MADRID, FEB. 13 . [An account of the expedition referred to in the following has been published, but not with every particular this contains.]
The corvettes la Decouverte, l’Audacieuse and the sloop la Subtile, have returned after a voyage of many years; they were dispatched from Cadiz in July ’89, in order to explore the coasts of South America, from the mouth of the river la Plata to Cape Horn, and from thence to the extremity of the North west coast of America.
A summary of the discoveries has just been published, the result is, that after all possible enquiries, no passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean could be found between the 59 and 61 degrees of latitude, where hitherto it was at least thought probable to find out a passage much shorter, if not less dangerous than that round Cape Horn and China to the East India islands.
The sloops la Subtile and la Mexicaine, detached in the beginning of 1792 from the squadron, have in concert with the English ships of war under Captain Vancoover, much contributed to determine the true position of the immense Archipelago, known under the name of Admiral Fronte and Fuca, which forms a chain of islands from the north west coast of America till within a short distance of the north east extremity of Asia.
The corvettes spent the greatest part of 1792 in exploring the Ladrones & Phillippine islands, and surveying the coast of China north of Macao. They sailed together between the island of Mindanao and New Guinea; after having crossed the equator, they directed their course eastward, and navigated on an immense ocean, a space of 500 leagues. They passed by the New Hebrides, visited New Zealand, New Holland, the Friendly Islands, and explored the Archipelago of Beban [Babao/Vavau], which no foreign navigator had ever reconnoitred.
Aurora General Advertiser, Pittsburgh, 18 June 1795
also in The Political Gazette, Boston, 2 July 1795, and
The Amherst Journal and New Hampshire Advertiser, 31 July 1795
Text courtesy of Robert King.
Updated: June 13, 2018