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ART. XXI.-Geographical Notices. No. XIII.
Journ AL OF THE AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY.—The first number of the second volume of the American Geographical Society's Journal has appeared in a new and enlarged form, an Octavo volume of 148 pages. The articles (eight in number) are of a more extended and scientific character than usual, and the whole appearance of the Journal is such as will reflect great credit on the society and enlarge its sphere of usefulness.
Article first, which is compiled from data furnished by the Hydrographical Office, Washington, gives an account of the progress of Marine Geography, within the past few years; which is followed by a synopsis of the operations of the Coast Survey during the year 1859, by Prof. Bache. An account of the lake Yojoa in Honduras, contributed by Mr. E. G. Squier, is the next article. The address commemorative of Karl Ritter, delivered before the Society by Prof. Guyot, comes next in order, forming the most complete and eloquent tribute to the great geographer which has yet appeared. Its review of the characteristics and contents of Ritter's Erdkunde is especially valuable. The sixth article is a translation by Mr. E. R. Straznicky from the Journal of the Geographical Society of France, of an essay on the Geographical distribution of Animals, by Mons. A. Maury. Mr. J. G. C. Kennedy, the superintendent of the U. S. Census, then reviews the origin and progress of Statistics, and Dr. Wynne illustrates the working of benevolent societies, such as the Odd Fellows, among the laboring classes. The number is concluded by an excellent and full survey of recent geographical and statistical literature, prepared by the General Secretary of the Society, Mr. D. W. Fiske, to whom, with the coöperation of the Committee of Publication, the editing of the Journal was entrusted. . The Society now has a small but well selected library, with rooms in a central part of New York City. Its list of active members enrolls about five hundred names, and its usefulness and importance have never been greater than at present.
SCHLAGINTWEIT's MISSION TO CENTRAL AND HIGH ASIA.— We have received through Mr. S. H. Grant of New York, the prospectus of Mr. Brockhaus of Leipsic, announcing the contents and character of the Report which is soon to be published by the brothers Schlagintweit on their journey to the Himalayas, from 1854 to 1858. It contains some information to which we have not had access in our previous notices of their expedition. . Since the return of the authors from India in June 1857, they have been engaged in preparing for publication the results
AM. JOUR. SCI., SECOND SERIES, Vol. XXX, No. 89.-SEPT., 1860.
of their observations, and are now able to promise a work in nine volumes, quarto, with an atlas in three folio volumes. The importance of this work will justify usin explaining its character at Some length. The first volume will be devoted to Astronomy and Magnetism. The observations extend from Ceylon to Turkistan and from Assam to Kabul. Their importance may be the better appreciated if it is borne in mind that “with the exception of the well known observations at the government observatories of Bombay and Madras, some very valuable ones by Taylor and Caldecott in Southern India, and others recently made by Brown at Travankor, scarcely any observations have been taken in the interior of India, so that the modifications of the magnetic lines over this large area form a new object of scientific discussion.” In India proper the astronomical labors of the Schlagintweits relate chiefly to the determination of the true and magnetic meridian and to observations for finding time. But in the Himalaya, their operations included also determinations of latitude and longitude. The whole of Western Thibet has been found to be farther west than has hitherto been supposed, and for Kuenluen and Turkistan the latitudes have also been largely corrected. The second volume will contain the hypsometrical and trigonometrical observations, including the determination of about 2000 points in the various countries explored. The third volume, on Topical Geography, has for its object a practical aim, reviewing chiefly the commercial and military routes in High Asia, with reference to their commercial and military importance. Part of this volume is devoted to linguistic researches and vocabularies. The fourth and fifth volumes include all that the explorers have collected on Meteorology, and the sixth is devoted to Geology. Volume seventh relates to Botany and Zoology. Volume eighth is given to Ethnography, including an examination and comparison of the facial casts to which we have previously reférred in this Journal. The ninth and last volume presents in a popular form comparative descriptions of the various regions of India and High Asia. The Atlas will contain: 1. Maps, geographical, physical, and geological; 2. Profiles, meteorological, hydrographical and geological; and 3. Views and general panoramas. The general size of the plates is three feet by two. The whole cost of the work will be £86, and its completion is promised in about three years. CANADIAN EXPEDITION TO THE RED RIVER UNDER GLADMAN, DAWSON, HIND, AND NAPIER, 1857–1858.-The interest which has been manifested in the report of the Palisser expedition contained in a recent number of this Journal,” leads us to condense and translate from Dr. Petermann's excellent Mittheiswngen (January, 1860) an account of the explorations of the Red River which were made in 1857 and 1858 by Gladman, T)awson, Hind, and Napier. We regret that we cannot reproduce the admirable maps which accompany the article. The writer in Petermann's Journal remarks substantially as follows: Although the Canadians had long endeavored to direct the attention of the British government to that vast portion of British North America, which stood until very recently under the immediate supervision of the Hudson's Bay Company, and had tried to induce them to effect a revision of the claims of that mercantile body, it was nevertheless, not until 1856 when gold was discovered in Fraser's and Thompson's rivers, that the British government took the matter into serious consideration, and in 1857 sent out an expedition (Pallisser's expedition) and declared in 1858 New Caledonia, as it was called under the above mentioned company, an independent colony, to be known in future by the name of British Columbia. At the same time it was urged, that the government of Canada might be empowered to incorporate adjacent portions of land, particularly the so-called Saskatchewan district, east of the Rocky Mountains. This expedition accomplished its chief object, to find a passage across the Rocky Mountains, and also reported favorably in regard to future settlements in the Saskatchewan district, which may be called the intermediate district between the settled portion of British North America and the new gold region in British Columbia. At the same time with Palliser's expedition another expedition was started directly by the Canadian government, and it is our object in the present paper, after having presented a few general remarks on the country, to give a brief synopsis of the course of this latter expedition. The Saskatchewan district between the Red River and the Bocky Mountains has already, since the beginning of the present century, been the object of many explorations, the most E. ment of which are those of Astronomer Thompsont, Lefroy, Bichardson, Lord Selkirk, Blodget, and others. They all agree that the Saskatchewan district is well adapted for cultivation. It comprises an immense area, and as early as 1805, Lord Selkirk
* Vol. xxviii, p. 320.
# Thompson was from 1790 over 30 years in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the reports of his explorations (37 vols.) are deposited in the Archives of this Company. From fragments of them it appears that Thompson possessed a great knowledge of the country, but it is doubtful whether these reports will ever be accessible to such as are not connected with the Company. Until now the Company has kept them back. [Compare this Journal, xxviii, 344, note.]
said that it could give bread to at least 30 millions of people. In regard to the climate, says Blodget, who is most thoroughly *acquainted with the subject, that the average temperature in winter is not below that of St. Petersburg and Moscow ; in summer it equals that of northern Italy and New York. The temperature increases, just as in Europe, as you go from east to west. Spring commences at all points almost at the same time. There is no want of rain; grass, forests and buffaloes abound. Useful timber is abundant; coal is found in many places, but particularly rich deposits exist at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and near the Little Sauris River. The country is level and appears so even, that Blakistone remarked that for the construction of a railroad nothing was required but to put down the rails. Its numerous lakes and rivers can easily be connected for internal communication, and afford even now the only means of transport between the different stations of the Hudson's Bay Company. The Saskatchewan district can also easily be connected with the new gold region by means of commodious roads through Palliser's passage across the Rocky Mountains. This new colony will, by reason of its very favorable situation, its beautiful harbors, but particularly by reason of its wealth in gold, surely rise as speedily as Southern California; and, as it is less capable of agriculture, would naturally become the great market for the products of its eastern neighbors, in the Saskatchewan district. We may therefore well be justified in prognosticating for this district a prosperous future in regard to agriculture, but we cannot agree with such opinions expressed some time ago in the Montreal Pilot, that by a regularly established road from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods, Red River, Lake Winnipeg, Saskatchewan river, across the Rocky Mountains to the rivers of British Columbia, thence to the Pacific, all commercial intercourse between Europe and China, Japan and India would take this route. A road which changes so often between land and water can never become a general commercial road for such a distance, not to mention the almost insurmountable difficulties for vessels of a larger draught, such as sudden bends, rapids, falls, shallow waters, etc., and the entirely uncultivated state of the country. After these few remarks we return to our subject proper. We can give but a brief synopsis, and refer those who desire a detailed account of the Canadian expedition, to the “Reports on the exploration of the country between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement.” A still more minute account is given in the “Papers relative to the Explorations of the Country between Lake Superior and the Red River settlement, presented to both Houses of Parliament, London, 1859.” Three charts by Hind (one a reprint of Thompson's), and a sketch of the regions, which Dawson traveled through, by himself, appeared at the Same time. The members of the Canadian expedition landed July 31, 1857, at Fort William, and started in boats along the usual route of the Hudson's Bay Company for Lake Winnipeg, in order to ascertain the practicability of this route. To this end surveys of rivers were made and a very minute determination of levels. Napier estimates the whole length of the route to be 747 miles, viz: from Lake Superior to Rainy Lake 335 miles; thence to Rat Portage at the northern extremity of Lake of the Woods 176 miles; from this point to Fort Garry on the Red River 236 miles. Of these three portions only the middle one, upon Rainy Lake, which is at an average 460 feet wide and 6 feet deep, forms a continuous water road. Its falls (Chaudiere falls near Fort Francis, 22 feet) may, according to Dawson, easily be made harmless by two water gates. The two remaining portions of the route can only be travelled by land, unless one prefers the tedious transport from one little river to another. The Kaministiquoria on the first portion of the route cannot be navigated, as its rapids, shallow water places, and falls (Kakabeke falls, 119 feet) are too numerous. From Little to Great Dog Lake, a distance not over a mile, this river falls 848 feet, and yet the portage in this place has still an elevation of 142 feet over Great Dog Lake. This is the steepest descent on the whole route. The passage upon Dog River is partially obstructed by rocks and sandbanks, and on Prairie Portage, between Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg, it leads mostly through swamps. The difference of elevation between Lake Superior and Prairie Portage, 54 miles distant from one another, is, after Dawson, 879 feet, according to Napier887 feet; that between Prairie Portage and Lake Winnipeg (325 miles) is calculated by Dawson 892, by Napier870 feet. Thus the descent toward the east is much more rapid than toward the west. The canoe route from Savannah River to Rainy Lake has too many portages and the Rivière la Seine is, by reason of the numerous difficulties in its course, entirely objectionable. But the Winnipeg River, from Lake of the Woods to Lake Winnipeg, was by all declared to be the most difficult and impracticable on the whole route. The canoe route on the Pigeon River, from Lake Superior to Rainy Lake along the boundary, is the shortest, but it has 29 portages, of which many lead through United States territory. Another route to the Red River, which is still used by the Hudson Bay Company, commences from Fort York, near Hudson's Bay, and goes up Hays River, through Knee and Holy Lakes, Wepinapanis River, White Water Lake and Sea River, down to Lake Winnipeg; but it requires three weeks of hard work to travel it, besides the ac