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ing for the proposed expedition the sanction of could not help making frequent halts to admire the commanding officer, we made our preparations scenes which cannot be surpassed, and which at with the view of overcoming all obstacles. Ac- every successive turn broke upon our sight with cordingly, long poles were prepared, shod with redoubled magnificence and grandeur. iron sockets at one end and hooks at the other, to We were now in the region of pines and northassist in scaling precipices; ropes with iron grap- ern plants ; the old familiar oak, the birch, and nels were provided, to be thrown over a projecting other trees unknown to the low country, were crag or icy point; rope ladders were made, to be around us ; the heavy undergrowth had disapused if required ; shoes and sandals, with sharp peared, and we could almost imagine ourselves in projecting points to assist in climbing the icy our dear native land.” slopes, were also bespoken ;-in short, everything Cultivation does not extend up as high as we that it was thought might be needed or would in- expected to see it; we passed the upper limit at crease the chances of success, was taken along. about 8000 feet elevation. About 12 o'clock, and
The selection of a route presented some diffi- at an elevation of rather more than 10,000 feet, culty, different ones being recommended—those the guides reported that mules could go no further, by San Andres and San Juan de Coscomatapec and not knowing anything of our route beyond, particularly. In order to decide between them we were compelled to encamp for the night. A we endeavored to persuade some of the most in- brother officer and myself, however, being on telligent of the citizens, who were acquainted horseback, and feeling comparatively fresh, deterwith the country, to go with us. At first they mined to go forward and explore. We concluded consented, but as the time approached one after that it would not do to stop where we were, but another declined, till finally, when the party was that mules with light loads might go still higher. assembled for starting, it was found we were to go Accordingly, next morning we again started, alone. Then, as some of us inclined to one route, four or five of us going in advance to select a and others to the other, we concluded to reject all good place for our encampment, and also to extheir recommendations, and go direct to the moun- plore the best route for the final ascent. We tain, following the path taken by the Indians en- selected our camp on the verge of vegetation, and gaged in bringing down snow to the city, as far went forward by different routes far above the line as the limits of vegetation, and from that point to of eternal snow. go round the peak to the side which would pre- Under shelter of a rock, and far above that line, sent the best prospect of success.
some of the party found a rude cross, decorated We left the city of Orizaba on the morning of with paper ornaments and surrounded by tallow the 7th of May, 1848, the party consisting of candles. Its history we were unable to learn, but ten officers, including one of the navy, thirty- it gave rise to many reflections. Who placed it four soldiers and two sailors serving with the there, when was it erected, and what event did it naval battery, three or four Mexicans and Indians record ? were questions asked, but not answered. as guides, and enough pack mules to carry our During our trip several parties of Indians passed provisions and equipments. Our expedition set- us, who made a regular business of bringing down ting out during tne armistice, it was thought ad- snow on their backs for the use of the citizens of visable to procure a passport from the Prefect of Orizaba. The cross was probably erected by Orizaba to provide against contingencies.
some of them. About six miles from the city of Orizaba we On our return we found all our baggage brought passed through the small Indian village of La up to our new encampment, notwithstanding it had Perla ; the inhabitants were very much frightened been pronounced impossible, and on comparing at our approach, but our passport soon quieted notes, selected the route which seemed most practhem, and when they came to know the object of ticable, and prepared for ascent next morning. our visit they seemed to regard us as the greatest The night was clear and cold, the thermometer set of donkeys they ever saw, telling us very falling below the freezing point ; a heavy frost and plainly we could never reach the summit. Noth-frozen water reminding us very forcibly of “auld ing daunted, however, we continued on, and im- lang syne.” mediately after leaving their village commenced a While sitting around our camp fires this evenrapid ascent, and began to enjoy views which of ing, it was discovered that we had two flags in the themselves would have amply repaid us for our party ; the sailors, not knowing that one had been trouble. We encamped for the night at an eleva- brought along, had carried materials and manufaction of about 7000 feet above the sea ; the night tured one in camp. It was proposed to get up a was clear and bracing, but not cold enough to be rivalry as to which flag should be planted first; but uncomfortable.
we came to the conclusion that, should the summit The next morning was clear and beautiful, and be reached, the honor should be equally shared. after an early breakfast we were again in motion. As night came on we enjoyed a most magnificent The scenery was truly sublime, and ascending one sight : the clouds gathered round the foot of the mountain after another, valley after valley ap- mountain so as to entirely obstruct a distant view, peared in view ; hills, which at first seemed while the lightning's vivid flash, darting from cloud mountains, kept gradually sinking at our feet, to cloud, was visible far beneath our feet ; the sky and the range of vision constantly extending, we overhead being bright and beautiful.
encamped at an elevation, according to the barom-| as the circumstances would admit, and for that pureter, of 12,200 feet-about double that of the highest pose had carried a barometer, the best I could get, point of the White Mountains—while the peak still which from previous calculations I deemed capable raised its snow-white head above us to a height of indicating a height of from 300 to 400 feet nearly equal to that of Mount Washington above higher than that given by him. I had also pro the sea, and seemed to frown down upon the pig- vided myself with a spirit-lamp and thermometer, mies who dared attempt to scale its giddy, and, as for the purpose of taking the temperature of boilyet, unascended height.
ing water ; on the march, however, the bottle conAt daylight on the morning of the 10th of May, taining the alcohol was broken and the alcohol lost. we were again in motion ; many of the party had I therefore determined to test the combustible propalready given out, so that there were but twenty- erties of whiskey. One of my first objects after four persons to start on the final ascent. In a few reaching the summit was to make the observations, minutes we were at the foot of the snow, and taking but on preparing the barometer the mercury sunk the route over which there appeared to be least of at once below the graduation ! it, passed for half or three fourths of a mile over I estimated the distance between the lowest line loose volcanic sand. On measuring the slope of of graduation and the top of the mercury at two this I found it to be 33o. It was by far the most tenths of an inch, which gives—with corresponddifficult portion of our ascent; sinking up to the ing observations in the city of Orizaba at the same knees in sand, we seemed to go back about as far hour-an elevation of 17,907 feet, and makes it the as we stepped forward, while the rarefied condition highest point on the North American continent. of the atmosphere made exertion painful in the I do not think I could have been far wrong in my extreme; indeed, during the whole of this day's estimate, as the means of comparison were before ascent, it was impossible to advance fifty paces me; but even supposing I was mistaken one twenwithout stopping for breath. When not exerting tieth of an inch, we still have an elevation of 17,819 ourselves, we could breathe comparatively easy, feet, 98 feet higher than Popocatapet), which is but the moment we moved we were forcibly usually considered the highest point (5,400 metres, reminded of our great elevation. I can only com- or 17,721 feet, as given by Humboldt).
The pare the sensation produced to that experienced by temperature was just below the freezing point. a person who, after running at the top of his speed, My attempt to make whiskey burn was a failure. is ready to drop from sheer exhaustion.
Since my return to the United States, I have obAt length, however, we reached the firm rock, served the following remark in Humboldt's work : and it was quite a relief to be once more where we “ Eight years before my arrival in Mexico, Mr. could use both hands and feet for climbing. But Ferrar measured Citlaltipetl, (Orizaba,) and he we were yet far from the point at which we were gives it an elevation of 5,450 metres (17,885 feet); aiming, and before reaching it were to be many my measurement, made from a plain near Xalapa, times sorely disappointed. A projecting crag far is 155 metres less (5,295 metres, or 17,377 feet).” above would be hailed as the summit ; step after It will be seen that my determination agrees very step the weary body was dragged along till at nearly with that of Mr. Ferrar. length it was reached ; but once there, it was found We remained on the summit about an hour, to be but the base of another still higher; this planted the “ stars and stripes," and hailed them being overcome, another was discovered above. with three hearty cheers ; fired pistols over and Thus, time after time, were our expectations into the crater to hear the report, collected quite a crushed, till hope seemed almost to have forsaken number of specimens. some of them of pure sulus, and one after another dropped behind in despair. phur, and most of the others containing lime ; But “ go a-head” was our motto, and go a-head emptied our bottle and left it, containing a paper some of the party did, till at length their efforts on which were written, in pencil, the names of the were crowned with success, and they dropped ex- successful party, and after remaining to enjoy the hausted on the brink of the crater !
scenery, commenced our descent.
The day was The crater is nearly circular, and variously esti- clear, but the atmosphere thick and smoky, so that mated by different members of the party at from we did not have the views we had hoped for ; but 400 to 650 yards in diameter. We all put the as we believed ourselves to be the first who had depth at about 300 feet. The sides are nearly ever looked into the crater, we felt amply repaid vertical, and show strong and unmistakeable signs for our trouble. of fire, looking like the mouth of some gigantic Those who reached the summit were Major furnace.
Manigault, 13th Infantry ; Captain Lomax, AlaAt the foot of this perpendicular wall was quite bama Volunteers ; acting Assistant-Surgeon Banks, a bank of sand, or débris, which had fallen from U. S. Army ; passed Midshipman Henry Rogers, the inner surface of the rock, showing a great U.S. Navy; a private of the Alabama Volunteers, length of time since the volcano became extinct. whose name I do not now recollect; a Mexican, The bottom of the crater was covered with snow. whom we had employed as interpreter for the InHumboldt says its most violent eruptions were dians, and myself,-seven of the twenty-four who from a. D. 1545 to 1566 ; I have seen no record started in the morning, or of the fifty persons who of an eruption since.
started on the expedition ! It being my desire to test Humboldt's altitude, The descent was by no means as difficult as the I had taken the precaution to be as well prepared ascent; a slide on the snow or sand carried us
hundreds of feet down-a space which had required course over cool seas. Mellowed by distance, it many weary steps to go up. About dark we should harmonize for a moment the spirit of one arrived at our encampment, highly delighted with untimed by the jangle of Wall-street, or stunned our trip, though very much fatigued and exhausted. by Broadway's dusty roar. Let an inhabitant of All who made the final attempt were more or less Babel imagine himself a lonely admirer of these affected either with violent headaches, nausea, and inhospitable regions where civilized men can never vomiting, or bleeding at the nose. The veils which live. Let those who are wont to fall into ecstasy we had provided for our journey did good service, but at seeing their own pigmy highlands, fancy themthe face, particularly the lips, of all those who reached selves here, lost in the surpassing, yet dreary magthe summit, became so swollen and cracked as to be nificence of these Straits of Magalhaen. exceedingly painful, indeed to such a degree as to “Dull as a voyage at sea,” is a common provconfine some of them to their rooms for several days. erb, but the Solomon who first uttered it had little
At half-past 6 o'clock next morning we left poetry in his soul. Day after day we sail over camp on our return, those who had horses going serene waters, with a pleasant sun overhead and in advance, and by riding very slowly, not out of cool waves below, surrounded by sparkles of gay a walk, and stopping on the way to gather flowers, foam, and joyous in the very inspiration of motion. we reached Orizaba al one o'clock, P. M.; only six And in these southern latitudes, where are hours and a half from the region of eternal snow Larger constellations burning, mellower moons, and hapto where frost is never known ! We had a beau- pier skies, tiful opportunity of observing the change of vege- we stand upon the deck at night, and feel strange tation with the change of altitude ; the lines were emotions, till they find an expression in happiness, clearly and distinctly marked, and seemed to run like the very waves we see around us, lifted from nearly horizontal.
still depths to break in white beauty into the upper When we started on our return the sky was
and solemn albatross wheels wonbright and clear, while beneath us rolled an ocean dering about us, the delicate petrel flutters in our of clouds ; we saw plainly when we were passing wake, and myriads of the deep leap ahead as if through them ; there was considerable wind, and to pilot us through their home. The storm, the they were floating briskly about the sides of moun-calm, the breeze succeed each other, and contintains ; as we passed into them, the sky was shut ually excite emotions of wonder, or deep pleasure. out, and we were in a dense fog : in a few min
Some discomforts there are, to be sure, but all utes all was clear below, and the day was cloudy! our loss becomes gain. Sea fare cannot at all
After our return, the Mexican asked for and times be most enticing to the palate, but sea air obtained a certificate, signed by all the party, that makes all food wonderfully toothsome. Then, our he had been to the summit; he said his country- schooner is small and in her motions resembling men would not believe him-many of them would
" that Scot of Scots, who runs o’horseback up a not believe us, though one gentleman said he had hill perpendicular," but she frolics along as graceseen us distinctly with his spy-glass, while on our ful as a kitten, and we are so accustomed to her way up ; others contented themselves by saying, antics that we may justly despair of finding a more " Los Americanos son los diablos."
comfortable couch ashore than a sea-saw board. The difficulty of the undertaking had been The only serious deprivation is the absence of the greatly magnified ; none of our preparations except- morning papers ; but never surely was European, ing veils were necessary.
The sand is the most political, or even California news, sought with serious obstacle to be overcome, and by taking a such intense excitement as the daily bulletin of more circuitous route from our last encampment, this latitude and longitude. No political problem, might have been avoided. All that is required is long doubtful and finally solved by the freedom of a physical constitution capable of sustaining the a pation, could interest us half so much as to work fatigue, patience and perseverance.
our imaginary location upon the shifting waves, so Another party was spoken of, and some of us despotically does Neptune rule the minds of all who had made the trip would have gladly gone subjects in his vast dominions. again, partly in hopes of obtaining a better view, Sixty days of pleasant sailing, the last three and partly to get more accurate barometric obser- weeks of fighting with pamperos and heavy gales vations, but the glad tidings of peace cut short our excepted, found us in sight of the castellated plans, and gave us the more agreeable trip to
heights of Cape Virgins, the eastern entrance to home and friends.
W. F. RAYNOLDS,
the far-famed Straits of Magalhaen. Washington, July, 1849. Lieut. Top'l. Eng’rs.
These are classic waters. Through this narrow cut in the land, scarcely three hundred miles
in all its tortuous course, bold Fernando de MaCorrespondence of the Journal of Commerce.
galhaen steered, and despite of unfitness of vessels THE STRAITS OF MAGALHAEN.
and treachery of officers, accomplished that wherein Straits of MAGALHAEN, Columbus failed, and opened a new highway to
Schr. Empire, 220 April, 1849. the Indies. For many years afterwards, this was A voice from over sea ! It should be freshened supposed to be the only channel for ships, and by the many winds through which it pierces, many were the rich argosies that passed here with strengthened by loud gales, yet soft in its pleasant the fruits of sunnier climes : many too,
Which struck where the white and fleecy waves down-running around thirty or forty cells in four
Looked soft as carded wool;
large styes, between which are gutters for streets, Like the horns of an angry bull.
little stone islands for a sidewalk, and eighteen Then Cape Horn was found to terminate the inches of mud for a pavement. I thought of New American continent, and few vessels, except those York! In each of these six-by-eight boxes, winof simplest rig and smallest size, have since dared dowless and chimneyless, exists a family of conto attempt a passage from east to west through victs. About seventy from the fleet went ashore Magalhaen's Straits.
one evening, and saw a fandango. In Spain the You will best understand the peculiar nature of dance may be graceful. Here, no wonder that this corner of the earth, by following us from Cape the wretches pay one dollar a pound for soap, and Virgins to Cape Pillar.
make a good bargain at that! The first day was spent in painfully beating up Most vessels stop here needlessly for wood and to the first anchorage in Possession Bay, against water. Both can be procured as well, if not violent gusts of wind, which lifted the tops from better, in most harbors further on, and time spent those deep green furrows, and drenched us with here is lost ; for there is always a fair wind in showers of inexpressible saltness. We anchored this portion of the Straits, and many days must with our consort, the Sea Witch of Mystic, the be spent at anchor before the Pacific is reached. pilot-boat Anonyma, seventy-two days from Bos- Yet the water at Port Famine cannot be surpassed. ton, and the clipper Eclipse, eighty days from Men of experience say that months at sea do not Baltimore. Though thousands of miles from home, alter its taste. at a distance where the distinction between States At San Nicholas' Bay we saw a fair specimen should be lost, and all viewed as a single nation, I of the Patagonians. This is that singular race was never more forcibly struck with sectional pe- of men which have so inexplicably lost half their culiarities, than when contrasting the slow, drawl- stature in the last two hundred years ! Magalhaen ing reply of the Baltimorean, with the hearty affirmed them to be nearly twelve feet high, Corshout of the Bostonian, and the bluff, independent dova and Sarmiento at least nine, Anson about hail of the Yankee smackman. The little fleet eight, and our own school geography full seven. which had thus gathered in a single day, determined In truth, they measure about six feet, and are to sail in company through the Straits, and it may very strongly built. Whether time tears down safely be said that four swifter vessels were never tallness from men or from fables, is a point for yet seen together in these waters.
conjecture. These Horse Indians, as they are At the second trial we succeeded in passing the commonly called, from their equestrian life, are first and second Narrows. These are each about friendly and very stupid. The Tierra del Fuegian, ten miles in length and nearly two in width, the or Canoe Indians, are of the ordinary height, magtide running through them full ten or twelve miles pies in tongue, baboons in countenance, and imps an hour. By seizing it at the favorable time, no in treachery. Many conflicts have taken place danger need be apprehended, except from the between them and sealing vessels. They are best heavy ripplings in which many vessels have been seen at a distance. lost. In three days we had passed the first of the At Cape Howard the main channel turns sharply three great divisions which nature has marked in to the north-west. Here end the two first secthe Straits. The region of sand hills and granite tions of the Straits, and all plain sailing. The cliffs yields to one which appears almost delightful whole body of water is here divided into a thousand in comparison with what precedes and follows it. little channels to the Pacific, of which the best
Here the coast suddenly tends southward, and known are the Cockburn, Barbara, Gabriel, and the Strait expands into a broad sheet of water, Main Channels. The labyrinth of islands and thirty miles in width and three hundred fathoms in sounds is so perfect, that a good chart is indisdepth. The hills are thickly clothed with trees pensable. Unfortunate, indeed, is the vessel in to the water's edge, and were it not for the hu- Crooked Reach, which has saved an unlucky sixinid climate and boggy soil, man could gain his pence in not providing several stout anchors and livelihood from the earth. As it is, the Chilian the best of cables, at home or at the half-supplied colonies of convicts at Sandy Point and Port depot in Port Famine. Famine are supported from home. Rain fell Here the navigation assumes a new character. every day while we were there, and in a continual Nine days in ten, gales of westerly wind prevail, flood for a full third of the time. In this kind of and beat fiercely upon the adventurous vessel experience we can fully equal even our brother which dares to struggle with their power. Rain hunters for gold who trudged across to Panama. falls several times each day, and when that fails,
Port Famine, the capital of semi-civilization in showers of thick snow or stinging hail suppy its this quarter of the globe, consists of a few houses, place. There is a certain singular gust of wind inclosing a wooden fort, in which lie unmounted very prevalent here, which the sailors have termed two honey-combed twelve-pounders and a brass “ woolliewaws.” When a vessel is caught at field-piece, tightly spiked ! Buenos Ayres also night out of the harbor by rain, snow, hail, gales, claims this country, and Chili thus arms herself thick darkness and woolliewaws, there will be little against her rival in imbecility. There is a rickety sleep on board. We were twice trapped in this apology for a fence—a stout cat might paw it manner, and always afterwards saved time and
labor by seeking a harbor at three o'clock in the hail. Sometimes we are sailing along in rare afternoon.
sunshine, when a woolliewaw whirls a storm of Strangely enough, the temperature of these sharp diamond hail into our faces, or a column of high latitudes is equable, and not very cold. The spray-beads to the very truck; forces our little thermometer ranges from 40° to 50° Fahr. through- craft down into the water, till a rushing flood out the year. Decreased strength of winds alone swashes along her decks, then moves leeward in a marks the winter season.
brown and distinct whirlwind, till it hides one end In one day we sailed from San Nicholas' Bay of a lustrous rainbow, whose other extremity is to Borja Bay ; leaving the region of thick ver- splendidly defined against some rough mountain. dure, passing grim Mount Sarmiento seven thou- Meanwhile the glorious sunlight is over all. sand feet above us, and struggling through a narrow From Port Famine to the Harbor of Mercy, near island-spotted ribbon of water, with gigantic walls Cape Pillar, they continually increased in fury. of granite overshadowing us from their immovable The day before we left this latter harbor, there resting places. Cordova said that the mountains was a grand display of their impotent rage. west of Cape Quod gave to this portion of the Our passage consumed twenty days, thirteen of Straits a most horrible appearance.” They do which found us closely shut up in harbors. We indeed seem very desolate and uninviting, almost overtook and passed square-rigged vessels, which all terminating in sharply serrated peaks, or had been weeks in the Straits, unwilling to return slightly rounding knobs of bare granite, but there and unable to proceed. Few square-riggers can is a savage grandeur, a wild glory, upon their hope for a short passage ; the difficulties in manlofty summits, which far excels the smiles of the aging them in a channel, barely a mile wide in softest landscapes.
some places, are too great. At Borja Bay we found the brig Saltillo, which The passage from the Atlantic is thus mostly had sailed from Boston some time last year, and confined to small vessels. From the Pacific, pashad already spent five Sundays in the Straits. sages are often made by ships in two or three We also received New York papers to February days, and the only wonder is why more do not 17th, from the steamer Panama. She reported save the distance around Cape Horn.
There are several vessels at the entrance of the Straits, and scarcely any dangers which are not visible, so bold among them the well-known New York pilot boat, is the coast and deep the soundings throughout Wm. G. Hackstaff, which sailed one day before the Strait.
At Swallow Harbor lay the Velasco, of Gro- Few portions of the earth can surpass this, so ton, and Iowa, of Sagharbor. Thus our fleet was wonderful in the grandeur of its scenery. Here increased to six schooners.
let the painter come—the poet too—all who love Both harbors are most secure and picturesque, nature in her wildest moods, and can discern a locked in, as they are, by lofty mountains. Right mystic loveliness behind her frowns. Only the at the bottom of each, a magnificent cascade rustles monomaniac gold-hunter views it with indifferent down the sides of a broad, brown mountain, eye.
We have left the Straits of Magalhaen. Cape With the foamy sheaf of fountains, falling through the painted air.
Pillar grows dim; Westminster Hall towers Few things can be more lovely than these harbors, faintly afar ; the sea-beaten Evangelists begin to inclosed by bare cliffs like gems set in granite.
loom in the evening sky, and Cape Victory, like The weary sailor, who looks for no beauty, can
a grim old warder, watches our departure in si
lence. On one side of us is the mighty group of never deny their comfort. The only objection to them is from the terrific woolliewaws that rush Tierra del Fuego ; on the other begins an imfrom the surrounding heights without a second's mense continent, whose other extremity is near
the North Pole. Before us lies the great Pacific. warning, and pounce upon the waters, gathering
Phil. BRENGLE. them into a narrow but boiling circle of foam, then skurry around, fan-shaped, in every direction, and with resistless fury. “These woollies are
[MYSTICAL THEOLOGY—GROUND OF ITS INFLUENCE.) queer things !” exclaimed our skipper. how they tie the water all up in a little heap, and tics hath a dialect peculiarly suited to it, which
The most obscure theology of the German mysthen throw it every-which way!" Even at an- makes it intelligible to those whom a plainer syschor, the whole fleet rolls down in abject sub- tem would disgust. There is a certain perversion mission before them. Once, the Anonyma's clinker of intellect which can relish nothing but what is boat was torn from her stern, whirled over in the dark and enigmatical ; and though many of the air, and sunk in a single second. It is fortunate speculations of visionary enthusiasts are, when acthat they last little longer.
curately sifted to the bottom, nothing but plain and It was only by a very painful beating that we
common truths, yet the moment they are brought
out of the obscurity into which a wild and irregular passed English Reach, Crooked Reach, Long imagination had thrown them, they lose all their Reach, and Sea Reach. The gale was diversified efficacy, and that which is thoroughly comprehended only with woolliewaws, the rain with snow and I ceases to effect.- Monthly Review, vol. 64, p. 206.