Northern Discovery.—


The following extract of a letter from Copenhagen will startle some of our readers who are interested (and who is not?) in this interesting subject. For our part, we cannot look on such announcements but with a kind of sceptical feeling, and we strongly recommend that the narrative of the voyage in question be accompanied with a full statement of the original observations, with an account of the instruments with which they were made, in order to determine the geographical positions of the parts visited; otherwise we have no hesitation in saying that the bare statement will be consigned to the same oblivion in which it appears the voyage in question has hitherto slumbered:—

“Royal Society of Northern Antiquarians, Copenhagen, 13th Feb., 1837.

“I avail myself of this occasion to direct your attention to a work, which, after many years’ labour, and great expense, will make its appearance in the course of a few months. That part of its contents which must interest you in particular, more than most others, is a voyage of discovery in the arctic regions of America, during the year 1266, through Lancaster Sound and Barrow’s Strait, to regions first again revisited, and more accurately explored, by yourself and fellow-voyagers.”

What the original name of Lancaster Sound was, we are to learn, it appears; but, for the information of our readers, we may add, that the work containing this most memorable, but hitherto forgotten voyage, is Antiquitates Americanæ, or, “A Collection of the Accounts extant in ancient Icelandic and other Scandinavian manuscripts, relative to Voyages of Discovery to North America, made by the Scandinavians in the tenth and following centuries.” It will be printed in Latin as well as Danish, and a brief summary of the work will accompany it in French and English.