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your noble efforts.” And General Trochu said: “All that Dunant says is perfectly true; he has even understated the truth.” These were precious encouragements when the violent opposition of Marshal Randon came near compromising the success of his work in France. .
"In other countries Dunant found from the beginning the most favorable reception. Sovereigns and people equally responded to the appeal made by the philanthropist upon universal charity."
In October, 1863, the conference of Geneva was called. This was followed in August, 1864, by a congress which met in the Hotel de Ville of Geneva, at which the "Convention for the amelioration of the condition of soldiers wounded in battle” was signed by the representatives of twelve Powers.
France was the first to ratify the convention, and now all the civilized countries have adhered to the treaty except Brazil, China, and Morocco. The last to join was the republic of Uruguay.Translation made for and from “The Literary Digest.”
PROGRESSIVE PUDDUKKOTTAI. From the "Lahore Tribune.”
Advance Puddukkottai! A novel experiment is being made in the native State of Puddukkottai. The Rajah, anxious that the needs of the people should be learned not only from the persons charged with the administration of the State, but from others who have opportunities of mixing with the people and discovering their needs, has formed a Representative Assembly to make suggestions and to receive accurate information regarding the action taken by the Government. A recent meeting of the Assembly was addressed by the Dewan, who laid before it details of the past year's administration, and discussed the suggestions that had been made to the Durbar.
Among the projects which the Durbar hopes to carry out at an early date are the reconstruction of the Sanitary Department, the formation of local committees to supervise sanitation in important villages, the introduction of rules to insure efficiency in the public service, the construction of storage reservoirs for irrigation purposes, electric lighting and pipe-water supply for Puddukkottai town, construction of a metre-gauge railway through the State, construction of bridges, roads, etc. It is intended to organize a special party to carry out the restoration of the tanks of the State. EDITOR'S TABLE.
SANITARIAN, JUNE, 1902.
DAll correspondence and exchanges, and all publications for review, should
be addressed to the editor, Dr. A. N. Bell, 337 Clinton St., Brooklyn, N. Y.
THE MARTINIQUE VOLCANO AND CALAMITOUS MORTALITY. Nothing is more heart-rending or more awakening to universal sympathy than such events as have recently befallen the inhabitants of Martinique and St. Vincent, in the sudden death of hundreds and, in this case, perhaps, when the full extent of the calamity is known, not less than thirty thousand. The sympathy of civilized people everywhere, and the prompitude of material aid to surviving sufferers by our own nation and people in particular, emphasize as nothing else could, the solidarity of Christian sympathy. Death is natural to life under all circumstances; but the uncertainty of the time of its occurrence and the intervention of disease common to it are the factors above all else to the enjoyment of life while it lasts. Hence sudden death, even to the single individual without any premonition, is always shocking to contemplate, and terrible it must be for the moment to the subject of it. For a multitude so overtaken, imagination revolts at the contemplation.
Of the published accounts of the eruption that have come under our notice, the following extracts from “The Voice," of St. Lucia, printed at Castries, St. Lucia, May 8, are the most particulate:
"The Montagne Pelee, in the last days of April, began to show signs of uneasiness. On the 3d inst. it began to throw out dense volumes of smoke, and at midnight belched out flames accompanied by rumbling noises. At 5:30 A. M. (May 4), flames were again visible, and similar noises were audible. The town of St. Pierre was covered with a layer of ashes about one-quarter of an inch thick, and appeared as though enveloped in a fog. The mountain was invisible, being wrapped in the smoke which issued from it. The greatest anxiety prevailed, and all business was suspended.
"A very anxious morning was passed at Martinique, May 4. Thanks, however, to a sea breeze which rose about II A. M., the situation appeared better, but as the breeze died away at sunset a
large quantity of ashes again began to fall, and the mountain and its environs presented a most dismal spectacle, causing much alarm as to what the night would bring forth. Nothing happened, however, and on Monday morning (May 5), although everything was not quite serene, the aspect was decidedly encouraging. Less excitement prevailed.
"At about 9 A. M. on the morning of the 6th, a private telegram was received from Martinique advising that the Plissonneau family had chartered the steamer Topaze, one of the boats of the Compagnie Girard, and had started for St. Lucia at 5 A. M.
“At about 11 o'clock the Topaze arrived.
"They reported that at noon on Monday, May 5, a stream of burning lava had suddenly rushed down the southwestern slope of the mountain, and, following the course of the Rivière Blanche, the bed of which is dry at this season of the year, had overwhelmed everything which obstructed its tremendous rush to the sea. Estates and buildings were covered up by the fiery wave, which appeared to rise to a height of some twenty feet over an area of nearly a quarter of a mile.
"When the torrent had poured itself into the sea it was found that the Guerin sugar factory, situated on the beach near the mouth of the Rivière Blanche, about five miles distant from the mountain and two from St. Pierre, was entirely imbedded in lava, the tall chimney alone being visible. The burning mass of liquid had taken only three minutes from the time it was first perceived to reach the sea, five miles away. Then a remarkable phenomenon occurred. The sea receded all along the western coast for a distance of about 100 yards, and returned with gentle strength, covering up the whole of the sea front of St. Pierre and reaching the first houses on the Place Bertin. This created a general panic, and the people made, terror-stricken, for the hills.
“Though the sea retired again without any great damage being done ashore or afloat, the panic continued, intensified by the terrible detonations which broke from the mountain at short and irregular intervals, accompanied with dense emissions of smoke and lurid flashes of flame. This was awful in daylight, but when darkness fell it was more terrible still, and at each manifestation of the volcano's anger, people in their night clothes, carrying children and lighted by any sort of lamp or candle they had caught up in their haste, ran out into the dark streets, wailing and screaming, and running aimlessly about the town.
"The mental strain becoming unendurable, the Topaze was got ready at 3 A. M., the refugees hurriedly went on board, and started for St. Lucia.
"At 2 P. M., the gentlemen of the party, having placed their families in safety, returned by the Topaze to Martinique.
“In the meantime, telegrams were being sent from Martinique imploring that a steamer might be chartered to bring away terrified people from St. Pierre. But the Superintendent of the Royal Mail Company at Barbados would not allow one of the coasting boats, the only steamer available, to go to Martinique. At a little before 5 P. M. cable communication was interrupted, and remains so."
The experiences of the British steamer Roddam are then detailed at length, and the story of “The Voice,” of St. Lucia, continues :
“The St. Vincent volcano, which had been showing signs of uneasiness, burst into active eruption yesterday, and is throwing out showers of ashes, which are settling all over the island, while the sea for miles is covered with scoriæ, and at night flames can be seen from the south of this colony, bursting out of the crater, which emits a continuous column of smoke high up into the sky.”
Writing of the conditions of enjoyable life in Martinique, in November, 1899, and they so continued until this terrible eruption of Mont Pelee, after attempting to describe the beautiful scenery of Martinique, we had occasion to say of St. Pierre, its chief city: “Through the streets there constantly runs a gutter of clean water, sweeping away all surface impurities and with an evidently inspiring affect on the habits of the people. For, if it so happens that the visitor arrives early in the morning, he will find these gutters, from the break of day to an hour later, alive with the people, particularly of the younger portion of them, disporting themselves in this delightfully clean gutter water, fresh from the pure streams and lakes of the mountain-side. Moreover, cleanliness in dress and habitation is everywhere manifest among the people. Beautifully laid out and clean squares ornamented with choice plants and flashing fountains; a charming public garden in the suburbs, containing a great variety of the wonderful tropical plants, with delightfully shaded walks and a museum; and here, on Sundays. a inilitary band gives excellent music. ... There are many delightful mountain drives, over good roads, and many places of interest to the tourist. The atmosphere is virtually oceanic, plus less humidity at 3,000 to 4,000 feet altitude, with an agreeable temperature, amid the most delightful scenery and other outdoor enjoyments.”
The condition of the people there, as also of St. Vincent, in like manner suddenly overwhelmed, and their manner of life, from all we have been able to learn of their history, were exemplary and devout. Yet there are not wanting self-righteous skeptics with regard to man's significance in relation to natural phenomena, who attribute this calamity to a special decree of Divine providence. And some of these skeptics are at their wit's end to account for it, conscientiously recognizing it as the just retribution of some moral corruption, or hidden sin, but past their finding out! Providential, indeed, those deaths were, for all deaths are, as a condition of man's life, always at the risk of antagonizing forces, be they natural or artificial-volcanoes or inundations; railcar wrecks or sinking ships, or to man's more general improvident protection of water supplies, in consequence of which more than a hundred thousand lives are destroyed in the United States annually by typhoid fever and kindred diseases.
This perennial mortality of about 275 deaths daily by recognized preventable causes, almost wholly ignored by the public and scarcely noticed by the clergy, is even more appalling to a due appreciation of the neglected functions of the authorities for permitting it, than the calamity now in question, incidental to, but independent of, man's privileges and powers.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PLAGUE IN SAN FRANCISCO.
INDIANAPOLIS, May 17, 1902. DR. A. N. BELL, Editor SANITARIAN :
I enclose herewith special resolutions in regard to the plague situation at San Francisco, which were unanimously passed at a meeting of the health officers of Indiana. This meeting was the regular annual conference of said officers, and was, this year, given up entirely to a discussion of the smallpox situation. We hope you will find space to print the action of the conference upon the plague situation.
J. N. Hurty, Secretary.
We, the representatives of the State Board of Health of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, together with representatives of the county and city Boards of Health of Indiana, in conference assembled in the city of Indianapolis, April 25, 1902, in view of certain documentary evidence before us do resolve as follows: