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in from the camps after supplies; hundreds of hungry and destitute Cubans were set at work cleaning the filthy streets; and in less than a week Santiago had assumed something like the appearance that it must have presented before the siege and capture. The thing that it needed most in the first fortnight after the surrender was a hotel, and a hotel it did not have. Newspaper correspondents, officers who had come into the city from the camps, and passengers landed from the steamers had no place to go for food or shelter, and many of them were forced to bivouac in the streets. Captain William Astor Chanler, for example, tied his saddlehorse to his leg one night and lay down to sleep on the pavement of the plaza in front of the old cathedral. The urgent need of à hotel finally compelled the steward of the Anglo-American Club to throw open its twenty or more rooms to army officers, cable operators, and newspaper correspondents who had no other place to stay, and to make an attempt, at least, to supply them with food. A few cases of canned meat and beans and a barrel of hard bread were obtained from the storehouse of the Red Cross; a cook and three or four negro waiters were hired, and before the end of the first week after the capture of the city the Club was furnishing two meals a day to as many guests as its rooms would accommodate and had become the most interesting and attractive place of social and intellectual entertainment to be found on the island. One might meet there, almost any night, English war correspondents who had campaigned in India, Egypt, and the Soudan; Cuban sympathizers from the United States who had served in the armies of Gomez and Garcia; old Indian fighters and ranchmen from our Western plains and mountains; wealthy New York club men in the brown linen uniform of Roosevelt's Rough Riders; naval officers from the fleet of Admiral Sampson, and speculators, coffeeplanters, and merchant adventurers from all parts of the Western Hemisphere. One could hardly ask a question with regard to any part of the habitable globe or any event of modern times that somebody in the Club could not answer with all the fullness of personal knowledge, and the conversation around the big library table in the evening was more inter esting and entertaining than any talk that I had heard in months. But the evenings were not always given up wholly to conversation. Sometimes Mr. Cobleigh, of the New York
"World," who had a very good tenor voice, would seat himself at the piano and sing "White Wings," "Say au revoir but not good-by," or "The Banks of the Wabash," and then Mr. Cox, resident-manager of the Juragua iron mines, would take Cobleigh's place at the instrument and lead the whole assembled company in "John Brown's Body,"
My Country, 'tis of Thee," and "The StarSpangled Banner," until the soldiers of the Ninth Infantry, quartered in the old theater across the way, would join in the chorus and a great wave of patriotic melody would roll down Gallo Street to the bay and out over the tranquil water to the transports lying at anchor half a mile away. Sitting in that cheerful, comfortably furnished club-room under the soft glow of incandescent electric lights, and listening to the bright, animated conversation, the laughter, and the old familiar music, I found it almost impossible to realize that I was in the desperately defended and recently captured city of Santiago, where the whole population was in a state of semi-starvation, where thousands of sick or wounded were languishing in crowded hospitals and barracks, and where, within a few days, I had seen destitute and homeless Cubans dying of fever in the streets.
Miss Barton began the work of relieving the widespread distress and destitution in Santiago with characteristic promptness and energy. To feed twenty or thirty thousand people at once, with the limited facilities and the small working force at her command, and to do it systematically and economically, without wastefulness and without confusion, was a herculean task; but it was a task with which experience and training in many fields had made her familiar, and she set about it intelligently and met the difficulties of the situation with admirable tact and judgment. Her first step was to ask the ablest, most influential, and most respected citizens of Santiago to consult with her with regard to ways and means and to give her the benefit of their local knowledge and experience. The object of this was to secure the cooperation and support of the best elements of the population, and strengthen the working force of the Red Cross by adding to it a local contingent of volunteer assistants who were thoroughly acquainted with the city and its inhabitants and who would be able to detect and prevent fraud or imposition. There was danger, of course, that people who did not need food, or were not entitled
to it, would seek to obtain it on false pretenses, and that others, who perhaps were really in distress, would try to get more food than they actually required in order that they might make a little money by selling the surplus. In anticipation of this danger Miss Barton decided to put the distribution of food largely under local control. In the first place a central committee of three was appointed to exercise general supervision over the whole work. The members of this committee were Mr. Ramsden, son of the British Consul; Mr. Michelson, a wealthy and philanthropic Scotchman engaged in business in Santiago; and a prominent Cuban gentleman whose name I cannot now recall. This committee divided the city into thirty districts, and notified the residents of every district that they would be expected to elect or appoint a commissioner who should represent them in all dealings with the Red Cross, who should make all applications for relief in their behalf, and who should personally superintend the distribution of all food allotted to them on requisitions approved by the central committee. This scheme of organization and distribution was intelligently and judiciously devised, and it I worked to the satisfaction of all. Every commissioner was instructed to make a requisition for food in writing, according to a prescribed form, stating the number and the names of heads of families needing relief in his district, the number of persons in every family, and the amount of food required for the district as a whole and for every family or individual in detail. The commissioner then appended to the requisition a certificate to the effect that the petitioners named therein were known to him and that he believed they were really in need of the quantities of food for which they respectively made application. The requisition then went to the central committee, and when approved by it was filled at the Red Cross warehouse and retained there as a voucher.
I heard it asserted in Santiago more than once that food issued by the Red Cross to people who were supposed to be starving had afterward been sold openly on the street by hucksters, and had even been carried on pack-mules in comparatively large quantities to suburban villages and sold there; but I doubt very much the truth of this assertion. Miss Barton caused an investigation to be made of several such cases of alleged fraud,
and found in every instance that the food said to have been obtained from the Red Cross had really come from some other source, chiefly from soldiers and government transports-whose provisions, of course, could not be distinguished from ours after they had been taken out of the original packages. Be this, however, as it may, the checks upon fraud and imposition in the Red Cross scheme of distribution were as efficient as the nature of the circumstances would allow, and I doubt whether the loss through fraudulent applications or through collusion between commissioners and applicants amounted to one-tenth of one per cent. The Red Cross furnished food in bulk to thirty-two thousand half-starved people in the first five days after Santiago surrendered, and in addition thereto fed ten thousand people every day in the soup-kitchens managed by Mr. Michelson. I do not wish to make any unjust or invidious comparisons, but I cannot refrain from saying, nevertheless, that I did not happen to see any United States quartermaster in Cuba who, in the short space of five days, had unloaded and stored fourteen hundred tons of cargo, given hot soup daily to ten thousand soldiers, and supplied an army of thirty-two thousand men with ten days' rations. It is a record, I think, of which Miss Barton has every reason to be proud. But her work was not confined to the mere feeding of the hungry in Santiago. She sent large quantities of cereals, canned goods, and hospital supplies to our own soldiers in the camps on the adjacent hills; she furnished medicines and food for sick and wounded to the Spanish prison camp as well as to the Spanish army hospitals, the civil hospital, and the children's hospital in the city; she directed Dr. Soyoso of her medical staff to open a clinic and dispensary, where five surgeons and two nurses gave medical or surgical aid to more than three thousand sick or sickening people every day; she sent hundreds of tons of ice from the schooner Morse to the hospitals, the camps, and the transports going north with sick and wounded soldiers; she put up tents to shelter fever-stricken Spanish prisoners from the tropical sunshine while they were waiting to be taken on board the vessels that were to carry them back to Spain; and in every way possible and with all the facilities that she had she tried to alleviate the suffering caused by neglect, incompetence, famine, and war.
The Railroads and the Postal Service
By W. W. Baldwin
President Chicago, Burlington, and Kansas City Railroad
Y attention has been called to your article of March 19, in which there is denunciation without stint of the rates being paid by the Government to the railroad companies of the country, for the transportation of the mails. Comparison is made between express rates and the mail. Certain of the lowest competitive wholesale express rates for short distances are selected; and these are compared with an assumed average for the whole country of the rates for carrying the mails, stated at eight cents a pound. There is no such average rate; but if there was, such a method of comparison would be grossly unfair.
The average rate at which nine-tenths of the weight of the mails is transported does not, probably, exceed one cent per pound for the average haul. The other one-tenth figures at a higher rate per ton per mile, because of the extremely light weight; it is, in fact, a package service. To illustrate: between the cities of Lowell and Lawrence, Mass., a distance of thirteen miles, the railroad company performs the entire service of transporting, handling, and delivering the mail for nineteen cents per trip-an extremely small compensation for the service and responsibility, and much cheaper than the Government could secure its performance by any other agency. But so light is the daily weight (220 pounds) that the rate per ton per mile is heavy. Is it fair to include this high rate in with the very low rates being paid on the great bulk of the mail, and designate the result as an "average" rate charged to the Government for carrying the mails?
The express company exacts twenty-five cents for a package weighing one pound, carried one mile. That is at the rate of $500 per ton per mile. Norailroad company can receive, under the existing law, six cents per ton per mile on any weight of mail in excess of 5,000 pounds per day, for any distance. Is there any fair basis of comparison between the two rates? Probably nine-tenths of the railroad mails of the country are carried at this minimum cost-below six cents per ton per mile, or about one-half cent
per pound for a haul of 200 miles, or one
The express company does not pay too much; but the Government pays too little. The service rendered the Government in transporting the mails is so much more valuable and expensive than that performed for the express company that there is really no basis for comparison. The express company handles all its own freight with its own employees; no railroad employee touches an express package without extra compensation; but the railroad company handles all mail with its employees, except on the routes where there are postal clerks, and practically all mail between stations and post-offices, except in a few large cities. For the express company it furnishes a bare car; for the Government, an elaborately fitted post-office on wheels, on all heavy routes. The character of the service is very different. For the express company the railroad company transports freight; for the Government it carries letters, bonds, deeds, the correspondence of the people, as well as books and printed matter. The manner of conducting it on all
heavy routes is different the fast mail service is a special feature. My space will not permit entering further into the details of this comparison.
The subject least worthy of criticism in this system, in my opinion, is the compensation paid to the railroad companies for the traveling post-offices which they provide and haul for the Government-the pay for use of railway postal cars. In discussing it, you apparently ignore the most important elements that the cars are carried comparatively empty of paying freight, and solely for the accommodation of the Government, and that the chief item for which reimbursement is made to the railroad companies is the cost of hauling them; the original cost of the cars is a matter of slight consideration. Permit me to insert the closing remarks of the Auditor of the Cotton Belt road upon this point, given in his recent testimony before the Senate Investigating Committee:
"When we haul a Pullman sleeper deadhead over the line, we receive twenty cents per car-mile for that service, and furnish no heat, light, etc. Of course the sleepers are more expensive than mail-cars, but it will be conceded that the mail-cars should pay at least half the rate paid by the Pullman Company, which would be ten cents per car-mile; while the foregoing figures show that the actual rate per car-mile paid is but a trifle over three cents."
It may be averred with confidence that there is no more economical expenditure made by the Government than the compensation paid for use of postal cars.
It is manifestly impossible, in the space at my command, to more than touch upon the various features of this subject, about which there has been published a vast amount of misinformation. If The Outlook or its readers desire to examine into the question, with a view to ascertain the facts, they are respectfully referred to the printed report of recent hearings by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, at which all its phases were discussed.
[Mr. Baldwin has stated the case for the railroads in an extremely able way. Nevertheless, his statement contains one or two errors of fact, and a serious error of assumption. In the first place, he is hardly warranted in saying that "the average rate at which nine-tenths of the weight of the mails
is transported does not, probably, exceed one cent per pound for the average haul." The lowest rate at which whole train-loads of mail are carried from New York to Buffalo (the average haul) is 1 cents a pound, excluding the pay for the postal cars. (Postmaster-General's Report, 1897, p. 407.) In the second place, he is not at all warranted in stating that the compensation is "extremely small" when the mails are light. To take his own illustration, the railroad between Lowell and Lawrence, Mass. (according to the Postmaster-General's Report, 1897, p. 398), receives $600 a year for carrying the mail twenty-two trips a week. This is fifty-two cents a trip, instead of nineteen cents as Mr. Baldwin reckons. As the average weight of the mail on each trip is less than seventy-five pounds, and the express companies charge private parties but thirty-five cents for carrying a similar package between Lowell and Lawrence, the overcharge to the Government is apparent. As a rule, the express companies pay the railroads but forty per cent. of their receipts. In other words, the railroad would get but fourteen cents from the express companies, where it charges the Government fifty-two cents.
These inaccuracies, however, are of relatively little importance. What is of real moment is the assumption that the charges upon special mail trains are typical. It is true that upon routes where these special mail trains are run the railways receive less per ton per mile from the Government than from the express companies. But the service performed for the two can only be contrasted. The express business on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad from Chicago to Burlington is largely local business, the average haul for express packages being but a little over one hundred miles. The average haul for all mail matter is about four hundred and forty-eight miles, and this branch of the Burlington pre-eminently carries the through mail, for which the branch performs practically no service except the hauling. The railroads have too long made the exaggerated claim that long hauls cost but a mere trifle more than short hauls, for the Nation to be willing to be charged local express rates upon through train-loads of mail, which the road merely hauls. What we demand here is the same charge that is made to the express companies when they have a train-load of through express. The charge to them for a
special train (Mr. Baldwin can give the exact figures) appears not to exceed $1 a mile, which is twenty per cent. more than the average passenger train yields in gross revenue to the railroads. A special trainload of mail, carrying, say, fifty tons, ought to be hauled from Chicago to Burlington for not to exceed $206, whereas the railroad now receives from the Government $669, apart from the payment for the use of special postal cars.
But the discussion ought not to be pursued by way of illustrations. A general statement for the whole country is all that the ordinary citizen can follow without the fear that the illustrations have been selected. This statement has been made by Senator Pettigrew ("Congressional Record," May 10), who uses the figures given in the Postmaster-General's report, and the report made by the express companies themselves for the Census of 1890. The express companies paid the railroads six mills per pound for the handling of express matter, while the Government paid the railroads six cents a pound-or just ten times as much for the handling of the mails. It is true that the ordinary haul for the mails
was nearly four times as long as the ordinary haul for express matter, but, if the old claims of the railroads (made against the InterState Commerce Law) are to be believed, the longer haul adds a mere trifle to the expense. But even if we admit that this longer haul is proportionately costly, the Government still pays the railroads nearly three times as much per ton per mile as do the express companies. As these statements cover all the mail and express business of the country, they reveal the general situation.
We have not space to discuss again the rental paid by the Government for the use of the special postal cars. The facts brought out by ex-Postmaster-General Vilas, showing that the Government, after paying six cents a ton per mile for hauling their contents, pays in addition a yearly rental for the cars exceeding their original cost, are final until disputed. No other part of the equipment of the railroads or of the Pullman car companies yields one-third of such a rental. Here, again, all that we demand for the Government is the same rates that well-conducted private companies are paying.-THE EDITORS.]
-Walter Crane has been put at the head of the Art Department of the South Kensington Museum.
-John Henry Cromwell Russell, who lately died in Switzerland at the age of ninety-two, was a dir ct descendant, in the sixth generation, of the Lord Protector. His grandfather was Oliver Cromwell of Chestnut Park, great grandson of Oliver's son Henry, and the last of the family who bore the name of Cromwell.
-The Rev. Dr. W. T. Chase, pastor of the Fifth Baptist Church of Philadelphia, could trace his pedigree through prominent New England families as far back as 1640, and in England as far as the royal household of Henry VIII. through Sir Richard of Chesham and Lady Elizabeth Bowchier. In the Civil War he was chaplain of the Fourth Colored Regiment, United States Volunteers.
-The University of Cambridge (England) has conferred an honorary degree upon Professor Henry Bowditch, of Harvard University, in connection with the zoological and physiological congress. In announcing the conferring of the degree the Vice-Chancellor
said that Professor Bowditch was regarded by Cambridge with almost fraternal feeling as the envoy of her brothers across the At lantic. Owing to his example and influence physiological studies are now flourishing in the United States, and the Cambridge across the sea had long been a famous center of physiological research.
-The eccentricities of spoken and written language are illustrated by an anecdote lately related by Professor Max Müller. "While I was sitting," he says, "in my room at Oxford copying Sanscrit MSS., a gentleman was shown in, dressed in a long black coat, looking different from my usual visitors, and addressed me in a language of which I did not understand a single word. I spoke to him in English, and asked him what language he was speaking, and he replied with great surprise, Do you not understand Sanscrit ?' No,' I said, I have never heard it spoken; but here are some MSS. of the Veda which will interest you.' He was delighted to see them, and began to read, but he had soon to confess that he was not able to translate a single word."