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the existence of Solomon's Ilands, ages undertaken to find them ? have and from this moment the discovery these been fruitless? The anfwer to of them became the reigning object of this objection will be found in that his wishes : he returned speedily to very situation of the islands which it Peru, presented no less than eight ine is my prefent object to ascertain. We morials to the Viceroy, and employ- may observe, in the mean while, that ed his solicitations fo effectually, that Quiros could not find them because at length he obtained his desire. When he could not make the island of San he left Callao, the port of Lima, on ta-Cruz, which he fought on the December 21, 1605, he appointed north-east of the Tierra Austral; the island of Santa-Cruz as the place whereas it is on the north-west of it, of rendezvous for the vessels with him, according to the observations of mo. which sufficiently points out the object dern navigators. Carteret and Byron of his voyage. Koowing the distance did not find them, because they made of this island from the coatt of Peru, the search only in the places pointed and desirous to employ his interme out by modern charis. Byron ob diate way to the best advantage, he serves, that having advanced to ten did not take the direct course which degrees west of the position asligned he had gone with Mendana in his first to them by the French chart of the voyage, but proceeded fouthwards as South Sea, he thought it neceffary to far as the 25th degree of latitude. Af- abandon the search : he adds, that ter discovering a long chain of small this situation is not founded upon any islands, most of which have since authority: and that he much doubts been re-discovered, he returned to the whether the celebrated navigator who Jatitude of Santa-Cruz. At Taumage made the discovery, has left fufficient he learned from the inhabitants, that infurmation for them ever to be found they knew of many islands in their again. Carteret, in like manner obneighbourhood ; and advancing again ferves, that he had advanced far be. 10 the southward, discovered the land yond the situation attributed to them; which he named Tierra Austral del and that, having arrived at the island Espiritu Santo. When he let this of Santa-Cruz, which he re-discover. illand he met with violent and con ed, he gave up the attempt. frary winds in the open sea, by which If these navigators could have con. one of his ships was feparated from sulted the narratives of Mendana's him; he therefore resolved to steer up voyages, it is probable they would for the island of Santa-Cruz; where not lo haftily have relinquislied their the- rendezvous was appointed: but researches. These accounts give us, when he came into this latitude he in the first place, the latitudes of mawas unable to find Santa Cruz, con- ny of the Islands of Solomon ; and in Atantly losing way more and more, this respect we know, that the errors says Figueroa, by the force of the to be apprehended are very inconlidere wind. Seeing how difficult it was to able, feldom more than half a degree : make this island, and thinking it would they give us, fecondly, the distance be impossible to beat back again, he gave of thele islands, from the coast of Pea up his delign, and steered for Mexico. ru, by comparing which with the time
Such are the principal considerations of their intermediate way, particularly which move us to believe the exift- in Mendana's second voyage, which ence of Solomon's Islands. If we ob was in a more direct course, and serve further, that most of Mendana's the fame parallel with these and Quirus's discoveries have been islands, we may deduce their lon . confirmed by modern navigators, we gitude, at least within a very few cannot well doubt of this. But if degrees. Before we undertake, to these ilaads exist, why so many voy, ascertain this point, we muft epquire
why geographers are so little agreed years after, when he published his about the position of these islands, and Map of the World, and a Memoir why there is the difference of more on the Situation and Extent of difthan a thousand leagues in the filua- ferent Parts of the Earth, he approach tions assigned by them.
ed still nearer to the position indi. The firft charts which represent the cated in the early charis. He there INands of Solomon all agree in pla- places Solomon's Illands in 190. de. cing them to the east of New Guinea, grees of 'longitude; and in his Meand at no great distance from it: they moir he says, that he has determined are thus situated on a chart published the situation of the southern lands, by Theodore de Bry, in 1596, the and of the inands of the South Sea, fame
year that Mendana arrived at by the journals of the discoveries, anel Manilla, after his second expedition : by tracing their voyages. This methe same position appears in a chart pub- thod was the result of reflection, and lished by Wirfliet in 1597; in the charts accordingly has been moit foliowed belonging to Herrera's History of the fince 1720. West Indies; in an ancient Portu M. Bellin had placed these islands, guese chart of the East Indies, infert- in 195 degrees of longitude, on his ed in Thevenor's curious collection of chart of the known parts of the globe, voyages; in the charts of Ortelius pub- as well as on that of the South Sea, lished in 1589: and, in general, in published in 1741 ; and in his obserall the charts which preceded those vations on the construction of the latter of the Arcano del Mare, published by chart, we find his motives for so doing Robert Dudley in 1646.
In 1756, he corrected his chart of Dudley then transposed the islands the South Sea ; and then removed the of Solomon to the situation of the Ifands of Solomon to 205 degrees, Marquesas de Mendoza, marking but or ten degrees further eastward. His one group of the two sets of illands.
opinion was adopted by Mr Green in On the chart where they appear, his great chart of America. which is the 23d of Aga, he explains M. Danville had taken a mean behis opinion, and the authorities he tween the positions adopted by other consulted in the following note:“ The geographers, and had placed the IN-ods of Solomon, discovered by Inands of Solomon at 200 degrees; Alvarez de Mendana, in 1580, were but when he established ihe new diffound at 800 Spanish leagues welt from coreries in the South Sea, upon his Lima; nevertheless the ordinary charts Map of the World, he thought it neplace them at 1800 leagues, but very cessary to suppress the old ones, and falsely."
the Islands of Solomon no longer apDudley's opinion was adopted by pear upon his map. many geographers; and anung o In 1767, M Pingré, of the Royal thers, by Delisle, as appears in his Academy of sciences, on the occasion first charts, and on his terrestrial globe, of the transit of Venus, gave us some published in 1700. Delille was cer- very interesting researches into the tainly induced, rather by the reputa- position of the islands in the Souila tion of its author than by any pro- Sea, and placed the Illands of Sulofound reflection, to embrace this opi- mon near 210 degrees. ojon; we find him renou
nouncing it in We are also obliged to Mr Dalrym1714, when he published his fouthern ple for very curious researches conhemisphere : he then placed the Inlands cerning the ancient voyages in the of Solomon at 1635 Spanish leagues, South Sea, made by the Spanith and and 205 degrees of longitude, eaft the Dutch. This learned man, well from the meridian of Ferro. - Six known; for the zeal with which he
promotes * Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences; 1720.
promotes the progress of geography Lopez Vaz (Purchas's Pilgrimes, and payigation, and for his labours in Vol. IV. B. VII. Ch. 11.) reports, those branches of science, has partie that Mendana met with some islands cularly studied every thing that re- in 11 degrees of south latitude, and Jates to the Inands of Solomon, and soo leagues from Lima; and eleven has published a differtation on the fub- large iflands between the 9th and 12th
ject. He perceived that they ought degree of south latitude. to be placed near New Guinea, and a Ovalle, in his History of Chili, greater distance from Perụ than was says, that Solomon's Ilands are aboué indicated in any of the charts ; but 7500 miles west from Peru, and that his patriotic zeal betrayed him into an they extend from the 7th to the 12th error of another kind; he has tianf. degree of latitude. posed the Islands of Solomon to the Quiros, in one of the memorials fituation of those known by the name he presented to the Viceroy of Peru, of New Britain, and fituaied between asserts that, according to the testimothe 2d and the 6th degree of fouth ny of Mendana, the Iflands of Sololatitude;" whereas the observations mon are 1 500 leagues from the coast made in Mendana's voyage place them of Lima, and extend from the 7ih to between the 6th and the 12th de- the i zih degree of latitude. gree.
According to Figueroa, who has By this summary we perceive how given the most circumftantial account much geographers have differed about of Mendana's discoveries, the distance the situation of Solomon's Islands, from Lima to Candlemas Shoals, and how many situations they have whence the islands of Solomon were assigned for them. To attain the first described, is about 1610 leagues ; truth in a matter so obscure, the beft their latitude, between 7 and 12 de: way is to examine the original authors grees : and that from Lima to the who were consulted by those geogra. Ide of Santa Cruz, is 1850 leagues. phers; and I will therefore briefly re Lastly, in a manuscript belong port what the chief of these have writ- ing to the Viceroy of Peru, which ten on the subject.
Richard Hawkins professes to have Acosta, in his natural and moral seen, Solomon's Illands are placed on History of the Indies (Book I. p. 6, the fame parallel as Santa (9 degrees and 15) says, at first, that the Illands s.) and at the distance of about 2500 of Solomon are 800 leagues from Pe- leagues west. ru; and in two other passages where ' To the authority of all these Spa, he speaks again of those islands, he nish authors we will join also that of fays, it is a well-founded opinion that Cornelius Witfliet of Louvain, who, they should be placed near New in 1603, published a curious account Guinca, or at least in the neighbour- of the West Indies. The expressions hood of a continent. He makes no of this author are remarkable, and mention of their latitude.
teftify a considerable accuracy of in : Herrera, in his description of the formation ; “ on the right, and near West Indies (ch. 27.) tells us, in like Guinea, are the iflands of Solomon, manner, that Solomon's 'Ilands are of vast extent, and very numerous, 800 leagues from Peru; and further discovered not long ago by Alvaro de on he adds, that they are situated Mendana. This navigator failed from between the 7th and the 12th degree the port of Lima in Peru, in search of south latitude, and 1500 leagues of new and unknown lands; and affrom the City of Kings, or Lima: he ter a voyage of three months, with says, moreover, that they are proba- regular winds from the fouth-east, bly contiguous to New Guinea. fell in with these Islands, which he
named the IQ.nds of Solomon, rather cagse, as they lie betweem Peru, New casually and fancifully, than for any Spain, and the Philippines, the English, particular realoo." In speaking of if they were informed of them, might the charts inserted in his work, Wit- make settlements, there of dangerous fiet inform us that, for the knows confequence to Spain.” It is thereparts of the globe, he has followed the fore further probable that Mendana's common maps, but for every thing journals would be kept secret a long else he has had recourse to the newest time after his expeditions; and we may charts and narratives.
hence conclude that all the authors, Such are the principal authorities except Quiros and Figueroa, poke which
can be cited to establish the po- of the Ilands of Solomon on very fution of Solomon's Islands. We find vague information or hearsay; which enormous differences in these, as well accounts for the differences and conas on the maps, in the distance of tradictions in their reports. Herrera, these islands from the coast of Peru., in particular, seems to have been ill There are even contradictions in the informed, if we may judge by the molt respectable authors, as Acosta immense extent he attributes to noft
. and Herrera ; but by bringing these of these iflands. The same may be opinions together and comparing them faid of Lopez Vaz, wbo places Guawith each other, it is easy to perceive dalcanar in 18 degrees south latitude, which are the best founded and most and of the author consulted by Rodeserving of confidence.
bert Dudley, who says that these It is evident that the distance of ifands were discovered in 1580, in8o0 leagues, marked by Acosta, and fead of 1567. adopted without examination by Her Quiros reckons 1500 leagues from rera and Lopee Vaz, is a grofs error, the coast of Peru ţo Solomon's Isands : by which we cannot suffer ourselves Figueroa, from the first of Mendana's to be misled. Acofta publilhed his voyages, makes it 1610, and 1580 work in 1590,
years before Men. to the Ifland of Santa-Cruz, from the dana’s second voyage, and seems to second voyage. We may now perbe the first who mentioned the Islandş ceive the reason of these different reof Solomon. The arrival of Admi- fults. M. de Bougainville bas observial Drake in the South Sea, after the ed, in the narrative of his voyage forft voyage of Mendani, occasioned round the world, that all the naviga. the establishment of a ceh ny in these tors who have crossed the South Sea islands to be suspended for 28 years, have fallen in with New Guinea, lelt the English lhould gain informa. much fooner than they ought by their tion of them. It is therefore probable reckoning; and that, consequently, that when Acosta (poke of them, he they have given this sea a much small r bad but a very vague idea of thxir fi- extent from east to west than in truth tuation : and it is worthy of remark, it has : this error he attributes to the that he makes no mention of their la- effect of favourable winds and cur. titude, which all the other author's rents in that ocean, not taken into have reported un formly.
their account. Thus Mendana, in In a letter from Quiros to Don his first voyage, being as yet unacAntonio Morga, Lieutenant General quainted with this effect of curients of the Philippine Ilands, it appears and winds, which bore him away that, after having given him an ac- perpetually to the west, must have count of Mendana's second voyage, estimated' his way at much less than he begged him to keep it secret : " It the truth; and his distance, computed is desireable says Quiros, that these at 1610 leagues, must be much less ihands fhould remain unknown, be than it seally was.
The same may
be faid of the distance given by Qui as the place of rendezvous for his ros, who had crossed this sea but once vessels, in case of separation. The when he drev up his mem rials. fame consequence is deducible from The distance of 185oleagues reckoa- the tracks of Byron and Carteret, ed in Mendana's iecond voyage seems who fought these islands in vain to to be preferable, becaạfe the naviga- the east of Santa-Cruz: the latter extor was more experienced, his course plored the roth and 11th parallels for
more direct, and the distance, more than 700 leagues, and arrived moreover, perfectiy agrees with that at the island of Santa-Cruz without reported by Richard Hawkins, from having discovered them. a inanuscript of the Viceroy of Peru. From Carteret's route, the island Fnese 1850 leagues, reckoned at the of Santa-Cruz may be fixed at the proportion of 15 to a degree, as we longitude of 162. 20' east of the mefind them in thi menoirs of the early ridian of Paris; and the extreme point Spanish navigators, anf ver exactly to of New Guinea was determined, by 2500 Eglish leagues of 20 to a de- M. de Bougainville, to be 149° 52'. gree.
There remain, therefore, about 12 By adopting this distance, Solomon's degrees and a half, or 247 leagues, Illands recover the place near New between the ißand of Santa-Cruz and Guinea afligned to them by Acosta, New Guinea ; and as the Illinds of Herrera, Wirfiet; and all the old Solomon form rather an extensive Archarts; and this new agreement is a chipelago, we may take the middle strong presumption in favour of the of this space, and fix 156 degrees of exactness of this position. If we con- longitude for the middle of this Archifider next the tracks of the the navi. pelago. In this situation we shalt gators who fought for these istands, find that we are just' 2400 French we shall perceive that they must have marine leagues from the coaft of Pebeen to the west of the island Santa- ru, the exact distance affigned by Cruz, and consequently near New Richard Hawkins and Figueroa. In Guinea. Tigueroa informs us, that this space, and at chis longitude, there when Mendana was returning to these is actually a group of islands, seen by islands, in 1595, to found a colony, MM. de Bopgainville, in 1768, he failed on exactly between the pa. and Surviile, in 1769, which appear rallels wherein he knew them to be to have all the charaéters of those of situated ; that he carefully reconnoit. Solomon. M. de Bougainville faw red every land that be found in his the western part of them, in feven way: and that he arrived at the island degrees føuth latitude"; and what he of Santa-Cruz without having fallea reports of the inhabitants of Choiseu! in with those which were the ob. Bay, agrees with the defcription given ject of his voyage. Having put in at by Mindana' of the natives of the Santa-Cruz, he declared, from the Archipelago discovered by him., M. colour of the natives, that these were de Surville was in light of these lands of the nation he was seeking; and his for the space of 130 leagues, and from widow, when she left this island, the 7th to the i Ith degree of latitude : fteered W. SW. to seek for that of not finding them sét down in any St. Christopher. Thus, in the opio' chart, he named them “ The Lands of nion of Mendana, the Archipelago the Arsacides," from the barbarous discovered by him in his first voyyje, character of the people in Port Praf. was west of Santa-Cruz. This was lin, where he had put in : nd what also the idea of Quiros, who, in 1606, he relates of them is equally conformawhen he set out in fearch of the same ble to the recital of Mendana. In the Archipelago, appointed Santa-Cruz same sea, Carteret, in 1767, had dif