1. GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE

    The Louisiana Purchase and Our Title West of the Rocky Mountains, with a Review of Annexation by the United. States. By Binger Hermann, Coin-missioner of the General Land Office. Washington, 1898. Small quarto. Pp. 1-87, with several maps and portraits. In this work, just issued from the Government Printing Office, the United States General Land Office takes a new departure and falls into line with those federal bureaus which aim to advance knowledge in connection with their administrative work. Hitherto the more important publications of the General Land Office have been limited to mapsmaps of the land-survey states on separate sheets and a general map of the United States on a scale of about forty miles to the. inch. Some months since a new edition of this general map was issued showing, in addition to the general and special cartographic features with which the Land Office is directly concerned, the political structure of the United Statesi. e., the original territory together with the several territorial acquisitions. On this map the ” Louisiana purchase” and ” Oregon Territory ” were combined as a single acquisition. Now comes Commissioner Hermann with a correction of this error, supported by original documents and maps, and with a full recital of the historical events connected with the purchase of Louisiana territory from France and with the discovery and settlement of Oregon. Incidentally he addresses himself to current issues, at least between the lines, by taking up the general discussion of territorial acquisition in the history of the United States and showing the consequent benefits to the nation. Referring to the cost of the enormous territorial acquisitions, quadrupling the original area of the country, he says : ” The grand total of the sums paid for our foreign acquisitions amounts to $52,200,000, a sum less than the value of one year’s output of Montana’s minerals, of Minnesota’s annual wheat-yield, or of the cattle and hay product of California for one year ” (page 70) ; then he proceeds to analyze the early objections to annexation, to inquire into the constitutionality of annexation, to forecast our future destiny, and to extol the wisdom displayed by our statesmen in the acquisition of the Sandwich islands, leaving for his last word a forcible plea for the construction of the Nicaragua canal. The book is timely, valuable, and an occasion for congratulating the Land Office on this new display of interest in public affairs. W J M.