NICOTINE                                                 1349                                             NIGHTHAWK

sure, but it easily dissolves in nitric acid. It is now used as an alloy .with copper and zinc in German silver and is largely used for plating articles of iron and steel. In some alloys it is used for coins. It is also extensively used in steel for armor plates, cannon etc. The ore, in different forms, is found in Canada, Norway, Germany, Hungary, France and the United States.

Nic'otine. See Poisons.

Niebuhr {nę'bodr'), Barthold Qeorg, a distinguished modern historian, was born at Copenhagen, Aug. 27, 1776. After careful study at Kiel, he devoted himself to the study of natural sciences at .London and Edinburgh. In 1800 he married and entered the Danish state service, from which he resigned in 1806 to enter the Prussian state

Í           service. From 1810 to 1812 he gave a

course of lectures at the new University of Berlin on Roman history. From i8i6to 1823 he was German ambassador to the papal court. He died at Bonn, Prussia, Jan. 2,1813. Some of his works are Lectures on the History of Rome, Lectures on Ancient History and History of Byzantium.

Niémen (ne'men), a river in western Russia, rises a few miles south of the city of Minsk, divides into two branches below Tilsit, and empties into Kurisches Haff by four mouths to each branch. It is 500 miles long and navigable as far as Grodno.

Ni'ger, the name generally applied to a remarkable river system of western equatorial Africa, emptying into the Gulf of Guinea. It was thought to be a tributary of the Nile; then of the Kongo; and then supposed to terminate in an inland basin; but the work of Mungo Park and others has settled all but 70 or 80 miles of its length. The Niger proper is 2,600 miles long, and its drainage basin has an area of 1,023,280 square miles. The headwaters are in the present states of Samory, near the headwaters of the Senegal; but the Tembi, rising in the Loma Mountains, 3,000 feet above the sea, is the actual source. From the source to Timbuktu the river has only a few small tributaries, but some distance below here it is joined by the Benuë, or Mother of Waters, traveling 860 miles from the east. Thence the river flows to its mouth, where a beautiful delta is formed. The navigation is free, but the trade, chiefly in palm oil, is under the control of Great Britain. See Joseph Thomson's Mungo Park and the Niger.

Niger'ia, Northern and Southern (formerly the Niger Territories, until Jan. 1, 1900, administered by the Royal Niger Company, but now under the control of the British Crown, along with Lagos colony). Nigeria covers an area in western Africa estimated at 310,000 square miles, with a population placed at 25 millions. It is bounded on the north by the French Military Territory, on the east by Kamerun, on the south

by the Gulf of Guinea and on the west by Dahomé. For administrative purposes this vast region is divided into two governments, those of Northern and Southern Nigeria. They embrace the area once the Fula or Sokoto empire, with the subordinate sultanates of Gandu, Kano, Bornu, Benin, etc., watered by the Niger and its tributaries. On the Gulf of Guinea the territories have a seaboard of about 120 miles in length, on which are the towns Akassa, at the mouth of the Niger, the British naval headquarters; Bonny, Wari, Old Calabar and New Calabar. A military force is stationed in southern Nigeria, partly at Aaaba and partly at Akassa. The capital of Northern Nigeria is Zungeru, a new one in the direction of Kano, eastward toward Bornu, in a healthier and higher region more suitable for Europeans. Northern Nigeria with 256,400 square miles has a large trade to the mart of Kano by caravan from Salaga in the west, Tripoli, Morocco and the Sahara in the north and Lake Chad and Wadai in the east. The imports are principally cottons, hardware and salt. A light railway runs from Zungeru to Bari-Juko, twenty-four miles, and the survey for its extension to Zaria and Kano is finished. Five stern-wheel steamers, three steam launches and a steam pinnace belonging to the government are on the Niger, and the telegraph runs from the Lagos frontier to Jebba and thence to Lokoja, Zungeru, Zaria and other points, a total of 1,701 miles.

Southern Nigeria has an estimated area of 49,700 square miles and population of 3,055,600, with the seat of government at Old Calabar. Forcados and Old Calabar are joined by telegraph with Lagos, Bonny, Brass and other points, a total of 195 miles. Spirits are prohibited in Northern but not in Southern Nigeria. The chief products are rubber, gum, hides, ivory, palm oil and palm kernels. Northern Nigeria is rich in agricultural resources, cotton being largely grown and now manufactured. Here are found the Hausa race, who carry on the internal trade by means of caravans in Central Sudan.

Night'hawk, an American insect-catching bird related to the whip-poor-will, a member of the goatsucker family. It is quiet all day but flies at dusk and is often called the bull-bat. It is common in many parts of the United States from May to October, and may be seen at nightfall, high in the air, sailing back and forth in search of flying insects. It is about the size of the robin, of a dark color mottled with gray, and can always be recognized from its wide wing-spread, making it seem longer than the robin, and its white wing spots,conspicuous in flight, distinguishing it from the whip-poor-will, for which it is often mistaken. It is sometimes called night-jar, and also goes by the name of mosquito-hawk; names more apt than