.

STEFFENS, HEINRICII, 1773-1845, b. Norway; studied at the university of Copen-
hagen; went to Germany, 1794, and through the writings and personal influence pf
Schelling zealously embraced the " philosophy of nature;" was appointed professor of
natural science at Halle, 1804; Breslau, 1811; andBerlin, 1831. In religion he was
orthodox in hi* own country, a pietist at Halle; an Old Lutheran at Breslau, and a
disciple of Schlciermacher at Berlin. In politics he advocated Jahn's Turner institu-
tions and praised the commotions among the students of the Prussian universities.
His autobiography, published in 10 vols., has been translated into English.

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 186 of 203)