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ring the appearance of the aurora, but could not perceive that it had the slightest influence on the magnetical needle, either in altering its direction or causing any tremulous motion; he observed however that the arc was generally, though not invariably, intersected by the magnetic meridian.
Where nature has been so sparing in the number and variety of her gifts, much could not be expected from the expedition, especially as no professed naturalist was employed on the occasion: the few opportunities which occurred for collecting specimens were not, however, neglected. On this subject, Captain Ross complains of the unwillingness of Captain Sabine to assist him, which he certainly ought to have done, though not engaged specifically for that purpose. It is a great misfortune for the interests of science, that commanders of ships of war and naturalists rarely agree ; but it arises generally from the objects of their several pursuits interfering with each other. Captain Cook indeed agreed with every one; but Vancouver and Menzies quarrelled. Boudin was at variance with all the savans on board; but this was the less to be wondered at, as they were almost numerous enough to man the ship: and Caplain Freycinet, who is now employed in the southern hemisphere in astronomical, magnetical, and meteorological observations, positively refused to take on board a single naturalist.*
We observe with pleasure that in consequence of the Prince Regent's Order in Council, grounded on the late amended Act of Parliament, the Board of Longitude has adopted a graduated scale of rewards for discovery, proportioned to the progress made to the westward, from Hudson's or Baffin's Bays towards the Pacific Ocean: as certain portions of these rewards are allotted to places not very remote from the usual haunts of whale fishers, such as have not been fortunate in the fishery may be induced to strive for them, through Cumberland or Lancaster's Straits, or some other of the numerous openings in the western land. It is possible in. deed that the first point of the scale, the meridian of the Copper Mine River of Hearne, (which entitles to 5,0001.) may turn out to be much nearer to Davis's Strait than it appears to be on the charts. Mr. Hearne, by his own account, made but one single observation for the latitude, and that at a considerable distance from the mouth of the river, so that whether its latitude be 69° or
* To be even with the Captain, the Minister of Marine interdicted all females from proceeding on the voyage, knowing that Freycinet had intended to take his wife with him. Ou the third day after the ship's departure from Toulon, a youth made his appearance on the quarter-deck whom the commander bad not before observed-it was his wife, wh!, in the disguise of a seaman, had got on board just as the ship was weighing anchor, and concealed herself among the crew. .
72* is left undecided. But this is not the most material part of his omissions: whether he had a compass with him or not, we cannot tell; but at all events, we conclude that he laid down his track without any regard to the variation; and for this reason,—that, having left a spot on the margin of Hudson's Bay, over which the magnetic meridian, or line of no variation, passed, a person so evidently inattentive to the latitude and longitude of a portion of the continent never before trodden by an European foot, can scarcely be supposed to have given any consideration to the variation of the magnetic needle, which was known to have done or very little at the spot from which he started. Now we know from Mackenzie's observations, that, at Fort Chepawyan, situated in about 58° of latitude, and on or near the meridian of Hearne's river, the variation of the needle in the year 1789 was 14° east, and at the mouth of Mackenzie's river in latitude 69° it was 36° east. As the mouth of Hearne's river, even as now laid down, cannot be half the distance from the magnetic pole that Mackenzie's river is, and as we may conclude, from the very extraordinary increase of variation in proceeding northward up Baffin's Bay, that a similar increase, in a contrary direction, would take place in proceeding northward from Fort Chepawyan, we may further conclude that the course of the Copper Mine river is not north, as laid down in Hearne's chart, but deflected to the eastward of that point; and will perhaps be found to open either into the Welcome or Davis's Strait, which would be the case if we allow only four or five points of easterly variation, though we cannot doubt, from its nearness to the magnetic pole, of there being much
Hearne, in his narrative, talks vaguely of the sea being full of islands and shoals at the mouth of the river, as far as he could see with the assistance of a good pocket telescope; but in his introduction, which was written many years after the journey, he observes, - I think it is more than probable that the Copper river empties itself into a sort of inland sea, or extensive bay, somewhat like that of Hudson's.' There is another circumstance corroborative of our supposed direction and termination of the Copper Mine river. We noticed in our review of Captain Burney's 'Memoir on the Geography of the North-eastern part of Asia,'* the observation of the late Mr. Dalrymple, that, on one of the native Indian maps, painted on skins, the sea is continued from Hudson's Bay to the Copper Mine river, and that in this circumstance all the Indian
maps and reports concur. Mr. Barrow says that a chart of this kind is still in the Hudson's Bay Company's House; that the lets from the bay are marked on it with tolerable accuracy; and * that the coast is carried northerly without interruption to the
* No. XXXVI.
Copper Mine river,, which has not a northerly but an easterly direction.* Taking these circumstances together, we have very little doubt that the mouth of the Copper Mine river and the waters of the upper part of Hudson's Bay or Davis's Strait will either be found united, or at no great distance from each other.
This and several other interesting points connected with the geography and natural history of the northern shores of North America will probably soon be cleared up. An expedition, we understand, is about to proceed, under the direction of Lieutenant Franklin, late commander of the Trent, from Fort York on the shores of Hudson's Bay, with the co-operation and assistance of the Hudson's Bay Company, to the mouth of the Copper Mine river, and from thence along the shore of the Hyperborean Sea to the eastward or the northward, as the case may be, in order to settle the long sought point which forms the north-eastern extremity of the continent of America. Whether the two ships under the command of Lieutenant Parry, or the land expedition under Lieutenant Franklin, will have the good fortune to be the first in determining this point, we cannot pretend to guess; but we have very little doubt that it will be determined by one of them; and that thus the cloud which hangs over the northern geography of the American continent will be dissipated, and this reproach to the physical knowledge of the nineteenth century finally removed.
Since the foregoing Article was printed off, Captain Sabine's • Remarks' on Captain Ross's book have been published. They more than confirm all our conjectures respecting the extraordinary abandonment of Sir James Lancaster's Sound; as to the rest we willingly leave those gentlemen to settle their disputes in their own way.
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