Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

and in its enormous eastern flank, which dipped down radually until it fell into the level, and was seoningly joined with the table, land of Unyoro. The humpy western flank dipped down suddenly, as it seemed to us, into lands that we knew not by name as yet. Between these opposing barriers spread the Semliki valley, so like a lake at its eastern extremity that one of our officers exclaimed that it was the lake and the female followers of the Egyptians set up a shrill dululus on seeing their own lake, the Albert Nyanza, again. With the naked eye it did appear like the lake, but a field glass revealed that it was a level grassy plain, white with the ripeness of its grass. host who have read Sir Samuel Baker’s “Albert Nyanza” will remember the passage wherein he states that to the southwest the Nyanza stretches “illimitably.” He might be well in error at such a distance, when our own people, with the plane scarcely four miles away, mistook the plain, for the Nyanza. As the plain recedes southwesterly the bushes become thicker, finally acacias appear in their forests, and beyond these, again, the ead black thickness of an impenetrable tropical forest; but the plain, as far, as the eye could command, continued to lie ten to twelve miles wide between these mountain barriers, and through the center of it, sometimes inclining toward the southeast mountains, sometimes to the southwestern range, the Semliki river pours its waters toward the Albert Nyanza. In two marches from Buhoho we stood upon its banks, and alas for Mason Bey and Gessi Pasha, had they but halted their steamers for half an hour to examine this river, they would have seen sufficient to excite much geographical interest, for the river is a powerful stream from eighty to one hundred yards wide, averaging nine feet depth from side to side, and having a current of from three and a half knots to four knots, in size about equal to two thirds of the Victoria Nile. As we were crossing this river the Warasura attacked us from the rear with a well-directed volley, but fortunately the distance was too great. They were chased for some miles, but, fleet as grayhounds, they fled, so there was no casualties to report on elther side. We entered the Awamba country on the eastern shore of the Semliki, and our marches for several days afterward were through plantain plantations which flourished in the clearings made in this truly African forest. Finally we struck the open again immediately under Ruwenzori itself. Much, however, as we had flattered ourselves that we should see some marvelous scenery, the Snow mountain was very coy, and hard to see. On most days it loomed impending over us like a tropical storm cloud ready to dissolve in rain and ruin on us. Near sunset a peak or two here, a crest there, a ridge beyond, white with snow, shot into view, jagged clouds, whirling and eddying round them, and then the darkness of night. Often at sunrise, too, Ruwenzori would appear fresh, clean, brightly pure ; profound blue voids above and around it; every line and dent, knoll, and turret-like crag deeply marked and clearly visible; but presently all would be buried under mass upon mass of mist until the immense mountain was no more visible than if we were thousands of miles away. And then, also, the Snow mountain, being set deeply in the range, the nearer we approached the base of the range the less we saw of it, for nigher ridges obtruded themselves and barred the view. Still we have obtained three remarkable views—one from the Nyanza Plain, another from Kavalli, and a third from the South Point. In altitude above the sea I should estimate it to be between 18,000 and 19,000 feet. We can not trust our triangulations, for the angles are too small. When we were in positions to ascertain it correctly the inconstant mountain gathered his cloudy blankets around him and hid himself from view ; but a clear view from the loftiest summit down to the lowest reach of

snow, obtained from a place called Karimi, makes me

vol. xxix.-23 A

on: that the height is between the figures stated a toove. It took us nineteen marches to reach the southwest angle of the range, the Semliki valley being below us on our right, which, if the tedious mist had permitted would have been exposed in every detail. at part of the valley traversed by us is generally known by the name of Awamba, while the habitable portion of the range is principally denominated Ukonju. The huts of i. natives, the Bakonju, are seen as high as 8,000 feet above the sea. Almost all our officers had at one time a keen desire to distinguish themselves as the climbers of these African Alps, but, unfortunately, they were in a very unfit state'for such a work. The fasha only mood to get 1,000 feet, higher than our camp. Lieut. Stairs reached the height of 10,677 feet above the sea, but had the mortification to find two deep gulfs between him and the Snowy mount proper. He brought, however, a good collection of plants, among which were giant heather, blackberries, and bilberries. The pasha was in his element among these plants, and has classified them. The first day we had disentangled ourselves of the forest proper and its outskirts of struggling bush, we looked down from the grassy shelf below Ruwenzori range and saw a grassy plains, level, seemingly, as a bowling-green, the very duplicate of that which is seen at the extremity of the Albert Nyanza, extending southerly from the forests of the Semliki valley. We then knew that we were not far from the ś: ern lake, discovered by me in 1877. Under guidance of the Wakonju, I sent Lieut. Stairs to examine the river said to flow from the Southern Nyanza. He returned next day reporting it to be the Semliki river narrowed down to a stream, 42 yards wide and about 10 feet deep, flowing, as the canoemen on its banks said, to the Nyanza Utuku, or Nyanza of |o the Albert Nyanza. Besides native reports he had other corroborative evidences to prove it to be the Semliki. On the second march from the confines of Awamba we entered Usongora, a grassy region as opposite in appearance from the perpetual spring of {{.. as roughty land could well be. his country bounds the Southern Nyanza on its northern and northwestern side. Three days later, while driving the Warasura before us, or rather as they were self-driven by their own fears, we entered soon after its evacuation the important town of Kative, the headquarters of the raiders. It is situated between an arm of the Southern Nyanza and a salt lake about two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide, which consists of a pure brine of a pinky color, and deposits salt in solid cakes of salt, crystals. This was the property of the Wasongora, but the value of its possession has attracted the cupidity of Kabba Rega, who reaps a considerable revenue from it. Toro, Aukori, Mpororo Ruanda, Ukonju, and many other countries emand the salt for ho and the fortunate possessor of this inexhaustible treasure of salt reaps all that is desirable of property in Africa in exchange, with no more trouble than the defense of it. Our road from Kative lay east and northeast to round the bay-like extension of the Nyanza, lyin between Usongora and Unyampaka, and it happene to be the same taken by the main body of the Warasura in their hasty retreat from the salt lake. On entering Uhaiyana, which is to the south of Toro and in the uplands, we had passed, the northern head of the Nyanza, or Beatrice gulf, and the route to the south was open, not, however, without another encounter with the Warasura. A few days later we entered Unyampaka, which I had visited in January, 1876. Ringi, the king, declined to enter into the cause of Unyoro, and allowed us to feed on his bananas unquestioned. After tollowing the lake shore until it turned too far to the southwest, we struck for the lofty uplands of Aukori, by the natives of whom we were well received—preceded as we had been by the reports of our good deeds in relieving the salt lake of the presence of the universally "ino Warasura. If you draw a straight line from the Nyanza to the Uzinja shores of the Victoria lake it would represent pretty fairly our course through Aukori, Karagwe, and Uhaiya to Uzinja. Aukori was open to us because we had driven the Wanyoro from the salt lake. The story was an open sesame : there also existed a wholesome fear of an expedition which had done that which all the power of Aukori could hot have done. Karagwe was open to us because free trade is the policy of the Wanyanbu, and because the Waganda were too much engrossed with their civil war to interfere with our o Uhaiya admitted our entrance without cavis, out of respect to our numbers, and because we were well introduced by the Wanyanbu, and the Wakwiya guided us in like manner to be welcomed by the Wazinja. Nothing happened during the long journey from the Albert lake to cause us any regret that we had taken this straight course, but we have suffered from an unprecedented number of fevers. We have had as many as 150 cases in one day. Aukori is so beswept with cold winds that the expedition wilted under them. Seasoned veterans like the pasha and Capt. Casati were prostrated time after time, and both were reduced to excessive weakness like ourselves. Our blacks, reardless of their tribes, tumbled headlong into the o: grass to sleep their fever fits off. Some, after a short illness died ; the daily fatigues of the march, an ulcer, a fit of fever, a touch of bowel complaint, caused the Egyptians to hide in any cover along the route, and, |. unperceived by the rear guar of the expedition, were left to the doubtful treatment of natives with whose language they were utterly ignorant. In the month of July we lost 141 of their number in this manner. Out of respect to the first British prince, who has shown an interest in African geography, we have named the Southern Nyanza, to distinguish it from the other two Nyanzas, the Albert Edward Nyanza. It is not a very large lake. Compared to the Victoria, the Tanganyika, and the Nyassa, it is small, but its importance and interest lie in the fact that it is the receiver of all the streams at the extremity of the southwestern, or left, Nile basins, and discharges those waters by one river—the Semiki into the Ål: bert Nyanza, in like manner as Lake Victoria receives all streams from the extremity of the southeastern, or right, Nile basin, and pours those waters by the victoria Nile into the Albert Nyanza. These two Niles, amalgamating in Lake Albert, leave this under the well-known name of White Nile.

It is thus evident that the geographical results of this memorable expedition are of equal imortance to the results in any other direction. Mr. Stanley has been enabled to solve some important puzzles in African geography. He was the discoverer of the Congo, and now he has been able to discover one of the remotest sources of the Nile and lay down the water-parting between the two great rivers. From Yambuya to the Albert Nyanza, and thence to Msalalal, he has laid down an immense stretch of what is essentially new country, filled in its great physical features, and collected far more precise information about the varied tribes of people than ever he had before. The Ruwenzori or Ruwenjura mountains Mr. Stanley believes to be the ong-lost and wandering “ Mountains of the Moon” of the old geographers, which were variously put down on the maps. One of the latest discoveries was that of an extension of the Victoria Nyanza toward the southwest. Its utmost southerly reach is to 2° 48° south latitude, thus bringing the lake to

within 155 miles of Lake Tanganyika. The area of the extension is 26,900 square miles. One of the most significant of recent African discoveries is that of a new lake, about 300 miles northeast of Victoria Nyanza, in the Galla country. The discoverer is the Hungarian traveler, Count Samu Teleki. It was called Basso-Norak, but has been renamed Lake Rudolf. It is 162 miles long and about 20 broad. It is supposed to be the one known from reports of the natives as Lake Samburu, and lies in a nearly north and south direction between 2° 18' and 4” 42 north latitude. The region about its shores is dry, and the vegetation scanty. A few Gallas on the banks of the lake and its tributaries live by fishing. M. Borelli, on comparing his discoveries, especially with regard to the River Omo, with those of Count Teleki and Lieut. von Höhnel, concludes that the lake is the same that he located southward as receiving the waters of the River Omo, which has been generally known as Lake Samburu. As a matter of fact, the lake receives on the north a river named Niannam, which M. Borelli maintains is his Omo ; it also receives another, named Bass, not seen by the other explorers. The mountains they saw on the north northeast, named Aro, are those called Ara or Aro by him. The Samburu, Basso-Norak, and Prince Rudolf are one and the same lake. receiving the Omo and having no outlet, according to MM. Teleki and Höhnel, who say it is about 1,970 feet above sea-level, while the Victoria Nyanza is 3,800 feet. Count Teleki ascended Mount Kenia to a height of 15,000 feet on his journey northward. Mt. Kilimandjaro, which was ascended to a great height by Dr. Meyer, was ascended again this year by Herr Otto Ehlers. He describes the icewall, the foot of which was reached by Dr. Meyer (see “Annual Cyclopædia” for 1887, p. 304), as being the edge of a cap of névé, which covers the summit, and has been partly cleared on the north side by the action of wind and radiation, but on the south side forms apparently a glacier issuing from the crater-trough at the summit. From the missionaries in eastern equatorial Africa it is learned that the revolution in Uganda of October, 1888, which deposed Mwanga and expelled the missionaries from the country, has continued to disturb the land at intervals ever since, and that disaffection is increasing among the people as the result of Arab influence at the Court of Uganda. The sources of the Zambesi have to some extent been explored by F. S. Arnot, a missionary, who traveled across the country from Bihé and Benguella to the Garenganze country, where are the Katangacopper-mines and the cave-men described by Livingstone. Avoiding the routes taken by other travelers, he found that the Zambesi does not come from the Dilolo lake, but receives the main part of its waters from an eastern arm, the Liba, which has its source in a mountain probably identical with Livingstone's Mount Kaomba. From Kwanza to the Lukoleshe, a tributary of the Lualaba, stretches the high table-land, and chains of low hills form the watershed between the various rivers. The sovereignty of Msiri extends from the Lualaba to the Luapula, and to the Mochinga mountains on the south; but his influence reaches beyond these borders, including the territory on the Meru lake that belonged in Livingstone's time to the powerful Casembe. Mr. Arnot has been furnished with means for prosecuting his work still farther; and the Royal Geographical Society intrusted to him the proceeds of the Murchison Grant for 1889, to be used in procuring a suitable present for Chitambo, chief of the Ilala country, in consideration of the assistance given by him to those who had charge of the work of carrying Livingstone's body and effects to the coast. The Lomami, one of the great southern tributaries of the Congo, was explored for some distance by Rev. Mr. Grenfell; but its upper reaches were not visited until the last year. Mr. Alexander Delcommune, a Belgian, ascended it in a steamer from its mouth below Stanley Falls up to about the fourth degree of south latitude. The natives told him that he was here but three days’ journey from Nyangwe. It is possible that this is the same river seen by Cameron and crossed by Wissmann at six degrees south latitude. The discovery will prove of practical importance if it provides an easy route to Nyangwe, avoiding the obstruction of the Congo at Stanley Falls. The survey for the Congo railroad is completed, and the work of building is begun. The road will connect Matadi, the head of navigation on the lower river, with Stanley Pool, above which point are navigable waterways aggregating 6,000 miles. In order to avoid the mountainous lands which extend almost unbrokenly along the river in this cataract region, it was found necessary to lay the route for the most part about thirty miles south of the river. Much interest is manifested in the efforts to Fo an end to the slave-trade that is carried on y the Arabs who go through Central Africa with their caravans, ostensibly to buy ivory, but really to capture slaves. As another means of carrying civilization into the heart of the Dark Continent and abolishing the horrible trade in slaves, a project is on foot to make a highway through Africa, from 200 to 400 miles inland from the eastern coast. This line would begin at Guakim, on the Red Sea, and run inland by wagon-road to Berber on the Nile, then by steamers up that river, then by portages to the Victoria Nyanza and Lake Tanganyika and the Upper Zambesi. In time railroads could be substituted for wagon-roads, and connection made with the west coast by way of the Congo. It is believed that this line could be effectively policed and the slave-trade broken up. Great excitement has prevailed in England and in Portugal over a dispute between the two governments in regard to their claims to territory in southeastern Africa. (See CAPE Colony, page 107.) A few months ago Mr. Holmwood, the British Consul-General at Zanzibar, visited Kilima-Njaro at the request of Lord Salisbury to inspect the region that has been placed under British influence. He reported after his return that in his opinion these elevated inland regions are well worth possessing. On the plateau east and north of the great mountain he says the thermometer ranges from 58° to 70°, and very rarely rises to 80°. This region is separated from the coast by a wide desert tract, and most of the products

which Holmwood and others think would thrive on the plateaus would be of little value until easy communication is established with the sea. The route from the Indian Ocean to Victoria Nyanza through the country the British will attempt to develop is 200 miles shorter than any other. The explorations of Lieut. Van Gèle on the Mobangi, the great northern tributary of the Congo, leave no doubt that it is identical with the Welle Makua, whose course and destination has long been one of the problems of African geography. Lieut. Van Gèle, traveling from the west, reached a point only one degree from that reached by Dr. Junker on the Welle traveling eastward, both being in latitude 4° 20' north. M. Camille Douls, whose explorations in the Sahara have been chronicled in previous volumes of this work, set out in June, 1888, with the object of crossing the desert and reaching Timbuctoo. He is reported to have been murdered by his guides in the Sahara between the oases of Alouef and Akabli. He was born at Bordes, in Aveyron, in 1864. Arctic.—It is reported that a new island was found in the Arctic Ocean by Capt. E. H. Johannesen in the summer of 1887. It is east of Spitzbergen in lat. 80° 10' N. and long. 32° 3. E., and is a table-land 2,100 feet high. i. called it New Island. It is believed to be the same as Hvide, seen by Capt. Kjeldsen and by Capt. Sörensen in August, 1884. This discovery confirms the existence of an archipelago extending from Spitzbergen to Franz Josef Land; such an archipelago would prevent the polar ice from descending into Barento Sea, and consequently would have a great influence on the climate of the north of Europe. Australia.-Reporting an expedition to examine the region of the Upper Gascoyne and Ashburton rivers in West Australia, Ernest Favene says that several large rivers tributary to the Ashburton were discovered, and were named the Cunningham, the Jackson, and the James. They run through a magnificent pastoral country, which will soon become o for sheepruns. He says: “We found the physical features of the country different entirely from the conjectural ones on some of the Western Australian maps, the supposed course of the Upper Ashburton being from 20 to 30 miles out of position by the observations taken by Mr. Cuthbertson. The geological formation of the Ashburton is against the likelihood of any valuable mineral deposits being discovered in the future; on the |. of the Gascoyne, however, there is every prospect of the country repaying a careful search for gold. There is a good underground supply of water on the Gascoyne, at a depth of from 12 to 15 feet. The aborigines of this part are of a peculiarly degraded type, being greatly below the average of the natives of the northern and eastern coasts in intelligence.” Bolivia.-The Gran Chaco, that great inland tract of country lying between 29° south latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn, and belonging to Argentina so and Paraguay, has never been fully explored. It has two great rivers flowing into the Paraguay—the Pilcomayo and the Bermejo, and at various times many attempts have been made to explore and open up these rivers as a natural highway from this great interior to the Atlantic coast. The latest one reported was an expedition to ascend the Bermejo (or Vermejo) under Capt. John Page, of the Argentine navy. He found the lower course of the stream obstructed at three points by the wrecks of steamers that had attempted the passage before him. Three hundred miles above the mouth is the end of the Teuco, the new channel opened by the waters of the Bermejo when they left their . bed in 1870. This original channel is still covered at flood time; and the annual freshets have brought down great quantities of detritus to the o so that the tops of large trees are seen just rising above the surface. It is this shifting of the channels and filling up of the beds of the rivers with drift that renders the navigation so uncertain and dangerous, and at the same time by contributing to the great fertility of the soil, has made access to the region so desirable. Colonies have already been settled in the Austral, or southern Chaco, where the timber and sugar industries are carried on, and many native laborers are employed. The lands on both sides of the Bermejo for 400 miles above its mouth have been conceded by the Government for various enterprises, many of which are to be carried on with English capital. The Argentine Government sent Captain Page to England to obtain steamers for squadrons on the i. and the Pilcomayo, and a special vessel to clear them of obstruction, so that it is to be expected that the region of the upper Pilcomayo, the section between 61° and 62° west longitude and 22° and 23° south latitude, where many expeditions have failed and some have been entirely lost, will not long remain an unknown land. In regard to the region he visited Capt. Page says: It is a safe prediction that this region has a great future, possessing as it does an equable climate, tempered by the prevailing southeast and southwest winds, with just enough of the warm and relaxing norther to give a zest to the enjoyment of the others, and oil. vegetable growth ; a climate which throughout the whole extent of its territories suits admirably the sons of southern Italy, and in its southern section has been proved to suit the hardier men of England and the United States. The soil is good and compares well with the lands of southern and western Buenos Ayres, having in its favor, for agricultural purposes, a far better climate, and is adapted to the growth of cotton, tobacco, the castor-oil plant, the olive, barley, sorghum, Indian corn, rice, the manioc, and many other products of temperate and intertropical climates. Cattle thrive in all the Chaco, attaining an extraordiary development in size, especially among the Indian herds, where they depend exclusively upon the grasses and wild fruits—such as the palm and locust. The grasses are varied and abundant, and include many of the species highly thought of in Buenos Ayres, which is, par eccellence the cattle-growing section just now of the Argentina.” Viscount de Brettes has successfully made the journey, it is reported, through the northern Gran Chaco, traversing 186 miles of before unexplored ground. Starting from Apa, on the frontier of Paraguay and Brazil, he reached Bolivia in 21° 53 latitude and 6.3° 41' longitude, having crossed the territory of five native tribes. The reports of Dr. Karl von den Steinen's second visit to the country of the upper Xingu afford some very interesting details regarding the wild tribes he visited in that unknown region. Nine of these tribes were visited, all of them living about the upper Xingu and its eastern trib

utaries. They seem to be still in the stone age, the use of metal being entirely unknown among them. The forest trees are felled with stone axes; stone hammers and nails are used to perforate the shells with which they adorn themselves; their knives are the sharp teeth of the fish piranha; their planes are made of river shells. They have pet parrots and other birds, but other domestic animals, even dogs, are unknown among them. They raise Indian corn, cotton, tobacco, but no sugar-cane, rice, or bananas. They seemed to have no idea of a God, but believe in a soul which travels away during sleep and has a future existence. They know nothing of a world beyond their own territory. Dr. von den Steinen thinks most of the tribes are a fragment of the Carib nation, perhaps the descendants of those who stayed in the original home of the race while the others migrated to the northward. In a paper read before the Berlin Society, Dr. von den Steinen gave an account of the Bororo Indians, who were long the terror of the people of Matto Grosso, but were conquered in 1886 and are now settled in two military colonies on the São Lourenço. They are nominally Christian, but do not allow that fact to interfere with their traditional beliefs and practices. They think the soul survives after death and passes into the body of the arara

arrot, though the souls of the wizard priests |. a more splendid destiny, some of them passing into meteors. The medicine men have great influence among them, much more than among the Xingu tribes. “They treat their patients only in the night. Under the influence of loud

roans and the fumes of tobacco the sick person is stupefied, and finally, as the cause of suffering, a small knuckle bone, a small fruit, or what not, is represented as having been extracted from the body. The incurable patient is strangled by his own relatives at the command of the doctor if at the appointed time death has not come to his release. The author himself saw a father strangle his child who had been lying for a long time in agony while the mother held the boy on her lap. The Bororo have the very peculiar custom of packing their dead in baskets, which is evidently the first stage of burial in urns. The bodies are first of all buried, but after several weeks are exhumed and then the bones are cleansed in the most careful manner, the operation being attended with great festivities and dances. They are then daubed over with red paint and finally covered in the most effective style possible with birds' feathers, especially with the plumes of the many-colored arara parrot, which are pasted on them, especially on the skull. The square basket in which the skeleton, even to the last knuckle bone, is packed is also covered with a casing of yellow and blue feathers. If the wife dies, the collective property of the married couple is burned. In great contrast with the noisy sports and dances which take place when the basket is being filled with the skeleton is the ceremony of the interment of the bones themselves. After the case containing them has remained several days in the house of the relatives it is buried quite quietly in a secret spot, the women being excluded from the ceremony.” The expedition

descended the Kulisén, an eastern tributary of

the Xingu whose course has hitherto been unknown. Other expeditions to these parts of Brazil are in progress or in contemplation with a view to opening those regions to communication with the civilized parts of the country. Capt. Mendonça's mission to the province Paraná was for the purpose of opening a route from Guarauava to |. mouth of the Iguassu and along its course, which is broken by rapids, to the celebrated waterfall Sette Quedas, and thence in the valley of the Piquiry to Guarapuava again. The investigations of A. R. P. Labre have resulted in a plan to unite by a railroad, 93 miles in length, the Madre de Dios, a tributary of the Beni, and the Aquiry, a tributary of the Purus, at the head of navigation in those streams, thus giving Peru and Bolivia communication with the Amazon without the proposed railroad around the rapids of the Madeira. Another tributary of the Purus, heretofore known as the Great Igaripé, has been called Chandless by the people, in honor of the English explorer. Its mouth is in latitude 10° 30' south and longitude 71° 20' west, a few miles below the river Manuel Urbano. British America.-The question of the practicability of making Hudson Bay and Strait a portion of a commercial route to Europe connecting with a railroad from Winnipeg to Hudson Bay continues to be discussed § interest, for such a route would shorten the distance to the coast by one half, making thus a great difference in the cost of transporting the products of western British America to Europe. Commodore A. H. Markham, from a comparison of recorded voyages through the straits and some observations of his own, concludes that the passage may be safely and profitably made for at least five months during the year, but this can only be done with steamers especially adapted for ice navigation. Sailing ships have made the passage every year within a limited part of the season; and with better knowledge of the tides, closer observation of the peculiarities of formation of the floating ice, and the greater facilities offered by steam vessels it is believed that this great saving in distance between the grain fields of the western provinces and their European markets may doubtless be effected in the near future. Two hundred and seventy-five miles of railway would lace Hudson Bay in connection with the inand waters; and it is estimated that with even but two and one half months of operation it would become a paying investment. The interior of British Columbia in the northern part, almost unknown, has been surveyed by an expedition under Dr. G. M. Dawson. The survey includes an area of more than 6,000 square miles, a mountainous region in the main, though there are wide stretches of level or rolling land. The coast mountains extend to Telegraph creek on the Sitkine. Another range to the east of Dease lake is cut through by Dease river. Farther eastward another range gives rise to the streams that feed Pelly river and Frances lake. Dr. Dawson thinks the country capable of supporting as large a population as is found in corresponding latitudes in Europe. There are few, if any, glaciers among the mountains, and unlike the coast, which is very humid, the interior includes tracts of very dry country. The Selkirk range, lying between the Columbia and Kootenie rivers in British Columbia, has

not, as yet, been fully explored. But a part of its great glacier region was visited in the summer of 1888 by Rev. W. Spotswood Green and Rev. Henry Swanzy, who gave names to several of the glaciers and made the first map of the region ever published. A portion of this map, which appeared in the “Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society,” for March, 1889, is herewith reproduced ; and from Rev. Mr. Green's paper, read before the society, we take some of the details of his description of this wild region. Lying west of the Rocky mountains proper— that is, the range that forms the divide of the waters—the Selkirk range forms a marked contrast to that rough, abrupt, and rugged chain.

The Selkirk range on our right rose in gentle slopes and tiers of foot-hills, richly clad in pine forests, and cleft by far-reaching valleys, that of the Spillamachene river being the most important; while to the left the Rockies towered up from almost barren benches of white silt, with a sparse sprinkling of Douglas firs, in great bare precipices of pinkish-white limestone to rugged mountain forms at once. No large tributary joins the Columbia from that direction for eighty miles, only brooks half lost in the shingle brought down spring torrents. . . . The peaks near the Hector Pass are probably as high as any in the range north of the United States boundary, Mount Lefroy and his neighbors rising 11,600 feet above the sea. The heights given for Mounts Hooker and Brown, near the Athabasca Pass, 17,000 and 16,000 feet, are no doubt exaggerated. From the high

oaks of the Selkirks l could scan the Rockies for at east two hundred miles, and from the arête of Mount Sir Donald, what appeared to me to be the highest #. peaks, bore about due east. Mr. McArthur, the Government Surveyor at present engaged on the survey of the Rockies, expressed to me his opinion, that though his work has not, as yet carried him so far, he has reached points where such high mountains must have been visible if they existed. I was not able to see as much of the glaciers in the Rockies as I should have wished; one at the head of the charming Lake Louise, at the foot of Mount Lefroy, I visited on our homeward journey in September. This glacier was formed almost entirely by avalanches falling from the hanging giaciers above. One of these occupied a bench ... a thousand feet up, on the vertici cliffs of Mount Lefroy, and during the day and night I was camped there alone, my companion having missed me in the forest, avalanches fell continually, waking the echoes with the roar of thunder. Strangely enough, they seemed to fall more frequently between two and five o’clock A. M., than at any other time. . . . The most remarkable glacier hitherto discovered on the Rockies is situated to the north of Hector Pass, and extends on a rocky bench, capping in some places the watershed, and surrounding the rugged peaks rising like islands from its midst, as a continuous snow field for about thirty miles. . . . Like the hanging glaciers on Mount Lefroy, it sends its ice down i. avalanches, forming glaciers remanies in the neighboring valleys.

The Selkirks, being much more difficult of access than the Rockies, by reason of the greater denseness of the vegetation, have been omitted from the survey now going on of that region. The great glacier, which is the chief source of the Illecellewaet river, is in sight from the railway. On the east is Mount Sir Donald, 10,645 feet in height, and on the west is a forest-clad ridge separating the glacier valley from a branch valley running up into the mountains for about four miles and headed by the Asulkan glacier, which takes its name from the Sushwap Indian word for the wild goats abounding there.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »