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This is a three volume set. Each volume has a separate title and the three are consolidated into this three volume series under a consolidated single title. The separate titles are:
Volume I. Voyage to Loo-Choo and Other Places in the Eastern Seas in the Year 1816 Including an Account of Captain Maxwell's Attack on the Batteries of Canton and Notes of an Interview with Buonaparte at St Helena, 1826, 322 pages.
Volume II. Extracts From a Journal Written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the Years 1820, 1821, 1822, Volume I, 1827, 313 pages.
Volume III. Extracts From a Journal Written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the Years 1820, 1821, 1822, Volume II, 1826, 311 pages.
Consolidated Single Title (at the front of each volume) found at the front of all three volumes. Constable's Miscellany of Original and Selected Publications in the Various Departments of Literature, Science and the Arts, Volume I, II or III., each consolidated title page has an engraved vignette. The date on the consolidated title is 1826 for Volumes I and III and 1827 for Volume II.
Printed for Archibald Constance & Co and Hurst, Robinson & Co. (printed by James Ballantine and Co), Edinburgh, 1826/7. This edition does not have illustrations, aside from the title page vignette, or maps. The earlier 1818 edition regarding Loo Choo and Korea had 8 handcolored plates, two engraved plates (black and white) and 5 charts. None of these illustrations are in Volume I of this series.
Overview. Basil Hall, was master of the vessel Lyra, which with the Alceste, under the command of Captain Murray Maxwell, transported the Lord Amherst's Embassy to China (1816-17). On the return voyage Hall made detailed hydrographic surveys of the both the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. At this time very little was recorded in England and the Western World about this area. The party made detailed surveys of the Ryukyu Archipelago as well as the coast of Korea. They spent a substantial period on Okinawa (Loo-Choo). The Loo-Choo and "Eastern Seas" account is in Volume I. Volume I also contains an account of an interview with Napoleon Buonaparte who was then exiled by the British on St. Helena. In 1820-1822, Hall was attached to the British South America Station. An account of his experiences during this time is found in Volumes II and III.
|Volume I - China, Korea, Loo Choo, Buonaparte Interview (1816-1817).|
The journey begins on February 9, 1816 with the Alceste and Lyra departing England bound for China with the Lord Amherst Embassy. At each step in the journey, Hall describes the people, culture and living conditions in the places visited. After a stop in Java the Alceste arrived in Canton on July 7. Next the Alceste sailed for Korea on the 1st of September. The account of the Korea visit covers 60+ pages. The next destination was Loo-Choo. The Alceste left Korea on the 10th of September and arrived off Okinawa on the 14th. Hall's initial reaction to the Loo-Chooans was to characterize them as "remarkably friendly people." (p119). This favorable impression is carried throughout the account of this visit which is approximately 150 pages (almost 1/2 of the volume). It was not until the 23rd that the authorities allowed the British to actually land and visit the island. During the intervening period the ships conducted hydrograph surveys and land surveys. A crew member from the Alceste was buried "near the temple" on October 16. There is an account of Captain Maxell breaking his finger and being treated by a Loo-Choo physician. The ships left Okinawa on the 27th of October after a one month visit leaving behind "...our primitive and kind friends...." (p268). The ships returned to China to receive the Lord Amherst Embassy for the return to England. During this process they was a exchange of canon fire between the British and Chinese which resulted in no damage or casualties on either side. In stark contrast to the Loo-Choo visit, the return to China was full of discord and conflict (military and diplomatic). The Amherst Embassy departed China in January, 1817 about the Alceste on the ill fated return to England. The Lyra stopped by St Helena on the ruturn and Hall met with Buonaparte on the August 12, 1817 at Longwood. A significant portion of interview was a discussion of Loo-Choo and the fact that the Loo-Choo people had no "...wars or weapons of destruction...." (page 318). This fact amazed Buonaparte. The Lyra arrived back in England in October of 1817 after the almost two year voyage chronicled in this volume.
|Volume II. Chile and Peru (1820-1821)|
This volume begins in August of 1820 with Hall's departure for Chili. This is a journal and contains entries in chronological order. While a journal, many sections are written in a narrative format. Entries cover the following:
Volume II ends in November of 1821.
- Chile (cattle industry, trip into the interior and mining).
- Peru (Lima, Spanish colonial system before the revolution and abandonment by the Spanish, interview with San Martin, robbers near Lima, bull fights in Lima and Peruvian architecture.)
- The Andes
|Volume III. Chile, Peru and Mexico (1821-1823).|
This volume begins in November of 1821 with Hall's voyage to Guasco, Chile, a port used for mining exportation. Entries cover the following:
Volume III ends in September 1822.
- The British South American Station (Naval mission) and its role in South America.
- Chile (Port of Guasco, copper mines, earthquake of 1819, gold and silver mines and the mining system).
- Peru (return to Lima, arrest of Don Pedro Abadia, Peruvian politics in 1821-2, visit to Payta).
- Galapagos (flora and fauna, including the turtles).
- Mexico (Acapulco, City of Tepic, feast at Santa Cruz, marriage feast, revolution in Mexico and San Blas)