Cherokee, the other in English. This paper still lives as the Cherokee Phænix. Indian Territory possesses great advantages of soil and climate. Corn, wheat, and fruit are produced in every part, and cotton also in the south. The grazing facilities are great. Coal, iron, lead, zinc, and copper, and salt and petroleum springs abound.

Dr. F. V. Hayden, of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, has explored the eastern half of the mountainous portion of Colorado. This region forms “the centre of elevation in the great chain of the Rocky Mountains.” “From the summit of Mount Lincoln, the eye sweeps over a wilderness of high peaks, the like of which can be found only in the Himalayas or the Andes.” In view from this point are more than one hundred and fifty peaks, none of which are below thirteen thousand feet, while áfty are at least fourteen thousand.

There were two expeditions to the Yellowstone, one under General Stanley, chiefly of a military character, to protect the work upon the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the other under Captain Jones, the explorer of the Unitah Mountains. The first passed through the “ Bad Lands," a region of desolation extending for two hundred miles. The face presents a continuous succession of hills, with wide chasms and gorges between, “presenting a frightful appearance.” The length of the Yellowstone River was ascertained to be about five hundred and fifty miles, three hundred and fifty of which it is inferred will be navigable for steamboats. Coal, iron, and other minerals were found, and some rare species of birds, among them a species of skylark. In some places the expedition came across natural brick yards, where the clay was cracked by the sun into blocks two inches thick by a foot and a half long. General Stanley bridged a gully with these bricks and passed his wagons over safe.

Captain Jones's expedition penetrated what is properly termed the Yellowstone country, the vicinity of the wonderful geyser region in Northern Wyoming, which is hereafter to be the National Park. Its object was to ascertain how this interesting region can be made most accessible to the traveler. The route lay through a rolling and desolate country. On the way an unsuccessful attempt was made to ascend to the summit of a

sharp peak, but from the elevation attained, about twelve thousand feet, the view was “grand and terrible, presenting, as far as the eye could reach, a jagged mass of dark-brown volcanic rocks, black in the shadows of the falling sun.” The basin of Yellowstone Lake was found to be abundantly watered, and covered with a dense growth of pine. In the lake there is abundance of animal life. Dr. Hilzínon found animal life in springs of 124° temperature. Frosts occurred during thirteen nights in August, but the vegetation was untouched, the flowers being particularly remarkable for the brilliancy and permanency of their colors. South of the lake a small stream was found which divides into two branches, one of which flows through Yellowstone Lake and the Missouri into the Gulf of Mexico, while the other flows through Snake River to the Pacific.

Lieutenant Wheeler has explored the White Mountains of Arizona and the plateaus bordering them. This region, lying south of latitude 34° and east of longitude 110°, embraces fine farming, grazing, water, fish, and game countries, entirely uninhabited by Indians. It however alternates between fertility and barrenness; in some places want of water makes agriculture impossible, while in others are fine bottom lands, enclosed by mountainous country abounding in fine grass, timber, and grain. The region is rich in precious metals. The country adjoining the Colorado River is probably the hottest in the United States, and is almost destitute of vegetation. The maximum heat in summer is found to be 130° Fahrenheit, and the minimum in winter 25°. The thermometer reaches 90° nearly every day in the year.

The observations of the Yale College Expedition under Prof. Marsh, in the country surrounding Salt Lake, seem to warrant the conclusion that the lake is but the remains of a “ vast body of water, equaling in magnitude our great lakes, and that it had formerly a northern outlet.” But the most important result of this expedition was the discovery, in the Pliocene formation, of the remains of various species of fossil horses, rhinoceroses, and camels. The most remarkable fact was exhibited in the remains of the horses, which indicate a gradual development from an animal about the size of a fox, and very different in structure and appearance.

In the beginning of the present summer, an expedition to the Black Hills, in Dakota Territory, was organized under Gen. G. A. Custer. The exterior of these hills presents a very forbidding aspect, from which it has been inferred that the interior was equally, if not more, desolate ; but Gen. Custer has found it to be anything else. In a dispatch dated Bear Butte, Dakota, August 15, 1874, he says : “ In regard to the character of the country enclosed by the Black Hills, I can only repeat what I have stated in previous dispatches. No portion of the United States can boast of a richer or better pasturage, purer water—the natural temperature of which, in mid-summer, as it flows from the earth is 12° above the freezing point-or of greater advantages generally to the farmer or stock-raiser than the Black Hills. Building stone is found in inexhaustible quantities, and wood, fuel, and lumber sufficient for all time to come.” The whole country is said, by the same authority, to be covered by the greatest profusion of flowers, many of unclassified species. Game is abundant, and the mineral wealth is such as is likely to create a second California excitement. Gold and silver were found in numerous places in paying quantities. Iron, plumbago, and gypsum were also found, the latter in great quantities. The country is not inhabited by Indians.

Prof. James Orton, of Vassar College, New York, returned, during the year, from his second exploration of the Amazon country, having studied the geology, physical geography, and topography of that region, obtaining a vast amount of new and reliable information. He found that the Upper Amazon (Marañora) has been grossly misrepresented in all the recent maps of Peru. The details of his discoveries have not yet been made public.

Asia has been the theatre of numerous exploring expeditions. One of the most important, in its results, is that of Baron von Richthofens, into the northern provinces of China. In the possession of coal, China is one of the richest ccuntries on the face of the earth. Her coal fields cover four hundred thousand square miles, yet not a single mine is worked. Her supply of iron, also, is inexhaustible.

The Russian Expedition to Khiva has culminated in the addition of the right bank of the Oxus to the Russian dominions, the abolition of slavery there and in Bokhara, and the free

navigation of the Oxus, with free trade. Khiva is an oasis situated in the midst of a desert three hundred feet below the level of the sea. It is about two hundred miles long and seventy-five wide, and has a population of nearly one million. The people are Tartars, engaged, principally, in tilling the soil. They pass most of their time in summer beneath beautiful elms that shade their dwellings. The houses and farm-yards are enclosed by rectangular walls from fifteen to twenty feet high, which serve the purpose of defense against the Turcomans, who make frequent raids into the country. The walls are made of mud, which, being molded into huge blocks several feet square, becomes comparatively hard.

Dr. H. Fritsche, of the Russian Observatory at Peking, has made a journey through Eastern Mongolia. He describes the country as in one part mountainous, with fertile valleys intervening, and, in another, as having the plateau character, with wide plains surrounded by high hills. The mountain ranges are · uniformly eight thousand feet high, ten thousand feet being the greatest height. He discredits the Jesuit story of there being, in this country, mountains over fifteen thousand feet high, covered with perpetual snows. There are two commercial centers on this plateau, one in the southeast, and another in the northwest. Dolonor, the first of these, has thirty thousand inhabitants. Lt. Francis Garnier, the intrepid French explorer, who, unfortunately, was recently murdered by Chinese insurgents while exploring the Yang-tze-kiang river, in Cochin China, found a portion of it flowing under ground. This phenomenon is so common to the rivers of that region that he arrived at the conclusion that “the subterranean portion of the rivers is, in this country, as considerable as the portion that flows on the surface. Rivers come out of grottoes in the mountains, completely formed; they disappear suddenly in abysses, and farther on you find them again issuing to light.” Quartz slates, calcareous stones, and bituminous marble, constitute the geological features of the country. The people are timid and hospitable. Feudal organization still obtains. Rich landowners maintain bands of hired retainers, and engage in petty warfare with each other.

The excavations of the English Society in Jerusalem have revealed extensive subterranean passages and galleries, winding

aqueducts, and canals cut in solid rock, chambers, sewers, wells and tanks. A stream of running water was found, showing that a fountain exists far below the surface of the earth, and is still running—a circumstance of some interest, as there is now a dearth of water in Jerusalem.

A survey of the peninsula of Sinai, under the direction of the British Ordnance Survey, has determined that this was the scene of the events recorded in Exodus, and the examination has furnished a remarkable confirmation of the truthfulness and accuracy of the Biblical history. Jebel Musa was decided to be the Mount from whence the law was delivered, but this is disputed by Dr. Beke, who says that Mount Sinai is further to the northeast, in the desert, in the vicinity of the Gulf of Akabah.

Some important work has been accomplished in Australasia. Capt. Morsby, R. N., of the ship Basalisk, has explored a portion of the eastern shore of New Guinea. He found a coppercolored people, friendly and intelligent, and greatly superior to the black races of other parts of New Guinea. The country is beautiful and fertile. A great variety of products grow in the valleys, and many of the mountains are terraced to their summits with plantations. Dr. A. B. Meyer has also succeeded in crossing the island from Geelvink's Bay, on the northeast, to McClure's Gulf, on the southwest. This is the first time that the island has been crossed. He made large collections in natural history. While the Dutch have possession of the western half of the island, the eastern is free to colonization by any people.

Mr. Ernest Giles and Baron von Müller have been exploring central Australia west of the trans-continental telegraph line. They found a great salt marsh or lake one hundred and twenty miles long, also tin ore, extensive beds of hematitic iron, coal, and limestone. An important event is the completion of a telegraph line across the island, from Adelaide, in the south, to Port Darwin, in the north—a distance of two thousand and twelve miles. News has been received of the safe arrival at Perth of Col. Egerton Warburton's Exploring Expedition, which has traveled more than one thousand miles through a totally unknown part of western Australia.

Africa continues to be the scene of much exploring activity.

« ForrigeFortsett »