History Archive > Cuzco: a Journey to the Ancient Capital of Peru (1856)

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Cuzco: A Journey to the Ancient Capital of Peru; with an Account if the History, Language, Literature, and Antiquities of the Incas. And Lima: A Visit to the Capital and Provinces of Modern Peru; with A Sketch of the Viceregal Government, History of the republic, and a Review of the Literature and Society of Peru

Creator(s):

Date: 1856

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Description

In the summer of 1852, freed from his naval obligations, Markham made plans for an extended visit to Peru. Supported by a gift from his father of £500 (more than £40,000 at 2008 values) to cover expenses, Markham sailed from Liverpool on 20 August.

Markham travelled by a roundabout route, proceeding first to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then overland to Boston and New York, before taking a steamer to Panama. After crossing the isthmus he sailed for Callao, finally arriving there on 16 October. He set out for the Peruvian interior on 7 December 1852, heading across the Andes towards his goal, the ancient Inca city of Cuzco.

On the way, Markham paused for nearly a month in the town of Ayacucho, to study the local culture and increase his knowledge of the Quechua. He then travelled on towards Cuzco, and after crossing a swinging bridge (the Apurimac Bridge) suspended 300 feet (91 m) above the raging Apurimac River, he and his party passed through fertile valleys which brought them finally to the city of Cuzco, on 20 March 1853.

Markham remained in the city for several weeks, researching Inca history, describing in his journal the many buildings and ruins that he visited. During the course of an excursion to nearby towns and ruins he reached the area of San Miguel, La Mar, Ayacucho, where he first learned of the properties of the cinchona plant, a source of quinine, cultivated in that vicinity. He finally left Cuzco on 18 May, accompanied by a party of six who, like him, were returning to Lima.

Their journey took them southwards, descending the mountains to the city of Arequipa, a former Spanish colonial settlement with a mixture of native and European architecture. The city is overlooked by the conical volcano Mount Misti, which Markham likened to Mount Fuji in Japan. On 23 June the party reached Lima, where Markham learned of the death of his father. He departed for England, where he arrived on 17 September.

Bound in decorative blind embossed pictorial gilt decorated green cloth. 8vo. 5.25" x 8

8 full paged Chromolithographs and a folding map

References:

Markham, Albert Hastings (1917). "Childhood and school-days". The Life of Sir Clements R. Markham, K.C.B., F.R.S. London: John Murray

Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages

Publication Information

Publisher: London, Chapman and Hall

Language(s):

English

Pages: 450

Contributor(s):

Getty Research Institute

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-18

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