TRISTAN DA CUNHA , thegeneral name for a
See also:group of three small volcanic islands belonging to
See also:Great Britain, situated in the South
See also:Atlantic, the
See also:summit of the largest being in 370 5' 50" S., 12° 16' 40" W . They are about 2000 M . W. of the Cape of
See also:Good Hope and about 4000 M . N.E. of Cape
See also:Horn and lie somewhat
See also:north of a
See also:drawn between the two capes . St Helena lies about 1500 M . N.N.E. of the group . The islands rise from the submarine
See also:elevation which runs down the centre of the Atlantic and on which are likewise situated Ascension, St Paul's Rocks and the
See also:Azores; the
See also:depth on this
See also:ridge is from 1600 to 1700 fathoms, while depths of 3000 fathoms are found on each side of it . The depth between the islands is in some places over
See also:I000 fathoms . Tristan, the largest and northernmost
See also:island, has an
See also:area of 16 sq. m., is nearly circular in
See also:form, about 7 M. in diameter, and has a volcanic
See also:cone (7640 ft.), usually capped with
See also:snow, in the centre . Precipitous cliffs, moo to 2000 ft. in height, rise directly from the ocean on all sides, except on the north-west, where there is an irregular plain, too ft. above the
See also:sea, and 22 M. in length and a m. in breadth . A stream crosses the
See also:northern end of the
See also:plateau, falling over the cliff edge in a
See also:fine cascade . The
See also:crater of the central cone contains a fresh-
See also:water lake about 15o yds. in diameter .
This and other crater lakes are said never to be frozen over . Inaccessible Island, the westernmost of the group, is about 20 M. from Tristan . It is
See also:quadrilateral in form, the sides being about 2 m. long, and its area is about 4 sq. m . The highest point (1840 ft.) is on the west side; all
See also:round there are perpendicular cliffs about moo ft. in height . At the
See also:base of the cliffs in some places are narrow fringes of
See also:beach a few feet above the sea-level .
See also:Nightingale Island, the smallest and most
See also:southern of the group, is to m. from Inaccessible Island . Its area is not more than r sq.m . Its coasts, unlike those of the other two islands, are surrounded by low cliffs, from which there is a gentle slope up to two peaks, the one IIoo ft., the other 96o ft. high . There are two small islets—Stoltenkoff (325 ft.) and
See also:Middle (15o ft.)—and several rocks adjacent to the
See also:coast . The rocks of Tristan da Cunha are felspathic
See also:basalt, dolerite,
See also:andesite, sideromelane and palagonite; some specimens of the basalt have porphyritic augite.i The caves in Nightingale Island indicate that it has been elevated several feet . On almost On the occurrence in Tristan da Cunha of
See also:rock of
See also:continental type (
See also:gneiss) see E . H .
L .Schwarz of the
See also:Geological Survey, Cape Colony, in the Transactions South
See also:African Philosoph .
See also:Soc, . No . 16 of 1905 . all sides the islands are surrounded by a broad
See also:belt of kelp, the gigantic southern seaweed (Macrocystis pyrifera), through which a
See also:boat may approach the rocky shores even in stormy
See also:weather . There is no good anchorage in rough weather . The beaches and
See also:lower lands are covered with a dense growth of tussock grass (Spartina arundinacea), 8 to to ft. in height . It shelters vast numbers of penguins (Eudyptes chrysocoma), which there form their rookeries . There is one small
See also:tree (Phylica nitida), which grows in detached patches on the lower grounds . Independently of introduced
See also:plants, fifty-five
See also:species have been collected in the group, twenty-nine being flowering plants and twenty-six ferns and lycopods . A majority of the species are characteristic of the
See also:present general
See also:flora of the south temperate zone rather than any particular
See also:part of it: botanically the group is generally classed with the islands of the Southern Ocean .
Afinch (Nesospiza acunhae), a
See also:thrush (Nesocichla eremita), and a water-
See also:hen (Gallinula nesiotis) are the only
See also:land birds—the first two being
See also:peculiar to the islands . In addition to the penguins numerous other sea birds
See also:nest on the islands, as petrels, albatrosses, terns, skuas and prions . One or two land shells, a few
See also:spiders, several
See also:Coleoptera, a small lepidopter and a few other
See also:insects are recorded, but no Orthoptera or Hymenoptera . There appear to have been no indigenous mammals or
See also:reptiles .
See also:Seals frequent Nightingale and Inaccessible Islands, and the
See also:whale (Balaena australis) is found in the adjacent
See also:waters . The prevailing winds are
See also:westerly .
See also:December to
See also:March is the fine
See also:season . The
See also:climate is mild and on the whole healthy, the temperature averaging 68° Fahr . In summer, 55° in winter—sometimes falling to40° .
See also:Rain is frequent;
See also:hail and snow fall occasionally on the lower grounds . The
See also:sky is usually cloudy . The islands have a
See also:cold and barren appearance .
See also:tide rises and falls about 4 ft .
See also:History.—The islands were discovered in 1506 by the Portuguese
See also:admiral Tristan, or more correctly Tristdo da Cunha,' after whom they are named, during a voyage to India . There-after the islands (which were uninhabited) were occasionally visited by outward bound
See also:ships to the Indies . Dutch vessels brought back reports on the islands in 1643, and in 1656
See also:Van Riebeek, the founder of Cape
See also:Town, sent a
See also:ship from Table
See also:Bay to Tristan to see if it was suitable for a military station. but the
See also:absence of a
See also:harbour led to the project being abandoned . Later in the 17th century ships were sent from St Helena by the
See also:English East India
See also:Company to Tristan to
See also:report on a proposed settlement there, but that project also came to naught . A
See also:naval officer who visited the group in 176o gave his name to Nightingale Island .
See also:Patten, the
See also:master of an English
See also:merchant ship, and part of his
See also:crew lived on Tristan from
See also:August 1790 to
See also:April 1791, during which
See also:time they captured 5600 seals; but the first permanent inhabitant was one
See also:Thomas Currie, who landed on the island in 18io . At this time
See also:American whalers frequented the neighbouring waters and, in the same
See also:year, an American named
See also:Lambert "
See also:late of
See also:Salem, mariner and
See also:citizen thereof " and a man named
See also:Williams made Tristan their home . Lambert declared himself
See also:sovereign and
See also:sole possessor of the group (which he renamed Islands of Refreshment) " grounding my right and claim on the rational and sure ground of absolute occupancy." Lambert's
See also:sovereignty was
See also:short lived, as he and Williams were drowned while out fishing in May 1812 . Currie was joined, however, by two other men and they busied themselves in growing vegetables, wheat and oats, and in breeding pigs . War having broken out in this year between the
See also:United States and Great Britain the islands were largely used as a base by American cruisers sent to
See also:prey on British merchant ships . This and other considerations urged by
See also:Somerset, then
See also:governor of Cape Colony, led the British
See also:government to authorize the islands being taken possession of as dependencies of the Cape .
The formalproclamation of annexation was made on the 14th of August 1816 . A small garrison was maintained on Tristan until i Tristan da Cunha (fl . 1460-1540) was nominated first
See also:viceroy of Portuguese India in 1504, but was unable to serve owing to temporary
See also:blindness; in 1506 he was placed in command of a
See also:fleet which operated on the east coast of Africa and in the Indies,
See also:Alphonso d'Albuquerque (q.v.) having
See also:charge of a
See also:squadron under da Cunha . After discovering the islands which now bear his name, da Cunha landed in
See also:Madagascar, subsequently visiting Mozambique, Brava (where he reduced the Arab power) and Sokotra, which he conquered . He also distinguished himself in the Indies in various actions . In '514 he was
See also:ambassador to
See also:Leo X. to pay homage for the new conquests of
See also:Portugal, and was, later on, made a member of the Portuguese privy council.295
See also:November of the following year . At their own
See also:Glass (d . 1853), a
See also:corporal in the Royal
See also:Artillery, with his wife and two
See also:children and two masons were
See also:left behind, and thus was begun the present settlement . From time to time additional settlers arrived or shipwrecked mariners decided to lemain; in 1827 five coloured
See also:women from St Helena were induced to migrate to Tristan to become the wives of the five bachelors then on the island . Later coloured women from Cape Colony married residents in the island . Other settlers are of Dutch,
See also:Italian and
See also:Asiatic origin . Thus the inhabitants are of mixed
See also:blood, but the British
See also:strain greatly predominates .
Over the little community Glass (1817-1853) ruled in patriarchalfashion . Be-sides raising crops, the settlers possessed numbers of
See also:sheep and pigs, but their most lucrative occupation was seal fishing . The island was still frequented by American whalers, and in 1856 out of a
See also:total population of about
See also:loo twenty-five emigrated to the United States . The next year
See also:forty-five of the inhabitants removed to Cape Colony; whither the younger or more restless members of the community have since gone—or else taken to a seafaring
See also:life . The inhabitants had of
See also:necessity made their settlement on the plain on the north-west of Tristan; here a number of substantial
See also:stone cottages and a
See also:church were built . It is named
See also:Edinburgh in memory of a visit in 1867 by the duke of Edinburgh . In
See also:October 1873 the islands were carefully surveyed by the " Challenger," which removed to Cape Town two Germans,
See also:brothers named Stoltenhoff, who had been living on Inaccessible Island since November 1871 . This was the only attempt at colonization made on any save the
See also:main island of the group . After the
See also:death of Glass the
See also:head of the community for some time was an old man-of-war's man named
See also:Cotton, who had been for three years guard over
See also:Napoleon at St Helena; Cotton was succeeded by
See also:Peter William
See also:Green, a native of Amsterdam who settled in the island in 1836 . During Green's " reign " the economic
See also:condition of Tristan was considerably affected by the
See also:desertion of the neighbouring seas by the whalers; this was largely due to the depredations of the Confederate cruisers "
See also:Alabama " and "
See also:Shenandoah " during the American
See also:Civil War, many whaling boats being captured and burnt by them . As a result the number of ships calling at Tristan considerably diminished and
See also:trade languished . In 188o the population appears to have attained its maximum—1o9 .
In 1885 a serious disaster befell the islanders, a lifeboat which went to take
See also:pro-visions to a ship in the offing was lost with all hands—fifteen men—and only four adult
See also:males were left on the island . At the same time a plague of rats—survivors of a shipwrecked vessel—wrought much havoc among the crops . Plans were made for the total removal of the inhabitants to the Cape, but the majority preferred to remain . Stores and provisions were sent out to them by the British government . The ravages of the rats have rendered impossible the growing of wheat; the
See also:wealth of the islanders now consists in their cattle, sheep, potatoes and
See also:apple and peach trees . The population in 1897 was only 64; in 19o1 it was 74, and in 1909, 95 . They
See also:manage their own affairs without any written
See also:laws, the project once entertained of providing them with a formal constitution being deemed unnecessary . The inhabitants are described as moral, religious, hospitable to strangers, well mannered and industrious, healthy and long lived . They are without intoxicating liquors and are said to commit no crimes . They are daring sailors, and in small
See also:canvas boats of their own
See also:building voyage to Nightingale and Inaccessible islands . They knit garments from the wool of their sheep; are good carpenters and make serviceable carts . From time to time ministers of the Church of England have lived on the island and to their efforts is mainly due the
See also:education of the children .
In 1906 the islanders passed through a
See also:period of
See also:distress owing to great mortality among the cattle and the almost total failure of the potato
See also:crop . The majority again refused, however, to
See also:desert the island, though offered allotments of land in Cape Colony . Similar proposals had been made and declined several times since the question was first mooted in 1886 . In 1905 a lease of Nightingale, Inaccessible and
See also:Gough islands, for the purpose of working the guano deposits, was granted by the British government . Gough Island.—Gough Island or Diego
See also:Alvarez lies in the South Atlantic in 40° 20' S., 9° 44' W., and is 250 M . S.S.E. of Tristan da Cunha and some 1500 m. west by south of Cape Town . It is of volcanic origin, is rugged and mountainous, the highest
See also:peak rising to 4380 ft . The island is about 8 m. long by 4 M. broad and has an area of 40 sq. m . Precipitous cliffs, from 200 to 1000 ft. high, characterize the coast . They are divided by picturesque valleys, which, in some instances, have been cut down to sea-level and afford landing-places . Streams fall over the cliffs into the sea in fine cascades . The island is visited by vast numbers of penguins and contains valuable guano deposits .
It is also the home of numerous seals . The rainfall is heavy and vegetation abundant . The island is believed to have been discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century . Originally called Diego Alvarez, it derives its other name from aCaptain Gough, the
See also:commander of a British ship which visited it in 1731 . It has been claimed as a British possession since the annexation of Tristan da Cunha . In 1904 Gough Island was visited by the
See also:Antarctic exploring ship " Scotia " of the
See also:Bruce expedition, which discovered a
See also:rich marine
See also:fauna, two new buntings and three new species of plants . It has no permanent population . A comprehensive account of Tristan da Cunha appeared in The Cape Times (January–March 1906), in a series of articles by W . Hammond Tooke, the
See also:commissioner sent to the islands by the Cape government in 1904 . See also Transactions of the Linnean Society for 1819 (contains a report of an ascent of the summit by Captain Dugald
See also:Carmichael in 1817) ; A . Earle, Narrative of a .. . Residence in New Zealand ... together with a Journal of a Residence in Tristan d'Acunha (
See also:London, 1832) ; Mrs K .
See also:Barrow, Three Years in Tristan da Cunha (London, 1910) ; H . N . Moseley, Notes by a Naturalist on the " Challenger " (new ed., London, 1892) ; F. and G . Stoltenhoff, " Two Years on Inaccessible," in Cape Monthly Mag . (December 1873) . Among papers
See also:relating to Tristan da Cunha published by the British government, see especially reports issued in 1897, 1903, 1906—which gives a detailed account of the island and islanders—and 1907 . For the
See also:discovery of Tristan see The Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque (
See also:Hakluyt Society's Series, 1875, vol . 53) . For Gough Island, see R . N . R .
See also:Brown of the ` Scotia " expedition, " Diego Alvarez or Gough Island," in Scottish Geog . Mag . (August 1905); Brown and others, " The Botany of Gough Island," in Journ . Linnean Soc . (Botany) (1905), and The Voyage of the " Scotia" ch. xii . (London, 1906) . The Africa
See also:Pilot, pt. ii . (5th ed., 1901), contains descriptions both of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island .
TRISTAN, or TRISTRAM
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