National Geographic : 1906 Jun
364 THE NATIONAL GE NOTICE TO MEMBERS In order that their copies of the Magazine may not be lost during the summer, members are requested to advise the office of the Na tional Geographic Society, Hubbard Memorial Hall, Washington, D. C., when they will be absent for a month or more and their residence closed, and at the same time to give their change of address. Magazines are mailed as second-class matter and the post-office will not forward mail of this character unless the ad ditional postage is prepaid. WASHINGTON, D. C., May 30, 1906. Editors National Geographic Magazine: Can you tell me the origin and meaning of the word "Labrador?" I notice from a map published about 1740 that the term was then applied to a body of water in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, now known as the Bras d'Or Lakes, and that the body of land now known as Labrador was then called Terra Labrador. The northern entrance to the Bras d'Or Lakes, a long narrow passage forming an arm of the sea, was termed during the French occupation "Le Bras d'Or," the arm of gold. Was this a French corruption of the earlier name "Labrador?" The French name still per sists as "The Bras d'Or," often locally pro nounced "brass door." The captain of a Cape Breton tugboat thought that it was so named because it was the "door" or entrance to the lakes, but why it should be called the "brass" door he could not possibly imagine! H. A . LARGELAMB. The region which is called Labrador was so named by the Portuguese navigator Gaspar Cortereal, who landed on the coast about 1500. He called the region "Labrador" because it was thought that the natives would make ex cellent workers or slaves. Cortereal made several voyages to the coast, 1500 and 1501, landing at points between Labrador and the Bay of Fundy, but from his last voyage he did not return. His brother Miguel, who sailed in search of him in 1502, was likewise lost. Labrador had been previously discovered by John Cabot in 1497, but as he failed to name the region, the name applied by Cortereal, "Terra de Lavradores" (land of laborers or slaves), clung to it. The above is the usual explanation of the origin of the word Labrador. Another tradi tion is that a Basque whaler, called "Labra dor," penetrated as far as Labrador Bay (now Bradore Bay), and that as this bay was later much frequented by Basque fishermen, the name was extended to the whole coast. It is generally believed that Bras d'Or is a corruption from the Indian and not of French origin. The similarity of Bras d'Or and Lab rador is very striking, however, and it may be that both words have the same origin. OGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Hydrology of the State of New York. Com piled by George W. Rafter. Pp. 900. 9 x 6 inches. Illustrated. Published by the New York State Education Department, Albany,. 1905. $1.50. The report on the water supply of New York State gives in detail the statistics and surveys of the Hudson, Genesee, Oswego, and Black rivers as well as of every other water way in the state worthy of consideration, the volume bringing to the public a realization of the importance of water as an economic min eral, to which New York State owes much of its vast wealth. Papers on ship-canal projects. and their water supply, the future use of water power in the state, with tables of the maximum: and minimum flow of streams, are also given and statistical comparisons of catchments and' sources of supply. The volume is well illus trated and contains two detached maps show ing surface configurations and catchments, with; reservations for New York city water supply. J.O.L. "The New Brazil." Wright. Pp. 450. many illustrations. Barrie & Son. By Marie Robinson 9'2 x 12' inches. With Philadelphia: George- The view of Brazil presented by this volume is that of a land of promise. Wonderful pro gress has been made during the past ten years, and with further development of her naturalP resources Brazil has the prospect of a pros perity for the twentieth century which may equal that achieved by the United States during: the last hundred years. The Amazon forests supply the world with rubber, and Brazil sends abroad the major portion of the coffee consumed; Brazilian soil is of such wonderful fertility that it responds. to the least cultivation; the mines yield quan tities of gold, silver, copper, and precious stones; the transportation facilities are greater than those of any other South American country, and the population is increasing at the rate of seventeen million to the century. The closing chapters on national customs. and characteristics tell of the life of the cul tured families of Brazil and of the primitive Indian of the Amazon. F.M.A. "The Discoverers and Explorers of Amer- ica." By Charles Morris. Lippincott. 1906. $1.25. An excellent book for youth as well as for adults. Its 344 pages contain forty narratives of discovery and exploration of the continent,. islands and waters of America. The whole story of the gradual opening of a new world' is told, from the landing of Lief the Lucky, in, the summer season of the year Iooo, to the navigation of the Northwest passage by; Amundsen, the Norwegian, in 1905. F. M. A..