National Geographic : 1904 Dec
478 THE NATIONAL GE sway of one government. While the motive which brought about this do minion was mainly mercenary, it has resulted in great good to the human race. He who journeys around the globe is impressed with the mighty power of British rule, but he also sees that its rule is beneficent ; and such is the general, though not the invariable, influence of commerce. It opens na tions to intercourse, it tends to peace, it enlarges the comforts and aspirations of the people. OGRAPHIC MAGAZINE It is fortunate that the interests and the policy of the United States and Great Britain in the Far East so fully harmo nize. Japan has manifested with equal heartiness its conformity to the same policy. There is no reason why the other commercial nations should not pur sue the same line of conduct. Hence, if internal peace is preserved, the ancient Chinese Empire may look forward to an era of unprecedented development and prosperity, and add many more cycles to its unparalleled history. A DOUBTFUL ISLAND OF THE PACIFIC * BY JAMES D. HAGUE Data concerning the questionable existence of a reported islandor islands in the North Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Panama, with results of the cruise recently made by the U. S. ship Tacoma in search of such islands, with some discussion of the reasons for believing that the U. S. sloop-of-war Levant, which disappearedmysteri ously in z860 on her voyage from Hawaii to Panama, may have been wrecked on an island in this neighborhood, with the possible survival of some of the ship's company. IN the North Pacific Ocean, about i ,000 to i, 200 miles east-southeast from Hawaii, somewhere between the meridians of 133 and 138 degrees of longitude west from Greenwich, and in cluded within the fifteenth and twentieth parallels of north latitude, substantially in a direct line between the port of Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii, and the Bay of Panama (nearly 4,500 miles distant), there is a mid-ocean area covering about 200 miles in latitude by 150 or 200 miles in longitude, equal to 30,000 or 40,000 square miles, from which region during the past eighty years or more, from time to time, there have come occasional re ports of an island or islands said to have been observed by passing navigators. Nearly, if not quite, all these reports appear to have come originally, mostly more than fifty years ago, from cruising whalemen, who were practically the only voyagers who until lately ever found any occasion or good reason to visit this remote part of the Pacific in pursuit of business. The region lies beyond the usual tracks and sailing routes of commercial voyagers, and very few vessels of other classes excepting whalemen have had any occasion to traverse this unfrequented sea, which, if it contain no island, is not far from the center of the largest landless ocean area on the surface of the globe, while, if there be an island, it is perhaps the most remotely isolated land in the world. The accompanying maps show, first, on the smaller scale, the general rela tions of this remote region to the Amer ican coast and to the Hawaiian Islands: * Read in part before the Eighth International Geographic Congress at a meeting of the Section of Oceanography, September 13, 1904.