Miscellany | Published:


    Naturevolume 13pages473475 (1876) | Download Citation



    As might have been expected, Lieut. Camerorf met with an enthusiastic reception from a large and distinguished audience at the meeting of the Royal Geographical Society in St. James's Hall on Tuesday night. The hall was crowded, and the Duke of Edinburgh occupied the chair, surrounded by many eminent geographers. His Royal Highness introduced Lieut. Cameron in a few appropriate and appreciative words. The distinguished explorer gave a narrative of his journey from Zanzibar to the West Coast of Africa, going over ground which is no doubt already pretty familiar to our readers. Sir Henry Rawlinson gave a very clear summary of the work which Lieut. Cameron has accomplished. “He has not been a mere explorer,” Sir Henry said, “one Of those travellers who carry their eyes in. their pockets. He always kept his eyes well about him, and the observations which he made, both of an astronomical and of a physical character, are of extraordinary value. The register of observations which he has brought home, and which are now being computed at the Observatory at Greenwich, promise to te of a most important character. They are astonishingly numerous, elaborate, and accurate, and I have great expectation that one consequence of computing those observations will be that we shall have a definite line laid down from one sea to the other across 20 degrees of longitude, which will serve as a fixed mathematical basis of all future geographical explorations of Equatorial Africa. Among the minor objects achieved by Lieutenant Cameron must be noticed his circumnavigation of the great lake Tanganyika and his discovery of the outlet whereby that lake discharges its waters into the great river Lualaba. Another very important matter is the identification as nearly as possible, not absolutely proved by mathematical demonstration, that the Lualaba is the Congo. One of the main objects of the expedition was to follow down the course of that river so as to prove or disprove the identity of the Lualaba and the Congo. Lieut. Cameron was not able, as he explained to you, to carry out that scheme in its entirety, but he collected sufficient information on the spot to reader it a matter, not of positive certainty, but in the highest degree of probability, that the two rivers are one and the same. Another great discovery of his is the determination of a new river system between the vallty which he followed of the Lolame, and the scene of Dr. Living-stone's discoveries. This valley, which consists of a large river running through a series of lakes, forms, as he fully believes, and as I also believe, the course of the true Lualaba. The observations which he has furnished respecting latitude, longitude, and elevation, amount to the extraordinary number of nearly 5,000; and he took as many as 130 or 140 lunar observations on one single spot.” The Geographical Society has only done its duty in awarding to Lient. Cameron “the blue riband of scientific geography,” its principal gold medal of the year.

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