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Some years ago, it was the author's privilege to become interested, in a small way, in trade with the South Sea. Although not of great personal profit or benefit at the time, so many and varied were the commercial interests presented, that a journal was kept, of the ups and downs of trade and adventures among the Pacific Islands. These notes by the wayside, are merged in the following pages.
From the movements taking place among the great maritime powers of the world, England, Germany, France and America, in regard to the islands of the Pacific Ocean, with all of which the intelligent reader is familiar, the author is strengthened in the hope that a work relating to a region of such vast prospective benefits to the United States, and the world at large, may be read with some degree of interest as well as profit.
The immense field encompassed within the bound
aries of Oceanica, together with many island groups
lying beyond its limits, would make it almost impossible to visit and survey in the lifetime of any one person. From this fact, I am sure the writer will be dealt lightly with, for the necessary frequent reference made to the valuable writings, notes and personal experiences of others. In the endeavor to brush away the cobwebs of time. or brighten up or throw light on the dark shadows cast over many portions of Oceanica by the veil of romance and tradition, I may perhaps be engaged in a herculean task. The truth, however, I am sure will prove “stranger than fiction,” and a good deal more profitable. In this respect some pains have been taken to make the following work in regard to history, discovery, ethnology, biography, chronology, geography, area, population and products, standard and reliable,
Pacific Ocean.—Early Navigators.-Commercial Possibil.”
ities.—Japanese Black Stream.—South Sea Bubble......
Galapagos Group.–Marquesas Group.–Island of Juan Fer-
Caroline Islands.-The Great Atoll of Hogoleu.-Inhabit-
CHAPTER , XVI.
THE BIRTH, GROWTH AND DEATH OF ISLANDS.
Volcanic and Earthquake Lore.—Volcanic Fire-belt of the Western Hemisphere.—Its Flow through South America.-Through Central America and Mexico, and the Pacific Coast.—Through the Islands.-Theory of Volcanoes and Earthquakes......................................... 243
The Panama Canal.—Memorandum Statement of Panama Canal.-Nicaragua Canal.—The Eads Tehuantepec Ship Railway.—Commercial Results Anticipated.—Political Considerations of the Canal Question............... 255
CHAPTER XVIII. CURRENTS, WINDS, RAINS AND STORMS OF THE PACIFIC.
Velocity and Force of Wind.—Monsoons.—Effect of Monsoons—Typhoons—Their Explanation.—Rainfall of the Pacific Islands.-List of (with Latitude and Longitude) the Principal Harbors in the Island World......... 27o
The Merchants of the Olden Time.—The Phoenicians.—
Island.—Strong Island.—Ocean Island.—The Depths