Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Scene of the Crimes: East End Photographs and Drawings - by avvie 7 minutes ago.
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - by Sam Flynn 13 minutes ago.
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - by Trevor Marriott 44 minutes ago.
Conferences and Meetings: American Jack the Ripper - True Crime Conference, Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018 - by ChrisGeorge 45 minutes ago.
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - by Trevor Marriott 45 minutes ago.
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - by Trevor Marriott 52 minutes ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Maybrick, James: 25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith - (47 posts)
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - (18 posts)
General Discussion: General Victoriana - (7 posts)
Annie Chapman: Annie's scarf - (6 posts)
Conferences and Meetings: American Jack the Ripper - True Crime Conference, Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018 - (3 posts)
Feigenbaum, Carl: A Likely Suspect? - (2 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > General Suspect Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:24 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default Kansas Physician Confirms Howard Report

The attachment is from the Qunicy (Illinois) Daily Journal of May 1, 1895, page 4. It's from here.

It looks like Dr. D Russell Phillips might be an actual person.

The Journal of the Kansas Medical Society, Vol. XX, TOPEKA, KANSAS, APRIL, 1920 No. 4 P113
By Kansas Medical Society

Daniel Russell Phillips, Leavenworth, aged 56, died in Topeka March 5, from myocarditis. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the city of New York in 1887. He was a member of the Leavenworth County Society.

---

An Account of Bellevue Hospital (1893) P268

Internes, 1850 To 1894

Phillips, Daniel Russell, 4th Surgical Division, 1889,I.
A. B., University of Michigan, 1884; M. D., Columbia, 1887.
General Medicine and Surgery: Care Dr. Sam. Phillips, cor. Delaware & Fifth streets, Leavenworth, Kan.

---

The Medical standard, Volume 6, August 1889, P65

Kansas —Dr. Ed. Blair, of Atchison, has declined the position of assistant in the Soldiers' Home Hospital at Leavenworth. Dr. Blair returns soon to New York to take a post-graduate course in medicine.—Dr. Charles A. Skene died at Westmoreland June 8 —Dr. D. F. Rodgers, of Wamego, will remove to Topeka.—Dr. J. C. Ryan, of Washington county, has permanently relocated at Palmer. —Dr May, Jr., has removed to Kansas City — Small-pox is reported at Piqua.—Dr. Harry Betts, of El Dorado, died of small-pox at Topeka.—Dr. P. [sic] Russell Phillips sailed for Europe July 11. Dr. Phillips will study at Vienna —Dr. J P. Stewart, of Clay Center, intentionally shot and killed a libertine a few weeks ago. Dr. Stewart is admired for his courage.—Topeka has a "medicine" college with a capital of $100,000.

---
Attached Images
 
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-21-2011, 04:56 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

An article transcribed on this site:

Decatur Daily Despatch
Illinois, U.S.A.
12 September 1889

A SENSATIONAL STORY
Connecting Jack the Ripper With a Prominent Surgeon

Special to Decatur Despatch

London, Sept. 11.
The inquest today in the case of the woman whose headless body was discovered in Whitechapel district yesterday morning was conducted with closed doors, and extraordinary precautions are taken to prevent the medical testimony in the case being made public. A rumor is afloat, but cannot be traced to an authoritative source, that one of the doctors has pointed out that the surgical work of the fiend bears a remarkable resemblance in certain features to the peculiarities which have frequently been noted by the profession in the work of a well known London surgeon, a man of the highest standing in his profession, but exceedingly eccentric. The police maintain discreet silence and refuse to either deny or verify the rumor. They appear to be active, however, and their conduct indicates that they have a clue of some sort.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-09-2011, 04:12 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

Here's a link to page 14 of The San Francisco Call for April 24, 1895, which has the "Dr. Howard" story.

A quote from a story in the Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette for May 2, 1895, from this site:

San Francisco. April 24.
William Greer, manager of the Thames and Mersey Marine Insurance Company, playwright and club man, was seen to-day by a representative of the Associated Press in regard to the dispatch telegraphed from San Francisco, connecting a prominent London physician, whose name was not given, with the "Jack the Ripper" murders several years ago. Mr. Harrison stated that the dispatch was entirely correct in very particular so far as the matter reaching him through Dr. Howard was concerned. He stated that Dr. Howard is a well-known London physician who passed through San Francisco on a tour of the world several months ago and that while he was here he (Harrison) met Howard at the Bohemian club and the latter told him the remarkable story and vouched for its authenticity.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2011, 04:10 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

Dr. Benjamin Douglas Howard indignantly denied being the source of the San Francisco story about JtR in a letter published in The People of January 26, 1896:

"In this publication my name is dishonourably associated with Jack the Ripper – and in such a way – as if true – renders me liable to shew cause to the British Medical Council why my name with three degrees attached should not be expunged from the Official Register. Unfortunately for the Parties of the other part – there is not a single item of this startling statement concerning me which has the slightest foundation in fact. Beyond what I may have read in the newspapers, I have never known anything about Jack the Ripper. I have never made any public statement about Jack the Ripper – and at the time of the alleged public statement by me I was thousands of miles distant from San Francisco where it was alleged that I made it." (taken from the Wikipedia entry on Sir William Gull).

I believe this letter was discovered by Richard Whittington-Egan and published in his 1975 book A Casebook on Jack the Ripper.

Howard professed to be something of a penologist and in 1890 traveled to the Russian island of Sakhalin (Saghalien) to observe the prisons there. I have found a discrepancy in his published accounts of that journey which may call in question his credibility. In an 1891 article in The Lancet, he claimed to have met a governor of Sakhalin when his raft reached the island after a shipwreck. In an 1893 book, Howard recounts that he meet the governor at a dinner party in Vladivostok and received an invitation to travel to Sakhalin when the governor returned there.

The Lancet, Volume 2, August 29, 1891, page 484

SIBERIAN PENAL FLOGGING:

NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS IN A CASE OF ONE HUNDRED CONSECUTIVE LASHES WITH THE KNOUT.

By BENJAMIN HOWARD, M.A, M.D., F.R.C.S.E.

While travelling in the interior of Siberia, as also in Western Russia, I had always been on the alert to seize an opportunity of seeing for myself the punishment by the knout, of which so many who have not seen it have so freely published descriptions. In this one particular, however, the always affable prison officials had never found it within their power to alter previous arrangements to suit the travelling plans of one who was merely a visitor.

Several hundred miles east of the eastern coast of Siberia confronting the coast of Kamschatka is an island reserved for prisoners exiled from less distant penal colonies for additional murders, or equivalent crimes, political or otherwise, there committed. Two survivors from a ship which at midnight, in a hurricane, had gone to pieces on a reef about a hundred miles away, reached the shore of this island in a flat-bottomed boat just as the governor of the island was near the landing-place taking his evening promenade. One of these survivors was immediately made the governor's guest, and as it was impossible to find means of getting off again at present he became for many weeks his constant companion on nearly every occasion, official as well as social. This is how it happened that the present case, amongst others, came without effort under my daily observation.

[...]

-- end of quote --

Life with Trans-Siberian Savages , 1893
By Benjamin Douglas Howard

Pages 3-7

The night before my intended departure from Vladivostock I had the honour and pleasure of being one of a dinner party, consisting mostly of local administrative officials and members of the various imperial services stationed at Vladivostock.

It was my good fortune on this occasion to be seated next to a Russian prince who spoke capital French, knew everybody present, and was withal as affable and as communicative as could be desired. The chief of police and several other of the local officials present I already knew, and respecting the name and rank of several others the gallant prince did not allow me to be in ignorance.

Towards the middle of dessert, the conviviality became so general and so enthusiastic, that the little differences of nationality soon disappeared, and all of us were as brothers.

While the fraternal flood was at its height, it occurred to me I should never have a better opportunity, and so at once in a brotherly way I ventured some interrogatory references to the mysterious place, the name of which even here, I haye not yet mentioned. Without any perceptible change in his manner, but slightly perhaps lowering his voice, 'Oh, Sakhalin, you mean! Just so. Ah! let me see,' replied the prince, now falling into a rather dreamy tone and manner, 'just so, ah !—Sakhalin— let me see!'

It is time perhaps that I should here say in explanation, that though scarcely ever—indeed almost never—heard of in Europe, Sakhalin the unmentionable, is an island far beyond Siberia proper in the Okotsk Sea, which, though much narrower, has a length just about equal to that of England.

As is well known, notwithstanding the awful distances and the painful precautions, scarcely a year passes but various prison officials of Siberia become disgraced by the escape of exiles for whose whereabouts they are held strictly responsible.

As the simplest and completest remedy against this, Russia many years ago secured the possession of this distant island of Saghalien, or Sakhalin, and converted the entire island into one vast prison.

This island has not a single port worthy of that name, and the two or three anchorages thus used, are so guarded by troops, that ingress and egress, except by exceptional permission, are considered alike impossible. Hence this island has been reserved chiefly as the final destination of the unshot, the unhanged, the convicts and the exiles who by frequent escapes or repeated murders have graduated perhaps from other prison stations throughout the vast territory of Russia and Siberia. It will hence be easy to imagine the vague terror which all through Russia, and even in the mines throughout Siberia, is inspired by the appalling and almost prohibited mention of Sakhalin.

Thanks to the discovery of two or three mutual Parisian friendships, and the exhilarating combination of other influences so conspicuous towards the end of a Russian dinner, the relations between myself and the prince became increasingly cordial and apparently confidential. Appearing to wake up from a moment's contemplation to a happy thought, he called my attention to a military officer at another part of the table, an officer who was altogether the handsomest and most magnificently caparisoned of any of the party.

Having excused himself for a few minutes, he was quickly by this officer's side in lively conversation; then just as quickly, both of them were seated by my side, with myself in the centre. Imagine my surprise, when on being introduced. I found this officer was none other than the deputy-governor of all the southern part of Sakhalin.

Having taken the cue from what the prince had told him, he quickly elicited from me my regrets and my wishes. That as I had no assurance of being allowed to land in Sakhalin, nor of being able to get any place to sleep nor anything to eat if I did land there, like everybody else before me, I would be compelled to share in the general interdiction. Imagine my pleasure, when turning the tables on me completely, the governor insisted upon himself having what he called the honour and pleasure of my being his guest there.

He had been on a leave of absence which in a few days terminated, and nothing would please him so much he said, as to have me accompany him on his return home, and help to break the monotony of the life of himself and friends in that distant penal colony.

The cordiality and empressement with which this invitation was given, made it easier to accept it, than to refuse it, and, almost as quickly as I am recounting it, the compact was sealed on his part by repeated kisses and embraces in regular Siberian after-dinner fashion.

Thus suddenly, my plans and course were all changed, and after a stormy voyage of some days, I found myself enjoying the distinction of being the only English-speaking individual ever known to have passed a night on any part of that entire island. Two or three days after my arrival, while quietly sauntering about alone according to my inclination, I entered what I found to be the exile or civil hospital.

--- end of quote---

Howard wrote another book, Prisoners of Russia: a Personal Study of Convict Life in Sakhalin and Siberia, which was published posthumously in 1902 and which opens with an interesting biographical essay.

The Lancet of November 22, 1890, page 1129, has a news article about Howard's shipwreck after leaving Sakhalin which indicates that he intended to return to England via America.

The Lancet of May 9, 1891, page 1037 has a piece by Howard about cholera in Asia with more details about his travels.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-17-2011, 01:13 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

Here's another version of how Dr. Howard got to Sakhalin. In this one the Marine Club of Vladivostok hosts a dinner in Howard's honor and Howard meets an officer who invites him to come to Sakhalin. There's no mention of a "gallant prince."

Bulletin of the American Geographical Society of New York, Volume 30, 1898, No. 2 page 135

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON PRISONS IN VLADIVOSTOCK AND SAKHALIN.

AN ADDRESS BY

BENJAMIN HOWARD, M.A., M.D.

from page 140:

In Vladivostock I talked of nothing but the exploration of Yezo, and it got about in the Marine Club that I was some sort of a wonderful explorer. I could not help that. I did not call myself an explorer, but as an explorer they gave me a dinner at the Club, and there sitting nearly opposite me was a magnificent looking officer in full regimentals. I told him what I wished to do. He said: "But do you think you dare try?" I said, "I don't know; I have crossed the English Channel in an open rowboat, and I think I can visit La Perouse Strait."

He said nobody was allowed to go to Sakhalin. In the first place, there is no means of getting there, and then nobody would be allowed to land if he did get there, because the sentinels would stop him, and he must have a special passport from the Governor, and then if I did get ashore there is no such thing as a tavern or a bed or a store on the entire island. "What would you do?" I said, "I don't know what I would do, except that I had always found the Russians a very hospitable people," etc. Well, the dinner went on and he became wonderfully amiable, and insisted, as he had only finished his holiday (he had been away for a month), and was going back to-morrow or the next day, that I must go with him and stay with him all summer—as long as I liked. "To tell the truth, we are as badly off as the exiles themselves," said he. "There is very little difference between us, and if you will only come it will be a benefaction to us all. We shall all thank you for it."

If I had hesitated a moment the door would have been completely shut against me. The best things that come to the traveller are the unexpected, and if you wish to be successful as a traveller you must seize any opportunity which happens to turn up.

With true Russian punctuality, instead of starting to-morrow morning, he started the day after to-morrow morning.

It took us about three days and a half to reach Sakhalin.

---end of quote---

The Lancet, Volume 158, July 21, 1900, page 226

Obituary

Benjamin Howard, M.A., M.D. NEW YORK
M.R.C.S. ENG., F.R.C.S. EDIN.


New York Times, June 23, 1900

DEATH LIST OF A DAY: Dr. Benjamin Douglas Howard.

Don't know if this is particularly germane here, but I'll throw it in. An article with allegations that Scotland Yard suspected a prominent resident of Grosvenor Square and that armed medical students were patrolling Whitechapel dresses as women.

The Daily Argus News (Crawfordsville, Indiana), Oct 11, 1888, Page 1

Looking For The Fiend
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-21-2011, 01:11 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

Russian playwright Anton Chekhov visited Sakhalin island in 1890 and mentioned Dr. Howard in his book.

Sakhalin Island
Anton Chekhov ; translated by Brian Reeve.
Author: Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904.
Published: Oxford : Oneworld Classics, 2007.

note on pages 370-1

"Major Sh., to do him justice, treated my literary profession with the fullest respect, and the entire time I lived at Korsakovsk he tried in every way to prevent life being tedious for me. Previously, several weeks before my arrival in the south [of Sakhalin on September 12, 1890 (see page 174)], he had taken a lot of trouble with the Englishman Howard, an adventure seeker and a literary man, too, who had been shipwrecked in the Aniva on a Japanese junk and who later on wrote some fairly considerable nonsense about the Ainos in his book Life with Trans-Siberian Savages."

description of Major Sh. from page 177

"I also became acquainted here with Major Sh., Governor of the Korsakovsk Convict-Exile Prison, who had served previously under General Gresser in the St. Petersburg Police. He was a tall, plump man, with that solid carriage, commanding of respect, which till the present time I have chanced to observe only in urban and rural district police inspectors."

Howard's Trans-Siberian Savages book inspired such incredulity in one reader that he doubted that Howard even existed.

The Academy, Volume 44, September 2, 1893, page 195, column 3

This is Howard's response, which places him in London in 1893.

The Academy, Volume 44, Nov 25, 1893, page 44, column 1
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:02 AM
Ozzy Ozzy is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Bar Of Gold Upper Swandam Lane
Posts: 131
Default

I don't post much here but feel that I must delurk for a moment. Even if it's just to let you know that somebody is reading it.
I doubt I'm up to date on all Ripper finds and maybe all this info is already documented elsewhere. All I can say is all this is news to me so thanks. I've wanted to know more about this Dr Howard for a long time and I've never seen that piece from the San Francisco Call.
Strange nobody else has posted even if just to say this is all well known.
Thanks again.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:34 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

Thanks for the comment. I'm not entirely certain how much of this is new, either.

This is an 1896 interview of Howard after his "fourth visit" to Russia. Howard says that he examined the prison system in America.

The Glasgow Herald, Dec 19, 1896, page 4

Russia's Penal System
Dr Benjamin Howard on Siberia and Saghalien

It is similar or identical to the interview that appeared in The Times of December 19th, on page 8, column 5.

This critical article about Henry S. Bergh, founder of the ASPCA, includes an accusing letter Bergh wrote to Howard:

New York Medical Journal, Volume 5, April 1867, page 71

Varia
Mr. Bergh and the Doctors

The section about Howard begins at the bottom of page 75.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-01-2011, 11:24 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

A passage from page 375 of Howard's Prisoners of Russia seems to allude to the case of George Henry Lamson, a surgeon who was executed for the murder of his brother-in-law:

"I need hardly say that aconite is not only a most deadly poison, but that its presence in the human body is almost beyond the range of detection even by an expert toxicologist, as was shown a few years ago in a famous trial of which a small slab in the murderers' row in Wardsworth [sic] prison is now the principal monument."


Modern English Biography (1897), Volume 2, columns 286-287
By Frederic Boase

LAMSON, George Henry (son of rev. W. O. Lamson, chaplain to the American ambulance during Franco-German war 1870). b. New York 8 Sep. 1852; resided with his parents in Paris 1858-70; studied medicine in Paris 1869-70; assistant surgeon to the American ambulance during Franco-German war 1870; surgeon in Paris during the siege, for which he received the bronze cross; graduated M.D. in Univ. of Pennsylvania 1872; a surgeon at Ferry Town, New York to 1874; at Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1874-6; came to England, Sep. 1876 at invitation of secretary of the League in aid of the Christians in Turkey; surgeon-in-chief to military hospital at Semendria, received a gold medal for bravery; chief of the English military hospital at Costo Foro, Bucharest, during Russo-Turkish war Aug. 1877 to March 1878; was snowed up six days without food on his way back from Plevna to Bucharest; received Star of Roumania and Turkish order of the Medjidie at end of the war 1878; L.R.C.P. Edinb., L.R.C.S. Edinb. and L.M.C.S. Edinb. May 1878; practised at Rotherfield, Tunbridge Wells, May 1878; bought a practice at Bournemouth for £400,1879; went for a six months' trip to America, April 1880; sold his practice and left Bournemouth, April 1881. (m. 16 Oct 1878 Kate eld. child of Wm. John of Manchester, merchant); poisoned his brother-in-law Percy Malcolm John with aconitine at Wm. Henry Bedbrook's school, Blenheim house, 2 and 4 St. George's road, Wimbledon 3 Dec. 1881; surrendered himself at Scotland yard 7 Dec. 1881; tried before sir Henry Hawkins at the Old Bailey 9-14 March 1882, when found guilty and sentenced to death; reprieved twice to enable his friends in America to produce evidence of his insanity; confessed his guilt 27 April 1882; hanged in Wandsworth gaol 28 April 1882. Central criminal court sessions paper. Minutes of evidence, xcv 547-90 (1882); Browne and Stewarts Reports of trials (1883) 514-67; Law Journal 24 Oct. 1891 pp. 652-3; Montagu Williams's Leaves of a life (1891) 294-300, 348-63; Graphic, xxv 257 (1882), portrait.

---end quote

The Medical Brief, November, 1904, page 936

Notes on Some Remarkable British Cases of Criminal Poisoning
by F. J. Waldo, MA, MD, CANTAB., DPH


In 1872, Howard offered brief testimony at the first trial of Edward Stokes for the shooting of James Fisk in NYC.

New York Times, July 11, 1872, link
The Fisk Murder

His name is given as Howe when first called but given correctly as Howard when recalled.

The New England Medical Gazette, Volume 7, August, 1872, Page 277
The Stokes Trial

pages 284-285 have a bit more testimony from Howard

The paper, which does NOT mention Howard, discusses the medical issues in the Stokes case.

Papers Read before the Medico-Legal Society of New York from its Organization (1882), Page 294
By Medico-Legal Society, Medico-Legal Society of New York

Read December 26th, 1873

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE OF THE STOKES CASE.

Bv Eugene Peugnet, M. D.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-06-2011, 02:23 AM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 579
Default

A couple of skeptical, balanced reviews of Howard's Ainu book. The third is by Yeats.

The Critic, Volume 20, October 21, 1893, page 254

The Ainu of Sakhalin

Life with Trans-Siberian Savages. By B. Douglas Howard. $1.75. Longmans, Green & Co.

Sakhalin, once the Karafuto of the Japanese Empire, and the Saghalien of our old maps, is the Oriental Ultima Thule of the Tsar's dominions. The Russians, on securing the southern half from the Mikado, promptly converted this nearly inaccessible island into a prison for life-convicts. By good fortune, the author, an English traveller, succeeded, as the guest of the Russian commandant, in penetrating into the country beyond the penal settlements. He gives so few marks of time, and so rare are geographical references, that one suspects that, possibly, the book was written in England, after a study of the Rev. John Batchelor's work on "The Ainu of Japan," reviewed some months ago in these columns.

Skepticism apart, however, the book is decidedly interesting. It describes a strange people who live in ways unknown even to the Midway Plaisance. The Ainu women tattoo their upper lips, until one imagines either hideous moustaches or ogress's mouths. Under the rule of the Russians, no intoxicating liquors are allowed, so that a drunken Ainu in Sakhalin is unknown. The author, by means of his watch, pistol, photographic camera and trinkets, won his way to the hearts of these gentle, but far-smelling savages, and was allowed to hear their magic incantations and join them in their hunt after deer and bears. Without disinfecting fluids or drugs, he was able to endure the odoriferous huts and to study their modes of living. They even wished to adopt the obliging white man into their tribes. They made offer of three of the handsomest damsels for his choice; but he fortunately escaped from the trilemma. Preparing to make further study of these savages, who, with their very hairy skins, may possibly be the long-lost missing link, the author suffered shipwreck near the coast of Yezo.

How he got home, or sent his manuscript to be printed, does not appear. Indeed, we are not wholly certain that the account is a real record of things actually seen and experienced. The narrative portion, however, is the most interesting part of the book. The chapters on the religious beliefs and race-traits of the Ainu make tedious reading and are of slight value. How little the author knows of the history and literature of Japan or of the Ainu, is shown by his statements in the preface—one, concerning "the earliest historian of that empire [Japan] nearly three thousand years ago," when no writing, either in Chinese or Japanese, of so distant a date exists; and another, that he finds "only two observers who have written about them," when in English alone there are scores of monographs about the Ainu, written from actual observation. Similar statements abound in the text. In short, if this be a genuine and authentic writing, the author has spoiled his work by not affixing needful marks of veracity, which he could easily have done. A map and index, a few dates and definite geographical references, would have tripled the value of the work and saved it from the just suspicions under which it must continue to lie. Is it romance or science?

---end quote

The Nation, Volume 57, No. 1478, October 26, 1893, page 316

Life with Trans-Siberian Savages. By Douglas Howard, M.A. Longmans, Green & Co. To the four hundred and sixty-five books or papers on the hairy Ainu of Japan and Trans-Siberian Russia enumerated by Prof. B. H. Chamberlain in his bibliography of 1886, and to the eight or ten published since that time, is added another work of peculiar interest. This little book of about two hundred pages is full of strange experiences that are most probably true, and of careless statements that are manifestly untrue. Indeed, it is such a mixture of fact and fiction that an English critic has denounced it as "a romance of adventure of the Rider Haggard school, crowded with incidents quite incredible." It is certain that in late years literary adventurers in book factories like the British Museum, or naval officers visiting the seas of Japan aud oppressed with the vast leisure on their hands, have palmed off works of compilation or imagination as pure narratives of travel or the testimony of eye and ear-witnesses. One has to invoke the aid of the higher criticism and apply its principles to not a few books on the Far East produced during this decade.

Our present author, evidently lacking scholarship in physical geography, ethnology, linguistics, philosophy, and geology, is wholly uninteresting and voluminously inaccurate when he ventures into the domains of these sciences. He rushes rather hilariously into fields where trained experts move with caution. He calls a storm on the west side of Sakhalin and Yezo a "typhoon." He tells us that he enjoys "the distinction of being the only English-speaking individual ever known to have passed a night on any part of that entire island,'' though we have known personally British naval officers who have done so, and an Englishman who lived several months in Sakhalin. Out of the German-Latin-Russian of his Muscovite informant, he learns that "the very oldest book in Japan, a book which was published according to our reckoning (712) seven hundred and twelve years before Christ, states as follows" concerning the Ainu, etc. Now, the 'Kojiki,' or Notices of Ancient Things, here referred to, was committed to writing 712 A. D. Nevertheless, from the idea that the Ainu "are historic as a formidable race" in Japan "2,604 or 3,000 years" ago, it follows that " the Ainus of Sakhalin existed for unknown ages before that," and on this theory the author builds other theories that damage his book, reducing to nonsense the greater part of his elaborate chapters on Ainu ethnology, history, and theology. Mr. Howard speaks of "the syllabic character of the Ainu language, in which respect it is entirely unique among the languages of all other neighboring peoples," when the Japanese is nothing else than syllabic. The kana syllabary of Japan illustrates one of the three ways in which language can be written, the Chinese being logo- or ideo-graphic, and the Corean, with its true alphabet, being phonetic. Other careless statements, of which these are samples, abound in Mr. Howards pages.

Apart from these defects, and regarding the work as a narrative of personal adventure, we see little, from what we know, through Japanese and other books and actual visitors, of Sakhalin and the Ainu which seems at all incredible or false. What the author says in general about the nine months' unbroken winter, notwithstanding that Sakhalin and France are in much the same latitude, the amazing hauls of salmon, the wolfish dogs and their fish-catching powers, the odorousness of the aborigines in a soapless land, their skill in deer- and their valor iu bear-hunting, and their arrow-poison, do not seem unduly wonderful, but are in accord with the literature and science of the subject. To those not versed in these, and to the old reader about Ainus, the narrative of things seen, apart from the author's speculations, is a fascinating one, and the book is of real value.

The author says he loft London in 1889 to study the Russian prison system, of which Sakhalin, ceded, as to its southern half, by the Japanese to Russia, in exchange for several of the most northern of the Kurile islands, is a part. To this outer verge of the Czar's dominions, life-prisoners, or the worst of all, are sentenced. By favor of a Russian prince, he secured an invitation to visit Sakhalin with the commandant. In the hospital he found an Ainu woman treated for syphilitic disease communicated by one of the exiles. With tattooed lips, shell-hung ears, amazing luxuriance of head-hair, and with "neck, chest, arms and . . . the whole body . . . more hairy than the most hairy man I ever saw," she seemed a "phenomenon"; whereupon he resolved to visit the Ainu in their forest home. Driven some miles inland by a convict driver, he was kindly received, and, apparently without the smelling-salts and insect powder with which Miss Bird provided herself as aids to ethnological research, he spent some weeks among this ancient and possibly Aryan fragment of humanity. The huts for the storage of dried fish and other food, weapons, etc., were on platforms twelve feet high. In a great hut ten times larger was their place for dressing game or fish. Once a year Japanese traders are allowed to come and barter pots and kettles, knives, arrow-heads, cotton cloth, rice, tobacco, etc., for furs and skins. Unlike their brethren in Yezo, who are being gradually debased off the face of the earth by alcoholic liquors, the Sakhalin Ainu, by Russian law, have no access to either sake' or vodka. The Ainu house is made of thatch laid on walls five feet high. A shallow pit in the centre of the mud floor, and a hole in the roof for a chimney and one at the side for a window, complete the structure. In winter the snow masses brace up and keep warm this odorous dwelling of men, whose own name is alleged to mean 'who-smell-of-their-ancestors.' The summer is devoted to catching and preparing fish for winter consumption, in hunting deer and bear. The author gives vivid accounts of the making and use of the inao, or whittled sticks, with the long curled shavings kept on, which are set up in every place of omen, danger, tabu, or sacred import. We know of no book about the Ainu which presents so vividly, and details so fully, the method of making and using these sacred emblems.

Pretty full accounts are given of the women, who are solid-looking, ugly, and with very thick necks, owing to the habit of carrying heavy loads slung from the forehead. The making of Ainu arrow-poison is fully described; the active principle which quickly paralyzes the muscles of the wounded animal being derived from aconite. With pulverized spiders and foxgall a paste is made and thickly spread upon the flat side of the arrow-head, which is lashed lightly to the shaft in order to remain in the wound after all but the head is broken off. The hunters quickly cut out the flesh around the wound, and also remove and bury the animal's heart so that the dogs may not eat it. An Ainu funeral, incantations, and many curious customs are also interestingly described. In vain the savages tempted the Englishman to cast in his lot with them, by offering him two or three of the ugliest young beauties of the village. He left them, regained the Russians, and visited Yezo.

---end quote

The Speaker, Volume 8, October 7, 1893, page 385

The Ainu

This review is listed among Yeats' early writings here.


New York Times, November 23, 1884, Page 1

News of the Old World

Cholera Notes

"Dr. Benjamin Howard, of London, and formerly of New York, where he was called as an expert in the Stokes case, has gone to Paris to study the cholera in the hospitals."
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.