Block Island, an island in the Atlantic ocean, midway between Montauk Point, at the E. extremity of Long Island, and Point Judith, Rhode Island, 8 m. long and from 2 to 5 m. wide. It belongs to the state of Rhode Island, and constitutes the town of New Shoreham, Newport county; pop. in 1871, 1,113. On the N. W. side is a lighthouse with two fixed lights, 58 ft above the level of the sea; hit. 41° 13' N., lon. 71° 35' W.
Bloemen. I. Jan Fransvan, a Flemish painter, born in Antwerp in 1050, died in Rome in 1740. He was an imitator of Poussin, and was called Orizonte on account of the fine horizons in his Roman landscapes. His best pictures are in the Colonna, Doria, Rospigliosi, and Monte Cavallo palace in Rome. II. Fctcr van, brother of the preceding, born about 1645, died in 1719. He was in Rome till 1099, when he became director of the academy of Antwerp. He excelled chiefly as a painter of battles. The galleries at Berlin, Dresden, and Munich possess some of his pictures.
Bloemfontein, a town of S. Africa, capital of the Orange River Free State, on the Modder river, a tributary of the Vaal, in lat. 29° 8' S., lon. 43° 47' E., about 000 m. N. E. of Cape Town, and 260 m. W. N. W. of Port Natal; pop. 1,200. Under British rule (1848-'54) it was the capital of a district of the same name. Though a small town, it carries on a large commerce in wool and other articles, chiefly with Cape Colony and with the sister republic of Transvaal. It has a theatre, a public school, a club, and a large Dutch Reformed church, besides Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic chapels. The inhabitants are chiefly Boers.
Bloodstone, a variety of quartz, of a dark green color, having little red spots of jasper sprinkled through its mass. When cut and polished, the red spots appear like little drops of blood. It is somewhat prized as a gem.
Blue Earth, a S. county of Minnesota, bounded N. partly by the Minnesota river; area, 760 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 17,302. The Winona and St. Peter, the Minnesota and Northwestern, and the St. Paul and Sioux-City railroads traverse the county. The chief productions in 1870 were 725,879 bushels of wheat, 198,060 of Indian corn, 467,575 of oats, 35,146 of barley, 65,393 of potatoes, 18,994 tons of hay, and 87,971 lbs. of butter. There were 4,402 horses, 11,731 horned cattle, 6,690 sheep, and 5,652 swine. Capital, Mankato.
Blue Lick Springs, a village of Nicholas co., Kentucky, on Licking river, 40 m. N. E. of Frankfort; pop. in 1870, 751. It is celebrated for its mineral waters, which form an article of considerable traffic in various parts of the United States. They contain soda, magnesia, lime, sulphuretted hydrogen, and carbonic acid, in combination with muriates and sulphates.
Blue Mdnday, originally so called from a fashion, prevalent in the 16th century, of decorating the churches on the Monday preceding Lent with blue colors. It was celebrated as a general holiday, and the excesses frequently committed during the revels led to stringent enactments on the subject, amounting almost to an abolition of the custom.