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Gerritt Smith has finally commenced his libel suit against the Chicago Tribune, laying his damages at fifty thousand dollars. The suit is entered in the United States Circuit Court, before Judge Drummond. Mr. Smith was willing to forego the judicial proceedings if the Tribune would publish a retraction dictated by himself. This the Tribune refused to do, preferring to fight it out in the courts.

It is computed that the commerce of the lakes amounts to, at present, at least twelve hundred millions of dollars annually, and that two thousand vessels are employed in it. It sends to the seaboard one hundred millions of bushels of grain, two millions of hogs and half a million of cattle annually.

At the request of Quartermaster-General Meigs, the Paymaster-General has stopped the pay of nearly one hundred officers of the Quartermaster's Department until they shall have rendered to the Quartermaster-General the returns and accounts required of them by the law and regulations of the Department.

The commerce of the world is estimated to require three million six hundred thousand able-bodied men to be constantly traversing the ocean, of whom seven thousand five hundred die every year. The amount of property moved on the water is from fifteen hundred to two thousand millions of dollars, and the amount annually lost by the casualties of the sea average twenty-five millions of dollars.

Peter Klasser, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, killed himself by drinking whisky that had stood in a copper kettle several days, at Plum creek, last week. He died in half an hour, and a man who drank with him died in an hour, and his wife, who drank but little, came near dying.

General Swayne, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Alabama, has issued an order to the officers of the Freedmen's Bureau, which, in effect, nullifies the laws passed by the Legislature in regard to freedmen.

A gentleman from Texas says that it is not known what has become of Senator Wigfall. It is considered certain that he has not crossed the State into Mexico, and if in the United States his locality is a secret. Many believe that he is dead.

The Reading Railroad Company, of Pennsylvania, it is stated, contemplate placing four tracks on their road--two for passengers and two for freight. They have now three tracks over a good portion of the road.

It is said that General Gideon J. Pillow, of Maury county, Tennessee, is building a large school-house and providing teachers for his former slaves. He owned some two or three hundred.

Major-General Buford, of the late Confederate army, was in Cincinnati on Thursday last, on his way to Woodford county, Ky.

We were pleased to see in our city yesterday General A. P. Stewart, of the late Confederate army, on his way to New Orleans.--Vicksburg Herald, 19th

The colored people of the District of Columbia will hold a convention on January & to ask for suffrage.

Masonic Ball in Norfolk.--Atlantic Lodge had a grand ball on the 27th.

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