Part 13 (1/2)


The world's record against time from a standing start, made by Platt Betts, of England, was 1:43 2-5. Michael beat Taylore's record by 1 2-5 seconds in the first heat, but Major Taylor wiped this out and tied Betts' record against time in the second heat. As Taylor was on the outside for nearly two and a half laps, it was easily seen that he rode more than a mile in the time, and shrewd judges who watched the race said that he would surely do better on the third attempt.


That he fully justified this belief goes without saying.

The Welsh rider was pale as a corpse when he jumped off his wheel and had no excuse to make for his defeat. Taylor's performance undoubtedly stamps him as the premier 'cycle sprinter of the world, and, judging from the staying qualities he exhibited in his six days' ride in the Madison Square Garden, the middle distance champions.h.i.+p may be his before the end of the present season.


After a search of many years, at last a Negro millionaire, yes, a multi-millionaire has been found. He resides in the city of Guatemala, and is known as Don Juan Knight. It is said he is to that country what Huntington and other monied men are to this country. He was born a slave in the State of Alabama. He owns gold mines, large coffee and banana farms, is the second largest dealer in mahogany in the world, owns a bank and pays his employees $200,000 a year. His wealth is estimated at $70,000,000. He was the property of the Uptons, of Dadeville, Ala. He contributes largely to educational inst.i.tutions, has erected hospitals, etc. He is sought for his advice by the government whenever a bond issue, etc., is to be made. He lives in a palace and has hosts of servants to wait on his family. He married a native and has seven children. They have all been educated in this country. Two of his sons are in a military academy in Mississippi and one of his daughters is an accomplished portrait painter in Boston. He visited the old plantation where he was born recently and employed the son of his former master as foreman of his mines. Finding that the wife of his former master was sick and without money, he gave her enough money to live on the balance of her life. He employs more men than any other man in Guatemala and is the wealthiest one there.--Maxton Blade.


There is only one man in the United States who could steal $10,000,000 and not have the theft discovered for six months.

This man has a salary of $1,200 a year. He is a Negro and his name is John R. Brown.

Mr. Brown's interesting duty is to be the packer of currency under James F. Meline, the a.s.sistant Treasurer of the United States, who, says that his is a place where automatic safeguards and checks fail, and where the government must trust to the honesty of the official.

All the currency printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is completed in the Treasury Building by having the red seal printed on it there. It comes to the Treasury Building in sheets of four notes each, and when the seal has been imprinted on the notes they are cut apart and put into packages to dry. John Brown's duty is to put up the packages of notes and seal them.


Brown does his work in a cage at the end of the room in which the completion of the notes is accomplished--the room of the Division of Issues.

The notes are arranged in packages of one hundred before they are brought into the cage. Each package has its paper strap, on which the number and denomination is given in printed characters. Forty are put together in two piles of twenty each and placed an a power press. This press is worked by a lever, something like an old-style cotton press.

There are openings above and below through which strings can be slipped after Brown has pulled the lever and compressed the package.

These strings hold the package together while stout manila paper is drawn around it. This paper is folded as though about a pound of tea and sealed with wax. Then a label is pasted on it, showing in plain characters what is within.

The packages are of uniform size and any variation from the standard would be noticed. But a dishonest man in Brown's position could slip a wad of prepared paper into one of the packages and put the notes into his pocket.

If he did this the crime might not be known for six months or a year, or even longer. Some day there would come from the Treasurer a requisition for a package of notes of a certain denomination. The doctored package would be opened and the shortage would be found.

However, the Government has never had to meet this situation.

There have been only two men engaged in packing and sealing currency since the Treasury Department was organized.

John T. Barnes began the work. He was a delegate to the Chicago Convention which nominated Lincoln and he received his appointment on the recommendation of Montgomery Blair in 1861. In 1862 he was a.s.signed to making up the currency packages and fulfilled that duty until his death, in 1894. No mistake was ever discovered in his work, though he handled every cent of currency issued by the government for thirty-two years--so many millions of dollars that it would take a week to figure them up.

Mr. Barnes' duties were filled temporarily until November 1, when John R. Brown was appointed to the place.

Barnes at the time of his death was receiving only $1,400 a year and Brown draws only $1,200.

Ordinarily the Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivers to the Issue Division about fifty-six packages of paper money of 1,000 sheets each, four notes on a sheet, making, when separated, 224,000 notes. These notes range in value from $1 to $20, and their aggregate is usually about $1,000,000. The government, however, issues currency in denominations of $50, $100, $500, $1,000. The largest are not printed often, because the amount issued is small.

If it could happen that 224,000 notes of $1,000 each were received from the bureau in one day, the aggregate of value in the fifty-six packages would be $224,000,000. As it is, a little more than 10 per cent, of this sum represents the largest amount handled in one day.

That is, the packer has handled $25,000,000 in a single day, and not one dollar has gone astray.

John R. Brown is a hereditary office-holder. His father was a trusted employee of the Treasurer's office for ten year prior to his death, in 1874. The son was appointed a.s.sistant messenger in 1872. He became a clerk through compet.i.tive examination and was gradually promoted.

[Ill.u.s.tration: GEN. PIO PILAR, In charge of the Insurgent forces which attacked the American troops.]