Ascension (island), a small volcanic island in the Atlantic (lat. 7° 55' N., long. 14° 25' W.), 800 miles north-west of St. Helena, 960 miles from Africa, and belonging to Great Britain. It owes its name to the fact that it was discovered by John de Nova on Ascension Day, 1502. It was occupied by the British when Napoleon was sent to St. Helena in 1815, and has since served as a coaling station and victualling place for the navy, and as a sanatorium for invalids from the west coast of Africa. Its length is eight miles, and its average breadth six miles, and the central peak rises to a height of 2,870 feet. Scarcely a blade of verdure exists save on Green Mountain and in the gardens kept up by , the small staff of officials, sailors, and marines, but pepper and castor-oil trees, tomatoes, and Cape gooseberries are said to be indigenous. Turtles are plentiful, and deposit their eggs on the shore, as do myriads of sea birds. The governor, a naval officer appointed by the Admiralty, has absolute authority as on board a man-of-war. Georgetown is the name of the little settlement.