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Country or place from
which the Expedition Places which were visited
sailed. 1612. James Hall,
Coast of Greenland. 1614. Captain Gibbons,
Hudson's Strait. 1615. Robert Bylot,
Coast of Greenland. 1616. Robert Bylot and William Baffin, Gravesend,
Baffin's Bay. 1603_1615. Various Voyages of a mixed character to High Northern Latitude. 1619. Jens Munk,
Baffin's Bay. 1631. Luke Fox,
Hudson's Bay. 1631. Thomas James,
Hudson's Bay. 1652. Captain Danell,
Copenhagen, Coast of Greenland. 1668. Zacchariah Gillam,
Davis's Straits. 1676. John Wood and William Flawes, Nore,
Nova Zembla. 1719. Knight, Barlow, Vaughan, &c. Gravesend,
Vessels Lost. 1722. John Scroggs,
Churchhill River, Whalebone Straits. 1741. Christopher Middleton,
London, 1746. William Moor and Francis Smith,
s Wager Strait and 1769 1772. Mr Hearne,
Copper Mine River.
Nore, wards Lord Mulgrave),
Spitzbergen. 1776-1779. James Cook and Charles Clerke, Plymouth.
Latitude 80° 48' 1776. Richard Pickersgill,
| Latitude 70° 33' Deptford,
Labrador. 1777. Walter Young,
Woman's Islands. 1786. Capt. Lowenorn, Lieut. Egede, Copenhagen, Iceland and Greenland. 1789. Alexander Mackenzie,
Mackenzie's River. 1790 1791. Charles Duncan,
Churchhill River. 1815-1816. Lieutenant Kotzebue, Russia,
August 2, north latí. 1818. John Ross,
tude 70° 40' north
longitude 60°. 1818. David Buchan,
The voyage of Lieutenant Kotzebue In this particular place also the depth of (the son of the celebrated writer of that the water was considerably more than the name), was performed in a vessel call- soundings mentioned in Cook's voyage. ed the Rurick, which was fitted out at
“ Having passed the Cape Prince of the expense of the Russian Count struction from ice, and as it would appear
Wales early in August, without any obRomanzoff. Her burden was about without seeing any, an opening was observ100 tons, and she had 22 men, officers ed in the line of the American coast, in laincluded, besides a physician and a titude about 67° to 68o. Into this inlet botanist. He was instructed to pro- the Rurick entered. Across the mouth was ceed round Cape Horn, to enter Beh
a small island, the shores of which were
and ring's Strait, and lay up his vessel in covered with drift-wood;
among some bay on the American side ; to
were observed trees of an enormous size. penetrate, with a certain number of The tide regularly ebbed and flowed through his men, the American Continent by Within the entrance, the great bay or inlet
the passages on each side of the island. land, first, to the northward, to deter, spread out to the north and south, and had mine if Icy Cape is an island ; and several coves or sounds on each shore. Its then to the eastward, keeping the extent to the eastward was not determined, hyperborean sea on their left. The but the Rurick proceeded as far in that difollowing abstract of his journal is rection as the meridian of 160°, which cor. given by Mr Barrow, and cannot fail responds with that of the bottom of Norton
Sound. to be interesting to every reader.
The shores of this great inlet, and more “ At one of the Aleutian Islands he ob- particularly the northern one, were well served a vast quantity of drift-wood thrown peopled with Indians of large size; the upon the shore, and, among other species men were well armed with bows, arrows, of wood, picked up a log of the camphor and spears. They wore skin clothing, and
In the midst of Behring's Strait, be leather boots, neatly made and ornamented; tween East Cape and Cape Prince of Wales, their huts were comfortable and sunk deep he found the current setting strongly to the into the earth; their furniture and implenorth-east, at the rate, as he thought, of ments neatly made ; they had sledges drawn two miles and a half an hour, which is at apparently by dogs, though the skulls and least twice the velocity observed by Cook. skins of rein-deer indicated the presence of
that animal in the country. The descrip- and which, in fact, while there, they had tion given by Lieutenant Kotzebue of these the opportunity of observing to fall. people corresponds almost exactly with that " Besides this mountain of ice, there was of the Tschutski by Cook on the opposite no appearance of ice or snow on the land continent, with whom they sometimes trade or the water in this part of America, and and are sometimes at war. They are the the weather was exceedingly clear and mild, same race of people as those on the conti- and even warm ; but on the opposite coast nent of America lower down and about the of Asia the weather at the same time was Russian settlement of Kadiack, as appeared cold, and the atmosphere almost constantly from a native of that place being able to loade:) with fogs. There was in fact such understand their language.
a great difference between the temperature From these Indians Lieutenant Kotzebue of the two continents, on the two sides of learned, that, at the bottom of the inlet was the strait, that, in standing across, it was a strait through which there was a passage like passing instantaneously from summer into the great sea, and that it required nine to winter, and the contrary. This happendays rowing with one of their boats to reach ed about the end of August, at which time this sea.
This, Kotzebue thinks, must be a fair and open passage appeared to lie on the Great Northern Ocean, and that the the American side, as far to the northward whole of the land to the northward of the as the eye could reach ; whereas on the inlet must either be an island or an archi. Asiatic side the ice seemed to be fixed to pelago of islands.
the shore, and its outer edge to extend in At the bottom of a cove on the northern the direction of north-east, which was preshore of the inlet was an extensive perpen- cisely that of the current. dicular cliff, apparently of chalk, of the “ The season being too far advanced height of six or seven hundred feet, the either to attempt to carry the Rurick summit of which was entirely covered with round Icy Cape, which, however, Lieut. vegetation ; between the foot of this cliff Kotzebue thinks he could have done withand the shore was a slip of land, in width out any obstruction, or to prosecute the about five or six hundred yards, covered al- land journey to the eastward ; and fearso with plants, which were afterwards found ing, if he remained longer in the great to be of the same kind as those on the sum inlet, the entrance might be closed up with mit. But the astonishment of the travellers ice, he thought the most prudent step he may readily be conceived, when they dis could take would be that of proceeding to covered, on their approach to this extensive winter and refit in California, and early in cliff, that it was actually a mountain of so the following spring to renew the attempt lid ice, down the sides of which the water to penetrate into the interior of America. was trickling by the heat of the sun. At He accordingly set out again early in March, the foot of the cliff several elephants' teeth called at the Sandwich Islands, and reached were picked up, similar to those which have the Aleutian Islands in June, where the been found in such immense quantities in
Rurick suffered much from a violent gale Siberia and the islands of the Tartarian of wind, in which Lieutenant Kotzebue unSea ;* these teeth they concluded to have fortunately had his breast bone broken. fallen out of the mass of ice as its surface This accident threw him into such a state of melted, though no other part of the animal ill health, that after persevering till they was discovered by them. There was, how reached Eivoogiena or Clerk's Island, at ever, a most oppressive and offensive smell the mouth of Behring's Strait, the surgeon of animal matter, not unlike that of burnt declared, that nothing but a warmer climate bones, so that it was almost impossible to would save his life. The ice had but just left remain near those parts of the face of the the southern shores of this island, and was mountain where the water was trickling gradually moving to the northward, which down. By the gradual slope of the side of it appears is its usual course every year, this enormous ice-berg, which faced the in- but is hastened or delayed in its progress terior, they were able to ascend to its sum. more or less according to the prevailing mit, and to make a collection of the plants winds, and the strength with which they that were growing upon it. The stratum blow. Being thus nearly a month too soon of soil which covered it was not deep, and to afford any prospect of immediate access the Lieutenant describes it as being of a cal to the inlet on the northern side of Cape careous nature. The slip of land at the Prince of Wales, and his health daily getfoot of the mountain was probably formed ting worse, he was reluctantly compelled to of the soil and plants which had fallen return with his little bark, and to make the down from the summit as the ice melted, best of his way home round the Cape of
Good Hope. * Lieutenant Kotzebue called them Mam In the course of his circumnavigation, moths's teeth (mastodontes); but from a Lieutenant Kotzebue has made several indrawing made by the naturalist they were teresting discoveries of new groups of islands evidently the teeth of elephants; which is in the Pacific ; and he has done that which the more extraordinary, as being the first for the first time has been effected, namely, remains of this quadruped found in the New taking the temperature of the sea at the surWorld.
face, and at a certain depth, at a particular VOL. IV.
hour every day, both on the outward and knowledge, to accompany the polar one. homeward voyage.
A number of new and valuable instruments It is greatly to the credit of Lieutenant were prepared for making observations in Kotzebue, that, after a voyage of three all the departments of science, and for conyears, in every variety of climate, he has ducting philosophical experiments and in. brought back again every man of his little vestigations ; in order that, in the event of crew, with the exception of one who em. the main object of the voyage being debarked in a sickly state. *
feated, either through accident or from utter In consequence of the disappearance impracticability, every possible attention of the Arctic ice from a very considere might be paid to the advancement of able extent of the Greenland seas, in science, and correct information obtained the year 1817, it was considered a fa on every interesting subject in high north. vourable opportunity to make a new
ern latitudes which are rarely visited by
scientific men. attempt to reach the North Pole. Our
“ Among other important objects, which readers are already acquainted with the occasion will present, is that of deterthe general measures which have been mining the length of the pendulum vibrattaken for this purpose; but the accounting seconds in a high degree of latitude. of the preparations for the expedition for this purpose, each expedition is supgiven by Mr Barrow is too interesting plied with a clock, having a pendulum cast to be omitted.
in one solid mass, vibrating on a blunt “ The ships fitted out for exploring the knife-edge resting in longitudinal sections north-west passage were the Isabella, of of hollow cylinders of agate ; and to each
Each 382 tons, commanded by Captain John clock is added a transit instrument. Ross, and the Alexander, of 252 tons, un
ship is also supplied with the following in, der the orders of Lieutenant William Ed.
strumentsa dipping needle on a new conward Parry. Those destined for the polar struction, which, at the same time, is calpassage were the Dorothea, of 370 tons,
culated to measure the magnetic force-an commanded by Captain David Buchan, and
azimuth compass improved by Captain the Trent, of 250 tons, under the com
Katera repeating circle for taking terresmand of Lieutenant John Franklin; to each
trial angles--an instrument for ascertaining ship there was also appointed an additional the altitude of celestial bodies when the lieutenant and two master's mates
or mid- horizon is obscured by fogs, which is almost shipmen. Two of these lieutenants are the always the case in high latitudes a dipsons of two eminent artists, one of the late
micrometer and dip-sector, invented by Mr Hoppner, and the other of Sir William
Doctor Wollaston, to correct the variation Beechey, and both of them excellent of the real dip from that given in the tables, draughtsmen.
arising principally from the difference be. “ The four ships were all fitted out as
tween the temperature of the sea and the strong as wood and iron could make them, atmosphere a macrometer, also invented and every regard paid in the internal ar
by Doctor Wollaston, for measuring directrangement to the comfort and accommoda- ly the distance of inaccessible objects, by tion of the officers and crews. They were
means of two reflectors, mounted as in a stored with provisions and fuel for two
common sextant, but at a greater distance years ; sus plied with additional quantities from each other
three chronometers to each of fresh preserved meats, tea, sugar, sago,
shipa hydrometer, intended to determine and other articles of a similar kind. Each
the specific gravity of sea-water in different of the larger ships had a surgeon and a sur
latitudes thermometers of various kinds geon's assistant, and the two smaller vessels
a barometer of Sir Henry Englefield's conan assistant surgeon each. A master and a
struction for ascertaining the height of obmate accustomed to the Greenland fishery furnished with an apparatus for trying the
jects. Besides these, each expedition is were engaged for each ship, to act as pilots when they should meet with ice.
state of atmospherical electricity, and dewhole complement of men, including offi- termining whether there be any thing pecers, seamen, and marines, in each of the
culiar in the electricity of the atmosphere in larger ships, was fifty-six ; and in the small- the polar regions; and whether there be any er forty. Captain Sabine, of the Royal analogy between the aurora borealis and the Artillery, an officer well versed in mathe. electrical light-an apparatus for taking up matics and astronomy, and in the practical
sea-water from given depths; and an appause of instruments, was recommended by
ratus for the analysis of air, which is the the president and council of the Royal So; change from vegetable or animal life or de
more desirable from there being little or no to proceed with the north-west expedition; composition in the polar atmosphere ; and and Mr Fisher, of the University of Cam
consequently a different proportion of oxybridge, a gentleman well versed in mathe- gen, azote, or carbonic acid, may be expectmatics and various branches of natural
ed from that which prevails under ordinary circumstances.
“ Each expedition is besides provided * From personal conversation with Lieut with a complete apparatus for collecting, Kotzebue.
in the sea and on the land, the various
objects of natural history which may occur, the greatest variation 111° west. The most and for preserving them in a proper state ; northern point of Baffin's Bay is in 78° of and of such as cannot be preserved, accu
latitude. rate drawings will be made by Lieutenants The preceding important facts we have Hoppner and Beechy. On the whole, nei. gleaned from conversation, and from letther care nor expense appears to have been ters which we have seen; and we can spared in sending out the two expeditions vouch for their accuracy. Some accounts as complete and as well equipped as possi. state, that three of the Esquimaux have ble, and nothing that the commanders of been brought home by Captain Ross, but them deemed to be useful was refused. we have not been able to ascertain if this is Every suggestion that appeared to merit true. consideration was attended to, both in the equipment of the ships and in the instruc
LETTER FROM AN OFFICER CONCERNtions to the officers, every one of whom, from the highest to the lowest, left this
ING THE POLAR EXPEDITION. country in perfect satisfaction, and in full
[We have been favoured with the followconfidence of attaining the great object of ing copy of a letter from an officer employed the expeditions-or at least with the deter- in the recent attempt to approach the north mination of establishing the fact of its utter pole, to his friend in Scotland.] impracticability.” The branch of the expedition under
Deptford, the 4th November. Captain Buchan, after attempting in DEAR BIR, vain to pierce the great barrier of ice When I told you, on leaving Engwhich stretches between Spitzbergen land, that you would first hear from and Greenland, has returned to Eng- me by the way of Kamskatka, or the land, as will be seen from another ar- Columbia river, I little expected that ticle in our present Number. The my first letter to you would be dated ships under Captain Ross have pe- from the Thames: yet so it is, to our netrated farther to the north than most bitter disappointment and mortithose of preceding navigators. On the fication ; for so very sanguine were we 2d of August they had reached the la- all of success, that we had approprititude of 70° 40' in the meridian of 60° ated to our two ships' companies alone west; and we have no doubt that they the two parliamentary rewards of fivewill succeed to a still greater extent. and-twenty thousand pounds, rejecting But whatever be their fate, they have all overtures to share with the northalready done much for science. They westers, whom we now find to be in the have ascertained the magnetic varia- fairest way possible to do the job. tion in the vicinity of the magnetic And this, by the way, adds not a little pole. They have determined the laws to our mortification; not that we do according to which this variation is not hope most sincerely that they may effected, by the position of the ship’s succeed, but because we exercised a head. They have measured the length sort of triumph over them before our of the pendulum in regions where the departure, and made ourselves sure of pendulum had never vibrated before; reaching the Pacific before them ; and they have sent home several ob- having so much a nearer, and, as we jects of natural history of considerable thought, so much a fairer, prospect of interest and importance.
a free and open passage across the
Polar Bason, as Mr Barrow calls it, Since the preceding paper was print- into the Pacific. ed, intelligence has been received of the ar Another subject of mortification, rival of the Isabella and the Alexander, under the command of Captain Ross and Lieu- here with whom we converse, enter
and that not the least, is, that people tenant Parry. They reached Lerwick in the Shetland Islands on the 30th October,
tain the most absurl notions of our after having completely succeeded in sailing failure: nay, some go so far as to say, round Baftins Bay, and determining that that the attempt was nothing less than there was no passage through it to the north impious, to pass the frozen boundary
In latitude 76° north, and longitude which God has been pleased to set to 66° west, they discovered a savage tribe of man's researches ; foolishly fancying Esquimaux Indians, who regarded the ship, that there is a fixed and impenetrable as an animal, and its crew as people who boundary, and ignorant that many had descended from the moon. They were only about five feet high, and seemn never to
navigators have passed three or four have seen any other people but themselves. degrees beyond the spot where we The farthest point north which they reach
were stopped. They know not, in ed was 76° 54', the farthest point west 81%, fact, that the disposition of the ice is the greatest dip of the needle 86', and different every year, and I may add,
every month. In the present year, days. It was now, I believe, about
ice with their broadsides, they must We reached Hakluyt’s Headland on both inevitably have gone to pieces, the 7th June, and standing on among strong as they were, in a few mothe loose ice, to the lat. 80° 22, fell ments. The approach to the ice was in with six or seven whale-fishers, one of the most awful moments I ever from whom we learned that all was experienced
was rolling close to the westward. The wind mountains high, the wind blew a being north-east, brought with it hurricane, and the waves broke over large flows of ice drifting away to the the mast-heads, and every appearance southward, which gave us the greatest indicated the immediate destruction hopes of finding a passage round the of the two ships; and I believe every land to the eastward ; and in fact, in man on board thought there was but the course of a few days, we observed a few moments between him and etermuch clear water in that direction. nity. The two ships entered the ice We were soon, however, beset in the with a tremendous crash, and must ice, and remained immoveable for infallibly have gone to pieces with the several days. At length a strong shock, had they not been fitted up easterly wind dispersed the ice, and with all the strength that wood and set us free; and we reached an an iron could give them. By degrees the chorage towards the end of June, near strength of the wind acting on the the land called Vogel Sang. Here sails worked the ships into the body we remained about a week, observing of the ice; and in proportion as they with great pleasure vast masses of ice advanced from the outer edge, the continuing to float to the south-west, motion became less, till at length, and at the end of that time were gra- when they had advanced from a quartified by the appearance of an open sea ter to half a mile, they were comto the north-east. We had not pro- pletely set fast, and remained in tolerceeded far, however, in that direction, able tranquillity; but, by the first till we were again beset by the float- shock, and the working of the ice ing ice, in which we remained several against their sides, they both sustained