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serves the memory of Gray's discovery. But the name Columbia has other uses in the United States, and elsewhere in America, which render it inconvenient as the designation of the country, of which Oregon seems to be the fixed appellation. We wish that Mr. Worcester, or Mr. Bradford, or some scholar in the Western States, distinguished like those gentlemen for geographical science, would explain the origin of this word Oregon, which, so far as we know, is not satisfactorily settled.
Mr. Darby, in his “Gazetteer,” traces the name to the Spanish origano, for the sweet marjoram, growing on the banks of the river. But to this it is a serious objection, that the name Oregon does not seem, so far as we remember, to have been in use among the Spaniards. And as there are, and have been no settlers of that nation upon the river, how should their word for wild marjoram come to designate the river ? Humboldt speaks of " le mot indien Origan.* Of what Indians is it the word ? Not of those living on the Columbia. Humboldt also talks of the “Orégan de Mackenzie.” | But Mackenzie did not introduce the word. We find it in Carver's Travels (1763), and that is the oldest authority for it which has met our eye.
In one place, Carver speaks of the “Oregan, or River of the West ;” in another, of “The river Oregon, or River of the West, that falls into the Pacific Ocean at the Straits of Anian.” Did Carver derive all his knowledge of this river from the Indians of the Upper Mississippi, among whom he travelled ? And if so, is the name of their giving? That is what seems most probable. For how else could he know any thing of it? We have no reason to suppose the inlet of the river had been visited by Europeans prior to Heceta’s voyage in 1774, or the mouth of the river itself before the time of Robert Gray, in 1792. Nor do we remember any account of the Rocky Mountains having been crossed by Europeans, and the Columbia seen by them in that direction, so long ago as the time of Carver. But there is nothing improbable in the supposition, that the Indians of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri may have had early intercourse with the Indians beyond the Rocky Mountains, or even visited the Oregon in person, and given it some significant name of their own. Has the word Oregon a meaning in the language of any of those Indians ?
* Hurnboldt, p. 342.
The true test of the first application of the names of great natural objects, like rivers and mountains, is, to find a people in whose language the names are significant. The names of places thus come to be valuable historic monuments.
Thus, in Britain, the Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Norman, and English words, which designate localities, all testify to the presence of the successive nations, which have occupied the island. Even the terminations of words do this. Cester (castra), is a Roman camp, stead or ham is of the Saxons. And we should very much like to see a table of the Indian proper names of the geography of the United States, with the true etymology of each, and a reference to the tribe in whose language it is a speaking word.
Again. What led Carver to associate together the River Oregon, and the Strait of Anian? Had he read Torquemada's account of the river of Aguilar ?
These are questions we would gladly see answered. Our doubts on the subject may arise from want of due investigation on our part ; and, if so, rather than to remain ignorant, we choose, in this as in every other case, plainly to confess our ignorance.
One thing more. The fact is now thoroughly established, that the Arctic Sea encompasses the northern extremity of America. The Hudson's Bay Company, for more than a century, was the great obstacle to the proper exploration of the arctic regions of North America. Or, in the pungent language of the Quarterly Review, “ From the moment this body of ' Adventurers' was instituted, the spirit of adventure died away ; and every succeeding effort was palsied by the baneful influence of monopoly, of which the discovery of a northwest passage was deemed the forerunner of destruction.” The Northwest Company, after competing awhile with the Hudson's Bay Company, drove the latter to a compromise ; and the result has been the union of the two associations, under the corrupt charter of the latter, and the formation of a still more gigantic monopoly, which, like the East India Company in Asia, has gradually extended its odious and usurped dominion over an immense region of North America ; — constituting a dangerous nondescript foreign power, intruded among us under cover of the flag of Great Britain, which nation stands ready to avow or disavow its acts, as the tide of circumstances may turn. This Company, we say, — which
we desire at all proper times to hold up to the censure and watchfulness of the people of the United States, — has in later times been shamed into occasional acts of exploration along the Arctic Sea. It professes to have finished that, which Parry, Ross, and Franklin had all but finished. Messrs. Dease and Simpson, of the Hudson's Bay Company, have recently explored the little there was left of unknown betwixt the mouth of Mackenzie's River and Behring's Strait. And we may now aver, There is a Strait of Anian. That is to say, there is a water communication (though more or less obstructed by ice) from the Atlantic to the Pacific, along the arctic side of North America. That being the fact, it might be well, as a matter of historical curiosity, to reconsider the stories of Maldonado, De Fonte, Urdaneta, and Ladrillero, and to compare them with modern observation, so as to judge how far they may thus appear, any of them, to have been founded on actual discovery and knowledge, or to be pure fable. The result of this might be to restore merited honor to another Juan de Fuca.
ART. IV.-1. Traité de Mécanique Céleste. Par P. S.
LAPLACE, Membre de l'Institut National de France et du
An VII, 4to. 2. Traité de Mécanique Céleste. Par P. S. LAPLACE,
Membre du Sénat Conservateur, de l'Institut National et du Bureau des Longitudes de France ; des Sociétés Royales de Londres et de Gottingue, des Académies des Sciences de Russie, de Danemark, d'Italie, etc. Tome
Troisième. Paris, An XI. 1802. pp. 303. 3. Traité de Mecanique Céleste. Par M. LAPLACE,
Chancelier du Sénat Conservateur, Grand-Officer de la Légion d'Honneur, Membre de l'Institut et du Bureau des Longitudes de France ; des Sociétés Royales de Londres et de Gottingue ; des Académies des Sciences de Russie, de Danemark, d'Italie, etc. Tome Qua
trième. An XIII.=1805. pp. 347. 4. Traité de Mécanique Céleste. Par M. LE MARQUIS
DE LAPLACE, Pair de France; Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur ; l'un des Quarante de l'Académie Française ; Membre du Bureau des Longitudes de France ; des Sociétés Royales de Londres et de Gottingue; des Académies des Sciences de Russie, de Danemark, de Suède, de Prusse, des Pays-Bas, d'Italie, de Boston,
etc. Tome Cinquième. 1825. pp. 419. 5. Mécanique Céleste. By the MARQUIS DE LA PLACE,
Peer of France ; Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor ; Member of the French Academy; of the Academy of Sciences at Paris ; of the Board of Longitude of France ; of the Royal Societies of London and Göttingen ; of the Academies of Sciences of Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, Holland, and Italy; Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, &c. Translated, with a Commentary, by NATHANIEL Bowditch, LL. D., Fellow of the Royal Societies of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin ; of the Astronomical Society of London; of the Philosophical Society, held at Philadelphia ; of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, etc. Volume I. 1829. pp. 746. Volume II. 1832. pp. 990. Vol
ume III. 1834. pp. 1017. Volume IV. pp. 1018. 6. A Discourse on the Life and Character of the Hon.
Nathaniel Bowditch, LL.D., F. R. S., delivered in the Church on Church Green, March 25, 1838. By ALEXANDER YOUNG. Boston: Little & Brown. 8vo.
7. An Eulogy on the Life and Character of Nathaniel
Bowditch, LL. D., F. R. S., delivered at the Request of the Corporation of the City of Salem, May 24, 1838.
By DANIEL APPLETON White. Salem : 8vo. pp. 72. 8. Eulogy on Nathaniel Bowditch, LL. D., President of
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ; including an Analysis of his Scientific Publications. Delivered before the Academy, May 29, 1838. By John PickERING, Corresponding Secretary of the Academy. Boston : Little & Brown. 8vo. pp. 101. COMPARED with the infinite variety and extent of physical phenomena, the domains of the science of quantity would, at first sight, seem confined to very narrow limits. But when we consider, that mathematics treat of all forms and motions ; when we find the sweetest tones and the brightest colors, the lightning and the rainbow, heat and cold, and the very winds and waves subject to the strictest laws of motion ; when, in short, we learn, that the whole world is bound together upon mechanical principles; we must concede that the ocean, upon which the mathematician has launched his ship, is as unbounded as the material universe. But, of all sciences, the one the best fitted for the application and advancement of geometry is Astronomy; and the phenomena of the firmament, as developed by the geometer, are so glorious and so sublime, as to realize the fabled music of the spheres. Here, however, we must stop, and not trench upon the empire of fancy. It is for the man of science to calculate the harmony of the heavens with his slate and pencil, and he may not presume to sing it with the harp of the bard ; it is not his to gaze, to admire and wonder, but to observe with care, to know and comprehend. As the sailor is not the poet of the sea, neither is the mathematician the poet of the sky; but, like a rapid and impetuous torrent, the depth of his channel deprives him of the view of the fertile fields and splendid scenery, through which he is hurrying to his sole object, the sea of truth.
Mournful is it to think, that national prejudices could ever intrude themselves into the council-chamber of philosophy, But so it is. Though France has, for many years, been the land of mathematicians, her eminence has not taught her magnanimity. Her neighbours, England, Germany, and Italy, have complained of her eagerness to appropriate their labors, and of her reluctance to acknowledge their merits; and more than once has she cast shafts of envy even at the immortal legislator of the physical universe. The historian of astronomy, Delambre, of whom she is rightly proud, did indeed allow, that Newton stood alone, above all other astronomers, and called him “ cet homme unique”; but, nevertheless, he dwelt much upon the exaggerated homage the English paid him, upon the steps which previous mathematicians had taken in anticipation of his discoveries, and upon the imperfections of the
Principia.” He says of the lunar theory, that he had been sometimes tempted to suspect, that some of the results were not derived, as they professed to be, from theory, but from the examination of observations ; confessing, that he would not have ventured upon such an insinuation, if it had not been before made by Clairaut. He is for giving Bouilland the honor of discovering the law of gravitation, and Newton that
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