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sured me) for more than a quarter of a degree. This curious result is contained in a small pamphlet printed at Mexico *, very little known in Europe. Velasquez, director of the supreme tribunal of mines, fixed the longitude of the capital at 101°44'0", as is proved by valuable manuscripts preserved by M. Costanzo at Vera Cruz. In a map of New Spain sketched in 1772, Velasquez gave to Mexico 278° 9' of longitude, reckoning from the isle of Fer=101° 51. He says in a note to this map, " that before his voyage to California in 1768, all Mexico was placed in the South Sea ; that his map is the first which offers the true position of the capital, and that he verified it by a great number of observations at Santa Rosa in California, at Temascaltepec, and at Guanaxuato.” M. Galeano, one of the most able astronomers of the royal marine, had also found out the true position of Mexico, when he traversed the kingdom in 1791 to join the expedition of Malaspina. It is true that M. Antillon deduced the longitude of 101° 52' 0" from the observations of Galeano, a result which still differs from mine 1'48" in time; but I suspect that this difference arises from some trivial error which may have crept into the calcu
* Descripcion orthographica universal del eclipse de sol del dia 24 de Junio de 1778, dedicada al Sr. Don Joacquin Velasquez de Leon, por Don Antonio de Leon y Gama, 1778, p. IV.
lation. With the operations of Gama, Velasquez, and Galeano, I was totally unacquainted when I began my operations at Mexico.' Moreover the detail of the observations of Don Dionisio Galeano was only communicated to me by M. Espinosa during the winter of 1804, after my return to Europe. T'hese observations give a longitude apparently much more accurate than the one published by V. Antillon. “I was ignorant (the learned director of the Deposito Hydrografico of Madrid writes me) during your residence in Spain in 1799, of the observations of our common friend M. de Galeano. They consist of two emer sions of satellites and the end of a lunar eclipse : they give me. 101° 22' 34" =6h 45' 30”.” But M. Oltmanns found on taking the medium of the three observations, and comparing the eclipse of the moon at five different places in Europe, 6h 45% 49". The difference between my observations and those of the Spanish astronomer, a supposed difference of nearly half a degree, 'is consequently reduced to less than an arc of two minutes. It is satisfactory to find so great a harmony among observers, who, unknown to one another, employed such different methods. In the very minute maps of Thomas Jeffereys, published in 1794, Mexico is situated in 20° 2 of latitude, and 102° 52' 47" of longitude ; while M. Arrowsmith, in his beautiful map of the West Indies in four sheets, makes the longitude of Mexico 102° 8' 0", and the latitude 19° 57', false 32 minutes.
Several Mexican geometricians of the seventeenth century guessed pretty nearly the true longitude of the capital. Father Diego Rodriguez, of the order of N. Señora de la Merced, professor of ma. thematics at the imperial university of Mexico, and the astronomer Gabriel Lopez de Bonilla, adopted izh 25' for the difference of meridians between Uranienburg and the capital, from whence there results the longitude of 101° 37' 45"-6" 46' 29". But Don Carlos de Seguenza*, the celebrated successor of Rodriguez in the academical chair, was ignorant in 1681 of the observations on which Bonilla founded this result. He published a small treatise on the longitude of the city of Mexicot. He cites in it an observation of a lunar eclipse on the 20th December, 1619, by the engineer Henry Martinez, at Huehuetoca, to the north-west of Mexico. This is the same Dutch engineer who undertook the bold enterprize of the canal called
* Libra astronomica y filosofica escrita en 1681, por Don Carlos de Seguenza y Gongora, Catedratico de Matematicas de la Universidad de Mexico, y impresso en la misma Ciudad en 1690, S. 386.
+ See the work above cited, $. 382, 385. I owe my acquaintance with this very rare book of Seguenza to M. Oteiza, who was kind enough to recalculate several old observatiops of the Mexican astronomers.
le Desague de Huehuetoca, of which more will be said hereafter. The observation of Martinez, comparing it with that of Ingolstadt, without applying any modification, would give 6h 32' 16" for the longitude of Mexico. Compared with Lisbon, the same eclipse gives 6h 22' 31". But as Martinez made use of no telescope, Seguenza supposes that by an effect of the penumbra, the end of the eclipse was 15' sooner. There results from this very arbitrary supposition, Mexico com. pared with Ingolstadt, 6h 46' 40", and Mexico compared with Lisbon, 6h 37' 31". M. Oltmanns justly observes, that one of the corresponding observations must be g' false; for the true difference of meridians between Lisbon and Ingolstadt is only 1" 22' 16", while the eclipse of the 20th December, 1619, would give the 13' 0". Such old and care. less observations can give no certainty; particularly as the two Mexican geometricians above cited, Rodriguez and Seguenza, were not themselves in a condition to obtain these results. They knew so little of the difference of meridians between Uranienburg, Lisbon, Ingolstadt, and the isle de Palma, that they concluded from the data indicated in the Libra astronomica y filosofica, that Mexico is 283° 38' to the west of the first meridian of the isle de Palma, or 96h 40'=66 26' 40"; à longitude which differs more than a hundred marine leagues from the true one, and more than 240 leagues from what was adopted by the geographer Jean Covens in the middle of the last century. In the Ephemerides of Vienna, published by Father Hell, in 1792, and in the astronomical tables of Berlin for the year 1776, we find Mexico at 106° 0'. The idea of this too great western longitude is very old. M. Oltmanns found it in the obser. vations* of the jesuit Father Bonaventura Suarez, who resided at Paraguay, in the city of the holy martyrs Cosme and Damian. This astronomer places Mexico 3" 13't to the west of his observatory, and the latter 3h 52' 23" to the west of Paris ; from whence results the longitude of Mexico 7h 5° 23, =106° 22' 30". The jesuits of Puebla also place the capital, in a Mexican map engraved in 1755, at 19° 10' of latitude, and 113° 0' of longitude, that is to say, 240 leagues too far west.
The account of Chappe's journey, drawn up by M. de Cassini, gives us no accurate information as to the position of the capital. Chappe even remained there only four days. He made no astronomical observations, and those which M. Alzate communicated to him were not of a nature to resolve the problem in question. This Mexican ecclesiastic, whom the academy of Paris named one of their correspondents, displayed more zeal than solidity in his researches : he embraced too many things at once. His acquisitions were very
* Ephemerides astronomicæ, a Triesneker, 1803.
+ Voyage en Californie, 1772, p. 104.