Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/756

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edge of the wind and ocean currents of the globe, and the mysterious laws of terrestrial magnetism.

It was with the object of stimulating geographical inquiry that the first geographical society was formed in Great Britain forty-three years ago. There are now thirty-three similar societies over the globe, viz., in England, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Russia, India, United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Buenos Ayres. These more or less influence public opinion, governments, and wealthy individuals, willing to aid exploration, and the expeditions of the year have been unusually numerous. Never has there been such zeal as during the last quarter of a century, from their associated efforts. It is only very large and wealthy societies, like those of London and St. Petersburg, however, which can engage in distant and expensive explorations, but all can aid in pointing out suitable fields for exploration, and impressing on the age the necessity and value of it.

In reviewing the geographical work of the world during the year, President Daly commenced with the Coast Survey, which Humboldt in 1851 said would hereafter be our great scientific monument. The valuable practical land operations of the Engineer Corps, U. S. A.; the labors of the Hydrographic Office at Washington; the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Western Territories; the Yellowstone Expedition under General Stanley, and the less military one under Captain Jones, with their valuable scientific results—were in turn treated in detail; after which the president reviewed Lieutenant Wheeler's exploration of the White Mountains of Arizona. The Yale College Expedition, instituted by Prof. Marsh, to explore between Salt Lake City and the Colorado River, gave us five tons of fossil and other collections. The explorers received great attention from the Mormons, owing to the discovery of fossil remains of various species of horses. Certain events are related in the Book of Mormon as occurring in the prehistoric period of America, in which horses are mentioned. According to the Spanish historians, horses did not exist in America till introduced by their countrymen, and this statement has been taken as evidence that the Book of Mormon is a fabrication. The Mormons, therefore, regard Prof. Marsh's discovery of fossil horses in Oregon as a proof of the inspiration of the Book of Mormon. The expedition and researches of Dall, in the Aleutian Islands and North Pacific, are also interesting.

The archæological discoveries of the year were next briefly reviewed, and more fully the voyage of the Polaris by way of Smith's Sound to within little more than 400 miles of the north pole. A Swedish expedition was sent out, under Prof. Nordenskiöld, to Parry Island; a Norwegian to the east of Spitzbergen, and an Austrian to the east of Nova Zembla. The practicability of a ship-canal across the Isthmus of Darien, by way of the Atrato, has been tested by an expedition under Commander Selfridge, and, by Commander Lull, of an-