Page images

while minor efforts find so much favour and encouragement, our liberal and enlightened citizens will feel an interest in an undertaking of such magnitude, and such singular difficulty-and which promises so much for the honour of our country, and the benefit of science.

Expedition to the Niger.-THE publick has already been informed of the total failure of the late expeditions, fitted out by the British government, to explore the interiour of Africa. The following letters throw some light on the subject, particularly respecting the expedition intended for the Niger. They were sent from Senegal to William S. Shaw, Esq. of Boston, by whose politeness we are allowed to publish them.



Senegal, Sept. 5, 1817.

• Finding nothing here now worthy of your acceptance, and thinking an account of the English expedition intended for the Interiour would be interesting, I requested a French friend of mine, who was some time with Capt. Campbell about the coast last year, before the expedition started, and was at Sierra Leone when it returned, to give me an account of particulars. I am not certain that entire confidence can be placed in his account, though he had every means of being rightly informed. It seems the expedition started from the banks of the Rio Nunez in February, that they proceeded about a hundred and fifty miles, when the chief of the country prevented their proceeding farther, under some feigned pretext. After stopping there about four months, and almost all the animals having died, and seeing no prospect of being allowed to proceed, Capt. Campbell determined on endeavouring to regain the Rio Nunez, that he might save from pillage and total loss such articles of value as remained. He died in two days after arriving at the point he started from, and was buried by the side of his friend, Major Peddie. The circumstances attending the loss of officers were somewhat singular. Major Peddie and Capt. M'Rea died before they began their march; Capt. Campbell and a Mons. Comer, a French naturalist, who was with them, died after their return, and they were all buried near each other. Though the loss was great in officers, it was very small on the part of the men-two only were lost on the journey, one of whom was drowned. Of over two hundred animals which they took with them, three only, I think, arrived again on the bank of the Rio Nunez. The persons composing the expedition are now at Sierra Leone, and meditate another attempt. Lieut. Stoko, of the navy, is now the senior officer. He was on the lakes attached to Sir James Yeo, but was made


prisoner, and was since then in our back country. He is gone with three men to visit a powerful chief at Peembo, to endeavour to sesure his protection. If he succeeds, another attempt will be made, but under the most unfavourable circumstances, as most of the men are discouraged.

The following is a translation of a letter containing the French account above mentioned.

Dear Sir,

Senegal, Sept. 4, 1817.

I will endeavour to gratify you with a statement of the facts, which I have been able to collect, during my stay at Sierra Leone, concerning the unfortunate expedition to the Niger. On the death of Major Peddie, Capt. Campbell succeeded to the command. He felt the desire, he had always cherished, of tracing in his route the course of the Gambia, and of determining the geographical position of various points. He resolved to take a more easterly direction, which obliged him to pass through a rugged and dangerous tract of country-a circumstance very unfavourable to the success of the undertaking. The company left Kakundy on the first of February. The baggage was so great an incumbrance, at that time, that the fine Arabian horses, which were designed for the use of the officers, were necessarily employed in transporting it. The whole company began their march on foot. This measure was the more unfortunate, as the health of the officers suffered from it severely, and it proved fatal to the horses, which, little accustomed to support so great burdens, sunk under the fatigue. In the mean time, the company arrived, after a painful march of about twelve days, at the village of Panietta, at the distance of a little more than one hundred and fifty miles from Kakundy. During this march, so many of the beasts of burden died, that Čapt. Campbell was obliged to employ the natives to carry his baggage. This mode of transportation was the cause of many robberies, and of much disquietude to the travellers.


At the commencement of his journey, Capt. Campbell had made the chief of the country acquainted with the object of his voyage, and received many protestations of friendship. But on his arrival at Panietta it was easy to discover, that the natives were alarmed at seeing so great a number of Europeans coming among them. He was therefore detained under various pretexts for the space of four months, expecting, each moment, a favourable termination on the part of the King of Fouta, to enable him to pursue his route towards the Niger. During this long and unexpected delay the expedition had to struggle against the unhealthiness of the climate, famine, and a disease still more terrible than either. In spite of all the means, which were used to procure necessary provisions, the scarcity became so great, that the comVol. VII. No. 2.


After having

pany were reduced to a very small allowance. long waited in vain, and employed every means to obtain permission to continue their march towards the East, Capt. Campbell was forced to return in his first track. Having a vast quantity of baggage, but very few animals of burden remaining, he was obliged to employ the same mode of transportation as before, and this was followed by the same consequences. Many of his effects were pillaged, others were destroyed. Finally, after a very painful march, the expedition arrived at Kakundy, the point from which it started. Capt. Campbell's health had already begun to decline by reason of fatigue, and the chagrin he felt at the ill success of his undertaking; these, together with the unhealthiness of the climate, had worn down his strength, and exhausted his spirits, and he died in two days after his arrival at the Rio Nunez.

Syllabus of Dr. Nicholls' Lectures.-Dr. Frank Nicholls of London, who died in 1778, aged 80, Professor of anatomy at Oxford, and one of the physicians of George II, lectured on Anatomy with great reputation at that University, and in London between the years 1721 and 1743, and invented the method of preparations of the human body by corroded injections. A considerable number of preparations, made by himself, and remarkable for minuteness and perfection, and his large collection of fine specimens of urinary calculi, were several years ago given to the anatomical museum of Harvard College, Cambridge, by his son John Nicholls, Esq. LL. D. of Kensington near London. This gentleman has recently sent to the same institution the copy of the syllabus of his father's lectures, which he used, and which contains a few of his manuscript notes. The high estimation in which this celebrated Professor's lectures and demonstrations were held, and the circumstance, that those who have read anatomical lectures in England, since his time, have been his pupils or the scholars of his pupils, renders highly acceptable this record of the doctrines he inculcated.

Curious manuscript of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates. Mr. Nicholls has also given, to be deposited in the same museum, a manuscript in the Greek character, which is a preeminent specimen of correct and beautiful penmanship. It is the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, written in the year 1733 by a clergyman, who was also a schoolmaster, of the name of John Thomasine, and who lived in the confines between Cheshire and Yorkshire. He wrote a Pindar, which he presented to Queen Anne. She gave it to her minister, the Earl of Oxford, who gave it to his brother, the collector of books. It is in the Oxford collection in the British museum, where it is a Show Book.

Dr. Mead, the grandfather of Mr. Nicholls, afterwards employed Mr. Thomasine to make a manuscript of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, for which he was liberally rewarded. Dr. Mead bequeathed it to his son in law, Dr. Frank Nicholls. From him it came to his son, John Nicholls Esq; who has consigned it to our University, to be preserved in the anatomical museum, as an example of finished chirography, which, from its execution, and the recollections with which it is associated, always must be an object of curiosity and interest. It has been compared with the Pindar, and acknowledged to be written with superiour beauty.

The characters are made with such exact uniformity, and so completely finished, that it has the appearance, even upon a critical examination, of being an elegant specimen of printing. According to the prices, which rarities of this description bear at present, its value may be estimated at from twelve to fifteen hundred pounds sterling.

This work, with the syllabus, was sent to Mr. Boylston, to be presented by him, who has procured them enclosed in an appropriate mahogany case, with a sketch of the history of the books affixed, and presented them in the name of his friend the donor, agreeably to their destination.


Ward Nicholas Boylston Esq. has established at the University a new institution, called the Boylston prize for elocution,' of which we shall say more hereafter.

Salem East India Marine Society-[WE have received with great pleasure the following communications respecting the Marine Society and Athenæum in Salem. We have been much gratified with visiting these institutions, and are glad of this opportunity of giving the publick a short notice of their plan and design. They are highly creditable to the town, and calculated to be the mediums of great usefulness and improvement to its inhabitants. The Marine Society, in particular, is founded on principles of benevolence, as well as utility. It is by no means exclusive or local in its influence. It embraces in its operations the interests of Com. merce, and the science of Navigation at large. The cabinet is an extensive and rare collection of curiosities, both in nature and art, elegantly arranged in a spacious room; and we are confident, that no person, who visits Salem, will think the time ill spent, which he may devote to examining it. Would not the establishment of similar societies in all our commercial towns, having some bond of union among themselves, contribute very much to the advancement of Commerce, and the sciences of Geography and Navigation? The Athenæum is a library of well chosen books-few, perhaps, of the same extent are more valuable. The selection in the sci

ences, in history, and some other departments is excellent. It is under regulations, which give its members every advantage, that such an institution could afford.]

The Marine Society was first established at Salem in October, 1799, and was incorporated by the Legislature, by an Act, passed the 3d of March, 1801. The object of the Society, (as it is succinctly stated in the Act of Incorporation,) is for the laudable purpose of affording relief to disabled seamen and to the indigent widows and families of deceased members and others, and of promoting a knowledge of navigation and trade to the East Indies.'-By the rules of the Society no person is eligible as a member unless he has actually navigated the seas near the Cape of Good Hope, or Cape Horn, either as master or commander, or factor or supercargo of some vessel belonging to Salem, or, if the person is a resident in Salem, of some vessel belonging to a port in the United States. The officers of the Society, who are chosen annually in January, are a President, a Committee of Observation, consisting of three members, a Treasurer, an Inspector of the Journals, and a Secretary. It is the duty of the Committee of Observation, with the consent of the President, to purchase such books of history, voyages, travels, and navigation, as they may deem useful to the Society; and it is the duty of the members to collect such useful publications and curiosities, as they think will be acceptable to the Society, either as donations, or as temporary loans for the use of the Society. Every member bound to sea is entitled to receive a blank Journal from the Secretary, in which he is required to enter the occurrences of his voyage, and particularly his observations of the variations of the compass. bearings and distances of capes and head lands, the latitude and longitude of ports, islands, rocks, shoals, and of soundings, tides, and currents; and on his return, he is to deliver such Journal to the Inspector of the Journals for the use of the Society. It is the duty of the Inspector to arrange these Journals, and to record in books kept for the purpose, such communications as the President and Committee deem useful to navigation. The widows and children of deceased members, or (should they have none) their parents, who may need assistance, are entitled to receive a proportion of the interest of the funds, for their support. The Society is continually adding to the number of its members; the whole number from its first establishment to the present time is 151, of whom 114 are now living. The Journals, which have been already furnished by the members, contain much valuable nautical and mercantile information; and have been carefully examined and arranged by the Hon. Nathaniel Bowditch, one of its most distinguished members, who has long served the Society in the important office of Inspector of the Journals. The funds of the Society are invested in publick stock, and are gradually augmenting. There is

« PreviousContinue »