Popular Science Monthly/Volume 17/June 1880/Recent Geographical Exploration

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623876Popular Science Monthly Volume 17 June 1880 — Recent Geographical Exploration1880Charles Patrick Daly


By Chief Justice DALY.

BEFORE entering upon an account of the geographical work of the world during 1878 and 1879, I would call attention to the great increase during the last few years of geographical societies. Eight have been formed within the last two years alone, and there are now throughout the world fifty-one of these organizations; the last two being one in Algeria and one in Japan. Our own society is the fifth in the number of members, though, as respects its annual revenue and ability to aid in the work of geographical exploration, it is much below bodies in Europe inferior to it in point of numbers. The oldest is the French Geographical Society of Paris, established in 1821; the largest and the most influential are the Royal Geographical Society of London, which has 3,337 members, and an annual income of about $40,000, and the Imperial Geographical Society of St. Petersburg, with an annual income of about $33,000, $12,000 of which is contributed by the Russian Government.

In the department of physical geography, much interesting work has been done. Sir Wyville Thomson, as the result of observations made by him, chiefly in the scientific voyage of the Challenger, finds that many of the physical conditions of the globe depend upon its division into two hemispheres, one embracing nearly the whole of the dry land, and the other almost all the water. He says that all the vast mass of water, often two thousand fathoms in thickness, lying below what he calls the neutral land, moves slowly northward, and that this motion is due to the trade-winds. It is now established, he states, that the average depth of the ocean is about two thousand fathoms, and that it probably nowhere exceeds five thousand; that in depths of about two thousand fathoms there is the globigerina ooze, a substance resembling chalk, formed of the shells of living organizations that existed on the surface of the sea, and sunk to the bottom on the death of the animal. This ooze occupies considerable portions of the bed of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. In depths below three thousand feet an extremely reddish clay is found, which is apparently the decomposition of submarine volcanoes and of decomposed organisms. What is at present forming a great depth does not correspond, either in structure or chemical composition, with any known geological formation, and warrants the belief that none of the older formations of the globe were laid down at such great depths. Sir Wyville Thomson adopts the opinion of Professor Dana, of Yale College, that the eruptions which originated the mountain-chains that form the skeleton of our present continents, and the depressions occupied by our present seas, arose from the cooling and contraction of the crust of the earth at a period more remote than the deposition of the earliest fossiliferous rocks.

Dr. Kroll, of Göttingen, has also been engaged in investigating the depth of the ocean, and estimates the mean depth at 1,877 fathoms, an estimate not very much below that of Sir Wyville Thomson.

In meteorology the most notable phenomena have been the very marked changes of the ordinary temperature in different parts of the world, particularly in western Europe, in certain parts of Asia, and in the eastern portion of the United States. It has been marked in Europe by winters of increased severity and an undue prevalence of moisture in the spring and summer, attended by very disastrous consequences to agriculture in Great Britain, France, and some other countries. The last winter on the European Continent, as well as in Great Britain, has been one of the severest upon record. In France the thermometer has never been so low since 1795, with the exception of one year, 1871, when the cold, however, was but of short duration. In Switzerland and southern Germany, especially in the mountainous parts, the severity of the winter has been exceedingly disastrous; while in this country the winters—especially the present winter—have been of unusual mildness in all the States east of the Mississippi.

In Asia the changes in the ordinary temperature have been equally remarkable. In the mountains of Cashmere there was a snowfall last winter extraordinary even in that mountainous region. In certain places it snowed uninterruptedly and heavily for ten continuous days, the snow upon the level plains being from thirty to forty feet deep, and in some of the mountain-passes it was piled up to a height of one hundred and fifty feet, and in others to two hundred and fifty feet.

Various conjectures have been advanced as to the cause of this unusual change of temperature. A writer in the "New York Herald" attributes the fact that the spring and summer in Europe was excessively rainy to an unusually vigorous movement of the Gulf Stream, in consequence of an exceptional pressure of the southeast trade-winds, which he claims produced an extensive diffusion of Gulf vapor in a northerly direction, greatly mitigating the winds in the United States. Others attribute these effects to a change in the condition of the sun, which during the last year is said to have been in a state of repose that is very rare, there being no spots or eruptions visible upon its surface. The latter theorists maintain that, when the sun-spots are at the greatest height, or at their maximum, the earth receives the greatest quantity of heat; and that, when the spots are at the lowest, or their minimum, the heat is proportionately lessened. Others, however, dispute this altogether, declaring that the observations that have been made of the maximum periods of the spots on the sun's surface do not coincide, over any length of time, with the warm and cold years, and do not, therefore, justify any such inference. Monsieur de Perville, on the other hand, maintains, as the result of long observations of dry and rainy seasons in Europe, that they correspond with known changes of the moon. In connection with which I may mention, as a curious fact, derived from recent Assyrian researches, that the Babylonians and Chaldeans attributed changes in the weather to the influence of the moon, and kept up a system of regular observations of the moon for practical purposes.

The extreme dryness and consequent want of moisture for the fertilization of the fields in parts of India and China, hitherto fruitful and thickly populated, is attributed to the wanton destruction of the forests on the hillsides. In 1879 Mr. Hilliard visited the famine stricken province of Shang-Si, in China, and found in these famine districts that the trees had been extensively destroyed, and attributes the want of moisture and the consequent infertility of the soil to this cause. Observations made in France by M. Mathieu and by M. Fautral over a period of four years, by different methods, as to the effect under trees and the effect in treeless plains, led to the same general results, which are as follows: That it rains more abundantly over forests than over open ground, especially when the trees are in leaf; that the air above the forest is more saturated with moisture than over the open ground; that the leaves of trees intercept one third, and, in some trees, half of the rainfall, and that the leaves and branches restrain the evaporation of the water which reaches the ground, moistening the earth four times as much as it is moistened by the rain that falls upon open plains.

Geographical inquiries are not limited to the discovery of unknown countries or places, but embrace the discovery of the remains of lost civilizations or cities, one of which has been discovered during the last two years. The readers of the Bible will remember the frequent mention that is made of the Hittites, a people occupying Canaan, who are described in the Biblical narrative as being commercial and military, and in whose country Abraham bought a piece of land for his burial place. The scattered accounts in the Bible simply indicate an ordinary tribe of people, with whom the Israelites had intercourse, but information derived from the researches made in Egypt and Assyria show that the Hittites, whom the Egyptians called the Kheta, and the Assyrians the Khatti, were a powerful confederacy occupying the country which was the highway between Babylonia or Assyria and Egypt—a people actively engaged in commerce, their principal city being a place at which merchants from all parts congregated, and who were at the same time a warlike people, who for a long period kept the Assyrians in check, and who proved the most formidable antagonists the Egyptians ever encountered. They were not only commercial and warlike, but had evidently at a remote period made great advances in civilization and in the fine arts, and early Greek art, as found in the discoveries of Dr. Schliemann at Mycenæ, and the early art found in Cyprus by General di Cesnola, is supposed to have been largely derived from them. They occupied the whole country of southern Syria, from the Mediterranean to the desert, dwelling chiefly in the fertile valleys of the Orontes, a river rising to the east of Baalbek and flowing into the Mediterranean, and had two principal cities—Kadesh, or the holy city, and a great commercial emporium, which was their capital and the center of their power, called Carchemish. They were finally overthrown by the Assyrians b. c. 718, and had so completely disappeared that they are scarcely even referred to by Greek writers. Great interest was felt to discover the site of their commercial capital, Carchemish, and many conjectures have been made, none of which, however, could be verified. A few years ago Mr. Skene, the British consul at Aleppo, discovered a huge mound of earth, covering a large area, on the western shore of the lower Euphrates, near Dèjrabis, a ford of that river on the route still traversed by caravans. This great mound was surrounded by ruined walls and broken towers, while the mound itself was but a mass of earth, fragments of masonry and débris. It had frequently been seen by previous travelers, but they identified it with other lost places. Mr. Skene called the attention to it of the late George Smith, the eminent archæologist, who brought so much to light from the ruins of Nineveh, and Mr. Smith found here the long lost capital of the Hittites. The present British consul, Mr. Henderson, has been during the last two years engaged in the exploration of the mound. He has already sent important remains with inscriptions to the British Museum, and an English traveler, Mr. Sackaw, has been recently engaged in investigating it. A few years ago a stone, which had formed part of the wall of a house at Hameth, had an inscription upon it which excited great curiosity, because it was neither Assyrian nor Egyptian, but something between both languages. It may be remembered that I called attention in one of my former addresses to the discovery of this stone and one or two others containing like characters, which were then called the Hamite inscriptions, with the suggestion that this might probably be the language of the Hittites, which is now proved to be the fact. The inscriptions found by Mr. Henderson in the exploration of Carchemish are not only in the same character, but the same language, which Mr. Layard found impressed upon seals discovered by him in the ruins of the record-chamber of Sennacherib's palace, which greatly excited his curiosity, as the writing was unlike any ever noticed before. Another inscription was afterward discovered at Aleppo by Mr. Davis, a missionary; and it also turns out that the famous figures sculptured above the roads from Ephesus to Phocea, and from Smyrna to Sardis, which are mentioned by Herodotus, and were supposed by him to represent the Egyptian King Rameses II, the Sesostris of the Greeks, have inscriptions upon them in the same character as that recently found in Carchemish, showing that these figures also are Hittite monuments. It is supposed that this language was the source of what is known as the Cypriote syllabary, found in Cyprus, a system of characters of which each does not, like the letters of the alphabet, represent a single sound, but a syllable, and which was probably the language in use among commercial people throughout Asia Minor, until it was superseded by the simpler and more practical Phœnician alphabet. This discovery is exceedingly interesting, as the Hittites belong to the same race of people who perfected, by the alphabet, that greatest of human inventions, a written language. We have now in this discovery of Mr. Smith the memorials of a lost people, in neighboring proximity to the Phœnicians; a people who had an important part in the early progress of ancient civilization, with respect to which an eminent Egyptian scholar expresses his conviction that future discoveries in the course of this exploration will afford convincing proofs that this civilization, which was of the highest antiquity, was of an importance which we can only guess at.

What may be anticipated when scholars are able to read these inscriptions, as in all probability they will be, for the cuneiform or arrow-headed characters of Assyria have been read, is foreshadowed by what has been brought to light by the discoveries of Layard and Smith in the mound which now represents what was once Nineveh. Beneath a mass of rubbish were found the remains of what had been a great Assyrian library, the materials of which being of baked clay had proved indestructible, and, though lying in broken fragments, Mr. G. Smith was able to piece the fragments together, and recover over three thousand inscriptions, forming pages of the volumes of which the library was composed, and in some cases recovering entire books. The tablets or leaves of these volumes or bricks, as they are called, are formed of thin plates of clay, upon either side of which the text was inscribed when the clay was soft, the tablet being afterward baked or dried, when the tablets or bricks, like our modern books, were arranged in chapters and volumes. Nearly two thirds of this library are now in the British Museum, which, through the politeness of Mr. R. H. Major, I had the pleasure of inspecting in 1874. It embraces treatises on history, astronomy, geography, religion, morality, astrology, and other subjects. From one of these books, compiled after the manner of our modern encyclopædias, and the compilation of which is shown to have been made more than 2,000 years b. c., it has been ascertained, what has long been supposed, that Chaldea was the parent-land of astronomy; for it is found, from this compilation and from other bricks, that the Babylonians catalogued the stars, and distinguished and named the constellations; that they arranged the twelve constellations that form our present zodiac to show the course of the sun's path in the heavens; divided time into weeks, months, and years; that they divided the week, as we now have it, into seven days, six being days of labor and the seventh a day of rest, to which they gave a name from which we have derived our word "sabbath," and which day, as a day of rest from all labor of every kind, they observed as rigorously as the Jew or the Puritan. The motion of the heavenly bodies and the phenomena of the weather were noted down, and a connection, as I have before stated, detected, as M. de Perville claims to have discovered, between the weather and the changes of the moon. They invented the sun-dial to mark the movements of the heavenly bodies, the waterclock to measure time, and they speak in this work of the spots on the sun, a fact they could only have known by the aid of telescopes, which it is supposed they possessed, from observations that they have noted down of the rising of Venus and the fact that Layard found a crystal lens in the ruins of Nineveh. These "bricks" contain an account of the deluge, substantially the same as the narrative in the Bible, except that the names are different. They disclose that houses and land were then sold, leased, and mortgaged, that money was loaned at interest, and that the market-gardeners, to use an American phrase, "worked on shares"; that the farmer, when plowing with his oxen, beguiled his labor with short and homely songs, two of which have been found; and, to connect this very remote civilization with the usages of to-day, I may, in conclusion, refer to one of the bricks of this library, in the form of a notice, which is to the effect that visitors are requested to give to the librarian the number of the book they wish to consult, and that it will be brought to them; at the perusal of which one is disposed to fall back upon the exclamation of Solomon, that there is nothing new under the sun.

A very curious fact has come to light, resulting from Dr. Schliemann's discoveries in the Troad. In the lowest strata of his excavations at Hissarlik he found a vase with an inscription in an unknown language. Six years ago, the eminent Orientalist, E. Burnouf, declared the inscription to be in Chinese characters, for which he was generally laughed at at the time, from the improbability of Dr. Schliemann finding, in the lowest strata of his excavations, a vase with an inscription in the Chinese language. Now, however, it appears that the Chinese ambassador at Berlin, Li Fangpau, who in his own country is a distinguished scholar, has read and translated the inscription, which, he says, states that three pieces of linen gauze are packed in the vase for inspection, being what we, in our day, would call sending a sample of merchandise into a foreign country to create a demand for it. E. Burnouf previously declared that the inscription was to the effect that the vase contained pieces of goods (pièces d'étoffe). The Chinese ambassador fixes the date of the inscription as about 1,200 b. c., and further states that the unknown characters so frequently occurring on the terra-cotta are also in the Chinese language, which would show that, at this remote period, commercial intercourse existed between China and the eastern shores of Asia Minor and Greece.

There have been a number of discoveries throwing light upon the question of the antiquity of man. The latest conclusions upon this subject have been given by Dr. E. B. Tylor, President of the Anthropological Institute of England, one of the most eminent men in this field of inquiry. He states, as the result of the evidence so far obtained, that the causes which brought about the differences in the form of the skull, the color of the hair and skin, and the physical constitution of men, had chiefly accomplished their work long anterior to the dawn of history; since when, he says, some changes may be traced, brought about by migrations or the effects of climate. He declares that the ground taken by Principal Dawson, of Montreal, the eminent geologist, fixing the period of development at about 2,200 years b. c., is bringing it within the historic period, and that it has nothing, as shown by the Egyptian and Assyrian researches, to support it. Mr. Tylor states that the evidence now accumulated strengthens the probability that all men are descended from one original stock, which, he thinks, is inferable from the close resemblance of all human beings in body and mind, and from the freedom with which races intercross and produce mixed races. He thinks that the period anterior to history was one of vast length. He states that anthropologists now consider the Egyptians as belonging to an African rather than to an Asiatic race, as has been previously supposed. The reasonable conclusion, he thinks, is that they were a mixed race, but mainly of African origin, and that they came originally from the southern Somauli-Land, which, according to Egyptian tradition, was the place whence their gods were derived. His further conclusion is that the Chaldeans and Babylonians, as indicated by their early languages, the Accadian and Medic, were of a Tartar or Turanian family, and may possibly have belonged to the yellow races of China, while the Assyrians were of the white race; and he thinks that the conclusion of many naturalists is correct that the geographical center from which man emanated and spread over the globe was in the tropical regions of the Old World.

Dr. R. Fahn, on the contrary, who has been making extensive linguistic researches in South America, comes to a totally different conclusion from Mr. Tylor. The Doctor, in a communication published in Vienna, claims as the result of his researches that America is the Old World, and Europe, Africa, and Asia the New. He declares that the languages spoken by the Indians in Peru and Bolivia exhibit astounding affinities with the Shemitic languages, and especially with Arabic, with which the Doctor is thoroughly acquainted. He claims that the Shemitic roots are universally Aryan, and that the stems of all the varieties of the early Aryan tongues are found in their purest condition in the languages of the Indians of Peru and Bolivia, especially in the Quichua and the Aimara; and he maintains that the high plains of Bolivia and Peru are the central point from which the human race dispersed, which accords with the view expressed by some American archaeologists that America is not only geologically but ethnologically the Old World.

Professor Mudge has gone into a calculation of the number of years to which the existence of man upon the globe may be traced, basing his calculation upon the rate at which the delta of the Mississippi is deposited. He reaches the conclusion that man has been on the earth not less than two hundred thousand years. Such computations, however, are, as Lyell has shown in respect to the deposits of the Nile, very uncertain data upon which to found any exact estimate of time.

The most important events in Arctic exploration have been the dispatching of the steamer Jeanette by James Gordon Bennett, and the accomplishing of the northwest passage around Asia by Professor Nordenskjöld.

The object of Professor Nordenskjöld's expedition was not only to accomplish what had been attempted so many times without success, but also the acquisition of important scientific information, it now being the opinion of meteorologists that the climate of Europe and America is materially affected by the ever-changing ice and other physical conditions of the Siberian seas; and that we shall never get a thorough understanding of the laws which regulate the movements of the winds, and the great currents of the sea, until we obtain a more thorough knowledge of the state of things in the polar basin.

The success of Professor Nordenskjöld in achieving this long sought passage was due to the fact that he is himself an eminent scientific man; that he had a large experience previously in polar exploration, and that before undertaking this expedition he carefully studied everything that had been done, from the first attempt, in the reign of Elizabeth, down to the last expedition. He left Gothenburg on July 4, 1878, and arrived at Yokohama, Japan, on the 18th of the same month, a year later. Two hundred and sixty-four days of this time, the vessels were imprisoned in the ice off Cape Serdze, about one hundred and twenty miles from the Pacific termination of Behring Strait. The results arrived at by Professor Nordenskjöld are that the voyage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, around the north coast of Asia, may be made by a suitable steamer in a few weeks at the proper season, but that the route is not likely to be of any practical commercial importance; that there is no difficulty in establishing a regular communication by water between the rivers Obi and the Yenisei and Europe for the purposes of trade+; that in all probability the voyage by sea between the Yenisei and Lena, and between the Lena and Europe, may be utilized for the purposes of trade; that the voyage there and therefrom may be made in the same summer; and that further explorations are necessary to determine whether a practicable communication by water can be established from the river Lena to the Pacific.

Geological and geographical work in the United States has been pushed with vigor, and some interesting results developed. Mr. G. K. Gilbert has surveyed the Henry Mountains of southern Utah, discovered by Professor Powell ten years ago, and has reached the conclusion that the Saskatchewan River, which rises in the Rocky Mountains, was formerly the upper course of the Mississippi, and flowed to the Gulf of Mexico, until, by the rising of the land in Minnesota, a barrier was created which changed the course of the river, and by which Lake Winnipeg came into existence.

Professor J. W. Powell has transmitted to the Government a report on the lands of the arid regions of the United States, west of the one-hundredth meridian and east of the Cascade Range, from which it appears that the abundant rainfall in the eastern portion of the United States diminishes westward, until at last an arid region is reached, in which agriculture is not possible without irrigation. This region, Professor Powell says, begins about midway in the great plains and extends across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, except that there is a greater precipitation of moisture in western Washington and Oregon, and the northwest corner of California, the winds impinging on this region being freighted with moisture, derived from the great Pacific currents, and where this water-laden atmosphere strikes the western coast in full force, as it does in the vicinity of the Columbia River, the precipitation is excessive, but rapidly decreases eastward to the summit of the Cascade Mountains, this humid area being designated by the Professor as the Lower Columbia region. The especially arid portion is the great Rocky mountain region of the United States, and embraces more than two-fifths of the whole country, excluding Alaska.

One of the curious results that surveys in this country have brought out is, that the configuration of a portion of central New York has been incorrectly described and mapped. Mr. J. T. Gardiner, who had charge of the survey, states that in nearly every instance places were misplaced one or two miles, while, in respect to the general features over which the survey extended, Mr. Gardiner says, "Colorado was not a greater surprise to me than has been the structure of my native State," and that "the configuration of the country is as unique and as unknown to science as that of any part of the Rocky Mountains."

In South America a number of surveys have been made, one of the most notable being that of the São Francisco River, by W. Milnor Roberts, now chief of the Brazilian railways. It is, he says, a very peculiar river, thirteen hundred and two miles long from the ocean to the Falls of Perapora, and is one half wider than the Ohio at Cincinnati, with a large volume of water at the lowest stage of the river. Two hundred miles from its mouth are the great Falls of Paulo Affonso, with a higher elevation than the Falls of Niagara, though not like Niagara in one pitch. A railway is required seventy-five miles to connect the lower and upper rivers, which is now, he says, in the course of construction by the Brazilian Government. About two hundred and sixty miles of the river has many rapids, all of which he ascended, and after this there are, he says, about eight hundred miles of fair navigation for light steamers.

The geographical explorations in Asia, especially in the northern part of it and in the countries now under the control of the Russians, have been very extensive. One of the most interesting events in the East has been the visit of Mr. C. Doughty to the so-called rock city of El-Heggi, beyond Damascus, which, in the days of Ptolemy, was an emporium for trade in frankincense and gold. It is one of the seven fabled cities of the Arabs, which was said by them to have been hewed out of the surrounding mountains, and to have had one hundred funereal chambers excavated in the rock. Mr. Doughty reached the place with great difficulty, and found it to consist only of the remains of what appeared to have been four or five palm villages, each surrounded by a wall in the ordinary Arab manner. He discovered some sepulchral chambers, but they were very plain, with inscriptions cut in a panel over the doorways. This journey of Mr. Doughty has entirely dissipated the fabulous stories so long told about this place by Arab, Turkish and Persian pilgrims.

The work in China, Thibet, Corea, India, Japan, and throughout all parts of Africa, has been considerable. The Niger, after several unsuccessful attempts, has been traced to its source in the vicinity of a village called Konlako, near the frontier of Koronko. Lieutenant Savarin de Braza, after three years of very difficult exploration, has obtained a complete knowledge of the Ogowa River, which he has proved to be entirely distinct from the Congo, and to have no connection with any interior lakes.

The most remarkable of the recent explorations in Africa is that of the Portuguese explorer, Major A. A. de Serpa Pinto, in his journey from Benguela, on the western coast, across the African Continent to the Zambesi River, and thence in a southeasterly direction through the Matabeli kingdom and the Transvaal Republic to Natal on the Indian Ocean. He started from Benguela, on the west coast, November 12, 1877, and arrived at the end of his journey in Durban, on the Indian Ocean, on April 14, 1879, a journey occupying nearly twenty months. He discovered the source of the river Cubango, west of Bihé; and, shortly afterward, two of its affluents, finding the river to be contrary to all the descriptions of it on the maps. He says, in speaking of those affluents, "I use the words small rivers, but the smallest in Africa are almost always enormous ones." He found the river Cuqueima, to his surprise, running to the north, which was contrary to its position on the maps, and flowing from the north to the southwest, toward the Quango, of which it is an affluent. He afterward struck the Quango, flowing to the north, and the Cuito, an affluent of the Cuando, running to the south. All the great rivers, he says, of South Africa, have their sources in an immense rich plain, which is in 12° south latitude. The way in which rivers in this part of Africa take their rise and are formed, as described by him, is interesting. They begin with a slight humidity, resembling the trickling of a small fountain. By degrees the current swells, and suddenly, without having received any visible affluents, it becomes an enormous river, on which any one may sail with a boat. He says he saw the source of the Cuando, first as a tiny rill, which flowed between his feet; that a little lower down he descended it in a canoe, and that thence it was quite navigable till it entered the Zambesi, where Livingstone calls it the Chobe, a name which Major Pinto says is utterly unknown at the present day in Africa. Not only is the Cuando navigable, but also many of its affluents; and there is a cataract at its extremity, which nearly proved fatal to the explorer, as it had not been previously mentioned by any one. There is, he says, no connection by water between the Cuando and the Cubango, and while in the region of the Cuando he met one of the most curious discoveries in his journey. He found that one of the carriers supplied to him by a friendly chief was, to his astonishment, a white man belonging to a race in Africa heretofore entirely unknown. This race, called the Cassequer, he says, exist in large numbers in this part of South Africa, and that they are whiter even than the Caucasians, with this distinction, that, instead of hair, their heads are covered with small tufts of very short wool, that they have prominent cheek-bones, and eyes like the Chinese. He states that he has seen girls with such a complexion that, if their features were European, they would pass in Europe for beauties. Lieutenant de Braza is of the opinion that this race of people came from North Africa, as he states that he has seen a race greatly resembling them, called the Ubamlo, south of the Congo. The men of this white African race, Major Pinto says, are remarkably muscular and robust, and that when they discharge an arrow at an elephant they bury the entire shaft in the animal's body. They live by themselves, subsisting on roots or the spoils of the chase; and it is only when their supplies fall short that they hold any communications with their neighboring race, the Ambuelos, from whom they obtain food for ivory. He describes them as a nomadic people, never sleeping two nights in the same encampment; that they wander about in groups of from four to six families, over all the territory that lies between the Cuchi and the Cubango, and that they are the only people in Africa that do not cook their food, eating it raw. He makes the interesting statement, that it is the crossing of this people with the negroes that has produced, in his opinion, the race of mulattoes so well known in the lower part of South Africa by the name of Bushmen; a race who differ from those from which they have sprung, as they cook their food, and are of a good disposition, though quite opposed to civilization. He states that fevers prevail all along the river-banks of the Zambesi, and in the lands adjoining the river, but that the country extending inland from the highlands of Benguela is the most suitable territory in all tropical Africa for colonization, being five thousand feet above the sea, fertile, well watered, and healthy. The people, he says, are docile, capable of improvement, are very fond of dress, and that a market would here be found for the consumption of foreign manufactures.

  1. Abstract of the last annual address before the American Geographical Society by Charles P. Daly, LL.D., President.