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NEW HEBRIDES AND NEW CALEDONIA.
These islands lie S. E. of New Guinea. New Caledonia is a Jarge but barren island extending from 20° to 22° 30' S. lat. The inhabitants are negroes resembling those of New Guinea; they go almost naked and are cannibals. The New Hebrides consist of numerous clusters of islands extending from 13° to 21° S. lat. Many of them have a fertile soil and are covered with a flourishing vegetation. The Europeans have no settlements here.
New Zealand consists of two large islands, extending from 349 to 43° S. lat. and from 166° to 179o E. lon. and separated from each other by a strait 12 or 15 miles broad. The area is estimated at 90,000 square miles. The most valuable production is a species of fax which has a beautiful silky appearance, and seems to be peculiar to this island. The natives are a noble race of men. They are as tall as the tallest Europeans, with perfectly regular seatures; they have also uncommon sagacity and strength of mind. Their principal faults arise from a fierce and warlike disposition. War is their glory and the principal topic of conversation ; they believe that the soul, as soon as it is parted from the body, is engaged in war. They are cannibals, and when provoked are very ferocious; but their natural disposition is kind, affectionate and generous. Two English settlements have recently been made here for the purpose of introducing the blessings of civilization and the knowledge of Christianity. A seminary has also been established at Parramatta, in the British colony of New South Wales, for the instruction of the New Zealanders in spinning, weaving, reaping and the other simple arts of life. In 1820 it contained 25 pupils. They enter with much spirit into the views of their benefactors and manifesta strong desire for improvement.
Name and Situation.] Polynesia is derived from two Greek words, signifying many islands. It embraces the numerous islands in the Pacific ocean lying east of the Philippine islands and Australasja. The principal groups are the Pelew islands, the Caroline islands, the Ladrones, and the Sandwich islands, lying north of the equator; and the Friendly islands, Navigator's islands, the Society islands, and the Marguesas, south of the equator. Some geographers do no: adopt the terms Polynesia and Aus
tralasia, but ipclude all the islands of both divisions under the more general name of Australia.
PELEW ISLANDS. These islands, about 18 in number, lie east of the Philippines, near lat. 8° N. and lon. 134° E. Capt. Wilson, commander of the Antelope packet, in the service of the East India company, was shipwrecked here. He describes the natives as mild, and simple in their manners, and hospitable, but they have no religion, though they appear to believe that the soul survives the body. None of the islands which the English visited had any kind of grain nor any quadruped whatever, except a few rats and meagre cats. After the return of Capt. Wilson, the East India company presented the king, in return for his kindness, a number of cows, goats, pigs, ducks and geese, al! which have greatly increased. CAROLINE ISLANDS.
The Carolines consist of several groups, lying east of the Pelew islands, and stretching from 138° to 1600 E. lop. and from 7° 40' to 11° N. lat. They are claimed by the Spaniards, and are inhabited by a mild and friendly people.
LADRONES OR MARIANA ISLANDS. The Ladrones are 16 in number, and lie north of the Carolines, between 130 and 20° N. lat. The inhabitants are tall, robust, active and very ingenious. Their vessels, called by English seamen Aying prows, will sail with a brisk wind at the rate of 20 miles an hour, and the skill manifested in their construction is a subject of admiration with European architects. These islands are the resort of pirates who infest the mouth of Canton river, and have long set the whole naval power of the Chinese at defiance.
SANDWICH ISLANDS. This cluster consists of 9 or 10 islands, lying between 13° 50' and 29° 20' N. Jat. and between 154° 55 and 160° 15' W. lon. The principal islands are Owhyhee, Mowee, Woaboo, Atoon, Morotoi, Ranai, and Oneebow. The nunber of square miles in the whole group is estimated at 6,000, of which Owhyhee contains 4,000, and Mowee, Woahoo and Atooi, more than 500 each. The population is estimated at 400,000
These islands were discovered in 1778 by Capt. Cook and Capt. King. The natives are generally well made, and above the middle size. During the short time since they became acquainted with Europeans, they have made very rapid advances in civilization. Several Europeans have been encouraged to reside in the islands and have communicated a knowledge of some of the useful arts, The worship of idols, and the sacrifice of human victims were formerly universally prevalent, and so deeply rooted were these pagan customs, that their abolition was pronounced hopeless. A most astonishing change, however, has recently taken place. In 1819, the government and people almost unanimously determined to abaodon their idols and to commit them with all the
monuments of idolatry to the flames. This was done at Owhyhee, at then Woahoo, and then at Atooi without the least opposition. Before the news of this revolution reached America, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign missions had resolved to establish a mission in these islands, and the missionaries had already embarked at Boston. The whole number of persons constituting the mission was 22, viz. 2 ordained missionaries, 2 catechists and schoolmasters, a farmer, a printer, and their wives and families; together with three natives of the Sandwich islands, who bad been educated at the Foreigo mission school in Cornwall, Connecticut. Accompanying the mission also was George Tamoree, son of the king of Atooi, who likewise received his education at the Foreign mission school. The missionaries on their arrival were well received, and their prospects of usefulness are very encouraging
FRIENDLY ISLANDS. This cluster lies east of the New Hebrides, and if we include the Feejee islands, extends from 175° to 185° E. lon. and from 15° 30' to 21° 30' S. lat. The principal island in the group is Tongataboo. The Feejee islands, Annamooka, Vavaoo, and the Hapaee islands are also important. The inhabitants were formerly represented as possessing many social qualities and much gentleness of character, but the accounts of recent visitors prove them to be capable of the greatest excesses of cruelty and revenge.
NAVIGATOR'S ISLANDS lie N. E. of the Friendly islands, between 169° and 179° 30' W. lon. and below lat. 11° 25' S. They are about 10 in number and derive their name from the habits of their inhabitants, who live almost constantly in their canoes.
SOCIETY ISLANDS. These islands, 13 in number, lie east of the Friendly islands, between 16° and 18° S. lat. Otaheite, the largest of the group, is 120 miles in circumference. Among the rest Ulie. tea,Bolabola, Tubai, Maitea, Huaheine and Eimeo are also important. The climate of these islands is mild, the soil fertile, and the vegetation so luxuriant that they have been called the garden of Australia. Among the productions are bread-fruit, bananas, cocoa-nuts, yams and sweet potatoes, all of which grow spontaneously.
The number of the inhabitants is estimated at 100,000. They are tall, strong and well built, particularly the chiefs, few of whom are under six feet in height. They were formerly idolaters, and practised infanticide, the sacrifice of human victims and many other cruel and degrading superstitions, but during the last 8 or 10 years a great change has taken place.
In the years 1796 and 1800 the London Missionary Society sent out a nnmber of missionaries to instruct the natives in the Christian religion. For a long period they labored with very little success, the nomber of converts in 1814 being only about 50. From this time, howerer, accessions were rapidly made, until at length all the
inhabitants of Otaheite, Eimeo, and several of the adjacent islands, with very few cxceptions, renounced idolatry and embraced Christianity. They have in consequence relinquished their former cruel customs, and now regularly assemble in congregations of 400 or 500, decently attired, for the purpose of Christian worship. About 6,000 in the several islands have learned to read in the Taheitean language, which the missionaries have given them in a written form. Schools have been established, many of the useful arts have been introduced, and the despotic power of the sovereign, himself a baptised convert of the missionaries, has been limited by a code of laws.
The MARQUESAS are a cluster of small islands lying N. E. of the Society islands. They extend from 138° 45' to 110° 30' W. lon. and from 8° 30% to 10° 30' S. lat. Various accounts are given of the soil of these islands, but all navigators agree that the inhabitants are remarkable for the beautiful form of their bodies and the regularity of their features. They are all strong, tall and extremely active. The population is estimated at 50,000.
Situation and Extent.] Africa is bounded N. by the Mediterranean sea, which separates it from Europe; N. E. by the Red sea, which separates it from Asia ; S. E. by the Indian ocean ; and W. by the Atlantic. It extends from lat. 34o S. to 37° 30' N. and from lon. 18° W. 10 51° E. The area is estimated by Hassel at 11,652,442 square miles.
Divisions. Africa is divided into a great many petty kingdons, but they may be conveniently classed under 5 divisions. 1 Northern Africa, or the countries on the coast north of the tropic of Cancer; viz. Egypt, Barca, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco. 2. Eastern Africa, or the countries on the eastern coast between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn ; viz.. Nubia, Abysinia, and the small states south of Abysinia. 3. Southern Africa, or the countries south of the tropic of Capricorn. 4. Western Africa, or the countries on the west coast between the tropics. 5. Central Africa, or the countries in the interior between these four divisions.
Isthmus and Straits.] The isthmus of Sucz separates the Red sea from the Mediterranean, and connects Asia with Africa. The straits of Gibraltar conoect the Mediterranean with the Atlaplic. The straits of Babelmandel connect the Red sea with the Indian ocean.
Capes.] Cape Guarda fui is the most eastern point of Africa; cape Serra, the most norihero; and cape Verde, tlie most westero.
The cape of Good Hope is near the southern extremity, and capes Blanco and Bojador are on the western coast north of cape Verde.
Mountains.] The Mountains of the Moon commence near cape Guardafili, and running in a westerly direction completely across the continent, terminate at cape Verde. The eastern part of the chain is called also the Abysinian Alps, and the western part, the mountains of Kong. The central part has never been explored by Europeans, and the continuity of the chain cannot be considered as fully established.
The Mount Atlas chain commences on the western coast pear cape Bojador in lat. 26° 16' N. and running at first in a northeasterly and afterwards in an easterly direction, passes through Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Barca to the borders of Egypt. The highest and broadest part of the range is in the kingdom of Morocco, where it rises in some places to the height of 13,000 feet above the level of the sea. As it proceeds eastward through Algiers, it preserves its breadth but is less elevated, and in Tripoli and Barca it becomes narrow and gives birth to iewer streams.
Riders.] The Nile rises in the mountains of the Moon, under the name of the Bahr el Abiad or White river, and after running for some distance in an easterly direction along the foot of the mountains, turns to the north and receives its two principal tributaries, the Abawi or Bahr el Azrek and the Tacazze, after which it pursues a circuitous course through Nubia, and near the frontier of Egypt forms two cataracts, the lowest of which is at Syene. Below the cataracts it continues its course in a northerly direction for 500 miles, till a little below Cairo it divides and discharges itself into the Mediterranean through two principal channels, which inclose between them what is called the Delta of the Nile.
The Niger, called also the Joliba, and by the Moors the Nile el Abeede, or Nile of the negroes, ises in the mountains of Kong, and flowing in a northeasterly direction passes near lon. 1° W. through lake Dibbie, beyond which the river has never been traced by a European. The various and contradictory rumors relative to its course and termination have excited an extraordinary degree of interest in Europe, and many expeditions have been recently fitted out for the sole purpose of determining this question. After the discoveries of Park, who traced the river through the early parts of its course, the opinion which became generally established, was that of Major Rennell, coinciding in some measure with the previous one of D'Anville, by which the Niger, after issuing from lake Dibbie, was supposed to flow eastward through the country of Houssa, and tinally to lose itself in the lakes and marshes of Wangara. A very different hypothesis has been started by travellers into Northern Africa. Jackson and Hornemann both state the universal conviction there to be. that the Niger flows eastward and joins the Nile, being in fact the Nile itself. The Moors express their astonishment when they hear Europeans doubting the identity of the two streams.