Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young ‘ of 1890.
‘In the South Atlantic Ocean here lies a little island that bears the name of Ascension, because, so it is said, a Spanish sailor discovered it, in 1501 on Ascension Day-the last Thursday but one before Whit-Sunday. The isle is only eight miles long by six broad, is 960 miles from the shores of Africa, and its population numbers 140 souls. It was not inhabited till 1815, when the British occupied it in connection with Napoleon’s imprisonment in St. Helena. Nowadays its chief use is as a hospital and station for victualling the navy. Being of volcanic origin and having a very dry climate, there is little verdure about it, although the tomato, pepper, and castor-oil plants and various European vegetables are grown with success. The gardens suffer a great deal from land-crabs and rats. To get rid of the latter pest, cats were imported. But the cure was worse than the disease, for the cats showing a taste for birds’ eggs, became themselves a real nuisance. Huge turtles, of four or five hundredweight, are caught at and near he island, the name of whose port is Georgetown.’