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NEW LIGHTHOUSE ON PETITE TERRE. Navigators are informed that on the 10th July, 1840, a lenticular fixed light of the 3d order, was lighted on the eastern end of Terre-de-bas, one of the islets of Petite Terre, near Guadaloupe. It is in latitude N. 16 deg. 10 min. 29 sec., and long. W. from Greenwich, 61 deg. 5 min.
The lantern is 108 feet above the level of the sea, at high water, spring tides, and is visible in fine weather five marine leagues.
The light bears S. 36 deg. 45 min. E. from the extremity of Point des Chateaux, the eastern point of Guadaloupe—from the western point of Deseada, it bears S. 5 deg. W.; and, from the eastern point of the same island, S. 32 deg. 15 min. W.
The reef, called Baleine du Sud, which is the most southerly, and the most distant one from Petite Terre, bears from the light S. 19 deg. W., distant half a mile.
The soundings to the eastward of the light, are from 13 to 20 fathoms, at the dis. tance of 2 miles; nearer than wbich it should not be approached.
E. & G. W. BLUNT.
LIGHT AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE AVON, BRISTOL CHANNEL.
The light at the newly erected lighthouse at the entrance of the river Avon, is to be continued every night from sunset to sunrise. The lighthouse is on the northeastern side of the entrance of the Avon, and the light is a fixed white, burning at the elevation of 73 feet above the level of high water, spring tides.
MODE OF DETECTING ADULTERATION IN FLOUR. It is stated in a London journal, that an ingenious and scientific gentleman in Paris, M. Sellier, who, it will be recollected, some time since pointed out the intimate connection existing between sound and electricity, having had his attention called to the subject of the adulteration of flour by its admixture with the fecula of potatoes, has been so fortunate, in some recent electrical experiments, as to hit on a means which, with but little practice, may be employed by any one for the purpose of detecting the presence of fecula in flour, and showing the actual extent to which the fraud has been carried. M. Sellier's process is this : he takes a plateau or board of a flat surface, over which has been laid a coating of common sealing-wax, and charging part of this surface with positive and part with negative electricity, by means of a Leyden jar, he throws on it, through a barber's puff, or small bellows, a quantity of flour, when, if the article has been mixed or adulterated, even to a fiftieth part, the flour is completely detached from the extraneous matter, and attracted by the negative electricity, and the fecula by the positive. The appearance described on the waxed board by the fecula, is what is known among scientific individuals as the figures of Lichtenberg. The difference is so great between flour and fecula, when examined either through a microscope or magni. fying glass—the fecula presenting a variety of bright transparent particles, while the flour retains its dead opaque white appearance—that the most unpractised eye requires but a short space to distinguish the one from the other.
LEECH TRADE. Dr. Earle says, in the American Journal of Medical Science,' that a traffic in this article is carried on between the ports of Turkey and Marseilles. They are purchased in the cities first mentioned, at about one dollar the oke, (a Turkish weight equal to about two and a half pounds.) There are from 600 to 700 leeches to the oke.
SUGAR REFINERY AT ST. LOUIS. An extensive sugar refinery has recently been established in St. Louis. The expense of transporting sugar there from the plantations in the lower country, will not exceed a half cent per pound; while the freight, insurance, and interest, on refined sugar, purchased in Boston and New York, amounts to two dollars per hundred. This will give to the St. Louis manufacturer an advantage of one and a half cents per pound extra profit on the supply of all the Missouri and Upper Mississippi countries. The establishment turns out from 2,500 to 3000 pounds of loaf sugar daily
TEXAS TRADE. It is stated in the Mobile Register, that by the laws of Texas, the cargo of a vessel cannot be attached for freight until the expiration of ninety days after the arrival, and that no bill of lading is binding unless it bears the signature of both master and shipper. Both of these regulations must be attended with great inconvenience, when overlooked or not known by the captains of vessels arriving in any of the ports of that country. As they are compelled to lie in port undischarged for three months, and expose their vessels to destruction by worms, or to deliver their lading at the risk of receiving no remuneration for their labor; or, should they refuse to do either, and return whence they came, holding the cargo subject to their claim for freight, it frequently occurs that the value of the articles when they are shipped is not equal to more than half the expense of transportation.
BOOK TRADE. This is indeed a book-making age. A man must be industrious to be able to read even the titles of all the books and pamphlets which are daily published in Christendom. It is said that the catalogue of new books, issued at the Easter Fair at Leipsic, con. tained 4459 articles, without reckoning 448 which are announced, but have not yet appeared. Among those published, there are 170 novels or romances, 35 theatrical pieces, 83 geographical maps, 486 works of foreign literature, written in eleven European languages. Of these publications, there were 682 published at Leipsic, 952 at Berlin, 232 at Stuttgart, 187 at Vienna, and 150 at Hamburg. The catalogue of the preceding fair contained only 3607 works.
FAIR OF NOVOGOROD. The following facts given in Bremner's Travels, will enable the reader to judge of the commercial importance of this fair:-“Schnitzlen and the other authorities state the annual value of the goods sold here at 125,000,000 rubles, or £5,000,000 sterling ; but we were assured by a gentleman filling a high station, that this is only the official value given to government by the merchants, which always falls short of the real value sold. • It is notorious,' he says, that in order to escape the payment of part of the duties, the merchants never give the true value of their stock. There has also been a great increase since the time to which this statement relates ; so that the real amount of money turned over in the place may now be fairly estimated at 300,000,000 rubles, or twelve millions sterling !"
THE WOOLSACK. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, an act of parliament was passed to prevent the ex. portation of English wool; and the more effectually to secure this source of national wealth, the woolsacks on which the judges sit in the House of Lords were placed there to remind them, that in their judicial capacity they ought to have a constant eye to the preservation of the staple commodity of the kingdom.
Art. I.-THE AMERICAN WHALE FISHERY.
IMPORTANCE OF THE WHALE FISHERY TO THE UNITED STATES-ITS FOREIGN
ORIGIN-ITS ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES-CAPTURE OF THE FIRST WHALE-FIRST SPERMACETI WHALE TAKEN-THE PROGRESS OF THE FISH. ERY-MANUFACTURE OF SPERM CANDLES COMMENCED_DECLINE DURING THE REVOLUTION-ESTABLISHMENT OF A COLONY AT HALIFAX-CONDITION FROM 1787 To 1789_VESSELS EMPLOYED IN THE WHALE FISHERY, AND IMPORTATIONS OF OIL—SUSPENDED DURING THE WAR OF 1812-IMPORTATIONS OF OIL—THE OCEAN-SPERM AND RIGHT WHALE-OUTFITS-INSTRUMENTS OF THE WHALE FISHERY-CHARACTER OF THE SAILORS-LEGAL DISCIPLINE ON BOARD SHIP-MODE OF CAPTURE-INCIDENTS---PREPARATION OF OIL WHALEBONE-EMINENT WHALEMEN-POINTS OF RANGING GROUND-CONCLUSION.
We propose in this paper to enter into a somewhat enlarged account of that branch of commerce which is prosecuted from the United States under the name of the whale fishery. The importauce of this traf'ic, not only in its profits, which have, perhaps, been greater than those of any other single object of our national enterprise, the capital which is invested in its expe. ditions, embracing nearly one tenth part of the tonnage of the country, the importance of the moral interests which it involves, comprising the condi. tion of that large and valuable class of seamen who are its active agents, and the circumstances bordering on the sublime which attend its hazardous expeditions, all render it an interesting subject to our commercial and mer. cantile population.
The origin of the whale fishery we may justly trace to a foreign country. The Norwegians, it seems, were accustomed at an early period to take the whale in a casual manner, but without any system; and the Biscayans appear to have first adopted it as a settled pursuit, and carried it on with great vigor and success, from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. It would also seem that the voyages of the Dutch, as well as the English, to the Northern Ocean, for the purpose of discovering a passage to India, VOL. III.NO. V
disclosed the haunts of the whale, which swarmed in those seas, and measures were soon adopted, both by the Dutch and English, for the purpose of its capture. It is a singular fact that during the middle of the seventeenth century, houses were fixed upon the northern shore of Spitzbergen, and provided with tanks, boilers, and all other necessary apparatus for the purpose of boiling the blubber, and preparing the bonc for market. The Dutch whale fishery was in its most prosperous state during the year 1680, when it employed about 260 ships and 14,000 sailors. The English whale fishery was carried on by an exclusive company, like that of Holland; and in 1725 the South Sea Company embarked to a large extent in the trade, and prosecuted it with vigor for about eight years, when they relinquished the en. terprise, having suffered considerable loss. So also the French and other nations formerly embarked in the same traffic, with considerable success.
As far back as 1667, we have in the second volume of the Philosophical Transactions, a letter from Mr. Richard Norwood, who resided at the Bermudas, which states that the whale fishery had been carried on in the bays of those islands for two or three years. A year or two afterwards, the whale fishery was proposed by a Mr. Richard Stafford, who remarks that he had killed several black whales himself. “ I have been," says he, “at the Bahama Islands, and there have seen of this same sort of whale (the spermaceti) dead on the shore, with sperma all over their bodies! Myself and about twenty others have agreed to try whether we can master and kill them, for I never could hear of any of that sort that was killed by any man, such is their fierceness and swiftness." “ One such whale,” said he, “would be worth many hundred pounds."** A place called New Provi. dence, among the Bahamas, soon afterwards became distinguished as a whale fishing station. Before these colonies had proposed any thing of the sort, however, we find that the Indians upon the shores of North America were accustomed to adventure out from the coast in their canoes, and pierce them with their lances, or other instruments of the same kind, which were fastened to blocks of wood by strings. These blocks were thrown overboard the moment that the instruments penetrated the body, and the attacks thus made appear to have been renewed the moment the whale showed himself on the surface, so that these monsters were finally worried to death. The attacks thus made by these imperfect instruments seem, however, to have been generally directed upon the young ones near the shores, that were towed to the coast, and the fat taken off from only one side, as they possessed no knowledge which would enable them to turn over the animal. It is obvious that the larger sort of whales must have effectually resisted the attacks of the savages with such rude weapons, and the demand for the oil, which, upon the northern part of the continent, they were accustomed to use as food, was but limited. These casual attacks of the whales that frequently strayed near the coast, cannot, we think, be considered even the foundation of the whale fishery as a regular system of traffic, the animals having been procured for a far different purpose than that of commerce. Without going into a particular account of these foreign fisheries, we enter at once into a consideration of the rise and progress of the whale fishery in our own country.
The hardy enterprise of New England is entitled to the credit of carry. ing out the whale fishery to the largest extent, and with the most brilliant
• See Philosophical Transactions, vol iii.
success. The occupants of this region of the country, cast along the sea. shore, and upon a soil barren, rocky, and inviting in a very small degree the labors of agriculture, at an early period directed their adventurous enterprises to the sea. Yet their extraordinary vigor and daring, aided by the elasticity of their climate, their comparative poverty and their simple virtues, more than counterbalanced the consequences which would other. wise have resulted from the barrenness of their soil. The population bor. dering the shores of the sea turned their attention to its abundant resources, and their farms were on the ocean. Nor did the remarkable traits of har. dihood and perseverance which they exhibited in this branch of commerce, running down to the period of the revolution, escape the notice of distin. guished statesmen abroad. Their enterprise in this respect, it is well known, received a just and splendid eulogium from Edmund Burke, on the floor of the British parliament, in his speech delivered in 1774, upon American affairs. “ As to the wealth," said he," which the colonists have drawn from the sea by their fisheries, you had all that matter fully opened at your bar. You surely thought these acquisitions of value, for they seemed to excite your envy; and yet the spirit by which that enter. prising employment has been exercised, ought rather, in my opinion, to have raised esteem and admiration. And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it? Pass by the other parts, and look at the manner in which the New England people carry on the whale fishery. While we follow them u nong the tumbling mountains of ice, and behold them penetrating into the deepest frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay and Davis' Straits ; while we are looking for them beneath the arctic circle, we hear that they have pierced into the opposite region of polar cold, that they are at the antipodes, and engaged under the frozen serpent of the south. Falkland Island, which seemed too remote and too romantic an object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a stage and resting place for their victorious industry. Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them than the accumulated winter of both the poles. We learn that while some of them draw the line or strike the harpoon on the coast of Africa, others run the longitude, and pursue their gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by their fisheries; no climate that is not witness to their toil. Neither the perseverance of Holland, nor the activity of France, nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever carried this most perilous mode of hardy industry to the extent to which it has been pursued by this recent people, –a people who are still in the gristle, and not yet hardened into manhood."
This traffic was commenced in Nantucket, an island in Massachusetts which looks out upon the Atlantic, and receives upon its shores the whole sweep of the ocean. Colonized, as it first was, by an adventurous and hardy race of settlers from other parts of Massachusetts, the colonists had ample means and motives to push their enterprises upon the waters of its neighboring coasts. We have a traditionary account of the first expedi. tion which was set on foot from this island for the capture of the whale. It appears that one of the species called“ scragg” was descried in the har. bor of the infant colony, where it remained spouting and gambolling around the shore for three days. Measures were soon adopted by the settlers who were the original purchasers of the island, for its capture. An harpoon, rude in its form, was invented and wrought; and after a severe contest, the monster was taken. The success of this adventure induced the people of