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from populous activity to utter desert so complete as that of the zone trodden by padre Kino and five generations of followers and the lapse seems the greater because so uncharacteristic of occidental progress.

There was reason enough for the

abandonment of the old route as a line of travel and traffic; the increasing safety of shipping first invaded its claims, the partition of Mexico next curtailed its functions, and the railways spanning the continent finally tapped its reservoirs at both termini; yet the factors leading to the abandonment of the route only partially explain the desertion of its purlieus, and serve rather to fix attention on the fact that the entire zone traversed by the trail was gradually impoverished by the long-continued-and short-sighted-overtaxing of its meager resources. When the earliest Caucasian pioneers came, they found the province peopled sparsely with semi-migratory Papago Indians, who wandered afar in search of water, located fields and villages even by the temporary wettings of chance storms, and erected shrines about the more permanent springs and tinajas-Tinajas Altas among others. They also found a fauna of deer and antelope and bighorn with their carniverous consociates, as well as birds, rodents, reptiles, and insects in wide variety and moderate abundance; and as the basis of the motile life they found a varied flora delicately balanced between hard habitat and dependent fauna through eons of adjustment. True, the aggregate vitality was but a fraction of that characteristic of humid lands; yet the deficiency was partly made up by a longer individual life and a closer vital economy growing out of the exceptionally perfect solidarity characteristic of the living things of arid regions, so that the sum of living resources was sufficient for reasonable demands. Two or three generations of Caucasians drew on these resources in the easy way of rest

ful latitudes without serious detriment; the missionaries and couriers followed tribesmen's trails to tribal domiciles, and shared water and food with or without material exchange; their animals found forage in grassy and shrubby spots, while they were able to take game or gather cactus fruits in season with little effort; and so long as they were few, the vital balance established through eons of earth-making was little disturbed. With the third or fourth generation and the gradually increasing numbers of Caucasian travelers, the resources began to suffer; the forage grew scant, the wantonly harried cacti withdrew from the nearer borders, the big game became wary and betook to other ranges; with the decimation of plants and the trampling of stock the soil grew less retentive of the scant moisture, in a ratio probably higher than that following deforestation of humid lands, so that the meager ground-water disappeared, the smaller springs went dry, and the chance tempest brought bane rather than the boon of the olden time; and with each decade of vital degradation the Papago tribesmen withdrew to remoter haunts, or else degenerated into a parasitical dependence on the wells and wastage of the whites. Still the natural balance was not utterly destroyed until the Anglo-Saxon came with that intense energy which balks at no obstacle, brooks no delay; he deepened old wells and dug new to catch the last drops. of dwindling ground-water; he not only drove herds to devastate the enfeebled flora along the way, but stocked the adjacent ranges with cattle and sheep to supply the needs of multiplying travel; and he stopped only at the fortunate conjunction of railway-making on more northerly lines with the utter eradication of the grasses and other forage plants along the old route, and the consequent extinction of the useful fauna and destruction of the minor waters.

The American desert stands apart from

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"Plains still mantled with herbage and grazed by herds of deer as in pre-Columbian times "

that of the Old World in superior vitality; with corresponding conditions of climate and soil, a peculiar flora of leafless, thorny, waxy-skinned, light-utilizing forms, and a distinctive fauna take the place of lifeless sand, and the characteristics of fauna and flora combine with several lines of geologic evidence to prove that the arid provinces grew slowly during several periods, running at least from the early Neocene to the present. It was during these periods that the unparalleled solidarity of our desert life was gradually developed ; *

*As pointed out elsewhere, this solidarity matured on certain lines in agriculture and concomitant zoöculture in the very province traversed by the ancient route. Cf. "The Beginning of Agriculture," American Anthropologist, vol. VIII, 1895, pp. 350-375; "The Beginning of Zoöculture," ibid., vol. x, 1897, pp. 215-230.

from age to age the forms and forces of animal and vegetal life coöperated in common strife against sun and sand, and were forced by the hard environment into a harmonious interrelation in which none could dominate without risk of starvation, none yield unduly without certainty of extinction. Into this complex mechanism the prehistoric forbears of the Papago insinuated themselves so gently as scarce to disturb the relations of parts; into the same mechanism the Papago themselves pushed their way harmlessly when driven into the outer deserts; but the natural interrelations were too delicate to withstand the violent entry of the Anglo-Saxon, and the weaker organisms withered before him. Other provinces have suffered from the brash vigor of Caucasian conquest; forests have been sacrificed and

woodlands despoiled into sterile wastes; fields have been ill-wrought into barrenness and then turned out to wash into neighboring waterways, thereby ruining both hill and dale; mines and quarries have been so unwisely worked as to check other industries for decades and entail public losses far exceeding personal gains. In legion ways the adjustment of American settlers to new environments has been destructive, yet no new contacts have been more disastrous than those between the pioneers from humid fatherlands and the finely-balanced vital solidarities of arid regions; and of all the examples of destructive contact between pioneers and precursors none are more impressive than those so clearly attested by the Old Yuma Trail.

Happily, the dark lines of the picture carry a brighter complement: Scienceand American progress is but science practically applied-advances through experiences, both of success and failure; no success could be more instructive than the failure attested by the aban

donment of the country along the historic route; and this failure at once attests the folly of disregarding natural conditions when settlement is pushed into unfamiliar regions, and indicates the wisdom of weighing natural conditions as means of nature-conquest. The natural potentiality of the country traversed by the old trail is proved by the condition of the neighboring plains on the southern side of the Sonoran boundary which have never been overstockedplains still mantled with herbage and grazed by herds of deer as in pre-Columbian times; and the slow resetting of shrubbery along the old way gives definite promise of restoration to the early state, while the moderate fruitfulness of the Sonoran plains points a way in which the growing resources may be utilized by patient adjustment of industries to natural conditions.

So the wisdom, if not the imperative necessity, of adjusting means to conditions in the reclamation of arid lands is the leadling lesson of the Old Yuma Trail.



N these days geographic exploration


means not merely the topographic distribution of mountain or river, of lake or plain, but also the determination, in a cursory manner at least, of existent vegetable and animal life, of climatic conditions, and especially of the ethnology of inhabited areas.

* Revised and republished by courtesy of the publishers of the New York Tribune.

In forecasting the evolution of any aspect of the twentieth century the soundest base must be the advances of the nineteenth century along like lines of research. Judged by this standard, the present century will perfect the aspirations of the explorer of the last century to make known the entire surface of the earth. Few appreciate the enormous advances in geographic knowledge dur

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by land and sea, material advances came through Parry, Ross, and Franklin, 1819-35, while the voyages of Austin, Belcher, Collinson, McClintock, McClure, Rae, and others in search of Franklin, 1845-'59, completely solved the mystery.

Parry, in three notable voyages, explored the greater part of the islands and waterways north of America half way from Baffin Bay to Bering Strait, passing north of the magnetic pole. John Ross explored the Felix Boothia Peninsula, the north point of the continent of America, while his lieutenant and nephew, James C. Ross, located the north magnetic pole at Cape Adelaide, 70 degrees 5 minutes north, 96 degrees 44 minutes west. The north coasts of America were outlined by the land journeys of Franklin, Beechey, Dease, and Simpson, 1819-'46, from King William Land west to Point Barrow.

Other notable advances have been made in Arctic America by Inglefield, Kane, Hall, Nares, and Greely in Grinnell Land and Northwest Greenland; by Drygalski, Geisecke, Garde, Holm, Steenstrup, and other Danes in Western Greenland; by Scoresby, Graah, Koldewey, Payer, Nordenskjold, Garde, Clavering, Holm, Ryder, and Peary on the east coast, while Nansen and Peary have crossed the inland ice, the latter to the extreme southeastern point of the new land to the north of Greenland, discovered by Greely in 1882.


Spitzbergen has been fully explored by Gaimard, Nordenskjold, Torrell, Leigh Smith, and Conway. Weyprecht and Payer discovered Franz Josef Land, whose limits have been extended and defined by Leigh Smith, Jackson, Nansen, and Wellman. De Long drifted from Bering Strait to the New Siberian Islands, and Nansen's extraordinary continuation of De Long's drift around Spitzbergen has most materially advanced our knowledge of the Siberian and Polar Seas.

Advances toward the North Pole have been made through the exertions of Scoresby, 81 degrees 30 minutes north; Parry, 82 degrees 45 minutes north; Nares, 83 degrees 20 minutes north; Greely, 83 degrees 24 minutes north (the most northerly land as yet); Nansen, 86 degrees 14 minutes north, and Abruzzi, 86 degrees 33 minutes north, within 207 geographic miles of the Pole.

As to the Northeast Passage, Nordenskjold, having faith in both its scientific value and practicability, selected Palander as his navigator. Sailing from Tromsö in 1878, they passed Kara Sea successfully and readily rounded the north cape of Asia. Beset by ice and obliged to winter within 120 miles of Bering Strait, Nordenskjold com

pleted the circumnavigation of Asia in 1879.

Within the Antarctic circle, to the south of Patagonia, Palmer, Bellinghausen, Biscoe, Larsen, and Gerlache discovered Palmer Land and adjacent islands. To the south of New Zealand Belleny found islands, and James C. Ross added to his arctic laurels by discovering ice-clad Victoria Land, with its flaming volcanoes, and in locating the south magnetic pole. South of Kerguelen is the Enderby Land of Biscoe, while southeast of Tasmania an archipelago of desolate islands, located by Wilkes and D'Urville, marks the northern limit of ice-clad Antarctica.


The greatest southern confederacy, Australia, has a European population exceeding five millions; but in 1800 its two thousand settlers did not even have a country with a recognized name. As New Holland, it appeared on the best maps, a featureless central area, with its outlined coast largely conjectural. Surveys of the coast, begun by Bass and Flinders, were finished by King, 1822; Wickham and Stokes, 1837-'43. Inland, Hughes solved the hydrographic problem of the Murray watershed, Eyre traced the south coast along the Great Australian Bight. The central desert was made known by Mitchell and Sturt, while Grey and Gregory explored in the northwest and Leichardt and Kennedy in the northeast. The most fruitful journey was that of Stuart, 1858-'62, from the inhabited south coast to the extreme north, which opened a fertile, well-watered district to colonization. The western desert has been explored here and there by Forrest, Warburton, and Giles, the last named having twice traversed the great Sahara, east and west.

New Zealand first came to our knowledge by missionary labors, 1814-30,

and later by commercial extensions and gold-hunting. New Guinea has been explored in the last half century by Wallace, Meyer, Forbes, Von Schleinitz, and Dallmann.


Of the Americas, the longest known is least explored. South America, however, was fortunate in the beginning of the century, 1799-1804, with such investigators as Humboldt and Bonpland, who traversed Venezuela, determined the remarkable bifurcation of the Orinoco, visited Magdalena, Quito, and the volcanoes. This journey was not only locally important, for it gave an extraordinary impulse to the comprehensive study of the earth. Von Eschwege, Von Wied, Saint-Hillaire, Spix, and Martius explored the interior of Brazil from the Amazon Basin; D'Orbigny and Castelnau devoted themselves to the geography of the central regions between the Rio de la Plata and the Amazon; Darwin, Wilkes, and Gillis explored the coast lines of the continent ; Wallace and Bates did wonderful scientific work in the Amazon Basin, followed by Agassiz and a host of other explorers. Of the tributary basins of the Amazon, Steinen has mapped the Xingu, Church the Madeira, Chandless and Labre the Purus.

In the Guianas Schomburgk's researches are the most valuable. In late. years the most important explorations are doubtless those of the French international polar expedition at Cape Horn, under Martial.


Of the continents none other has so benefited by the explorations of last century as North America. To the genius, tact, and energy of Humboldt was early (1804) due modern geographical knowledge of Spanish America, which was

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