Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/40

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14
MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY

South American waters until the last of August, 1826, when she set sail from New York with the Vincennes. Eventually it was Maury's good fortune to be transferred to the latter vessel, in which he was to circumnavigate the globe. He first joined the Vincennes, on March 10, 1827, in Callao Roads, the port of Lima, Peru. The American warships had by this time entered the Pacific and were cruising up and down the South American coast from Valparaiso, Chile to Guayaquil, Ecuador to protect the commerce of the United States, as this part of South America also was then in turmoil.

Bolivar, after liberating the states of northern South America from Spanish rule, was endeavoring to organize Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, La Plata, and Chile into a grand republic, of which he aspired to be the ruler. The union of the first three of these states was practically realized, but the undertaking finally ended in failure because of the jealousy of Bolivar's former companions in arms and the fickleness of the South American people. This characteristic of the people is humorously set forth in Maury's letters in which he describes some of the fighting which he witnessed at Guayaquil. The young man's historical outlook was thus further broadened by this personal contact with the affairs of the great Libertador, Bolivar.

On July 4, 1829, the war meanwhile having come to an end, the Vincennes, under the command of Captain William Compton (Bolton) Finch, set forth from Callao on her voyage across the Pacific. She was to make her first stop at the Washington Islands, now known as the Marquesas, in order, as Captain Finch's orders read, to secure proper treatment from the natives for any of our defenseless seafaring countrymen who in their lawful