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more eastern position of the latter port, that is to say, what is given by Vancouver, the geographer is uncertain as to the situation of the southern coast. To avoid this difficulty, I have followed Malaspina in placing Monterey at 36° 35'45" of latitude, and 124° 23'45" of longitude". La Peyrousef found the longitude by lunar distances 123° 34' 0", by the chronometer 124° 3' 0". Vancouver deduced a longitude of 123° 34' 30" from 1200 distances of the moon from the sun. As the latter had leisure to survey the situation of the coast with the most scrupulous accuracy, I have ventured to rely on the difference of longitude indicated by him between Monterey and the missions of S. Diego, S. Juan, S. Buenaventura, S. Barbara, and S. Francisco. In this manner the positions of all these points have been connected with that of Monterey. Had I, however, traced all the north-west coast from the sole observations of Vancouver, I should have been tempted to render the longitude of Cape S. Lucas more eastern. It is sufficient to have here indicated the striking difference which yet subsists, notwithstanding the great pains bestowed, between the English and

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* Analysis de la Carta de Antillon, 1803, p. 50.

+ Voyage, T. III. p. 304.

f M. Tries necker, in correcting the result obtained by La Peyrouse, found by means of the lunar observations of Greenwich the longitude 123°42' 12" in place of 123° 34' 0" (Zach Corr. T.I. p. 173.)

Spanish operations. I have reason to believe that the absolute positions laid down by us for Acapulco, S. Blas, and Cape Lucas, are sufficiently correct, and that the error of + 28' en arc exists farther to the north. A false supposition in the diurnal course of a chronometer, and the state of the old lunar tables of Mayer and Mason, may have contributed to this error. After discussing the positions which are founded on astronomical observations by experienced observers, I pass to those which may be regarded as doubtful, on account of the imperfection of the instruments, the want of confidence which the names of the observersinspire, and of our ignorance whether the results have not been drawn from manuscripts inaccurately copied. What follows is the substance of what I have been able to collect from these astronomical observations: they must be employed with caution; but they are valuable for the geography of a region hitherto so little known. The Jesuits are entitled to the praise of having been the first who examined the gulf of California or the sea of Cortez. Father Kin, formerly professor of mathematics at Ingolstadt, and the declared enemy of the Mexican geometrician Siguenza, against whom he composed several writings, arrived in 1701 at the junction of the great rivers Gila and Colorado. He fixed by an astronomical ring the latitude of this junction at 35° 30'. I see from a manuscript map drawn up in 1541 by Domingo de Castillo, found in the archives of the family of Cortez, that at this epoqua two rivers were already known, which appeared to unite under the latitude of 33°40', and were called Rio de Buena, Guia, and Brazode Miraflores. Three years before, in 1538, Father Pedro Nadal found by the meridian altitude of the sun, the junction of the Gila and Colorado, 35° 0'. Fray Marcos de Niza made it 34° 30'. It was undoubtedly on these grounds that Delisle adopted 34°in his maps: but in a work printed at Mexico”, recent observations are cited, made by means of an astronomical ring by two well instructed fathers of St. Francis, Fray Juan Diaz, and Fray Pedro Font; observations which agree with one another, and which would seem to prove that the junctions are much more southern than has hitherto been believed. In 1774, Father Diaz obtained at the mouth of the Gila, two days successively, 32° 44


Father Font found there, in 1775, 32° 47'. The former asserts also, that from a simple consideration of the road followed by him, that is to say, a consideration of the rhombs and distances, it is impossible that the junctions can be at 35° of latitude. The positions which Father Font assigned in 1777 to the missions of Monterey, S. Diego, and S. Francisco, and which differ but a few mi

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nutes from the result of Vancouver and Malas-
pina's observations, would seem to testify in favour
of the accurary of his labours, provided these
fathers did not copy the data furnished to them by
their pilots. Besides it is certain that a zeal-
ous observer may, with very imperfect means,
procure often very satisfactory results. The lati-
tudes obtained by Bouger in the Rio de la Mag-
dalena, with a gnomon from seven to eight feet
in height, and employing for a scale pieces of
reeds, differ only from four to five minutes from
what I found fifty-nine years afterwards by means
of excellent English sextants.
However, Father Font appears to have been less
fortunate with his astronomical ring in fixing the
latitude of the mission of S. Gabriel at 32° 37',
that of S. Antonio de los Robles at 36° 2', and
that of Luis Obispo at 35° 17. Comparing these
positions with the atlas of Vancouver, I find that the
errors are sometimes + 1° 11, sometimes — 23'. .
It is true the English navigator did not himself
visit these three missions, but he connected them
with the neighbouring coast, the situation of which
he examined. From hence may be seen how much
we ought to be on our guard against observations
made with astronomical rings. Fray Pedro Font
visited also the site of the ruins called las Casas
grandes ; and he found them 33° 30'. This posi-,
tion, were it exact, would be very important; for
it is the site of an ancient cultivation of the human

species. We must not, however, confound this
second abode of the Aztegues from which they
passed from Tarahumara to Colhuacan *, with the
Casas grandes, or the third abode of the Aztegues,
situated to the south of the presidio of Yanos, in
the intendancy of New Biscay. " I could wish to
know the observations of the jesuit Father Juan
Hugarte, who discovered, according to M. An-
tillon, the errors in the maps of California. He is
even said to have first discovered that this vast
country was a peninsula; but in the sixteenth cen-
tury nobody in Mexico denied this fact, which
was long afterwards doubted in Europe f.
I reckon among the operations somewhat doubt-
ful, those which were executed by several Spanish
engineer officers in the frequent and laborious visits
which they made to the small forts situated on
the northern frontiers of New Spain. I procured
at Mexico the itineraries of brigadier Don Pedro
de Rivera, drawn up in 1724; those of Don Ni-
cholas Lafora, who accompanied the Marquis de
Rubi in his researches, in 1765, as to a line of de-
fence for the provincias internas ; and the manu-

* In the original, de la quelle ils passérent de la Tarahumara a Colhuacan. Translator.

+ In 1539, Francisco de Ulloa, in an expedition undertaken at the expense of Cortez, explored the gulf of California to the mouths of the Rio Colorado. The idea of California's being an island has its date only in the seventeenth century. (Antillon, Analysis, p. 47, No. 55).


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