Sunday, September 10, 2006
The authorship of Symzonia, A Voyage of Discovery that was published in 1820 is unclear. Its writer hid himself behind the penname Captain Adam Seaborn. Symzonia describes a journey into a hollow earth based on the ideas of John Cleves Symmes, where he discovers not only fertile lands, but also humanoids. Writes Seaborn: "At noon, on the 24th of December, we anchored in 14 fathoms water, on a fine sandy bottom. This land, out of gratitude to Capt. Symmes for his sublime theory, I immediately named Symzonia...There were a number of buildings on the island, one of which from its magnitude and superior appearance to the others, I judged to be a public edifice of some sort. This structure was two stories high, while all the others were but one. In the front, a large open portico with an extensive platform, appeared to be a place of business, great numbers of people being collected upon it..." Some have it that the author of Symzonia was none other than Symmes himself, while other maintain that textual analysis reveals that Symmes' penmanship was inferior to that of the pseudonymous Captain Seaborn. Another theory is that the writer of Symzonia actually was Nathaniel Ames (1764-1835).