Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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IHERING, Mauritius van (e-air'-ing), Dutch mariner, born in Minden in 1580; died in Amsterdam in 1635. He served under Le Maire when that navigator discovered in 1616 the strait that bears his name, and afterward commanded several expeditions to the South American coast. The Spanish government was meanwhile greatly disturbed by the discovery of Le Maire, which enabled the dutch to reach the Pacific ocean in a few days. Philip III suggested the possibility of erecting fortifications on the banks of the strait, and so closing the passage, and he sent in 1618 an expedition commanded by Alfonso and Estevan Nodal, with orders to make a thorough exploration of the strait. When the navigators returned to Europe in 1620, the supreme council of the Netherlands determined to protect Dutch interests. Ihering was given four ships and ordered to take possession of the shores of the strait and build a fortress, if he thought it necessary, he sailed from Amsterdam in September, 1626, and on 27 December discovered the Los Reyes islands, where he encountered dangerous rocks, and ascertained their exact position, although he had only defective instruments. He then entered the Strait of Le Maire, discovered the Bay of Mauritius, and again, in lat. 56º 9' S., found some rocks and seven small islands, which he named the Stattsonder islands. He landed afterward on the western coast of Tierra del Fuego, and then sailed around that island. On returning he made soundings, ascertaining that the depth of the Strait of Le Matte was on an average fifty-two fall, ores, and, continuing till he was 125 miles from the South American coast, he discovered that the ocean increased in depth, he reached Amsterdam in December, 1627, and published his journal, "Relation de l'expedition envoyee au detroit de Be Maire par Messeigneurs des Etats sons la conduite du Capitaine Maurice d'ihering, de Septembre, 1626, g Decembre, 1627" (2 vols., Amsterdam).
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