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January 15, 1853.] THE LEADER. 55
THE DARIEN CANAL. . AMONG- the gigantic ...
THE GREAT POULTRY-SHOW. Now Protection i...
OXFORD RAILWAY ACCIDENT. INQUEST CONTINU...
THE RESPITE OF JAMES HARBOUR. Elsewhekk ...
January 15, 1853.] The Leader. 55
January 15 , 1853 . ] THE LEADER . 55
The Darien Canal. . Among- The Gigantic ...
THE DARIEN CANAL . . AMONG- the gigantic projects of the day is that of making a ship canal through the Isthmus of Darien . It is confidently asserted that a passage has been discovered through the Cordilleras ; and a company is forming to carry out the great work . The Isthmus of Darien extends from the Atrato River to the point of St . Bias , in Mandingo Bay , and Caledonia Bay is the locality from which this interoceanic navigation is to commence on the Atlantic side , terminating on the Pacific in the Gulf of St . Miguel .
No published maps give a correct notion of the interior of this country ; it has been heretofore perfectly unexplored . The Cordilleras were supposed to extend in an unbroken range along the coast of the Atlantic ; they present that appearance from the seaward , and the native tribes of Indians have so carefully guarded their territory that for 250 years this fallacy has been received as a fact . It appears , however , that the River Caledonia , sometimes called Aglasenaque on old Spanish maps , passes through a gorge , at the back of which extends a large plain ; the true limit between the water sheds of the two oceans is situated in the centre of the
isthmus , and consists of a low range of hills , separating the Caledonia and Savannah rivers . The culminating point of this range is only 150 feet above the mean level of the two oceans . The Savannah river flows through an uninhabited tract of land ; the high tide of the Pacific affects its waters for twenty miles into the interior , and there is six fathoms depth at low water seven miles from the mouth . The mean water of the two oceans , or that of mid-tide , is on a level . This had always been a disputed question , and one which the great Humboldt himself did not decide , although his opinion and that
of the scientific men of the day has been confirmed . When we say on a level , we speak practically to within a few inches ; further observations and investigations are necessary to submit the question to those learned in differential calculus . The Atlantic has only a tide of 14 to 16 inches , the Pacific one of 24 feet , so that every twelve hours the Pacific ocean is 12 feet above and 12 feet below the Atlantic , causing an alternate maximum current of three miles an hour each way . Mr . ' Gisborne recommends the formation of a continuous channel without locks , having a breadth of 160 feet and a depth of 30 feet at low water , the cost
of which he estimates at 12 , 000 , 000 Z . sterling . The figures are rather startling to those who have hitherto limited mercantile speculation to the necessities of one or two countries , although in this respect even their impressions are false , for in Great Britain 30 , 000 , 000 ^ . sterling have been expended in docks ; the London and North Western Railway Company represent a capital of over 30 , 000 , 000 Z . ; foreign loans amount to much larger sums ; nearly 300 , 000 , 000 / . have been sunk in the railways of this country ; 6 ur national debt is beyond 770 , 000 , 000 / ., the interest at three per cent , beintr collected from ourselves . What a trifle
12 , 000 , 000 / . or 15 , 000 , 000 / . is reduced to , when the payment of interest upon it is spread over tho commerce of every nation . What a . small outlay in the cuuao of peace and civilization .
The Great Poultry-Show. Now Protection I...
THE GREAT POULTRY-SHOW . Now Protection in over , the English agriculturist is turning his attention to other sources of income besides whe . it . Poultry—and it is astonishing how much poultry has been neglected—now has its shows . On Tuesday , tho first annual exhibition of the feathered tribes intended for the table , was held nt the Bazaar , in Baker-street , famed in the annals of tho Sauthiield Club .
The show includes fowls , turkeys , gee . se , ducks , pigeons , and rabbits , but among them what is ordinarily spoken of as the fowl tribe vastly preponderates , and in this littlo world of fowls , the Cochin Chineso liuve a decided majority . Thn Cochin China fowls won ; , we believe , introduced into this country some half-dozen years ago under Ivoyal patronage , and now enjoy a preference over the Dorking , game , and Hamburgh fowls . The respective merits of these ; classes can , however , only bo determined by connoisseurs , and it is enough for us to say that the Cochin China fowls in tho collection are of remarkable size and beauty . The
price set upon some of these birds seems almost incredible . There is a pen belonging to Mr . KniiTie , of Cheveley-pnrk , near Newmarket , consisting' of : t cock and three lions , for which no lost * than sixty guineas are required . It may , however , bo observed that all the luns have been exhibited separately at provincial shows , and that each has gained a prize ; so thut the pon is probably as valuable a one as could bo found in the country . Among those which attracted marked attention , some exceedingly line Poland fowls , with white topknots ( class ' Mi , No . I ); a pen of three gcone , weighing together , ua wo were told , 481 b . ; a pen oi '
gigantic pigeons from India , whose heads are surmounted by a sort of plume , not much unlike the feathers of a peacock ' s tail ; several very fine Australian pigeons , the beauty of whose plumage was much admired ; a large collection of pigeons , including some very good specimens of fantails , tumblers , and carriers ; and some remarkably fine ^ turkeys , bantams , and rabbits . So great a value is placed upon the eggs of many of the birds in the exhibition , that eight policeofficers of the detective force are continually on the watch to prevent their abstraction by persons employed in the building , or by visitors . We find the following letter in the Times , provoked by this novel metropolitan exhibition : —
" During the present novel exhibition at Baker-street , it may prove interesting to some of your readers to have a description of the laying powers of a Cochin China hen in my possession . At the close of last autumn , one of my children was presented with , a male and female bird' by a clergyman in Kent ; they were hatched late in spring , and in November , two eggs were found one morning in the nest , supposed at the time to be the produce of two days .
However , upon the next day there was one , and the day after , two ; one day then elapsed , and two eggs were again layed , and so on to the present time , when she continues to present her young mistress with , five eggs every four days , wliich , for so long a period , is very unusual . It is a remarkable fact , that upon the days the hen lays two ^ ggs , unless closely watched , the cock and she lay claim to one of them , which they invariably consume , leaving the other untouched , which is likewise the case when a single egg is layed . "
The sale by auction of the various specimens was commenced at noon , on Thursday , subject to the reserved prices of the exhibitors . For many of the lots upon which high prices had been placed by the owners there were , of course , no bids at all approaching the nominal value , and although in some cases higher prices were obtained than had been fixed in the catalogue , in many instances the stock failed to realise the amount at which it had been valued . The highest price paid during the day was , we understand , 48 guineas , for a Cochin-Chinese cock and pullet _ ( No . 81 , class 15 ) , wliich were bought by Mr . John Taylor , jun ., of Cressy-house , Shepherd's-bush .
Among those who have honoured the show with their presence , were—the Duke of Rutland , the Earls of Clarendon , Harrington , Ducie , Berwick , and Glengall ; the Marquisses of Salisbury and Granby , the Bishop of London , Baron Rothschild , Lords Hardingc , Monteagle , Hill , Wodehouse , and A . Fitzelarence , Sir G . Wombwell , Sir J . Cathcart , the Hon . C . C . Cavendish , M . P ., and Mr . Hayter , M . P .
Oxford Railway Accident. Inquest Continu...
OXFORD RAILWAY ACCIDENT . INQUEST CONTINUED . The inquest was resumed on Tuesday . Contradictory statements , respecting the lights on tho engine of the coal-train , were made by John Lee , the driver , and Brooks , tho policeman at the SherifFs-bridge level . It will be remembered that , according to the evidence last week , a green light was attached in front of the coal train ; and to this statement the driver adheres . He is corroborated by a person named Cooper , in the employment of tho contractor . This man says he was on Ins way to the engine-house at Oxford , when he saw the coal train advancing , and heard the whistle of the passenger train . The green light was on the buffer of the first engine . The policeman is very positive in stating that there was no lump , and that the only light came from the fire-box of the engine . This is his excuse ; for not having put up his danger signal in time to stop the passenger train . Another policeman , Bates , who was on duty at the Oxford-road Station , swears that the lamps were in perfect order when the coaltrain passed .
William Hairvoy , the policeman at the swivelbridge , substantiated tho account given by Hayes , the bead porter , last week , and also deposed to the extraordinary speed at which the passenger-train left the station . The important evidence was that of Joseph Kincli , the guard ; but Home difficulty occurs in reconciling it with bis remarks immediately after the collision . There is reason to believe , however , that lit ; was so unnerved by the accident , as not to he accountable for any statement ho may then have ; uttered . His evidence on Tuesday was given with much clearness . We extract bis «( ory about the starting of the train : -
" I . know Unit the coal-train hud loft Islip , because Mr . ItloM . hud informed mo ( . hut . it had loft 1 m 11 j > nearly hall nu hour . Mr . Hlott added , that tho f > .. ' l () train was not . to go till l . ho coal-trujii hud arrived . Mr . itlott Hiiid nothing inoro , but wont into liin oflico , and 1 did not seo him agiiin boforo ( ho train started . Mr . ItloM , did not say to mo , Ml ' you seo tho train , or it is sighted , you may go . ' la two or three ininutoH after . Itlott had spoken , I went to tho driver , Tarry , and told him that Itlotl . had said the ooaltrain had le-i ' l Isli |> nearly half an hour , and wo could not So till tho I ruin ciimo in . At thin time 1 watt standing on io tfloptt of llio plutiorin , holding on by tho huudrtul of
the engine . I did not get on the engine at all . This waa after Hayes had looked at the tickets . I was not talking with Tarry more than a minute , and then walked down tho platform towards bis break van . I kept my eye on the signal at the swing bridge . At this time tho red signal was on . It was my duty not to start a train while thafc red signal is shown . I went again to Tarry at the engine , and asked him for his tickets , which , as Tarry was no scholar , I had been in the habit of making out for him ; tickets of the hours of arrival and departure , number of carriages , & c . Tarry said he had not got them , but that he would give them to me in the morning . As I was getting off the steps , Tarry again hallooed out lie would give them to me in the morning , and I replied , ' AH right , ' meaning , ' all right ; you can give mo the tickets in the morning . ' The red light was still on .
I went back to my break , and had scarcely done so when Tarry opened his whistle and started . I did not know but that Tarry had been signalled by Mr . Hayes , or some one , to ' draw on' to attach trucks . Trucks are often attached in that way behind my van , tho train being drawn on for the purpose by the engine . The train went on to the bridge . At that moment Hayes and another porter met the train , with , lamps in their hands , and Hayes called out to me something about a ballast train . I did not exactly understand what , but I understood he meant that the coal train was not in , and directly put on my break . This ought to have retarded the engine , but it was a very short train , and Tarry had apparently put on full steam . ' I also exhibited my alarm lamp , but the train , instead of stopping , increased its speed . It was such a light train it could do this , notwithstanding the break having been put on . "
The witness proceeded to state that he saw the red signal at the "bridge changed for a green one , signifying " go on ; " that he never released his break on that aecount , but continued to show his signals , and did all in his power to stop the train ; that he saw the coaltrain , with its green signal , advancing at the distance of a mile ; and that he had but slight recollection of what took place after the collision . The railway officials called as witnesses to Kinch's behaviour at this time , agree that he was not composed ; but they say he seemed sufficiently rational to understand questions , and to answer them . His replies to Mr . Blott were to the effect that he mistook the
ballast-engine for the coal-train , and gave the word to start . But other witnesses , and especially the conductor of tho omnibus whieh conveyed him to the Oxford-road Station , describe Kinch ' s confusion as having been much greater . James Turby , the conductor , states that Kinch , when asked how he felt , replied , incoherently , " put the break on ; go steady . " And William Todd , a servant of the Great Western Company , who went to the spot on the North Western line immediately after the accident , says he found Kinch in a perfectly delirious condition , calling out , " Where's my break ? Where ' s my van ?"
Other witnesses took the same side ; and by far the weight of independent evidence shows Kinch to have been quite incapable of coherent statements at the time he was interrogated by the station-master . The inquest was adjourned at seven o ' clock , till Monday .
The Respite Of James Harbour. Elsewhekk ...
THE RESPITE OF JAMES HARBOUR . Elsewhekk wo liavo statod pretty clearly our belief that however much tho persons subjected to criticism by tho press may object to it , it is still ono of the duties of that " mighty engine" to watch over tho administration of tho law , as it watches over the proceedings of Parliament , nnd to take us much caro that nothing goes wrong in tho ono case as in tho other . Wo shall not therefore stay to apologise to our readers for saying a i ' aw words about Harbour , nor to the gentleman who has forwarded us tho documents to which wo shall refer , for our exercising an independent judgment upon them . He sees , what wo seo and regret , that tho press is now the only court of criminal appeal , and cannot , consequently , complain when we decline to lend him our advocacy , and venture to givo him . our decision .
James Harbour , the prisoner in this case , was Iried at tho York assizes , for tho wilful murder of Alexander Itohison ; " had tho advantage , " according to Mr . . lustico Talfourd , " of being defended with unrivalled ability ;" but was found guilty , and sentenced , without hope of mercy , I lie judge entirely concurring in the verdict . Tho facts proved against him were these : Robison and lie had formerly been in tho name employ , that of a cousin of ( ho latter , a linen-draper residing in Doricastor . They wero travelling packmen in this person's service , but recently Harbour had been dismissed , and previously a watch , which his master had lent to him , wits taken away for Home misconduct , and triveii ( o the deceased as a
reward . Tho murder took placn on Hie iiml September , and on tho . 'trd September the body was found , bearing upon it murks of violence and gunshot-wounds about , tho bead . It , was in August , last tho prisoner was dismissed from his cousin's service , after which , ho went to Scotland for a fortnight , when ho returned to Sheffield , where ho had only been a short , time . Whilst ho was in bis cousin ' s » crvico , ' tlie prisoner bad traded on his own account , and had been assisted by a man named M'Corinaok , who lodged with him at the house of a man named l'igoMi , in Nhnflield . The prisoner , after bin dismissal , had no tfooda to hawk , and had no inoucj / until tho Monday after tho ¦ mitrtlcr . On the dny before tho murder , from oieven to oim o'clock , tho prisoner , tho deceased , and two
Scotchmen , named M'l < ollan and Kugun , wero together . At ono o'clock , they all went to an eating-hoiiHo . At half-pant , ono thoy returned , whou tho docoivuod , had upon him hin
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 15, 1853, page 7, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_15011853/page/7/