Between 1768 and 1772 the Scotch traveller, Bruce, set out from Massowah, a port of Abyssinia, traversed
the Tigre, visited the ruins of Axum, saw the sources of the Nile where they did not exist, and obtained no serious result.
The consequence is that the Rocky Mountains and the ulterior regions, from the Russian possessions in the north down to the Spanish settlements of California, have been traversed
and ransacked in every direction by bands of hunters and Indian traders; so that there is scarcely a mountain pass, or defile, that is not known and threaded in their restless migrations, nor a nameless stream that is not haunted by the lonely trapper.
One inhabited a deep pond, far removed from public view; the other lived in a gully containing little water, and traversed
by a country road.
Issuing thence to the west and south, as a youth leaves the shelter of his parental house, this spirit found the way to the Indies, discovered the coasts of a new continent, and traversed
at last the immensity of the great Pacific, rich in groups of islands remote and mysterious like the constellations of the sky.
Occasionally the monotony of this vast wilderness is interrupted by mountainous belts of sand and limestone, broken into confused masses; with precipitous cliffs and yawning ravines, looking like the ruins of a world; or is traversed
by lofty and barren ridges of rock, almost impassable, like those denominated the Black Hills.