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Letters have been received from Captain d'Urville, commanding the Astrolabe, which, with the Zelee, sailed from Toulon last September to make a voyage of discovery in the Pacific Ocean, as our readers will probably recollect. They were brought to New London, in Connecticut, by the American South Sea whaler M'Donough, Captain Lawton, who, on the 12th of March, found them deposited in a post-box established by Capt. d'Urville at Port Famine, in the Straits of Magellan. A barrel had previously been placed on a post, set up on this desert shore by the captain of another vessel, and Captain d'Urville replaced it by a box, as being more secure, putting in it the letters contained in the barrel, and his own dispatches, with directions begging whoever found them to forward them to Europe or the United States. It appears by Captain d'Urville's despatches that the vessels arrived safely at Port Famine from Rio Janeiro on the 15th of December, and intended sailing on the 28th, if the wind should admit. No further contents of the despatches have yet been published. Several letters for England have come to Europe from the same spot. — Galignani's Messenger.

[The open-air "post box" improved by d'Urville originated as a bottle hung from a tree in April 1833 by the U.S. Captain Cunningham. This was improved by the U.S. Captain Waterhouse, adding the post inscribed "Post Office". In 1837, shortly prior to d'Urville's visit, Captain Carrick of Liverpool had replaced the bottle with a barrel. Ed.]

Source: "Army and Navy Chronicle, Vol. 6", (Washington), 1838
Clipped: 13-VII-2013
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