National Geographic : 1902 Jul
VOL. XIII, No. 7 WASHINGTON JULY, 1902 THE ATIINALI MA®ABEN REPORT BY ROBERT T. HILL ON THE VOLCANIC DISTURBANCES IN THE WEST INDIES WASHINGTON, D. C., June 24, 1902. DR. ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, PresidentNational GeographicSociety. DEAR SIR: I transmit herewith my report on my investigations of the recent volcanic eruptions of Mont Pelee, Island of Martinique. I had previously made two visits to the island and was somewhat familiar with its topography and geology. My researches consisted of ten days' study on the island, from May 21 to May 30, inclusive. Most of the time was devoted to studying the physiographic effects of the volcano, the nature of its eruptions and ejecta, and the procuring of evidence from eyewitnesses concerning the facts of the catastrophe. I traveled extensively over the surface and margins of the area of the disaster on foot and horseback and circumscribed the coast with boats. During'my stay I was placed under repeated obligations for courtesies extended by U. S. Consul Ayme, Captain McLean, of the U. S. cruiser Cincinnati; Lieu tenant McCormick, commander of the U. S. tug Potomac; Admiral Servan and officials of the French fleet; Mr Ferdinand Clerc, the leading planter of the island, and innumerable members of the negro and colored peasantry, whose cour tesy and hospitality were graciously extended on every occasion. Special thanks are due Captain Berry and all the officers and sailors of the Dixie, who by self deprivation accommodated our party on their vessel. Thanks are also due Mr J. S. Diller and Dr George Steiger, of the U. S. Geological Survey, for their prompt petrographic examination and chemical analyses of the specimens col lected, and for their prompt reports published elsewhere in this Magazine. In the present article I have endeavored to present a technical statement of the actual events of the great eruption. The time has been too limited for me to thoroughly digest and interpret the data collected. Later I shall present some further remarks and my final conclusions on the phenomena in the Century Mag azine for September. It is also but just to remark that the accompanying article does not pretend to be a complete or final presentation. I appreciate that my associates, Professors Russell and Jaggar, who accompanied the Dixie, and Pro fessor Heilprin, who arrived on the island as I was leaving, all collected informa tion and data equally as valuable as mine, and that they may have deductions of greater importance. Very truly yours, ROBERT T. HILL, Geologist, U. S. Geological Survey.