This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
where the largest fleet can lie safely. Reservations for a firstclass naval station have been secured, as also for a military reservation on the slopes of the mountain range in the rear. General Schofield after an inspection of Pearl Harbor in 1872 reported that "it could be completely defended by inexpensive batteries on either or both shores, firing across a narrow channel of entrance. Its waters are deep enough for the largest vessels of war and its lochs are spacious enough for a large number of vessels to ride at anchor in perfect security against all storms." See Hawaii.
Pear'sons, Daniel Kimball, an American philanthropist, was born at Bedford, Vt., April 14, 1820. He graduated in medicine at Woodstock, Vt., and practiced in Chicopee, Mass., until 1857. He became a farmer in Ogle County, 111., in 1857, but in i860 removed to Chicago, where he rapidly accumulated a large fortune in. real estate. For some years he served the city as alderman, and assisted in managing its financial budgets. He is best known through his large gifts to educational eleemosynary institutions, the Presbyterian Hospital of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary (Congregational) being especially favored. There are few of the smaller colleges to which he has not given from $25,000 to $250,000, and his gifts run well up into the millions. He lives at Hinsdale, Illinois.
Pea'ry, Lieut. Robert Edwin, an American naval officer and explorer, was born at Cresson, Pa., May 6, 1856, and educated at Bowdoin College, Maine, where he graduated in 1877. He entered the United States navy as a civil engineer, Oct. 26, 1881. For several years succeeding he was engaged in surveys connected with Nicaragua Canal, but in 1886 made a trip along the coasts of Greenland in the interests of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. He discovered and named Melville and Heilprin Lands. In 1891-2 his crossing of Greenland's northeastern corner, a round-trip of 1,300 miles, was one of the most remarkable sledge-journeys ever made. He showed then that the eastern and the western coasts meet. In 1902 he conclusively determined Greenland's northern limit, demonstrated that for a considerable distance northward and northeastward there is no land and showed the origin of the floe-bergs and paleocrystic ice. During the 1905-6 expedition he left his ship at 82°2 7' N., and made a sledge-trip that reached 87°6' N., 200.36 miles from the pole, the most northerly point reached yet. In 1908 Peary started on what proved to be a final and successful expedition. Sailing from New York on the steamer Roosevelt in July, he wintered at Cape Sheridan, Grant Land, and on Feb. 15, 1909 he started with a sledge train ©n a dash for the Pole. On
April 6 the Pole, tie long sought goal was reached, the crowning triumph of twenty years of heroic effort. Returning he reached Indian Harbor, the first outpost of civilization, Sept. 6 and announced by wireless "I have the Pole. Lieutenant Peary wrote Northward Over the Great Ice-Cape, and his wife wrote My Artie Journal. See Greenland and Polar Exploration.
Peas'ants' War, an insurrection of the German peasantry, which broke out in 1524, against the oppressions they were suffering at the hands of the nobility and clergy. For a short time it seemed that the peasants would carry everything before them, as they defeated the army sent against them by Archduke Ferdinand, under the command of Von Waldburg; and a number of princes and knights concluded treaties with them, conceding their principal demands. But, unfortunately, the conduct of the insurgents did not accord with the moderation of their demands, as they destroyed convents and castles (more than 1,000 in all), murdered, pillaged and committed other great excesses. In May and June, 1525, they sustained a number of crushing defeats, and were soon after completely overthrown. Multitudes were hanged in the streets, and others were put to death with the most terrible tortures. It is estimated that 150,000 lives were lost during the short period of the Peasants' War.
Peat, a substance formed by the decomposition of plants in marshes and morasses ; it is also sometimes described as a kind of soil formed by the remains of mosses and other marsh-plants. The remains of plants are often so well-preserved in peat that their species can be easily determined; but in the northern parts of the world it is chiefly formed from certain kinds or species of bog-moss. These mosses grow in very wet places, and throw out new shoots from their upper parts, while their lower parts are decaying and forming peat, so that shallow pools are gradually changed into bogs. Moist peat is a decided and powerful antiseptic, as is shown in the preservation not only of ancient trees, leaves and fruits but of animal-bodies. It is claimed that in some instances human bodies have been found preserved in peat after the lapse of centuries. Peat is formed only in the colder regions of the world, as in warmer regions vegetable substances decompose too rapidly. Peat is largely used for fuel in Holland, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland and other European countries, and efforts have been made to bring it into more general use by compressing its bulk, but although numerous machines have been invented and patented for this purpose, the enterprise has not yet proved a complete success.