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Entcred according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by Dix, EDWARDS & Co., in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court for the Southern District of New York,
The Post Master General has decided that the advertising sheet in “ Putnam's Monthly," " Household Worda,
or " The Schoolfellow" does not subject them to any additional postage.
CONTENTS OF No. XLV.
American Literature and Reprints.
Lord Cockburn's Memoirs of his Times--George Tucker's History of the United States-Miss Pea
body's Chronological History of the United States -Chambers' Hand Book of American Litera. ture-Hertha of Miss Fredrika Bremer-Life of Perthes-The English Encyclopædia, by Charles Knight-Confessions of Rousseau.
The World of New York,
King September-Calling home the Tenants- The Flaccidity of Raiment-Hoops-Keeping up
Appearances-- The Reinstallation of Starch-At the Window agaid-Shoes and Four Teeth-
(14.6.1765.) PUTNAM'S MONTHLY,
A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.
VOL. VIII.-SEPTEMBER, 1856.—NO. XLV.
IT is a remark made by Hugh Miller, lar result produced, by the expansion of
and, very probably, by others before the ice from changes of temperature, a him, that the great features of physical long crack being formed across the icy geography rarely form right lines, but sheet, the edges of which were raised where such do occur, the geologist may up into ridges, resting against each look for something remarkable. other like the slopes of a roof. We
No better example illustrative of this may conceive the long upthrow of the observation can be found, than that line Andean chain to have been somewhat which every child has noticed on its analogous to this; but after the crack school-geography maps of the western was formed, and its edges uplifted, a hemisphere-a chain of mountains, in new element came into activity. The some places but a single ridge, in others melted matter from our planet's interior branching or forming several parallel rose through the crevice, and its hardenlines, but extending in one conspicuous ed overflow added immensely to the and unbroken system, nearly north and height and bulk of the mountain range. south, for eight thousand miles, from To this agency appear to be due the Cape Horn to Russian America. enormous accumulations of lava, por
It is apparently one long axis of frac- phyry, trachyte, and other plutonic tures and disturbances in the earth's rocks, which accompany the chain, crust. If we admit the prevalent theory, through openings in which the volcanic that our planet once existed in a melted fires still blaze at intervals from Southstate, and has cooled on its exterior, it ern Chile to Russian America. seems to follow that the process must Perhaps it may be true, as have been accompanied by a certain geologists have suggested, that this degree of contraction. The spherical great uplift was contemporaneous with crust, left comparatively upsupported a depression of the area occupied by by its shrunk interior, must have exert the Pacific. Be this as it may, the ed in all directions a lateral pressure or ranges of the mountains and the coast "thrust,” like that sustained by the are parallel, and both inclose and give piers of an arch; under which the character to the territory which forms weaker portions must have yielded— the subject of these handsome volumes. crowded into broken ridges, and uplifts. • With an arid desert on its northern We have seen on a frozen lake a simi- frontier, successive ranges of mountains,
• Report of the U. S. Naval Astronomical Expedition to the southern hemisphere, during the years 1849, '50, 51, '52. Published by order of Congress. Washington, 1855.
whose summits are covered by ever coast; twenty to "first experiences in lasting snows, on the east, Cape Horn, Chile; while a variety of minor details with its appalling storms of ice and sleet, make up the 550 pages of Vol. I. Three on the south, and the vast Pacific ocean hundred more are given in Vol. II. washing its western shores," the ter. to the report of Lieut. McRae's tour ritory of Chile stretches through a across the continent, and sundry illuslength of about 2,000 miles, with an trated papers on archæology and natuaverage width of nearly eighty.
ral history. Eight hundred and fifty Its more southern portion, for eight quarto pages-no less—a magnum opus or ten hundred miles, seems to be little laborious in achievement, and not a more than a mere selvage of rough little so in perusal. Wo confess that we country, crowded between the moun would have preferred a couple of tight tains and the rifted and iron-bound little duodecimos, or small octavos; and coast, which, indeed, in many places, valuable as is the great mass of informacome together without any interval of tion collected in this report, it seems to habitable land. The more northern part, us that by the omission of part of its which is generally spoken of as Chile, is contents, and the condensation of more, from 1,000 to 1,200 miles long, by per it might have been made less expensive haps 100 in average width. Its pecu to publish, less burdensome to the mails, liar and isolated position, and the grand- and more useful to the public. The eur of its natural features, must always best part of our people are active, secure for any work devoted to its de practical men, whose time is too much scription the interest of all intelligent occupied to allow them leisure to search minds.
through such bulky volumes; and the The chief object of the Expedition, of author who might. by a book condensed which Lieut. J. M. Gilliss was the head into the concisest form and clearest and Lieut. Archibald McRae, Acting arrangement. have interested tens of Master S. L. Phelps, and Captain's thousands of readers, is apt to find, Clerk E. R. Smith, were associates, when he bas completed a ponderous was to effect a series of observations of quarto, designed to be his monument, the stars of the southern hemisphere, that he has literally buried under it his in connection with which duty special reputation. researches were to be made in magnetism The gentlemen of the expedition left and meteorology. The observations New York in August, 1849, going by made in these departments of science, way of Panama, stopping at different however, are not to any great extent points along the coast, and reaching embraced in the volumes now before us, Valparaiso on the 25th of October, which are chiefly occupied with details whence they proceeded to the capital of moro popular interest, collected under city of Santiago, a town of 80,000 or general instructions, to secure, in addi. 90,000 inhabitants, covering with its low tion to the leading objects of the expe houses an area of six or seven squaro dition, “any other information of a use miles, in a plain or basin of about sixty ful character which there might be miles by twenty in extent; sixty miles opportunity to obtain."
inland, and 2,000 feet above the level of This direction seems to have been the ocean. It is overlooked, on the obeyed in the most industrious spirit, if east, by the great Andean chain, some we may judge by the result before us. of the highest peaks of which are visiThe contents of the work may be rough- ble from the valley. From the eastern ly classified as follows. Descriptive part of the city rises the hill of Santa geography, political divisions, and in Lucia, a mass of porphyritic rock 175 dustrial resources, seventy-six pages; feet high, on the upper part of which climate, and earthquakes, about as much the observatory was established, and more ; descriptions of Santiago and Val- the instruments mounted. The native paraiso, sixty-seven pages; of the gove population looked on the advancing work ernment, society, and the church, forty- with great curiosity, and on its complesix pages; journeys in the provinces, tion, all who wished, rich or poor, learn113 pages; the Presidential election of ed or ignorant, were allowed to scan the 1851, and its unhappy contests, thirty- heavens through the wonderful optio five pages. Then we have fifty pages tube. Yet there remained many who devoted to the journey from New York attributed to the strangers more than to Valparaiso, via Panama and the scientific lore, and as the season proved
an unusual one in the occurrence of and the seaboard hills, lying in the prosevere thunder storms, as well as earth- vinces of Santiago, Colchagua, and quakes, the “ masses" were much in- Maule. This may be considered as a clined to associate these disturbances continuation of the subinarine valley with the advent of the wizards on Santa separating the island of Chiloe from the Lucia.
main-land. The locality proved exceedingly fa The main Andean chain is, as a mass, vorable for astronomical observations, highest in latitude 35°, and its base has as the serenity of the skies permitted a width, from the lower lands of Chile a much larger amount of work to be to the Pampas at the foot of the eastern done within a limited period than can be slope, of one hundred and twenty miles. accomplished in most countries. It is The most lofty peaks in Chile are Aconstated in the report, that out of 132 cagua, in latitude 321°, within sight of consecutive nights after January 31, Santiago, rising to the altitude of 22,300 1850, there were but seven cloudy ones, feet, and Tupungato, in latitude, 331°, and during the next summer, from No the height of which is given at 22,450 vember 10th to April 10th, observations feet. The elevation of these summits were made on 120 out of 152 nights. is much greater than was formerly supThe only drawback on the advantages posed, and they are entitled to rank of the position, was the small number among the very loftiest few of the of the observers, which made the work giants of the Andes. most laborious and exhausting, and lim The reader, however, if he compares ited the usefulness of the expedition. the elevation of these peaks with the
Beginning at the south pole, a complete width of the base of the chain, will find examination was inade of the heavens that their extreine height is but about through more than 24° of declination, one-thirtieth of such width ; a result by "sweeping" them with the telescope which tends very much to flatten down in narrow successive belts or rings. prevalent popular ideas of the steep, Within this space were obtained 33,600 wall-like character of mountain chains. observations of some 23,000 stars, of In truth, though minor inequalities of the which more than 20,000 are stated not earth's surface may be more abrupt, its to have been previously tabulated. In greater ridges and undulations, viewed addition to this, a large amount of on a large scale, are gentle and almost time was devoted to the examination insignificant. Differences of elevation, of more northerly zones of the sky, as compared with those of distance, are which, with observations of the moon, 80 slight, as not only to require exagplanets, etc., number about 9,000 mea geration to make them appreciable on sures. Lieut. Gilliss had hoped to have the profiles and sections of the engitabulated all the stars not clearly visi neer and the geologist, but we believe ble above the horizon of Washington, that we all insensibly habituate the eye so that, by combining the labors of his to give greater importance to elevations expedition with those of our national than to distances, and acquire a distort observatory, it might be said that the ed idea of their proportions which misAmerican Navy had mapped the whole leads our perceptions. heavens ; but the numerical force of his Through this huge mountain barrier, corps was insufficient for the task. The a number of passes lead to the broad valuable results of the great amount of pampas and great rivers of the Atlanastronomical work which they were ena tic slope of the continent. Those bled to accomplish, will appear sepa most frequently traversed are the Usrately. We have now only to glean pullata pass to the N. E. of Santiago, from the present volumes such particu and the Portillo pass, S. W. of that lars of popular interest, relative to other city, both of which were examined by topics, as our limits will allow.
Lieut. McRae, from whose surveys The dimensions, and a sketch of the maps of these lofty valleys have been general position of Chile, have already made and published in the report. The been given. Between the Andes and Uspullata pass, in latitude 32° 49', is the sea, the country is generally rough the more sheltered, and the more freand hilly. The best and most fertile quently used, and attains a height of portion of the country extends along the 12,500 feet; the Portillo, in latitude base of the Andes, in a series of val 33° 35', is a shorter route, but moro leys, or a long depression between them dangerous and difficult. Its first sum