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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 none 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 6<l° 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 more. 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 ebserves, ' 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 corroborar tive 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. M r. 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. XXXVf »
K 3 Copper 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.
• History of Voyagea into tlie Arctic Regions, p. 376.
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