D. S. (David Samuel) Margoliouth.

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and adopted. This opinion is sustained by the decision of the Su-
preme Court in the case of The Pensacola Telegraph Company vs. The
Western Union Telegraph Company (6 Otto), in which the Court says :
" Post-offices and post-roads are established to facilitate the transmis-
sion of intelligence. Both commerce and the postal service are placed
within the power of Congress, because, being national in their opera-
tion, they should be under the protecting care of the national Govern-
ment." That these views are sound is too plain to be doubted. Con-
tinuing, however, the Court touches upon the very point in question —
the telegraph : " The powers thus granted are not confined to the
instrumentalities of commerce, or of the postal service, known or in
use when the Constitution was adopted ; but they keep pace with the
progress of the country, and adapt themselves to the new develop-
ments of time and circumstances. They extend from the horse with its
rider to the stage-coach, from the sailing-vessel to the steamboat, from
the coach and steamboat to the railroad, and from the railroad to the
telegraph, as these new agencies are successively brought into use to
meet the demands of increasing population and wealth. They were


iuteiidecl for the Government business to "vvhich they iX'late, at all
times and under all circumstances." It was impossible for the men
who framed the Constitution to foresee the wonderful improvements in
the means of rapid intercommunication which have since taken place.
At that time there were only a few post-roads in the United States,
and over these the mails were conveyed on horseback or in the stage-
coach, consuming a fortnight in the trip from Boston to Philadelphia,
that is now made by the fast mail in a few hours. In the progress of
events, the people demanded a quicker means of communication, and
the Government did not hesitate to place the mails upon the railroads
as fast as they were constructed. Now, in many instances, the rail-
roads are too slow to meet the demands of business communication,
and the telegraph is freely used in all important commercial transac-
tions. The business-man who does not use the telegraph each day for
information as to markets abroad, to make contracts with distant cus-
tomers, to transmit money, and in various other ways, is counted slow
indeed in this age of progress. From these facts, is there not the
more reason for making this wonderful and powerful agency subser-
vient to the general postal system of this great and growing country
than there was for providing for the carriage of the mails by steam ?

Further, it is not only a constitutional privilege, but it is also a
constitutional duty ; and it is susceptible of the strongest proof that,
in neglecting to make the telegraph a part of the postal system, the
Government has failed of its constitutional duty toward its citizens.
Such powers as are granted to the General Government are granted
absolutely, and are lodged nowhere else. In the language of the
tenth amendment, " The powers not delegated to the United States by
the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
States respectively, or to the people." It may not be improper to ob-
serve here that only such powers were granted to the General Govern-
ment as could not properly be exercised by the States. For instance,
the right to declare war was granted to the General Government, and
wisely, else New York might declare war against some foreign power,
while the remaining States might be strongly in favor of peace. It
is, therefore, fair to infer that such powers as were gi-anted to the
General Government were not " reserved to the States respectively, or
to the people " ; and in this class, as we have seen, is the power to
regulate and control the transmission of intelligence. In the language
of Mr. Justice Field, in ex parte Jackson (6 Otto), " The power pos-
sessed by Congress embraces the regulation of the entire postal system
of the country." It extends to the telegraph as well as to the rail-
road, and the conveyance of letters and packets by regular trips over
railroads by private parties is prohibited by law (Revised Statutes^
sections 3,982, 3,983), yet we permit a private monopoly to convey our
messages the quicker way by telegraph. The Government enforces a
monopoly of the transmission of intelligence by the slower metluxls.


but when the lightning is invoked that is left to the monopoly of a
single private corporation, contrary to the true intent of the Consti-

Let us now see what success has attended the postal telegraphs
of other countries, which have been quick to shed the blessings of an
American invention upon their citizens, under the protection afforded
by Government control. Among the first to adopt this system was
the Government of Belgium, where, March 15, 1851, it was established
with a tariff of two and one half francs for twenty words within a
radius of seventy-five kilometres, or fifty cents for a distance of forty-
six and one half miles, and five francs for a distance above seventy-
five kilometres. The " registered system " was adopted here by which
the sender, upon payment of a double fee, was provided with an exact
copy of the message delivered to his correspondent, together with the
exact time of the delivery. In 1878 the tariff had been reduced to a
fraction over eight cents for each twenty words, and the receipts from
this source amounted to $426,258.84. The next year, December 5,
1852, Switzerland adopted the system with the following tariff : for
a message of twenty words, one franc ; over twenty and under fifty,
two francs ; above fifty, three francs. In this country, almost from the
very first, the receipts showed a large surplus over expenditures, and
this was augmented in 1868, when the tariff was reduced to one half
a franc for twenty words — a uniform rate. In 1879 the receipts
amounted to $400,763.04 ; expenses, $314,893.39. About the same
time the system was introduced in France, where it proved a complete
success from the first. In 1877 the French tariff was a fraction over
sixteen cents for twenty words, and the receipts from this source were
$3,203,800. Then followed Russia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, New
Zealand, and other countries, with the most gratifying results in each
case. Great Britain, usually so quick to adopt reforms in the postal
service, and to which Government we are indebted for various im-
provements in our service — the postage-stamp, money-order, postal-
car, carrier-svstem, postal-card, etc. — was the last of the European
countries to establish the system. Previous to its introduction there,
the Chambers of Commerce memorialized Parliament in favor of the
measure, alleijing that they " had reason to complain not only of the
high rates charged by existing companies for the transmission of mes-
sages, of frequent and vexatious delays in the delivery, and of the
inaccurate rendering, but that many important towns, and even whole
districts, are unsupplied with the means of telegraph communication."
In moving leave to introduce the postal telegraph bill, the Chancellor
of the Exchequer said : " We were in the habit in this country of
leaving to private enterprise the administration of internal affairs, the
exception to the rule being that of postal communication. With the
consent and approbation of the country, this was a monopoly in the
hands of the Government ; and he submitted that telegraphic com-


munication and postal communication might be considered as coming
within the same category, as both provided for correspondence be-
tween persons at a distance, and the only difference, was the mode of
communication. It would be admitted, as a general principle, that the
monopoly which had succeeded so well in i-egard to the conveyance of
letters might be expected to succeed equally as ^vell in a more rapid
method of communication. He was not aware of monopoly in the one
case Avhich would not hold good in the other." The reasoning of the
distinguished Chancellor applies with greater force to this country,
where the rates are higher than they were at this time in Great Brit-
ain, and where the entire telegraph system is in the hands of a single
private corporation. The transfer of the telegraph business to the
Government in Great Britain took place February 5, 18T0, and in 1872
there was a net revenue from this source of £159,835, which increased
in succeeding years. The following table exhibits the extent of tele-
graph business in the countries named :


Great Britain






No. of telegraph-


Len^h of lines


* 3,234



$3,203,800 00

3,046,539 08

400,763 04

426,258 84

1,451,088 64


The conclusions deduced from the foregoing f-acts, as applied to the
question of adopting such a system in this country, are :

1. That the Government has the constitutional right to own and
operate lines of telegraph, as a part of the general postal system, to
the exclusion of all private competition ; and, further, that such action
is clearly a constitutional duty.

2. That in all the leading countries of the world the Government
exercises this right, either in whole or in part, to the great benefit of
the citizens of such countries, protecting them from the extortions of
monopolies, and guaranteeing, for a small charge, to transmit and
deliver their telegraphic correspondence with the privacy of sealed let-
ters, with greater certainty and efficiency than can be assured by pri-
vate corporations.

3. That there is no reason to doubt that the success which has
attended the system in other countries would obtain here, especially
when we consider the energy and enterprise of our countrymen, and
the extent and resources of our great and rapidly developing country ;
and that with a uniform tariff, say of twenty cents for twenty words
or less, it could be made in a few years to cover all expense, if not
(which is probable) a source of revenue to the Government. That
the near future will witness this realization is quite certain.



THE name of Dr. Charles T. Jacksox deserves to be awarded a
prominent place in the annals of American science. It is closely
associated with the earlier geological investigations in the United
States and the British Provinces, and with the initiation of discoveries
Avhicli have contributed immensely to the increase of the economical
resources of the world and to the amelioration of the jiains of suffer-
ing men. However the balance of merit in the discovery of the elec-
tro-magnetic telegraph and of anaesthesia may be awarded, the fact
that Dr. Jackson conceived the ideas which embody the principles of
those discoveries, and probably imj^arted them to the more practical
men who made them known to the world, can hardly be disputed.

Dr. Jackson was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts, June 21, 1805.
Having studied medicine under Drs. James Jackson and Walter Chan-
ning, he entered the Medical School at Harvard University, and re-
ceived its degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1829. He had already
manifested an inclination toward other studies than those required in
the practice of medicine, and became particularly interested in chem-
istry, mineralogy, and geology. Indeed, before receiving his degree,
he explored, in company with his friend Mr. Francis Alger, a consid-
able part of the province of Nova Scotia, and made there a large col-
lection of minerals ; these being new to foreign cabinets, he was able,
by means of exchanges with them, to form for himself a cabinet of
great value.

Soon after receiving his degree he went to Europe to complete his
studies, where he remained for three years. At Paris, he became ac-
quainted with many eminent men, among them the celebrated geolo-
gist, ]^lie de Beaumont, with whom he formed a warm friendship that
continued through life. In 1831 he made a pedestrian tour of a large
part of Central Europe, visited the principal cities of Italy, and made
a geological tour of Sicily, and of Auvergne, in France. It was while
returning from his European residence, in October, 1832, having elec-
tro-magnetic, galvanic, and other philosophical ajjparatus with him,
that he had those conversations with Professor Morse which he claims
implanted in that inventoi-'s mind the germs of the idea of the elec-
tro-magnetic telegraph. A year and a half afterward, in t^e spring
of 1834, as he asserts, he constructed, successfully worked, and exhib-
ited to his friends, a telegraphic apparatus similar to that the concep-
tion of which he claimed to have described to Professor Morse.

He settled in Boston, in the practice of medicine, in 1833, but in a
short time abandoned his profession, so that he might give his whole
time to the chemical, mineralogical, and geological investigations
which he preferred. He soon became known as one of the leading


scientific men in the country. lie was appointed State Geologist of
Elaine, and surveyor of the public lands of Massachusetts lying in
.Maine, in 1836, and spent threa years in the execution of those works.
In 1839 he, as State Geologist, surveyed Rhode Island ; and he began
the geological survey of New Hampshire, in which he was occupied
for three years, in 18-40. At about this time he drew up a plan for the
geological survey of New York, which was adopted. He explored the
southern shores of Lake Superior, and revealed the mineral resources
of that country in 1844 ; returned to the same region in the next
year, and opened copper-mines, and discovered iron-mines. In 1847
he was appointed to superintend the geological survey of the mineral
lands of the United States in Michigan, a work in which he continued
for two years, till he was displaced in consequence of political changes
in the national Grovernment. He became a member of the Boston
Society of Natural History soon after its formation, and was elected one
of its curators in 1833. He afterward became one of its vice-presidents,
and continued to hold that office till disabled by sickness in 1874.

Dr. Jackson's name is most closely associated with his claim to
priority in the discovery of the anaesthetic properties of ether, which
was the subject of a long controversy, and one that was very painful
to him. His claim is supported by the testimony of Mr. Francis Al-
ger, Dr. J. B. S. Jackson, Dr. Martin Gray, and Mr. T. T. Bouve, to
whose eulogy before the Boston Society of Natural History we are
indebted for most of the facts given in this notice. These gentlemen
were his chosen friends, and were for a long time closely associated
with him. Dr. J. B. S. Jackson was one of the signers of a remon-
strance addressed to Congress against its making a grant of money to
W. G. Morton, Dr. Jackson's rival in the claim of discovery, based
upon the ground that the signers believed that the reward, so far as
the question of discovery was concerned, ought to go to Dr. Jackson.
Dr. Martin Gray published a pamphlet under his own name, maintain-
ijig that Dr. Jackson was the sole discoverer of anaesthesia, and that
^Ir. Morton could only be considered to have performed a secondary,
part by proving that the administration of ether is safe in surgical
operations. Mr. Bouvu, who was for a considerable time a student
in Dr. Jackson's laboratory, and afterward met him frequently in
social intercourse, accords to him the honor of having been the dis-
coverer of the anaesthetic properties of ether, but has " never thought
him entitled to the credit of its introduction into use, or even to that
of having thoroughly verified what he claimed to be true respecting
the safety of administering it. He had experimented upon himself,
and had aftenvard demonstrated respecting it, even going so far as
to recommend its use by others, and this constituted discovery ; but
he did not prove to others what he was himself convinced of, and
allowed precious time to pass — yes, much time — without making any
application of the discovery. Indeed, had it not been that Mr. Mor-


ton sought from him means to prevent pain when extracting teeth, it
is doubtful if the world would have had the advantage of the discov-
ery for years, if ever. The truth is. Dr. Jackson was a great genius
and had remarkable intuitive perceptions of scientific truths, but,
from some peculiarities hard to comprehend, he often contented him-
self with enunciating what he recognized as fact, without striving to
substantiate it. He himself admitted his shortcomings in this re-
spect. When Dr. Gray had wiutten his essay upon the discovery of
ether, claiming for Dr. Jackson all the merits of its introduction, I ob-
jected to his view of the matter, and took the ground that the world
was indebted to both Jackson and Morton for the great boon ; to one
as the scientific discoverer and suggester of its use in surgical oper-
ations, to the other for his application of it and its practical intro-

" Dr. Jackson, learning, of this, upon meeting me remarked that I
was thought not to be friendly to him in the matter. I then said :
' Doctor, you have known for a long period what Mr. Morton is now
demonstrating to be true, but have allowed it to remain a dormant
fact in your mind. If he had not sought information from you, might
it not have remained so for years longer ? ' He answered that pos-
sibly it might. I think it may fairly be said that, without both Jack-
son and Morton, the world might have been none the happier for what
either would have done ; one supplemented the other. To them to-
gether belongs the great honor of having served humanity beyond
what language can express."

Dr. Jackson was the first person in this country to establish a
chemical laboratory for students ; and many of the chemists of the
last half-century were indebted to him for their earlier instruction in
the analyses of mineral bodies. While engaged in giving instruction
of this kind, he invented a powerful blast-lamp for alkaline fusions,
which was very serviceable previous to the introduction of street-gas
into laboratories.

His geological explorations of the three Kew England States and
the south shore of Lake Superior were among the earliest that were
made in the United States.

Dr. Jackson's scientific papers, which appeared from time to time
in the public journals, were numerous ; many of them were of great
interest and importance.

As early as 1834 he contributed to the " Journal of the Boston
Society of Natural History " an article on the " Chiastolite or Made of
Lancaster, Massachusetts." This was followed by other papers on
various minerals. The published " Proceedings " of the Society, from
1841 till the time when he was prostrated by illness, were illuminated
by his frequent contributions to the discussions and papers on matters
of scientific interest. To " Silliman's Journal " he contributed " Analy-
ses of the Mineral Waters of the Azores"; "Remarks on the Geology


of Maine"; '' Bituininization of Peat, and its Conversion into Coal";
"An Account of tlie Catlinite or Indian Pipe Quarry"; "The Lava of
the Volcano of Kilauca in Hawaii, and its Chemical Composition";
*'• Remarks upon Drift and upon the Organic Matters of Soils"; "The
L:\ke Superior Copper Region "; "The Asphaltic Coal of New Bruns-
wick"; "The Discovery of Fossil Fish in the Coal Formation of New
IJrunswick"; and a few papers of more limited interest.

To the " Proceedings " of the Association of American Geologists
he has furnished descriptions of the veins of tiu-oi-e in Jackson, New
Jersey, and " Remarks upon the Zinc, Copper, and Lead Ores of New
Hampshire." To the "Proceedings " of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science, " Observations of a Mirage seen at Lake
Superior " ; " Remarks on the Geology, Mineralogy, and Klines of
Keneewaw Point " ; " On Ancient Pot-holes in Rocks " ; " Description
and Analysis of Allanite from Franklin, New Jersey" ; "Description
of Bismuthic Tellurium from Virginia " ; " On the Artificial Minerals
from an Iron-Furnace in Pennsylvania " ; and other papers. To the
" Proceedings " of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, " Re-
marks upon a Large Vein of Phosphate of Lime found in New Jer-
sey " ; "Analysis of Water" ; "Analysis of Bornite from Georgia" ;
•• Results of an Examination of the Frozen Well of Brandon, Ver-
mont " ; and "An Analysis of Meteoric Stone found in Dakota."
Vo the 3Iemoirs of the Academy he contributed, jointly with Mr.
Francis Alger, a valuable paper on the " Mineralogy and Geology of
Xova Scotia." Reports of analyses of soils made by hira were pub-
lished in the " American Quarterly Journal of Agriculture " ; and he
published in the " Boston Medical and Surgical Journal " an article
on the existence of nitrogen in plants and its origin in animals. He
also contributed to journals in Edinburgh ; and to the " Comptes
Rendus," of the French Academy, " Observations sur quelques mines
(les ^tats-L'nis et sur le gres rouge de Lac Supcricur"; " Courans
Marines " ; " Nouveau gisement de Trilobites " ; " Sur les giseraents
d'or dans le Georgia " ; " Sur Ic Bornite de Dahlonega et sur les dia-
mants de I'fitat de Georgie " ; and other papers. His more elaborate
works are the three reports on the " Geology of Maine," published in
1837, 1838, and 1839; reports on the "Public Lands of Maine and
-Alassachusetts " (1837 and 1838) ; the " Report on the Geology of
Rhode Island " (1840) ; " Reports of the Geology of New Hampshire "
(1841, 1842, 1844) ; "Report on the Mineral Lands of the United
States in ^lichigan " (1849, with maps). He also i)ublished the results
of chemical researches on the cotton-plant, the tobacco-plant, on In-
dian-corn, and on thirty-eight varieties of American grapes, which
were embodied in the Patent-Office reports, and a " Manual of Etheri-
zation, with a History of its Discovery " (18G3).

Dr. Jackson died on the 29th of August, 1880, after having suffered
for manv vears from an affection of the mind.





ACI I AN GEisgradually coming over
tlie meaning of the word science,
or, ratlier, there is a growing appre-
ciation of its true meaning, which is
of great significance. lu the newspaper
column of " Science " we have a list of
results of late experiments of all kinds.
In looking over many scientific periodi-
cals it would bo inferred that the term
is restricted to physical science. From
the text-books we should conclude that
science consists of the facts and prin-
ciples that have been established and
icollected in different groups under this
name. But it now begins to be under-
stood that science properly means a
method by which all these results are
produced. It is a method of thought,
a metliod of investigation, having for
its simple object the establishment of
the truths of nature. This method has
grown up gradually in modern times to
greater and greater perfection, and has
widened in scope, until now it includes
many subjects with which it was at
first supposed to have no relation.

There has of course been great re-
sistance to this tendency. For, while
people admit that truth is valuable
and precious, they generally think that
they are also in full possession of it,
and are, therefore, in little need of
methods to arrive at it. Their beliefs
are truth, and therefore not to be dis-
turbed. Science doubts, with a view
to reinvestigation, and is hence unwel-
come. Especially where men band to-
gether in parties and sects and declare
their opinions, there arises at once a
spirit of hostihty to any thorough in-
quiry which might unsettle the views
to which they are committed. Mean-
time, in spite of this resistance, the spir-

it of investigation has gained strength
and spread rapidly in all directions of
I The latest and most impressive proof
[ of the progress of the scientific spirit
j is sten in the recent treatment of the
I Christian Scriptures. Biblical criticism
has long been affected by the scientific
method, and is now to be controlled by

Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 49 of 110)