Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

MAP OF THE ST, ELIAS REGION, AFTER MALASPINA.

[blocks in formation]

returned to the bay where they had anchored. [*] They there observed the latitude to be 59° 59' 30'', and six azimuths of the sun, which gave the variation of the needle as 32° 49'. Before leaving that anchorage the commander buried a bottle with record of the reconnoissance and possession taken in the name of the king. They called the harbor Desangaño, the opening Bahia de las Bancas, and the island in the interior Haenke, in memory of D. Tadeo Haenke, botanist and naturalist of the expedition. On the third day they set out on their voyage to Mulgrave, where they arrived on the 6th, after reconnoitering various channels and islands north of that port and mapping them.”

Following the portion of the narrative above quoted, there is an account of the natives, containing much information of interest to ethnologists, but which it is not necessary to follow in a geographic report. On July 5 the corvettes sailed westward, and made a reconnoissance as far as Montegue island. Returning eastward, they again sighted Mount St. Elias on July 22.

“On the 28th they were three leagues west of the capes which terminate in Bering bay [Dry bay]; the mountain of that name being about five leagues distant from the coast and rising 5,368.3 varas (14,722 feet] above the sea-level, and in latitude 59° 0' 42' and longitude 2° 4' from Port Mulgrave.”

Mount Bering does not appear on any map that I have seen. Which of the numerous high peaks in the vicinity of Dry bay should be designated by that name remains to be determined.

In a record of the astronomical work of Malaspina's expedition † there are some interesting observations on the position and elevation of Mount St. Elias, a translation of which, by Mr. Stein, is here given:

" True longitude of Mulgrave west of (adiz, 1:33° 24' 12''. On the same day, the 30th of June (1792), at the observatory of Mulgrave, at 6h. 30' in the morning, the true altitude of the sun was observed to be 16° 14' 20'', and its inclination being 23° 11' 30'' and the latitude 59° 31' 20'', the true azimuth of the sun from north to east was concluded to be 71° 43' 0". But having measured on the same occasion with the theodolite 110° 33' from the sun's vertical to the vertical of Mount St. Elias, the difference between these two quantities is the astronomic azimuth. Hence, from

* On the coast of the mainland east of Knight island.-I. ('. R.

+ Memorias sobre las observaciones, astronomicas hechas por les navegantes Españoles en distintos lugares (lel globe; Por Don Josef Espinosa y Tello. Madrid, en la Imprente real, Año de 1809, 2 vols., large 8°; vol. 1, pp. 57-60.

*

the observatory of Mulgrave, said mountain bears N. 38° 30' W., a distance of 55.1 miles, deduced by means of good observations from the ends of a sufficient base. A quadrant was used to measure the angle of apparent altitude of the mountain, 2° 38' 6", and allowing for terrestrial refraction, which is one-tenth of the distance of 55.1 miles, the true altitude was found to be 2° 31' 39''; whence its elevation above sea-level was concluded to be 2,793 toises [17,860 feet), and the length of the tangent to the horizon, 152 miles, allowance being made for the increase due to terrestrial refraction * *

“Lastly, with the rhumb, or astronomic azimuth, and the distance from the observatory of Mulgrave to Mount St. Elias, it was ascertained that that mountain was 13' 15'' to the north and 1° 9' to the west, whence its latitude is found to be 60° 17' 35'' and its longitude 131° 3:3' 10" west of (adiz."

Taking the longitude of (adliz ay 6;° 19'07" W.(San Sebastian light-house), the longitude of St. Elias from this determination would be 140° 52' 17" W.

VANCOUVER, 1794.* The next vessels to visit Yakutat bay after Malaspina's voyage, so far as known, were the Discovery and Chatham, under command of Captain George Vancouver. This rovare increased knowledge of the geography of southern Alaska more than any that preceded it, and was also of greater importance than any single expedition of later date to that region. The best maps of southern Alaska published at the present day are based largely on the surveys of Vancouver.

The Discorery, under the immediate command of Vancouver, and the Chatham, in charge of Peter Puget, cruised eastward along the southern coast of Alaska in 1794. The Discovery passed the entrance to Yakutat bay without stopping, but the Chatham anchoreil there, and important surveys were carried on under Puget's directions.

On June 28, the Discovery was in the vicinity of Icy bay, where the shore of the ocean seemed to be composed of solid ice. Eastward from Icy bay the coast is described as "bordered by lowlands rising with a gradual and uniform ascent to the foot-hills of lofty mountains, whose summits are but the base from which Mount St. Elias towers magnificently into the regions of per

* A Voyage of Discovery to the Northern Pacific Ocean and around the World, 1790–95; new edition, 6 vols., London, 1801. The citations which follow are from vol. 5, PP. 318-407.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Eftero del Ancau

59°3417.

(Lahad Norte Observatorio

(Longitud Ocidental de Cadit.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

MAP OF BAY DE MONTI, AFTER MALASPINA.

« PreviousContinue »