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CHAPTER I. For months the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land was chatted about in the newspapers everywhere in America and discussed at countless firesides. It was a novelty in the way of excursions—its like had not been thought of before, and it compelled that interest which attractive novelties always command. It was to be a picnic on a gigantic scale. The participants in it, instead of freighting an ungainly steam... more...

INTRODUCTION. The discovery of a continental island like Australia was not a deed that could be performed in a day. Many years passed away, and many voyages to these shores of ours were undertaken by the leading maritime nations of Europe, before the problematic and mysterious TERRA AUSTRALIS INCOGNITA of the ancients became known, even in a summary way, and its insularity and separation from other lands positively established. We must not be... more...

Washington, March 1, 1843. To Colonel J.J. Abert, Chief of the Corps of Top. Eng. Sir: Agreeably to your orders to explore and report upon the country between the frontiers of Missouri and the South Pass in the Rocky Mountains, and on the line of the Kansas and Great Platte rivers, I set out from Washington city on the 2d day of May, 1842, and arrived at St. Louis by way of New York, the 22d of May, where the necessary preparations were... more...

PREFACE. The present work is the outcome of two lines of study pursued, with more or less interruption from other studies, for about thirty years. It will be observed that the book has two themes, as different in character as the themes for voice and piano in Schubert's "Frühlingsglaube," and yet so closely related that the one is needful for an adequate comprehension of the other. In order to view in their true perspective the series of... more...

CHAPTER I. My brother had just been appointed Secretary of Nevada Territory—an office of such majesty that it concentrated in itself the duties and dignities of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence. A salary of eighteen hundred dollars a year and the title of "Mr. Secretary," gave to the great position an air of wild and imposing grandeur. I was young and ignorant, and I envied my... more...


THE 'BODY OF THE NATION' BUT the basin of the Mississippi is the BODY OF THE NATION. All the other parts are but members, important in themselves, yet more important in their relations to this. Exclusive of the Lake basin and of 300,000 square miles in Texas and New Mexico, which in many aspects form a part of it, this basin contains about 1,250,000 square miles. In extent it is the second great valley of the world, being exceeded only by... more...

INCH KEITH I had desired to visit the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my inquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable... more...

CHAPTER I. How I Came to Emigrate. I was one of a family of nine, of which four were sons. My eldest brother was destined for the Church; the second had entered a mercantile house in Liverpool; and I, who was third on the list, it was my father's intention, should be educated for the Royal Engineers, and at the time my story opens I was prosecuting my studies for admission to the Academy at Woolwich, and had attained the age of sixteen,... more...

The Australian continent is not distinguished, as are many other continents of equal and even of less extent, by any prominent geographical feature. Its mountains seldom exceed four thousand feet in elevation, nor do any of its rivers, whether falling internally or externally, not even the Murray, bear any proportion to the size of the continent itself. There is no reason, however, why rivers of greater magnitude, than any which have hitherto... more...

CHAPTER I. A "NEW-CHUM'S" INTRODUCTION. Three months on board ship seems a long while to look forward to, yet it is but a short time to look back upon. Emigrants, being for the most part drawn from among dry-land-living populations, are apt to be daunted by the idea of a long voyage. People would be more ready, perhaps, to contemplate becoming colonists, were it not for that dreaded crossing of the sea which must necessarily be their first... more...