Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 141–58.

Art. XXII. [Review of Voyages from Montreal, by Alexander Mackenzie]

[Francis Jeffrey] *



Publications reviewed:

Mackenzie 1801


Exploration, Natural History, Physical Geography, Ethnography, Race, Progress, Meteorology, Botany, Expertise, Instruments, Metrology, Heroism

People mentioned:

George Vancouver

    Observes that, while this is an interesting volume, it 'will convey but little important information to the Geographer, the naturalist, or the statesman' (141). Summarizes Alexander Mackenzie's description of the Inuit peoples and his theory of their racial origins; discusses the failure of the Inuit to show any 'progress in civilization or improvement' under European influence (146). Observes that Mackenzie 'is not a naturalist, and had no leisure for minute observations'. Describes his observations of vegetation growing on permanently frozen ground, and of mixed woodland being succeeded exclusively by poplars after destruction by fire. Observes of the latter: 'Mr. Mackenzie must excuse us for not giving implicit faith to this observation'. Describes how, after one unsuccessful attempt to reach the Pacific coast, Mackenzie made a winter voyage to Britain 'for the express purpose of obtaining the necessary instruments and information, and returned fully qualified to make a scientific survey of the countries he was to traverse, and to fix his geographical positions with accuracy and precision'. (149)

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