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BLACK JACK-BLACK RIVER
Black Jack. 1. A term loosely applied by miners to blende, the sulphuret of zinc, or to any other ore which resembles it in being obnoxious to them, if in no other respect.
2. One of several small oak trees of the southeastern coast, especially Quercus Marylandica, which has a rough, dark, scaly bark, and peculiar broadly wedge-shaped 3-5 lobed leaves, dark green and lustrous above, and somewhat rusty beneath.
Black Knight, The, a name given by romantic writers to various heroic characters. In Scott's Ivanhoe' Richard Coeur de Lion masquerades as the Black Knight. The Knight Esplandian, son of Amadis of Gaul and Oriana, is also so called. In the Arthurian legend the Black Knight, Sir Peread, was one of the four brothers who kept the passage of Castle Dangerous.
Black Law, in the United States the name given to certain laws in force before the Civil War in many of the northern and border States discriminating against free negroes who might become citizens. Such laws excluded negroes from the public schools and from the militia, forbade them to testify in court against a white man, or in any case in which a white man was interested.
Black Lead. See GRAPHITE.
Black Letter, that variety of type otherwise designated Gothic, and which in a modified form is the ordinary type made use of in Germany, although in recent years there has been a tendency to employ the Roman letter, the Gothic type being considered injurious to the eyes. The earliest printed books were in black letter. See PRINTING.
Black Lilly. See FRITILLARY.
Black List, a list of bankrupts or other persons whose names are officially known as failing to meet pecuniary engagements. The term is also applied to a list of employees who have been discharged by a firm or corporation and against whom some objection is made and reported to other firms or corporations to prevent them obtaining employment. Blacklisting is made a punishable offense by the laws of some States. See Eddy, 'Laws of Combinations' (1901).
Black Monday. (1) A name for Easter Monday, in remembrance of the dreadful experiences of the army of Edward III., before Paris, on Easter Monday 14 April 1360. Many soldiers and horses perished from the extreme cold. (2) The 27th of February, 1865, a memorable day in Melbourne, Australia, when a destructive sirocco prevailed in the surrounding country.
Black Mountains, the culminating group of the Appalachian system, named from the dark growth of balsam-firs and other evergreens which cover their summits. Their position is in Yancey and Buncombe counties, North Carolina, between the main central ridges on the west and a portion of the Blue Ridge on the east. Unlike the other ridges of the Alleghanies, they lie for the most part transverse to the general trend of the range, and give this direction to the great valleys and rivers included between them. They rise from a district of great elevation, the height of the valley at Asheville, on the French Broad River, being about 2,000 feet above the sea, and that of Toe River, at Burns
ville, Yancey County, about 2,500 feet. From this plateau the drainage is toward the Ohio in a northerly direction by the branches of the Great Kanawha, by those of the Holston and the French Broad toward the southwest, and by those of the Yadkin and the Catawba into the Pedee and Santee toward the southeast. This position at the sources of streams flowing in such diverse directions, long since pointed out this district as probably the most elevated east of the Rocky Mountains. The chief peaks are Mitchell, 6,710, and Clingman's Peak, Guyot's Peak, or Balsam Cone, Sandoz Knob, Hairy Bear, Cat Tail Peak, Gibbe's Peak, Sugar Loaf, or Hallback Peak, Potato Top, Black Knob, Bowler's Pyramid, Roan Mountain, all of which are above 6,500 feet in height.
Black Prince (EDWARD, PRInce of Wales), the son of Edward III. of England. He is thus styled in history by reason of the color of his armor. He died in 1376 and his son became king in 1377 as Richard II.
Black-quarter, an apoplectic disease which attacks cattle, indicated by lameness of the forefoot, one of the limbs swelling, and after death being suffused with black blood, which also is found throughout the body. The disease, which chiefly attacks young cattle, is due to undrained fertile pasture, or to the too rapid transference of the cattle from poorer to richer soils. It is difficult to cure, but may be prevented by thorough draining or by giving regular doses of nitre to all the animals. The usual treatment consists in blood-letting, cutting into the swollen parts, and administering first nitre and afterward ammonium acetate and purgatives. In the United States the disease is especially prevalent in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Colorado.
Black Republic, a name applied to the Republic of Haiti, which is under the dominion of the African race.
Black Republicans, a name applied to those members of the Republican party, who resisted the introduction of slavery into any State where it was not already recognized.
Black River, the name of several American rivers. (1) A river which rises in New York in Herkimer County, and after passing through Oneida and Lewis counties, changes its course at a place called Great Bend, passes by Watertown, and flows through Black River Bay into Lake Ontario. Near Turin, in Lewis County, it has a fall of about 63 feet. Below the fall, it is navigable to Carthage, a distance of 40 miles. The whole length of the river is 125 miles, and its breadth at Watertown (six miles from its mouth) is 60 yards. (2) A river of Missouri and Arkansas, also known as the Big Black River, the largest affluent of White River. It rises in the southeastern part of the former State, takes a southerly course, enters Arkansas, and joins the White River 40 miles below Batesville. During nine months of the year it is navigable for a distance of 100 miles from its mouth. Its entire length is about 400 miles. Trout and other excellent fish are caught in its waters in great abundance. (3) A river of Wisconsin. It rises in Marathon County and enters the Mississippi 15 miles above La Crosse, after a course of 225 miles. (4) A river of Vermont which rises in the town of Plymouth and
BLACK RIVER FALLS-BLACKADDER
is a tributary of the Connecticut. Its abundant water power is utilized by various manufactories along its course. (5) A portion of the Washita River in Louisiana between the mouth of the Tensaw River and the Red River; also sometimes styled Black River.
Black River Falls, Wis., a city and the county-seat of Jackson County, 171 miles north of Milwaukee. A fine water power is afforded by the falls of the Black River, and there are flour and lumber mills, wagon and other factories, foundaries, machine shops, and nurseries. There are iron mines in the neighborhood, and kaolin deposits from which fire-brick are manufactured. Pop. (1900) 1,938.
Black Rock Desert, a tract of nearly 1,000 square miles, north of Pyramid Lake, in Nevada. In summer it is a barren level of alkali and in winter covered in places with shallow water. Called also "Mud Lakes."
Black Rod, Usher of the, an officer of the House of Lords, appointed by letters patent. from the Crown, and employed to execute orders for the commitment of parties guilty of breach of privilege and contempt, to assist at the introduction of peers and other ceremonies; and to summon the Commons to attend in the House of Lords when the royal assent is given to bills. His proper title is gentleman-usher of the black rod; that of his deputy, yeoman-usher.
Black Rood of Scotland, a cross of gold in the form of a casket, alleged to contain a piece of the true Cross. It was brought to Scotland in the 11th century by Margaret, queen of Malcolm III.; was bequeathed as an heirloom, and regarded as a sacred relic. It was delivered to Edward I. in 1291, but restored to Scotland after the Peace of Northampton in 1328. It was finally taken in battle by the English in 1346, and hung in the Cathedral of Durham until the Reformation, when it disappeared.
Black Saturday, 4 Aug. 1621; so called in Scotland because a violent storm occurred at the very moment the parliament was sitting to enforce episcopacy on the people. The name has also been applied to 10 Sept. 1547 on which date the disastrous battle of Pinkie was fought.
Black Sea (Lat. Pontus Euxinus), a sea situated between Europe and Asia, and bounded on the west by Turkey, Bulgaria, and Rumania, northwest, north and east by the Russian dominions, and on the south by Anatolia (Asia Minor), being connected with the Mediterranean by the Bosporus, and with the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Yenikale. The area of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov amounts to 168,500 square miles. The water is not so clear as that of the Mediterranean, and, on account of the many large rivers which fall into it, the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper, Don, Kuban, etc.,— being less salt, freezes more readily. The tempests on this sea are sometimes tremendous in winter, as the land which confines its agitated waters gives to them a kind of whirling motion; but being practically clear of islands and rocks its navigation is not difficult on the whole. In 1854 one of its tremendous storms occasioned a very serious loss to the shipping of the allied British and French. The fisheries in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea are not unimportant, various kinds of valuable fish both large and
small being taken; among others, several species of sturgeon. Caviare is made on the coast, as well as fish-glue, fish-oil, and, from the spawn of the sea mullet, botargo. The chief ports are Odessa, Kherson, Nicolaiev, Sebastopol, Novorossisk, Batoum, Trebizond, Samsun, Sinope, and Varna. It contains no islands of any note. After the capture of Constantinople (1453) the Turks excluded all but their own ships from the Black Sea till 1774, when the Russians obtained the right to trade in it, the same right being accorded to Austria in 1784, and to Britain and France in 1802. The preponderance thereafter gained by Russia was one of the causes of the Crimean war, by which she was compelled to cease keeping armed vessels on it, the sea being declared neutral by the Treaty of Paris in 1856. In 1871, however, the sea was deneutralized by a conference of the European powers (France being unrepresented) at London in response to a protest from Russia.
Black Tin, tin ore when dressed, stamped, and washed ready for smelting, forming a black powder. See TIN.
Black-vomit, a form of vomiting occurring usually in severe cases of yellow fever, due to the presence of blood in the stomach. See YELLOW FEVER.
Black Wad, an ore of manganese, used in making chlorine gas and as a drying ingredient in paints. It is an earthy variety of the dioxide found in low-lying districts, and is often mixed with oxides of cobalt or copper.
Black Walnut. See WALNUT.
Black Warrior, an American merchant vessel, seized and confiscated by Cuban customs officers in May 1854. This seizure was used as an excuse for proposed filibustering expeditions against Cuba. Spain, however, made compensation for the seizure.
Black Warrior, a river of Alabama, formed by the confluence of the Locust and Mulberry forks. It flows into the Tombigbee near Demopolis, after a course of 300 miles, and is navigable in its lower course to Tuscaloosa.
Black Watch, The, a famous British regiment, originating as a body of Highlanders, raised about 1668, for the purpose of keeping the peace in the Highlands, and so named from their dark dress. They were embodied in the regular army under the title of the 42d regiment in 1739. It first distinguished itself in the battle of Fontenoy (1745). From 1750 till 1767 the regiment was in America, and on its return it received the title of Royal HighlandIt again served in America during the War of Independence; and in 1801 it particularly distinguished itself in Egypt at the battle of Alexandria. The Black Watch was also present at Napoleon's final defeat in the battle of Waterloo. It has gained special mention for its conduct at the Alma, in the Ashantee war, and at Tel-el-Kebir. The regiment was practically annihilated in the Boer war in 1901.
Black Water State, a popular nickname for Nebraska.
Black Witch. See ANI.
Blackadder, John, Scottish preacher: b. 1615; d. December 1685. He entered the Presbyterian ministry and when, in 1662, the episcopal
BLACKBERRY - BLACKBIRD
form of church government was forced upon a people who were generally repugnant to it, Blackadder, so far from complying with the new system, employed himself for several successive Sundays in exposing what he considered its unlawfulness, and, in his own words, entered his "dissent in heaven" against it. He was obliged to demit his charge in favor of an Episcopal incumbent, and in 1670, having performed worship at a conventicle near Dunfermline, where the people had armed themselves for self-defense, he was summoned before the privy council, but contrived to elude their power. On one occasion he preached at Kinkell, near St. Andrews; the people flocked from the metropolitan city to hear him, notwithstanding all the injunctions and surveillance of Archbishop Sharpe. It is said, that on Sharpe desiring the provost to send out the militia to disperse the congregation, he was informed that it was impossible the militia had gone already as worshippers. After spending several months in Holland, in 1680 he returned to Scotland, and in the succeeding year was apprehended, and confined in the state prison upon the Bass Rock, where he died. See Crichton, 'Life of Blackadder) (1823).
Blackberry, various species of Rubus (q.v.), in which the drupelets adhere to the receptacle after ripening. Two general types are common: the trailing or dewberry (q.v.), and the upright, which is more generally known as the blackberry. The leading or representative species of this group is the very variable R. nigrobaccus (R. villosus of some botanists), which since 1841, when the first variety was introduced, has developed numerous varieties and has become in America, but not elsewhere, an important commercial fruit. It is used chiefly as a dessert fruit, but is also preserved, canned and evaporated. The plant thrives best on a northern slope and on rather heavy, loamy soils retentive of moisture but well drained. The soil must not be rich in nitrogenous food, since this tends to increase wood at the expense of fruitfulness. On light soils the plants are likely to suffer from lack of moisture in dry seasons. Potash fertilizers are required in abundance. Plants are usually propagated from root cuttings or suckers, and when one season old the smaller varieties are set in the field usually three by eight feet apart, the larger four by ten or else in checks six by six feet or more. When set in checks cultivation may be given both ways. For cultivation, diseases, etc., see RASPBERRY. In Europe the bramble (R. fruticosus) is called the blackberry. It is not extensively cultivated. Consult: Bailey and Miller, Cyclopædia of American Horticulture' (1900-2); Card, 'Bush Fruits (1901).
Blackberry Lily (LEOPARD FLOWER) (Belamcanda punctata), a perennial herb, out of the two species of its genus of the natural order Iridacea, native of Japan and China and long cultivated as a garden plant for its orange, redspotted flowers. Its popular names were suggested by the blackberry-like clusters of round ish seeds and the spotted flowers. The seed stalks are occasionally used for decoration with dried grass. The seeds may be sown in a sunny place where the soil is light and rich, and in after years the root-stocks may be divided.
Blackbird, the name given to two distinct species of birds: (1) The American grakles (q.v.) of the family Isteride, which consists of about a dozen species differing in size and color. (2) The English song-thrush or "merle." Four species are known in the eastern States, namely: the purple grakle, and rusty grakle, the redwinged blackbird, and the cow-bird. The most familiar American one is the crowblackbird, more properly termed purple-grakle, because of the iridescent or metallic gloss on its plumage. This bird is found throughout the entire East, and as far west as Dakota. It is the largest variety, being 12 inches in length. In the spring flocks of these grakles are found among the advance guard of the returning hosts of the homeward-bound migrants, although many remain in the southern States throughout the entire winter season. Their nests, located along the edges of the swamps, are rude, strong structures of sticks and reeds, placed among the branches of bushes, in the tops of tall pine trees, or in holes of old tree-stumps. The eggs are remarkably varied in size, shape and color, some being pointed, others long and slender, while others are nearly globular, the length averaging about 1.25 by .90 of an inch. color is any shade of dirty white, light-blue or green, and the markings consist of confused blotches, scratches, and straggling lines of various dark tints. A bird similar in its habits and mode of life to the purple-grakle is the rusty blackbird, lacking only the metallic hues, its plumage being rusty black. The marshes where they breed are great centres of blackbird population, and there they collect in great flocks of young and old as the end of the season approaches. At this time they visit any neighboring fields of Indian corn, sometimes in hordes, to tear open the husks, feed upon the milky kernels, and make themselves obnoxious to the farmers, although, indisputably, they are, on the whole, beneficial by their destruction of insects. The red-winged blackbird (Agelæus phæniceus), a variety of which is also found on the Pacific coast, varies in color from the bird of the eastern States, in the fact that it has on the wing a dark, blood-red patch, bordered with pure white, the other possessing only the scarlet patches on each shoulder, from which it takes its name. The nests of the red-winged blackbird are placed near the ground, among reeds or in small bushes and swamps. The eggs are smaller and lighter in color than those of the grakle, but resemble them in the scrawled markings. The French-Canadians call them "officerbirds." The impression upon the beholder, as he gazes at the prodigious flocks of tens of thousands of these red-epauleted blackbirds, when gathered upon the marshes preparing for the fall migrations, and wheeling in regular lines as they fly, their epaulets glistening in the sun, is that of an army of soldiers. Besides these, there is found in the middle west the handsomest of the family, the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), in which the whole head and throat are rich orange-yellow. The females of all these species are strikingly contrasted in plumage to their mates, having only a streaked brown dress instead of glossy black and red or yellow of the males. The young resemble the females in their protected dullness of plumage. For the English Blackbird, see SONG THRUSH. For the cow-bird, see Cow-BIRD.