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original idea, is one of those curious coincidences Mason,” the iron, “Fanny Skinner," the party all of mental sympathy which is sometimes observed in high spirits, set sail from New York about the to take place among men of science. The coinci- middle of November, 1817. dence is as striking as the case of Le Verrier and It was, however, by no means certain that the Adams with the new planet.
object which these officers and men had so much On the 20th of August 1847, Lieut. Molyneux at heart, could be accomplished, for the permission of H. M. S. Spartan, was landed at Acre with a given was only conditional. It all now depended few seamen. Hiring guides, camels and horses, upon the Grand Turk. Unless he would give a he started early the next morning with the ship's firman with leave for Lieut. Lynch and party to dingey-a very small boat-for the sea of Galilee, visit and explore the Dead Sea, the expedition was and on the 23rd he was embarked on its blue wa- to be considered at an end. ters.
Lieut. Lynch, with his companion, Lieat. Dale, The natives manifested great reluctance to his had therefore to proceed to Constantinople for the descending the Jordan. But hy a show of arms purpose of obtaining the requisite authority from with threats to shoot the Sheiks who annoyed him the Turkish government. Business of a poblic on the way, he made good his descent, though it nature called the Supply there. The Sultan treatwas in part accomplished by land.
ed them with marked consideration. He gare The 3rd of September found him fairly embark- Lieut. Lynch a private audience, readily granted ed on the Dead Sea. The greatest depth which the firman addressed to the Governors of Jerusahe found is said to be 1350 feet. At noon on the lem and Saida, requiring these functionaries to 5th the party returned to their tent, on the shore, give that officer all needful aid and friendly assistcompletely done up. Every thing and body in the ance. tent was covered with an offensive, shiny substance The Sultan was so much pleased with the infrom the water. The iron was corroded and look- terview, that the next day he sent for the Grand ed as if covered with coal tar.
Vizier and expressed a wish to make the AmeriHaving disembarked, the dingey was again can officer a present “such as became a sorermounted on the backs of camels, and the party pro- eign." This of course was declined, and the party ceeded with it to Jerusalem. Lieut. Molyneux were permitted to depart in peace. Every thing returned to his ship by way of Jaffa, and died soon now bid fair, and “ with a will to spare no ererafter getting on board.
tion,” wrote Lieut. Lynch to Judge Mason, “ I The news of his melancholy fate could not, when trust in God for ability to deserve your good opinit reached them, fail to excite painful emotions in ion." the minds of Lieut. Lynch and his party. But in On the last of March, the Supply landed the happy ignorance of the event, he and they were party at Kaiffa under Mount Carmel
, and proceedin America, busy with their preparations. The led to execute her orders in the Mediterranean. “Supply" was fitting at New York as a store-ship Two American travellers, viz : Henry Bellow and for the Mediterranean squadron. Lieut. Lynch Dr. H. J. Anderson, joined the party about this was designated to command her, and she was to time. be provided with two metallic boats instead of the All hands were now set to work in making the neusual boats of wood, one of which was made of cessary arrangements for their departare into the iron and painted, the other of copper.
interior. They met difficulties at every turn; at The stores being on board and the ship report- last they found out that they all proceeded from ed ready for sea, the necessary orders were issued. the rapacious and unprincipled Seid Bey, the Gor" The object with which I have yielded to your ernor, who was endeavoring, by creating difficulrequest," said the Secretary of the Navy in his lies, to extort money. As soon as this discovery admirably drawn letter of instructions, " is to pro- was made, Lieut. Lynch refused to have anything mote the cause of science and advance the char- more to do with him, and proceeded in his own acter of the Naval service.”
way. All things being considered—we can scarcely Seemingly insurmountable difficulties presented imagine a more legitimate subject, an object more themselves. The boats had to be transported to praiseworthy, or a more glorious opportunity for the sea of Galilee over mountain gorges and heights elevating the character of the Navy through its which nothing larger than the sure-footed horses officers. The question was, should the sojourn of of the country had ever passed before. But the these officers in the Mediterranean be one of idleness sailor resources of the pariy, supported by zeal is on board a store-ship at her anchors, or should it the noble enterprise, were sufficient to overcome be with them a labor of love and of usefulness in them all. About noon of the third day, the party the cause of science? The Navy glories in use halted vine miles from Tiberias. Their tent was ful occupation.
pitched on a mountain side, with Nazareth on the Provided with their simple outfits and the two right, Cana to the north, Monnt Tabor to the southboats aforesaid--the copper one, named " Fanny east ; spread beneath them was the plain, on which
the bloody battle between the French and the Eng- On the tbird day they were compelled from her lish was fought, and three hours in advance was the shattered condition to abandon the Galilee boat, sea of Galilee with its beautiful blue waters danc. and to trust entirely to the “two Fannies." ing in the sunbeams. Emblematic of its Master, May the 18th the party arrived at Masaraa, a it alone of all things around them, remained the place on the river consecrated by tradition for the same. Just as the Apostles saw it when our Sa- passage of the Israelites and the baptism of the viour said to it, “ Peace, be still,” this little band Redeemer; it is nine miles from Jericho, where the of rovers now beheld it.
pilgrims cross. The passage is dangerous, and So far not an accident had occurred, nor a mis- Lieut. Lynch tarried here for the purpose of lendhap of any kind, save that “ Fanny Skinner" had ing them assistance should accident befall and assistgot her paint rubbed a little.
ance be required. The two graceful little FanAfter baving surmounted incredible difficulties, nies," with colors flying, were anchored on the still greater ones awaited them in this nine miles of other side, ready to succor and to help. Early in distance. The boats had to be left in the mountains, the morning the pilgrims began to arrive, and by wbile the exhausted party struggled forward to get 5 o'clock there were several thousand already on water and to refresh themselves. The next day all the bank. hands returned to the boats. They had to be low- The great secret of the depression between ered down precipices with ropes. But at this work Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, is solved in the Jack Tar was perfectly au fait. Finally at 2 P. opinions of Lieut. Lynch, by the tortuous course M., Saturday, of April the 8th, Lieut. Lynch had of the Jordan. In a distance of about sixty miles the satisfaction of reopening his despatch to an- that river winds along through a course of about nounce the pleasing intelligence : “ The • Two two hundred miles. Within that distance he and Fannies,' each with the American ensign flying, his party plunged down no less than twenty-seven are now afloat upon the sea of Galilee." threatening rapids, besides many others of less de
We can now, in imagination, hear, reverberating scent. among the mountains, the soul-stirring cheers with The difference of level between the sea of Galwhich that flag was greeted, as the gallant leader ilee and the Dead Sea has been slated at over a of that gallant little band Aung the star-spangled thousand feet. But it has been urged by some banner to the breeze for the first time upon the wa. that this could not be so, else the Jordan in its run ters of that ancient and venerable sea.
of 60 miles would be a continuous cataract. The The natives took the bright copper of the “Fan- Mohawk, it was thought, was among the rivers of ny Mason" to be gold, and looked upon her as an the greatest fall in the world, and it averages only exponent of the greatness and wealth of the Uni- four or five feet to the mile. But it is now known ted States. They were friendly and offered the that the Sacramento of California has a fall of 2000 party no interruption in their progress.
feet in 20 miles, on an average of 100 feet to the Here Lieut. Lynch purchased for twenty-one dol- mile. With Lieut. Lynch's discovery and explalars and a quarter the only boat on the lake, to assist nation as to the length of the Jordan, it is necessain the transportation down the Jordan. That lake ry to give it an average fall of only about 6 feet abounds now, as it did of old, with excellent fish in each mile to account for the difference of level and wild fowl. But that at this day there should between its source and mouth. be only one boat on that sea, and that used not for “ A few weeks earlier or later,” says he," and fishing, but for bringing wood across, and valued no the passage would have been impracticable. We higher than at $21 1.4,may be taken as a sign that are the first who have accomplished the entire deDO " fishers of men" are to be found there now.
The small English boat last year, (Lieut. With this little wooden boat, the “Two Fan-Molyneux's dingey,) was taken parily on a camel, nies" and the river Jordan for the rest of the way, and the officer made the journey by land. His it was thought the difficulties of the route were at notes were unfortunately taken in cipher, and by an end. But to the consternation of the party it his death, are, I am told, lost to the world.” was found that the difficulties were but just com- Leaving Masaraa, Lieut. Lynch took the lead in mencing. The course of the Jordan was found to the " Fanny Mason,” followed by passed midshipbe interrupted by frequent and most fearful rapids. man Aulick in the “ Fanny Skinner," while Lieut. But the party to a man felt now that their own Dale with his friendly Bedouins, and a few others, honor, the reputation of the Navy, and the credit accompanied the baggage and stores by land, for it of their country were all at stake upon their efforts. was necessary to carry provisions along. After To a man they gave their energetic leader the most separating in the morning, the two parties saw no hearty cooperation. “ Sometimes placing our sole more of each other until they met at night. trust in Providence, we had," says he, “to With an hour's pull the two boats stopped to fill plange with headlong velocity down appalling de- their gum elastic water breakers. This accomscents." So great were the difficulties, that in two plished, the party resumed their oars, and were days they accomplished but twelve miles. soon led to expect the close proximity of the Dead
Sea, from a fætid odor—but this was traced to two across the desert of Arabia with a stífling beat streamlets strongly impregnated with sulphur. The At 8 P. M. their thermometer, which before bat Dead Sea, however, soon burst opon their view, ranged from 88° to 970, stood at 1069. "We into which the little boats bounded with a north- could not take our tents with us," says the idler. west gale.
esting letter from which we are quoting, “ nor dil The water of the river was sweet to within a we need them, as we found it more agreeable sleepfew hundred yards of its mouth. The waters of ing in the open air upon the beach." the sea were devoid of smell, but they were bitter, Having circumnavigated the Lake and retorning salt, and nauseous.
10 their place of departure, they found the sad in“As we rounded to the westward," writes Lieut. telligence of Mr. Adams' death awaiting their atLynch, “ the agitated sea presented a sheet of rival. Their colors were lowered at half mast, and foaming brine. The spray, separating as it fell, there out upon the dark waters of this mysterious left incrustations of salt upon our faces and clothes, sea, this little band of true.hearted Americans paid and while it caused a pricking sensation wherever a tribute to the memory of the patriot and statesit touched the skin, was above all exceedingly pain- man, with 21 minute guns fired from their frail res. ful to the eyes.
sels. The echoes from the cavernous recesses of “ The boats heavily laden, struggled sluggishly the lofty and barren mountains which surrounded at first, but when the wind freshened to a gale, it ihem, startled the Arabs, and rererberated loudly seemed as if the bows, so dense was the water, and strangely upon the ears of the mourners. were encountering the sledge-hammers of the Ti- The letters of Lieut. Lynch giving an accoont, tans, instead of the opposing waves of an angry currente calamo, of his proceedings, are of great
value and exceeding interest. We hope soon to At the expiration of an hour and a half, we were have the pleasure of announcing his return to the driven far to leeward, and I was compelled to bear United States and of welcoming him and his conaway for the shore. When we were near to it, and panions back to country, home and friends. while I was weighing the practicability of landing “We have,” says he, “elicited several facts of the boats through the surf, the wind suddenly ceas- interest to the man of science and the Christian. ed and with it the sea rapidly fell—the ponderous “ The bottom of the northern half of this sea is quality of the water causing it to settle as soon as almost an entire plain. Its meridianal lines at a the agitating power had ceased to act. Within short distance from the shore scarce vary in depth. five minutes there was a perfect calm, and the sea The deepest soundings thus far 188 fathoms. (1125 was unmoved even by undulation. At 8 P. M., feet.) Near the shore, the bottom is generally an weary and exhausted, we reached a place of ren- incrustation of salt, but the intermediate one is dezvous upon the northwest shore."
soft mud with many rectangular chrystals—mostly The three succeeding days were devoted to sound-cubes-of pure salt. At one time Stellwagea's lead ing.
brought up nothing but chrystals. Resting over Easter Sunday, the party resumed “The southern half of the sea is as shallow as the operations the next day, making topographical northern one is deep, and for about one-fourth of sketches as they went, and touching at a copious its entire length the depth does not exceed three stream issuing from hot springs, and the mouth of fathoms—(18 feet.) Its southern bed has presentthe river Amon of antiquity. They proceeded ed no chrystals, but the shores are lined with inthence by degrees to the southern extremity of the crustations of salt, and when we landed at ['zdon, sea, where the most wonderful sight that they had in the space of an hour, our footprints were
coated yet seen awaited them.
with chrystalization. “ In passing the mountain of Uzdom, (Sodom,) “ The opposite shores of the peninsula and the we unexpectedly and much to our astonishment," west coast present evident marks of disruption. continues our adventurous explorer, saw a large, “ There are unquestionably birds and insects rounded, turret-shaped column facing towards S. E. upon the shores and ducks are sometimes upon the which proved to be of solid rock salt, capped with sea, for we have seen them—but cannot detect any carbonate of lime; one mass of chrystalization. living thing within it; although the salt streams Mr. Dale took a sketch of it, and Dr. Anderson and flowing into it, contain small fish. My hopes bare I with great difficulty landed and procured speci- been strengthened into conviction, and I feel sure mens from it.”
that the results of this survey will fully sostain tbe The sea soon proved so shallow that they could scriptural account of the cities of the plain. proceed no further. Half a mile from the south- “With one exception we are all well, save to ern shore they found but six inches water, and be that one, not a dose of medicine has been adminyond, an extensive marsh too yielding for a foot- istered—and his disease is neither caused not af. hold.
fected by the climate. Although we are up early Near the eastern shore they encountered a si- and out long, living on two meals a day, save when rocco, which came sweeping from the southeast'we are restricted to one, there is no complaining,
all seem to be actuated by a high sense of duty. (bottom of the two seas, and that the depth of the The preserved meats have proved almost worth. Dead Sea should be also an exact multiple of the less, few being able to eat them, and sometimes our height of Jerusalem above it. only food is rice. Oranges and lemons, luxuries Another not less singular fact, in the opinion of in our happy country, are here, from the want of Lieui. Lynch, “is that the bottom of the Dead vegetables, absolute necessaries. Sull, as there Sea forms two submerged plains, an elevated and are cavillers at home, I have once sent to Jerusa- a depressed one. The first, its southern part, of lem and purchased them for the men at my own slimy mud covered by a shallow bay; the last, its expense.
northern and largest portion, of mud and incrusta* The expense of guards to our baggage while tions and rectangular chrystals of saltmat a great we are absent, I am obliged to incur, as also for depth with a narrow ravine running through it, their transportation from place to place, for the corresponding with the bed of llie river Jordan at boats can carry no more than the officers and men: one extremity and the Wady el Jeib,' or wady the arms, instruments, food and water. The whole within a wady at the other." cost froro Beirout to this place, including purcha- The slimy ooze upon that plain at the bottom of ses, transportation of boats, camels, horses, guards the Dead Sea will not fail to remind the sacred hisand guides amounted to about $700. I strive to be torian of the “slime pits” in the vale, where were economical.
joined in battle “ four kings with five." “ With the Arabs we are on the most friendly June the 9th, the whole party after an absence terms. In accordance with the tenor of my or- of a little over two months, had returned to St. ders, I have agreed to pay them fairly for all the Jean d'Acre on the Mediterranean. They brought services they may render and provisions they may back their boats in as complete order as they rebring-but for nothing more. Thus far, two false ceived them on board at New York. The party alarms excepted, we have been undisturbed in our were in fine health. Save a flesh wound to one progress and operations. I scarce know what we man from the accidental discharge of his piece, not shonld have done without the Arabs. They bring an accident or mishap had occurred to any one. us food when nearly famished, and water when The Arabs would point to them and say,
“ God is parehed with thirst. They act as guides and mes with them." sengers, and in our absence faithfully guard our Lieut. Lynch has endeared himself to his couniegts, bedding and clothes. A decided course, tem- trymen ; his Christian brethren look upon him with pered with courtesy, wins at once their respect and pride, and the whole Christian world with eager good will. Although they are an impetuous race, interest await his return and the forthcoming of his not an angry word has thus far passed between us. final Report. With the blessing of God, I hope to preserve the By this expedition problems, great and important existence of harmony to the last.
in the eyes of Christendom, have been solved by “The Jordan, although rapid and impetuous, is the American government, and that too at a cost graceful in its windings and fringed with luxuri- too trifling to be named in such connexion. ance, while its waters are sweel, clear, cool and Seven hundred dollars for a scientific explorarefreshing.
tion of the Dead Sea! There is not a village “ Even if my letter were more brief, this is not church in the land, where if the matter had been a proper place to dwell upon the wonders of this proposed, such a sum could not have been raised at sea, for wondrous it is, in every sense of the word, once for the work. Still, there be “cavillers at home,” 80 sudden are the changes of the weather and so and as of old, so now, there be those who can "strain different the aspects it presents, as at times to seem at a goat and swallow a camel.” But the enlightas if we were in a world of enchantments. We are ened and patriotic minds which planned, set on alternately beside and upon the brink and the sur- foot, and consummated this ondertaking, have also face of a huge and sometimes seething cauldron." their reward : the mens conscia, the sense of having
The greatest depth obtained was 218 fathoms, so used their high privileges of place as to advance (1308 feet.) Having completed the survey of the the honor of their country and the glory of God; the sea, the party proceeded to determine the height of approving " well-done” of a Christian people, and mountains on its shores, and to run a level thence the grateful acknowledgment of wise and good men via. Jerusalem to the Mediterranean. They found every where, are only a part of the great rewards the summit of the precipitous ridge which forms which they deserve, and which we hope they may the west bank of the Dead Sea, to be more than a long live to enjoy. thousand feet above its surface, and very nearly on a level with the Mediterranean.
It is a curious fact, that the distance from the top to the bottom of the Dead Sea, should measure
Alluding to the devotion of an ancient sculptor to bis la. the height of its banks, the elevation of the Medi- vors, Madame de Staël has finely said, “The history of bis terranean, and the difference of level between the life was the history of his statue.”