Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Roman or “Old”), 99,114 Protestants and 556 Jews (mostly in the town of St Gall). Its capital is St Gall, the other most populous places being Tablat (pop. 12,590), Rorschach (9140), Altstatten (8724), Straubenzell (8090), Gossau (6055) and Wattwil (4971). In the southern and more Alpine portion of the canton the inhabitants mainly follow pastoral pursuits. In 1896 the number of “alps” or mountain pastures in the canton amounted to 304, capable of supporting 21,744 cows, and of an estimated total value of nearly 14 million francs. In the central and northern regions agriculture is generally combined with manufactures.

The canton is one of the most industrial in Switzerland. Cottonspinning is widely spread, though cloth-weaving has declined. But the characteristic industry is the manufacture, mostly by machines, of muslin, embroidery and lace. It is reckoned that the value of the embroideries and lace exported from the canton amounts to about one-seventh of the total value of the exports from Switzerland. The canton is divided into fifteen administrative districts, which comprise ninety-three communes.

The existing constitution dates from 1890. The legislature or Grossrat is elected by the communes, each commune of 1500 inhabitants or less having a right to one member, and as many more as the divisor 1500, or fraction over 750, justifies. Members hold office for three years. For the election of the seven members of the executive or Regierungsrat, who also hold office for three years, all the communes form a single electoral circle. The two members of the federal Ständerat are named by the legislature, while the thirteen members of the federal Nationalrat are chosen by a popular vote. The right of “facultative referendum” or of “initiative” as to legislative projects belongs to any 4000 citizens, but in case of the revision of the cantonal constitution 10,000 must sign the demand. The canton of St Gall was formed in 1803 and was augmented by many districts that had belonged since 1798 to the canton Linth or Glarus—the upper Toggenburg, Sargans (held since 1483 by the Swiss), Gaster and Uznach (belonging since 1438 to Schwyz and Glarus), Gams (since 1497 the property of the same two members), Werdenberg (owned by Glarus since 1517), Sax (bought by Zürich in 1615), and Rapperswil (since 1712 under the protection of Zürich, Bern and Glarus).

Authorities.—I. von Arx, Geschichte d. Kant. St Gall (3 vols., 1810–1813); G. J. Baumgartner, Gesehichte d. schweiz. Freislaates u. Kant. St Gall (3 vols., Zürich and Stuttgart, 1868–1890); H. Fehr, Staat u. Kirche in St Gall (1899); W. Götzinger, Die romanischen Namen d. Kant. St Gall (1891); O. Henne am Rhyn, Geschichte d. Kant. St Gall von 1861 (1896); Der Kanton St Gall, 1803–1903 (1903); J. Kuoni, Sagen des Kantons St Gallen (St Gall, 1903); St Gallische Geschichtsquellen, edited by G. Meyer von Kronau; Mittleilungen z. vaterländischen Geschichte (publ. by the Cantonal Hist. Soc., from 1861); Th. Schlatter, Romanische Volksnamen und Verwandtes (St Gall, 1903); T. Schneider, Die Alpwirtschafl im Kanton St Gall (Soleure, 1896); A. Steinmann, Die ostschweizerische Stickerei-Industrie (Zürich, 1905); Urkundenbuch d. A.btei St Gall, edited by H. Wartmann; H. Wartmann, “Die geschichtliche Entwickelung d. Stadt St Gall bis 1454” (article in vol. xvi., 1868, of the Archiv f. Schweizer Geschichte), and Franz Weidmann, Geschichte d. Stifts u. Landschaft St Gall (1834). (W. A. B. C.) 

ST GALL, capital of the Swiss canton of that name, is situated in the upland valley of the Steinach, 2195 ft. above the sea-level. It is by rail 9 m. S.W. of Rorschach, its port on the lake of Constance, and 53 m. E. of Zürich. The older or central portion of the town retains the air of a small rural capital, but the newer quarters present the aspect of a modern commercial centre. At either extremity considerable suburbs merge in the neighbouring towns of Tablat and of Straubenzell. Its chief building is the abbey church of the celebrated old monastery. This has been a cathedral church since 1846. In its present form it was constructed in 1756–1765. The famous library is housed in the former palace of the abbot, and is one of the most renowned in Europe by reason of its rich treasures of early MSS. and printed books. Other portions of the monastic buildings are used as the offices of the cantonal authorities, and contain the extensive archives both of this monastery and of that of Pfafers. The ancient churches of St Magnus (Old Catholics) and of St Lawrence (Protestant) were restored in the 19th century. The town library, which is rich in Reformation and post-Reformation MSS. and books, is in the buildings of the cantonal school. The museum contains antiquarian, historical and natural history collections, while the new museum of industrial art has an extensive collection of embroideries of all ages and dates. There are a number of fine modern buildings, such as the Bourse. The town is the centre of the Swiss muslin, embroidery and lace trade. About 10,000 persons were in 1900 occupied in and near the town with the embroidery industry, and about 49,000 in the canton. Cold and fogs prevail in winter (though the town is protected against the north wind), but the heat in summer is rarely intense. In 1900 the population was 33,116 (having just doubled since 1870), of whom almost all were German-speaking, while the Protestants numbered 17,572, the Catholics (Roman or “Old”) 15,006 and the Jews 419.

The town of St Gall owes its origin to St Gall, an Irish hermit, who in 614, built his cell in the thick forest which then covered the site of the future monastery, and lived there, with a few companions, till his death in 640. Many pilgrims later found their way to his cell, and about the middle of the 8th century the collection of hermits’ dwellings was transformed into regularly organized Benedictine monastery. For the next three centuries this was one of the chief seats of learning and education in Europe. About 954 the monastery and its buildings were surrounded by walls as a protection against the Saracens, and this was the origin of the town. The temporal powers of the abbots vastly increased, while in the 13th century the town obtained divers privileges from the emperor and from the abbot, who about 1205 became a prince of the Empire. In 1311 St Gall became a free imperial city, and about 1353 the gilds, headed by that of the cloth-weavers, obtained the control of the civic government, while in 1415 it bought its liberty from the German king Sigismund. This growing independence did not please the abbot, who struggled long against it and his rebellious subjects in Appenzell, which formed the central portion of his dominions. After the victory of the Appenzellers at the battle of the Stoss (1405) they became (1411) “allies” of the Swiss confederation, as did the town of St Gall a few months later, this Connexion becoming an “everlasting” alliance in 1454, while in 1457 the town was finally freed from the abbot. The abbot, too, became (in 1451) the ally of Zürich, Lucerne, Schwyz and Glarus. In 1468 he bought the county of the Toggenburg from the representatives of its counts, a family which had died out in 1436, and in 1487 built a monastery above Rorschach as a place of refuge against the turbulent citizens, who, however, destroyed it in 1489. The Swiss intervened to protect the abbot, who (1490) concluded an alliance with them which reduced his position almost to that of a “subject district.” The townsmen adopted the Reformation in 1524, and this new cause of difference further envenomed their relations with the abbots. Both abbot and town were admitted regularly to the Swiss diet, occupying a. higher position than the rest of the “allies” save Bienne, which was on the same footing. But neither succeeded in its attempts to be received a full member of the Confederation, the abbot being too much like a petty monarch and at the same time a kind of “subject” already, while the town could not help much in the way of soldiers. In 1798 and finally in 1805 the abbey was secularized, while out of its dominions (save the Upper Toggenburg, but with the Altstätten district, held since 1490 by the Swiss) and those of the town the canton Säntis was formed, with St Gall as capital.  (W. A. B. C.) 

SAINT-GAUDENS, AUGUSTUS (1848–1907), American sculptor, was born in Dublin, Ireland, of a French father (a shoemaker by trade), and an Irish mother, Mary McGuinness, on the first of March 1848, and was taken to America in infancy. He was apprenticed to a cameo-cutter, studying in the schools of the Cooper Union (1861) and the National Academy of Design, New York (1865–1866). His earliest work in sculpture was a bronze bust (1867) of his father, Bernard P. E. Saint-Gaudens. In 1868 he went to Paris and became a pupil of Jouffroy in the École des Beaux-Arts. Two years later, with his fellow-student Mercié, he went to Italy, where he spent three years. At Rome he executed his statues “Hiawatha” and “Silence.” He then settled in New York. In 1874 he made a bust of the statesman, William M. Evarts, and was commissioned to execute a large relief for St Thomas’s Church, New York, which brought him