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more natural than that they should see the advantage and economy of having these troops in barracks .on shore-always within call? If it is claimed that the French Government accepts no responsibility in this connection, why has it already appointed an official agent to oversee the initiation of the work? If, at the end of our late internal war, our Govern ment deemed it necessary to request the French to promptly leave Mexico-merely contiguous territory-how much more important that they should not be placed in a position completely controlling our coastwise commerce, and establishing, first, their influ ence, then their power, and lastly, if we are quiescent, their flag on the American Isthmus! Are the American people prepared for this? The late William H. Seward, than whom no brighter intellect ever graced American history, was wont to say that the Pacific Ocean is to be the scene of man's greatest achievements. Are we prepared to have the key thereto in foreign hands? Every American heart will say nay and honor the patriotism of President Hayes and General Grant when they foresee these results and point them out to their countrymen.
Nor is a large army and navy a necessity in the maintenance of the Monroe doctrine; on the contrary, both would become a necessity were it to be disregarded. The United States have a moral prestige sufficient to create a respect for our rights and interests, and it is far better to meet attempted European domination on this continent, with a decisive negative now, than to object thereto after it has passed the initiative. It matters little where the capital comes from to construct an interoceanic canal, but a due respect for our national and traditional policy, as well as for our national pride, should indicate the propriety of its accomplishment through an American organization; and it is a poor compliment to our discernment that we are to be kept quiescent by an “American Branch,” which can any day be voted out of existence at the headquarters of the Panama Canal Company in Paris! Americans will not fail to appreciate the words of one who has proved himself worthy of their patriotic regard: “I commend an American canal, on American soil, to the American people!”
CURRENTS, WINDS, RAINS AND STORMS
OF THE PACIFIC.
Bursts as a wave that from the clouds impends,
POPE's (Homer's Iliad.)
DO not design, in this chapter, to more than glance, with the reader, at the broad expanse of
waters, the majestic Pacific Ocean, and, in a general way, view its rains, storms and currents. Many men, wise in experience and intellectual acquirements, have already given these interesting subjects their careful attention; our hydrographic offices, and the shelves of our more advanced libraries, teem with the rich results of intellect and experience. The general flow of the great currents, with the rise and fall of the tides, and the natural laws controlling the winds and storms, on the great waste of waters of the mighty sea, are clearly depicted on charts, while elaborate data fill our nauti
cal almanacs, sailing directions, and kindred works. Yet so vast is the Pacific, that local influences are occurring in many forms, and in many places, and all acting without one influencing the other. Thus, if we could be transported, as fast as the mind can travel, from the Arctic to the Antarctic Oceans, or from the Bay of Panama to the Bay of Bengal, or circle among the intermediate latitudes or longitudes, all the climates of the world would be experienced, with their varied physical influences, taking place at hundreds of different localities, at about the same period of time. So that none but the grander movements, like the “Black Stream” in the North, and the Peruvian current in the South Pacific, and the main movements of the equatorial currents, flowing both east and west, with the ceaseless ebb and flow of the tides, are all that can be contemplated with anything like certainty. Maury, in his “ Physical Geography of the Sea,” gives many examples of the variability of ocean currents. He says, speaking of the Pacific:
There are also, about the equator, in this ocean, some curious.currents, which I have called the “Doldrum currents” of the Pacific, but which I do not understand, and as to which, observations are not sufficient yet, to afford the proper explanation or description. There are many of them, some of which, at times, run with great force. On a voyage from the Society to the Sandwich Islands, I encountered one running at the rate of ninety-six miles a day. These currents are generally found setting to the west. They are often, but not always, encountered in the equatorial doldrums on the voyage between the Society and the Sandwich Islands.
In Captain Pichou's abstract log of the French
corvette L'Eurydice, from Honolulu to Tahiti, in August, 1857, a doldrum current is recorded at seventynine miles a day, west-by-north. He encountered it between i deg. north and 4 deg. south, where it was three hundred miles broad. On the voyage to Honolulu, in July of the same year, he experienced no such current, but in 6 deg. north, he encountered one of thirty-six miles, setting southeast, or nearly in the opposite direction. This current does not appear to have been more than sixty miles broad. Many instances of this kind might be cited, of local currents, of the southern flow of a stream along the coasts of China, and on into the Indian Ocean, while outside of the myriads of islands, the Japanese Black Stream is moving in majestic circles, and in a contrary direction.
In another part of this work, I have cited a case of the drift of pumice and ashes, easterly from Java to Ponape, flowing just between, and in a contrary direction to, the sweep of the two great ocean currents, the Black Stream of the North, and the Peruvian current of the South Pacific.
In regard to this floating pumice, a late authority, speaking of a certain formation found on the bed of the ocean, states, that everything seems to show that the formation of the clay is due to the decomposition of fragmentary volcanic products, whose presence can be detected over the whole floor of the ocean. * * * The universal distribution of pumice, over the floor of the ocean, is very remarkable, and would at first appear unaccountable; but when the fact, that pieces of pumice have been known to float in sea water for a period of over three years, before becoming sufficiently waterlogged to sink, is taken into consideration, it will be readily understood, how fragments of this material