Items of Interest

Minister Conger, on his arrival in Des Moines, Ia., on May 2, was given an enthusiastic public reception which was attended by several thousand of his eighbors and fellow citizens In a speech he made the following interesting statement regarding the origin of the disturbances in China: "One point in the history of this trouble has not been published, I think, and that is in relation to the origin of Boxers. China is full of secret societies, but it was a Buddhist priest in the province of Shantung who revived the Boxer organization in 1899. This priest claimed supernatural powers. He began in a small way, and did not make much progress until the governor of Shantung saw in this society a weapon to use against foreigners. He encouraged it, gave it funds, and advised in its operations. This priest said he could call down eighty million spirit warriors whenever they were needed to help the Chinese, and that he could make the members of the society invulnerable to swords and bullets."

According to a statement just issued by the United States treasury Bureau of Statistics, the national debts of the world's nations in 1793, at the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, amounted to approximately $2,500,000,000; in 1900 they were, according to the best information obtainable, $31,000,000,000. During the nineteenth century population increased 150 per cent, and gold and silver, which form the basis of the money with which debt payments are made, 300 percent. The wealth of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the United States in 1800 is estimated at $20,244,640,000, while Mulhall in 1895 estimated their wealth at $195,759,829,000, or practically ten times that at the beginning of the century. The debts of these four nations in 1793 aggregated but $11,764,000,000 or seven times as much as in 1793.

Assemblyman Seymour's bill, which permits New York City to accept the $5,200,000 gift of Andrew Carnegie for a free library system has been signed by Governor Odell. The bill authorizes the city to purchase, erect, and maintain libraries, also to enter into contract with Mr. Carnegie to accept his gift under the conditions named by him.

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Great Britain and America
May 9, 1901

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