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of using electricity to light cities and houses. As generally happens, he was first laughed at; but he persevered, and hearing that one man was making great fun of him, Edison good-naturedly threatened to avenge himself in this way:
"I'll make a statue of that man, and I'll illuminate it brilliantly with Edison lamps, and inscribe it: 'This is the man who said the Edison lamp would not burn!'"
Although that statue does not exist, so far as I know, you can see Edison lamps burning brightly on every side; and since then the " Wizard of Menlo Park," as he is called, has done countless wonderful things. Edison is still hard at work in his great works at Menlo Park, in New Jersey; for he is one of the men who cannot rest as long as they can invent something which will benefit their fellow-creatures.
LXI. GOLD FOR GREENBACKS.
AFTER serving two terms as President, Grant started f~\ for along journey all around the world. He had long wished to travel, and his fame, first as general and then as President of the United States, won him a warm welcome everywhere. He was received with all honor, was royally entertained at many courts, and after visiting the principal countries in Europe and Asia, he came back to San Francisco, where some of his former soldiers were the first to greet him.
Grant was succeeded in the White House by Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States (1877)- Hayes had taken a brave part in the Civil War, had been governor of Ohio, and was greatly respected for his many good qualities.
When called to be President, Hayes frankly said that in government positions there should be "no dismissal except for cause, and no promotion except for merit." Besides, he always thought and openly said that the South would get along much better if the United States troops were withdrawn. Still, owing to a dispute about the counting of votes, no one knew at first whether he or his rival Samuel J. Tilden had been elected. As the quarrel could not be decided otherwise, a commission of five congressmen, five senators, and five judges was chosen to settle the matter, and their decision was in favor of Hayes.
True to his principles, Hayes immediately called back the troops, an order which most people in the country considered very wise. Southerners were now left to settle their own affairs, and they have done it so wisely that no one has ever regretted Hayes's action, although some of his enemies had predicted that it would make trouble.
During Hayes's one term there were several great strikes among coal miners and railroad employees. These strikes spread all through New York and Pennsylvania, and even in" the West. At one time there were more than one hundred and fifty thousand men out of work; and the strikers grew so unruly at Pittsburg that they destroyed much property, and ceased rioting only when the troops were called out to subdue them.
Already in 1868 our minister Bur'lin-game had made a trade treaty with China, but when Hayes became President, Congress passed a bill to prevent the Chinese from coming over here. Hayes vetoed this bill and in 1878 received the first real Chinese embassy in the White House. There, their jewels, gorgeous costumes of finest silk, and gay peacock feathers caused a great sensation.
The most important event during Hayes's term was that the government said it was ready to pay gold in exchange fpr every "greenback" issued during the war. But now that the people knew they could get gold in exchange for the paper money whenever they wanted it, they decided to keep on using bills, because they are so much easier to carry than coin. At the same time, Congress passed a Silver Bill, providing that the government should buy and coin a certain amount of silver every month, using sixteen times as much silver in a silver dollar as of gold in a gold dollar.
Before Hayes's term ended, a dispute about fisheries between Canada and the United States was settled in a friendly way, by our paying Great Britain five and a half millions for the right to fish along the Canadian coast.
Hayes and his wife helped the cause of temperance and set a good example for the whole country, by refusing to have any kind of wine or strong drink on their table in the White House.
LXII. A CLEVER ENGINEER.
IF you glance at a map, you can easily see what a very large stream the Missouri is, and what a vast extent of land it drains. In the northwest, where the land is high and its banks steep and rocky, the current is very swift. But as it travels onward it joins the Mississippi, which, when swollen by other streams, grows much wider, while, the land being lower, its current flows more slowly. Near the mouth of the Mississippi, the country is often below the river level, and the waters are kept from overflowing these lowlands by means of walls or levees built
A Levee on the Mississippi.
along the river banks. These levees are built of piles, earth, and sand. They sometimes break, and then fields and houses are flooded.
After a hard rain, streams are swollen, and their waters are very muddy. But as they flow slowly along, the mud settles along the banks and in the river bed, leaving the water clearer. Being a very large stream, the Mississippi carries great quantities of mud and sand; and, while some settles along the way, a great deal is rolled down to the Gulf, where it drops near the mouth of the river, to form huge beds of mud. Such deposits prevent large ships from sailing in and out, and are therefore called bars.
Although the Mississippi has several mouths, they were all more or less blocked in this way, which proved very inconvenient, as only small ships could sail in and out of the stream on their way to and from New Orleans. The pioneer farmers along the Ohio and Mississippi built huge rafts of the timber they had cut on their farms, and, piling upon them the produce of their land, floated down the stream to New Orleans. There they sold raft and all, and slowly made their way home again on foot, carrying only the money they had earned, and their hunting knives and rifles. So much produce of all kinds came thus to New Orleans that it soon became a large and thriving city. It traded with various other ports in this country and in Europe, and before long many vessels laden with cotton, sugar, lumber, and rice sailed out of the Mississippi, and came back with goods from abroad.
The mud banks and sand bars proved a great hindrance even to these vessels, which often stuck fast there for hours or days. And although channels were cut, and the river bed dredged, the mud soon choked up the passages again, and all the money was spent in vain. People, therefore, began to wish that a way could be found to open a channel which would remain clear, and many clever engineers tried to think of a good plan.
At that time there was an American engineer named Captain James B. Eads. He, too, like many other great men, had once been a poor boy. When nine years of age he made his first trip in a steamboat on the Ohio River, and studied the engine so carefully that when he got home he made an