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THESE Voyages were un- 
dertaken on important oc- 
calions, and executed by Gentle- 
men eminent in their refpe&ive 
walks of Science, for the public 
utility. The performances were 
fo well approved by the French 
nation, that they went through 
feveral edition^, and the Trans- 
lator hopes that they will be re- 
ceived with equal plealure by 
every Engliih reader. — Many of 
the remarks and obfervations 
contained in them, muft be al- 
lowed to be very interefting to 
the Public, and the whole con- 
tents entertaining and inftruc- 

C N- 





* m 

■ f 










VO Y A<G E to Mexico — — i 
Agronomical experiments and ** 

obfervatioifs «— — ~ p 

Arrival at Vera Cruz ' — — — j$ 
Defcription of the harbour and town of 

Vera Cruz — — — — i5 

Route through the Province of Mexico 27 *' 

Defcription of the City of Mexico — 40 lT^ 

Paffage from San Bias to California — 55 

Natural Hiftory of Mexico — — 77 



.1. ' 

Voyage to Newfoundland — — • IO * '/*! 

Trial of a lock to afcertain what way 

a fhip makes — — — — x 1 2 
Method of curing and faking the green 


— 120 

Defcription ^ 



■ Defcriptiorroffiaint Pierre — — 138 
Manner of preparing and drying the 

cod — — — — — 145 

Cautions as to the road of St. Pierre 154. 
Obfervations on the Tiiric Keepers at 

that place -*-._—_ 158 

Voyage from St. Pierre to Sallee — 160 

Defcription of Sallee — — — 168 

— of the tower of Aflan — 179 

Voyage to Cadiz — - — — — 201 

Account of Cadiz — — — — 205 
Obfervations on the Time Keepers at 

that place — — — — 209 

Voyage from Cadiz to Breft — — 212 

V O Y A C E 

- ' •* • > 


T O 




I 1 

X Set out from Paris September 18, 1768, 
for Havre de Grace, where I was to em- 
bark/ I was attended by a fervant, and 

* Mr. Chappe's Journal begins but at his de- 
; parture from Cadiz to Vera Cruz. All the 
. fafts I relate in the beginning of this account, 
previous to that period, are collected from his 
own letters, and from the accounts of his fel- 
low travellers, 

B by 



by three other perfons, who had engaged 

to go along with me to California, and to 

/hare the labours and dangers of fo long a 

voyage. Mr. Pauly, t\\e King's Engineer 

and Geographer, from whofe talents I 

cxpedted great affiftance, was to fecond 

me it) my aftronomical and geographical 

operations : Mr. Noel, a pupil of the 

Academy of Painting, was intended for 

our draughtfman, to take draughts of fea 

coafts, plants, animals, and whatever we 

might meet with that was curious : laftly, 

Mr. Dubois, a watchmaker, was intruded 

with the care of preferving my instruments, 

and repairing the little mifchiefs they too 

often ftiftain in fuch long voyages. 

Whoever confiders the prodigious ex- 
tent of a pafTage of feveral Mhoufand 
leagues, fuch as 1 was going to undertake ; 
and reflects that one unlucky moment, the 
kftft intervening cloud, mrght in one day 
defeat all our hopes* and render fruitlefs 


To much toil and expence, will not wonder 
at my taking thefe precautions, to 
draw other advantages from this voyage : 
that in cafe we fhould be fo unfortunate as 
to fail in our main purpofe* we might in 
fome meafure make amends to the learned 
world . for this lofs. Aftronomy, geogra- 
phy, phytic, and natural hiftory, were the 
obje&s I propofed. If the apparatus and 
materials requisite for that purpofe were 
both cumberfome and coftly, I was fully 
repaid by the pleating hopes of improving 
my voyage to more purpofes than one. 

I arrived at Havre de Grace on the 21ft 
of September, and found the {hip Le 
Nouveau Mercure^ commanded by Cap- 
tain Le Clerc, ready to fail for Cadiz. I 
embarked the 27th with my company and 
inftruments, and we fet fail the next day. 
We bad a very rough pafiage; a hard 
gale that we met with north of Cape 
Finifterre, left the fea very tempeftuous for 

B 2 near 

'4 Voyage to mexico 

near a week after. The winds were al- 
moft always contrary, fo that we were 
one and twenty days going (torn Havre 
to Cadiz, which is commonly done in half 
the time. 

We arrived at Cadiz O&ober 1 7. The 
Spanish fleet which was to convey us to 
Vera Cruz, had already been in the road 
a whole month, and feemed ready to fail. 
This gave me joy at firft, little knowing 
how diftant that departure Was, which to 
me feemed fo near ; ftill lefs did I forefee 
the difficulties I was to encounter, joined 
with the tedioufnefs of a delay, which a 
thoufand. times made me defpair of getting 
in time to California. 


The very moment I landed, I haftened 
to wait on the governor of Cadiz, the in* 
tendant of, the navy, and the Marquis de 
Tilly, general of the fleet. Thefe gen- 
tlemen received me with the grcateft civi- 




lity, Mr. de Tilly having fignified Jto me 
the orders of his court, by which he was 
# enjoined to take me on board his fleet, with 
only a watchmaker and a draughffman, I 
was in the utmoft aftonifhment to find 
thai jfiq mention was made of Mr, Pauly, 
my fecond. I reprefented to M. de Tilly 
that this omiffion, falling juft upon the 
very man I could leaft fpare, muft bq 
merely owing to a miftake : he was very 
fenfible it was fo, and aflured me that oa 
his part I ftjould meet with no difficulty 
in the affair. But pnfortunately, the em? 
barking of the paffengers was not wholly 
in his power ; it principally concerned the 
Marquis de Real Thefor o, prefident of the 
ContraSiation, and to him we were to ap- 
ply. Then it was that I ipet with fre(J> 


In the ordprs of the court, com muni- 
Cgted by the intendant to the prefident of 

the contraction, no mention was mad?. 

B 3 but 



but of me. The latter corifequently, far 
from allowing Mr, I^uly to attend me, 
would make out no order but for myfelf 
alone, and only one inftrument. 

It is eafy to conceive what I fuffered 
from thefe unexpe&ed difappointments. 
At firft fight, they appeared to me fuch 
as might eafily be removed by only ex- 
plaining the matter, but I was foon con- 
vinced nothing was to be expe<3ed thai; 
way. I therefore difpatched a courier to 
the Marquis d'Oflfun, our ambaflador at 
Madrid, to acquaint him of my fituation, 
and defire him to procure from the court 
of Spain fuch precife orders, as fhould 
leave no room for aby more cavilling. 
The courier returned in about a week, 
and all was at length fettled to my fatis- 
fa&ion. I therefore fent my inftruments 
on board the commodore, and impatient- 
ly waited for the moment when I ^ould 
myfelf embark with all my attendants. 

I had 


I had already lingered a whole month 
at Cadiz, and the time of our departure 
was (till uncertain. When I calculated 
the time it would take to reach Vera 
Cruz, then to travel three hundred leagues 
by land to San- Bias, and afterwards to 
crofs the Vermeillc fea to California, I 
forefaw it was morally impoffible we 
(hould get there in time for our obferva- 
tion, if we were retarded ever fo little 
longer. I wrote to the Marquis d'Oflun, 
reque fling, that in cafe the fleet did not 
fail immediately, I might be permitted to 
embark on board the firft (hip, no matter 
which, provided we might be conveyed to 
Vera Cruz without lofs of time, and fail 
as fwift as poffible. 

The court of Spain, fenfible of the 
neceffity of taking fuch a ftep, readily ac- 
quiefced, as our requeft could only be 
di&ated by a zeal for the undertaking. 
Orders were iflued, in cafe the fleet fhould 

B4 be 



t>e delayed, inftantly to fit out a Bilander, 
or light veffel to tranfport me to Vera 
Cruz, together with Meffieurs Doz and 
Medina, two navy officers, and aftrono- 
tners to his Catholic Majefty, deftined to 
obferve the tran'fit of Venus jointly with 
me, and at the fame place* 

This frefh order from court foon chang- 
ed the face of affairs. At laft I faw the 
wifhed-for moment that had fo long 
deluded my hopes. A veffel with only 
twelve hands, was fitted out in a trice. 
I was ftill more expeditious in removing 
my inftruments that were on board the 
Commodore (hip. The frailty of the 
veffel I was going to venture in, and op 
which account fome people endeavoured 
to intimidate me, was in my eyes but 'One 
merit the more. Judging of her fwiftnefe 
by her lightnefs, I preferred her to the 
| fined fhip of the line. At length we fct 
fail, and at that inftant I felt a tranfport 




of joy, which was not to be equalled till 
I landed in California. 

I (hall not trouble the reader with the ', 
journal of our paffage from Cadiz to Vera 
Cruz *, as it offers nothing but what is 
common to all long voyages. Every kind 
of weather, calms, ftorms, winds, fome- 
times fair, femetimes contrary; fuch is 
in few words the hiftory of moft voyages j 
and as to ours, we may add, a continual 
toffing of our little nut- (hell, which was- 
Jb very light as to be the fport of the 
fmalleft wave. 

I fpent the whole time of our voyage 
in making phyfieal and aftronomical ex- 
perjment? and obfervations ; fuch as, 
comparing the height of the different 



? Here begins Mr. Chappe's regular journal. < 

I thought it beft to fupprefs the particulars of a 
tedious navigation, as it muft be tirefome to the 
reader, and contains nothing that is curious. 


* c - 


thermometers, fome plunged into the 
fea at different depths, others in open 
air; I afcertained the declination and 
inclination of the magnetic needle in 
different latitudes 5 laftly, I made feveral 
obfervations relative to the diftance of 
the moon from the ftars. I will not 
conceal the difficulties I met with when 
I endeavoured to make ufe of the mega- 
meter for thefe obfervations. 3 I tried 
feveral times to ufe this inftrument, and 
tocver could fucceed but once, when the 
fliip was quite fteady 5 that time, I got 
the moon full in the lens, which I never 
could when the fea was in motion. Per- 

* It is proper to take notice, that the follow- 
ing reflexions on the feveral inftruments for 
taking obfervations at fea, and afcertaining 
longitudes, are taken almoft word for word from 
Mr. Chappe's own journal j I have never 
allowed myfelf to add any thing in matters 
which might be of fome moment, efpecially 
where the author has notions peculiar tot 


and CALIFORNIA, , t 

haps this was for want of practice a 
however, I was obliged to have rccourfe 
to the o&ant, which I employed with 
much more eafe and fuccefs. I attempted 
in vain to obfcrve Jupiter's fatcllites with 
the new telefcope propofed to the academy 
by Abbe Rochon. Indeed the field of 
this telefcope was rather too fmall 5 I 
faw Jupiter plain enough, but could not 

fee the fatellites. 

All thefe trials fuggefted to me that 
it will be a hard matter to fucceed in 
inventing inftruments of eafy ufe at fea> 
if they reft upon nothing more than the 
hand of the obferver. One remark more 
I (hall make on the determination of 
longitudes by diftances of the moon from 
the ftars. The tedious calculations which 
this method requires, with the accuracy and 
attention requifite in the obfervation itfelf, 
make it doubtful to me whether it will 
ever be fit for the ufe of trading veflels. 




It muft be confeffed, it requires no fmall 
degree of refolution, even in perfons beft 
acquainted with thefe ftqdies, to add to 
the fatigues of the fea, thofe of a nice 
obfervation, and of the tedious calcula- 
tions confequent upon it. This convinces 
me that the ufe of time-keepers,* from its 
extreme eafe, will be found to be of more 
general fervice in the navy ; it requires 
no inftruments but what feamen are 
accuftomed to ; no nicety is wanted in 
the obfervation ; laftly, the calculation is 
fhort and eafy ; a moft , important advan- 
tage this, in many cafes, and particularly 
at fea. 

Thefe feveral operations, to which \ 
devoted the whole time of our paflage* 
made it appear lefs tedious, and helped 
me to pafs away with fome pleafure the 

feventy-feven days it lafted. I muft fay 

> * 

that the fea-faring life is tirefome and 
uaiferm to fuch only as have not ac- 

and California. 13 

Cuftomed themfelves to look about them, 
and who behold all nature with an eye 
of indifference; but to an attentive fpec- 
tator, the fca offers objedts very capable of 
entertaining the mind, and exercifing all the 

intellectual powers. Nature has beauties 


even in her horrors; nay, it is there perhaps 
that (he is moft admi r able and fublime. The 
calmnefs of a fine day is in fome meafure 
Jefs interefting than thofe moments of 
diftrefs, when the waves, lifted up by 
the winds, feem confounded with the fky* 
Deep gulphs are opening every moment* 
At this inftant, man fhudders at the fight 
of a danger that appears inevitable ; but 
anon, when he fees the calm fucceed the 
tempeft, his admiration turns upon him- 
felf, upon the veflel, upon the pilot, who 
are come off conquerors over the moft 
formidable elements. A fecret pride then 
rifes in his mind ; he fays within himfelf 
" If man, as an individual, isbutafpeck, 
« an atom in this vaft univerfe, he is, by 

" his 


" bis, genius and his daring fpirit, worthy 
« to embrace its whole extent, and to 
<c penetrate into the wonders it contains/* 

Nothing indeed gives a higher notion 
of the compafs of the human mind, than 
that art> now brought to fuch perfection* 
of (leering fafely over the trackiefs ocean, 
and on a floating manfion, to traverfe 
immenfe fpaces, in fp:te of two combined 
elements. Who that reflc&s on the 
jiumberlcfs dangers of the fca, but muft 
cry out wkh Horace : 

Mi robur & ses triplex 

Circa pedtus erat, qui fragilern truqi 
Commifit pelago ratem. 

This is what I repeated a thoufand times 
on our voyage, thinking on Chriftopher 
Colomb, Gryalva, and all thofe firft 
intrepid mariners, who, in queft of a 
new world, upon a mere furmife of its 
exiftence, fuggefted by their own genius, 



dared to undertake ncar t three hundred 
years ago, thofe very voyages which at 
this day we ftill account dangerous, 
though aflifted with a thoufand helps 
that were wanting in the days of thofe 
great men. 

We arrived at Vera Cruz on the 6th 
of March, 1 769, about two in the after- 
noon. We caft anchor within a league 
and half of the coaft, intending next 
morning to double the breakers that 
defend the entrance of the harbour, but 
could not reach them till the 8 th, when 
we entered the canal. Then it was, that 
finding ourfelves furrounded on all fides 
by threatening rocks, we made a (ignal 
for a pilot, and hoifted French colours, 
but this was the ready way to get no 
affiftance. Mr. Doz and Mr. Medina 
had wifely advifed our captain to hoift 
Spanifli colours, but he would not, and 
from this we had well nigh perifhed. 




It feems the entrance into the port df 
.Vera Cruz being prohibited to all foreign 
jhips, our fignal had been anfwered by 
.the firing of a gun, to compel us to 
anchor in the canal * this was devoting 
us to certain deftrudlion. The canal 
leads to the harbour among rocks which 
ftand fo clofe, that there is but juft room 
for one fhip to get through* The wind 
then blew from the north, and bearing 
full upon the rocks, made it exceedingly 
dangerous to anchor in fuch a narrow 
pafs. Yet we were forced to comply, 
from an exprefs order fent us by a floop. 

So critical was our pofition, that of a 
hundred veflels which anchor there, not 
two efcaped, as we were told afterwards. 
There we remained, in the cruel expec- 
tation of feeing ourfclves every moment 
dafhed agair>ft the furrounding rocks, till 
the Governor of Vera Cruz being informed 
that our fhip though a French bottom, 



came thither by order of the court of 
Spain, fent us leave to come in. This 
meffage was as joyfully received as it had 
been impatiently expected. We weighed 
anchor, and at laft entered the harbour of 
Vera Cruz, after a paffage of feventy*- 
feven days, t having failed from Cadiz the 
21ft of December. It was high time out 
voyage (hould bfc at an end, for our whole 
provifion was reduced to one ftieep, five 
fowls, and water for a week at rrioft* 
The hurry with which our veffel wad 
equipped at Cadiz, did not allow us to 
take all the neceffary precautions forfo long 
a voyage. Half our live provifions died 
within the firft fortnight, and great pert 
of the others had been thrown overboard* 
In other refpedts, we had a tolerable 
paffage, till theie laft moments; which 
indeed were cruel ones, as we faw our- 
felves ready to perifli at the very roouth 
of the harbour, thanks to our flag that 

C ought 


ought to have protected us, corifidfcring 
ihe.alliance between both nations. 

Mr, Dot and Mr. Medina went affaore 
firft, to Confer with the governor, wh& 
jent me a boat two hours after. I ftepped 
in with Mr. Pauly my fecond. That 
north wind, which we bad fo loitg dreaded 
in the canal, increased hourly, and already 
blew fo vehemently as- id make our land- 
ing difficult j- how'ever, we got fafe afhore, 
but another boat that came after us, had 
four of her men blown oVerbotod, who 
with much ado faved their lives by fwim* 
ming aflio*e* 

I had no fooner entered the town, but 
ft blew a moft furious hurricane. All 
intercourfe with our (hip was then cut 
off. She had ,bare1y time to run for 
fhelter behind the caftle of St. Juan d'Ulua, 
the only place where a (hip can be 
fcreened from the north wind. For three 



AmTfc!ALlF<3fttfiA. i$ 

dajfS tHdt this ftorm UdbSj i Was in the* 
greifeft affl&ty fct nty iHftniriients, ind 
for my people whom I had left behind, 
as ft was impoffibrc' to land fliefn, arid I 
(veil knew their fafety depended entirely 
fipon the rtrengtfe of the cables with whitK 
they were moored. Had theie cables 
broken or given way, tney mult inevitably 
hSve perimccf before our eyes, witKbtii 
a pdriiaihTy of giving them the leaft affifl:- 
ahce. Eviry year affords but too many 
inftances of the like aifaftefs, which make 
the port of Vera Cruz very formidable. 
We were fo lucky as not to add to the 
dreadful lift. The calm returned, and I 
eagerly feized the firft moments to land 
all my effedts and my attendants -, them 
it was that I felt the tranfporting pleafure 
pf being all once more together in a place 
of fafety, and delivered from thofe anxie- 


ties which are unavoidable upon fo incon- 
ftant an element as the fea. The pafTage 

C 2 that 


that fiill lav before us to California, was 

is much 
two years, 
ihither, to 
vbich are 
ributed all 
ome that 
fures, the 
f fo many" 
:ched fbb- 
ims of the 

nd edifice. 

hing that 

which are 

;r. There 

ries. The 

>f a com- 

:om patTed 

tes, each 

e are two 

next the 

are in a 


32 vpYAse toMPXIPO 

fad cqndjtjon } the beft defence fe |he 
fqrtrefs belppgjng tq th? P»ftle °/ $• Jqan 
d 'Ulua. |t is quijt on a rpck which rifcs 
in the middle qf the harbpu.r, facing the 
fp^n at feme distance. A deputy lodges 
gfld commands ip this paftle, and, is inde- 
ppncjept of the governor of Vera Ctuz, 
w\iq commands in the town. 

The; c^y wp tyncjpd, the governor's 
fubftitutp wrote ft fte viceroy to irjfofra 
him of our arrival : the latter foon fent 
.orders \g facility our father VQyage, 
find that we ftopld be fiiraifhed with as 
jnany men and mules a? we wanted, to 
carry- our "baggage and inftruments. 

From Vera Cruz to St.- Bias (where 
ive were tq embark, in order to, crofs the 
Vfrmeillp fca) vye had to travel about 
three hundred leagues, p,ai$y thrpmgh 
dpfa^t \aqds, md by the vv^ft rpad? 
imaginable, ft is. eaflly cppceiyed, what 



trouble we had in preparing for fuch a 
long and inconvenient journey. Firft, we 
were obliged to unpack all our things and 
to make them up in fmall loads, fit for 
mules to carry ; confequently, we wanted 
a great many beads; the more as we 
were under a neceflity of carrying our 
beds and tents along with us, being to 
halt in ^places deftitute of habitations. 
Next came the care of providing food : 
We were told we (hould find few re- 
fources that way along the road. The 
Indians feed upon poor bread, made of 
the meal of Indian corn ; they grind it 
the beft they can between two ftones, 
and tempering the coarfe flour with a 
little water, they make it into cakes, 
which they bake upon a flat ftone, clap- 
ping it on the middle of a great fire. 
Thefe loaves, which they call tortillas % 
are not much better than fea-bifcuit, of 
which we had made a fmall provifion. 

C 4 As 


As to the other mefles that the Indians 
feaft upon, they put in fo much pimento, 
and pour fuch bad oil over them, that 
it is impoflible, efpecjally for a French- 
man, to touch a bit. We therefore 
bought at Vera Cruz a great quantity of 
hatns, and fait pampano. I muft not 
omit fpcaking of this fi(h. 

The pampano is very plenty in the 
fouthern part of the gulph of Mexico ; it 
is caught from February to April ; after 
that, there is no more to be found. This 
fifti is commonly a foot and a half long, 
and about fix inches wide ; it has no 
fcales; the fkin, which is perfe&ly fmootb, 
is of a flate colour, inclining to a pearly 
white, and grows yellowifti towards the 
belly. The pampano has no teeth ; the 
flcfh is exceedingly nice: the Spaniards 
extol it above all other fea fifh. Indeed 
we found it excellent good, frefh \ but 
when faked it is ycry indifferent. We 




took fomc to eat upon the road, only for 
%ant of fomething better 5 and could not 
-even preferve it long, the weather being 
very hot. 

Two other kinds of fifli abound in the 
rivers about Vera Cruz ; the one is called 
Jargon in Spanifh, and appears to me to 
be the fame as our turbot ; the other is 
called corobO) which in Spanifh fignifics 
hump backed % and is expreffive of its 
(hape. As thefe fifli are very common, 
it is needlefs to defcribe them. 

The quadrupeds found at Vera Cruz 


and in Mexico are the fame as in Europe: 
but among the infe&s, there is one that 
deferves particular notice, and this is the 

The nigua is black, fomewhat like a 
flea, and as (mall. It commonly fattens 
to the feet or hands, and by degrees works 


/ * 


itfclf into th.e flefl?, which it gnaws* and 
3t lajt caqfes violent itchings. It wrajw 
jtfelf Mp jn » b%g of the fize pf a pea, and 
there lays its eggs. If it is left top long 
in the wound, or if in picking it out you 
happen to burft it, the part is found full 
of the animal's eggs, and you are forced 
to cut away all the flefh that is infected 
with this vermin. But the worft is, that 
the wound, they t?U you* proves mortal 

if any water is ftiffered to topph it. And 
indeed, the firft thing perfona do, after 
they have e$tra#ed the nigtia r is to fill 
up the hole with tallow. This infe& is 
very common about Vera Cruz j the 
Indians have their feet fadly mauled by 
them, and all diftorted by the incifions 
they are forced to make whenever they 
are (lung. It appears that this infcdt is 
likewife found in a province of Peru, 
Freziei 4 -, in his account of a voyage to the 

4 Account of a fouth fea voyage to the coafts of 
Chili and Peru, p. 214. 


A*d GAkiFpRNJA. vj 

fcuth fea, gives nearly the fame particu- 
lars, but calls the iiifaft pica. \ fhould 
think this mud he lefs venomous than 
the %igm pf Vera Cruz, for he fays no- 
thing of the deadly effeft of water. 

We left Vera Cruz the 1 8th of March 
in t|ie evpning, and took the road to 
IVJexipp. \Ve had hired two litters, pnp 
for Mf. Da? and Ityfr. Medina, the othef 
fof Mr. Pauly f nd myfelf ; the reft *pdp 
op mules, apd went before, with the 
Indians who. drove ouf fsaggage. We 
kept along the fea (hore for two hqurs, 
advancing to the north weft, and then 
juf ned, off \o the inland co.untry through 
irnrflerife ^opd?. \n three hours we 
came to a river, on the other fide of which 
isj $ village called Vieja Vera Cruz. This 
\s the fppf where Vera Cruz formerly 
flood. The river that runs at the foot 
of this- old Vera Cruz is about as broad 
$s fhe (Seine j y<)u crofs it in a large ferry- 


$3 ft V T' E taiioiioH +hfi 

Ifi tltfc fflte couriMfes of Europe* wBef6 
cbrivfchiehcies 6F every klRd abo'afiti upon 
the high roatJi' £He traveller perceivtis & 
chatfge of cfimate only by a cha'rige of 
e'njoym'eh'te; but with us" H was far btHef- 
wife. Exceflive heat, frightful roads, and 
tneflowtiefSofb'uf fhuiesofhurdenj hardly 
(uffered us to travel at trie rate of ten 
leagues a day, which made our journey 
very tedious and tirefome. Nothing in- 
terelting to make us amends. We tra- 
veled on uncultivated lands or foreftsi 
and faw nothing but rude nature. I con' 
fefs ftie is not without her beauties ; but 
in time the eye grows; weary of them j 
uniformity grows infipid ( variety only has 
charms, and this the traveller ftefes when 
he goes from country to ccuftfry. 

We arrived at'Xalap^ the 2 rft of IvIaVcH. 

This town', Which ffdhtfe cfbfe to a 1 Mduti- 

tain, is divided into two parts j the' one is' 



fit the foot,. th6 other on the* flope of thtf 
mountain.- The houfes are tit ftofie, arid 
pretty well built, but there is no rerfiafk- 
able edifice. A confiderable trade is car- 
ried dfl at Xatepa, which, eVdry two years 
brings thither 3 gre*at riiafty Spdhia'rds and* 
Indians, who come towards the month of 
March. Then it i$, thit for the fpace o£ 
fix weeks, a famous fair is held, tthere all 
the merchandizes brought to Vera Cruz ( 

by the Spanifh fleet, and from thence by 
land to Xalapa are fold, and afterwards 
retailed all over Mexico. Thefe European 
commodities confift of cloth, filks, maflins, 
linen of all forts, bttt chiefly fine clear lawns 
from Britany, toys, fteel, iron work, &c. 
The Mexicans give in exchange cochineal 
and money, for as to gold or filyer bul- 
* lion, no body is allowed to have any, and 
the exportation of it is ftridlly prohibited. 
A breach of the regulations refpe&ing the 
mines, .is the greateft crime that can be 



committed in Mexico* A falfe coiner & 
hanged, a murderer is only imprifoned or 

1 had feveral letters of recommend atipn* 
which had been given me at Cadiz for 
fomc merchants fettled at Xalapa, but as 
we came in very late, : and were defirous 
of fetting out -early the next morning, I 
put off delivering them till my return. 
The environs of Xalapa exhibited what 
we had feldom feen fince we left Vera 
Cruz, cultivated grounds, trees of all forts, 
thick groves, a4 which befpoke a fertile 
foil ; and indeed very good Indian corn 
grows about Xalapa, 

Juft without the town we found a hand- 
fome caufeway, walled in on both fides, 
which led to the topof the mountain. It is a 
hard road, &nd would be a very pleafant one 
if not fo fteep ; indeed the mountain is 




extremely high. When we got to the 
top, we enjoyed a moft fingular profpeft ; 
for we flood fo high that the clouds were 
our horizon. At fome diftance from Xa- 
lapa, I begun to pbferve iron lying in 
blackifh ftrata along the road. Soon 
after, the foil (hewed evident tokens of 
an extinguished volcano. In fome places, 
a light' mofs hardly covered dry (tones and 
lavas that lay acrofs the road j which 
feemed to me to indicate that this volcano, 
wherever it was, had not been long ex- 
tinguilhed, as thefe lavas were not yet 
covered with earth. Nature, in this place, 
bore the marks of the greateft diforder. 

From Xalapa to Las* Bigar, the next 
hamlet, diftant about fix leagues, we did 
nothing but go up and down hill, eroding 
a ridge of mountains that extends in 
breadth to both thefe places. The ham- 
let of Las-Bigas 9 like thofe we had met 
with before we got to Xalapa, confifts 

D only 


34 ROUTE through twt 

only of two or three houfes, but they a*©* 
better built. Froito Vera Cruz, the In- 
dian huts are made with reeds, placed- 
perpendicularly, and evexr at fome dis- 
tance apart, fo that they are but poorly 
fheltcrcd from the weather > befides, alL 
along the houfe, between the roof and 
the top of the wall that fupports if, they, 
leave a fpace or opening for an outlet to 
the fmoke;, their fire being made in the 
middle of the room. But beyond Xa- 
fepa, as the ground is higher and higher*, 
and confequently the temperature of the 
air colder, the dwellings arc much tighter- 
and clofer. The walls are of ftone, and 
in many places of ftone calcined in fome 
volcano, Thefe calcined (tones are very, 
common in thofe regions. 

The inhabitants of Las-Bigas are mu- 
lattoes; the women go half naked, and 
(hew a moft frightful neck. The ufual 
drtfs of the Indian women confifls of two 



pieces of fluff, one that is fixed about 
their waift, and hangs half way down 
their legs in the fliape of a petticoat -, and 
the other, like a tablecloth, wraps over 
their fhouldefrs, and covers them down to 
the waift. This kind of a cloak, which 
they call fagnorabo?, they feldom wear but 
when they go abroad 5 at home they com- 
monly pull it off, and fo remain half na- 
ked. As to the men, they x wear linen 
troufers, much like thofe of the failors, 
and over thefe another , pair made with 
ikin. Their body is covered with a waift- 

. coat without fleeves > or elfe they throw a 
woollen thing over their (boulders, like 
the women's pagnorobos. In fome places 
far remote from any town, they go almoft 

' totally naked* 

The Indians are of an olive complexion, 
have black eyes and hair, ftout legs, 4 and 
a flat nofe. The women are of the fame 
colour, and no very pleafing figures : they 

D 2 commonly 


commonly marry at nine or ten years oIcf r 
and bear children till they are thirty-ffve 
or forty, but they feldom can rear a large 
family* The final! pox and meafle$ carry 
off a great many children, efpecially when 
the Indians, in order to cure them, put 
them into a fweating bath, which almoff 
inftantly kills them. 

The ill treatment thefe poor Indians re- 
ceive from their matters, contributes a$ 
much as ficknefs to deftroy the race ; and 
the mines where they make them work*, 
yearly prove fatal to an infinite number of 
thefe poor wretches* The immenfe la*, 
bours they have gone through at Mexico 
in draining the lake, have likewife been 
the death of many thoufands j infomuch 
that the province of Mexico is now but a 
vaft defert, compared to what it was ia 
the time of Montezuma. 


- r 


The Governor of Vera Cruz bad writ- 
ten to the Viceroy of Mexico before we 
left the plaoe, to inform him of the route 
we intended to take. The Viceroy, in 
confequence of this information, had done 
us the favour to fend us equipages from 
Mexico. We met them at Perotte, a 
hamlet, about forty leagues from the ca- 

We were lour days going from Perotte 
to Mexico. The road, which is pleafant,. 
and moftly fmooth, is carried on between, 
two ridges of mountains, which in fome 
places come pretty clofe together, and in 
others leave room for very extenfive plains. 
A little beyond Perotte, we began to fee 
the famous mountain, of Orifaba, faid to 
be the higheft in Mexico. When we got 
to the hamlet of Sant-Tago, we were but 
two leagues from this mountain, which 
then exhibited a moil pleafing profpedh 

D 3 Its 



Its top wa* wholly covered wkh fnow, 
whilft the foot difplayed the lovely ver-* 
dure of rich cultivated land. This moun- 
tain of Orifaba is feen from Mexico, 
which is no lefs than twenty leagues -dis- 

Along this road from Perottp to the c*# 
pital, you find large quantities of calcified 
ftones fcattered about in many places. 
Thp village of Hap4 efpecially is fur? 
rounded with it, and all the houfes are 
built with this ftone. We arrived at this 

• * . * * » • • 

village on Good Friday evening. Thi$ 
day of fad fplemnity for the Roman 
church, is not lefs fo to the Mexicans than 
to us, but they have an odd way of keep- 
ing it. As we entered the village we met 
a very numerous proceflion \ at the heacj 
went a ftatue of the holy Virgin, carried 
by young women in maflcs ; a great croud 
pf people followed, likewife ma&ed; 




$>me with guitars, fome with baflbons, 
•who played the moft grotefque muiic; 
♦infomuch that we ihould rather have 


taken this proceflion for a carnival maf- 
tquerade than a religious ceremony, had it 
not been for the .priefts who attended it, 
and whofe gravity m&de the fc&dft ridicu- 
lous contrail. Is this to be wondered at ? 
Force of arms could mafke but very bad 
•chriftians df thefe people, and tjj^ir ftupi- 
dity has made them improve upon the 
ignorance and fuperftitioa^ abufes laid to 
the charge of the Spanifh monks, who 
are moftly eqtpatfed with the care of the 

We arrived at Mexico on Eafter Day* 
March 26, at noon. . Before^ we entered 
the city, we met the Marquis de la Torre, 
Infpe£tor of infantry. The moment he 
faw us, he went and gave notice of our 
arrival to the Viceroy, who lent orders that 

D 4 we 


■ * 

40 DESCRIPTION of the . 

we (hould be fqffered to enter the city 
without any fearch, and conducted to the 
houfe of the Jefuits, where a lodging was 
prepared for us. We had no fooner 
alighted there, but four gentlemen came 
to conduct us to the palace. I am at a 
lofs for words to exprefs the friendfhip and 
politenefs (hewn us by the Marquis de 
Croix, Viceroy of Mexico, and by his 
whole court. He* left nothing undone to 
procure us whatever tye wished for, and 
to make our (lay at Mexico agreeable to 
us. We had no table but his own for 
the four days we continued in the town, 
and he was fo obliging a$ to fend a coqIc 
to drefs vi&uals for our attendants after 
the French fafhion, The npxt day after 
our arrival, he lent us one of his coaches 
to go abqut the town t 

Mexico, the capital of the province 
lyhiph bears that fiajfpe^ js fixated on the 


banks of a lake, and built, upon a fen, 


crolTed by a multitude of canals, conse- 
quently the houfes are all built upon piles. 
The ground gives way in many places, 
and many buildings are obferved to have 
funk upwards of fix feet, without any vi- 
fible alteration in the body of the build- 
ing : one of thefe is the cathedral, which 
I (hall fpeak of hereafter, >' 

The ftreets of Mexico are very wide, 
perfe&ly ftrait, and aim oft all interfeft 
each other at right angles. The houles 
are tolerably built, but not much orna- 
mented either within or without $ their 
make is the fame as in Spain. 

There is no very remarkable edifice at 
Mexico. The Viceroy's palace is in a 
fpacious and pretty regular fquare, with a 
fountain in the middle. The only merit 
of this palace is, that it is built very folid* 
No decorations are to be found there* 


4* DESCRIPTION of tk* 

Within its circumference are three han4- 
46mc court- yard .% with each a fountain 
in the middle. The mbt Hands behind 
this palace, and k a i>oble buildings 
Upwards of a hundred workmen are 
constantly employed there in coining 
j)iaftres for the King of Spain, out of the 
enormous mafies of filver brought thither 
by the owners of the amines, who exchange 
them for coin. It is faid, about fourteen 
millions of pi a ft res are (truck yearly in. 
this mint. 

The moft fumptuous buildings are the 
churches, chapels, and convents. There 
are a great many in this city, which arc 
irery richly ornamented, and amorfg others 
the cathedral. The rail round the high 
alter is folid filver ; and what is ftill more 
* coftly, there is a filver lamp, fo capacious 
that three men get in to clean it : this 
■lamp is enriched with, figures of lions* 
$ieads, and other ornaments of pure gold. 



The infidc pillars are hung with rich 
criaafon velvet, enriched with a broad 
gdd fringe. ' This profuiion of riches io 
the churches at Mexico is not very for* 
prifing to whoever has feen the cathedral 
of Cadiz, and the immenfe treafcres 
Contained ill it Gold and precious (tones 
are there lavished upon the Sacred veflek 
and ornaments ; and the images of the 
holy Virgin and other faints are either 

folid filver, or clad in the richeft garments, 

» « 

The outfide of the cathedral of Mexico 
is unfinifhed, and iikojy to continue fo ; 
they are afraid of incrcafiog the weight 
of the building, which already begins to 
fink, JEs before noticed. I ihill fay 
pothing of the other churches ; I believe 
(here are as many as there are faints in 
}fre calendar. 

The city of Mexico contains three 
Jguares ; the fir ft is the Mai or or great 


44 DESCRIPTION of the 

Square fronting the palace, the cathedral, 
and the market-place, which is a double 
Square furroonded with buildings; This 
fquare is in the center of the city. The 
feoond, adjoining to this, is the fquare 
called delVolador* where the bull-feafts 
are held. The third, is that of Santo 

Domingo. Thefe fquares are tolerably 


regular, and each has a fountain in the 
puddle. To the north of the town, near 
the fuburbs, is the public walk, or 
Aldmeda. A rivulet runs all round it, 
and forms a pretty large fquare, with a 
bafon and jet cTeau in the middle. Eight 
walks, with each two rows of trees, ter* 
minate at this bafon like a ftar ; but as 
the foil of Mexico is unfit for tretfs, they 
are not in a very thriving condition. This 
is the only walk in . or near to Mexico ; 
all the country about it is fwampy ground, 
and full of canals. A few paces off, and 
facing the Alameda, is the Quemadero ; 
this is the place where they burn the 


P " 


Jew9, ami other unhappy victims of the 
awful tribunal of Inquifition. This Quc- 
madero is an enclofure between four 
walls, and filled with ovens, into which 
are thrown, over the walls, the poor 
wretches who are condemned to be burnt 
alive ; condemned, by judges profeffing a 
religion whole firft precept is Charity. 

The fhort (lay we made at Mexico did 
not permit me to take a fuller furvey of 
the place. I was told there was a Spaniih 
play-houfe, but I was not tempted to go* 
I had enough of one at Cadiz. 

I found a Frenchman at Mexico who 
fpoke the Spanish and Mexican languages 
tolerably well, and was . perfectly ac- 
quainted with all this country, havihg 
lived in it many years, I took him for 
my interpreter, as I thought he would be 
very ferviceable to me for the remainder 
of cur journey, and Specially in. California* 


46 DESCRIPTION of *«& 

As wt went farther on, we were to meet 
with Indians . more favage than before 5 
the Viceroy therefore thought . proper to 
give us a guard of three foldiers, to defend 
us againft the robbers who mfeft thofe 
parts* Troops of fierce and unjeonquered 
Indians, called by the Spaniards Jndhs 
bravos y attack travellers when they find 
themfelves flrongeft, murder them, or at 
leaft, after dripping and tying them to 
the neighbouring trees, they carry off thekr 
mules add baggage to foooe bye places, 
known to none but themfelves, where 
they (hare the money, and hide the reft 
of the booty. Our guides told us, that 
fome of the fbrefts and mountains *we 
patted by, conceal immenfe treafure* 
hoarded up by thefc banditti: they are 
eafily known by a handkerchief which 
they hold between their teeth to hide 
their faces. When a traveller fees an 
Indian thus mafked, the fafeft way is to 
be beforehand with him, and to kill him 



if poflible. We were fo lucky as to meet 
with none. Having provided ourfelvc* 
with neceffaries for our journey* we fet 
out from Mexico the 30th of March, 
1769. Mr. Doz and Mr: Medina had 
ljired a wheel carriage, but for my part*, 
as I had been told we (hould meet with 
bad roads, I chofe to go on horfe-back* 
'Tis true I did not ride the eafier for iv 
but I efcaped a thoufand mifchances whick 
befell our two Spanish officers, and which 
retarded us more than once. 

From Mexico to San-Bias, where we 
were to embark to Crofs the Vermeillo 
fca, they reckon about one hundred and 
ninety leagues. The farther you go fron* 
Mexico, the fewer habitations you meet 
with, and the road is often very rough,, 
dangerous,, and full of precipices. In 
moft places where we flopped, we hardly- 
found bread, and every thing in that part 
of the country wears the face of the* moft 

pinching penury. 



48 route through the 

Forty leagues from Mexico we found 
the little town of Queretaro, remarkable 
for a very famous manufactory of cloth. 
This town is pretty well built ; it ftands 
againft the dope of a mountain, which is 
joined to another, farther off and higher, 
by a noble aqueduct, which conveys the 
water from the upper to the lower one, 
from whence it flows to all parts of the 
town. This aqueduct is a very folid 
piece of workmanship- Thefe kind of 
works are very common in Mexico, and 
are the only remarkable performances in 
the way of building. 

It was near Queretaro that I had the 
fatisfaclion, repeatedly to fee a phenome- 
non realized, which I had oftencr fufpect- 
cd than feen in France ; I mean the 
lightning rifing from the earth inftead of 
iffuing from the cloud, as it is commonly 
thought to do. 



On the 3d of April in the evening, 
being then near Moltno^ a little hamlet 
about thirty-fix leagues from Mexico, I 
obferved to the fouth a great black cloud, 
at a moderate height above the horizon : 
the whole hemifphere about us had a fiery 
afpedt. This cloud was fupported, as it 
were, with three columns at equal dif- 
tances, and their bafis aim oft met the ho- 
rizon. All the while it remained in this 
ftate, frequent and fmart flafhes of light- 
ning appeared in thrjee places of the 
cloud over thefe columns ; and at the fame 
time dreams of electrical light darted 
from the correfpondent points of the ho- 
rizon below, as in an aurora borealis. 
Soon after, the cloud came lower down, 
and then it was that we faw inceffant 
lightnings rifing like fo many fky rockets, 
and flashing at the top of the cloud. I 
was the more convinced that I was not 
miftakeri, as in this obfervation, the firft 
who took notice of the phaenomenon were, 

£ all 


all my attendants, the interpreter, the fol- 
diers, none of whom could be under the 
influence of any fyftematic prejudice. 
Once only the lightning feemed to ififue 
from the cloud. Two days after, we faw 
the fame thing again, and plainly diftin- 
guifhed the lightning rifing from the 
ground, nor was its motior> fo fwift but 
what we could difcern its origin and direc- 
tion. The reader may fee what I have 
faid on this fubjedfc in the Memoirs of the 
Academy for the year 1764, and in my 
Journey to Siberia. 

Eight days after we had left Mexico, 
we arrived at Guadalaxara. This is a 
confiderable town, and a bifhoprick. Wc 
refted two days in this place; it was what 
I greatly wanted, after a journey of a hun- 
dred leagues, upon forry mules, and in 
bad weather and deteftable roads. 




.< » > ■ i 

The f)iflth W« wfent from Guadalaxarft, 
and lay at a fugar houfe#calkd Mutckkilrt* 
This place is furrounded with mountains, 
piled up, as it were, one above .another, 
which make it a mod frightful fituation. 
From the middle of a roek, on the loftieft 
of thefe mountains, a Spring gufties out, 
which falling two hundred feet perpendi- 
cular upon another rock below, forms a 
cafcade or fheet of water, which flrikes 
the beholders with terror and admiration. 
It is impoffible to conceive a more fright- 
ful and dangerous road than that which 
we travelled for new five leagues after we 
left Mutchitilte ; this road, which is hardly 
four feet wide, is cut on the flope of a 
mountain that rifes almoft perpendicular $ 
the road is about half way up, fo that ou 
one fide you are hemmed in by the moun- 
tain, and on the other in danger of falling 
down fuch deep precipices, that in fome 
places you hardly difcern the tops of the 

E 2 tallcft 


tilled fir-trees in the vale below. To 
mend the matter, in this narrow pafs we 


unluckily met a caravan of mules going 
the contrary way. What to do we did 
not know, and were much afraid for our 
mules that carried our larger inftruments ; 
however, we got clear of them, and foon 
came to a pretty good road, which brought 
us to the little town of Tepik> where we 
only ftopt to eat our dinner, and haftened 
to San-Bias, where we arrived the next 
day, April 15, after fpending twenty-eight 
days in crofling Mexico. 

San-Bias is a very fmall hamlet, fituate 
on the weftem coaft of Mexico, at the 
mouth of the river S. Pedro. It is but 
within thefe few years that the Spaniards 
have made a fettlement there, for the 
conveniency of tranfporting the troops and 
provifipns they fend into California. 




The marquis dc Croix, viceroy of 
Mexico, had long before fent orders to 
the commandant of San-Bias to hold a 
veffel in readinefs to carry us over to • * 
California immediately upon our arrival, 
None of the paffage boats happened to be 
in the harbour when he received this 
order, fo that he had a little packet boat 
built on purpofe with all expedition, and 
it was expected to be caulked and launched 
within ten days after our arrival ; but we 
could not afford to wait fo long. The 
paffage from San-Bias to Cape San-Lucas 
is indeed but about fixty leagqes, but it 
fometimes proves a very tedious and dif- 
ficult one, owing to the calms and cur* 
rents fo frequent on the Vermeille fea. 
We had no time to fpare,' as we were to 
make our obfervation the 3d of June. 
Very luckily for us, a packet boat came 
into the harbour the very evening of our 
arrival, which was immediately allotted 
for our fervicc. We fixed upon the 

E 3 fourth 



fourth day for bur departure, allowing 
durfelves but juft tiiiie to provide vidiuals, 
and' whatever elfe we were likely to want, 
in a cbuntry where nothing is to be got. 
The Spanifli officers (hipped materials oft 
hoard the yeflel for erecting a complete 
obfervatoryj for my part, I only took 
wherewithal to make a tent, and a great 
beam of cedar on which to hang up my 

4 The pilot gave us but poor encourage- 
ment, by telling us how, the year before, 
he had been one and twenty days going 
Over from San-Bias to San-Lucas, and 
that, at a better feafon of the year. This 
ftartled me, and I was in fome doubt 
whether it would not be more advifeable 
to remain on the continent of Mexico, 
than to run the venture of being out at 
fea at the time of the obfervation 3 but 
I foon found I muft give up this feheme, 
on being told that the dated rains were 



going to fet in, before the end of May, 
and would continue with little or no 
interruption till the end of June. The 
beft thing we could do was to put to fea, 
and endeavour to reach the oppofite (hore 
of the Vermeille fea, where we might 
hope fo* a clearer fky. 

We failed out of the harbour on the 
19th of April, land foon found what the 
pilot had foretold. The firft fortnight 
we were tantalized with calms, contrary 
winds and currents. At laft, the 4th of 
May, for the firft time, we fleered full 
north, bearing for the cape ; but there 
was fo little wind, and that little was fo 
often interrupted with calms, that we 
were near five days getting up to the port 
of Mazatan, about thirty-five leagues 
north of San- Bias. If we had gained a 
little in latitude, we had made very little 
progrefs in longitude. We then began to 
defpair oLgetting to California in time for 

E 4 the 


the obfervation, which would have been 
a mod cruel disappointment. 

Our pilot thought he could perfe&ly 
account for the contrariety of the winds, 
by imputing it to the wrath of Heaven 
for our fins. This he endeavoured to 
avert by an offering to S. Francis Xaverius, 
which he laid upon the binacle, befeeching 
him to fend us a fair wind. The devout 
pilot's remedy did not prefently take efifeft, 
for the following days we had a fucceflion 
of calms and contrary winds, 

Then indeed pur fituation became every 
day more deplorable : our provifions begun 
to run fliort, efpecially the water : we 
were obliged to flint ourfelves to a pint a 
day, and even this was deteftable water, 
having been put into vinegar cafks. All 
thefe trifles would have been nothing, 
could we have flattered ourfelves With 
fome gle^m of hope. We were in the 



25th day of our paflage, and only eighteen 
remained to the tranfit, ^nd we were yet 
a great way from the place of our deftina- 
tion. It is true, that having gone pretty 
far north, the currents and the prevailing 
winds were now rather in our favour. 
From this time, it was my fixt refolution 
to land at the fir ft place we could reach 
in California ; I little cared whether it 
was inhabited or defart, fo as I could 
but make my obfervation. 

At laft, by the help of fome favourable 
gales ,and currents, we got fight of the 
land of California, which we judged to 
be near Cape S. Lucar, diftant about 
eighteen leagues : we drew near the next 
day with a gentle wind. The 18th at 
night we were but five leagues from land. 
I was ftrenuous for landing at the neareft 
place, but as I was lingular in my opinion, 
the whole day was fpent in altercations. 
The Spaniards wanted to 20 and land in 



the bay of San-Barnabe, which was 
.fifteen leagues farther, confequently this 
would have prolonged our navigation 
perhaps for fever al days ; for in order to 
get at this bay, we had to encounter the 
north and north*weft winds, which blew 
almoft conftantly. Thefe gentlemen 
tbjefted to me that We ventured the lois 
cf the fhip in landing at Cape San-Lucas; 
I made anfwer that I was confident his 
Catholic Majefty had rather lofe a poor 
little pitiful veffel, than the fruits of fo 
important an expedition as ours ; that 
lefidcs, we were not the firft that' had 
landed at the Miffion of San-Jofeph, 
The mafter, whom we appealed to, was 
of my opinion ; he told us that indeed 
♦he landing would be more difficult and 
tedious at this place than at San-Barhabe, 
but that he believed he could anfwer for 
the fafety of the fhip and paflengers. 
In confequence of this decifion, which he 
gave us under his hand, it was determined 



that we fhould land at San-Jofeph. We 
accordingly caft anchor the 19th of Mayi 
half a league from the coaft, oppofite the 
mouth of the little river belonging to that 
Miffion. But thobgh we were at the end 
of our voyage, we were by no means at 
the end of our fears. A frefh gale iprung 
up from the eaft. A fortnight fooner, 
this wind would have been of fervice to 
us, but now it was very dangerous, and 
we were afraid of being ftranded upon the 
coaft. Mr. Doz and Mr. Medina begun 
to upbraid me with having infifted upon 
landing at San-Jofeph, and fo did the 
pilot. This wind, they faid, would have 
been for us in the bay of San-Barnabe. 
It is an eafy matter to judge by the event ; 
befides, the day before, I had fimply pro- 
pofed my opinion, and thefe gentlemen, 
no doubt, thought it a good one, or they 
Would not have agreed to it. The event 
vindicated me in my turn 3 for the wind 


abating, we got and eagerly feized a fa- 


*orable moment for landing. 

The pilot immediately fent out the long 
boat, to reconnoitre the coaft, and to look 
out the mod convenient place for landing. 
I durft not venture my inftruments in this 
firft attempt, and only put fome of my 
fmall effects into the boat. They landed 
them with great eafe. I then fent away 
my moft material inftruments by the fe~ 
cond turn, along with Mr. Pauly and Mr. 
Noel, and referred rayfelf for the third* 
The fecond landing was not fo fuccefsful 
as the firft : Mr, Pauly wrote me word 
from the water-fide that they had been in 
great danger, the boat having been feveral 
times under water, but happily they came 
off with no other harm than their fright, 
and being very wet, as were all the chefts. 
This laft circumftance made me extremely 
cautious in removing my clock, which I 
bad kept by me, and for which I dreaded 



the fea water. I therefore wrapped it up 
very clofe, and fat down upon it myfelf, 
to keep it dry in cafe the waves fhould 
chance to wad) us. 

Our fate now depended entirely upon 
the dexterity of the matter, and the exaft* 
nefs of the failors in executing the ma* 
neuvre. In the two former turns, they 
had marked the track we were to keep, 
by means of a buoy, or floating cafk. Our 
matter, with his eye fixt upon this mark, 
guided the boat that way, through a mul- 
titude of billows, which with a horrid roar- 
ing da(hed again ft the fhore, or amongft 
rocks all covered with foam. The failors 
on their part, attentive to the word of 
command, now rowed with all their might, 
now again flood (lock ftill, either to avoid 
a wave ready to break over the boat, or to 
keep in the way of another that might 
waft us afliore. It was by this maneuvre, 

executed with the utmoft dexterity and 




fuccefs, that at taft we got fafe to land oa 
the coaft of California, at the entrance of 
the river of San-Jofeph. Night was com* 
ing on ; fo, determine4 not to go to San- 
Jofeph till morning, I laid me down by 
the water- fide. Then it was, that cafting 
my eyes upon my inftruments that lay all 
found me, and not one of them damaged 
in the leaft, revolving in my mind the vaft 
extent of land and fea that I had fo hap- 
pily compared, and chiefly refle&ing that 
J had dill time enough before me, fully to 
prepare for my intended obfervation, I felt 
fuch a torrent of joy and fatisfa&km, it is 
irnpoflible to exprefs, fo as to convey an 
adequate idea of my (enfation. 

The news of our arrival foon reached 
the miffion of San-Jofeph j they direftly 
fent us mules. I went thither, leaving 
Mr. Pauly by the water-fide to look ftfter 
the baggage, which I could not Carry 
away, but which was brought me the 



next day. I made hafte to eftablifh my* 
felf at San-Jofeph, and to prepare for my 
preliminary obfervations. Myfelf and all 
my train took up our abode in a very larg$ 
bard. I bad half the roof taken off to- 
wards the foutfr, and pyt up an awning, 
that could be fpread out or contracted at 
will. All my inftruments were fixed juft 
as they were to ftand to obferve the tran- 
ftt of Venus. The weather favoured me 
to my utmoft with. I had full time to 
make accurate and repeated observations 
for the fetting of my clock* At laft came 
the third of June, and I had an opportu-i 
aity of making a moft complete obferva- 

Doubtlefs the reader will fee with 
concern that Mr. Chappe's account endf 
here, where it would have been moft 
interefling, by the informations he might; 
have given us, relating to California; 
but here, as in many other places, it haq 


rVh* •■*; 


sot been in my power to fuppdy the want 
of the author's own account ; thofe who 
attended him not being able to give me 
any diftinft information. AH they have 
retained of that fatal country is the melan- 
choly event of Mr. Chappe's death ; what 
they have related concerning it is this. 

An epidemical diftemper raged at 

San-Jofeph, and had already fwept away 

©tte third of the inhabitants, when Mr. 

Chappe came thither. They might have 

efcaped the contagion by going on to 

Cape San-Lucas, and this was what the 

Spanifh officers propofed, but they were 

within a few days of the tranfit, and a 

fecond removal would have loft them 

fome very precious moments. Mr. 

Chappe, lefs apprehenfive of endangering 

his life than of miffing the obfervation, or 

making an imperfett one, declared he 

would not ftir from San-Jofeph, let the 

confequence be what it would. 




In the mean time, the numbers that 

,were daily carried off, too plainly (hew^d 

, (he danger be was in, but every day 

.brought hiip nearer to the obje<5t of his 

- wifl^es, and Mr. Chappe cared for nothing 

elfe. The joy he felt when they were 

accomplished, was foon damped by the 
.mournful fpe&agle to which he wgs 


Qn the 5th of June, two days aft?r 
.they had obferyed the tranfit of Venu?, 

Mr. Doz, Mr. Medina, and all the / 

Spaniards belonging to them, to the 

number of eleven, fickcned at once. This 

occafioned a general confternation ; the 

groans of dying men, the terror of thofe 

Who were feized with the diftemper* and 
. expected the common fate, all confpired 

to make the village of San- Joieph a fcene 

of horror. Whoever was intimately ac- 

quainted with Mr. Chappe, always ob- 

ietyed ip him two leading fentiments, tfce 

F r love 

j r " nr » 

•* * •» 

•i '* 



Ictfe of glory, and humanity. What a fit 


tuation was this for a heart like his ! Al* 
mod the only one among them all, who 
was yet free from thfc infection, he ^de 7 
lighted in affifting all around him, bu{ 
too foon he was hin)(elf fei?ed with the 
diftemper., Reduced to want that affift- 
ance he had afforded' tlfc reft but juft be r 
fore, not one was left that was able to 
adminifter it. Mr. Fauly and Mr. Noel 
had fickened before him, and lay at the 
point of death ; the only trufty fervant 
was m the fame condition: in a word, 
every one, Indians, Spaniards, and French? 
men, all were either dying or haftenitfg 
towards death. } 

Mr. Chappe had brought with hm\ 
from Franfe a little cheft of medicine? 
and fome phyfical books. In this emer- 
gency he was ^n occafional phyfician, 
He examined the fymptomsof thedifeafe; 
thgn confuting bis books^ hp endeavourecj 



to find out the proper remedies* But ftc 
foon found himfelf as much at a lofs as 
thofe who formerly confulted thef oracles, 
whofe ambiguous anfwers frequently ad* 
njkted of two oppofite meanings, and left 
them as much in the dark as before. 
Mr. Claappe had a violent pain in his fide, 
and was delirious at times ; in this cafe 
hi* bdoks recommended bleeding, but 
then they expre&Ly forbad it, and advifed 
purgatives, where the diftcmper proceeded 
from a collection of brie; This was what 
he could not diftinguilh. Mr. Chappe, 
at all events, determined for purgatives. 
In the intervals of the paroxyfms, he was 
forced to prepare his own medicines $ he 
durft not truft the only healthy man 
among them, becaufe a few days before, 
he had like to have poifpned Mr. Noel, 
foy miftaking one drqg for another. 

Such was Mr. Chappe's dreadful fitua- 
tion. Aftef three fucceffiye fits in three 

Fa days, 



days, he took two dofes of phyfic, and 
. found. himfelf greatly relieved. Bat tqo 
much emboldened by this fuccefs, (purred 
on by « blameahle, becaufe an imprudent 
zeal, he- would needs obferve the eclipfe 
. of the moon the 1 8th. of June, the very 
day he had taken his fecond phyfic. 

It will be matter of admiration to look 
over the account of this ob&rvation. It 
is inconceivable how Mr. Chappe, low as 

■ he was,, labouring under his ma-lady, 
weakened, by the fever tits he had gone 

. through, could leud-as clofe an attention 
to this phenomenon, as the ableft obferver 
could have done, in full health. Indeed 
he had much ado to hold out to the end 
of the obfervation. He was taken with a 
fflintfoig fit, and a., pain in his head, 
which continued till his death. The 
flrength of his conftitution ftill held 
out, but this only ferved to prolong his 
fufferinge. He defired to be let blood ; 


his interpreter, a fargeon who had never 
pradtifed much, and who was himfelf 
lick, tried to bleed hira, but miffed ; how- 
ever, encouraged by Mr. Chappe, he tried 
again, and fucceeded. This did but enr 
creafe the diforder. In the evening he com- 
plained of an obftrudtion ; he tried to ride 
out on horfeback, and found himfelf rather 
eafier ; but foon after, his fever returned, 
and he lay in a moil deplorable condition; 
fuffering the (harpeft pains, and deftitute 
of all affiftance. The village of San- Jo- 
feph was by this time a mere defert : 
three fourths of the inhabitants were dead, 
and the reft had fled to feek a lefs infec- 
tious air 1 but the contagion had already 
fpread far and wide. Thus totally for- 
faken did Mr. Chappe fpend his laft mo- 
menfc. He expired on the firft of Auguft, 
furrounded with Mr. Paulv, Mr. Noel, 
and the reft of his attendants ; but they 
were all fo. languid, that they had hardly 

F 3 ftrength 




ftftngth to crawl to hirrt, and rea£h out 
their arms to catch his la ft breath* 

Mr. Chappe faw death approaching, 
"with the fteadinefs and ferenity of a true 
philofopher. The intent of his voyage 
wa& fulfilled, and the fruits of his obfer- 
vation fecured : he faw nothing more to 
wifti for, and died content. The public 

» m 

and his friends are the only lofers by his 


death. Their tears are the beft encomium 
on his memory, and the mod flattering 
reward of his labours. The reader will 
doubtlefs (hare them at the recital of fo 
afFedling a icene. 

JVfr. Doz and Mr. Medina did their 
beft to pay their laft refpe&s to Mr. 
Chappe. . The prieft or miffionary of 
San-Jofcph was long fince dead, as were 
almoft all the inhabitants. The Spaniards, 
the French, and every one of the furvivors, 
then collected what little ftrength they 

/ had 



hid left, and performed the moft melan- 
choly erf' all offices, and this cruel moment 
roofed all their fears, with the dread of 
the, like Jrcifiendous* fate. Of the Spa- 
niards, Mr. Medina was in fuch a weal; 
and languid ftate, ; as left him little hopes 
of ftrviving Mr. Chappe much longer. 
Of the French, Mr. Dubois was not lefs, 
dangeroufly ill. A$ for Mr. Doz, Mr. 
Pauly, and Mr. Noel, they were recover- 
ing apace* Though they were all im- 
patient to get away from San-Jofeph, 
they were forced to wait there two months 
longer for the veffeL.Mr. Chappe had 
been prqmifed from 9 an- Bias, to fetch 
and carry them over to Mexico. Even 
the fick did not more ardently. wi(h for 
the recovery of their health, than . for the 
arrival of that (hip. At laft we were told 
fhe was come to an anchor over againft 
St. Ann's, in the little bay of Ceraho* 
Mr. Doz and Mr. Medina, with all their 
attendants, except three that were dead, 


F 4 went 


7*: VOVAtJE to C?ALlI?(5RlsriA; 

went therefore to St. Ann's* together with 
Mr. Pauly, Mr. Noel* and Mr. Chapped 
ftrvinti As to the poor Matchmaker, he 
was not in a condition to be removedj' 
They left him at Saft-Jofeph, recom-^ 
mending him to fome Indians who ftitl- 
remained in the place* in cafe he (hould * 
recover. Mr. Paoly however, a few days ' 
before he embarked, feht to fetch him if 
it was poffible to remove hitti, but he wa§ 
no more. No doubt the grief of feeing 
himfelf forfaken in an unknown country 
haftened his death. Our travellers had 
now nothing foore that could detain them 
in California. They eroded the Ver-* 
rteille fea, where they met with very 
flormy weather, and were in real danger* 
but landed at laft at San-Bias. There ' 
Mr, Medina found himfelf exceedingly ill. 
He had been very low from the firfli 
moment he was taken ill at 9. Jofeph* 
The light of Mr. Chippe's death, the 
fatigue of removing to St. Ann's, and then 





fcroffing the fea, had made him worfe, 
find brought him to his grave. He died 
foon after the departure of Mr. D02, who 
Was obliged to leave him, and to go to 

Mexico. . 

Mr. Medina* having fhared the dangers, 
the labours, and the unhappy fate of 
Mr. Chappe, well deferves to fhare with 
him the encortliurhs and regrets of the 
public. The Spanish aftronomers were 
hot lefs fuccefsful than Mr. Chappe in 
their obfervatioh of the tranfit of Venus* 
He on one fide* and they on the other ; 
they vied with each Other in exerting their 
Utmoft care and {kill in the obfervation 
of that phenomenon. A noble emulation 
kept them afunder <at that moment, to 
difpute a fuccefs which could only turn 
out to the benefit of the public. May 
the competition of nations never propofe 

any other end ! 









O F 





ExtraB of a Letter from Mexico addrejfsd 
.. to the *Royal Academy of Sciences at 
Paris, by Don yofepb Anthony de 
Alzate y Ramyrez, now a Correfpondent 
of the faid Academy \ containing fome 
curious particulars relative to the 
Natural Hijiory of the Country adjacent 
to the City of Mexico \ 



1 HE. departure of Mr. Pauly for Paris 
procures me a favourable opportunity of 
fending you feveral of the curiofities of 


5 This letter, written in SpanUh, was deli- 
vered to the academy by Mr, Pauly, together with 
Mr. ChappeV papers : Mr. Pingre was defired to 
translate ic into French, in order to its being 
t read at one of their private meetings. Every 
thing if here left out that is foreign to natural 
hiftory, or of little or no confequence to the 




this country *. I think it will not be amife 
to fubjoin* an explanation, which how- 
ever 1 fubmit to your judgment and learn* 

I have been greatly affe&ed t?y Mr. 
Chappe's death. New Spain has loft in 
him a man whofe talents would have been 
of great fervice, to make known a thou- 
sand natural curiofities which here lie 
% buried in oblivion. Thofe who are fitteft 
to refcue them from it, either difregard 
diem, or are not able to communicate 
them to the public, 

* The chefi containing the Specimens of na* 
tural hlftory, mentioned here by Don Akate, 
did not come to hand till long after this letter. 
The academy then appointed M. de Juffieu and 
M. Fougeroux de Bondaroy to examine them t 
and tp make their report. Mr. Fougeroux has 
favoured me with his obfervations on tfce fpeci» 
mens, and has given me leave to infert the fol- 
lowing notes, for the better ynderftanding of 
Don Alzate's letter. 




By what I can colled from Mr. Paul/a 
account, Mr. Ghappe muft have died of 
an epidemical dift/emper, which we caji 
here, ,m the Mexican language, Mau 
Jaz>ahua}t, but at. Vera Cruz, Carthagena, 
and eHewhere, goes by the name of the 
black vomit* This diftemper is the 
fcourge of Mexico. In 17^6 and 1737 
it fwept away above one third of the 
. inhabitants of the capital ; and in 1761 
and 1762, k made yet greater devasta- 
tions, and depopulated this kingdom. 
At leaft twenty five thoufand died within 
the walls of this city ; it is true this time, 
befide the contagious diftemper, an 
epidemical fm all-pox raged here, which 
contributed not a little to the havoc that 
ivas made. 

The Matlazahualt feems to me to pro- 
peed entirely from the bile mixing with 
the blood. , Thofc who are feized with it 
Jopk pale ? apd moft of them bleed at the 





nofe and mouth, which happens when 
a crifis is coming on V A rclapfe is move 
dangerous than the firft, and mod of the 
- fick do relapfe. In the contagion of 1 761, 
< (the only one I have had an opportunity 
of obferving, as I was born during the 
courfe of the former.) I took notice that 
purgatives and bleeding were very danger- 
ous, infomuch that perfons who were let 
blocd or took phytic for other dtfbrders, 
were dire&Iy feized with the Matlaza- 
hauk. This difeafe chiefly attacks the 
Indians, and always begins by them. In 
. 1761, above nine thoufand patients were 
admitted into the Royal Hofpital (which 
is only for Indians) in the fpace of twelve 

7 Mr. Chappe had no vomiting* His com- 
plaints were violent fever fits, great pains in his 
head» a load upon his cheft, which he called an 
ebftru&ion. ' 1 his bv no means anfwers to the 
description given here by Don Anthony de At- 
. 3&te, 

• i 

r * 



months* and no more than two thoufand 

Few plants afford fuch botanical cu- 
riofities as the Maize^ or Indian corn. It 
ihews in the cleared manner, and with 
the greateft certainty how the feed feeds 
in the plant, and how, when the grain is 
replenished, the plant remains infipid, and 
confequently that the juices it contained 
at firft, have been exhaufted to nourifh 
the feeds, after they had been brought to 
perfe&ion in the plant. This is fo true, 
that the plants of maize that bear no feed, 
(and thefe arc very numerous here) are al- 
ways extremely fweet. They are brought 
to market at Mexico, and the children 
are as fond of them as they are of fugar 
canes, and indeed they call them canes. 
I have prefled fome of thefe plants, and 
boiled up the juice, and it actually yielded 
real fugar. . In Mexico, when they have 
foy/ed the maize, they let it grow with- 

G out 





out any culture, and then it turns to 
canes, and bears qo fruit at all. 

Though feveral authors have given 
very good defcriptions of the Maguey y the 
plant from which they draw the pulco, a 
kind of drink which fupplies the want of 
wine, I think none has taken the pains to 
enquire what quantity of liquor may be 
extracted from this plant *. A Maguey 
will yield two arohes of liquor in the four 
and twenty hours, and continues to yield 
as much every day for fix or eight months 
together 9 . 

1 fend you like wife a fitnple, which I 
think the beft that has hitherto been ufed 

* The inhabitants of Xachimilco underffand 
beft how to cultivate the Maguey, and it grows 
larger there than any where elfe. 

9 The arobe is about twenty-five pounds, fo 
that wq rnay reckon at the rate of four arobes to 
the hundred weight. 




for dying; in black. It is tailed Cafca- 
ktte 10 . It is a large tree, and grows only 
in very hot countries'. The leaf is fmall, 
a*nd very much refembles the Hutftache y 
which 1 fhall' fptfak of next, It bears a 
yellow flower, Th'er growth of this tree 
is as flow as that of the oak, or -flower. 
I need hot defcribe'tHe' fruit, as I fend you 
& fpecimen of it. Galls are not to be had 
here but at the apothecaries; they make 
ufe of them in their medicines* and get 
them from Europe. We could not dye 

." l0 The cafcalotte is a fpecies.-pf acacia; its 
fruit is a long and broad pod, often crooked i it 
confifts*of a thin woody lhell, covered over with a 
thick find* Itjs a Tittle redd i Avon the outfide, 
and when dry, is eafily reduced to a fine powder* 
The pod contains many flattifh feeds, of a light 
and bright yellow. . 

It is well known that the pods of almott all 
the acacias yield a black colour ; they may like- 
wife be ufed in the tanning of leather. Sloane 
fays the acacia' indica is ufed in making ink. 
(Hift. Jamaica.) 

-:/■". G 2 black 


black here, if nature had not furnifhed u& 
with the cafcalotte. The dye that is 
procured from this fimple is better, becaufe 
Ids corrofive, than any other; and indeed, 
black is moft. generally worn here, as it, 
has been found by experience to be the. 
moft kitting- Even the moft common: 
hats lofe nothing of their firft luftre, andr 
wear all to pieces without the leaft altera- 
tion in their colour.. 

The Hui/iache^ is likewife ufed for 
the black dye, but it is not fo good as 
the Cafcalotte. Its chief ufe is for ink. 
This tree requires warmth, yet they have 
the bad cuftom of planting it in a cold 
foil, fuch as that of the town of Mexico^ 

" The Huijiacbe is likewife a. kind of acacia, 
not unlike the lnga or fugar pea of America, 
defcribed by feveral botanifts. The fhell of this 
pod is hard, thick, and black ; it contains feve- 
ral feeds, each in its own cell, the fhell being diV 
vided into fo many partitions. 



where there are fevcn growing, befides 
thofe that are within the cnclofure of the 

1 fend you an exa& drawing «of the 
«*onftrous tree of Attifco, called Ahue- 
huete ; its dimenfions are taken with the 
greateft exadnefs. This tree is always 
extremely large. I fend likewife fome 
of the feed or nut, and the leaf". 


,z The figure of this tree, fent by Don Alzate, 
affording no criterion whereby to a few tain its 
fpecies, I have had recourfe to the fruit and a 
leaf, which were found in the fame parcel, and 
upon infpecling them, I am of opinion they may 
belong to the cuprejfus lufttanica patula 9 fruftu mi- 
poru (Inft. page 587.) 

The fruit is made up of fcales, and the feeds 
within are placed as in the pine apple j fo that it 
niuft be a true cyprefs, no way like the cuprejj'us 
fofiis acacia deciduis y in which every fcale of the 
fruit covers a kernel. Betide, the leaf found 
with the feeds of the mexican tree is made up of 
little leaves, that are not oppofite, as in the aca- 
cia-leafed cyprefs. It refults therefore from this 

G 3 ex ami- 


Now.that I am upon the topic of 
monftrous trees, it will not be improper 
to mention ihzfabinO) which (lands in the 
church-yard of Popolta, a village about 
half a -league from Mexico. Its trunk 
meafures fixteen vares and a half round, 
{Our vare is not quite three feet ".) 

There is another tree in the yard of the 
parfonage houfe, which exhibits a lingular 
phenomenon. It is cuftomary to tie the 
horfes to one of the boughs, fo that the 
bark is all ftript off, and nothing is (een 
but the bare wood. Notwithftanding this, 
the branch preferves its verdure, and bears 

examination, that the tree Don Alzate fpeaks 
of is not the acacia-leafed cyprefs ; nor is it that 
of Portugal, though the ahuehuete really refem- 
bles this in its fruit. It is therefore a new and 
undefcribed fpecies of acacia, and which would 
jieceflarily come into the genus of cyprefs. 

13 The trunk of this tree muft then meafure 

about fifty feet in circumference. 




fruit juft as if the bark was on. It is a 
fine tree, and bears very pleafant fruit. 
It is what we QzW/opote bianco. 

I fend you a feed of what we call Chia ; 
we put it to infufe for a couple of hours, 
fweetenjt with fugar, and drink the liquor. 
It is from this feed that we extract the oil 
which our painters ufe for mixing their 
colours, and which gives our pictures fuch 
a beautiful glofs : perhaps in time it may 
be put to fbme other ufe. The way they 
draw the oil is by roafting the feed, and 
then preffing it *\ 

I recollect a plant which I believe has 
not its fellow amongft the known plants, 

14 The feeds fent us by Don Algate belong to 
the plant which Linnaeus calls Salvia Hifpanua. 
This feed is come up here, and we have long 
had the very fame plant. The Italians cultivate 
it too. Mr. Harduifii has given a description of 
it with a plate. 

G 4 I mean 


I mean the Cacahuate 1$ . We know of 
many plants that feed us by their roots, 

but that a plant fhould produce its fruit 
in the very root, is, I think, a property pe- 
culiar to this I am fpe^king of. I fend 
you the plant and the fruit, and will tell 
you how it is cultivated. It is fown in 
hot countries, and will fucceed in the tem- 
perate. They fow the fruit at a foot dis- 
tance, and let the plant (land till it is about 
half a foot high ; then they bury that 
branch (which they call Fijlolillo) fo as 
that both extremities, the root and the 
top, lie under ground till it is gathered in. 

*? This pl&nt is the Jracbinna, or Arachi$ % of 
Linnaeus, an American ground pjftacho. It 
bears a pod which is very tender and brittle, 
efpecially when it is dry. Within this pod 
pre two almonds of a very pleafapt- tafte, 
which gives them the name of ground piftachoe?. 
Jt is common in all the hot countries pf America, 
It has been raifed here in hot houfes, and ha$ 
fcprpe fruif. \t firiks its pjftil into the grpiind t 
g#d tfrere tjie fruit ripens f 




At harveft time, they pull up the branches 
of the plant to take off the fruit, which 
is found in great plenty. Though they 
do not fow it over again, the field will al- 
ways yield a frefh crop from what was 
left behind. It is incredible what quan- 
tities are confumed in this kingdom, efpe- 
cially for their collations. They roaft it 
over a flow fire to prepare it for eating. 
It is alfo put to other ufes to fupply the 
want of almonds. This fruit is u n whole- 
fome, and particularly hurtful to the 
throat. I muft obferve here that the 
plant bears its fruit, not in the original 
root, but at that end which was turned 
down into the ground. I muft add one 
circumftance more, which is, that this 
plant appears beautiful when the fun 
fhines, but withers when it withdraws. 

I fend you fome viviparous fcdyjifoes, 
pf which I had formerly given you an 


f ; 

* si 

<* ' * 




account 76 . What I have obferved in 
them this year is—-" If you prefs the belly 
with your fingers, you force out the fry 
before their time, and upon infpedting 
them through the microfcope, you may 
tiifcern the circulation of the blood, fuch as 

16 Don Alzate Jias fent thofe fiflies preferved 
in {pints ; their fkin is covered with very fmall 
fcales 5 they vary in length from an inch to 
eighteen lines, and, they are feldom above five, 
fix, or feven lines in the broadeft part. They, 
have a fin on each fide near the gills, two fmall 
ones under the bellv, a finale one behind the 
anus, which lies between the fin and the fingle 
one \ the tail is not forked ; laftly, this fUh has 
a long fin on the back, a little above the fin, 
-which is under the belly. 

We know of fome viviparous fiflies in our 
feas, fuch as the loach, &c. moft of thefe have 
-a fmooth fkin without any fcales. The needle 
of Ariftotle is viviparous, and yet covered with 
broad and hard fcales > I have caught fbme that 
had young ones ftill in their womb. As to thefe 
viviparous fifties, it is a particular and new fort, 
and we are obliged to Don Alzate for making 
us acquainted with it. It breeds in a lake of 
frefh water near the city of Mexico. 



it is to be when the . fi(h is grown up. if 
If you throw thefe little ii(hes into water, 
they will fwim as well as if they had been 


long accuftomed to. live in that element. 
The fins and tail of the males are larger 
and blacker than thofe of the females* - 19 
that the fex is eafily diftinguifhed at firft 
fight. Thefe fifli have a Angular mannel: 
of fwimming \ the male and the female 
fwim together on two parallel lines, the 
female always uppermoft, and the male 
undermoft 5 they thus always keep at a 
conftant uniform diftance from each other* 
and preferve a perfect parallelifm. The 
female never makes the leaft motion, 
either fideways or towards the bottom, 
but directly the male does the fame* \ 

Amongft the Angular infe&s, the black 
fpider of this country deferves to be taken 
notice of. It greatly refembles, in fhape, 
the tarentula of the kingdom of Naples. 




It may be about eight lines long ; h h 
hairy, and of an afli colour. It is never 
feen in the day time, and by night only in 
fair weather, but it forebodes approaching 
rain. It is an unerring barometer. This 
obfervation was communicated to me 
by a virtuofo, and I have never known 
it to fail. Whenever I have fcen thefe 
fpiders, the weather conftantly changed 
to rain within four and twenty hours. 

The Martpofa plateada, or filvered 
butterfly, appears to me, gentlemen, to 
merit your attention, as you have none of 
this kind, at lead it is not defcribed by 
Mr. de Reaumur * 7 . The bags which 

I fend 

* 7 We have naker'd butterflies, which only 
differ from thofe of Mexico and America in fize. 
Ours are fmaller, and forrjewbat fainter coloured ; 
thefe varieties may be owing to the climate. The 
naker'd butterflies here fpoken of, and ours are 
both diurnal butterflies. Mr. de Reaumur and 
Mr. Geoffroy have defcribed the latter, and both 
fay they are not acquainted with the caterpillar 



I fend you are of a curious ftrudure. 

I do not believe any fuch are to be found* 


that produces them. It might be inferred from " 
analogy, thatthefe caterpillar?, being of the claft 
that produce diurnal butterflies, make no bean, 
but that the chryfalis fattens to the boughs of 
trees, and are there metamorphofed. 

If Don Alzatte's obfervation is juft, and if thr 
naker'd butterfly he fends us really came out . 
of this Angular bean, we might gather fome 
ufeful hints from this difcovery. i. As we have 
found in thefe beans the caft-ofF (kins of prickly 
caterpillars, we might conclude that the naker'fi 
butterfly comes from a caterpillar cf that kind* 
2. Now that we are acquainted with the bean of 
the naker'd butterfly of Mexico, we might the 
better find out the bean and caterpillar belonging 
to that butterfly, fo common in our own climates. 
But 1 have fome fufpicion that the naker'd but- 
terfly, fent us by Don Alzate, did not really • 
come out of that bean which he fent along with 
it, and it were to be wiflied this obfervation could 
be further verified. The ground of my fu(pi- 
cion is, that Mrs. Merian has dcfcribed the ca- 
terpillar belonging to thjs diurnal butterfly; fbe 
looks upon it as one of thofe that do not turn 
to a bean ; and fays, that the chryfells is fufpend- 
ed like moft of the fame clafs. (See In feels of 
Surinam, vol. i, pi. 25.) 


94 NAWRAt HISTORY of itits 

in Europe. You -can beft explain how 
the little butterfly, when he is juft bom, 
opens the lid or door of his bean, whert 
yoa have examined how curioufly it is 
adjufted. I get a multitude of thefe beans 
every year, and could never yet find out 
how the butterfly works itfelf out, nor by 
what induftry the caterpillar, weaves its 
(hell fo fkilfully, nor yet how the filks, 
being of fuch a glutinous texture,, do not 
cling together before the work is com- 
pleted. I have much to fay concerning 
our butterflies* but it (hall be for another 
opportunity. «' 

I think I told you, gentlemen, in a 
former letter, that I did not know of any 
petrifactions, in this kingdom. J have 
fince been informed there are fome in a 



However this be, the bean fent by Don A1- 
xate will frill be a curiofity, on account of the 
lid which the infe£t contrives, and which he lifts 
up at will. 




little place called Chalniay JtaWhdtogo 
thither, to acquire a thorough knowledge 
of tbefe petrifa&ions. ' I have fcfcn fcmti 
Very 1 precious (hells which were found at 
Sauvra + they are of the fame matter that is 
ufed for extracting filver jatifl gold* 1 have* 
been allured that in digging a mine in the* 
province 6f Roucra, they found petrified 
human bodies, out of which they cxt&&$& 
. a great deal of filver ; , among others the : 
body of a woman holding her child int. 
the attitude of fuckli^g. .The Wo bodies 
are perfectly .petrified, and have yielded a* 
confiderable quantity of filver. As this : 
relation appears to me to ftand in need of 
confirmation* I chofe it fhould be certified* 
by the depofition of eye witnefles, andr 
have accordingly written to fome perfori$> 
of that province, and I wait with impa.-. 
tiencc for their anfwer. • i , ' 

■ > 

» * 

, I gave Mr. Chappe a grinder of:fuch 
an exorbitant fize, that it weighed up- 

^ wards 


wards of eight pounds, was above ten 
inches long, and the reft in proportion. 
What animal this tooth had belonged to, 
I am at a lofs to guefs. It had been given 
me as a giant's bone. All I can affirm is, 
that the enamel of the tooth was in a great 
meafure -preferved. A virtuofo of this 
country has in his poffeffion a leg bone, 
which unfortunately is not entire ; fome 
part of it is wanting. The head of the 
femur meafures a foot and a half in dia~ 
meter. This bone was found near Toluca. 
The Indian of whom it was bought, 
made ufe of it to bar his door j this is no 
wonder, as the remainder of the bone is 
ftill above five feet long. I am told the 
prieft of the village of Tec alt has lately 
difcovered fome bones of an enormous 
fize, and, what is {till more furprifing, 
he has found tombs proportionable to 
thefe bones* I (hall carefully enquire into 
this fadt, and fliall tranfmit to you, 
gentlemen, whatever lean difebver. 




In your memoirs of 1 744, mention is 
made of dead fi(h having been found in 
the wells of Mexico, in confequence of 
the eruption of a volcano at Vera Cruz. 
This whole (lory is deftitute of all foun- 
dation* All the enquiries I have made, 
have not procured me the leaft intelligence 
about it. Not a foul at Vera Cruz knows 
any thing of fuch a volcano. At Mexico, 
nothing can be found in the wells ; there 
is one to every houfc, but they never ex- 
ceed fix feet in depth. The water is 
found at three ! feet. from the &rfa>ee M 
moft, and rnoft frequently at . one foot. 
How then fhould dead fifli be found there, 
when the very nature of the foil makes 
all fubterraneous communication im- 

I fhall here take notice of a Angularity 
in the royal domain of the mines of P*- 
thuca, in the immediate dependency of 
tjfte department del Salto. It is a cftoun- 

H tain 



m ► » 

tain made up b? ; ftones of all* imaginable 
Shapes; ; 'Stones of any fhape or fizc thafc 
can be wanted, are to be had there, ready 
cut, for the trouble of fetching, and lifting 
them off the heap, Thefe (tones are not 

9 • 

in horizontal but in jterpendfculaf rows, 
and fuch as is one of them, fuch, you may 
be well affured, are all thole above and 
<below rt^; • 

* • • 

■ What I. am going to relate, though not 
of the fame kind, is; perhaps -not left cvh 
nous* ' L mean a ftone, how large ] cant* 
•not tell, atohe greattfbpirt cf it lies 'funk 
in tiki ground. The outward fusfacei is 
<abov£ th#ee feetowr* th^colou^ «hat«f 
black marble, except a* (pot, or rather 'an 
incruftation of a different fubftancdfafteff- 
ed to i.t. The Angularity of this ftone 
*con£ft$ m this, that ' \hd %hfeft 'lUcker 

* » * 

" Thia done feeros to bq tfye bafylt^ t the fam^ 
W.ith the Giant's Gateway in the county of 
Antrim in Ireland* » 

: j •* opon 


bpon it with the finger j caufes a found 
With long Vibrations ; they call it the bell- 
ftone, from the great of it* 
found with that of a bell. It (lands in the 
bed of a river that is fonnetimes dry, and 
Which runs through the town of Cuantla, 
the capital of that diftridt which we call 
Ahciipas, about eighteen leagues to thd 
fouthward of Mexico; 

The following is i fa& which I atrt 
Witnefs to, and fo will you, gentlemen* 
for I fend you fome of the petrifafiiqns of 
the royal domain of the mines of tluajan- 
fiatO % which are inimitably beautiful. All 
the ftones that are taken out of one of 
ihefe mines have this property, ^hat in 
Whatever dire&ion you divide them, they 
always exhibit an exadt imitation of st 
Cedar. It is remarkable that in fome of 
thefe ftones, that part Which forms the* 


image of the cedar is pure diver, and the 

Ha reft 



reft of the mine abounds in the fame 

metal* This mine is known by the name 

of the cedar mine, both from the reprefen- 

tation on the ftones, and from a fine cedar 

tree that a&ually (lands at the entrance 

of the mine ". 


19 In the cheft fent by Don Alzate to the A- 
caderiiy, we found a piece of filver ore, fingular 
\>y the fpatheux cryftals it contains. Thefe cryf- 
tals confift of thin lamina of a beautiful white, 
and not very hard. When expofed to the fire, 
they calcine^and turn to plaifter. This plaifter 
is very fine and white, but rather coarfe to the 
touch 5 but we faw nothing that looked like a 
cedar. There is a filver mine in Peru, the ore . 

" A. 

of which runs into the form of a feather, or of 
fern, poflibly the author had that in view. - • 

Befide thefe articles, Don Alzate's cheft con- 
tained other feeds that were worm eaten, a(nd are * 
hot come, up; fragments of plants that couW • 
not be Jknovvn, and to which they have afcribed 
certain properties in that country. We likewife 
found fome buds of a large magnolia, or tulip- 
laurel, called there Yolofochil. Don Alzate fays- 
this flower emits a very fragrant fmell, even when 
it is' dry, and that the tree on which it grows 




The natural vitrifications, which the 
Indians call pelifles, are to be found all 
over the kingdom. They abound at 
Mexico, chiefly in the northern part, but 


the place where they are found in the 
greateft plenty is the village of Zuiapequaxo 
near Vailadolid. There are whole moun- 
tains of it irf that part. Hence the village 
takes its name, which is that given to 

thrives beft in hot countries, where it grows very 

Mr. Noel, a young painter, who accompanied 
Mr.Chappe, has put into our hands feveral draw- 
ings which he took as they pafljbd through Mex- 
ico and California. Thefe drawings exhibit, in 
the vegetable clafs, a taper on which are found 
a monftrous excrefcence, the flowers of a coral - 
lodendron, or immortal wood of America, and 
thofe of another plant, which we are unacquaint- 
ed with ; in the animal tribe, fifties, zoophytes, 
the fea hand, &c. a lizard, which we think a 
Angular one, and is called a chameleon in that 
country, and a quadruped which does not fcern 
to belong to any of the clafles that are either de- 
scribed or knowo. 

H 7 thefa 


thefe vitrifications in the idiom of 

The woollen threads I fend you arp 
called in the Indian language tvebowite^ 
They weave them into ribands. The 
Jndiane dye them in a method peculiar tq 
themfelves, and very different from wha$ 
is pra<ftifed in Europe. For that purpofe 
they only buy the fcarlet feed y the other 
ingredients they mix with it are very 
infignificant. Thus they dye all their 
woollen things red at a very trifling 


?° The vitrifications fent by Don Alzate to tha 

Academy are, un iaitier de volcan^ a true glafs> 

compact, heavy and black : ic is the ftorie of 

Galinace of the Spaniards, and probably the true 

obfidian ftonc of Pliny. The largeft piece* . 

found in Don Alzatefs cheft are moftly three 

inches or three inches and a half over, and about 

three lines thick. His account fhews, that there 

has formerly been a volcano on or near the fpot 

where the city of Mexico now ftands. The 

whole face of the country bears the marks of an* 

tient volcanoes, and no doubt there have been 

mapv in thofe parts, 



cxpence. A$ to their method, they keep 
it an impenetrable (ecret *\ 

I fhall coriclude, gentlemen, by a fin* 
gular fa&, which . in my opinion is 
analogous to ele&rical experiments. On 
an eftate belonging to the late Doi> 
Alonzo de Gomez, fecretary to the vice- 
roy, fituatc in the jurifdidtion of Sin* 
giuluca, to the north eaft of the capital, 
#t the diftance of about twenty-two 
leagues, one of the fervants was lame 
with both arms j whether he was born fo 
or not, I cannot tell. He was employed 
in tending the afles. Coming borne one 
night from the fields, he was overtaken 
by a violent thunder ftorm, and got under 
3 tree for fhelter f There the lightning 

" There is commonly no great difficulty in 
dying wool ; it is not fo with cotton. Yet 
-even for dying of wool, fome preparations are 
requifite. and it would be very odd if the Mex~ 
icans could do without them to dye tfaefe tocho- 
mites red. 

H 4 ftruck 


ftruck him, and left him infenfible for 
fome time. He received no other hurt, 
on the contrary, when he came to him- 


felf, to his great furprife and joy, he found 
himfelf reftored to the free ufe of his arms 
apd hands. The fa& is certain j I have 
it from a divine of undoubted veracity, 
who was eye witnefs to it, and his tefti* 
mony is the more to be credited, as he is 
totally ignorant of ele&ricity or electrical 
matter. He barely relates the fadt for 
its Angularity, without pretending to ac- 
count for it. 

Such are, gentlemen, the obfervations 
I haye the honor to communicate to 
you % \ . ..&c. 

** The letter out of which this extra& is taken, 
was read before the Academy, and was heard 
with great attention, and found to be very inte- 
rring. We are farther obliged to Don Alzate 
for a very accurate map of Mexico, which he 
has delineated from the beft accounts of fuch tra- 
vellers as be is within reach of confulting in that 





country. He has alfo fent us a map, drawn up 
in Cortfcs's life time, by which it is evident that 
in thofe early times they already knew California 
to be a peninfuja, and the extent of it was as well 
afcertained as it has fince been by later difcove- 
ries. Had this map been publifhed in his time, 
it would have faved many difputes about Cali- 
fornia. The.readinefs of Don Alzate y Rami- 
rez to communicate to us whatever might be in- 
terefting in a country fo new to us, together 
yrith his talents and perfonal qualities, have de- 
ferred the encomiums, and excited the gratitude 
of the members of the Academy, who have tef- 
tified their fenfe of his merit, by admitting him 
to be one of their correfpondents. 





T q 









AfTV. LCNn * I*,™* 

. TH "1*12 1 

*■ I 


T O 


» r 

' ' .AND. 

S ALL E E, • 


TOWARDS the middle of May, 
1768, I received an order from the 
dukede Praflin to repair to Havre-de-Grace, 
there to begin the experiments upoo 
Mr. Le Rofs time-keeper. The frigate 
r Enjouie, gn board of which I was to 


ti* VoVAGfi to 

fembarki was preparing to fail towai-d$ 

-The~end of the month, fo that t had but 

little tinic left to regulate the watches 

before they were (hipped. 


* * 

I fet obt From Paris with my Father dii 
tbe 20th of May, and* arrived at Havre* 
d^Gracc otp v th*,'tJ<k; Tp^f Wttfccr 
being favorable, we began our obferva- 
tions the fame day* We were foon able 
to fet them nearly at the mean-motion; 
and by the 30th of iVfajr-in me rifbrningj 
after feyen days obfervatjori^ thty were 
regulated, ^rid ' feht on "board the frigate; 
The detail of all thefe operations tirill hi 
given ih theft proper place; " 

] .We thought to fet Fail on jjie 36th or 
May, at the evening tide, but were pre- 
sented by contrar^ Wincjs, r for feveral 
fecfceflive. days. ' Thefe, and the infufH- 
cierfcy of the. tides, detained* us in the 


4 A 4 / » 


NfcwfroUNDtANtt and St. PifiRfcfe. iii 

harbour till the fpring tide of the ne\tf 
*moon. My father returned to Paris, and 
I remained at Havre-de- Grace with Mr* 
Wallot (an adtive and ingenious young' 
German), who had been induced by hi$ 
tafte for fcience to vifit France, and whofe 
ibridnefs for aftronomy had determined 
him to attend me in this expedition, and 
•to afllft me in my operations. We im* 

•• • - . # 

proved the time we were forced to ftay at 
Havre, in * making . frefh cbfervations, 
which fully ascertained the ftate of the 

* » * ' i * 

time-teepers. At foft, with the new 
moon, we again attempted to get out* 
but met with the fame obftacJes as before* 

,apd were very neax; beitjg detained twelve 
4ays Jonger.* • The; wai*t of water was our 

chief, hindrance, fa that we determined 

#.»'.*' * .» . * 

.to lighten the frigate, and by that means 
we got her out of the harbour, and clear 
of thp WQ^ of Havre pn. the 13th of Junc^ 
at feveo in the morning. We were 
.obliged to anchor in the road till evening, 
3 to 


iia VOYAGE to 

to bring off our guns and (lores whick 
had been taken out. At feven we weighed 
anchor, and failed with a wind that was 
not very favorable* 

We found it almoft as difficult to get 
cut of the channel as out of the harbour* 
For fix days we did nothing but tack 
about from the French to the Englifli 
coaft* The very next day aftfer our 
departure, the fea growing fo me what 
rough, the fre£h failors foon felt the effe£s 
of its motion. My ficknefs happily went 
off in twenty-four hours. 

During thefe iirft days of oiir Voyage, 
I made trial of a new lock invented by 
Mr. Vallois. Before I left Havre, I had 
orders from the duke de Praflin to add 
the experiment of this machine to that 
of the time-keepers. Thefe experiments 
did not laft long; the fecond time I tried 
this machine, the main-piece broke off, 



NEVfrtfoaNDLAND and St, PlfcRRE. II| 

find wa9 loft in the fea * ; I then fub- 
ftituted a fecond, which I had taken in 
cafe of need ; this again underwent the 
fame fate* Thefe two accidents made it 
impoflible for me to purfue thefe expe- 
riments } which were too few to afford 
any other conclusion than this, that the 


%2 This lock tonfifts of two pieces : the one 
is a hollow cylinder or roll made of tin, eight 
or ten inches in diameter : within, are four tin 
wings of flanting (beets, fupported by an axis 
longer than the cylinder ; the fecond piece is a 
fquare box, in which is enclofed the wheel-work 
that puts the needles in motion on a divided 

This box is fixed on board the {hip i you take 
a chain made either of rope or brafs wire, and 
faften one end to the wheel-work, and the other 
to the axis of the cylinder j this done, you throw 
the cylinder into the fea* As the (hip draws the 
cylinder after her, the preffure of the water upon 
the infide wings, impels them with a degree of 
velocity proportionable to the fwiftnefs*of her fail- 
ing. This rotation of the cylinder'communi- 
cates the like motion to the wheel-work, by 
means of the chain which unites them, and the 
needles being thus fet a going, (hew upon the dial, 

I fpaces- 


114 V O Y A G E Ta 

firft thing the inventor ihould have at- 
tended to, was, to give a fufficient degre* 
of folidity to the feveral parts of his lock* 
Jo refill the impetuofity of the waves. 

The trial of the machines relative to 
the afcertaining of longitudes, was not 
the fole objed: of our voyage; the duke 
de Praflin had found means to adapt it 
to feveral purpofes very ufeful to the navy. 
Befide the experiments on the watches*, 
and the fock, we made trial of the lozenges 
for making broth for the fick, and of the 
Jea^water fweetened after Mr. Poiflbnier's 
method. For my own part, I made* ufe 
of no other water till we reached Cadiz, 
where the fea-coal failed us. This tria^ 
together with thofe already made in 
feveral long yoyages^ demonftrates the 

fpaces calculated by the revolutions of the cylin- 
der - y whence, by means of a table, you afcer- 
tain the way the fhip has made. When I made 
the experiment, it was the cylinder that came 





Newfoundland andSt.PiEiiRE. 115 

wholefomencfs of this water, and con- 
firms the judgment pafied by the aca- 

It was not till after fix days failing, that 
We judged We were cleaf of the channel. 
We had no room to complain of this 
fea, which is fometimes very rough. It 
is true we were in the beft feafon of the* 
year, fo that we had only the winds 
againft us, but this is a fad obftacle, for 
nothing is fo irkfome as tb be perpetually 
driven back from the track you want to 
purfue. We were failing weftward at a 
feafon when the winds generally blow 
from that quarter, yet, notwithftanding 
their obftinate oppofition, in twenty-eight 
days we reached the eaftern fkirts of the 
bank of Newfoundland, commonly called 
the Great Bank. On the 9th of July 
we perceived by a mi ft that we were 
drawing near to that dreary coaft. It rofe 
in the morning : whilft it remained thin, 

I 2 the 

ir£ VOYAGE r» 

/ \ 

the weather was very hot y at noon Reau- 
mur's thermometer was at twenty-one 
degrees, the higheft it had yet (hewn > 
about one o'clock the fog thickened, the 
air grew cooler, and by three, the fame 
thermometer was come down to thirteen 
degrees above O. The winds became 
very favorable, and drove us apace in a 
good track. This lingular advantage did 
not laft long, for at midnight the wind 
fell, and we had a dead calm till noor* 
the next day, July 10. 

As we deemed that we were very near 
the bank, we had kept founding for feve- 
ral days pail. At laft on the nth of 
July, at half pad five in the evening, we 
founded, and found eighty-four fathom* 
Whilft they were founding, one of our 
failors caft a line at a venture ; it was 
hardly d9wn before it caught a cod. The . 
fifh and the plummet came up aim oft at 



Newfoundland and St.PiERRE, 117 

the fame time, and both confirmed our 
arrival at the bank *\ 

The bank of Newfoundland is famous 
for the quantity of cod that it affords, and 
for the fishery that is annually carried on 
there by the Englifli and French, who are 
fole pofleffors of that branch of trade in 
thofe parts. This fand bank extends from 
the 41ft degree of latitude to about 492, 
and its greateft breadth may be about 80 
leagues a$ . Cod is generally found through- 

24 No coda's to be found in open fea $ they 
always keep in the (hallows. 

45 From about 49* deg. of latitude to the 
eaftward of Newfoundland, quite to thecoaft of 
New England, you find a fucceffion of fund 
banks. That of Newfoundland, fo called from 
the neighbouring ifland, \g thelargeftof all, and 
indeed larger than any fand-bank that we know 
of, whether in the ocean, or in any other feas ; 
it is therefore juftly called the great bank. It 
is 80 leagues wide in the broadeft part. How- 
ever, the limits cannot be perfeflly exadr. ; for it 
is no eafy matter to delineate a fand-bank upon 
a map, efpecially in a latitude where the iky will 
admit of taking obfervations. 

1 3 out 


*i8 VOYAGE to 

put this immenfe extent, but the fisher- 
men obferve that the greateft plenty is 
commonly about that part of the bank 
which lies between the forty-third and 
forty-fixth degrees, efpecially* towards the 
eaftern fhore. The veffds deftiAed for 
this fifhery fail from France from the end 

of February to the end of April, Happy 

» » . 

thofe however who can get there by the 
middle of April. From that time till 
about the 15th of June, the fi£hery is moft 
plentiful ; after that, the capelans ** going 
to depoiit their eggs along the feveral coafts 
of Newfoundland, draw ayvay the cqd, 
which, puj-fuipg after them, forfake the 
Great Bank, till the middle of September, 
when, ftill greedy after their prey ? they 
are brought back to it by the fame fif]b, 

which now forfakes the (hore, and returns 

** Tbe capebn is a fmall fifli, about the fizq 
pf a pilchard, but fomcwhat rounder aqd n^r«* 
f9W? TJie CQjJ deyoufg if gree#!)' T 


Newfoundland and SlPierre. 119 

to the ocean. The fiffiery again yields 
almoft as much in September and October, 
as it did in May and June. Many (hips 
confequently go twice a year to the Great 
Bank, and employ the interval when the 
cod is gone to the coafts, in returning to 
France to difpofe of their cargo, and re- 
cruit their provisions and fait. Few (hips 
indeed, except thofe from Olonne* 7 , go 
twice a year to Newfoundland ; the reft 
are ftationed there for fix or feven months 
together, and never come home till they 
begin to be in want of provifions, unleft 
they have made a fpeedy and plentiful 
capture, which is feldom the cafe. The 
fifhermen all complain that the fifhery 
grows worfe and worfe. Before, and after 
the war of 1744, prodigious (hoals of cod 
jlocked to the bank of Newfoundland, 

* 7 The principal perts in France where veflels 
are fitted out for the cod fifliery are, Saint Ma- 
ioes, Granville, Honfleur, Saint Jean d.e Luz* 
£)lonrxe, and Baycnn^. 

I 4 and 



and made the fortune of fishermen and 
privateers ; but fince the laft peace, the 
produce of the fifbery is reduced to ooe 
third of what it was before $ doubtlefs be~ 
caufe the bait of a fmall fortune has in- 
creafed the number of veffels, and pro* 
portionably divided the profit. 

The cod that is caught on the bank of 
Newfoundland, is that which is known in 
France by the name of green or fre(h 
cod. It is falted on board the (hip as 
ibon as caught, and keeps in fait the whole 
fi(hing feafon, and till they return to 
France, The curing and falting of the 
cod, requires a great deal of care. The 
following, is the method of curing and 
faking of the green cod. 

As foon as the fiflherman has caught a 

fi(h with his line, he pulls out its tongue, 

and gives the fifh to another man, whom 

they call the kehcader. This man, with 

a two-edged knife like a lancet, flits the 


Newfoundland and St Pierre, i a i 


fifh from the anus to the throat, which he 
cuts acrofs to the bones of the neck ; ha 
then lays down his knife, and pulls out 
the liver, which he drops into a kind of 
tray, through a little hole made on pur- 
pofe in the fcaffold he works upon ; then 
he guts it and cuts off the head. This 
done, he delivers the fi(h to the next man 
who (lands over againft him. This man, 
who is called the flicer, takes hold of it by 
the left gill, and refts its back againft a 
board, a foot long and two* inches 
high ; he pricks it with the dicing knife 
on the left fide of the anus, which makes 
it turn out the left gill ; then he cuts the 
ribs or great bones all along the vertebrae, 
about half way down from the neck to 
the anus, he does the fame on the right 
fide, then cuts aflant three joints of the 
vertebrae through to the fpinal marrow ; 
laftly he cuts all along the vertebrae and 
fpinal marrow, dividing them in two, and 
thus ends his operation. 


A third helper then takes this fifb, and 
with a kind of wooden fpatulc, he fcrapes 
all the blood that has remained along the 
vertebrae that were not cut. When the 
cod is thus thoroughly cleanfed (fometimes 
wafhed) he drops it into the hold, through 
a hole made for that purpofe, and the 
falter is there ready to receive it. 

He crams as much Xalt as he can into 
the belly of the fifh, lays it down, the tail' 
end loweft, rubs the fkin all over with 


fait, and even covers it with more felt 5 
then goes through the fame procefs with 
the reft of the cod, which he heaps 
one upon another till the whole is laid up. 
The fifti thus falted and piled up in the 
hold, is never meddled with any more till 
k is brought home and unloaded for fale. 

It is difficult for one who never was there 
to form an idea of the life the fifliermen 
live at the Great Bank, It muft be as 


Newfoundland and St. Pierre. 12 j 

powerful a motive as the third after gain, 
that can prevail upon thofe poor wretches 
to fpend fix whole months between the 
iky and the water, in a climate almoft: 
always excluded from, the fight of the fun, 
and conftantly breathing fo thick a fog, 
that they can hardly fee from one end of 
the fhip tp the pther. 

This gain is fometimes very trifling, es- 
pecially now, fince the fcarcity of cod at 
the Great Bank. The fait fifh landed at 
Bourdeaux, Rochelle, or Nantz, fells 
dearer or cheaper, according to the plenty 
pr fcarcity of the capture, the time of its 
arrival, and* the fize of the fi(h. Thofe 
who are fp lucky as to bring in the firft 
cod, may make three hundred and fixty 
Jivres of the great hundred, which contains 
an hundred and twenty-four large fi/h. 
The fecond may be worth two hundfecj 
2$d fixtv Jivres^ but |he Jaft feldom fetches 




124 V O Y A G E to 

more than fifty crowns. So much for 
what concerns the owner. As to the 
profit of the fiihing failofs, it differs ac- 
cording to the cuftoms of the port where 
the veffel was fitted out. At Olonne* 
S. Jean de Luz, and Bayonne, the crew 
commonly come in for one third of the 
lading ; in other places, as at Granville, 
they have but one fifth ; but every failor, 
on his return, is entitled to a gratuity of 
one hundred to two hundred and forty 
livres, according to the dexterity he has 
(hewn in fifhing. Elfewhere, as at S. 
Maloes, the failor s are hired for the 
whole feafon, as high as four hundred 
livres per man, I do not think this a 
very good fcheme for the owner; the 
fiiherman, fure of his own profit, is lefs 
felicitous whether the fifhery turns out 
good or bad, and confequently lefs dili- 


Newfoundland and SlPierre. 125 

The cod fishery, independent of its uti- 
lity in trade, of which it is no incoDfider> 
«ble branch, is an excellent nurfcry for 
failors. It has been obferved, that the 
fcamcn who have been employed in this 
navigation, are more expert, more able- 
bodied, and fitter to endure hardships than 

The very next day after we reached 
the bank of Newfoundland, the fog and 
the calm overtook us ; this is the weather 
that commonly prevails there *\ As the 

* 8 At and about the Great Bank, thefe horrid 
fogs infeft the air moil part of the year, and will 
laft eight or ten days fucceffively, fometimes 
longer. In autumn and winter they are not fo 
frequent; but from the middle part of fpring till 
December, they are almoft conftant : they are 
fo thick that one cannot fee at ten fathom dis- 
tance. An inceflant rain drops from the fails 
and rigging. The fea is feldom rough about the 
Great Bank. The failors commonly afk thofe 
who come from the open fca, * c Hew is tht wea- 
« ther abroad" ? 


tz6 . VOYAGE w 

calm continued the -whole day, we ehv 
ployed the time of this inadion, in fiflv 
ing. The cod is caught with a harpoon 
fixed to a line * the beft bait is that little 
fifli mentioned above, which they call 
capelan ; for want of this, they make ufe 
of the inteftines of the cod itfelfc Though 
this fifli is extremely voracious, it requires 
both cuftom and fkill to allure him. 
We caught no great quantity, and though 
we were fo many, the fifh always went 
to the fame perfons, who were more 
dextrous, and confequently more lucky 
than the reft. 

The fourteen days we fpent from our 
arrival at the Bank to our landing, were 
one continued feries of fogs, which made 
us very uneafy. The great number of 
(hips that crowded about the Bank, kept 
us in continual apprehenfions of running 
foul of fome of them in the fog. Befides, 
having been for fcveral days unable to 


Newfoundland and SlPieRke. 127 

obferve the latitude, we durft not advance, 
for fear of ftriking againft the bars of 
Cape Raze**. Our charts placed us 
about the longitude of thofe rocks, and 
the computed latitude brought us pretty 
near them. Thefe la ft days of our firft 
run, were the worft we had yet met with* 
and indeed the worft of the whole voyage, 
Tranfplanted into a horrid climate, con- 
ftantly choaked with fogs, we feemed to 
be forever excluded from the fight of the 
fun ; nor could we hope to land, whilfl: 
this fog intercepted the coaft. It was 
dangerous to go in fearch of the (hore, 
' even when the mift feemed to be dif- 
perfing. It is no uncommon thing in this 
latitude to fee the fineft clearing fucceeded 
by a prodigious thick fog, and this within 
half an hour. Then the pilot repents 

* 9 Thefe are funken rocks, fituated on the 
weftern coaft of the Great Bank, in 46 degrees 
20 feconds latitude,, and about 54 degrees longi- 









T-- I_ _ - 




and St. Pierre. 131 

foundland, and that 

was the Red-hat. 

ill too far off to judge 

but at four in the 

four leagues diftant, 

were not miftaken. 

\ general the whole 

md, is very fteep, 

he level of the fea ; 

c at near fixteen 

e (hips that fail in 

;ly take notice of 

m being very dif- 

Jd there are fome 

really appears like 

vvard the Red-hat 

A permitting us to 

and after taking 

vere adtually going 
more fca room, 


i3o Voyage to 

we made for the Great Bank, there t<j 
wait till a lefs fallacious change of weather 
ihould permit us to go fafely in queft of 

This Wp had an opportunity of effecting 
Wo days after, by the fineft weather 
imaginable. Nothing is more gloomy 
than the iky darkened by that thick and 
damp fog, as nothing is more beautiful 
than that very fkyj when a north eaft 
wipd drives away the fog, and exhibits a 
well terminated horizon. The fun was 
got yet rifen, ¥?hen the naift, which had 
been conftant all the 23d, difperfed in 
an inftant ; a clear fky and a fair wind 
determined us to make dire&ly for land. 
We fet fail at two in the morning, at 
eight we difcovered a fmall eminence 
rifing in the mod diftant horizon. At 
noon the figure of this and feveral other 
points which appeared as we drew nearer, 
Uiade us conje&ure that the land we faw 



iMEwfroutoDLAND and St. Pierre. 1.3 i 


was the coaft of Newfoundland, and that 
this firft eminence was the Red-hat. 
However, we were ftill too far off to judge 
With any certainty, but at four in the 
afternoon, being but four leagues diftant, 
we plainly faw we were not miftaken. 
The Red-hat, and in general the whole 
coaft of Newfoundland, is very fteep, 
and rifes far above the level of the fea ; 
we firft difcovered it at near fixteen 
leagues diftance. The (hips that fail in 
this latitude, commonly take notice of 
this mountain, its form being very dif- 
tinguifhable. It is faid there are fome 
fpots from whence it really appears like 
a flapped hat. 

We had fteered toward the Red-hat 
till noon, the winds not permitting us to 
bear more to the weft, and after taking 
the elevation of it, we were a&ually going 
tQ tack about, to get more fea room, 

K 4 when 


132 V O Y AG E to 

when the wind (hifted by degrees, and we 
made towards the ifland of Saint Pierre, 
which we difcovered at fix. Our firft 
intention was not to anchor there that 
day, but confidering how feldom we could 
expedt fuch clear weather as we then 
enjoyed, we directed our courfe ftraight 
to it. About eight o'clock, judging 
we were very near land, we fired a 
gun for a pilot ; we were anfwered. We. 
fired repeatedly to (hew our impatience,. 
nor was it ill grounded. The wind was 
flackening more and more, night was 

coming on, and the weather feemed to 
threaten a fog for the next day. Our 
fignals were indeed anfwered, but the 
wifhed-for pilot did not appear; We 
could plainly fee the light of the guns 
that anfwered us, and by the interval 
between the light and the found, we 

eftimated the diftance of the ifland,^and 


Newfoundland and St. Pierre. 133 

found to our forrow that wc were farther 
from it than we had imagined. -To com- 
plete our misfortune, a calm came on, 
and for fome hours we were afraid of 
being driven afhore by the currents ; but 
the wind foon rofe. Seeing no pilot 
come, we kept aloof, firing a gun every 
half hour, and each time we were an- 
fwered by two. Never did a night appear 
fo long 5 the weather was overcaft, and 
foretold an approaching fog. At three 
we begun to fufpeft land, and about five 
we plainly diftingirifhed the ifland of Saint 
Pierre, and particularly another little ad- 
jacent ifland, called the Pigeon-boufe t 
which lies at the entrance of the road. 
Having attained to this certainty, we tacked 
about,, and failed before the wind, fleering 
for the Pigeon-houfe ; we were ftill near 
five leagues off, and the fog was coming 
on. We fpied a little boat making to- 
wards us ; at fir ft we were in doubt 

K 3 whether 



V Q Y A G E to 

whether we had heft wait for it, but find* 
ing we loft; fight of the land more and 
more, we determined to lay by, in cafg 
ijt fhould be the pilot. We were not dis- 
appointed ; it was the captain of the 
harbour o£ Saint Pierre, who had been 
rowing abopt the inland all night, unable 
to find uj5. He leaped on board ; and 
was fo perfectly acquainted with the place, 
that he did not mind lofing fight of the 
land, and in a fhort time brought us fafe 
to the entrance of the road. We had 
fcarcely reached it, when the wind failed 
3t once, and fell to a dead calm, fo that 
we were obliged to apchor bpfore the road 
of Saint Pierre, and then to tow the fhip 
tp the right anchorage. This laborious 
operation took us up from fix in thg 
morning till the next day July 26. 

Thus after forty-two days failing we 
concluded what may be called a pretty 


Newfoundland and St. Pj£*re. i 3 $ 

good pafiage, fopictimes indeed obftru&ed 
by the fogs and winds, but this was no 
more than what we were to expcdt at that 
time of the year. We had met with no 
accident, no fqqalls aor ftorms, and had 
almoft always a fine fmooth fea "• 

We were no fooner come to an anchor 
at the entrance of the road of Saint 
Pierre, but a prodigious thick fog robbed 
us of the fight of the land that fur rounded 
us, and this for two days together. In- 
deed one mud have been fix weeks at fea, 
to lament being dejprived of fuch a profpedt 
as the barren coafts of this road affords, 
and in general the whole ifland of Saint 
Pierre ; but for feamen tired with the 
uniform fpe&acle of the fea, the moft 
hideous rocks have their charms 3 I was 

fI » Only on the 2d and 5th of July, when we 
met with a very rough fea. 

K 4 therefore 

j 3 6 V O Y A G E to 

therefore heartily glad to get on (hore. 
The very next day after our arrival, I 
{kipped into a canoe with Mr. Tronjoly 
and fome officers, and we made for the 
coaft, through the mift. Long before we 
reached the Chore, an offenfive fmell 
made us fenfible what we were to expedt t 
The flench increafed as we drew nearer, 
^nd was at the height, when we landed 
near a kind of wooden houfe, which pro- 
jects into the fea, &nd is built ypon piles. 
As our firft bufinefs was to wait on the 
governor, we poftponed our inquiries 
$bout this building and its ufe tp another 
ppportunity f We made the beft of our way 
Jo the governor's houfe, through a field co-r 
yered with nothing but white pebbles or flat 
ftones, overfpread with an innumerable 
piultitude of cod. Mr. Dangeac, governor 
of the jfland, came to meet us with his 

frfflilyt T^ e 7 welcomed us with fuch 



Newfoundland and St. Pierre, i\j 

politenefs, and during our flay there, 


were fo attentive and obliging, that we 
were foon convinced that the delights of 
an agreeable fociety will compenfate for 

the hardships of the worft of climates, 


Mr. Dangeac was no looner apprized 
of the objedt of my miffion, but he made 
it his whole ftudy to procure me all necef- 
fary conveniences for my operations. I 
was loaded with his favours, and the 
manner of conferring them doubled the 
obligation. He compelled me to accept 
of the houfe, and even of the apartment 
where his fons lived. Accordingly I fixed 
my abode on the fhore, with Meff. Leroy 
and Wallot $ and the apparatus was fet 
up, to be in readinefs for the firft moment 
of fair weather. I was fo prepoffefled that 
the fight of the fun was an uncommon 
phenomenon in thefe parts, that I was 

sJmpft difcouraged j but happily for us, 



, 3 $ VOYAGE ?o 

that was not the cafe while we remained 
on the ifland, for in ten days I had four 
which Were fit for observations, 

1 fpent the intervals between my aftro 
nomical obfervations, in furveying the 
ifland, and enquiring, into the nature of 
the place,, its inhabitants and trade. 

The iflands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon 
are the only fettlements # the French poflefe 
at prefent in this northern part of America, 
which includes Newfoundland and the 
Coaft of Canada. 

Saint Pierre is a very fmall ifland ; its 
utmoft length may be two leagues. Mi- 
quelon is fomewhat larger, and may be 
about five leagues long. S. Pierre how- 
ever is the chief place of the colony ; the 
fafety of its harbour draws a greater num- 
ber of (hips, and probably for this Angle 


Newfoundland and St. Pibrhe. 139 

reafbn, the governor has fixed his refidencc 
there ** N $ for I am told Mkjuelon is a 
rnuch pleafanter fpot. They talk muck 
of a fine plain, a. kind of meadow, 4 
league long, which makes a very pleafant 
walk. You have no fuch thing at Saint 
Pierre, where all is barren mountains, or 
rather craggy rocks, here and there co» 
vered with dry mofs, and other weeds, the 
fad produce of a ftony foil. I fometimcs 
penetrated far into the ifland to acquaint 
myfelf with the .place, and examine its 
productions ; all I found was mountains, 
not to be fcaled without danger ; the lit- 

3Z The fifliing veflels arc very fafc in a pretty 
large Baracbois 9 which anfwers the purpofe of* a 
harbour. Wha,t they call here Barachois^ is a 
little pool near the Tea, and only feparated from 
it by a bank of pebbles. The road of Saint 
Pierre is a tolerable flielter for fhips of burden., 
but care muft be taken to examine the cables 
very often, otherwife they will foon be damaged 
by the ftony bottom. 


140 V O Y AGE to , 

tie vallies between them are no better y 
fome are full of water, and form fo many 
lakes ; others are encumbered with little 
forry fir trees > and fome few birch, the 
only trees that grow in this country, fo 
far as I could find, nor did I fee a {ingle 
tree more than twelve feet high in all that 
part of the ifland where I went. The 
ifland of Miquelon is a little better ftored 
with wood v 

The mod common plant I met with at 
Saint Pierre, is a kind of tea ; (at leaft „ 
the inhabitants call it fo) its leaf is woolly 
underneath, and it greatly refembles our 
rofemary, both in the leaf and ftalk. 
There is another plant they call annife ; 
I have tafted both, infufed in boiling wa- 
ter, and think the annife is the pleafanter 
of the two* 

Hence it appears how deftitute the in- 
habitants muft be of the neceffaries of life* 



; / 

NEWFotmbLAND and St. Pierre, i^i 

in a country where no corn will grow; 
and where every the fmalleft article mult 
be procured from France. They have 
fixed their dwellings in a little plain along 
the fea coaft ; they have fmall gardens, 
where, with much ado, they grow a few 
lettuces, that never come to perfe&ion, 
but which they eat greedily when they arc 
ftill quite green. 

The want of pafture will not admit of 
breeding much cattle $ fowls are the only 
refource as to meat. Their fbups arc 
commonly made with cods' heads, but I 


cannot commend them. If trade were 
open between this ifland and the coaft of 
Newfoundland they would be in no want, 
but the Englifli make a point to fuffer no 
provifions whatever to be carried over to 
Saint Pierre, and all intercourfe is ftr\&ly 
prohibited between the ifland and the 
main land. If at any time fbme Englifh 



*4* . V Q Y A G £ *4 

ihip finds means to convey a few head of 
oxen or other cattle, it is by eluding the 
vigilance of a number of veffels of theif 
own nation, ftationed there merely to 
prevent this contraband trade. Our 
arrival at Saint Pierre was celebrated by 
the death of a bullock ; this was the 
iiobleft reception they could beftow. 

From this account, one would be apt 
to conclude, that the ifland of Saint Pierre 
could only be confidered as a fhelter for 
fifhermen driven thither by ftrefs of wea-* 
ther, yet we have made a fettlement there. 
The iflands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon 
were ceded to France by the Englifli on 
the following conditions : " that no forts 
fhould be built on either ; that no more 
than fifty men of regular troops fhould be 
kept there, difperfed on both iflands ; 
and that they fhould have no military 
ftores, or cannon, capable of making a 
defence." Accordingly, they are allowed ' 


NfiwfoOKDLAND and St. Picitkfe. 143 

but five or fix froall pieces of cannon, 
which are rolled to the water- fide without 
carriages, and are only ufed for fignals to 
the (hips that want to come in. France, 
at the taking pofleffion of thefe iflands* 
appointed a governor. Such of the 
Canadians as did» not chufe to beepme 
Brittth were permitted to go and fettle 
there ; many went at fk ft, but the diffi-* 
culty of fubfifting iii fuch a barren coun-* 
try, foon determined them to quit it> 
the greateft part defircd leave to remove 
to France ; it was granted, but they were 
no fooner thefe* than they regretted the 
ifland of Saint Pierre and wanted to go 
back. A cargo of near three hundred 
arrived there juft before us. Their unex- 
pected return put the colony in fome 
confufion j thofe who were left behind 
had feized upon the habitations which the 
others had forfaken* they had pulled 
down fome of the wooden houfes, and. 


i 4 4 VOYAGE to 

made ufc of the materials. The nevr 
comers wqre fent to Miquelon, which, 
with this addition, may contain five or 
fix hundred inhabitants $ Saint Pierre 
about half as many. 

• * • 

I obferved above, fpeaking of the New- 
foundland fifliery, that towards the latter 
end of June, the cape/an flocked from the 
main to depofit their eggs along the coaft 
of that and the adjacent iflands ; and that 
then all the cod about the Great Bank 
came in (hoals to thefe coafts : this is the 
critical time for the filhermen of Saint 
Pierre. The ifland is adjoining to a fand 
bank where the cod comes in great 
plenty. Whatever is caught there, is 
brought to Saint Pierre, where it is cured 
and dried. This is what is fold in 
France by the name of moruefeche^ or 
more properly merluche. Merluche or 
moruefraiche is therefore one and the fame 
fifh, only cured in a different manner. 


NkwFouNbtAND andSt. Pjierre. 145 

Sortie (hips likewife briog the fi(h they 
have caught at the Great Bank, to dry at 
Saint Pierre, but thefe are few ; moft df 
the cod that is- fifhed at the Bank* is 
brought home to Europe, and fold for 
tnorue verie, or barrel cod* 

Imriienfe labour and care are requifite 
for this operation of faking and drying 
the cod* though but an ordinary difh 

The tntirihet of preparing and drying cod. 

The cod intended for drying, is caught 
and beheaded in the fame manner as the 
other, but it is cut up differently *. The 
JIicef % inftead of cutting the bones along 
the vertebrae only half way down from 
the throat to the anus, lays open the fi(h 
at one ftroke, quite tp the tail, all along 
the vertebrae, which fee divides up to the 
throat, leaving each half of thefe vertebra 

* P. 120, &c. 

L and 



And the fpinal marrow in the flefh of 
the cod. 

When the peer has thus difpatched a 
fi(h, he drops it into a fledge that holds 
about half a hundred weight ; a boy then 
drives the fledge to the place where the 
Jalter falts and fpreads the fifh of the 

The falter lays down the fi(h flat with 
the flefh upperrnoft, and placing feveral 
of them fide by fide, he forms a layer of 
fix, eight, twelve, or fifteen feet long, and 
three, four, or five broad 5 then he takes 
a great wooden (hovel, about two feet 
fquare, and fprinkles fait all over the 
layer of cod. Care muft be taken that 
this fait be laid on very even. When this 
layer is fufficiently falted, he fpreads 
another over it, falts it in the fame 
manner, and fo on. 


Newfoundland and St.PiERkE. 147 

When there are large* middling, and 
fcnall cod, they are kept apart, for a 
different depth of fait is requifite for dif- 
ferent fizes. Too much fait burns up the 
Sfh, and makes it brittle when it corner 
to dry* and too little makes it greafy, and 
difficult to dry. 

The cod is left in (kit two days at leaff^ 
and fometimes above a fortnights then 
it is wafhed. For this purpofe they load 
it on hand barrows* and empty it out into 
a laVer not unlike a great cage, by the 
fea-fide ; there they ftir it about in fea- 
water with paddles, to clean fe it from the 
fait and flime that it is daubed with, and 
when it is wafhed white, they put it again 
on the barrows, and carry it upon the 
gravel where it is to be fpread. They 
firft pile it up five or fix feet high ; the 
top of the heap terminates like a roof, 
that the fifh may drain and harden* 

L 2 Two, 

148 VOYAGE to 

Two, three, or four day9 after, as the 
weather permits, they undo the pile, and 
fpread the fifh upon the gravel one by 
one in rows, with the fiefh * uppermoft. 
When it has lain thus in the morning fun, 
they turn it about two in the afternoon, 
the fldn uppermoft, and in the evening if 
they find that the wind and fun have dried 
them enough, they lay five or fix of them 
one upon another, and a large one at top, 
to flicker them from the rain. The cod 
being thus difpofed in little heaps, the 
ikih upwards, they wait for the firft fine 
day to fpread them again on the gravel, 
firft with the fkin uppermoft, and at noon 
they turn them, and when they have been 
thus expofed a fecond time to the rays of 
the fan, they are again heaped up, fifteen 
or twenty in a heap, and left till the next 
fine day, when they once more fpread 
them upotf the gravel. If after this they 
find the* fifti thoroughly dry, they place 
the fm all ones iji round (harp piles 


Newfoundland and St. Piirrs. 149 

|ike pigeon - houfes, the middle fized 
in heaps of a hundred weight, and the 
large ones in fmaller. parcels. The former, 
when they have undergone a fourth fun* 
ning, that is, when they have been fpread 
•upon the gravel for the fourth time, are 
laid up in round piles; as to the larger 
ones, they muft be fpread in the fun five 
jov fix times at leaft, before one can ven- 
ture to pile them up like the others* 
When they have flood fo for three or 
four days, they fpread them all at once 
upon the gravel in the fun, and then pro- 
ceed to a new pile, laying the largeft fifli 
for the ground-work, the middle fized 
next, and the fmalleft at top $ becaufe the 
larger they are, the greater preflure they 
require, to fqueeze out and throw off their 
moifture. This pile is left (landing for a 
fortnight, and then the cod is again fpread 
in the fun, after which the pile is ere&ed 


once more, but reverfed, fo that what was 
at the bottom is now put at the top. 

L 3 This 

ijo V O Y A G E to 

This pile may be let alone for a 
month, after which time the fifh is onct 
more expofed to the fun, and then piled 
up for the laft time. 

When all this is done, they make 
choice of a fine day. to fpread out thefe 
fifties, only an arm full at a time, and lay 
them on the gravel : they examine them 
one by one, and lay apart thofe that ftill 
retain fome moifture ; the dry ones are 
piled up, and the moid ones are dried 
Again in the fun, and then put on the top 
of the other piles, that they may be at 
band to be looked ?fter, and dried again 
if they fliould want it, To conclude, the 
whole procefs, jufl: before they are (hipped, 
they fpread them by arms full upon tho 
grayel, to air and dry them thoroughly. 

In prder to ft)ip this cocj, they clesm 
Out the hold, and lay a kind of floor, ei-» 
ther pf ftone or wood, on which ttoey 


Newfoundlanp and St.PiBRRE. i ct 

place the fi(h, the firft layer with the flefh 
uppermoft, and all the reft with the {kin 
uppermoft. They dont fill the hold from 
one end to the other, without interrup- 
tion, but raife feveral piles, both to keep 
the good and bad apart, ahd likewife to 
diftinguifh the different fizes of the fi(h. 
The large ones make the groundwork of 
the cjirgp, the middle fised come next, 
aqd the fmall ones are laid at top. They 
line the bottom and fides of the hold with 
fmall twigs with their leaves on, but 
dried firft for feveral days. The cod 
being thus laid up in the hold, they cover 
it with fails, and never meddle with it 
more till they unload it for fale in Europe, 

r , 

For thefe particulars about the curing 
of cod in the Ifland of St. Pierre, I am 
beholden to M. de R**, lieutenant of a 
frigate, who is perfe&ly acquainted with 
thefe matters, having been for a longtime 
employed in that bufinefs on the ifland. 

h 4 Slitting, 

\$i VQ Y AQ E to 

* * 

Slitting, falting, apd drying the cod, ar$ 

three diftinft operations, tfce laft of whicfy 

is fometimes very tedious and difficult. 

•__ *i ' ' f * 

The fup is feldbrri feen at! Saint Pierre^ 

and the want of fanzine is the lols of 

. * * . •■ *• ' 

tlioufanda 'of cod, which sot in the datnps 
*nd.fogs. - . 

» J *. * • A ^ 

Qo the right hand of the harbor or 
road, is a houfe bqilt upon piles in th^ 
fea; it is made of boards, and the roof of 

4 \ f I ...4...! ..J 

Jong poles interwoven -, h$If this roof js. 
covered with- tqrf from one epd to the 
Other, . and the remaiplng half is:, left 
open : they • call . this houfe a $fof4u4* 
This is the place where they flit and faltf 
the 9pd A . • The floor ^onfifts of loqg.pqles, 
placed fo as to let the ioteftines of tfce fifl> 
$rop down between them, into the fea* 
Half the roof is left open to let in tb$ 
$ain and fre{h air, which oarry oWftxt of 
t,hq n.aftinefs and flench of the J>Uc&. 


J^EVFFOimDLANlJ and St.1?IEkRE; j.« 

* » 

that- wotifd 1 tttherwife ' be rrttokrabfc, and 
the fifli itfcttrtd in that f»rt which is 


thatchtfcL ' : 

* J i « * . 44 I, 

The fifhing boats that are commonly 
employed m o»*oh?ng Cod abptrt the J&pid, 
'ftud briogiftg it to this $hqfmd> are fmalj 
afaft* wkkafquane fail. The crew neve? 
exceeds iyyo men, comtflonly attended by 
a -dog, their faithful ; fervant and com* 
£&tftatt. ? ; Ftem their boat they fhootgaei- 
lands and-ioth£r fea-birds, with which 
$iey majke their foup. The dog fwfaas 
%nd fetiches the bird, without any inter- 
t uption tb his matter's fishery. 

> ~ The moft common birds on the coafts 
of Saint Pierre and Newfoundland are the 
^madre^ the go/te, and the calculo. The 
*gg s of the maire are white fpeckled with 
Wack; thofc of the gode *re gretnifh 
^>ecfcled with black, and thofe of the 

c a leu co 


V O Y A G E to 

cakub are brawn with darker . foots, 
Thefe eggs are larger than ben ,eggs, and 
yet the birds are not much bigger than 

< Behind the cbafaud> appear the matt* 
of (hipping; thefe (hew the fituation of 
the bar ac hois, where the fifhing fmack* 
are (heltefed. This barachois is large t 
and tolerably fenced from the winds: 
It reaches to the walls of the governor's 
Jboufe, and may be about three hundred 
furlongs wide in the broadeft part. It 
meafures four fathom water till within 
twenty-five, or thirty furlorfgs of' thf 
ihore; however, it has fame (hallows 
where ; there is not above, eight feet 
water, which rauft be carefully attended 
to* At low water you have not. above 


five pr fix feet water over the bar thaj 
parts the barachois from the road. . In 
pcap tides yot* have nine or ten feet, but 


Newfoundland and St. Pierre. i£$ 

in high tides, it rifcs to fourteen feet. 
The tides are very irregular at Saint 
Pierre, from the variety of winds, and 
the different degrees of their vehemence ; 
however, the fpring tides are commonly at 
the new and full moon about eight o clock. 



In going into the road of Saint Pierre 
by the eaftern pafs, you mull beware of 
two dangerous rocks, called the black- 
rock and baffe jaune> the firft fitqated eaft, 
the other eafti-fouth-eaft of the point of 
the ifle of Dogs, at about | of a league 
diftance : but they are only dangerous by 
night or in a fog 5 by day light you can 
.plainly fa the black-rock above water, 
and aim oft always the waves dafiiing over 
the bqffhjaune; 


The great road begins- at the little rock 
Saint, Pierre ; a (hip may fafely fail on 
C^ber fide of this rock, and will find 


'*$*.. v.V:-fl». Y.AC E to 

anchorage in any part of the road within 
thirty fathom of the fliore ; but left a fide 
.wind (hould rife, they commonly allow 
snore' room, and anchor .at one third 
diftance from the .coaft of Saint Pierre, 
and two thirds from that .of the ifle of 

Dogs. As to the fouth-eaft pafs, where 
merchantmen commonly go in and out, 
it is much more difficult than the other, 
sftid is Hardly practicable but for fKps of 
"two or three hundred Ions burden at moft. 
•There would be depth enough at high 
ifrater for frfgates, but the pafs is yery 
narrow, as is likewife the channel that 

leads to tht good anchorage, • The pilot 

• • ... 

muff be -cautious' of the rocks that lye 
ihear'thc baracbais> forae points of which 
idraace under water into the channel, but 
may be avoided by fleering nearer the 
fh ore of the ifle of Dogs than that of Saint 
Pierre; he muft likewife be careful tp keep 
clear of the ifle of Maffacre^and of the 
innermbft poiht of (he ifle of Dogs, where a 


Newfoundland aodSf.Pi£R*£, tgj 

ihip might ftrike if flic Was to come too 
near. ; ' 

The duke de Praflins intention was 
that we fhouid make no longer ftay at 
Saint Pierre than was fequifite for trie 
verifying ef the time-keepers. The wea- 
ther* proved fo favorable, that in a week's 
time, I had a fufficient number of obser- 
vations to anfwer my purpofe. I foonr 
informed Mr. Tronjoly that I had no 
farther need to detain him there. Thiar 
news was received by every one with as 
much pleafure as I felt in imparting it. 
We were all heartily lick of this horrid 
country, and the expectation of that 
delightful climate we were going to, 
made us long to get there, I (hall now 
briefly give the refult of the obfervations 
I made in this firft ftation towards verify- 
ing the time-keepers. 





. before we got to the ifland of 8. Pierrei 
I had fdme fufpicion that one of the clocks 
was a little out of order. The obfervations 
I made when aihore, plainly (hewed* that 
which I called the fecond (from the date 
of its conftru&ion) had actually undergone 
feme variation in our paflagc. I thought 
k mud be owing to the damps and fogs 
we had been expofed to, at the very time 
when I firft perceived that the clocks did 
not agree. Mr. Le Roy afked my leave to 
open the clock, that he might the better 
find out. the caufe of this diforder, which 
he was of opinion, muft proceed from 
fome fri&ion, which was difcernable by 
the ear, in the pieces of the machine* 
,At firft I would not confent, but fearing 
left my refufal fhould deprive Mr. Le Roy 
of the fureft means of difcovering the de- 
feds of his work, and amending what 
might be amifs, I confented to the open- 
ing of the clock, which was done in the 
prcfencc of Mr. Tronjoly, Mr. W allot 



' 1 

and myfelf. Mr, Le Roy flopped the 
movement, examined it a while, and found 
nothing apparently amifs ; then, without 
touching it with any inftruraent but his 
fingers, he reftored it to the fame ftate 
with regard to the other clocks, that it was 
in before he flopped it. Mr. Le Roy gave 
me in writing the demand he had made 
of my confent to open and examine his 
time keeper, and I drew up a verbal pro- 
cefs of the whole tranfaftion. 

The difagreeable impreffion this diforder 
of one clock had made upon my mind, 
was foon removed by obferving the per- 
fection of the other ; not the lead altera- 
tion had happened, and with regard to 
the mean motion it was, within a fe\V 
tierces, the fame as at Havre de Grace. 
This is very furprifing after fixty days 
trial, and in fuch fog§ as we had been 

expofed to J \ 


u The verification I made on the ifland of 
Saint Pierre was not indeed abfolutely compleat, 


,6o Voyage *som $. pier?$. 

■ We fct foil the 3d of> Auguft, and got 
out of the road of S. Pierre at feven irt 
ibe morning with a clear &y » there had 
been 3 fog the^ay before, and that waS 
the laft we .had to encounter. A fait 
wind icon carried us beyond- the Bank; of 
Newfoundland j we loft the founding? 
Aoguft 9» to enter upon a finer clwfi*te> 
Clear weather, fair winds, a fine fea \ 
fech in few worda is ihe hiftory of out 
run from the iiland of Saint Pierre to 
Sallee, and makes any farther account 
needlefs. The melancholy infpired by the 
fogs and contrary winds in our former 
paffage, was now exchanged for joy and 
hope, the effecl: of fair weather and favor- 
able winds* We were not long in fearch 
of the coaft of Africa, and came withirl 

(he longitude of this ifland not being exafiljf 
determined, but that equality of motion which I 
had obferved in one of the clocks w;as a Urong, 
prejudice in its favor, which has been confirmed 
by the fequel. 


to SALLEE. • 161 

foundings on the 26th of Auguft at feven 
in the mornirig* The founding fhewed 
we were not far from land, but a mift 
raifed by the heat, prevented our feeing 
the fhore ; it difperfed at noon, and we 
then faw New Marmora at four leagues 
diftance ftraight before us. We kept 
along the coaft declining fouthward, to 
get near Sallee, which was now but fivfe 
leagues off; but upon the moment of 
landing, we were ftopt fhort by contrary 
winds. We then anchored near the coaft, 
and the next morning we weighed, and 
came to an anchor over againft the town 
of Sallee, at the diftance of about a league 
to the fouth weft, after a run of twenty- 
four ,days. 

We forefaw fome difficulties in landing, 
on account of the fand bank which lies 
acrofs the entrance of the harbour of 
Sallee, and durft not venture in without 
a pilot from the place. A xebequefrom 

M Provence 



162 VOYAGE *rom & PIERRE 

.Provence lay at. anchor long fide of us. 5 
her captain came on board, and the in- 
formations he gave us as to the fituation 
made us (till more cautious. The next 
day after our arrival, a boat of that coun- 
try coming to bring goods on board hid 
ihip, Mr. Tronjoly fent an officer in a 
( canoe, to fetch one of the moors, that he 
might guide him into the harbour, and 
-give him an opportunity of waiting on the 
Conful, to get information about the 
country, and the manner in which we 
were to proceed, Mr, Tronjoly, chiefly 
attentive to the objedt of my miffion, i» 
which he took all the part it deferved from 
a public fpirited man, and efpecially from 
a fea officer, zealous of his profeffion, en- 
joined this officer to enquire whether I 
might find accommodations for making 
obfervations on fhore. The meflenger 
fet off, and we were impatient to fatisfy 
pur curiofity concerning a .country that 
was fo new to us. We long waited to 


to SALLEE. 163 

Jio Jmrpofe ; two days pafled, and no of- 
ficer, appeared, and we began to be 
tjneaiy u $ however, he returned the fourth 
4ay, and told us the only thing that had 
detained him was the bar, which is fome- 
times impaflable for four or even eight 
days together* As to what concerned 
toe, Mr, Cheinier our conful very oblig- 
ingly offered me his houfe, but withal 
faid he would not anfwer for the impref- 
fion that the fight of my inftruments 
might make upon a reftlefs and fuperfti- 
tiops people. I could make no obferva- 
tions at Sallee without previoufly afking 
leave of the governor -, he was therefore 
to be informed of the objeft of thefe ob- 
fervatidns, and then he could grant no-* 
thing till he had acquainted the King of 

35 We were the firft French King's (hip that 
had entered the port of Sallee fince theconclufion 
of a peace* which was riot yet very firmly efta- 
bl iftied, with a people whofe honefty is rather 

M z Morocco 


Morocco with it. AH thefe preliminaries 
muft take up feme time, and we wUhed 
to make but a very fliort (lay at Sal- 
lee; I was alfo apprehenfive that once 
landed, we might be detained too long 
by the bar, and wafte thofe moments 
here, which would be very precious elfe- 
wheie *. All thefe considerations put to- 
gether, determined me to leave the 
watches and my instruments on board 
the (hip : we even came to a resolution 
not to land at all, unlefs the bar (hould 
be fmooth enough to admit of our coming 
back the fame > or at fartheft the nett 

The bar being pra&icaWe, (bme of ouc 
company took a trip to the town, but I 

36 The longitude of Sallee is not perfectly 
known. I could only have verified the time- 
keepers with regard to the mean motion, as I 
did at Saint Pierre. I wifhed therefore to get to 
Cadiz, where I was to verify them completely. 


to SALLE E. 165 

chofe to wait till Mr. Tronjoly went, and 
to go with him. Thefe firft; came back 
the next day; their quick return em* 

boldened us to follow their example. 


Mr. Tronjoly, who wanted to fpeak with 
the.conful, prepared to go on fhore, and 
agreed to. my attending him. Mr. Wallot 
was fo obliging as to remain on board, 
to watch the time-keepers in my abfence 
jointly with Mr. Le Roy, who had been 
afhore with the firft company. 


Mr. Tronjoly was impatiently expedted 
by Mr. Cheinier the conful, and the go- 
vernor of Sallee. They met us on the 
fea fhqre, furrounded with a great con- 
courfe of Moors or Salletines, who were 
eagar to fee us j they all (hewed us tokens 
of friendfhip, and exprefled by their gef- 
tures that they were not forry to fee us 5, 
they were even familiar, fome taking us 
by the hand, others afkiog us for ' 

M 3 blan- 


b!anquilles. v . The whole time we (laid ifj • 
the town, the governor, to free us from 
their importunity, iud for fear we (hould be 
infultedj gave «9 & guard whenever we 
went abroad* This man, with a flick in 
His hand, walked before us, and without: 
much ceremony, drove off thofe who flood 
ip our way ; but this precaution was per- 
haps rieedfcfs* We found the Saltetifles 
jftiuch more civilised and lefs (hy thaft we 

had imagined. We met with nothing 
but marks of friendship from the principal 
perfons of the place ; as fcfr the common 
people, none but the little children ran 
after us, and abufed us in their own lan- 
guage, but this we difregarded, for we 
did not underftand them. The word 
thefe children repeated ofteneft vjz£bomba % 
by Which they meant to upbraid us with 

3 7 Small coin f worth three fojs four denier$ 
French money. 


to S A L L EE. 167 

die bombs that the Freticb had thrown, 
into Sallee and Arachc in. their lafl. ex* 
pedition V. • 

1 » 

• We were to flay at Sallee only the 
remainder of that day, and to fet off early 
in the morning, that we might get out 
before the fea breeze fet in. We fpent 
that ihorrtime in viewing the town, and 
the new objedte it prefented both as to the 
place and its inhabitants. We were not 
much the better for this curfory furvey, 
but the next morning, juft as we were to 
fet off, the fea was fo rough on the bar, 
that no pilot durft venture over. This 
continued the two fucceeding days, fo that 

58 In 1765, in the month of June, the 
French bombarded Sallee and Arache, and 
burrit feme Salletine Xebeques : this expe- 
dition occafioned a truce, which was concluded 
in Odlober the fame year ; and at laft in June 
j 767, a peace was concluded between the kings 
pf France and Morocco. 

M 4 we 




we were detained near four days without 
a poffibility of getting at the (hip. For 
my own part, I was comforted by the 
opportunity this gave me of examining 
things, of which I fhould have had but a 
faint notion, had I ftaid at Sallee but half 
a da^. 

«r • * * 

The civilities we met with from the 
conful, . made us amends for the little 
intercourfe we could have with the 
Salletines ; his kindnefs in procuring us 
3 fight of whatever might fatisfy our 
curiofity, and giving us an agcount of 
tohat we had not time to fee, made our 
flay at Sallee very entertaining and 

The town of Sallee is fituated on the 

•weftern coail of Africa, in 34 deg. 4 min„ 

latitude 3 % and 9 deg, 6 min, longitude. 


39 I had- it not in my power to verify 
this latitude : as to the longitude, I give it 

' fab 


It is one of the moil considerable towns 
of the kingdom of Fe^ under the domi- 
nion of the king of Morocco. A river 
called Querou divider it from eaft to well 
into two parts, diftinguifhed on the maps 
by : the names of Old Sallee to the north, 
and New Sallee to the fouth ; but the 
latter is more properly called Rabath 


The mouth of the river Guerou forms 
a harbour for trading (hips, between the 
two towns of Rabath and Sallee, but the 
entrance is difficult, on account cf the 
famous bar, or fand bank, that extends 

fuch as I was able to deduce by the time- 
keepers, from fome particular obfervations/ 
taken on board the (hip, in the road of 

' Sallee, 

*° Probably this name of Rabath, give 
the fouth fide of the town of Sallee, has indu 
fome geographers to call the river Rebel 
Jnftead of its right name Guenu. 

-+ •«S*-t 




Alt along the coaft of Africa, and againft 
Which thc 4 fea, beating with incredible 
violence, fifes in fuch billow* as are ex- 
ceedingly dangerous to paft. The bar 
«ef Bailee is the- worft of all. Ik requires 
next to a calm to make it payable ; the 
leaft gale from the fea renders it difficult, 
and co&fequently the favorable moments 
muft be feized to get in or out of the 
harbour. The one is eaijer than the 
otherj for, provided the fea docs not 
break too violently over the bar, you can 
eafily get in, obferving always to prefent 
the ftern to the, wave, which of itfelf will 
drive the (hip into the harbour, It is 
eafieft getting in at high water, for then 
the waves are not fo furious. But to get 
out of port, the beft way is to endeavour 
to be beforehand with the fea breeze, 
which may occafion a fwell, and then it 
is eafy to conceive how difficult it rauft 
be to keep the vtffel upright, and to 



conquer five or fix great billows that 
follow ope another with vaft rapidity $ 
the firft lifts up the (hip, the next 'whirls 
her acrofs, and (he infallibly becomes 
the fport of the others, which fwallow 
her up, without a poflibility of affording 


her the lead afliftance. Some fatal in- 

(lances have made the natives extremely 
icircumfpedt in paffing this bar. I could 
^lmoft tax them with being over cautious, 
if an txctCs of prudence was not €X- 
icumble in fuch a cafe as this. 

From this account of the bar of Sallee, 
it is evident that fuch a local inconveni- 
ence muft be very detrimental to trade. 
A merchant fhip of fome burden, that 
draws too much water to fail into the 
harbour, muft anchor on the open coaft, 
where £he is not very fafe, and may be 
compelled^ by the fliifting of the wind, 



forfake her ftation 4I ; fo that much time 
is loft before (he can take in her lading. 
If once the bar grows rough, all commu- 
nication is cut off. The diflance of the 
anchorage will hardly admit of two turns 
a day 4 % and each of thefe is very expen- 
five, becaufe the Europeans chufe to em- 
ploy the natives and their boats, for fear 
of lofing their own 4 \ The chief trade 

41 The north weft winds are very dangerous ; 
N a Ihip muft not ftay till they blow hard, to weigh 
anchor and get fea room. Towards the latter 
end of September and in Ottober you have fre- 
quent gulls of foutherly wind, that oblige you to 
remove from the road. It is cuftomary in the 
road of Sallee to caft but one anchor, that the 
veflel may remove with greater difpatch in cafe 
of need ; or elfe they only fatten with a grappling 
and a fmall anchor for fear the bottom (hould 
cut their cables. 

4 * The beft anchorage is about three quarters 
of a league from the mouth of the river, to the 
north weft, leaving the tower of Afian to the 
fouth eaft. 

43 The captain of a trading veflel loft his long 
boat and his {loop oh the bar of Arache, the 
next port to Sallee; and at Sallee, one of their 
own boats perilhed, and only a fingle Moor 



that can be carried on with the Salletines, 
is in oil, wool, honey, wax, and Morocco 
leather ; they take nothing in exchange 
but warlike (lores, fuch as ammunition, 
great and ftnall guns, fabres, Sec. but they 
prefer money to all commodities, are-very 
fond of getting it from abroad, and fuffer 
none to go out *\ 

The bar may indeed be of fome fer- 
vice to the people of the country, as it 
makes any approach to their coaft ex- 
tremely difficult 1 but then this very de- 
fence femetimes turns againft themfelves* 
We faw an inftance of it during ths fort- 
night we lay at anchor in the road of Sal- 
lee. A fmall xebeque, enable to^etrinto. 

44 French money is not current at SaJlee ; |he 
coin of the country confifts of gold ducats, worth . 
10 French livres; the ounce worth iy fols 4 
deniers; the flus, 24 of which go to a blarwjuilkj 
and the alaquais, of which 80 make lut a hlan- 
quilje. . 



the iwrbowy ty? bar being then »npa|fi 
*fcle* came to w gnchor not far fforn us* 
We few feer make many fignals thtf 
whole day r at laft we lent fome of our 
people on board, who found her to be a 
prize that a Sallee rover had taken from 
the Portuguese* and was fending in with 
a party of his own crew. The poo* 
vrretches, having met with contrary winds* 
and not coming home fo foon as they ex- 
pe<2ed f had been for feveral days in want 
of provisions, and efpecially of waters 
They made fignals for immediate affift* 
ancc from land, but in vain. Some boats 
attempted to fupply them, but there was 
no getting over the bar, and fo it conti- 
nued for four days fucceffively, that 
the wretched crew muft probably have 
pertthed for want, within fight of the 
harbour, if we had not been at hand to 
affift them with all they wanted. Ex- 


cepting tfeis bar, there ia nothing remark- 
able in the harbour of Sallee* 

During my ftay afliore, I refided jt 
Rabath. I was told there was nothing 
worth feeing at Old Sallee, which is only 
inhabited by the lower fort, fo that I had 
no curiofity to go thither. What I am 
going to fay of Rabath, may however be 
applied to both towns, which I (hall fre- 
quently comprehend under one and the 
fame name. 

The houfes in Sallee are flat on the 
top ; they feldom exceed a ground floor, 
and have no windows, or any light but 
from the door of each room ; no orna- 
ments either within or without, except in 
the houfes of the foreign confuls $ thefe 
have both windows and furniture. The 
Moors fit on the ground, and have no 
other carpets than mats, or cushions that 

they call efiourmis. 




There are two principal ftreets in Ra- 
bath, which are tolerably wide ; thefc are 
the trading ftreets. The market is kept 
in one of them ; there the country people 
bring all the neceflaries of life. The 
ftreet is lined with (hops for different com- 
modhies and trades. The other ftreet is 
almoft all inhabited by (hoemakers, who 
make what they call baboucbes -, thefe are 
no other than flippers, and is all the Moors 
wear when they do not go barefooted, 
This ftreet is covered all acrofs with a plat- 
form made of hurdles, or boughs of trees, 
to (belter the workmen from the fun, which 
otherwife would annoy them in their open 
(hops. All the other ftreets are very nar- 
row. The quantities of oil made at Sal- 
lee 45 , together with the naftinefs of the 
houfes and their inhabitants, caufe a very 

offenfive fmell all over the town. In ge- 


45 They make oil with olives, but this is only 
for exportation; what they ufe at home is drawn 
from the organ nut, 



fieral,the whole makes a very mean and 
wretched appearance. 

• * 

The town is funfeunded with £ long 
range of walls, pierced with feverai *n* 
trances, each guarded by a particular kind 
of centry* who has no other mark of difi. 
tindion . than a ftaff in his hand* The 
walls are very high, but not the more 
folid. At fome diftances they are, fiip- 
ported by fquare projecting tpwfers* Of 
this whole circumference, which is pretty 
large^ fome parts are mouldering ajvray, 
fome look threatening, and the foundeft 
part would hardly withftand a broad- 

The burying places are enclofed be* 

tween the city walls and the fea ; thefe 


take up a great deal of room, as the fu- 
perflations l&oors never bury two bodies 
in the fame place, left they fjiould dif* 
turb the afhes of their fathers ; and to 

N prevent 


prevent fb criminal an indifcretion, they 
mark every grave with a ftone^ as a warn- 
ing to beware of digging on that fpot. 
In tonfo^uence of this, cuflom, all along 
the frafcr fide without the town* yop fee 
large fields: (tuck with thefe marks, which, 
at a jdiftance, * look like fugar canes, or 
fome other productions of the country'; 
and the more fo, as the fields that feed 
the lfrittg appear more bare than thofe 
that enclofe the dead. 

. The jnoft curious things in thefe bury- 
ing grounds, are focne little ftjuare pavil- 
ions, about fifteen feet high, topt with a 
little dome, or with a very flat cap ; the 
whole is white walhed, which gives it the 
appearance of fome place of note,, efpe- 
cially when feen from the road at fea, 
where they attract the notice of ftrangcrs* 
Thefe places are held in veneration by 
the people of the country. Each of thefe 



pavilions is ; the tomb of fome faiftt> lo 
urhofe folly, devotion and Wind fuperfti- 
tion have ere&ed a palace in the realms 
$f death. I (ball fpeak hereafte* of this 
kind cf faints. 

I wi(h 1 could have given a defection 
of the mobiles of Sal lee, but it Was not 
in itty power to get any information con*- 
terning them, either by my oWn infpec- 
tion, or the account of others- I do not 
ftifpedi the Moors of being ingenious 

enough fo have decorated the inlide of 
thefe edifices In a very elegant manner. 

" To complete this account of Sallce as 

far as I am able, considering the fliort ftay 
We made, there, f fliall here fubjoin, that 
the tower of Affan is within half £ 
quarter of a league of the town of Ra- 
bath> by the river fide. It is thought to 
have been built by the Portugueze. Its 

N 2 height 

:>« JixJL'i.. J**5 . i . 3T 


height may be about an hundred feet. 
It is about forty-fix feet fquare on the out- 
fide. You afcend to the top of this tower 
by fuch an eafy flight of fteps, that it 
would be no hard matter* to go up on 
horfeback. The brick arches that fup- 
port thefe ftairs, begin to yield to the. in- 
juries of time, and the upper ones are al- 
moft all fallen in. The walls are built 
with very fine (lone, and are feven feet 
thick. Within thefe walls is another 
fquare, containing one room in every ftory, 
pach of which has an opening that looks 
out upon the ftairs. I (hould have taken 
thefe rooms for prifons, had I not obferv- 
ed in one of them fome remains of paint- 
ings a frefco, in the manner of mouldings. 
The Moors make no ufe of this tower, 
nor have they any notion what it may 
have been intended for in former 



The tower of Aflan is fituated at the 
end of a fpacious piece of ground, encom- 
pafled with walls, but only the ruins of them 
now remain ; it was probably the place 
where fome palace or temple formerly 
flood, for the remains of feveral rows of 
pillars are ftill vifiblc, fome of which are 
partly (landing. I was defired to take no- 
tice of the ftone thefe pillars are made of $ 
this ftone, they told me, was taken from 
the water fide, where it is fo foft, that 
you may cut it with a knife, fo long as it 
is wafhed by the fea water, but when ex- 
pofed to the dry air, it grows exceeding 
hard, and is excellent for building. The 
tower of Aflan is the only antiquity ob- 
fervable in the neighbourhood of Sallee, 

Below the tower of Aflan, is a round 
tower, lower than the former, and pierced 
with feveral port holes ; behind this tower 
ilands the old citadel, of which it makes a 

* i 

N 3 part* 


part. This citadel is rather a heap of 
ruins than a fortrefs, yet any but the Mcors' 
might make foms thing of it. Its fitua- 
tion, j uft at the entrance of the harbour, 
is very advantageous, its extent conflder-r 
able, for it would lodge four thoufand 
men with eafe. This citadel was birilt 
by the Porttvgueze; it is falling to -decay, 
and the Salletines are too lazy to repair it. 
They have planted fome cannon on the 
tottering walls, vyhich crumble now and 
then, and* bring down both carriages and 
batteries along with them ; * you fee the 
broken pieces lying among the rock? 
whefe they have rolled down, and no 
body takes the pains to pick them up. 

To the j right of the tower of Aflan, 
ftands a pretty high turret; this is a 
tnofque, and the pavilion on the top 
ferves to give notice of the hours of prayer. 
Felow this mofque there is a battef-y of 



twenty-two pieces? sf cannon, irt better 
order than that of the citadel ; and laftly 
by the water fide, a riew one of fourteen 
gunSy alfnoft clofe to the ground. This 
is the only one to be feared on that fide* 
A good way from this battery, on the 
right, and by the fea fide, is a fmall fort, 
defended by three or four guns j the vici- 
nity of the fea has been fatal tq it j for 
whether by a ftorrri, or as fome fay by an 
<stf fliqtteke, the rock on which it is built 
was fplit, and the walls feparated. The 
rocks at the foot of this fort form a little 

' ' ' ' 

crefek, by means of which it is fometimes 
poffibte' to have a communication with 
the land, when the bar makes the en- 


trance into the harbour impracticable ; 
but this is not to be hazarded without 
great caution. I took notice, as I went 
along, that out of fifty guns which make up 
the whole defence c f the town of Sallec, 
not above twenty are fit for fervice. They 

" N'4 are 


arc placed $t random, without any regard 
to their different fi2jes, and mounted on 
fuch forry carriages, that they would in- 
fallibly \>c (haken to p]S£S?r if the guns 
were fired ofte^ ^4 ^ * ;, '^ ^ c&&r*xd£L<r 

Between the citi 
fhore, you fee little pavilions fcattered 
about j thefc arg the tombs of holy mufc 
felmen, and the ground between them is 
full of land marks, that point out the 
grayes of private pcrfons, 

There is nothing remarkable on th$ 
fide of the river, but a little turret, whjch 
is alfo p. mofque, and a handfome new 
battery of twenty-two gqns, erefted by 
fhe fea fide. 

Without the tpwpi are the gardens, 
]ands and pofleffions of the inhabitants.. 
\|T}}e gardens are yery extenfive, for thisj 





plain reafon, the land is the property of 
the firft occupier ; each takes as much 
ground as he thinks he wants and can 
till ; if he grows tired of it, he forfakes it,- 
and goes and fows in the next field, if no 
body has been beforehand with him.' In 
general, there is no fuch thing as absolute 
property, all the land belongs to the Em- 
peror ; but in this ftate of poverty and 
general want of land, every one thinks he 
has a right to feize upon the monarch's 
property, as long as his majefty is pleafed 
to make no ufe of it, nor to claim it, 
which happens fometimes, when a favor-' 
able opportunity offers, and a piece of 
groiind has been improved by the labour 
and induftry of the fubjedh The greateft 
ornament and rjche? of thefe gardens, con- 
fift in great plenty of orange, lemon and 
cedras trees ; they likewife produce large 
quantities of pomegranates and figs. Thefe 
frees are planted as in a nurfery ; and, 




without any art, form pleafant grtfves, 
where you breathe a cool and fragrant 
air, Thefe gardens Itkewife abound with 
water melons, calabalhcs, meringen*, to- 
matoes, and other produ&ions pecolkr to 
hot climates. . The orange tree thrives 
fecft in a hot futn, which alone can bring 
its fr oit to perfedfc maturity % however, it re- 
quires watering, and water kfcarce in Africa, 
«9 fometimes it does nGt rain for fix months 
together* therefore, in the Jiigheft pare 
of every garden, there is a well, out of 
which the water is raifed ihrqugh iZJhjRg. 
J , of eartheq pots* which move up and down. 

by means of a wheel that turns a milk 
ftone. The water is thus conveyed into 
z refervoir, from which iffue feveral pipes* 
which, (lanting downwards, are* fo con*- 
Ijrived as to difperfe it all over the gardeny 
through fimple drains under ground* each 
of them terminating at the foot of an 
prange tree. The oranges, lemons, ce- 


a ' . ' » / ' 


*fras, and every kind of Fruit and vegc- 
table that grows about Sal!ee are excellent ; 
in fhort, 1 know of nothing that is want- 
ing in the foil, but the induftry of the huf- 
bandman, who may be rewarded beyond 
his labour. It would be a great mrftake 
to imagine that Africa, and its burning foil; 
muft be but a vaft track of barren andi 
dry ground, unfit for vegetation. The 
interior parts indeed, by* the account of 
travellers,* are ai* immenfe' extent of Sc^ 
fcrta and burning fands, But it is wefl 
known that the parts bordering on the 
fta are very fertile. A good will,' and* 
mduftry, are what the Moors are w&nfmg'' 
ft*, and hence partly proceeds that air of 
drought and barrennefs which prevails 
throughout their country- 

The kingdom of Fez is one of the rnoft' 
fertile cantons of Africa, yet half die coun- 
try lie& fallow. Half a kague beyond; 
§a)fce ? it is almoft a defert. Nothing is 



to be feen but immenfe and naked plains, 
unadorned with a fingle plantation s not 
one tree is to be met with on the roads 
that lead from one town to another, and 
the weary traveller finds no fhelter from the 
fcorching fun. He muft carry tents along 
with him to fcreen him from the incle- 
mency of the weather by night, and alfe 

the provisions neceflary to fuftain life j for 
he may travel through a vaft tra£t with- 
out meeting one fingle Moor. Thcfe 
people, except in towns, do not live in 
houfes; they have no fixt habitations; 
ever wandering about the country, they 
remove fometimes one way, fometimes 
another, live in tents, and with their fami- 
lies form themfclVcs into little focieties, 
or moveable villages, which they call adou- 
arres. Thofe who thus inhabit the de- 
ferts, are half fatfages, make as it were 
a feparate nation, and have little or no in- 
tercourfe with the inhabitants of towns. 



The inhabitants of Sallce may be di- 
vided into four clafies ; the true Moors, 
the Negroes, the Jews, arid the Rene-* 
gadoes. % ' 

. - * 

The Moors are.fubjeds of the King of 
Mprocco, born ii> the religion of Ma- 
homet. The Negroes are natives of the 
fouthern and . middle parts of Africa, £r 
yages who have been made ilaves by the 

The Jews are that wandering people,' 
fo well known by their calamities, de-. 
fpifed of all nations, never- able to form, 
one of their own, anddeteited by the very 
Moors, notwithftanding many conformi- 
ties in their outward wor(hip j but fuch is 
the fatality of their lot, that I verity be- 
lieve a Jew is more defpifed and abhorred 
by the Moors than a Christian. Never- 
thelefs, there are almoft as many Jews as 
. Moors in Sallee, and notwithftanding the 




contempt with which they are treated, 
they go opp«erci0ng their talent of cheats 
iftg | but thoy jnuft be very cautious, for 
the leaft mifdemeanor, if detected* would 
coil them a baftinado. If a Jew happens 
to ftand in the way of a Moor, the latter 
mil ftrikc him with his fift, or bit him a 
flap on the face, and the poor wretch has 
bo right to refent the affront as it deferves* 
A Jew who ftrikes a Moor has his hand 
cut off without any trial ; if he had a 
complaint againft the Moor, he might 
have carried it before the governor t it is 
true he would have flood but a poor* 
chance at that tribunal. The Jews are 
not allowed to (et their feet in the burial 
places. By way of diftin&ion they wear 
a cap and a black garment ; black is the 
colour to whteh the Moors have the 
greateft averfion. 

The Renegadoes are Chriftians of differ* 
ent nations, who have embraced the reli- 



gion;of Mahomet from various mc&via df 
Mitersft? fame having fallen into the. hwds 
of tta Moors, have abjured Chriftijrtty to 
efcape the mifer ies of flavery ; others from 

laziaefs ajod a l6ve o( plunder, have bora 
induced to afibciate with 1 a people, noted 
for both. Thefe Renegadoes are lor tha 
moft part • worthlcfa perform, who having 
tendered theoifelves obnoxious to the laws 
at home, found no fafety hut in flying 
into ^ «><Wry whe*e they arQ opt of 
reach. Thefe mifcreaqta ^e cpoftly Jta«* 
lians apd Spaniards ; the Moora have fenfe 
enough to defpife them. - I admired the 
anfwer of a Salletine, who had been long 
a prifoner on boajd the Freach gaiHes : 
We afked him how he came not to ^urn^ 
Chriftian j cc a good Moor, faid he, .(Jan, 
" never become a good Chriftian, and a 
u good Chriftian," (pointing contempt- 
uoufly at one of thefe Renegadoes) " can 
* c never make a good Moor/' The Moors, 
however, are too happy in having thefe 





Rencgadoes among them ; it is of them 
tbey have learnt the little they know of 
(hip building and navigation* Some of 
thefe Renegadoes are fo bafe as to com- 
mand Sallee rovers, and go a cruifing 
againft their own nation, and bring away 
their countrymen, loaded with chains, 
to deliver them up to the worft of flavery : 
but whatever obligations the Moors may 
be under to thefe apoftates, they value 
them no more than they deferve, and 
will not acknowledge them as Moors $ 
they never call them but by the oppro- 
brious name of Renegadoes. 


The ufual drefs of the Salletines confifts 
€>f a long narrow piece of white fluff, 
which they call eckque. The men and 
the women wrap it round their body in 
a different manner. Mod of the men 
wear it only round their waifl, and leave 
their arms, fhoulders, and legs, bare. This 



white habit makes the Moors look like Co 


many ftatues •, thofe who are employed in 
any work that requires freedom of mo- 
tion, wear no eckque, but a waiftcoat 
without fleeves* and large trdwfers, that 
teach from above the waift down to the 
ankles. The Moors all wear the Turk- 
i(h turban, which is a kind of white hand- 
kerchief, twitted, and bound round and 

round their forehead ; the top of the head 
is covered with a red cap or caul. They 
let their beards grow, but cut off their 
hair: the women however wear their 

. The women wear the eckque, as well 
as the men ; they wrap themfelves up in 
it from head to foot. Thev are not al- 


lowed to (hew their faces when they go 
abroad ; an opening or two are contrived 
in the fluff, or in the folds of the eckque, 

O through 


through vvhich they, enjoy the benefit, of 
feeing every thing, without the pleafure 
of being feen, which is no fmall denial 
to the fsx. The hulbands are exceflively 
jealous ; their wives are always {ftut up 
within iteors, and are not differed to fpeak 
with any man but their near relations > 
you feTdcm meet, any in the ftreets of 
Sallee, except a little before fun-fet, when 
they fomctimes go to pray in the burying 
grounds, but then they are fo well wrapped 
up, that you cannot poffibly fee any thing 
but two large eyes, which rather excite 
than gratify your curiofity. The freedom' 
of the Jewifh women is quite a contraft 
to the perpetual captivity of the Moorilh 
tyives. They wear no eckque* aad go 
with their faces uncovered. This only 
relates to the common drefs of the Sal- 


letines; I faw no other worn, except by' 
the Governor. The day he reccivtd us 
in fortj), he was not in his naandrilla,, but 




-in the right Turkifh dre(s. As for the 
women, they are fo little feen, that I had 
no opportunity of obferving what other 
clothing they may wear under the 

The police of the town is in the banc's 
pf the Governor 5 who is at once magis- 
trate, judge, and fometimes executioner* 
In the morning he goes to the flefh mar- 
ket, which is kept by the river fide. Who- 
ever has a bullock to difpofe of, brings it 
to this place, kills it, cuts off the be ft 
piece, and carries it to the Governor, who 
upon the apparent goodnefs of the meat, 
determines at once how many pounds the 
dealer (hall fell for a blanqutJle. ./The 
wft of the day, the Governor rides about 
the town* mounted on a mule, and fol- 


lowed by a fervant armed with a {lick. 
If he meets with any one that is guilty of 
a trefpafcj he directly condemns him to a 

O 2 cejtain 


certain number of ilripes, as many as he 
thinks proper, and his fcrvant is ordered 
to infiidt them upon the fpot with hiY 
ftick, unlefs Mr. Governor ehufes to take 
that trouble himfelf, or if his arm be not 
too much tired with the bufinefs* The 
fufferer can get no redrefs, there being no- 
appeal to any fupreme court of judicature^ 
and it is taken for granted that what he 
fuffered he had well deferved. Capi- 
tal crimes alone are referyed for the cogni- 
zance of the Emperor. The principle 
this prince goes upon is to puni(h by the 
amputation of the offending member.. 
The culprit is brought before him, the 
crime is laid open, fentence is immediately 
paflcd, the executioner is any one wha 
happens to have a knife about him. He 
performs the operation juft as he pleafes. 
It is eafy to, conceive what a poor wretch 
muft fuffer in the hands of fuch a btingler* 
who with cutting, fawing, and breakings 
1 at 


at lafl gets the limb off, and applies no 
other dreffing to the wound, than a little 
ftreet dirt, and then pours melted rofin 
over it. I have been allured many fur- 
vive this operation* 

There is no other tribunal but the Em- 
peror's, no law but his will 5 he advifes 
with no one ; in fhort, he exercifes the 
moil unlimited defpotifm. From this ac- 
count we may eafily guefs what mud be 
the confequence of a government founded 
on caprice, injuftice, and cruelty, and form 
a juft idea of the Mooriih nation ; a peo- 
ple void of induftryor true courage, lazy, 
profligate, ftupid, fuch as vile flaves muft 
be expedled to be. 


It now remains to fpeakto that article 
which (truck me moft in the fuperftition 
of the Moors, it is that of their faints. If 
among the meaneft of the vulgar there is 

O 3 found 





« * 

found fome oddity, who'eiih'er from n at U-* 
ral deleft- or. from affeftAtionj has. any, 
thing whimfical or ridiculous in his beha- 
viour, he is dire&ly accounted a faint; all, 
frill down before hinv run to kife his* 
hand, and beg his protection ; all from 
him is refpeftajble. ; they Court hisftieod- 
(hip, dread hi^ anger; his snemy becomes 
the enemy of the people, and frequently 
the viftim of blind fupcrftition 4 \ The. 
crafty faint, who perhaps has put on the* 
appearance of madnefs, only fop the ad--' 
Vantage he 'reaps from it, grows more ex* • 
tfavagant and more holy than ever; he 
then becomes more powerful, and all his 
wants are fupplied ; they let him take; 
whatever he has a fancy .far, and kils the* 
hand that rubs them. Jt is aftonifljing 
hmv far the biindtufs of mankind wiH po. 


. 4 * It would be in the power of one of thffe; > 
faints to caufe any nian to be ftoned to deaths 
vvhc itojld chance 10 difpleafe him. 



and how great is the power of fuperfti- 
tion, which can fomctimes make them fa 
inconfiftent with tliem&Ivcs, and will fi- 
le'nce their warmeft feelings! Is it credible 
that the mod heinous affront, reproach 
and injury that can be offered to a Moor, 
(whofe ruling pafljon is the mod furious 
jealoufy) mould be accounted by him a 
glory, a merit, an honor, when ; it is. .be- 
stowed by one of thefe faints, who deiire 
no better than to enjoy in this world the 
foretafte of Mahomet's paradife. The. 
following fad is pofitively afferted : A 
bride, with her hulhand, and feveral per- 
sons that had attended the wedding, were 
crofling the river in a .boat j one of thefe 
faints happened to crofs over with them ; 
he took a fancy to the bride, his holineis 
fignified his will and pleafure ; it was 
heard with adoration ; and the beatified 
bridegroom promoted his fan<3ification,_ 
by covering the faint with his own cloak j 
O 4 the 


i * • 


the company cried out, oh bleffednefs f 
oh felicity ! and the Moor received the 
compliments of all prefent upon his pre- 
ferment to this holy dignity. However, I 
am told the faints are not all fo lucky as 
to acquire thefe extenfive privileges. 

When a faint dies, they ere£fc over his 
grave one of thofe little pavilions mentioned 
above. I had the good fortune to fee and 
fpealc with one of thefe reputed faints, and 
perhaps I may be thought to overcharge 
the picture, but I really do not. The 
particular whim of this man was to imi- 
tate with his lips the explofion of bombs 
and cannon. He went bellowing about 
the ftrcets all day long, and muttering 

* * 

like the ancient fybils. As he entered the. 
room where we were, he began to breathe 
his divine effluvia all over it, going into 
every corner to let off his bombs and great 
guns with his mouth j he then partook 



of fome fruits and other eatables which 


vvc gave him, and I was affured it would 
have been no hard matter to have pre- 
vailed upon the faint to drink wine, hut 
for the many foreigners, and dill more for 
the other Moors, who w£re prcfent ; al- 
though it is a capital crime in a Maho- 
metan to tafte wine : but in all countries 
it is enough that a man thinks he has 
fome connexion with the deity, to allow 
himfelf many privileges. 

The wind that Hew hard at fea, and 
kept us prifoners in Sallee for feveral days, 
abated at laft, and fuffered us to crofs the 
bar fafety. We eagerly feized this mo- 
ment, and once more got to our (hip, 
fully refolved not to hazard fuch another 
delay. We yyere defirous of going im* 
mediately to Cadiz: the length of our 
flrft voyage had greatly lowered our pro- 
visions, fo that we had no time to lofe. 





2202 VOYAGE to -CADIZ. 

.We therefore got ready on the i oth of 
September, after lying at anchor fourteen 
•days before Sallee. In vain did they en- 
deavour to detain us $ they made -a fignai 
from land the cUy before we fet off ; 
we fent dire&ly to enquire what was the 
meaning of this fignai, but there was no 
getting alhore; the bar was then imp affable, 
id we t could get no information 4I . The 
next day x the wind being favorable, we 
thought it beft not to mils the opportunity, 
fo we failed for Cadiz, where we arrived 
in four days, on the 13th of September, 
at feven in the evening. 

As we had touched upoji the coaft of 
Africa, we were of courfe to perform qua-*- 

47 During our ftay at Cadiz, we received 3 
letter from Sallee, by which we learnt, that the 
meaning of this fignai :wa$, they wanted us 
to come afliore, to receiye a confidpratye prefent 
of provifions and refrefhments, which the Kino; 
of Morocco had ordered to be offered to us, 
vpoji his being informed of our arrival at Sal- 

rantine ; 


rantine ; however, the phyficians of health 
came and examined us, and as they found 
no fick on board, we were .allowed tor 
come afliore the very next day after oup 
arrival. I waited on the Governor, to 
afk his confent, before I entered upon my 
operations-; and then, proceeded to the 
Marquis dc la Victoria's to get leave to 
make my observations at the marine ob- 
iervatory, which was granted. Mr. Puy- 
abry, the French conful, was fo obliging 
as to take upon him all the neceffaryforma- 
Uties for entering my inftruments and the 
clocks into the city ; this was no eafy mat- 
ter. All the permiffions obtained for that 
purpofe could not exempt us from a Ariel 
fearch at the curiam houfe, and it was not 
till after many removals and much trouble, 
that my inftruments were conveyed to the 
obfervatory. The clocks did not fuffer 
the lead injury from all this making: in- 
deed Mr. Le Roy bent his whole atten- 


lion that way ; but it may fafely be affirm-* 
cd» from the trial they have undergone in 
this voyage, that thefe clocks are very 
cafily carried about, and that, with a lit- 
tle attention, they arc not liable to ilop or 
be difcompofed, which is more perhaps 
than can be faid of many others. I was 
foon informed that fo far from being of-* 
fended at the fearch my inftruments had 
undergone, I might think myfelf well off 
if I were not fearched at lead as ftjridHy,' 
every time I went in or out at the city 
gates 4 \ This cuftom appears the more 


+* This fearch is made in Che moft ridiculous 
and indecent manner imaginable ; no part of the 
clothing is exempt : their aim is to prevent the 
exportation of piaftres, and confequentljr no one 
is fuffered to go in or out of the town with more 
than five piaftres about him, nor even with any 
confiderable fum of French money. Tobacco 
js likewife prohibited ; not long ago, this ab- 
surdity was carried fb far, as even to throw away 


r » 


ridiculous to ftrangers, as irexifts nowhere 
feut at Cadiz. 

The city of Cadiz is too well known td 
need a min ute defcription ; befides, there 
are but few, monuments to excite admira- 
tion. The only remarkable edifice, , or 
rather that will be fo in time, if ever i it is' 
finilhed, is a church all built with matble. 
Ift fifty years, they hate raifed it to the 
height of thirty feet. The fortifications' 
on the fide of the land gate are very fine. 
The otrfy walk about Cadiz is by the fea' 
fide, towards the road ; it is called the 
Lame da ; it is expofed to the fcorching 
fun in the day time, and at night to the 
cold air of the fea» and to the leaft wifcd 

what fnuff you bad m yottr fnuff-box, and ortfy w " 
leave enough, for the day. The friars alone an?. ' : 
exempted from thefearch; no doubt they are 
fuppofed to be incapable of making an ill ufe of 
the refped ibewiv to, and the confidence repofa£ •■ 
in them. 



(bat blows. This difagreeable fituation 

prevents any trees from growing thpro 
above fifteen feet high. The profpedt of 
the- road, and the ihips continually going 
in and out, is in my mind the only plea- 
fure of the Lameda ; however, as it is the 
only walk about town, the moil brilliant 
<jompany meets there every evening. Long 
cloaks and flapped hats muft not appear 
there till the hour of the Angelus^ but from 
tjhat moment you do as you pleafe. The foot 
walk is railed in on both fides with ftone, 
and on the outfide the coaches drive gently 
round, drawn by the prettied mules in the 

I might have faved myfelf the trouble 
of removing my inftruments to Cadiz ; I 
found a great many, and of the beft con- 
(trodion, in the marine obfervatory. This 
obfervatory was eredted under the direc- 
tion of Mr. Godin. It is advantageoufly 






. W.i. 

DES$$|feoN of CADIZ. 307 

■ *>■■■ ■ 

,. fituated by the fea-fide, en the top of* a 
: . very high tower. The inftruments are all 
placed in a very fpacious fquare faioon, 
with windows on all fides, that command 
the whole , compafs of the horizon 5 this 
faloon opens into a gallery towards the. 

fea, whence you, have a full view of the 

■.'■*■» < 

whole iky* and (till better than from the' 

> / platform of the faloon. The death of the 

y* ■'.*■ •'• l^ft director had occafioned fome negle<9; 

. » ... :v . in the obfervatory, fo that when I came 

'^ : V i'there, the apparatus was not quite in or-, 

{#• fv der; but Mr. Tofino, a lieutenant in the 

••' : /; ' • • ■ •" \ . • . • 

:'; _.'.' fcrvice, yvho had been juft appointed to fuc- * 

ceed him r was preparing to reftare and; 

.' v. ..." put it to rights, and to enter upon a courfe* 

of obfervations, which will be the more • 

.» • . ... 

ufeful, as very few good ones .have been * 
hitherto made in this city. I had been di~ t 
refted to enquire what obfervations had . 
been m^de relative to the determination 

* » t m \ 

of the longitude 'of Cadiz, concerning, 


■ ■ .• « 
.< *• 

- V 

' r 

. '1 

4d8 DESClilPTlbN o* CADIZ. 

which there are great doubts ; I made all 
the enquiries I poflibly could, but was not 
able to find in the obfervatory, either ob- 
fervations, or the leaft fign of there hav- 
ing been any made, or any journal kept 
of fuch obfervations. The eclipfe of 1 764 
wa* the only thing that appeared to have 
been accurately obferved. I had it in 


charge to collect thefe obfervations, and .^ 

Mr. Tofino obliged me with * them. I •• * 

found at Cadiz/ Meflieurs Doz and Me- . 
dina, two lieutenants and aftronomers, ap- 
pointed by the Court of Spain to go to 
California, there to obferve the tranfit of 
Venus, jointly with Mr. Chappe *. • They 
were in hourly expedtatioh of failing, 
but the fleet being retarded,' I had the fa- 
iisfa&ion, during the whole time I (laid at 
Cadiz, of having * thofe gentlemen clofely * 
attend my obfervations ; they were even fo 
kind as to make fome with me relative to 

my objeA. 

A (lay 

* Sec page 8, 

. . . • 



A ftay of tweoty days at Cadiz, ena- 
bled me to go through all the operations 
relative to my purpofe, and I thought I 
might flatter my felf with having thoroughly 
verified the time keepers in this place j it 
may well be fuppofed I was eager to draw 
up the refults. The different afpedts in 
which they may be viewed, would require 
, long and minute difcuffions : I (hall there- 
fore confine myfelf to give the fubftance 
of them, fufficient to convey an idea of the 
fuccefe of the trial. 

The refult of the firft obfervations I 
made at Cadiz was this : 

That a (hip which fhould have been at 
fea an hundred and nine days, would have 
been mifled by one of thefe watches, only 
56 minutes of a degree at her landing at 
Cadiz, which makes an error of about ' 

P fourteen 


fourteen leagues in longitude " By the 
other watch» which is that tvhich had 
been opened at the ifland of Satat Pierre, 
the error would have been of i degree 
« 45 minutes, that is, about twenty-feven 


Now, the moft experienced and fkilful 
navigators make no fcruple to own that in 
' a run of two months, and fometimes left, 
they are apt to miftake by fifty or fixty 
leagues. How advantageous would it be 
then to the navy, to have a watch that, at 
the end of four months, would bring the 
longitude right, within fourteen leagues* 

49 In this determination, I fuppofe the longi* 

tude of Cadiz to be 8 deg. 21 min. but there is 

* reafon to chink this city lies 12 minutes farther 

weft than it has been placed hitherto, which lef- 

fens the error of the' time keepers by juft fo 

t^ many. They both agreed in placing Cadiz more 

x weft ward thap it (lands in the maps. 





toubtlefir the fbccefi <sfmrhi$fe keep- 
er would have been perfe&ly fatisfa&or^? 
had it not undergone a greater ^Iteratb 
than I could have wifhed, during my (la 
at Cadiz. The feries of obfervatiofcis I 
made at that place, affords an inftance of 
the compenfations of irregularity that may 
happen in the movement of a watch, and 
(hew the neceffity of intermediate verifi- 
cations, to judge of its march with any 
certainty in long voyages. 

Having taken a fufficient number of ob~ 
fervations, I fent my watches and inftru- 
ments on board, and only waited for a 
fair wind to fct fail, but was detained 
twelve days longer. This delay, the 
fcantinefs of our pro vi (ions, and the ad* 
vanced feafon of the year, determined us 
to give up going to Lifbon, arid it was re- 
folved that we fhould go dire&ly to Breft. 

P a 


♦»!« VOYAGE from CADIZ 

We failed out of the road of Cadiz*on 
the 1 4th of Gftober ; an cafterly wind 
drove us out to fea, and the next day we 
paffed Cape St. Vincent. We then be* 
gun to fteer our courfe northward ; but 
the winds prcfently failed us, and we had 
aim oft a conftant calm for a whole week, 
which was the more difagreeable, as we 
had a high and rolling fea. We im- 
puted this fwell, which even a calm could 
not abate, to fome guft of wind that had 
lately blown in this latitude ; this was the 
more probable, as we had obferved the 
water very rough in the road, one day 
while we were yet at Cadiz, and it feerned 
to be very foul weather at fea. This re- 
conciled us to the difappointment of hav- 
ing been wind bound. 


It was about the latitude of Lifbon that 
we were becalmed ; happily for us, what 
little wind there was, brought us on in our 
way, but this was fo trifling, that it would 


to BREST, % , 213 

have taken up a long time to have doubled 
Cape Finifterre. At laft a favorable wind 
fprung up, and in a few days we got clear 
of the Spanish coaft, and in the latitude 
of Brelt 

We were going to reconnoitre the place 
on the 28 th of October, and were prepa- 
ring to go in, when a fudden gale from the 
fouth obliged us to give up our intention 
of landing, and to think of nothing but 
keeping in the latitude. The wind fhift- 
ing more to the weft, without abating in 

the leaft, the fea grew very tempeituous, 


and the horizon very thick. We were 

toffed for three days with a violent ftorm, 

waiting for the clearing up of the weather, 

and for a more tradable wind, to go and 

examine the land, which our eftimatc 

brought us nearer to than vye wifhed, Our 

ihip fuftained feveral jmart (hocks, yet we 

were able to keep up our fails almoft the 

whole time. 



The 30th of Oflobcr in the morning 
the wind abated a little, and turned to 
north weft \ the horizon cleared up ; all, 
in ffiort, put on a promising afped for our 
running towards the fhore. At noon wfc 

difcovered the iflc of Ufhant 5 leaving tbi9 
iHand to the northward, we entered the 
pafiagc of Iroife, which brought us fairly 
into the road of Breft, where we came to 
an anchor at feven in the evening. 

Thus ended a voyage of four months 
and a half, lucky in every particular, I 
dare not add, fuccefsful in the execution ; 
that muft be left to the judgment of the 
public. Being landed at Breft, I made 
ufe of the firft moments of fair weather, 
as they could not be expected to be fre- 
quent at this advanced feafon. 1 foon got 
a fufficient number of obfervations to clofe 
the trial of the time keepers. I then de- 
livered them up into the hands of Mr. 

and PARIS, 315 


Lc Roy, and returned to Paris, where I 
arrived on the 28th of November. I had 
colleded on board the (hip all the obfer- 
vations I had made for trying the watches, 
fo that I was very foon able to give an 
account to the Academy both of my ope- 
rations and of their refults. 




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