Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

coast, and in the reports of the hydrographic assistants of the coast survey, which are given in the Appendix. The information embodied in these reports has been obtained through the facilities furnished by the distribution of the parties of the coast survey in all the sections of the coast, at a merely nominal expense-less indeed than one thousand dollars—while the information obtained of a reliable sort from the assistants of the work, will effect a saving of many thousands. The zealous and efficient assistant in charge of the office of the Coast Survey has caused the drawings required to illustrate the reports to be promptly made and forwarded to the department. Nor have the steps taken to procure the reports interfered in any case, that I am aware of, seriously, with the duties of the Superintendent and assistants, being rather incidental than foreign to the other duties in which they are engaged.

In July last a letter was addressed to me by the secretary of the Light-house Board, created by act of Congress of March last, requesting inquiries of the chiefs of hydrographic parties of the coast survey in regard to light-houses and accessories on the coast. I addressed a circular to the officers thus referred to, and have transmitted their replies to the board. Several of their replies contain recommendations of new light-houses, beacons, buoys, &c., which are referred to in their annual reports. I have embodied them with other recommendations of assistants in the survey, and have given extracts relating to them from the reports. (Appendix, No. 16.) They embrace objects in the States of Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and California. (For a tabular list of these objects see Appendix, No. 17.)

The object of my annual report is twofold—one, to give an account of the progress of the survey; and the other, to furnish information which has been derived from it, and which may be of interest to commerce and navigation. The preliminary statements are intended, very briefly and in a general way, to call attention to the most prominent points relating to either of these objects; to give a condensed statement of the progress of each part of the work, an outline of the progress which may be expected during the ensuing fiscal year, and the estimate of its cost. Following the divisions of the coast into sections which has been adopted in the work, I next give a more detailed account of the several operations, stating by whom they have been executed, and their results, derived from the annual reports of the assistants and others employed, and prefacing these details by a notice of portions of the work in each section. In this part of the report I have felt at liberty to incorporate such statistics as are useful in the course of the survey in the office or field. Justice to the arduous labors of those who engage in the difficult operations of the work requires that they should receive a full acknowledgment of the service rendered. The progress of the out-door work is brought up to the first of October in all cases, and, when it is practicable, to the first of November; that of the office work to November.

The division of the coast into sections is as follows:

I. Passamaquoddy bay to Point Judith, includir.g the coast of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

part of Crom Vermillionand part of Louish bay, including

II. From Point Judith to Cape Henlopen, including the coast of Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and part of Delaware.

III. From Cape Henlopen to Cape Henry, including the coast of Delaware, Maryland, and part of Virginia.

IV. From Cape Henry to Cape Fear, including the coast of the State of North Carolina.

V. From Cape Fear to the St. Mary's river, including the coast of the States of South Carolina and Georgia.

VI. From the St. Mary's river to St. Joseph's bay, coast of Florida, and including the Florida Reef and Keys.

VII. From St. Joseph's bay to Mobile bay,

VIII. From Mobile bay to Vermillion bay, including the coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and part of Louisiana.

IX. From Vermillion bay to the boundary, including the coast of part of Louisiana and of Texas.

X and XI. The coast of California and Oregon.

The triangulation is continuous, with one single interval of about fifty miles, which less than two seasons more will close, from the mouth of the Kennebec, in Maine, to Ocracoke inlet, in North Carolina, and is well advanced in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, and nearly completed in Alabama and Mississippi; and the other parts of the work are based upon this and keep pace with it. The survey of the western coast is making vigorous progress, striking first at the determinations most important to navigation. That the survey is not advanced more equally in the different sections, will be understood from the dates at which the appropriation has permitted the introduction of the operations on their full scale in them.

The work was in progress in all its main branches first in the different sections as follows: In No. I, in 1844; in No. III, in 1844; in No. IV, in 1847; in No. V, in 1849; in No. VI, in 1850; in No. VIII, in 1847; in No. IX, in 1850. No. Ii was nearly completed in 1844. In No. VI there is merely a reconnaissance, the appropriation not allowing the commencement of the other operations there. The operations on the western coast are necessarily, for the present, of a kind appropriate to the peculiar circumstances of the country.

The loss of the steamer Jefferson on the coast of Patagonia, on her voyage to the western coast, has seriously impeded the work which was laid out for the season in sections X and XI. The light-house surveys ordered by Congress on the western coast may be postponed for a brief time in consequence of this loss; but the arrangements made by the Treasury Department, to equip the steamer Corwin and to send her to that coast, will soon place the hydrography there on the footing designed for it. It will be recollected that the Corwin was constructed for the western coast; but that in order to save the working season of this, the Jefferson, considered in every respect suitable for the purpose, (see Appendix, No. 54,) was sent in her stead. The Jefferson should, in my opinion, be replaced, as she was one of the most useful steam vessels of the coast survey.

Before proceeding with an account of the progress of the coast survey during the past year, I would again respectfully call the attențion of the department to the fact tha: no acknowledgment, of the kind which is most grateful to a military man, has yet been made to Captain A. A. Humphreys, of the corps of topographical engineers, for his devoted and most valuable services to the work. His claims are of the strongest kind for zealous, able, and effective service, and I trust, sir, will be urged by you upon the President. I proceed to state the general progress of the work during the past year as briefly as the nature of the operations will permit, referring for details to the next division of my report, in which each operation is treated under its appropriate head, and with reference to the persons by whom it has been executed. The progress of the work proposed for the next fiscal year is stated, in a general way, in connexion with the estimates. SECTION I. Coast of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island—Nine parties have been employed in this section during the whole or part of the season; seven in land work and two in hydrography. Two of the topographical parties were double—that is, employed each two plane tables; and one of the hydrographic parties had three vessels, one of them a steam-vessel. The primary triangulation was extended to Cape Small Point, in Maine; and the astronomical and magnetic observations connected with it made at two stations. The reconnaissance was carried beyond the Penobscot. Special magnetic observations, for harbor charts, were made at three stations in Maine. The secondary triangulation was completed to Casco bay, and the reconnaissance carried over the bay. The topography of the vicinity of Chatham and Wellfleet, Massachusetts; of Cape Ann, from Beverly farms to the northeast point of the cape; and of Newburyport harbor, Massachusetts, was executed. The hydrography of the Nantucket shoals was continued. The hydrography of Muskeget channel was completed; off-shore soundings were made off Block island and Gay Head; the limits of soundings on Great Rip and Davis's bank extended; and the position of Fishing Rip determined. Tidal and current observations were made in Buzzard's bay and the Vineyard sound, and in the passages connecting them. Chatham harbor was examined; the hydrography of Salem, Newburyport, and Portsmouth (New Hampshire) harbors, and of their approaches, was completed. Tidal observations at Charlestown, Salem, and Newburyport, Massachusetts, and at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, have been made. Reports were made on light-houses, &c., at Naraguagus bay and the mouth of the Kennebec, Maine; in Boston harbor; off Chatham; in Holmes' Hole harbor, Massachusetts; and off Brenton's reef, Rhode Island. The difference of longitude of Bangor, Maine, and Cambridge observatory, Massachusetts, has been ascertained by telegraph, (November 25;) and Cambridge has been connected in the same way with a station of the British survey of Nova Scotia. A second chronometer expedition, for difference of longitude of Greenwich and Cambridge, has been in progress, and is nearly brought to a close. The following maps and charts have been in progress, or published:

Richmond's Island harbor, Maine; Salem harbor, Massachusetts, and its approaches; Nantucket shoals, new edition; and the general coast ... chart, Eastern series, No. 1.

Section II. Coast of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvatria, and Delaware.—The calls for work in this section, the most of which is essentially completed, have, as usual, been met by the employment of parties during a portion of the season when they could best be spared from other sections. The triangulation of the Hudson has been extended. Hydrography of verification has been made on the south side of Long Island, and at the entrance to the Connecticut river; additional off-shore work near the eastern end of Long Island has been done, and tides and currents have been observed for the off-shore chart. Sandy Hook has been re-surveyed to ascertain its changes; certain of the rocks and reefs in Hell Gate, near New York, have been minutely examined, to mark the changes by blasting; surveys of range lines for the main ship and Swash channels into New York harbor have been made. +. observations have been kept up at Governor's Island. Reports have been made on light-houses, beacons, buoys, &c., for Black Rock, Long Island sound, Gardiner's island, Sag Harbor, New York harbor, Fire island, Newark bay, and Passaic river. The published charts and those in progress in this section are, Hart and City islands; south side of #. sland, eastern sheet; Hell Gate; off-shore chart, No. 1, from Gay Head to Cape Henlopen; mouth of Connecticut river; Long Island sound, western sheet; Sandy Hook sketch; Hell Gate rocks sketch. The atlas of Long Island sound requires but one harbor map to complete it, and that is well advanced. SECTION III. In this section, which includes the coast of part of Delaware, of Maryland, and part of Virginia, ten parties have been at work. Astronomical observations have been made at two stations for latitude, azimuth, &c., completing the primary and astronomical work between the Washington observatory, Capitol, and the Chesapeake base. The primary triangulations have been extended down the Chesapeake, and preliminary determinations made to the capes. The secondary triangulation inside has advanced with the primary, and that outside has been carried to within about twenty miles of Cape Charles; next season these triangulations will be connected, verifying the secondar work, and the primary triangulation will be, probably, quite J. The topography of both shores of the Chesapeake has advanced some forty-eight miles; the eastern shore to Rose Mary station, and the western to Wolf Trap. The topography on the outside has reached South Gargathy. The verification work of topography in the Patapsco and approaches, and on the eastern shore, has been continued. The hydrography has made excellent progress; the outside work has been extended twenty-six miles to South Gargathy, and the filling up inside, from Windmill point to Wolf Trap; the middle ground at the entrance to the Chesapeake has been sounded over. Tidal observations have been kept up at Old Point Comfort. Reports have been made on lighthouses, &c., at Fishing battery (Chesapeake) and the Bodkin shoal (Patapsco.) The map of Baltimore harbor and the Patapsco and the upper sheet of the Chesapeake have continued in the hands of the engraver. The drawings of the second sheet of the Chesapeake and of the outer coast have been commenced. The preliminary chart of the seacoast of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, has been extended southward so as to give the Chincoteague shoals, employing the electroty pe process to make the additions without loss of the original plate. A sketch of the middle ground at the entrance of the Chesapeake has been prepared and published.

SECTION IV. Coast of part of Virginia and of North Carolina.-Six parties have been employed in this section during part of the season three land and three hydrographic parties, one of the latter having a steam-vessel. Observations for difference of longitude were made by telegraph and chronometers between Washington and Forbes' Point. A reconnaissance was made for the extension of the primary triangulation over Pamplico sound, which included also an examination of Core . sound. The secondary triangulation of Currituck sound was extended · northward, nearly to the Virginia and North Carolina line. The trian

gulation and topography of the entrance to Cape Fear river and of its approaches were executed. The tertiary triangulation of the ocean shore was carried from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke inlet. The topography of Beaufort harbor and its approaches was completed. The hydrography of Albemarle, Roanoke and Croatan sounds was completed, and that of Currituck sound carried to the limits of the land work. Oregon inlet was examined. The Frying-pan shoals, off Cape Fear entrance, were surveyed. The hydrography of Cape Fear entrance and its approaches was executed. The exploration of the Gulf Stream, in this and the next section, was continued. Examinations, under the light-house law, were made at Beacon island, Ocracoke inlet, (November, the Hatteras shoals, and Cape Fear river.

The first sheet of the map of Albemarle sound has been in progress, and the second sheet is begun. The preliminary chart of Beaufort harbor, and sketches of Cape Fear entrance and of the Frying-pan shoals, have been prepared and published.

SECTION V. Coast of South Carolina and Georgia.-The work has made very good progress in this section. Charleston and Savarnah have been connected with each other, and with the Seaton station, Washington, for difference of longitude. Astronomical observations at Charleston have been continued. The opening of the lines of the primary triangulation was continued, and two stations have been occupied; the secondary triangulation of North Edisto river, the Dawho, St. Helena sound, South Edisto and Ashepoo rivers, has been made, and the reconnaissance extended on one side of the base to the Stono. A preliminary triangulation of Savannah river entrance has been made. The topography of the shores of North Edisto harbor and river, and of the shores of the Savannah river, near the city and at the entrance, has been executed. The hydrography of Charleston harbor, and that of North Edisto harbor of refuge, has been completed. Tidal observations have been made at Charleston and Savannah. · The map of Charleston harbor has made considerable progress, and a tracing on a large scale has been sent to the Chamber of Commerce of the city. Sketches of North Edisto harbor of refuge, and of Savanuah entrance and harbor, have been prepared and published. The sketch of Bull's Bay harbor of refuge has been republished.

SECTION VI. Coast of Florida, and keys and reefs.—Five parties have been employed during parts of the season on this coast. The base

« AnteriorContinuar »