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those published by Captain Ringgold, United States navy, leave far less to be desired for this than for other leading points.
7. To the above general account of operations it is to be added that the hydrographic operations have recently been directed to some revision of the general coast reconnaissance between San Francisco and Monterey; the extension of that reconnaissance from Monterey southward has been entered upon; and the survey of the bay of Monterey has been already executed.
Having received, during the last year, two interesting reports from Lieutenant W. A. Bartlett, United States navy, assistant in the coast survey, referring respectively to the general character of the coast of California and to the commerce of Columbia river, I have embodied those reports in the Appendix, (Nos. 48 and 49.)
Astronomical and magnetic observations.—Assistant George Davidson is in charge of these. At the date of my last annual report he was engaged at Point Conception, by far the most dangerous, and therefore, the most important point, in reference to coast navigation. His observations were for latitude, for longitude by the method of moon culminations, and for magnetic variation and dip. The results have been computed and published.
From that point (after unavoidable delays arising from untoward circumstances, especially the injury of the schooner Ewing in a gale, which compelled the return of the party to San Francisco) assistant Davidson proceeded to establish an observatory near Monterey, in connexion with the survey for a light-house site—from thence to San Diego, and finally to Cape Disappointment, mouth of Columbia river; pursuing the same system of observations at each as at Point Conception. The last advices left him at Cape Disappointment, whence he proposed to pass successively to the determination of Capes Orford and Mendocino, the two most prominent points between the Columbia river and San Francisco.
As soon as the advance of winter renders it necessary to leave the field in Oregon, assistant Davidson proposes to establish stations at points along the coast, and determine their differences of longitude by transit observations, in connexion with transportation of chronometers. The success of this scheme would add San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Trinidad and Humboldt bays to our list of points exactly determined. Assistant Davidson is aided by Mr. John Rockwell.
Triangulation, fr., (sketch I, No. 9.)-Assistant R. D. Cutts was assigned to this section to lake charge of a double party for combined purposes of triangulation and topography. The circumstances of the work pointed to his selection as peculiarly fitted for the superintendence of mixed operations, versed as he is by experience in every branch of the duties of the coast survey. His operations were specially directed to the examinations requisite for light-houses, and to those asked for by the joint commission on military and naval establishments, (for correspondence in relation to which, see Appendix No. 3, in my report of 1850.) The general surveys for the purpose last mentioned have been accomplished. The results for the season have furnished · 1st. The survey of Alcatraz island and Fort Point, and a report on them as sites for light-houses. (Sketch I, No. 6, and Appendix No. 46.)
2d. The topography of the southern shore (including the island of Yerba Buena) of the bay of San Francisco, from the vicinity of the city to that of Point Lobos at the entrance-including the contemplated sites for fortifications—founded on a base measured on the beach of San José. (Sketch I, Nos. 6 and 9.)
3d. An examination of the Farallones for approximate determina- . tion and rectification of their position, (Sketch I, No. 6,) and Sailing Directions, (Appendix No. 47.)
4th. A survey of Mare island, its straits, the entrance and part of the Straits of Carquines, affording all the topography necessary for proposed establishment of a navy yard at Mare island. (Sketch I, No. 2.)
5th. Topography of the northern shore of the bay of San Francisco, (sketch I, Nos. 6 and 9,) from Saucelito to Point Boneta.
6th. The triangulation (for which a preliminary base was measured) of the bay of San Diego, from False bay to the Mexican territory. "The southernmost signal is on the boundary line, and about forty feet westward of the marble monument marking the initial point.” Combined with the topography of sub-assistant Harrison, this furnishes a map of the bay, for which see sketch I, No. 7.
Augustus S. Rodgers, esq., was the aid of assistant Cutts, and was specially employed on the topography.
The statistics of the season's work show: 2 preliminary bases measured, 68 signals erected, 37 stations occupied, 170 angles determined by 4,688 observations, 4 stations whose altitudes were determined by spirit-level, 20 stations whose altitudes were trigonometrically determined, 228 vertical angles measured, and 188 observations for azimuth.
Topography.-Sub-assistant A. M. Harrison was at the head of the topographical party longest in the field. For brevity's sake, I refrain from a recapitulation of his movements, which have been so far identical with those of the astronomical party, except that, at the last advices, he had passed to the topography of Point Adams, and the southern shore of Columbia river." Mr. Harrison's operations, as already stated, have been mainly directed to the surveys necessary for location of light-houses. His results are embodied in-first, a sketch of Point Conception and its vicinity, for several miles of shore-line, and a lighthouse report, (see sketch I, No. 3, and my report, Appendix No. 41;) second, a sketch of Point Pinos and shore-line of vicinity for several miles, and a light-house report for the entrance to Monterey, (see sketch I, No. 4, and Appendix No. 42 ;) third, a topographical map (sketch I, No. 7) of the bay of San Diego, including Punta Loma, proposed as the site for a light-house, and La Playa, the port of San Diego, accompanied by a report descriptive of the bay, (Appendix No. 50,) and a report upon the location of a light-house, (Appendix No. 43;) fourth, the topography of Cape Disappointment, and three miles of the shore at the entrance of Columbia river, (sketch I, No. 10,) and a report in reference to the erection of a light-house at that point, (Appendix No. 44,) also the topography of Point Adams the opposite cape.
For local information and description, I refer to these reports.
The topographical operations of the party under assistant Cutts are so bound up in execution, and in resulis, with those of the triangula
tion, that, to avoid tedious repetition, I have described them under that head.
Hydrography. Up to the date of my last annual report, the late Lieutenant Commanding Wm. P. McArthur, United States navy, assistant in the coast survey, was in charge, but survived a short time only. He was succeeded, December, 1850, in the command of the Coast Survey schooner Ewing, by acting master J. H. Moore, United States navy, who was relieved, May, 1851, by Lieutenant Commanding James Alden, United States navy, assistant in the coast survey. During this period, the Ewing was severely injured in a gale, and for some time under repair.
Lieutenant Commanding Alden, delayed by the difficulty of shipping hands at the then prices of California, which far transcend all Atlantic ideas, set out, about the middle of June, for a preliminary survey, which occupied about two months, of Humboldt and Trinidad bays. For his maps, see sketch I, Nos. 8 and 5. His general description of the character of those bays, I quote as follows:
“Trinidad bay is a very convenient and safe anchorage during six months in the year, and will be found, by vessels that have suffered from the strong. head (northerly) winds that prevail along this coast, a comfortable harbor of refuge. Humboldt bay is, I think, the third harbor on this coast; it is sixteen miles long, and from three-quarters to four or five miles wide; the entrance between the breakers is nearly straight, but rather along the coast; it is about a mile long, and two hundred metres wide between the eighteen-feet curves on either side, with twenty-one feet at low water on the bar. It is perfectly accessible except in very heavy weather, when the sea breaks entirely across the entrance."
More detailed information upon these harbors, and that of San Diego, and sailing directions for the latter, have been published, and will be found in the Appendix, (Nos. 45 and 50.)
The hydrography of the entrance and part of the bay of San Diego is given on the harbor map (sketch I, No. 7) already referred to under the head of topography.
Lieutenant Commanding Alden reports it as highly necessary to the safety of navigation in the harbor of San Francisco, that buoys should be placed on the Invincible and Blossom (sunken) rocks; and the expenditure is accordingly recommended. (For correspondence on the subject see Appendix No. 52.)
An examination has been made of the bay of Monterey, which is reported as completed, although the results have not yet been received. The schooner Ewing was detached for this duty.
Lieutenant Commanding Alden, in the steamer Quickstep, temporarily chartered for the purposes of the coast survey, has been engaged in a re-examination of the coast between San Francisco and Monterey; after concluding which, he has entered upon a continuance of the general coast reconnaissance from Monterey to our southern boundary. He will also prosecute, during this winter, the hydrography of the bay of San Francisco.
The draughtsman, Mr. McMurtrie, of the hydrographic party, detached for the purpose, has furnished drawings (eye-sketches) of the entrance to Columbia river and of the neighboring coast.
The projected hydrographic operations in Oregon having been prevented by the loss of the steamer Jefferson, it is proposed to print the map of Columbia river entrance, and to send copies to the hydrographic party on the western coast, to be corrected there if the changes in the south channel are found to be of importance, and then to be published. Sailing directions for entering that river will be found in the Appendix, No. 51.
It is my painful duty to record the death of Passed Midshipman William De Koven, United States navy, an officer of high character, who had been but a short time attached to the coast survey. The letter of his commander, reporting his decease, is given in Appendix No. 53.
For the judicious execution of the-hydrography on this coast a steamvessel is essential. Hence the loss of the steamer Jefferson is severely felt. That vessel was so strained and dismantled by a gale off the coast of Patagonia, (proverbial for the severity of its storms,) that although, by God's mercy and by the well-directed exertions of her commander and crew, she was enabled to reach Port Desire in safety, it was necessary to abandon her there, since, even if repairs had been practicable, no facilities were accessible. In the Appendix (No. 54) will be found a report of the circumstances, and evidence that the vessel had been, after proper examination, approved as sea-worthy; had been properly fitted and provided; was commanded and worked with all the judgment and energy suitable to the occasion; and was finally abandoned through inevitable necessity. Her disastrous fate seems to be one of those cases in which the power of the elements defies all the efforts of human art and skill.
Lieutenant Commanding F. K. Murray, United States navy, was the commander of the Jefferson, and, before abandoning her, made satisfactory arrangements for saving and bringing home her boilers and machinery.
I take pleasure in quoting from a letter of Lieutenant Commanding Murray the following mention of the zealous and disinterested assistance afforded to himself, his officers and crew, by a stranger—the recital of whose conduct will insure him the admiration of every generous mind:
“It gives me pleasure to mention to you the noble conduct towards us of Mr. Henry Powell, the proprietor of the guano settlement—the generous sympathy, hospitality and friendly aid he extended to us during our protracted stay upon the coast of Patagonia. We soon became entirely dependent upon him for provisions, and these were furnished with his characteristic liberality. For many of them he would receive nothing; and for those furnished the government, charged nothing beyond the prices paid for them by himself. He scorned to take advantage of our necessities, and put himself and men upon short allowance that we might not want. This gentleman, endeared to all on board the Jefferson by his kindness, as well as by his social worth, is a native of Ireland.”
The steamer Corwin has been built for the coast survey out of the appropriation for the western coast; but the Jefferson was sent in her place to save time, and the Corwin retained for the eastern coast. It will now be necessary to send the latter to replace the lost vessel in the Pacific, and the Treasury Department has directed her to be fitted out. Her withdrawal will be a serious loss to the eastern hydrography, and the interests of that work will require her to be replaced.
urinptness whiche. It is develop
Every department of the office has, under the able supervision of Brevet Major I. I. Stevens, of the corps of engineers, continued to improve, and has filled the full measure required by the increasing number, amount, and variety of results returned by the field-work of the coast. For the first time every section under survey has reached that step when results are steadily returned and require provision for publication.
The progress of the work has rendered practicable arrangements for prompt publication, which, when it was less developed and executed on a smaller scale, were not possible. It is due to Major Stevens to acknowledge the promptness which is secured in the publication of results, and the maturing of a system by which sketches and preliminary charts are made in every case to precede the more finished work, furnishing valuable results to the navigator as soon as obtained by the surveyor..
The rapid execution of the engraved charts of the western coast reconnaissance is a proof of the perfection of this organization and of the zeal of those who administer it. Three well-executed sheets of reconnaissance were engraved and ready for publication within twenty working days after the beginning of the engraving. Preparations of a similar kind have been made to execute the charts of the southern portion of the same coast as soon as received, so that publications may be furnished early in the new year. The present report contains no less than three charts and thirty preliminary sketches, of immediate utility to navigators—the result generally of the work of the past surveying year.
It is, of course, understood that these latter do not pretend to be finished charts, but simply what their titles indicate-sketches, to be filled up and perfected as the work advances.
The divisions of the office-work are as follows: 1. Computing; 2. Drawing; 3. Engraving; 4. Electrotyping; 5. Printing; 6. Publishing, distribution, and sale; 7. Instrument making; 8. Archives and library.
The computing, drawing, engraving, and instrument making are each under the charge of an assistant, immediately responsible to the assistant in charge of the office, and directing, under his supervision, the details of each branch; the general direction, as a branch of the entire work, resting with the superintendent.
Major Stevens acknowledges, in his report, in complimentary terms, the services of assistant Hilgard, in charge of the computing department; of Lieutenant Richard H. Rush, United States army, in charge of the drawing department; of Joseph Saxton, esq., in charge of the instrument making; and of Lieutenant E. B. Hunt, of the corps of engineers, as his general assistant, now temporarily in charge of the en