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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hühne, Bernhard

HÜHNE, Bernhard, German navigator, b. in Heidelberg in 1547; d. in Nuremberg in 1611. He entered the Spanish service, and was chief pilot attached to the colony of New Spain in 1599. Philip III., believing in the fabulous strait of Anian, where legend placed an immensely rich city, and dissatisfied with the preceding explorations of Viscaino and Alarcon, ordered the Count of Monterey, governor of New Spain, to send out a new expedition. Monterey gave the mission to Hühne and Juan Fernandez, and they sailed from Acapulco in May, 1660, with two vessels, touching at Zalagua, where they separated. Juan Fernandez sailed to Cape Mendocino, and promised to wait there for Hühne, who resolved to enter the country and obtain information from the natives. But the Indians of California attacked the Spanish, killed a great number of them, and obliged Hühne to re-embark. He despatched a small schooner to Fernandez to call him back, and together they sailed for Acapulco, arriving in September. In March, 1661, Hühne sailed again, but was more cautious. He spent nine months at sea before sighting Cape San Sebastian, January, 1602, on the Bay of Monterey, where he resolved to winter. He succeeded in establishing friendly intercourse with the aborigines, and was soon convinced that the city of Anian was fabulous. Although the clever pilot could not realize the object of his mission, he nevertheless resolved to render it useful in some way, and he set to work to correct the chart made by Alarcon, and construct an exact one of the Gulf of California. He consumed two years in the work, and performed it so well that future navigators, using his charts, were able to go from Acapulco to Monterey in two months, when before ten months was considered a quick passage. The charts made by Hühne were in use for over a century. They were published in Acapulco in 1661, and reprinted in Lisbon (1667) and Seville (1670). The “Allgemeine Encyklopaedie” of Ersch and Grüber says he left an undiscovered manuscript.