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the Forum, and other standard periodicals, are well known; while his graceful and instructive lectures, based on personal observations in India, Egypt, South Africa, Central America, the Philippines, and other remote regions, live in the memory of thousands.
W J M.
THE ORIGIN OF YOSEMITE
R. TURNER finds that the higher part of the Sierra Nevada has been glaciated, and in support of this belief instances numerous cases of glacial markings and morainal deposits.
If there is any one feature of the higher parts of the Sierra which stands out in bold relief, so that "he who runs may read," it is the fact that it has been covered by glacial ice in sheets and streams, and that at a very recent time. There is no need to search for glacial scratches or moraines. The whole as
pect of the terrane is that of great sheets of bare granite, not yet covered with soil, with rounded surfaces, cut by deep U-shaped cañons, containing thousands of lake basins, and presenting cirques. and hanging valleys; in short, everything in the field of vision tells the story of a wholesale ice invasion. Nor was it a brief one, but one which lasted for many centuries, during which cubic miles of rock were carried away, cañons thousands of feet deep were excavated, and the level of the country planed down
to an enormous extent.
As to the potency of a glacier for the work of erosion, Mr. Turner is among the few remaining upon the negative His argument, however, simply
*The Pleistocene Geology of the South Central Sierra Nevada, with Especial Reference to the Origin of Yosemite Valler. By Henry Ward Turner. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 9.
consists in a denial of the ability of a glacier to excavate gorges. That the gorges in the high Sierra were cut by glaciers is true nevertheless. They are plainly the result of channel, not valley, erosion, and channel erosion upon such a scale as this is done only by ice. The line of demarcation between channel and valley erosion in the cañons of the Sierra is clearly marked, and can be determined, one might almost say, to a foot— i. e., the point at which the present visible marks of ice cease and those of water
begin. I do not mean that the ice may
not have excavated farther down the cañons, but that below certain points, easily distinguished, the subsequent action of water has masked that of ice. other proof of the competency of glaciers to do the work of erosion upon a large scale were wanting, the presence everywhere of hanging valleys is in itself evidence conclusive. There is no other known agency which could produce them, and today we see them in process of production everywhere in glacial regions, notably upon the Alaskan coast,
where there are thousands of them under construction before our eyes.
Holding such opinions concerning the erosive power of glaciers, it is to be expected that Mr. Turner attributes the creation of the Yosemite Valley to other agencies than ice; indeed, he attributes it to aqueous erosion, aided by systems of fractures in the granite. He finds no significance in the fact that Tenaya Cañon is vastly greater in breadth and depth, as he states, than could be created by the present Tenaya Creek. He passes over without notice the significant fact that every stream, excepting Tenaya Creek, enters Yosemite Valley through
of the Merced Valley changes abruptly a hanging valley, and that the character and suddenly to a V-shaped gorge two or three miles below Fort Monroe, at the foot of Yosemite Valley.
It is perfectly obvious to those familiar with glacial phenomena that Yosemite is
quite an ordinary and necessary product of glacial erosion, under the conditions prevailing in that locality. The main glacier came down Tenaya Cañon, cutting it to a steep but fairly uniform grade. Yosemite Valley is but a continuation of that gorge. The end of the glacier, at the time that it was cutting Yosemite, extended not far beyond Fort Monroe. It remained there for a long time, and therefore plowed out the bottom of the valley to a considerable depth. Branch glaciers joined the Tenaya Glacier when it filled Yosemite, coming down the valleys of Yosemite, Little Yosemite, Illilouette, and Bridal Veil and other creeks, and forming hanging valleys at the junction points. The formation of the vertical cliffs of the valley may have been due to undermining, and may have been aided by the cleavage of the rocks. On the recession of the glacier doubtless the bottom of the valley was occupied by a lake, which has since been partially filled by detritus, and drained by the erosion of Merced River cutting through the rock-wall at the foot of the valley. HENRY GANNETT.
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES. HE following decisions were made. graphic Names, January 9, 1901: Bloyd; mountain, Washington County,
Arkansas (not Bloyed nor Bloyd's). Bobs; creek, Lincoln County, Missouri (not Bobbs nor Bob's). Carroll; glacier reaching the sea at head
of Queen Inlet, Glacier Bay, southeastern Alaska (not Woods). Chiniak; cape, the easternmost point of Kadiak, Alaska (not Greville. Hermogenes, St. Hermogenes, Spruce, Tolstoi, Tuniak, nor Yelovoi).
Douglas; bay indenting south coast of Kupreanof Island, Sumner Strait, southeastern Alaska (not Douglass)
Grand Pacific; glacier reaching Reid Inlet from the north, Glacier Bay, southeastern Alaska (not Johns Hopkins).
Iskut; mountain, and river tributary to the Stikine in southeastern Alaska (not Iskoot nor Skoot).
Izhut; bay and cape on southeastern
shore of Afognak Island, Alaska (not Ijoot, Ishoot, Pentecost, Sharipof, nor Whitsuntide).
Kates Needles; mountain near Stikine River, southeastern Alaska (not Kates Needle).
Kisselen; small bay at head of Beaver
Bay, Unalaska, eastern Aleutians, Alaska (not Kissialiak nor Worsham). Kupreanof; strait between Afognak and Kadiak Islands, Alaska (not Karluk, North, Northern, nor Sievernoi). Mooneyham; branch of French Broad
River, Cocke County, Tennessee (not Moneyhan nor Mooneyhan). Mullin; creek, post-office, and railroad station, Mills County, Texas (not Mullen).
Nez Perce; county in Idaho (not Nez
Iowa (not Nishnabotany, Nishnabotena, Nishnabotny, Nishnabotony). Reem; creek, Buncombe County, North Carolina (not Reams nor Rims). Rendu; glacier reaching the head of
Rendu Inlet, Glacier Bay, southeastern Alaska (not Charpentier). Scajaquada; creek, in Buffalo, Erie County, New York (not Seajaquada, nor Scajaquady).
Yellow; point on eastern shore of Tamgas Harbor, Annette Island, southeastern Alaska (not Signal).
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL
November 9, 1900.-Prof. Willis L. Moore in the chair. Dr. M. H. Saville, of the American Museum of Natural History, New York city, delivered an 'illustrated address, "The Ancient City of Mitla, Mexico.'
November 23, 1900.-Mr. Marcus Baker in the chair. Gen. A. W. Greely, Chief Signal Officer, U. S. A., delivered an illustrated address, "A trip through Alaska."
December 7, 1900.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Dr. W. A. P. Martin, President of the Imperial University at Pekin, delivered an address, "The Siege of Pekin."
December 18, 1900.-Mr. G. K. Gilbert in the chair. Capt. Ewart S. Grogan, the first white man to cross Africa from south to north, delivered an illustrated address, "From Cape to Cairo."
December 31,1900.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Mr. Gifford Pinchot, Forester, U. S. Department of Agriculture, delivered an illustrated address, "The Proposed Appalachian Park."
January 4, 1901.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Mr. Joseph Stanley
Brown delivered an illustrated address, "The Franciscan Missions of Southern California."
January 18, 1901.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Mr. Arthur P. Davis The
delivered an illustrated address, Isthmian Canal Routes.”
December 14, 1900.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Papers were read as follows: "Winter Precipitation in Relation to Irrigation," by Dr. H. C. Frankenfield; "The Survey for an All-American Cable to the Philippines and the Orient," by
G. W. Littlehales; "American Arc Measures," by C. A. Schott.
January 11, 1901.-President Graham Bell in the chair. Papers were read as follows: "The Stenometer as a Distance Measurer," by W. J. Peters; “The Establishment of Compass Deviation Range-marks on Delaware Breakwater," by D. B. Wainwright; "A Topographic Cycle on Glaciers," by G. K. Gilbert.
Announcement of Meetings.
February 1, 1901.-" Mexico, Her Characteristics and Recent Progress," by Dr. Don Juan N. Navarro, Mexican Consul General at New York.
February 15, 1901.-" Explorations in Abyssinia," by Otis T. Crosby.
March 1, 1901.-"The Recent Famine in India," by Gilson Willets.
These lectures will be delivered in the Congregational Church, 9th and G streets, at 8 p. m.
TECHNICAL MEETINGS for the reading of papers and discussion will be held in the hall of the Cosmos Club on the even
ings of February 8 and 22.
The committee having in charge the formation of the programs for the technical meetings of the Society desire to invite members to report to the Secretary of the Society the titles of communications bearing upon geographical research that are available for presentation to the Society during the months of February, March, April, and May,
The subject of the LENTEN COURSE of lectures for this year is "The Countries of Asia." The first lecture of the series will be at 4.20 p. m., Tuesday afternoon, February 26, in the Columbia Theater, 12th and F streets, Washington, D. C.
ABYSSINIA-THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE
BY OSCAR T. CROSBY
N leaving Paris in December, 1899, I went first to Constantinople, as I wished to journey across the interior of Turkey down the Mesopotamian Valley; but on my arrival at Constantinople our representatives at the American legation informed me that not less than thirty days would be required for obtaining permission to go into the interior. Passports to the great sea-coast towns of Turkey are had as readily as those for any European city, but the Ottoman Government is unwilling that travelers should penetrate into the rather loosely governed portions of Asia Minor unless provided with other special letters insuring as far as possible the safety of the bearer. The necessary delay being greater than I cared to make, I left Constantinople for Cairo.
The Austrian captain of the Egyptian vessel piloted us for five days across the Mediterranean without making any astronomical observations whatever.
Arrived at Cairo, a fortunate chance gave me acquaintance with Sir Rennell Rodd, Secretary of the British Agency, which means, substantially, Secretary of the Egyptian Government in Cairo.
This gentleman had made the journey to Addis Abeba a few years ago at the head of a mission whose object was to cultivate the friendship of and obtain treaty with the African monarch. From Sir Rennell I obtained the first detailed information as to how I might get into Abyssinia, and through the kindness of other British officers stationed at the arsenal I was enabled to buy a few rifles and some ammunition. The sale of fire-arms generally is strictly controlled in Cairo, as it is in most oriental countries.
In Cairo, too, I was able to have packed in wooden cases a stock of excellent provisions, the selection of which was largely suggested to me by the provision merchants who had supplied several of the Nile expeditions of troops. An example, however, of the importance of detailed knowledge was given me when, on getting into the interior and being required to use the small Abyssinian mule for transport, I found it necessary to cut down these boxes, which in Cairo were supposed to be quite the right size, and which had been satisfactory enough on camels, and probably would have
been satisfactory enough on a full-sized mule.
Here, also, through the kindness of the American mission, I acquired a very doubtful asset in the person of a shopworn, old Abyssinian, who had left his native land as a boy and had been too much cared for by a succession of missionary friends, who had brought him. up into a softened old manhood. His qualifications were honesty, a knowledge of the two principal Abyssinian tongues, together with sufficient English to keep me from going mad; and a helplessness which assured his fidelity to me when we were in strange lands.
With about twenty boxes of provisions and the ancient Michael Gabriel, I took ship at Port Said on a tramp vessel bound for Aden. Until the comparatively recent establishment of Jibuti, in French Somali Land, Aden was the only seaport near this portion of the African coast which one could reach by steam vessels plying to or through the southern end of the Red Sea.
It would have been possible to take an Italian ship for Massawa, and to begin there the journey toward the interior, but I was told, and could well understand, that the sad disasters suffered by the Italians in recent years had reduced Massawa to a point of almost negligible importance, and, moreover, there I would have had more difficulty in obtaining the necessary consent from Menelek for the interior journey than at Jibuti or Zeila.
Aden is famous the world over as one of the hottest and in all natural ways one of the most detestable places frequented by civilized man. My first day or two at this point, housed in one of the two strange little inns which the traveler may find, quite bore out the popular conception of the place; but soon acquaintance with the hospitable British officers made the place seem to me quite a pleasure resort. I saw then, more clearly than in Cairo, which is now
quite European, the splendid talent of our British cousins for making themselves and their guests almost comfortable and entirely contented in all sorts of conditions.
A score of forgotten, but at the last moment much desired, articles were obtained, and all the purchases were found in good condition when I arrived in Zeila save only that the sea biscuit, which I had ordered to serve as bread, had been forgotten by the packers. The result was the important discovery that one can get. along tolerably well without bread.
A little steamer coughs its way across once a week from Aden to Berbera, thence to Zeila, thence back again. On this Michael Gabriel was sent a week ahead with instructions to deliver a letter to Captain Harold, the British officer in command at Zeila, and, with his permission, to get together some camels.
When I reached Zeila, Michael seemed to have gotten close to only one camel. That one had managed, even with its soft pad, to kick Michael's shin into collapse and make him mourn the difference, which he declared to be well marked, between the Somali camels and his humped brother of Asia Minor and Egypt.
A few Somali servants had been engaged in Aden, one of whom tried to desert when the little ship stopped at Berbera, but we were finally landed safely, carried in chairs on the shoulders of strong, young natives through the shallows to the shore. Zeila is a seaport, not a harbor.
Captain Harold put me up at his modest Presidency, and his kindness. followed me at every moment in all the detailed organization of the caravan. A trade with camel men was made at so much a load for the distance from Zeila to Gildessa. Additional and trustworthy men were engaged for my personal services, and happily two small mules, the only two in Zeila, were sold to me as saddle animals for myself and companion.