In closing this report the members of this commission hereby signify their intention to promote uniformity and accuracy by adopting and using the standards and general plan of procedure recommended in this report in the polarimetric determinations over which, in their respective branches of government work, they have control.
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Hamilton Inlet, or Ionektoke, as the Esquimaus call it, is the outlet to the largest river on the Labrador Peninsula, and of great importance to commerce, Rigolet, the headquarters of the Hudson Bay Company in this region, being situated on its shores. This inlet is the great waterway to Central Labrador, extending into the interior for nearly 200 miles.
This immense basin is undoubtedly of glacial origin, evidences of ice erosion being plainly seen. It is divided into two general basins, connected by the “narrows,” a small strait, through which the water rushes with frightful rapidity at each tide. Into the head of the inlet flows the Hamilton, or Grand River, an exploration of which, though attended with the greatest danger and privation, has enticed many men to these barren shores. Perhaps the most successful expedition thus far was that of Mr. Holme, an Englishman, who, in the summer of 1888, went as far as Lake Waminikapon, where, by failure of his provisions, he was obliged to turn back, leaving the main object of the trip, the discovery of the Grand Falls, wholly unaccomplished.
It has been left for Bowdoin College to accomplish the work left undone by Mr. Holme, to do honor to herself and her country by not only discovering, measuring, and photographing the falls, but making known the general features of the inland plateau, the geological structure of the continent, and the course of the river.
On Sunday, July 26, a party of the Bowdoin expedition, consisting of Messrs. Cary, Cole, Young, and Smith, equipped with two Rushton boats and a complement of provisions and instruments, left the schooner at the head of the inlet for a five weeks’ trip into the interior, the ultimate object being the discovery of the Grand Falls. The mouth of the river, which is about one mile wide, is blockaded by immense sand bars, which have been laid down gradually by the erosive power of the river. These bars extend far out into Goose Bay, at the head of Lake Melville, and it is impossible to approach the shores except in a small boat. Twenty-five miles up the river are the first falls, a descent of the water of twenty-five feet, forming a beautiful sight. Here a cache of provisions was made, large enough to carry the party back to the appointed meeting place at Northwest River. The carry around the first falls is about one and a half miles in length, and very difficult on account of the steep sides of the river.