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against the Nationalists. This decision, commonly believed
to have been opposed by the American Minister in Peking,
discouraged joint action by the powers. Two weeks later,
May 9, Sir Austen Chamberlain announced : "We have de-
cided that present application of sanctions for the outrages
at Nanking or failure to observe the Hankow agreement is
inexpedient, however justified."

CHARLES EVANS HUGHES' presidential address
before the Society of International Law, April 28, is
tonic. It challenges both pacifist and militarist theorists.
It castigates those who insist upon taking the last step be-
fore they take the first. In his devastating analysis of the

basic thesis of the militarist he martials arguments with
which Norman Angell has made us familiar. Not since
the Washington Conference has the former Secretary of
State displayed so convincingly his rare combination of
idealism and understanding.

PRESIDENT COOLIDGE'S address of April 26
fore the United Press Association may become histor
Not because of his appeal to the press "to be first of all
thoroughly American" his implicit demand that the press
sacrifice its freedom will not be accepted ; not because of
conciliatory statements in reference to China and Mexico
these were only comments on current problems. No, his
speech will be remembered because of the far-reaching im-
perial principles which he enunciated as quietly as if he
were reading a platitudinous response to a visiting dele-
gation of Rotarians. These "Coolidge doctrines" are:

(1) Diplomatic recognition, at least of Latin-American
Governments, is equivalent to approbation.

(2) Towards the countries this side of the Panama Canal
the United States has special responsibilities.

(3) The flag follows the American citizeji and his property
throughout the world.

The first is an acceptance and extension of the principle
laid down by President Wilson, but the high character of
its ancestry does not in the minds of many students of
international relations prevent its being meddlesome and

The second is but a frank admission of a growing tend-
ency towards hegemony more widely understood and ap-
proved in imperialist circles in Europe than here at home.

The third, in which the President goes farther than any
of his predecessors, is the bold claim of a right to follow
with American power American citizens and their property
everywhere. If this is to be taken at its face value it is
an unprecedented and unjustified pretension.

Already in Nicaragua these three principles are being
applied. Washington's pretense of non-intervention there
has now been given up. President Coolidge's special emis-
sary, Henry L. Stimson, announced early in May that the
contending parties had agreed to a program for establish-
ing peace, including American supervision of the 1928 elec-
tions. Until that date at least the country will in effect
be ruled by the marines. If, as President Coolidge's ad-
dress, taken at its face value, would seem to indicate. United
States' power has entered Nicaragua to stay, Colonel
Stimson's "peace" may create more problems than it solves.

IS the "outlawry of war," as far as it concerns the United
States, about to enter the sphere of practical politics?
Senator Borah's enthusiastic response May 9 to M.
Briand's suggestion of April 6 makes this a possibility. The
French Foreign Minister proposed nothing less, though of
course informally, than a treaty between the two coun-
tries by which each would pledge itself never to make war
against the other.

Against the acceptance of this offer there are no serious
obstacles except public indifference and senatorial prejudices.
Aroused public opinion could and would induce the Senate
to act. Will the Administration seize this opportunity
to recover for the United States something of its traditional
leadership, in the struggle to substitute arbitration for war?
Every personal or organization appeal to the President to
grasp M. Briand's outstretched hand will be helpful.

Refugees waiting tor the Red Cross rescue boats

American Red Croat

Behind the Levees


'ECRETARY HOOVER and his relief party
rode the crest of the flood on the lower
Mississippi in a steamer prophetically named
Control. For the farther they went down
past the rich bottom lands of the Delta the
more evident it became that the people of
he South expect this to be the last great flood and look to
Uncle Sam to turn off the water somewhere up-river. In
essence this has been a great defeat. After two hundred
years of building levees, of dredging and legislating and
pouring out dollars thirty millions in the past three years
at a time when we boast of our progress in science and
engineering, a mere quirk in the
rainfall brings on the second great-
est flood in the history of the river.
As the water clucked and gurgled
around the press boat trailing the
Control, it seemed almost as if the
old river were chuckling over man's
well-advertised conquest of Nature.

With small loss of life, -bat with
mounting human consequences
from Cairo to the Gulf, the great
flood of 1927 is sweeping into
history. Writing from Baton
Rouge, May n, the managing
editor of The Survey interprets

The press boat, one of the fleet (he JW| y, p anorama O f disaster

maintained by the Mississippi River
Commission the amphibian branch
of the Army is as good an observa-
tion point as any from which to get
a snapshot of a flood which has

shire or Vermont, and threatened one three times as large,
with a population of a half million a million, should
New Orleans be involved, which now seems unlikely; which
has actually driven out of their homes 300,000 people of
whom some 200,000 are in Red Cross refugee camps on
high ground and the gently sloping banquettes of the levees.
The flooded area is from five to forty miles wide and a
thousand miles long as far as from New York to Chicago.
The press boat chugged into the critical situation in the
southern area during the first week of May. South bound,
it saw in reverse every aspect of the struggle against the
water, from the last sweating rush to put dashboards on
the levees to orderly refugee camps
which had already been running for
several weeks.

Every Northerner on the trip had
first to get through his head that
among the refugees, as with the gen-
eral population of the Delta, eight
or nine out of every ten persons are
Negroes; that nobody wants to leave
his home will not until the last
minute; that nearly all are cotton
farmers, usually on a crop-share or

rgl{gf flj ^ ^ unfo lJ e J [ n the

lower Mississippi. Aboard the

press boat, he brings out the race- tenant basis; and that the race prob-

labo. question of the bottom lands lem complicates every move and

aildlJSilUL UI d. 11UUU W111LI1 IIUS* SoflWS*. ? * . . 1 t ' J L L

covered 1 0,000 square miles (May u>Kich the correspondents could must be reckoned i

1 1), an area as large as New Hamp" not get answered in the Delta. 1'cstate,




Sandbags raise the
levee-top as a last
defense before the
oncoming crest o)
the menacing flooa

Wide \Vor'

They learn that usually, though with marked exceptions,
the crevasses are not sudden breaks letting through a roar-
ing cataract, but small fissures following sand-boils in the
water-logged earthworks. First a trickle, then a stream,
then a volume of water which spreads out thinly, grows,
deepens, and moves forward about fifteen miles a day.
Like everything related to this enormous river, there is
about the break a suggestion of unlimited power. With
smooth, steady pressure the water takes its time about reach-
ing an inevitable goal, rolling sleekly over the chips and
pebbles which men have cast up vainly in its path. You
have the 'feeling that here, before your eyes, is going on
the thing usually described as "glacial," but which, in the
case of frozen water, can only dimly be sensed. It must
not be forgotten that in this very process the river is build-
ing while it tears down, for the whole Delta has been made
by deposits of innumerable overflows, some of it in our
time, as at Vicksburg, where the channel used by the Union
gunboats is now dry land ; and that the deposit of perhaps
two inches of silt left by the receding water makes an
incomparable top soil, the richest farm
land in North America.

This slow action of the river, es-
pecially in its lower reaches, gives time
for warning the inhabitants. If they
are near the levee, they can predict the
crest for themselves, since for some
days before the fields are wet with
seepage and the roads feel springy

THERE is activity in the towns.
Uniformed National Guardsmen,
Army officers, Navy flyers, Signal
Corps men appear on the streets and
in the headquarters where Red Cross
field men from Washington have been
established for some time. The local
reserve officers run home from business
and bustle back downtown in khaki.
Red Cross banners break out like a
rash on the radiators of cars driven by
women volunteers, honking about on
official errands and if the truth must
be told up and down Main Street if
nothing else offers. The state health
officer appears. Coast Guard officers,

American Red Cross

A unit in the Red Cross navy

from New Jersey and Maryland and California, sit about
headquarters waiting for the word to start, their boats at
the landing ready manned.

Warnings have been sent by \vire and wireless, auto-
mobiles and planes: The water is coining. Already most
of the white women -and children have left, the cattle and
mules have been herded to the tops of the levees. Then,
the water growing deeper, the refugees are brought in,
usually protesting, for these people have had their feet wet
every four or five years all their lives. Even in the floods
of 1912 and 1922 they managed to stick it out. It is
hard to convince them that a stranger in these parts can
look at a contraption called a gauge and know that there
will be six feet of water over there wher their own hen-
house stands.

A river steamer, a mother boat, goes ,up a small river
or into a bayou or ties up at the levee, at some strategic
point, and small power boats go back and forth, bringing
in people from top floors and roofs, little hills' and even
trees. The Coast Guardsmen have been the headliners
here, dashing through crevasses and
into fast water that stops the sluggish
river craft. Filled to capacity, the
mother boat goes back, and does it\)ver
and again until all are out. The last
stubborn ones to leave are spied out by
the Navy fliers, who send the rescuing
boats; sometimes they even drop food
and medicine ; and one flier, not willing
to leave a family at dark, landed and
tied up his plane to the eaves until
morning. The aviators are the new
and picturesque feature of this flood.

The mother ship crosses the river to
a floating dock near the camp, the
whites on her decks, the Negroes on a
barge, thirty by sixty feet with an
Army tent in the center, which she
pushes ahead of her after the crab-like
fashion of Mississippi steamboating.
From here they straggle up to the camp
with bundles of bedding. The ad-
ministration and hospital tents are al-
ready standing. The refugees line up
at the Red Cross tent to be registered
and reassembled in families. They
hand over to the guardsmen their hunt-

guns, to be tagged and stored

:he guardsmen tell us with .1

tuckle that the farmers save

eir shotguns and dawgs and

ost of their kids!). They line

p before the surgeons of the

ublic Health Service and the

rmy to be vaccinated and shot

ir typhoid. They go to another

ed Cross tent for such clothes
they may lack. The women
re set to peeling potatoes for
le next meal. The men put up
ic sleeping tents and place the


In no time at all the whole

lace is a going affair, an orderly

ttle community of from a few

undred to nine thousand souls.

"here are two substantial meals
day, three for the children, of
horn there are an incredible

lumber. The surgeons are quiet,

juick-moving men, used to han-

Iling mankind in the mass and

performing what may be a far-
caching public service with their needles, for this is a district
here tens of thousands of people have never been vac-

inated. The National Guardsmen take their police duties
as seriously as if this were war, lean, hatchet-faced young

ellows working with the zest of a Boy Scout doing his

;ood turn. The ladies of the local Red Cross are brisk,
cient, freshly barbered, some of them back in their

ar-time knickers. There are few nurses, for a flood does

iot make for accidents, is not to be classed with earth-
quakes, tornadoes, fires and the like, and there has been
almost no serious sickness twenty-five cases of typhoid in
a camp population of 200,000. But in every camp there
is a first-aid station, an isolation tent, a maternity tent, a
venereal disease tent. The doctors tell you that 40 per
cent of the Negroes have one form of syphilis or another.
There are, taken as a matter of course in the South, separate
camps for Negroes and whites and there is usually a local
feeling, having in some parts the effect of law, that white
nurses may not minister to Negro men.

AT Vicksburg there was the further
complication of some three hundred
Mexicans, who are looked down upon by
both whites and Negroes. These are a
discouraged lot of people who have come
here in small numbers during the past
five years. Promised good wages for
picking cotton and their round-trip fare
from Texas, they found at the end of the
picking season that the return fare was
not forthcoming; they were wanted in a
district that had lost too much of its labor
force through northern migration. After
several hard years they were just getting
a start as share-crop cotton-growers when
the flood wiped them out. Not to com-
plicate matters, the camp authorities at

American Red Crosf

'Navy fliers and their seaplanes form a novel rescue

Vicksburg gave them a place by
themselves in a casino and there,
on May 5, they celebrated their
Independence Day, making
speeches to each other and danc-
ing to a borrowed piano. They
cook their own food and choose
it too onions, and other Mex-
ican delicacies.

All three of the camps at
Yicksburj);, white, colored and
Mexican, are placed in the Na-
tional Park which marks the
scene of the bitter fighting dur-
ing the long siege of the city by
the Union forces, a lovely rolling
country of hills and trees. Clover
and wild roses blossom around
the marble monuments which
nearly all the states, Union and
Confederate, have erected ; and
from the bronze tablets marking
innumerable regimental posi-
tions, the colonels and generals
look out over their overwhelm-
ing whiskers at this new meet-
ing of North and South. Vicksburg was starved out by
Grant and Sherman, but northern money today plays a
big part in feeding the southern refugees. Good food it is,
too, bought in the local markets so that there may be as
little disruption of the economic life as possible.

In the white camp nearby is a group of Holy Rollers,
migrants from the North who settled some years ago in
the Sunflower county of Mississippi. On Sundays their
sermons and prayers, not to mention the peculiar gymnastics
by which they glorify the Lord, are a source of wonder to
refugees and guardsmen alike. They are in close touch
with the Almighty and are able to interpret this flood,
like an earlier one, as a direct visitation for the sins of men.
Once the camp is set up, the men are found work in
strengthening the levees or at odd jobs in town, at two
dollars and meals for a ten-hour day. The women work
about the camp. Those who are idle sit contentedly enough
in a shady spot. No fun is going on, none of the African

P & A Photos

A sand-boil in the levee with bags to poultice it



(> American Red Cross

The mother boat reaches a wharf with her load oj refugees

jollification and singing, but rather everywhere a solemn
and round-eyed gazing, partly due, no doubt, to the ex-
periences of the flood and partly to being the center of
attention for so many efficient and well-dressed white people.
The Negro farmers are incredibly naive. One woman went
into hysterics as a guardsman helped her off the boat while
another picked up her trunk. It appeared later that she
had never before seen a soldier or any man in uniform
and she was scared out of her wits by their kindly attentions.
After the people, come boatloads of animals. As the big
ferry nears the shore, the mules' ears may be seen standing
straight up and looking from a distance like a flock of
blackbirds poised for flight. They follow the Negro cow-
boys willingly up the street and out into the country wher.?
pasturage has been provided, usually free. But not so the
cattle. A hundred of them press forward, but no blows
nor blandishments can get them over the gangplank. They
stand at the gunwale, bellowing, milling, trampling their
young. Finally, a strapping fellow these men are marvel-
ously built, giants some of them, and beautiful riders calls
for "de ole white cow 'at come over on de las' load." De
ole white cow is found
and brought back protest-
ing. She is put in the
front rank of the herd,
the man rides slowly up
the steep pitch of street
from the dock, calling
"Coo-ee, coo-ee" ; the
white cow heeds her
master's voice and starts
after him; the whole herd
follows the white cow
into the promised land.

THE press boat goes
on down river, below
the crest, below any
breaks, where men still
live in the hope they may-
be spared, and work
feverishly at putting flash-

boards on the levee-top. For two or perhaps three
weeks they have been waiting for the crest. Water
has been seeping into their fields from under the
levee; the roads are wet for long stretches; when
the wind blows, spray flies over the top of the
levee as it does at the rail of a boat. They can
see that the water is still three feet from the top
and they have been warned that when the crest
comes it will be four feet higher than it is today.
So the flashboards are put on by gangs of laborers
and convicts.

Stakes four feet long are sawed out of two-by-
fours and driven into the top of the levee. One-
inch boards are nailed to the outside of the stakes,
sandbags are put on both sides, and loose dirt is
thrown over all. The sandbags are not filled with
sand but with top soil, containing as much grass
and roots as possible. This tamps down hard and
close and the result is a serviceable extra foot at
the top to which another foot or even two feet
may be added. There is a constant patrol to fend
off rascality "You see, stranger, if it breaks on
my side of the river it won't break on the other side" but
more important still to watch for sand boils.

Sand boils are the typical breaks. The levees are wet
all through and are under great pressure. Here and there
the restless, searching water finds a loose place, a little
area of quicksand, and a tiny stream comes out at the bast
of the levee. The cure is almost certain if it is found
quickly enough. Sandbags are banked around the boil, two
or three abreast, in a squarish formation, making a well
perhaps six feet in diameter. As the water rises it is onlj
a trickle the bags are carried up and at three or foul
feet from the ground a length of iron pipe is set between
the bags to carry off the flow. Gradually it lessens, tin
water turns from muddy to clear, then it stops. Dirt ha*
settled down into the underground break and corked it
Or, if this does not happen, the sandbags are built up tc
the level of the river and there, the escaping water having
found its level, it must stop in conformity with a law knowr
to every schoolboy. But the locality is doubly watched, foi
there is always likelihood that the plaguey thing will breal
out again nearby, after the distressing habit of boils.

American Red Cro

Three-quarters ot tKe work-animals have been saved and are fed by the Red Cross


(c) Am

Over 100,000 refugees have been vaccinated against smallpox and shot for typhoid

erican Red Cross

The press boat goes on down stream. Past river boats
ith the fluid names of water fowl the Pelican, the

Ibatross, the Kingfisher. Past two-funelled, snub-nosed
earners, with stern paddle-wheels, each pushing a line of
arges, going about their business as usual except that time

bles have been thrown overboard. Past a rowboat with

kicker in its stern, manned by a man and woman in
alvation Army uniform. That must mean doughnuts;
ut they pay no attention to the whistles and calls of deserv-
ig correspondents. The men on the press boat are wonder-
ig if Hoover will get his engineers and relief workers in
irom the side-streams earlier tonight so that they may have
Une chance of making the big northeastern morning papers
vhich, on daylight saving, are two hours ahead of this
ivestern standard time. Wondering if there will be straw-
>erries for supper. Discussing the thing that has troubled
hese keen fellows more than anything else on the trip
[he question of whether they are ever going to be able to
trap somebody, somewhere, into saying something definite
about the opposition of the plantation owners to having
:heir field hands taken away.

IT is a fixed convention that newspaper reporters may not
express opinion; to get over something in which they
are interested they must pin it to someone an interview,
a report, anything that can be quoted. All down the river,
and on an earlier trip which some of them had made, they
had sensed something. It was common talk. Yet no native
nor visiting official would touch it with a ten-foot pole.
The story was that the disinclination of the Negroes to
leave their homes was greatly stiffened by orders from their
landlords, and that in some cases this had amounted to
playing with human life. It was clear, the correspondents
said, that the planters were worried about their labor.
Cotton has been low for two or three years and they are
hard hit. Many of them are heavily mortgaged. Last year
their tenants finished in debt. During the winter they
have been carried at the plantation store for food and cloth
and perhaps some spending money. This spring they 1
their cotton seed.

The planters, of course, want back their experienced
cotton-growers and, as these men sensed it, are willing t<
go pretty far to make sure of it. They charged them but
they couldn't prove it by quotations and they didn t writ.

it with having arranged to have the militia throw out
employment agents, who certainly had hung about the camps
in the first days and were supposed to be offering men work
with the farmers in the hills. And the planters agreed
heartily with the policy of the Red Cross, which has always
been to evacuate families to their homes, once the camps
are broken up, believing that they are better off there than
anywhere else. The story never came out. There are at
least two sides to it and perhaps three, the third being the
Negro centers in Harlem and Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago
which take a spurt in population after a disruptive event
in the South, such as a flood, or a bad cotton year or a

Here is a human situation which the flood has thrown
up. The hinterland of America. A peasant population.
Plantations of thousands of acres, handed down in a family
perhaps from Revolutionary times. They are worked by
hundreds of laborers and share-croppers, who buy everv
thing they use from the plantation store on credit against
the next crop; who are often cheated, more often carried
uncomplainingly over successive years of low prices and boll
weevil; who take the word of the plantation owner as 1
Owing him, it is hard if not impossible for them to leave
the place. They are in a condition very like peonage
scarcely out of slavery. Yet they are completely unsuite
to the life of the northern cities to which some of them go,
even unsuited to other forms of agriculture,
direction, they are expert cotton-growers and picket
have prospered. You see Fords among them.
.for those best situated is summed up in the story
planter, himself in debt, who cared for several hundred o
his people without Red Cross aid. Asked why he did
he replied: "This plantation has been in my family one
hundred and twenty-five years. These people ^ have lived
on it all their lives. Their parents were my fathers .laves.
Thev just naturally look to me when they are m trouble

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