The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18??, January 24, 1873, Image 1

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    L P Fisher
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NO. 21.
An 4 walling RiKroverjr by rl nlialH
Tlie 1'iifled Statin Willi 'lv oilier
UovcriimKUtK, tveroltji oiiildiie.
An ArtMeii.l Volcmio Rumfe Forti:,
Ovt-rwEii luting Win. I Villages.
Xortlieru Europe Thronteui l
I'ncle Stun Pays S7,ooo ns his As
. fotmi'iil.
A liiiJIAItStAIIIil. iikpobt.
fKrom tlio 8. F. Clironiclo.)
We have nwlved the following doc
ument which purports to be a report
prepared by the United Stiffen fVawnl
;it Bruges in Belgium. It is singular
that no telegraphic mention ot so start
ling an occurrence has been made,.
The report is one that will excite tlie
deepest Interest, and. although not
vouching for its correctness, we here
with present it to our renders. Noth
ing of a more startling nature than
the events described ever occurred in
the world history :
Before piweediug to detail the ac
tual state ot a Hairs at Dudzeele. near
me line, oi canai connecting unices
with tiie North Sea, it may not be out I
of place to furnish a succinct history of
the orisrin of the exuloratinn out of!
which tlie present alarming events
have arisen. It. will be remembered
by the State Department that during
the short inteiTegnmn of the Provis
'oual Government of France, under
Lamartine and Cavalgnae in 1848, a
proposition was submitted by France
to die Government of the United
.States, Great Britain and Russia, and
which was subscqiiciitly extended to
Jlng I.eojioid of Belgium, to civatean
International Board forSubterraneau
Exploration" in furtherance of science,
and in order, primarily, to test the
truth of tile theory of ' j
first propounded by Leibuits. and af
terwards embraced by most of cotem
porary geologists ; biit also with the
further objects of ascertaining the mag
netic condition of ,
Tim earth's ciu st,
Tlie variations of the pole at great
depths, Mitl finally to set at rest the
doubt of some of the English miner
alogists concerning tlie permanency of
tlie coal measures, about which consid
erable alarm has been felt in all the
manufacturing centers of Kurojie,
The protocol of a quintuple treaty
was mwlly drawn by Professor Henry
of I he Smithsonian In-iilute .-mil on.
proved by Sir Bwlcrick Murehlsgn, nt
that time President of the Royal Soci
ety of (ireat Britain. To this project
Arngo lent the weight of his great
name, and Xesselrntle affixed the ap
proval of Russia it lieing one ot the
last official acts performed by that vet
eran statesman.
The programme called for annual
appropriations bv each of the above
named powers of 100.000 franc (about
$20,000), the appointment of Commis
sioners and a General Suierlntendeiit,
the selection ot a site for prosecu
ting the undertaking, and a Board of
.scientific visitors, consisting of one
membership from each country.
It Is unnecessary to detail the pro
ceedings for the first few months after
the organization of the Commission.
Profossi.r Watson ot Chicago, and the
auithor ot a scienttftc treatise e!ilhd
"Prairie Geology," was selected by
President Fillmore as
hmhi mt Olgokoff ? France. Arngo i Knirlish feet
!. ....... . l....l.....l OI- IV 1 1 ; . ;"S!
-inn-, i.iifiuum, oir i'.iin,(ii ,-ioine.
the present Prenident of the Royal So
ciety ; and Belgium, lr. Sechi," since
so famous for his sjiectrnseopic obser
vations on the flxl stars. These ,reu.
tiemen, after organizing at Paris.
Sient almost an entire year in travel
ing before n site for the scene of opera
tion was elected. Finally, on the 10th
of April. 1 -U0, the first ' ground wa
broken by aetunl work, at liudzeide.
in the neighborhood of Bruges, in the
Kingdom of Belgium.
The eoiisidcratlous which led to the
choice of this locality were the follow
ing: First, it was the most central,
regarding the capitals of the parl ies to
the Pr 'tocot; secondly, it waseisy itf
access and connected by rail with Brus
sels, Paris and St. Petersburg, and by
line of sieiMuers with J-oudou. Mug
situated within a short distance of the
mouth of liis Horn! or West Stlieldt;
thirdly, and iierlmps as the inosf m
portuut en HMeralloti of ail. it was t he
seat of the deepest shaft then in the
world, namely, tlie old salt mine of
Dmlzetiie, which had len worked from
the time of the Hoiiimiisi ilmvn tn tlnm
v.. iv i ,iie , t.lllllll-llll llflc II
eomuienooment of the nrisiiil:i.iiiii-v. . ,.,i,. ii,io i.... i
at wlileh time It was .ilmndoued. prln-1
ciimlly M mm of ilktom Jieat I The report then pnxwls to give the
It the .wt,m of t).e excavation, und, details pfa very contrivance
wiiich could not entirely be overcome
except by (lie most costly modern
scientific appliances.
There was still another reason,
which in the estimation of at least one
member of the Commission. Professor
Watson, overrode them all tlie excep
tional I'acjiKtoe ' lienl im'th depth, which
was its main characteristic.
Upon which this great work was proj
ected may be stated as follows : It is
the opinion of the principal modem
geologists, based primarily upon the
liyiiotiiesis of Kant (that the solar Uni
verse was originally an immense mass
of incandescent vaporgradually cooled
and hart lenexl after beiny thrown oft"
from tlie grand central bodv after
ward elaborated by La Place into the
present nebular hypothesis), that "the
globe was oik in a state of iynmux
JmioH, and that as its heated mass lie
gan to cool an exterior crust was
formed, first very thin, and afterward
gradually increasing until it attained
its present thickness, which lias been
variously estimated at from ten to two
hundred miles. During the process of
gradual refrigeration, some portion of
the crust cooled more rapidly than
olliers, ami the pressure on the interior
igneous mass oemg unequal, tlie Heat
ed matter or lava burst through the
thinner twits, and caused high peaked
mountains; the same cause also pro
ducing all volcanic action." Tlie ar
guments in favor of this doctrine are
almost innumerable: thpsp am. mnnnn
tlie most prominent :
First, The form of tlie earth is just
that which an Igneous liquid mass
would assume If thrown into an orbit
with an axial revolution similar to that
of our earth. Not many years ago
Professor Faraday, assisted by Wheat
stone, devised a most Ingenious aji
pnratus by which, In tlie laboratory of
the Royal Society, lie actually was en-
auiea. ny injecting a name Into a va
cuum, to exhibit visibly all the phe
nomena of toe formation of the solar
universe, as contended for by La Place
and by Humboldt in his Comwm.
Secondly. It is perfectly well ascer
tained that lieat increases with depth,
in ail subterranean excavations. This
111 mining shafts, and preventive,
measures must always be devised and
used, by means, generally, of air ap
laratns, to temper tlie 'heat as the
depth is augmented ; else deep mining
would have to be abandoned. The
rate of increase lias been variously es
timated by different scientists in wide
ly distant portions of the globe. A few
of tla-m may lie mentioned at this
place, since it was upon a total miscal
culation ou tliis head that led to the
present most deplorable results.
Tlie editor ot the Jimrtuii f .Seitmet,
in April, 1831 calculated from there
suits obtained hi six of the deeiiest coal
mine!" in .Durham and Northumber
laud, tlie uieau rate at 1" ot Fahren
heit for a descent ef 44 English feet.
In this lusitance it is- noticeable that
tlie bulb of the thermometer was in
trodueed into cavities purposely cut
Into solid rock at depths varying from
200 to flOO feet. Tlie Dolcoatli mine in
Cornwall, as examined by Mr. Fox. at
the depth of 1,3'0leet, gave an aver
age result of l" for every 75 feet.
Kniifler eoninaned ivoilts nbt'iimxl
from the silver mines in Urfvlon Purn
I and Freiburg, from the salt wells of
I Saxony and from the copper mines in
' the Caucasus, together with an exam
i iuation of the tin mines of Cornwall
j and tlie coal mines in the north of
; England, and fmind tlie average to be
J at least p1 of Fahrenheit for every 3"
.nglisii feet, Conner, on tlie contrary.
cousulers this amount sooii-u hai over
stated and reduce
To 1 centigrade for every 25 meters,
or alsHit 1" of Fahrenheit for every 45
teet f.ngusn measure.
Thirdly, ' (he lavas taken from
all parts of the world, when subject to
chi'inical analysis. Indicate that they all
proceed from one common source;
Fourthly. On no other hypothesis
can we account for the change of cli
mate indicated by fossils.
Che rate of increase of heat in the
Dndzeele shaft was no less than w
Fahrenheit for every 30 feet English
At the Mine of recommencing sink
ins; in the shaft on the 10th of April,
lJS). the perpemllcnlardepC was 2,
370 feet, tlie thermometer making is-'
Fahrenheit at the surface : this would
give the enormous heatof 127l'Fahren-
ncir at tne bottom of the mine. Of
com e. Without ventilation no human
being eould long survive in such at
mosphere, and the first operations of
me oinmission were iliri cted to rem-
for forcing air into the shaft at the
greatest depths, only a portion of
which do we deem it important to
quote, as follows :
The width of the Moer-Vater, or
Lieve, at this point, was 1.080 yards,
itnd spanned by an old bridge, tlie
stone nlers of which Werp inr
together, having been
III the early part of the second century.
The rise in the tide of the Xorth sea,
close at hand, was from 15 to 18 feet,
thus producing a current almost as
rapid as that of tlie Mersey at Liver-
pom, ine MmimisaioQcrsucterimned
to utilize this force, in ; reference to
the erection of expensive steam works
at the mouth of this mine. A plan was
submitted by Cyrus W. fjeld and at
once adopted. Turbine wheels were
built, covering tlie space betwixt each
arch, movable, mid adapted to the rise
and fall of the tide. Gates were also
constructed between each arch, and a
head of water, nnrlnir from 10 to is
feet fall, providedfor eaeh turn of the
tiue nom in tlie enu ami the flow, so
that there should he a continuous mo
tion to the machinery. Near the
snail two laiw. on cv-imn rr.-
ervoirs were oniistriicteoV cannhlp nr
l. -1-1! 44 - 4W.4. . ... J'..-
Homing iroiu lou.uuu to 2011. oou cube
ieei 01 eomprcsseti air. tne average rate
of condensation being about 200atmo3
nlieres. These reservohs nnm-
erly connected with the pumping ap
paratus of the bridge by large case-iron
mains, so that the supply was contin
uous aim at an almost nominal cost.
It was by the same power of com-
uresseu air mat tne tunneling through
Mount St. Cot hard was effected for the
Lvons and Turin Railway, just com-
The first operations were to enlarge
me suait so as 10 lorm an opening 40
bv 100 feet. Knirlish measmp "riil
consumed the greater part of die year
iraa. so tnat the ieai work of sinking
was not fairlv 11111W u-iiv until ir
iii 1850. But from that period dowii
tome memoranie Dtn ot Aoveinher.
1872. the excavation steadilv iimm-s.
ed. I neglected to state at the outset
. 1... . M I I . . ..
II HI l. .CTI1 iiisoioy,
Was annoinreil (Jeneral SmiorlntPiiH
cut, and continued to till that impor
tant office until lie lost his life on the
morning of the Otli of November, tlie
mei.-iucnoiy ucuiiis 01 which are nere
inafter fully narrated.
As the deepening progressed, the
lt.4t,f Bft tl.4. 1.4..4.... 4U.ULHJ . ! ..
i.uai UK uubbUIII c.'IIUIMieu IUIIRTHS.
but it was soon observed, in a differ
ent ratio, from the calculations of the
experts. After attaining tlie depth of
oi.ouu ieei aoour tne nignt 01 .viouut
Blanc which was reached early in
1864. It was noticed for tlie first time
that the laws of temperature and grav
itation were synchronous; that Is, that
me neat augmeuieu in a ratio propor
tioned to the square of tlie distance
from tlie surface downward. Hence
the increase at great dept hs bore no re
lation to all the Dnniiiwiitlv irrnrinul
augmentation near the surface. As
eany as .nine. iw it oeoauie appa
rent that tiie sinking, it carried ou at
all, would have to lie protected by
some athennanous or adiathemiic cov-
Cl'inS' Pl'Otlotr Tvrwllll vi ili.nlllwl
to, and, at the requeat of Lord Pnlm
erston, made a vast number of exper
iments 011 iioiMWiUucting iKxiies. As
the result of labors, he prewired a
comixmnd solution alwut tlie density
of white lead, composed of seleuite
alum and sulphate of copier, wliii h
was laid on three or four thicknesses,
first upon the bodies of tlie naked
miners for in all deep mines the op
eratives work in purls mitwdibw-mirt
then upon
Made of papier inaehe. with a false
Ixittom, Inclosed within which the
miners Were pnnbleil m enilnre tin. in
tense heat for a idilft of two hours
each day. Tlie drilling was all done
by means of the diamond-pointed in
strument, and the
glycerine from the outset, so' that ihe
priueiial labor consisted in shoveling
up tlie debris ami keeping the drill
point iuxitii.
Before proceeding further it may
not be iintimner to eilliinerati' a few of
the more Important scientific facts,
which, up to the 1st of November ot
the past year, had been satisfactorily
established. Fir.-t in importance is
the one alluded to in the above the
rate of increase of temperature a we
flesoi.iiil liiti, llip hmeplc nf lli.. purrli
j 'l'his law. shown above to eorresiund
exactly with the law of attraction of
j gravitation had been entiifly over
I looked by nil the scientists living or
. dead. No one had for a moment sus
j nected that heat followed the universal
I law of physics as a material body ought
1 I.O do. .ulinntv tn'e:IIKe t'lnm lllp time
of IX, .Saussi'ii-e lu at had been regarded
only as a Jii'c or eii rVtruml ot as a
ponderable ijuallty.
But not only was beat found to lie
subject to the law of inverse ratio
of the square ot the distance from the
surface, but tlie atmosphere itself fol
lowed the same Invariable rule. Thus,
whilst we know that water bolls at the
level of the sea at 21 2 Fahrenheit, it
readily vaporizes at 188" on the Peak
of Teueritte. only 15,000 feet above
that level. This, we know, is owing
to the weight of
There being a heavier burden at tlie
surface than at any bight above it.
Tlie rate of decrease In weight Aore
the .surface is perfectly regular, being
A I H litUmil. f..W 4.1',.--. ,no t 4 c P
. tvi t,ci y uw irvt (H a-Heill .
But tlie amazing fiict was shown that
the weight of the atmosphere increased
in a ratio proportioned to the square
of tlie distance from the surface down
The magnetic needle also evinced some
curious disturbance, the dip Mug in
variably Mimvtrrf. its action also was
exceedingly feeble, and the dav before
tlie operations ceased It lost ail polar
ity wnacever, anil tlie tinest magnet
would not meander from the point of
tlie compass it happened to be left at
for the time being. As Sir Edward
Sabine finely said. " The hands of the
magnetic clock stopped." Bntthe ac
tivity of the needle gradually increased
as the .surface was approached.
All electrical action also ceased,
which fully confirms the theory of
Professor Faraday, that "electricity
Is a force irenemted bv the mnld myU'i
revolution of the earth, and that mag
netic attraction in nil imisps luilnt.a nr
operates at risrht ancles to its current."
Hence electricity, from the nature of
its cause, must be superficial.
Kverv annpiiniiuv nf witer illuin-
peared at the depth of onlv 0.000 feet.
From this depth downward tlie roek
WllS rf a basaltic ebflrncfpr tin vine unf
the slightest appearance or a granitic
t'i iiMmit t. 411 1.441 . Oi....... 1.. -
Mi .,vivu, uitiiii fuiiiu, in h mosi re
markable manner, the discover.- mm)..
only last year, that all rmUte are of
ihwu. msreauoi tynmw, Ueposition.
As a corollarv from the Inw nf
plieric pressure, it was fouud utterly
At a greater depth than 24.000 feet,
which point was reached in 1869. No
amount of heat affected it in the least
nercentible manner, and on a-xiorhiinr
the liquid at the greatest depth attain
ed, by means ot a nicely adjusted scale,
it was found to he. nf m'lpnsttv
ed thus ! 108.0730. hplnir hm .Wnux.
or integers 01 atomic wmgm Heavier I
ftl... J .4 11 4 D
..nun gum, 111 me surrace. w "
Tlie report then proceeds to discuss
the niK'Stion of the true flmirp nf tlu
earth, whether no itblate enhpmlil n
generally snpiosed. or only truncated
at the poles ; the length ot a degree of
lomritude at the latitude nf 1 iiuItppIa
51" 20' N.. and one or two other prob
lemsnot hearing on the points of the
report we do not wish tn lv hifhn
the readers of tlie ChromMt, The con
cluding portion of the report we re-
prouuee 111 iuti.j
For the nast twelve mnorlia tr ati
fouiHl impossible to endure the heat,
even sheltered as the miners wpih bv
the adiathemiic cover and caire, for
more than fifteen minutes nt a time.
sc. that the expense of sinking had in
creased geometrically for the past two
years. However, important results
lad been obtained, and a neriu.niliiili.
depth reached many thousands of feet
1... 1 t . 4 .
i-iow me oeejiesi soimdings ot
l.ieureuanr. iniHiKS. in lact
On the lt of November, 1872, meas
ured. iMM'nendienlarlv. no luoa tlmn
37.810 feet and G inches from tlie floor
of the shaft bnlldinff! The hhdipst
iM'ak of the is onlv 11 litilo
over 28.000 feet- so that it can at once
tie seen that no time had lieen thrown
awav bv the ( 'ominissioneix :t lli'n t tut
Inception of the undertaking in April,
'file first svmnfoms of alarm irm
felt on the evening of November 1st.
The men eninnlained of a vast Increase
of heat, and tlie i-mms bail in hp iin.i..
ied every five minutes for the greater
part of Ilieniirht: and nf those, who
attempted to work, at least one-half
were extricated in tt condition of faint
ing but one degree from syncoiie. To
ward niornillff. hoarse, nrofnimil and
frequent subterranean explosions were
heard, which had increased at noon to
one dull, threatening and continuous
roar. Bt the miners went down brave
ly to their tasks, and resolved to work
.so long as human endurance could bear
it. But this was not to lie much longer,
for a late hour nt night on the 4th.
after hearing a terrible explosion,
which shook the whole neighlHn hood.
a hot sirocco issued from the bottom
which drove I hem all out. in a slate of
asphyxia. The heat at the surface be
came absolutely unendurable, and on
sending down a cage with only a dog
In it. the materials of which It was
voniposed took (ire anil lie animal
perished in the flames. At 3 o'clock
A. M.. the Iron fastenings to another
cage were found fused and the wire
ropes melted for more than a thousand
feet at the lower end.
Became more frequent, tb trembling
of the earth at the surface more vio
lent, and the heat more oppressive
around the mouth of the orifice. A
few minutes before 4 o'clock, a subter
ranean crash was heard, louder than
Alpine thunder, and immediately af
terwards a furious cloud of ashes,
smoke and gaseous exhalation shot
hiElt up into the still darkened atmos
phere of night. At this time, at least
one thousand of the terrified and half
naked Inhabitants of the neighboring
village of Dndzeele had collected on the
spot, and with wringing hands and
fl. 14.. 4.4 1 1..,. 1... . ! t 1 iS 1 .. .
'w ' uuiatito ue waned uieir late, and
threatened instant death to the officers
of the Commission, and even to the
now terrified miners- Finally, just
before dawn on the 6th of November,
or to be more precise, at exactly
twenty minutes past 6 A. mlttn
lata viadii (tn appemtnee at the nmfm!
The fright now became general, and
as tlie burning buildings shed their
ominous glare around, and the languid
stream of liquid! flre slowly bubbled
up and rolled toward1 the canal, the
scene assumed an aspect ot awftd sub
limity and grandeur. ,Tbe plains
around were lit up for many leagues,
and flip tnmrv cfrlna IntansliLut ..Tt
- "WW '4-1 4 4.44 4.I4VI.CI ..4. 4111,1 . C
duplicated the effects of the lllumlna-
'I, I - , ., A.-... mm
nun. luwiini sunrise tne now oi Java
was suspended for nearly an hoar, but
shortly after 10 o'clock ft suddenly In
creased its volume, and, as il cooled,
Over the edges of which it boiled up,
broke and ran off in every direction.
It was at this period that) the accom
plished DtKeloy. so long tie Superin
tendent, lost his life. As the lava
slowly meandered along he attempted
to cross tlie stream by stepping from
one mass of snrtace-cinderetoairother.
Vfaklng a fids step, the floating rock
UllOll Whieb ItPSnrnnc a
Over, and before relief ennld ho afford.
ed his body was consumed to a crisp.
I reffret, to ndr) find UU tutu L-intlojl m.
T7i ...... ..... ... ni 14 11 444 IV44 114.'
sympathy amongst the assembled mul
titude ; lait they rudely setecd his mu-'
tilated remains, and amid jeers, exe
crations and shouts of triumph attach
ed a large stone to the half-consumed
corpse and precipitated it into the
canal. Thus are tlie lipmra nf tiiMu
frequently sacrificed to the fury of a
plebian mob.
It would afford me pleasnre to in
form the Department tliat the unfore
seen evils of our scientific convention
terminated here. But I regret to aikl
that such is very far from being the
ease. Indeed, from tlie appearance of
affairs this morning at the volcanic
crater for such it has now become
tlie iiossible evils are almost incalcu
lable. The Belgian Government was
duly notified by telegraph of
And the mutinous ili.nnnsitinn nf tin.
common people about Bruges, and
early on the morning of tlie 6th of
November a squad of flying horse
was dispatclied to the spot to maintain
onhr. But this Interference onlv
made matters worse. The discontent,
augmented by the wildest panic be
came universal, and the moo reigned
supreme. Nor could the poor wretch
es bo greatly condemned ; for toward
evening the lava current reached the
confines of the old village of Dndzeele,
and about midnight set (lie town on
flre. The lurid glare of tlie conflagra
tion awakened tlie old Burghers oi
Bruges from their slumbers and spre.iti
consternation in the city, though dis
tant several miles from the spot. A
meeting was called at the Guild Hall
at dawn, and the wildest excitement
prevailed. But after hearing expla
nations from the members of die'
CommiaBloii the populace quietly but
doggully diiersed.
Tlie Government from fills time for
ward did all that power and prudence
combined could effect toquell tlie reign
of terror around Bruges. In this
country the telegraph, being a Gov
ernment monopoly, has been rigorous
ly wwcnfii nun a coition ot miiitarv
posts established around the threatened
district, so that it has, been almost im
possible to convey intelligence of this
disaster beyond tlie limits of the dan
ger. In the meantime a congress of
flic most experienced scientists was
invited to tlie scene for the purpose of
suggesting some remedy against the
prospective spread of the devastation
The fiist meeting took place at tlie o!..
Guild Hall, in Binges, and was strict
ly private, none beiligadmitted exeepi
Of foreign Governments, ami tin
numbers elect of the college. As in
Cuwcdtttetf oh .atn page. (