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the direction of the ridges. Climate also should given after mountains, because differences of tem rature are usually the effect of different elevations the surface. Vegetable productions, animals and m erals depend commonly either on the climate or fa of the country, and should, therefore, be reserved the last place in the natural geography. After goi through with these heads we are then prepared 1 an account of the towns, population, religion, govei ment, manufactures, commerce, &c.; and here also shall find that there is an order to be observed, th there is a connection and dependence of the vario heads, which makes it proper that they should follo each other in a particular succession. The effect this strict adherence to a natural arrangement greater than at first, perhaps, would be imagined. we watch the operations of our own minds, we sha perceive that it is exceedingly difficult to remember catalogue of propositions which appear to have no r lation to each other, but if we can connect them t gether in a regular series, and reason from one to th other, the memory receives them with ease, the in pression which they make upon the mind is deep ar permanent, and the acquisition of knowledge in th way, becomes easy and delightful.
The method which the author has pursued in pr paring the following volume has been in the first plac to read extensively and minutely the best works 1 which he had access on the several countries, both the English and German languages, with a view 1 obtain a distinct image in his own mind of the natur features of the country; and then, by a proper a rangement of the articles, and an attention to the o der in which the particular thoughts are presente he has endeavoured to communicate this impressic as perfectly as possible to the mind of the reader, ) has been his aim especially in the introduetory view of each grand division of the globe, to give such an ou line of its mountains, rivers and other prominent fes tures, as would prepare the student in the best manne for the account of each particular country. He ha endeavored also to render the descriptions of important towns, harbors, monuments of art, natural curiosities and every other subject that would admit of it, as graphical as possible. It is to be regretted, however, that the materials for such descriptions are in most cases wanting.
From the manner in which the work has been prepared, it would have been impossible to have referred on each page to the different authors from whom the information was derived. The language of others is seldom used, each article being commonly the result of a comparison of all that was read upon the subject. It is believed, however, that a much larger portion of the information has been derived from original sources than is common in works of this nature. Mexico was given almost entirely on the authority of Humboldt. In Buenos Ayresand Chili we have relied chiefly on the valuable documents furbished to our government by the commissioners, who were sent to those countries in 1817, to collect information.* Brazil is described principally from Mawe. Most of the countries of Europe have been riven on the authority of the New Edinburgh Gazetleer, and the latest editions of Hassel and Cannabrich. n Asia we have derived considerable assistance from Murray's Historical account of discoveries in Asia, nd the description of Hindoostan was principally aken from the interesting article in that work. The lecent discoveries in Africa, particularly those of Belzoni in Egypt and Nubia, will be found noticed in heir proper places. The regions within the Arctic ircle have of late been rendered peculiarly interesting rom the discoveries made by Capt. Parry in 1819, a articular notice of which is given under the head of olar Regions. The account of our own country was rincipally the result of investigations made by the it hor during the last year in the preparation of arti
Note. Since the sheets containing South America were printed, the yernment of the United States bas acknowledged the independence of xico, the republic of Columbia, Baenos Ayres, Chili and Peru.
gles for the third edition of Morse's Universal Gazet.
The Statistical Tables and General Views at the
part relating to the United States, is principally a re
Boston, Sept. 1822.
RISE AND PROGRESS OF GEOGRAPHY.
NEOGRAPHY is a term, * derived from the Greek languages
and literally signifies a description of the earth. It treats of the nature, figure, and magnitude of the earth; the situation, exteat, and appearance of different parts of its surface; its productions and inhabitants.
The time when attention was first paid to the pleasing and useful study of geography, is unknown. It seems to be the general opinion, that the Greeks, who were the first cultivators of this science in Europe, received it either from the Egyptians or Babylonians; but it cannot be determined to which of these two nations belongs the honor of having invented it.
Geography was very imperfect in its beginning, and has advanced slowly towards its present degree of perfection. The true figure of the earth was unknown to its first inhabitants, and the earliest opinion seems to have been that, which would most nalurally result from the first information given by the senses. It was considered as a large circular plane; and the heavens, in which the sun, moon, and stars appear daily to move from east to west, were supposed not to be elevated to a very great height above it, and to have been created solely for its use and ornament. It is not known who first rejected this erroneous hypothesis, and shewed that the figure of the earth is spherical; but it seems to have been done at a time of remote antiquitv.
It appears that the situation of places was first determined according to climates; and that geographers were then guided, in fixing on the climates, by the form and colour of certain animals, which were to be found in different countries. The appearance of Negroes, or what they called Ethiopians, and of the larger sized animals, as the rhinoceros and elephant, suggested to them the northern and southern limits of the torrid zone. A different and more scieotific metbod was used by the Egyptians and Babylonians, who determined the situation of places, or their distance from the equator, by observing the length of their longest and shortest days. And these observations were made with a species of sun-dial, having a stilus or gnomon, erected perpendicularly upon a horizontal plane, hy which the length of the shadow of the gnomon, in proportion to its height, might be measured.
It may be conjectured that travelling, soon after it began to be much practised in the world, gave rise to a kind of geography.
Some, who had performed journies, made a rough sketch or description of their routes, for the information of others who might afterward wish to travel. The earliest specimen of this kind, of which we have an account, is that of Sesostris, an Egyptian king and conqueror, who, as Eustathius relates," having traversed great part of the earth, recorded his march in maps, and gave copies of his maps not only to the Egyptians, but to the Scythians, to their great astonishment.” Some have imagined that the Jews made a map of the Holy Land, when they gave the different portions to the nine tribes at Shiloh ; for Joshua tells us, that they were sent to walk through the land, and that they described it in seven parts in a book.
Homer was first distinguished among the Greeks for his knowledge of the different nations of the earth, and the countries they inhabited. He has described so many places, and with such a degree of accuracy, that Strabo considered him as first among the geographers of ancient times.
A taste for the sciences led Thales, the father of Grecian philosophy, into Egypt, where he lived with the priests. On his return, he taught his countrymen that the earth is globular, and may be divided into five zones, by means of five parallel circles, viz. the equator, the two tropics, and the two polar circles; and that the equator is cut obliquely by the ecliptic, and perpendicularly by the meridian. Thus he made them acquainted with the principal circles of the sphere.* He also taught them, that the year consisted of 365 days, which he learned from the Egyptians.
ANAXIMANDER, a disciple of Thales, was the author of the first Grecian map on record, which is mentioned by Strabo. The knowledge of the earth was indeed very limited at that time, as it scarcely extended beyond the temperate zone, and did not even comprise the whole of that. The extent of the representation of the world from east to west was twice as great as from south to north ; hence the reason, why distances on the earth in the former direction were denominated longitude ; and those in the latter, latitude. Maps were afterwards multiplied.
ERATOSTHENES was the first who introduced a regular parallel of latitude. He began it at the straits of Gibraltar; continued it through the island of Rhodes and the bay of Issus; and extended it to the mountains of India. In drawing this parallel he was regulated by observing where the longest day was 14 hours, which was afterwards found by Hipparchus to be the latitude of 36 degrees.
Eratosthenes soon after attempted not only to draw other parallels of latitude, but also to trace a meridian at right angles to these, passing through Rhodes and Alexandria down to Syene and Meroe ; and, as the progress he thus made naturally tended to enlarge his ideas, he at last, attempted the much more difficult operation of determining the circumference of the globe, by an actual measurement of an arc of one of its great circles. He knew that the sun,
* See Explanation of Terms.