Imágenes de páginas

But with reference to the widowed mothers and indigent fathers. Don't let that worry you a bit. Pass round the hat and take up a collection, and take care of the widowed mothers, and put the indigent fathers in jail.

This is my last request to you. Remember what the poet of England said more than a century ago:

“Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.”

The work of the womanhood of this country is for and with a nobler manhood. We do honor you men of this Country. I have traveled the world round. I have seen that noble President of ours, William H. Taft, in the Philippines and among the masses of China and Japan, and I have been proud of him as the representative of American manhood. We do honor you men. As women, we will bear Our full share of the burdens of today, just as our mothers did in the Civil War, just as our grandmothers and their mothers did in the Revolution. We want a good many things of you who have the power. We are going to get them; you are going to give them, because you are our Sons, our brothers, our husbands. But I want to say to you We are not so aggrieved with our present limitations of power that we are not glad we are American women. The American man, the average man, not every man here, but the average American, is the biggest and tallest and broadest and grandest man the sun ever shone on, and please allow me to say in this presence that, keenly as I feel for myself and my sisters the limitations which man-made law has put upon us, I had rather be an American woman right here and now than to be a queen on any other shore. (Loud applause.)

THE CHAIRMAN: Do you wonder that these movements are largely dependent upon and helped and aided by the sympathy of the women? If you had any doubt about it before you have none now, and, on behalf of those who are present, I want to thank Mrs. Foster for her beautiful address. An invitation was extended by the Commercial Club of the city of Seattle to the delegates to use the club rooms during their stay in the city, where they would be made very welcome. The invitation was gratefully acknowledged.



When a new cult arises it should be tested in the light of all earlier knowledge. Especially should it comform to those eternal verities of nature which have outlasted Schools of thought and systems of philosophy; for, as happily phrased by Wordsworth: “On the firm ground of nature rests the mind that builds for aye.” Now Conservation has become a cult; and, resting as it does on those verities of nature both recognized in daily life and established by systematic research, its means and ends are strictly scientific. Indeed, it is but a practical scientific philosophy made living by the human touch. The philosophy of the ancients yielded no more captivating conception than that of the crystal spheres, surrounding the earth and carrying severally the sun and moon, the greater planets, and the fixed stars in a harmonious rhythm attuned to the heartstrings of gods and men. The conception arose slowly, lasted longer than any philosophy of the day, and inspired high thought and noble action; yet it is nearly lost to modern minds, and is seldom remembered save in the ill-understood phrase “the music of the spheres” and as the basis of the Aryan musical scale of seven intervals. Fortunately this ancient conception of the universe was caught and moulded into a broad, scientific conception of the earth by the late Major Powell in the geospheres, of which he saw at first three, and later four. The last defined is the nucleosphere, the central foundation for the external earth. Above this lies the lithosphere, made up of the known rocks, and partly enveloped in the hydrosphere, which in turn is wholly overspread by the atmosphere. These four make up the planet; they sum human knowledge of physical geography of the earth as the source and home of all life. On these spheres geographers must rest the new idea of Conservation as a cult, as a philosophy, and as a practical guide in every-day affairs. Now, in bringing the cult of Conservation down to present-day needs, it becomes necessary to extend the Powellian conception of the geospheres and to sum current knowledge by recognizing three others: the phytosphere, commonly known as the plant world, the zoösphere or animal world, and the phychosphere or world of mind, of which all knowledge is but a manifestation. These three, with the other four, make up the terrestrial sphere; they group in a few simple classes all those objective realities and subjective existences with which our material and mental welfare is Concerned. Such, then, sketched in a few lines, is the historical and philosophic foundation for the cult of Conservation. The central conception arose in the mists of antiquity, and took form with growing knowledge and with increasing clearness of view concerning the relations between men and nature; today the structure stands as the expression of eternal verities and of no less eternal equities among the generations of men in their relations to lower nature. It is not irreverent—indeed, but the highest reverence—to say that Conservation covers the earth and the fullness thereof for the infinite good.

During the ages the geographers have interacted and combined in a harmony richer than that of the crystal spheres— at least to those whose ears are attuned aright—to form the world of today. In the beginning traced by geology there was no life, no material for the sustenance of life, but only simple inorganic substances in the lithosphere. With the advent of life some of those substances were broken up and recombined from age to age in those complex forms yielding soils for plants and foods for animals and men; and in abundance of foods, as well as in the wealth of the phytosphere and zoösphere and finally in that of the phychosphere, each age was better and richer than the last.

In the light of this progress, on which all science agrees and which none may dispute, certain lessons are clear: First, while the plant world subsist on the soils, it is the function, the business of plants to produce soils, and this they have been doing since life appeared on earth; second, while the land animals subsist directly or indirectly on plants, it is the function of animals to maintain and enrich both the plant world and the soils, and this they have been doing ever since the continents took shape in ages past; and third, while men subsist on animals and plants, it is their function—the vital part of their business—to maintain and enrich the fauna and flora and the soils, and this they did during the times primeval, and, indeed, down to the present day, But secretly human enterprise has sometimes passed out of touch with that natural harmony on which continued human life depends.

In the light of these lessons it is easy for those of us who see broadly and feel warmly to realize the need for increasing the efficiency of the soil, in order that it may sustain more abundant life; the efficiency of plants, in order that they may afford more abundant food; the efficiency of animals, to the end that they may yield better service and Sustenance; the efficiency of men, that they may live longer and more happily; and the efficiency of the State, to the end that each and all citizens may be united in warmer fellowship and brotherhood. Such are the five efficiencies with which every citizen is concerned.

When the Federal Constitution was formed, land alone was recognized as a resource and as a basis of national existence. Not until within the last century were minerals So recognized, and even yet they are imperfectly dissevered from the soil above them. Not until within a generation were the forests regarded as a resource to be treated separately from the soil, and even yet they are not generally Separated in taxation. Not until within a decade were the waters recognized as a resource to be developed and conServed in the interest of the people. And in only a few centers is human life recognized even today as a factor in the welfare of the State. It is a bitter realization that, through our slowness in recognizing natural resources in the forms of minerals and forests and waters, cupidity has been engendered, special interests have been encouraged, and the birthright of our children and our children's children in the fairest continent under the sun has been partly sacrificed and wholly jeopardized.

We are just beginning to realize that few countries have enough water for full productivity and population. Certainly our country has not. Our mean annual rainfall is but 215,000,000,000,000 cubic feet, or 6,000,000,000,000 acrefeet, or something less than 1,500 cubic miles, of which

[ocr errors][graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »