A hundred years ago the young American republic bought from the French government that great tract of land of which the little frontier city of Nouvelle Orleans was the chief settlement. It is a happy chance that brings us together on the centennial anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase in this metropolis of the south.
One hundred years—a small space of time in the world's history, and yet what events have been crowded into this little period! A hundred years ago the country west of the Mississippi was a wilderness. To-day we meet, a national body, the majority, perhaps, of our members coming from what was then forest and prairie, inhabited only by savage and wild beast. And the young democracy, then all but unknown to the powerful empires of the east, has become the dominating factor in the markets of the civilized world.
In this amazing growth and expansion, in